Glad you stopped by my blog this morning at work and don’t worry, your boss has know idea and if they do then a great compliment goes far. Yup that’s right its Sunday evening here about 6:30pm and on the East coast it is 12:30am. You know it’s hard to explain that drinking on a Sunday night is not a bad thing but if you have a job that requires you to be chained to the desk from 7am to 5pm, 5 days a week , you would shun me. Well I work very hard at not dyeing each day we sail and repairing everything that breaks each day. I feel more like MacGyver in the TV show each day. I surprise myself what I can do with the tools I have. But back to the whole drinking thing, I know its bad to drink on Sunday but after a few Glasses of red wine and a beer I feel like a leaf just falling form a tree on a warm fall evening with the smoky sent of the fire place nearby. Ok, after that sentence I guess I should put down the second beer, LOL. FYI “LOL” means “lough out loud” don’t worry mom & dad gotcha covered on the text language. Well you know when you have a double fisted grip on some local Hinano Tahiti beer you just have to finish it. Then wake up at 6am when the old man is rummaging around the galley for his breakfast and you just say “fuck it” get up and sail through the reef and on to Northern Tahiti, “day 200”. Yes life with your parent after you have been away for 12 years is somewhat hard to be re-accustomed too. I shall not get into that right now and continue with the real point of this blog. What we did in Tahiti was clean the boat from 8am to 2 pm. Then Adam and I listened to a motocross track on the main land and were drawn to the sound like bugs to a zapper. We dinghy to shore and walked a ¼ mile to a motocross track and watch the local all-stars ride the dirt bikes in a motocross. Then when we got back to the boat we watched some crazy asshole fly some little plans off the anchorage around our heads and then land again as we enjoyed some wine. After that Adam made some dinner with my dad’s continuing impute and we drank more beer. Off to northern Tahiti tomorrow and hopefully markets of fruit, bread, meat, and great people to talk to. Miss you Beautiful Lady!
Enjoy It, each Drop, each Flavor, each Day, Enjoy Life
Today we took a bus from our anchorage on the south end of Tahiti to the north main city of Papeete. We were only there for 3 hours and had to get back on the bus after we found out that the bus stops running at 12pm. So we climbed back onto the bus and went back to Dragonsbane to fix stuff, scrub stuff and watch a great moon rise and sunset. I also took some time to catch you up on my photo’s of our travels through the Tuamotu Islands. I started with Tahiti landfall when we sailed into our anchorage early in the morning. Then I back track to Fakarava Island in the Tuamotu’s. Enjoy!
Just remember, god did not intend for man to sit in a office cubical and look into a computer screen for 50 years. So let it all go and find what makes you happy, so do that STUPID. I know that I will when I return to the USA.
Love Life and enjoy it! You only get One!
Taken at 100 feet below the ocean in a 3 knot current pushing us into the Fakarava Lagoon. You see most of the sharks at the 3/4 mark.
One more video of the same dive but in 60 feet on a reef wall. FUN STUFF A?
We are currently 30 nautical miles off the south end of Tahiti. Our destination is the Port du Phaeton on the South West end of Tahiti. The wind is blowing 25 to 30 knots and we have been averaging 7.5 knots which will put us at the Tahiti reef entrance at 4 in the morning. We have decided to heave too 30 miles off the coast until midnight. Then we will begin to sail again and should arrive at the reef entrance to Port du Phaeton around 8am. Hopefully the currents are weak like many of our friends have informed us. I would hate to do white water rafting again through the tall waves that block most of the reef passes when the current is opposite of the offshore waves.
We are all glad to be back at a more modern location but it is bitter sweet. We will have to start locking up Dragonsbane and the dinghy on shore. It is true that when you get to a modern country the crime is much worse then out in the small island chains. I personally like the feeling of no crime and that if there is a crime it could only be a handful of people. Anyway I hope to post pictures and video when we get settled on Tahiti Island.
Current Position: 17deg 45.9min South, 148deg 36.0min West
Thank you all,
We left this morning to Tahiti and it should be a 2 day sail. Our speed right now is 7 knots heading 236 degrees. The weather forecast is calling for winds to stay 20 knots all the way to Tahiti which is great news.
Last evening I found out that there was a man on the little spit of land that we anchored in front of that made pizza. The catch was that you need to have at least 6 people for him to fire up his mud oven for pizza. So I motored around the little anchorage and found 11 people to eat pizza. It really was not that hard to get folks to join us for a pizza dinner, salad, and dessert for $2000 Franks each. The other reason being that there is no restaurants on the south end of the island so this was a nice find. The French pizza mans name was Nihiru and owned his own bungalow right on the island. His location was very cool, after you made your way through the maze of shallow coral heads with your dinghy you tied up to a small concrete dock, greeted by a old dog wagging his tail. The Lagoon was part of his bungalow and the ocean water pooled right next to where we ate pizza. The roof was a high peaked A-frame with long tables under it. The pacific ocean breeze kept us very cool and the water was filled with tropical fish. We dined with 6 English, and the rest Americans. We drank wine and talked about everything, but like all conversation we drifted into the difference in political, government, and life in our own countries. The pizza was made by Nihiru who ran the fire mud oven well wearing a green flower skirt and no shirt. He was a very fun busy guy and kept telling us not to give any wine to his works because they would drink all night and not work tomorrow. He served us first the salad which I thought would be lettuce, vegetables, and dressing. Nope his salad was just tomatoes and dressing. Not one person was upset about having just a tomato salad because none of us has seen tomatoes in a months and we enjoyed the tomatoes very, very much. Then he served the pizzas two at a time that had cheese, red sauce of some kind, chicken, and another white sauce. They were all very good pizzas. Then he served a dessert cheese pie that had crumbled honey granola on it, which ended up being very tasty. He collected his money and said stay as long as you like but I am off to bed. So we all drank a little more wine, and chatted with full stomachs. As the evening wore on we all dinghy back to our mother ships and slept under a clear star night sky.
Current Position: 16deg 51.36min south, 146deg 14.87min West, COG 238 SOG: 6.5 kts
Enjoying life is hard sometimes, but always worth the risk!
I dont know if I have mentioned that French Polynesia is the best place in the world. Over the last few days I have enjoyed diving in the northern and southern passes of Fakarava Island. I saw many of the famous black pearl farms that supply the world with some of the best pearls. I personally bought a hand full of low grade black pearls and a few high grade pearls that have already been set/jeweled. Yesterday we sailed 28 nautical miles through the interior of Fakarava Island and weaved our way through the coral heads and reefs to the southern end of the island. Adam and I had scheduled two dives at the southern passage that connects the Pacific Ocean with the Fakarava Lagoon. The northern pass has a current of five knots and the southern pass has a current of 10 knots. The nice thing is we are anchored on the inside of the southern area of the island which is nice and calm. But the bottom is littered with coral and the anchor chain makes lots of noise as it drags across the coral. The really nice thing is that the water is so clear you can see 40 feet down like you are looking through air. The most interesting thing about the southern end of Fakarava is the black and white tipped reef sharks. After we anchored we ate some lunch and through some old bread off the back of Dragonsbane. First a school of 30 or 40 black fish swam up and started eating the bread, then a few 40lbs groupers swam up and sucked in the bread like a vacuum. Then 12 black tipped reef sharks showed up and they were 4 to 8 feet long. The water boiled with tropical fish and sharks around us and I was like a little kid again laughing up a storm watching them swim around Dragonsbane. I could not wait to go diving with all the sharks.
Today we went diving and I can say that it was the best diving I have ever done. We dove with Nitrox enriched oxygen tanks and went to depth of 104 feet. We dropped into the pacific ocean and descended down to 100 feet and rode the current into the lagoon along the coral walls through the southern pass. The water was so clear I felt like I was superman flying through the sky. There was millions of tropical fish and really big fish. Eels, Rays, Grouper, and tons of fish that I have never seen inches away from my face. Then halfway through our dive were the current was the strongest, there was over 200 black tipped sharks swimming in schools. We drifted right through them and I could not believe how big the sharks were. I took lots of film and I hope I will get a good internet connect soon so I can share some of the video. Today was one of those days you hear people talk about but you never think its really as good as they say. Well its all true and I am so glad I am doing this trip. Life to short, live now!
Fakarava Island is a very beautiful and laid back like many of the Pacific Islands I have had the pleasure of visiting. The Island is 32 miles long and 15 miles wide but the middle is a lagoon of water that we are anchored in. The perimeter of the island is land and you can walk from the pacific ocean beach to the inside lagoon beach in 5 minutes. Today we rented some bikes and peddled up and down the strip of land and stopped at many of the local homes. At the driveway of many of the local homes they have signs that say SNACK. I would turn down there drive way and peddle down to their home on the beach and they would offer to make us sandwiches or a whole meal of food. I would also be offered handmade crafts that were all made from local black pearls, stones, shells, and beads. I have been collecting a lot of the handmade necklaces, and bracelets because they are so complex and beautiful. They only cost between 1 to 20 dollars depending on how much you dicker and deal or how well you speak French.
I must say again that the Pacific French Polynesia Islands are 150% better than the Caribbean Islands. Every cruiser that I have talked with that has been in both locations has agreed with me. I know in the future that I will return to the French Polynesia, and hopefully with my own family. The area is void of large groups of tourist and commercial development. This allows you to experience a more true and unique appreciation for the communities food, lifestyle, and conservation. Based on my months of experiences here I personal feel like I have surrounded myself in the past with too many material items that I thought I needed. I know now that I am much better off to be without, then responsible for them or have the stress to care about them. Life is better with less, because it gives you more time to be better at life.
O yeah as I said in my in blog post from a few says ago I was sleeping and I never put anything on. Thats right this guy catches fish in his boxers. Yeah I know real sexy but you know I caught a great fish and that what counts, not the picture.
We spent the day working on Dragonsbane and I helped out some friends with there engine. Then this afternoon we went snorkeling around all the coral heads. I felt like I was swimming around a fish aquarium. The water here is so clear and clean its wonderful to swim in. I saw lots of black tip reef sharks swimming along the shore as well.
Tomorrow we are going to leave early so we can make the tides out of the Lagoon and into the Fakarava lagoon. I hope I have my tide right because the out going tide can reach 10 knots of current and our boat with the engine can only go 7.7 knots. So I hope this goes well.
Have a great night,
We made our landfall or I should say our lagoon fall at noon today. The Tuamotu Islands are ancient volcanoes that once peeked high out of the ocean like Hawaii, but the center volcanic plug that makes the island had sunk back into the ocean and left only a thin ring of land that stayed above the ocean water. Today we sailed though a small channel in the ring, into the old volcano. We sailed 7 more miles to the southern end of the lagoon and anchored in 40 feet of water. We had talked to a few sailors that were already anchored in Kauehi Island lagoon and when we dropped our anchor they came over the radio asking if we wanted to go snorkeling. Most of the lagoons that make up the Tuamotu Islands have large coral heads, that are taming with fish, sharks, and odd creatures. We joined the group and went about 1 mile away to a large coral head and jumped in. I saw two sharks, a black and white tipped reef sharks. I saw an octopus devouring a fish and millions more bright colored fish. After an hour of snorkeling we went back to Dragonsbane and I started dinner. I made fried potatoes, Thai Fish with peanut butter, soy sauce, and garlic. I finished up the meal with a cake I baked early in the day which was fun at 20 degrees as we sailed.
We enjoyed our dinner as we watched the sun being pulled down by a cloud hand that cause the rays of the sun to shine only through the fingers of the hand that struggled to end our day by snuffing out the light in the sky. The sky is so clear, each star is standing before a great milky galaxy. Stars are bigger then pin pricks in a dark paper bag, its as if a person took a hammer in a dark room and punched holes through the walls to let light in. This place is amazing and I am so far from anything that its hard to breath without wondering what will happen if I get hurt. I guess the most beautiful things in the world are worth the risk.
Current Postion: Kauehi Island, Tuaamotu
I have found the doors that lead to Heaven, Tuamotu
Change of plans folks, we are now heading to the island called Kauehi. It’s a nice little island where a few of our sailor friends are going. Also we have been motoring for the last 8 hours with no wind. We finally have enough wind to sail tonight and hopefully through tomorrow. But I can already feel the wind dying off as I am writing. Hopefully we will maintain 5 knots so we can arrive around noon. I just hope we can get into the island lagoon before the tides change. I would be very sad if we had to heave too for the night in the ocean. All is well here and I cooked up some pan fried Mahi Mahi and rice. The dinner was great and I cannot wait for more tuna fish sandwiches.
Take care everybody!
Current Position: 14deg 26.3min South, 145deg 30.48min West
If you have not guessed from the title of this blog today, it is true I finally caught my big Tuna/Mahi Mahi. I hope that you enjoyed my letter to the dear tuna fish that I wrote yesterday and shared with you on my blog. The tuna must have received my letter because they answered with a great bounty of the sea which is now in my stomach. The first tuna caught today was a nice sized blue fine tuna about 10 pounds. I was sitting before my rode and the reel went off like wild fire and I set the hook and drag. It was a easy battle for the small tuna, I reeled it in and bleed it out with my knife. I filleted it up and made 4 sushi rolls out of the blue tuna and set it aside for a per dinner snack. After cleaning up that mess I baked some chocolate chip cookies for a dessert that I would have after we enjoyed fresh baked tuna and sushi. I was feeling a little sleepy so at 4pm I took a nap and asked to be awaken at 5pm so I could start prepping the blue tuna to be baked for our dinner.
I was lying in my bunk sweating my butt off but managing to slip in and out of sleep like normal and thought of all things I will do when I get home. I have been on the sea for 8 months now and it has really just flown by. Then I heard that sweet sound that gets my heart pounding. My fish reel was on fire and line was being ripped off the reel. I rolled out of my bed and dashed up the companion way to my rod. I put my thumb on the spinning spool which heated up so fast my thumb hurt. I increased the drag and the spool stopped spinning out of control. Just then Adam looking over my shoulder said “Dam that is a big fish” I looked up and a huge Mahi Mahi burst out of the ocean into the air, showing off its bright colors of blue, yellow, and green. Its colors were so bright it was like a neon sign. My heart was thumping in my chest and the adrenaline was coursing through my veins as I held the rod and my arms strained against the weight of the big tuna. I started to reel in the line and tuna started to come at me, I reeled as fast as I could to keep the tension on the line. The rod was digging into my hip and my arms were burning but I kept fighting that fish as it got with in 10 feet of the boat and burst out of the water and whipped violently in the air. I could now see the whole fish up close and personal. The tuna dived down deep, it took off and took out about 100 feet of line in a flash. My dad worked the motor and Adam stood by with the gaff. It took about an hour or more of fighting the tuna until it was tired. I instructed Adam what to do and my dad when the tuna came close again. I handed the rod to Adam and had him bring the tuna in closers, my dad shut down the engine so the tuna would not be as scared. I reached down with the gaff and stuck him right behind the gill plate and heaved the tuna onto the sugar scope. The tuna went wild; it came off the gaff and dropped into the ocean. My heart dropped and I yelled to secure the fish line which Adam tried to hold off my back as it ran across my skin. I prayed that the hook would hold a few minutes longer. The hook held and I gaffed the tuna right behind the head. I sank the gaff deep into the tuna and dragged half of it onto the sugar scope. I grabbed it by the gills and hung on for dear life as the tuna thrashed around. Adam secured a line around the tale and I cut the gills with my knife. I felt the last death rattle of the big fish and was little sad to kill the beautiful fish but I was hunger too. Covered in sweat, blood, and fish guts I felt so happy and proud to have land such a big fish. She weighted in at 38lbs and was 4.5 feet long. This even we at sushi, Blue Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and a cookie with wine.
Remember to Dream Tonight,
Thank you everybody,
Current Position: 13deg 35.0min South, 145deg 12.3min West UTC 15:26 COG 220 SOG 2.8knots
Dear Tuna Fish,
I would like to inform you of a few personal facts. First, I have read many books on the subject of fishing on oceans, rivers, and lakes. I have fished all over the world and have had training from some of the best fishermen. Second for this trip I have consulted several cursing fishermen and bought one of the best books on the market to better understand the principals that allow me to catch you. Third I have invested roughly $1000 dollars on my fish pole/reel, hooks, lead, wire, swivels, and lots of line. So frankly after all that effort and work, I have to say to you with the most honesty of my heart, is you are PISSSING ME OFFFFF! You little silver, blue, red blooded, gill breath SOB have eaten half my fishing gear with out me catching a thing. I spent hours making trolling rigs to have them ripped off by your sharp teeth. I have deployed new lures with 800 pound test wire and yet you still just snap my line instead of just biting through it. Well guess what you 200 lbs tub meat I am going to get an all wire line, reel, and rod. I am going to catch you and all your friends. I will devour you raw, wrapped in rice and smothered in soy sauce. So keep laughing and enjoy all the time I have cut myself on the fishing line or lost my mind in a long rants of profanity. If I fail I ask kindly that all you Tuna just drop dead.
P.S. For all you salty dogs wondering where we are I will tell you! We are in the ocean and sailing through a non stop string of squalls that are mixing between 4 low pressure systems. We get hit by a squall that only packs 20 knots and rain. Then it passes leaving us with swirling wind at 4 knots and Drangonsbane just pitch poles in the confused, lump sea. This kind of sailing is worse then sailing through a wash machine because the wind changes direction by 40 degrees and blows from 2 to 20 knots. We have changed our sail configurations 8 times today and reefed at least 7 times and them let it out. But, I think I am getting a good work out and my guns are looking real good!
Take it easy and Enjoy your hot shower!
Current location: 12deg 24.6min South, 144deg 9.7min West, COG: 215 SOG: 2.9knots
Ok so, the morning we left Hakatea Bay Nuku Hiva I woke up and joined my dad in a cup of coffee and a French baguette with butter and local jam. It was about 7 am and the sun was already getting hot. I could hear a dog barking and barking on the small shore line that surrounded us with high cliffs beyond the rock beach. The dogs barking echoed around the little lagoon that we and 3 other sailboats where anchored in. I noticed that the dog had a wild goat cornered between the rock cliffs and the water and just stood there watching the dog bark. A local island man was climbing over the rocks and working his way to the dog. We watched for about 40 minutes and then the man was only 10 feet from the goat and dog. The goat kept his eyes glued to the dog and then the man jumped from his position, grabbed the goat by the horns and with one quick motion slashed the goats throat. I thought this was very interesting and a great way to start ones day. I did feel a little bad for the goat. After the man killed the goat he had the dog lock his jaws around the goats neck and left them there for a few minutes as he walked over to the cliff and started picking at the old lava rock wall. After awhile he came back and released the dog from the goat and walked over to the cliff where he had been picking at. He then stuck a stick into the hole he made and hung the goat from the stick in the cliff wall and dressed it out giving the dog its inner parts. He then skin and butchered the goat. I thought about going to shore and buy some of the meat from him but we had to get going to beat the incoming tide. I woke Adam, pulled the anchor and where off to the next Island.
As of today we change our sail configuration 3 times. We started the early morning out with a reefed main and jib. Then put the spinnaker pull out for the jib and went wing and wing with the main sail. Then the wind got really light so then a switch the spinnaker pole to the port side and flew the spinnaker. I am may drop the spinnaker and go back to the jib and pole for tonight but I may just run with the spinnaker tonight. Fingers crossed I don’t get hit with a squall again with that dam spinnaker up. But I love speed and without the spinnaker up I feel like I am moving backwards. I just want to get to the Tuamotu Islands and buy a big bag of pearls for a 100 bucks, lol.
Current Position: 11deg 11.4min South, 142deg 33.1min West: COG 244, SOG 4.8
After spending a few days on the Island of Ua Poa and heading to the Island of Rangiroa which is in the chain of islands called the Tuamotu’s. I was not to impressed with the island of Ua Poa. They had 2 restaurants that were only open from 6pm to 9pm, but they were never open when I went by at that time. There was 3 stores that had dry goods, baked bread, and meat but the selection was very limited. The local folks mostly hung out and played games and swam on the beach. The island is the tallest of the Marquesas but I never did see the island uncovered from the clouds but did see some very tall volcano plugs that were I am guessing 3000 feet high. Not much else to talk about other then we are underway again for the next five days and hopefully the weather ill be good.
Current position: 03:42utc 9deg 43.32min South, 140deg 36.35min West: COG 225degrees SOG 6.7knots, Wind Speed 16.8 ESE
Thank you for stopping by and enjoying our pictures and my blog. Thanks for the comments and I do read them and try to answer them all. Take care and God bless.
We landed on the Island of Ua Pou and we are anchored in a bay called ummmm, who the hell knows other then the girls look better on this Island. The Island has the tallest peaks and has a volcano plug that reaches 4000 vertical feet and is always covered by clouds. Today the peak was covered by clouds and I could make out half of its height. The bay is very small and we are protected by a large break wall that stops the swells from coming into the bay. We put out a stern anchor and bow next to 2 German boats and an Australian. The village is having a party tonight and I may just dinghy in and say hello. My French still sucks but when you drink and talk with the locals things makes more sense. Yup the drinking language is universal. But I will have to be careful because the cows walk the street and I may try some tropical cow tipping tonight or at least demonstrate it to the locals. Don’t worry I have the best of Americas interest at heart when I represent our country, so it should all go well.
We are in Hakatea Bay which is surrounded by 2400 foot rock walls that lead up to a 2000 foot waterfall. Yesterday when we arrived we decided to hike the trail up to the base of the waterfall. The bay here has only one house and no dock to land your dinghy. It was low tide and the surf breaks about 30 feet off shore. As we motored closer to the beach a big swell lift us up and dropped us onto the rock bottom. At the same time the outboard motor was grinding the rocks. I tried to tilt the motor but a second wave almost tipped us over and I fell out but I was able to keep the dinghy from capsizing. Adam and my dad were nice and dry as I dragged the dinghy to shore. I have to say landing a dinghy in surf is very hard to do. But anyway, we carried the dingy up the beach and tied it to a tree so when the tide comes back in our dinghy won’t float away. I was pretty mad to be wet again because for the last week I have been wet every day by rain or waves as we ride the dinghy to shore.
We hiked on a 2 track road that slowly changed into a trail and headed for the waterfall. We had to cross small streams and rivers by wading across them. As we hiked there were old stone structures and stone carvings that littered the forest floor and the path was made of solid stone that had been perfectly puzzled together. The closer we got to the waterfall the cliff walls began to feel like skyscrapers and caused the trial to narrow. The forest floor was full of wet thick moss, and vines from trees that grew all over and twisted together to form a natural structure and was devouring the old stone walls that were left behind. Then we popped out into a clearing and looked up and you could see the cliffs hanging over our heads 2000 feet up and made us dizzy because they were so high and big. You could see 100s of birds flying in circles and nesting in the cliff walls. The spray from the waterfall filled the canyon with mist, everything was bright green and looked like no other human had been to this place but us. As we turned the corner you could see the top half of the waterfall that disappeared behind stone and then you could see where the water landed. In front of the water fall was a deep big pool that Adam and I waded across to and climbed up the sharp rocks to get to the water fall. As we looked over the stones you could feel a cool strong wind blowing from the force of the falling water. There was a second pool of water that had a strong current running through it and we decided it would not be a good idea to swim any further. So we took lots of pictures and were happy to see the worlds 3rd tallest waterfall.
After eating a little lunch P&J sandwiches we hiked back to the beach. On our way out we passed a house with a man and a women sitting outside. They yelled for us to come in and buy some fruit. The man was about 30 and had a tattoos on half his face and body. His hair was shaved into a Mohawk and had a carved chicken bone pierced through his ear drum. I bought 40 or more bananas and paid 1 dollar. We then made it back to the beach and carried the dingy to the ocean. We wade out about 40 feet and jumped in as a big swell hit us. But we gave the motor lots of gas and pushed over the wave and only flooding half the dinghy.