Sailing Around The World

Archive for July, 2013

Last Two Weeks of Pictures

Bora Bora has been a very interesting place to be so far but I wanted to catch everybody up on my last two Islands and all the wonderful things we have been doing. So I am going to back track and cover the last two weeks in greater detail and pictures. I am still in Bora Bora and have been climbing mountains and studying the weather for our next major passage. My current plan is to sail past the cooks and onto Niue and then to Tonga which is about 1200 nautical miles. But for now I am enjoying the happy hour here in Bora Bora.
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Sailing into Raiatea through the Lagoon.
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Looking back when we arrived from Tahiti to the Island of Raiatea we went to shore and hiked to the archaeological site that contained the history of the Polynesia people before the introduction of Christianity. The site was made up of coral stones and had a large stone alter that held the symbols of varies gods that were worshiped by the Polynesians. The stone courtyard would contain the religious leaders hut and the bones of the high ranking Polynesian families. The courtyard was a very sacred place and even today offerings are left behind but no human sacrifices left anymore.

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Offerings still being left to the Polynesian Gods and Family.
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On our hike back we saw a pig just hanging out in the backyard of a locals house. I just thought it was fun to see.
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I wanted to get a better picture of the bay we were anchored in so I climbed a cliff.
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After I climbed up this cliff there was not a good view but you can get the idea.
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We got pretty lucky and stumbled upon a paddle competition and the street was lined with food venders. So we ate lunch and I had a French baguette with chicken, fries, and sauce for only $2.50. That is a really good deal.

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The next day we took our dingy up a river off the village Hotopuu and motored through a very dense tropical forest. We did this little trip mile up the river with our friends Ben, Sara, Richard, and Brian.
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Saw a lot of local homes on the river and there gardens. Even had some kids throw some fruit at us but we through it back at them.

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We met this man on the river and he invited us to tour his garden. The man spoke pretty good English but as he told us about his garden he would keep saying “this is good for me, or this good for you” or “this is no good for you but good for me” it became very comical.

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We got back on the river and went to our boat and sailed to the north Island Tahaa because the wind was blowing up to 25 knots and our thought was the wind would be less on the other side of the island. We were very wrong about that. It was the first time that we dipped the rail of Dragonsbane into the water well-being at anchor. We were getting 50 knots gust that would heel the boat way over onto its side. I did not sleep for many days well I prayed our anchor would hold and kept us off the coral reefs that surrounded us.
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It is hard to see from the picture but I took it at 1 am as the wind was blowing up to 40 plus knots in our anchorage. The picture is of the moon and a very large halo that made it look like a bulls eye. The sky was clear but the moon had this halo and it was the most amazing night I have had in a long time. I thought it may be a eclipse with the earth between the sun and the moon. I am not sure or it could have been a weather phenomenon.
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After a few days of holding on and weathering the wind on the anchor we went ashore and hiked 8 miles to a small village called Pauhure. We need to get some supplies and thought that we could hitch hike but no one would pick us up.
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As we walked along the Island road to town we noticed that the local homes had buried there relatives in their front yards. As you can see in this picture in front of the pink house is a grave. Most of the homes had graves in there front yard. I didn’t want to walk up to it out of respect for a better picture.
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Yup that’s the Island Hospital, I really hope I don’t need to go there.
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The little store that I got some rum and Baguettes. That was about all they had that I could use.
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Nice shot from the road of Bora Bora and a local fishing boat.
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These ladies are cutting up the meat from coconuts that are being dried in the sun. They then sell the dry out coconut meat for the production of oil that will be used for green fuel energy. They don’t get paid very much per pound but every little bit helps.

I wanted to show and let you listen to a few of the very typical sounds and sights you would see on most of these non-tourist islands in the above video. Sorry for my one F bomb I was just getting so sick of listening to the stupid roosters. They never stop making noise and the morning is the worst.
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Another Postcard Sunset from our anchorage in Tahaa Island looking at Bora and Bora.

Thank you,

Hope you all enjoyed the last week of pictures!

Take care,

Jacques


Made it to Bora Bora

Sailed over in 30 knots of wind and once I got behind Bora Bora I was sailing at 9knots for 20 minutes. Anyway I plan to post lots of pictures but it happy hour buy one get one so off to the bar!

Cheers,

Jacques


Waiting Out the Weather!

We are still hunkered down in a small bay off the west end of Tahaa Island waiting for the high winds to die down to the mid teens to twenty knots. But I have decided to head to Bora-Bora which is about 20 miles or less from my current position tomorrow as long as the wind is below 40 knots. My only real concern is exiting the Islands lagoon through the coral passage to get to the ocean. Right now there are 20 foot swells breaking over the coral reef that protects us and the passage entrenched/exit is full of breaking waves. I should be fine because the passage is very wide and lots of room to navigate so it will be like white water rafting with a sailboat for a minute or two. Then we should have a very fast sail to Bora-Bora where Internet and rum cocktails wait for us.

At the current moment we have just finished cleaning Dragonsbane bottom and we are making fresh water as it rains really hard outside. O yeah, on a good note yesterday we finally fix my scuba tank compressor and filled our tanks which we used to clean the bottom. The compressor works really well, but I think I may sell it in New Zealand if I can get the right price. But until then we will just follow the scuba dive boats around and go diving for free now with our own gear, lol.

Thanks,

Jacques


40 Plus knot Winds

We are now anchored off the sister Island of Raiatea called Tahaa. Once again we are in a very deep anchorage but we have a good mud bottom and we seem to be holding well. But the anchorage is very narrow and we are surrounded by coral reefs on all side of us. We are also getting 40 plus knot gust blowing through the mountains which really makes Dragonsbane wipe on her anchor. I just had a gust over 50 knots and our wind generator produced 38 amps of power and the rail went into the water. This shit is crazy, lol!

Sometime last night our dinghy flipped over with our outboard motor on it. I flipped it back over, took the outboard off and washed it down with lots of fresh water. Then pulled the plugs and fuel filter and blow the water out. I put it all back together and it fired up after a few pulls. I ran it around our little anchorage and then took the outboard off the dinghy again and let it dry out in the sun really well. Other then losing a paddle it seems to be ok. I just wished this wind would stop, sure would love a good night rest with no wind, lol.

O yes, I almost forgot that yesterday we took our dinghy up a small creek about mile off the bay of Hotopuu, Raiatea Island and enjoyed some local gardens. We also had little kids throwing fruit at us so we throw it back. I don’t think they were expecting that. Then we hiked to a few old ruin sites and took some pictures. Then headed back to our boat but was stopped by a local man who gave us bananas and showed us his home and garden near the river. He also gave us some of the sweeties coconuts I have ever tasted.

Thanks,

Jacques


Sailed to Raiatea Island

We sailed 21 nautical miles from Huahin Island to Raiatea Island and anchored in a small bay with a mud bottom and no wind. I am looking forward to a good nights sleep. It was a fun start this morning because the bad anchorage that we were at in Huahine had coral heads on the bottom and our anchor chain wrapped 3times around one. So Adam had to put his dive gear on and dig the chain out from the coral head but ran out of air and could not get the chain off. So I jumped in with my mask and fins and dived down the 15 feet and yanked hard on the chain and freed it up. Then I noticed that the chain was underneath the big coral head which was about the size of a gas grill. When the boat tug on the chain from the wind and current I noticed it rocked. I took a deep breath, dived down and grabbed the edge of the coral head and lifted it up as high as I could and then yanked the chain out. It worked and we cranked the chain, anchor in and head to Raiatea. I only had a few cuts from the coral and a few dizzy spells from holding my breath to long but I am all good now with Rum in Hand.


Made to Huahine Island Via Night Passage

We left Thursday night and sailed 120 nautical miles to Huahine Island which is west of Tahiti. The sail was very exciting for Adam and I which made me feel more comfortable with Dragonsbane in rough seas. When we left Tahiti the wind was only around 10 knots and we did not sail very fast. But as soon as we sailed out from the shadow of Tahiti Island we were hit with prevailing winds of 25 knots and gusting up to 35 knots. The waves were from 2 to 5 meters and were breaking waves which only filled the cockpit once really good. The sail was uncomfortable because the wind was right at our back which made Dragonsbane pitch pole from rail to rail as we sailed. But we sailed  at a average speed of 7.5 knots and hit 9.5 a few times as I surfed down the waves. We arrived at Huahine at 9 in the morning and spent the rest of the day making sure our anchor was hooked well in the very hard coral bottom. The second anchoring issue we had was the wind would come over the Island at gust up to 30 to 35 knots and the current in the channel we anchored in would turn us all over the place. SO as the anchor chain got lots of slack in it from the current pushing us past our anchor the wind gust would blow Dragonsbane backwards really hard and shock load our anchor pulling it out of the rock hard bottom. So I dived down in the 15 feet of water added a trailer anchor to our 125 feet of chain and rammed it into a coral head. I am glad to say we have not moved. I know this because 100 feet behind Dragonesbane is a coral reef that is only 2 feet deep.

Today we are planning on heading to Raiatea Island which is about 20 nautical miles away and hopefully offers a better anchorage. I wold really like to get a better nights sleep then worry about our anchor slipping. I also hope to have a better internet connection so we can post some pictures.

 

Thanks,

Jacques


Sorry for no Up Dates, Still in Tahiti

Well what can I say I have been very busy the last two weeks and have neglected my blog, oops. I hope that the small amount followers I have gained in the last nine months have not lost faith in my blog and not moved on to more exciting reality TV or some other stuff. Anyway the real reason for my silence was a few events that have changed my sailing schedule, and crew. I had some personal family issue back home, but everybody is doing well so don’t get to worked up. My dad has decided to take a break from sailing and will go home. Adam and I will continue through the last three chains of Islands to Tonga and meet up with our new friend Ben in September. Do to the duration of our stay here in Tahiti and a few other places we will have to spend the winter season in New Zealand until April 2014. We cannot sail through the Indian Ocean during the winter months December to April.

I should be in New Zealand by October or November of this year. I plan on touring a lot of New Zealand, and Australia to kill time, I know a rough life. I may get a job as a waiter or something who knows. Anyway I will welcome any friends or family to come visit Adam and I in New Zealand if you feel adventures. But for now I have compiled the last two weeks of our adventures into a few photos and videos for your enjoyment and hopefully a few loughs. Thanks again for following our adventure.

Take care,

Jacques

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The mooring field where Dragonsbane is tied to a mooring ball and the sun is setting on the Island of Moorea in the background. Tahiti is to my back when the photo was taken.

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This was taken in our anchorage and these huts on pontoons would drive by and anchor. The folks onboard would drink, swim, and have a great time.  I think when the time comes I will build one these for the lake.

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We walked downtown Tahiti and this was one of the busy streets and little cafes you would see.

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More of the downtown area and as you can see a lot of the buildings were in rough shape. I guess I was thinking Tahiti was a much cleaner city but like most big cities it was very dirty.

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The center market of Tahiti where you can buy anything from fresh fruit to blankets or spices.

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In Tahiti the main city of Papeete the traffic was always at a stop and nobody really moved very fast. I was on foot so I really didn’t care but I was surprised to see so many cars.

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More pictures of Papeete Tahiti.

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Last photo of Papeete

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Ok so these were a few friends of mine that I met on the sea. The guy in the Viking hat is Toby and the other two are fighting on the ground. But anyway they have sailed from Sweden in a 24 foot sailboat and they all live on it. I think I was crazy but they take crazy to a whole new level and I always enjoy their stores and drinking with them. We are always finding each other in the anchorages. In this situation we were celebrating a birthday party for Lilly who is traveling in a 28 foot sailboat with her boyfriend. They are going to some Island that her father owns some land that he bought in the 70’s to build a tree house and live in it. I am telling you, I am not making this shit up!

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After drinking at the birthday party we strolled down the beach park to a area were all the local people bring there vans and set up mobile restaurants. You can eat like a king for $15 bucks and still have dessert. I had pizza and beer, lol.

Ok, so it’s a funny story! So after we left the party we tried to find a bus back to the anchorage but the buses stop running at 5pm on the weekend and so after walking two miles we hitch hiked back to the anchorage. When we got back we all met up at the Dinghy bar and drank beer, smoked, and even had a chew!

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Ok so after a full night of drinking and what not, I felt like hammered shit! But we went to the 2013 Puddle Jump event for sailors in Tahiti and after a few free local rum drinks I was back on top. NIIIICE!

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This picture was taken the next day. All the sailors from the 2013 Puddle Jump gathered in the main harbor of Tahiti for a group sail to Moorea for a fun weekend of games, drinking, and fun. We happened to get caught in a local paddle race I hope they don’t chase us for that.

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Ok, so maybe we should not piss off 100plus Polynesians, oops to late.

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See its cool they are going around.

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Well we made it past the paddlers and into the ocean and we are all off to Moorea.

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We are all anchored in Cooks bay in Moorea Island 25 miles west of Tahiti

So we went to shore and had dinner with all the puddle jumpers and watch the Tahiti Ukulele competition. I thought it would be very boring but I was wrong. I never new you could get heavy with a Ukulele

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We woke up early the next day and joined our team for the paddle boat race. Our team name was skitsamma which means “What the Fuck” yup it’s a good one.

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And we are off! We placed first in our first heat then lost our second becase we got pinned in the turn and could not paddle. The team we beat the first time ended up winning the final heat. So we should have won it all. Owell!

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Our team was from left to right Jacques, Adam, Lena, Para. Ella and Pare are from Sweden who were both great paddlers, defiantly  Ella! That girl paddled her little butt off!

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My dad was on Orca Suite Team and they did a great job but the local ladies crewing the boat messed up and they lost.

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We then played this local game were we round around in a circle carrying a log with bananas strapped to it and then hand it off. I was just trying to tack the bananas and run away!

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Adam caught me and won the race.

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Then I had to pick up a big rock that weighed 115 pounds first.

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No problem, just like a bundle of asphalt shingles! Ok were is the ladder, up  to the roof we go.

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Adam took control of that rock next and kicked its butt.

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Don’t worry I represented all that is America in my local news interview! I am not sure if they understood me but it was a fun interview.

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After a weekend of games and drinking we walked around Moorea.