Baie Athauku

Friday 5/1/13 03:30 09 48.171 S 139 01.857 W 48.171S 139 01.857W Baie Athauku Blog posting by Dennis: I am having a hard time adjusting to the time it gets dark by 6:30 at night and then is light at 5:30 in the morning. I want to go to bed to follow the sun. I just don’t need twelve hours of sleep. Unlike Chile there are lots of Americans and Canadians here. A couple of days ago we were talking to a couple that were from Vancouver area and were crewing on a Shannon 38 pilot house. It was a 1979 and was still in pretty good shape. You know how everyone always said that I was anal about everything, well, all the boaters that make it here seem to be anal too, I fit right in. Barb and I decided that if you are not a little anal you just won’t make it this far. The islands here at truly beautiful. They tend to be so lush and green. The people seem to have a lot of pride in their homes and yards. I am amazed at the number of cars, considering that there is really nowhere to go. Here on Hiva Oa there can’t be more than thirty miles of roads and everyone has Landrovers and I even saw a Hummer. Last night we were walking to the restaurant to have pizza when a woman stopped and offered us a ride. It was an old rusted out Susuki that I climbed into the back of and Barb got the front seat. As we chugged up the mild hill and when around a corner Barbs door flew open, the woman driving did not seem to pay hardly any attention she just pulled over walked around the car and used both hands to lift the door up as she slammed it closed. Any way the two mile walk turned into an adventure all on its own. The pizza was great, the first time we have eaten out in six weeks. We have hired an agent to get our paperwork through customs. It seems like that is the easiest way to get it done and that way we are hoping that we will not have to post a bond. Everyone uses the same woman and you just call her on the VHF radio and she comes down to the harbor and you fill out the paper work. After that we headed to the bank to get some Polynesie Francaises, but it was just after twelve and they were closed until 1:30 so we wondered around town. Almost everything was closed until two in the afternoon, it didn’t matter because we did not have any money anyway. Once the bank opened we exchange our cash and then headed to the bakery and bought some fresh baguette and a couple dozen eggs.

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Friday 4/26/13 09:30 10 27.922 S 138 40.114 W 27.922S 138 40.114W Fatu Hiva Blog posting by Dennis: Well we have started to get back to normal. You get pretty sleep deprived during a long passage. I shall let you know what happen the last couple days of the passage. It all started when the auto pilot went out with four days left to go. It is something wrong with the hydraulic system because it can’t seem to move the ram with any pressure on it. The next chance I have to get it fixed is New Zealand. So after that I have been trying to get the wind vane steering to work right. The first thing that that involved was removing the Bimini and the bows for it, more crap tied on deck. It worked kind of but needed constant supervision because at anytime a gust would hit and the boat would round up. So it didn’t allow much sleep at all, I ended up sleeping in the cockpit just so I would be closer when thinks did not work right. One of us would have to sit at the helm all the time. Since we have gotten here I have removed the wind vane and totally taken it apart and cleaned it, the amount of salt that gets into everything is amazing. I hope that it will work a lot better after this. The last night before we got here we were doing really good clipping along at five to six knots, I was at the helm and around 5:30 in the morning I called down to Barb to get up and close the ports and hatches because a large squall was bearing down on us and I could not steer around this one like had the others. I then told her that we needed to take down the spinnaker, she went down below to put away a couple of things and just got back up into the cockpit when wham we were hit with a huge gust. It laid the boat over so that the spinnaker was in the water and the cushions were floating out of the cockpit. I grabbed the main cushion and dragged it back into the cockpit but we did lose one of the smaller ones. Barb yelled shouted out asking if she should let the sheet loose and I yelled back for her to let it go. As soon as she did the boat popped right up and the spinnaker was flogging wildly. Barb grabbed the wheel and I ran forward and snuffed the spinnaker. While I was snuffing the spinnaker I could see that there was a three foot rip, just one more thing to get fixed when we get to New Zealand. The last eight hours we motored in because the wind died down to nothing. It gave us time to make water, charge up the batteries good, take showers, I even shaved for the occasion. Once we were coming into the anchorage it all was worth it, the place is so beautiful. I feel so lucky to be able to come to such a place. Summary of the leg of the trip: Total distance 5420 nautical miles Total time 42 days (six weeks) Avg miles per day 129 miles/day Best day 156 miles Worst day 89 miles Engine usage 49.7 hrs. Most of it used getting out of Chile Number of ships sighted 1 Best part Catching Tuna Worst part Blowing out our spinnaker and loosing our auto pilot

Made it!

Thursday 4/24/13 18:30 10 27.922 S 138 40.114 W 27.922S 138 40.114WFatu Hiva Blog posting by Dennis: Well we have made it! 5420 miles from Puerto Montt. 42 days The last few days were pretty trying, the auto pilot has died, the wind vane steering did not work for crap. We blew out the spinnaker in a squall. But after all that we are here and it is fantastic. Will write more over the next couple of days. We are going to sleep, totally exhausted.

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Tuesday 4/16/13 03:30 12 44.617 S 123 47.188 W 44.617S 123 47.188W Bad Day Yesterday was a very bad day to say the least. It all started with a very hard night, with winds blowing up to twenty knots and fairly large waves that would kick the stern of the boat around. So when I went off watch at six am I was pretty tired. I was awaked a half hour later when a large gust hit and rounded the boat up into the wind and the boat was suddenly heeling thirty five degrees. Not a good thing when flying the spinnaker! Barb had it all under control but I was awake and ended up sitting in the cockpit for another hour. I then went to bed again and Barb woke me two hours later saying the wind had built even more, so I got up and we ended up taking the spinnaker down in the dark and putting the large jib, 160, out with the pole extended. Then it was back to bed. Two hours after that I woke to the boat rolling back and forth, basically rolling in the swells. The wind had gone down to five knots again. So it was time to take down the 160 and put the spinnaker back up. While rerouting the lines I noticed that one leg of the bow pulpit was broken, great one more thing to fix. Then when we hoisted the spinnaker it proceeded to just come falling out of the sock and ended up in the water dragging alongside the boat. That let the sock go free and it took off flying free about twenty feet from the boat. So I had to lower the sock down into the water and turn the boat into the wind so Barb could catch the sock and drag it onto the boat. Apparently when the sail people installed the spinnaker into the sock they did not tie off the pin in the swivel and over time and use the pin fell off. So I dug around and found a different pin and put it all together. Then we had to try and reload a very heavy wet spinnaker into a very wet sock which took a while. Then I hoisted the spinnaker again and just when I got it up the sock zoomed up to the top taking the hoisting line with it. Now it is swinging fifteen feet off the deck. Luckily I was able to snag it with the boat hook and pull it down before it wrapped itself around something else. By this time I had had it. I came back to the cockpit and plopped down and declared ‘that is it I am done I am not having a good time and I just want to go home!’ Actually it was much stronger then that but you get the idea, I was just finished! After I calmed down and had a great breakfast, of fish tacos, I just went to bed and slept for five hours. When I woke up I was feeling much better and not so depressed. I would never have believed just how hard on things this constant rocking and rolling is. The amount of work that is going to have to be done when I get to New Zealand is growing every day. It is very hard for me to watch as the boat is slowly taking such a beating. Not that the weather we are in is bad at all it is just the constant movement. But here I sit in the middle of the night with the sky lit up with a billion stars and warm glow of the phosphorescent water and I feel so lucky to be here!