Our first full week in the Marquesas was spent jumping back and fourth between Hiva Oa and Tahuata, two islands separated by about 6 miles. Hiva Oa was a great place to arrive, pick up a few supplies, get some wifi, do some banking and officially check into French Polynesia. Otherwise we didn't spend much time there because it seemed like every time we pulled into the harbor it rained. And when it rains in the Marquesas, it doesn't just drizzle, it is a full deluge of rain. Tatuata was a veritable paradise in comparison with white sand beaches, trees laden with fruit and interesting marine wildlife to spy on. We've been filling up on mango's, limes, bananas and the ever present pamplemousse (a massive, sweet grapefruit that has become our new favorite fruit). The Marquesans are incredibly friendly and they are always giving us fruit. We try to have a few things stashed in our bags to trade, but even when we have nothing to offer they stills stuff fruit in our hands. On our first morning on the island of Tatuata, after waking up the lone boat in the bay, we noticed fins above the water and schooling fish everywhere. The Manta Rays feed on the small shrimp and plankton, as do the schooling fish, so if we follow the fish, we get to swim with Mantas. They are amazing, majestic and Zander's favorite animal, so we seem to be perpetually chasing Mantas. The finger like bays on Tahuata are nursery grounds for both Mantas and Dolphins and we see them everywhere.
Back in Hiva Oa we purchased duty free fuel and provisioned at the gas station on the dock. Only in a French country could you buy sushi quality tuna, baguettes and artesian cheeses from a gas station. French Polynesia isn't cheap, but the government subsidizes staples, so as long as we don't buy too many imported foods, our grocery bill is surprisingly low.
We are loving French Polynesia, wishing we spoke more French, but loving it nonetheless. We think we are the first boat that has arrived, after making the crossing, in the last few months. The other boats in the harbors seem to be resident boats, mostly Europeans that can stay in French Polynesia longer than we North Americans can, and have been in the islands for more than a season. In the next few weeks more boats will start arriving from Panama and Mexico and we are hoping we can catch back up with a few friends that we met in the Caribbean that will also be visiting French Polynesia this year.
The following pages chronicle the journey of the sailing vessel Pelagic and her crew. We are a family of 5; Michael, Amy, Zander, Porter and Anakena, taking our 42' Hallberg Rassy as far as we can comfortably go in three years. We left Oregon in September 2014, participated in the 2014 Baja Haha, continued on through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, up the coast of the US to Maritime Canada and from there crossed the Atlantic. After an arrival in Ireland we toured Scotland, then sailed down to France, Portugal and on to Morocco. In January of 2016 we slowed down considerably and enrolled the kids in a local Spanish school in Sanlucar de Guadiana for a few months. In the spring of 2016 we crossed the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. We are now in the Pacific, officially on our way home, albeit via a very circuitous path. We are currently in French Polynesia and looking at weather windows to Hawaii before finally making landfall back in the Pacific Northwest.
Currently our exact location is not available. Our spot coverage will pick us back up in Hawaii towards the end of May, 2017.
Our favorite sailing quote:
"If anythings gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there boss!" Captain Ron