After a great time in Daniel's Bay in Nuku Hiva, where we took Brisa to see the waterfall, enjoyed the lovely heavenly gardens and the super friendly people we loaded the boat with fruits and took off to Ua Pou to wait for some wind, but on the way across the wind picked up and we decided to just keep going - we seem to have acquired a taste to doing this lately - and arrived in Kauehi in the Tuamotus in 3 days.
Entering the pass was very easy, we got there just in time for the slack water we believe as we managed to sail into the lagoon (we had the engine on just in case) dodging the fishing boats scattered at the pass. The village was adorable with well tended gardens and smiley people everywhere. The church was the main feature of the village with amazing shell chandeliers and constant singing going on. We missed (again) the mass on Sunday, but next time I promised myself that I will go even if I get there half way through. The singing sounded amazing.
We met the mayor and his daughters at the local cemetery (I know weird) they were cleaning the dead flowers from the tomb of his mother. He had the local shop and one of his daughters opened it just so we could by a couple of frozen baguettes! Well the baguettes eventually got stolen by the dogs in another house we stopped to drink coconut water. The lady of the house was mortified poor thing. We left with a bag loaded of husked coconuts.
We have since sailed to another part of the lagoon which is uninhabited and is beautiful. The coral is mostly dead but seems to be regrowing. The groupers and coral trouts are amongst the biggest I have ever seen (even in Chagos!) and sharks are constant companions. Locals say this lagoon doesn't have cigatera but we still got plenty of mahimahi to eat!
The only bad thing I got to report is the loss of our port rudder - yes, again... - this time we were not so lucky as the last time and the fitting which holds the rudder bar to the casing snapped off so we lost the lot. We don't believe we hit anything like last time, we guess it was fatigue as its our windward rudder and it's been getting a heavy work out for a long time now. We can still sail no worries with the other rudder (we did over 700 miles last time with only one!) but it means a lot of work for Russ in Papeete, and less time for us in the Tuamotus, but we are trying to make the most of it.
We are leaving tomorrow to Tahanea Atoll, which is uninhabited and reported to be magnificent. Then we will see famous Fakarava for a few days and a dive before heading to Papeete. We are all loving the turquoise warm waters. Bri scored a nice friend on another boat anchored here too, so a great time all around.
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com