July 29, 2010


Exciting, exciting, so very exciting! Guess what we did today??? WE GOT TATTOOS!

We have been thinking for awhile that we would like to get a Polynesian tattoo once we had completed the major South Pacific crossing. We aren't necessarily tattoo people but we really wanted something original and significant to mark this major milestone in our lives. Well WE GOT IT!!!

We found a reputable shop in Papette, Tahiti called Mana'o Tattoo (www.manaotattoo.com). The owner actually won the Best Tribal Tattoo gold award at the iron and ink competition for 2008. They also had pictures of when they had tattooed UB40 band members. We knew the deciding factors would be how comfortable we felt in the shop and with the artist and we had a check on both fronts. We asked for appointments for Graham, myself and Amelia. YUP, Amelia had her heart set on a beautiful Polynesian dolphin around her ankle bone. At this point though the story turns sad. The owner let us know that although we may have seen other children with tattoo's he would not tattoo children. He told us that as they grow the tattoo would become distorted. He said that many artists will just do it for the money but that he would not. This is when the quiet tears began streaming down her face. Broke my heart. She had our permission which she worked so hard to get but here was clear logic telling her not a good idea. She totally understood but it had been something she had been dreaming of and speaking of daily for so long it was a heart break. She has decided she will someday get that dolphin to signify this moment in her life.

Yesterday Graham and I went into town on our own and arrived at the shop at about 9:30. We each had a creative session with the artist. Of course I had Graham go first :-). Graham said that he wanted his tattoo to represent the fact that we are now shellbacks, his children, his wife, the ocean, and the voyage. The artist sketched out his ideas and Graham and him worked through revisions until he was happy. The next step was transferring the sketch to tattoo transfer paper and then sticking it on to use as a stencil for the actual tattoo. I watched as the needle pierced Graham's skin for the first time and not even a flicker of pain on his face. What a man! He didn't watch the work getting done but he was able to hold a conversation all the while. It took about 1 1/2 hours to complete. It turned out so great. The outside had the four points of the compass encased in the ocean waves. The inside is a turtle representing not only a shellback but also as per Polynesian art only the King gets tattooed with a turtle representing power. The left and right front feet of the turtle are the symbol for boy and girl representing Amelia and Alex and the larger female symbol is on the turtles back representing me. (LOL....how appropriate eh!) It is perfect.

I was up next. I had decided to get a tattoo band around my finger. I told the artist that I wanted the tattoo to represent my strength as a mother, my family unit of four, my husband as my rock and my visionary opening our minds to the direction we have taken. He laughed when he heard all these things and in his broken English told me we only had a bit of space. I went back out to the waiting room and he prepared his area for me. He called me in and said, "Ok, lets do this". I asked if he was going to first sketch out the design. He said he would draw it on my finger and if I liked it then we would do it for real. I chose to have the tattoo done on my wedding ring finger. I haven't wore my real ring for the past few years and I liked the idea of having something there. I was shocked once he was done drawing that everything I asked for was represented. He let me know that the band could only go around half way because if it is on the back it would wear off. On each side he ended the tattoo with two shark teeth which represent strength. In the middle he did a symmetrical symbol with four corners representing our family of four. Next he did the male symbol in the middle representing Graham with a directional arrow pointing forward. I LOVE IT. Oh and it look cool to boot! ha. I am so happy that for years to come I will look down and have this constant reminder of this amazing journey we have undertaken. Oh I forgot to mention the actual tattooing.....I placed my hand on a saran wrapped covered stool with a light shining on it. The artist got out his smallest finest needle. He said he was going to tattoo slowly since there wasn't a lot of room for correction. He said that the skin on the side for the sharks teeth would be the area that it hurt the most. I was in my frame of mind of, "I am woman hear me roar", so there was no way I was going to flinch. I did brilliantly and to be totally honest it hurt way less than I thought it would.

We got home and the kids raced out on deck and jumped around excitedly waiting for us to uncover our art. Down below we did the big reveal. They absolutely LOVED them. OMG's could be heard throughout the anchorage.

I can be found now at any given moment in the day smiling to myself each time I notice the tattoo.

Tattoos in Tahiti

July 27, 2010

High highs and Low lows

Tahutaka Marquesas

Enroute to Tuomotos


I have heard Alex describe life out here to many people and he always is sure to include the fact that it is "High Highs and Low Lows".......ain't that the truth!! So strange how one day you can be riding a beautiful bicycle along a lush green atoll and the next day be bashing into waves and throwing up overboard! Oiy!

So where to begin......lets start with the HIGHS! Tuomotos were beautiful. We had 5 wonderful holiday days. Our days consisted of snorkeling, snuba diving, French baguette runs into the village, bike riding, swinging off the Gromit boat, feeding the fish, pearl farm touring and exploring. Highlight for me was having Alex take my hand while we were snorkeling and guide me up to a black tip reef shark. Absolutely terrifying but really really cool. Everyday when the kids would jump in they would see sharks. It was so strange to watch the kids so excited to be snorkeling and diving with them. I remember one day ......while I was in the dinghy watching everyone snorkeling....I saw Graham, Alex and Mike way off and I heard Alex say, "Wow, guys there is a huge shark over here". Amelia and Zoe were a ways off and I yelled over to them, "Alex just saw another big one". They both began to swim as fast as they could IN THE DIRECTION OF ALEX to see it! It is strange as a mom to have this mix of pride for their fearlessness and understanding of the underwater world but also since I am so totally not as cool as they are....to be full of this worry that I have to try and work so hard to suppress. I am working at trying to overcome my fears, especially those that my mind knows are unfounded. I could work harder though :-)....starting tomorrow!

We said goodbye to the Tuomotos and left late in the afternoon enroute for Tahiti. From the distances we knew it would be about a 2 night sail. We exited the pass for the atoll and had jumping dolphins at our sides as we surfed out. For the next 12 hours or so we had beautiful calm seas and light winds. We enjoyed spaghetti in the cockpit and settled into our cruising routine.......

Now for the LOWs....The remainder of the trip we had the wind pretty much on the nose and the waves pounding just off our bow. The up and down motion of the boat made Alex and I so sick. Graham didn't feel 100% either but Amelia (thank god) was right as rain. Not only did I feel sick to my stomach but I had a splitting headache. It was so bad. At the peak of my sickness when I thought it couldn't get any worse, Alex woofed his cookies right next to me. Nothing worse than being sick and having to clean up after someone else. Amelia was a trooper. We kept thinking that maybe if we ate we would feel better. She made us rice and beets. She cut up oranges and passion fruit. She brought us drinks. She brought us cold cloths. She covered us in a blanket. She checked on us regularly. One side of the cockpit was drenched from all the water we kept taking over the side from the waves. Every so often the far side would get soaked to. We were to sick to care and just laid on the soaked cushion in our full rain gear and prayed for the night to end. Graham and I stuck to our 4 hours on, 4 hours off schedule and we both felt so crappy that we spent our 4 hours each time in bed. I was so happy to see Tahiti come into sight but it seemed to take forever to get to the anchorage. The moment our anchor was set, we jumped into our bathing suits and swam. I was shocked how quickly the awful feeling left me. Pretty much as soon as I had washed my hair in the ocean. It was like I washed away all the sickness.

and then the HIGH HIGHs were back! WE ARE IN TAHITI riding the HIGH. Way cool. Oh and best of all.....today we went to the outdoor market and we bought lettuce. Beautiful, magnificent lettuce. We have been so veggie and fruit deprived. We have spent the past two days gorging ourselves. I am so grateful for lettuce.....oh and of course the fact that there seems finally to be more highs than lows on this adventure.

July 18, 2010


Today we snorkeled in a crowded stream of beautiful Tuomotos fish.
Sounds so poetic and perfect. You may be picturing us swimming as one
with the fish. All headed in the same direction. NOT. Picture me
yelling into my snorkel and jumping on Graham's back, so the fish
would stream around him and not touch me! LOL. Picture Amelia grabbing
my hand and laughing hysterically into her snorkel. Picture Alex
diving up and down and all around the stream and poking at the fish.
Oh what fun..so much fun..so new and cool.

We all snorkeled along together, pointing out all of the spectacular
marine life. There was so many different types of fish to see we were
overwhelmed. We would all be pointing and calling to each other
underwater. I am shocked at how many new species of fish we saw within
10 minutes of being in the water. It is like they were from outer
space. Their colors were so vibrant and varied.

Graham and Alex got the hooka (snuba gear) out and all put together
and in the afternoon we went back to this awesome reef and brought it
with us. The kids saw sharks, eels and manta rays and we were SO
HAPPY! Amelia was thrilled to sit on the ocean floor at 40 feet down
with her Dad. They found a really cool claw shaped clam and a very
unique shell. She has them soaking right now and has been scrubbing
them with a brush. Alex says he is happy to be back into "Vacation"
mode. We are thinking we will spend 5 days here just exploring the
reef and touring the motu. I even dug out the hammocks today and I am
hoping for some lighter winds so I can get em up tomorrow.

Alex is dying to fish. I won't let him because the guide books say
that Ciguetera (basically a disease the fish have here) is a huge
problem on this atoll. I found him today on the end of the dock
talking (or at least communicating) with these two local women. They
had a couple lines in the water with raw chicken as their bait. They
were catching small red snapper. They let him know that the snapper
was safe to eat since it was small enough and not infected. Not sure
if I mentioned it before but Alex has an obsession with raw chicken.
It seems every time he throws his hook in with raw chicken on the end
of it he gets a bite, so he is constantly beggin me for it. Anyone who
knows Alex knows he isn't the most careful kids ever. Alex + raw
chicken = disaster, so I don't often give in! Anyway, he was
like..."See mom raw chicken works and ciguetera isn't a problem!" I
guess we will see how long I can keep the lines out his hands.

Right now Amelia has Maia over for a sleep over. Tomorrow we have more
snuba planned, a hike of the motu, breakfast at the Gromits and maybe
even an afternoon siesta. I am so grateful for vacation days.

July 16, 2010

Finally in Paradise

What a horrendous last couple of days. I am SO happy to finally be back on the hook! The past 24 hours has been pretty stressful. The whole journey here hasn't been that great. High high winds and squalls. Last night Mother kicked up some pretty nasty stuff. We were all really worried about being able to come into the Atoll we were destined for. In order to enter Rangiroa you need to come through a narrow pass and you have to time it right with tides and currents. The guide books all say that the passes are ok as long as the weather is good and the swell isn't to big. Well we had both high winds....gusting to 35 knots at times and huge seas.....i don't dare even guess how high. We called to see if anyone was in the anchorage and could give us some advice. We got a hold of a nice guy who gave us his best guess on entry times. We decided our options were heave to at sea and wait for nicer weather, give the Tuomotos a miss and continue on to Tahiti, sail overnight to a different atoll that didn't have a pass OR give it a go and bail out if it wasn't working for us.

It was quite nerve racking entering the pass. You have to watch out for coral and there right on the edge of the pass is a sailboat shipwrecked. A little reminder for us how dangerous this is. The seas and wind were knocking us around so much it was hard to keep her right on track. We switch from manual to auto pilot and I plus'd or minus'd us as we needed and Graham rev'd the engine as necessary. Our boat was doing a speed of 6 knots but our speed over the ground was only 1 knots given the current. We came through the pass successfully and we were all hoping to find a beautiful peaceful calm inner lagoon.....NOT TODAY!

We had to travel for another 3 miles inside the atoll to our anchorage. We motored dead into wind and huge seas. Artemo took a beating and the water rush down the decks and at times it was over a foot deep. Total CRAZY. I tried to zig zag back and forth but this didn't seem to help. We were all so exhausted at this point. When the anchorage came into view you can not imagine how much relief we all felt.

Finally our hook was set and the engine was off and the bricks were lifted from our shoulders. I looked up and OMG....we are in paradise! So totally worth every minute of hell. Alex was the first in the crystal clear water. Right away he spotted a ramorea (totally spelled this wrong...he said they clean sharks?) and oyster fish. Amelia was next and I followed suit. We washed off 5 days of filth and had a wonderful swim. The Gromit girls swam over and happiness was the new emotion of the day!

Where was the captain you might ask? Graham crashed into bed immediately upon turning off the engine. He was up for most of the stormy night and he brought us safe and sound through some pretty hairy stuff. He so deserves his sleep. The kids are at the Gromit boat and I am hoping he rests for awhile. I have his beer cooling in the fridge and I can't wait for him to wake up and soak in the paradise we have arrived at.

July 15, 2010

Get me a fork

Oh the adventures we have at sea! The first couple of days of a voyage are always the hardest. We are all usually a bit tired and cranky. When things go wrong it is always exemplified when you are tired. Tempers rage and nastiness comes to the surface more easily. Thank goodness we all seem to forget and forgive quickly. The blogs you never hear about ;-)!

Last night was no exception to this rule. Graham and I had been grumbling at each other before he went off for his sleep. About an hour later I was down below turning on the kettle for my tea. I return up on deck and proceed to sit back in my spot and OMG.....huge flying fish next to me. I jumped a mile high. It is flitting and flailing. I hate that noise. Jumping and bouncing all over. I screamed and ran below......Well now I am totally screwed. I can't wake up Graham to save me, after yelling at him earlier. I decide to go and grab a bowl. I was thinking I might be able to put the bowl over top of it and then that was where my plan fell apart. Regardless, there was no way I could get close enough to get the bowl over it. Instead I snuck to the back room pass the sleeping captain and tapped on Alex's shoulder. "Wake up Alex. Wake up. There is a fish in the cockpit and I need your help!"

Back we both crept pass Graham around to the stairs. I gave Alex my headlamp and up he went. I stayed below. He looked and looked and ....no fish?? He started shaking out the pillows and blankets and passing them to me. Still nothing? At this point he thinks I was dreaming up the fish. I cautiously climb the stairs and tell him to take off the cockpit cushion. As he is doing this we spot the fish in the cubby and he begins to flap around madly again. On cue I scream and scare the crap out of Alex and run down below. OMG it was so funny. Poor Alex. He wasn't so much scared of the fish as he was of my reaction. Once he had gotten over his heart attack he yells down below....."Get me a fork"!

I was like...."Are you sure a fork is the best tool for this job??"...He said he didn't want to grab the flailing fish with his hands and wanted something to pierce it with. I recommended the gaf. He grabbed the gaf and proceed to get the fish behind the gils and fling it into the bowl. Just when I think the drama is over, he picks up the bowl to fling it to the sea and the fish jumps out onto deck! Oiy....Alex resorts to his hands and grabs the poor fish and sends it back to sea! My hero! He stayed up for a bit with me after that and we had a good laugh. I am so totally nervous now while I sit on my watch.....not of storms, high winds, big seas, other boats but of FLYING FISH!

PS....We are about 1 day from our destination of Rangiroa, Tuomotos. We are all finally feeling better. We had some crazy weather the other night and started wondering...."What the heck are we doing out here!". Luckily after 24 hours the weather passed and Mother Ocean has returned to her happy self. Thank goodness we all forget so quickly.

July 12, 2010

Good bye Marquesas

Yesterday at about 3pm we waved good bye to the Marquesas. The last couple of days have been exactly like my dreams....sand castles, crystal clear water, body surfing, snorkelling, sea shell hunting, bbques.....basically laziness in the true sense of the word ;-). Unfortunately, given our timelines for reaching New Zealand it is time to move on. Our next stop is the Tuomotos!

As we left our beautiful bay and turned back around into wind to put up our newly installed old wrinkled main sail Murphy's Law was busy at work again. That reminds me.....I remember mentioning Murphy's Law to our friendly taxi driver Roger in Panama. He told me that according to Roger's Law everything goes right. I am going to start counting on Roger's law! Regardless our main sail was all jammed up in the furling gear. We tried everything we could to get it out but it became apparent that Graham was going to have to climb up the mast and go head to head with it. Luckily everything went off without a hitch and actually not that much stress. Really shocking. We have come along way baby!

We got Artemo pointed in the right direction and as if on cue....Roger's Law :-) kicked in! A huge herd of dolphins surrounded us and stayed with us for the next hour to sheppard us on our way from Marquesas. It was so beautiful. Often times when we see dolphins they move in and then move off quickly. It was so cool, to have so many around us just swimming with Artemo as if she was one of them. The kids hung their feet as far over the side as they could and almost (so close) touched them. The dolphins did this thing we hadn't see before. They jumped out of the water straight up and propelled themselves forward using their tail. This was AWESOME! Alex said, "I can't believe how lucky we are!". We are lucky. I am grateful!

After the dolphin show Graham went below and made us a fantastic meal of burger's and potatoes. I only mention them because we were all so in love with them. OMG these burger's were good. He put them on our last French baguette and we even had fresh tomatoes and onions. Ok, can you tell we are back out at sea again? All I can think about is food!!

This passage will be strange with the kids done their home schooling. I am thinking I will have Amelia fill out our log book using old position reports. We are terrible sailors and always forget to log our trips in our official book! Alex is going to be taking more watches and of course fishing! We hope to arrive in about 3 days from now. The total trip is about 570 nm.

Good bye Marquesas

July 10, 2010

Time to get the heck out of Dodge!

We made it out of the Hiva Oa anchorage the other day. It was total craziness though. Basically everyone is anchored behind a break wall and they have both a front and stern anchor out. It also seems that everyone's anchors are over top of each other and when the winds pipe up the anchors all seem to get tripped and this leads to boats drifting into each other and this equals stress!

The day that we were looking to leave was the craziest day ever. The boat next to us had just one fellow on board and the captain was in town and his boat was slowly drifting up on the boat ahead of them. His stern anchor had come unset and since he was just crew he didn't want to make any decisions if he didn't have to and we definitely didn't want to make any decisions for him. He was basically stranded though and didn't have a dinghy and after a couple of hours it became apparent that he better reset the stern anchor or else he would smack into the boat ahead. Graham and the kids went back over and got that anchor reset for him and headed back to continue readying Artemo.

About an hour later we look up and our friends boat in front of used named "AKKA" were drifting into a huge boat next to them. We could see the folks on the other boat using boat hooks to push them away. AKKA were off their boat on an island tour. We went over to see if there was anything we could do but as you can imagine the folks weren't to happy and aside from sit there with them, there wasn't much point to us sticking around. AKKA was safe enough, it was just a nuisance for the other folks.

We had decided that we would wait to leave until AKKA was reset since they were directly ahead of us. About the time that we see them get out of their taxi on shore, we see another boat come into the bay. We recognize the fellow as he was just anchored in the bay the day before. He is a very nice Spaniard. He comes into the crowded anchorage though and decides to bring his boat up in between Artemo and this French boat beside us. There couldn't of been more than 10 feet between us. I was in shock but figured he must know what he is doing, since he had been in the bay for a month before this. Just as he is directly in between us and only.....2 feet between him and the French boat, he drops his front anchor. He had already release his stern anchor. I am even more in SHOCK. He begins to go back and starts touching the boat next to him. The other fellow on board is trying to fend off the boat while also trying to bring in the stern anchor. MASS CHAOS!! Our dinghy engine motor is up at this point since we were getting ready to leave. In the midst of this the French couple come back to their boat and are LIVID. They are screaming at the guy. It must have been so scary for them. The boats were touching all over the place. Once he is behind them, he proceeds to plough into the back end of them. My stomach was in knots. The kids were holding onto fenders just in case he began coming our way. Once he is finished with the French boat he begins drifting into our other friends boat and they begin fending off and wondering what the heck is wrong with this fellow. Other cruisers are hopping in their dinghy's and trying to fend his boat off.

I realize through this all that he is going to have to come back up super close between us to pull up his anchor and I am so dreading it. We had our fenders over the side and he comes up and begins pulling up his anchor....BY HAND!!! He must not of had a windlass so it takes forever and the French folks have ZERO patience at this point. They are yelling "crazy captain" at him and he is pointing at his muscles and making the sign language of, "give me a second I am tired". There is a dinghy in between the French boat and him pushing him towards Artemo. There are the four of us ready and waiting for catastrophe on Artemo. Finally his anchor is up and he begins driving around looking for another spot. Thank Goodness!

During all this commotion AKKA is still being fended off in front of us. We can see our friends sitting on the dock at the shore. We didn't realize at the time that they couldn't see that AKKA was in danger. We begin flailing our arms around and pointing at their boat. Finally we get their attention and they race up to AKKA and get her safely reset.

We realized now that it was the time to "Get the heck out of Dodge", so a couple of cruisers offer to pull up our stern anchor and of course Murphy's law it was super set and sunk. They weren't able to bring it up. Graham gets into our dinghy at this point and rows back to it and begins heaving on it. He is putting so much muscle into it and leaning over the dinghy that the whole back end of the dingy comes up and almost flips! The kids and I are yelling at him from the back of the boat. Graham realizes that this isn't working and comes back to the boat and we decide that we have to let out more front anchor chain and then come back on the stern anchor and try and winch it up. Of course though....again Murphy law....the Spaniard is sitting behind us over our stern anchor. Graham yells back to him that we need to back up and we would like him to move while we do this. He was so funny. The fellow is smoking a cigarette and shrugs his shoulders and his body language is like, "you will be fine. Come on back." LOL. There is no way we are back up near him. His front anchor isn't down so we aren't sure why he won't just get out of the way for a minute and then he could have our spot? He finally gets out of his boat and into his dinghy and begins pushing his boat out of the way??? I still am not sure what was going on. We successfully back up and winch and winch and winch and finally success the anchor come free but unfortunately this means that we are now swinging. We leave the anchor hanging on the back and Graham races to the front and we begin bringing up the anchor. We drive within speaking distance of AKKA and finally I hear Graham say, "Ok the anchor is off the ground". Now I have to try and back up Artemo and not hit any stern anchor lines and drive the heck out of there! OIY.

We are finally free of the boats but there is still much work to do before we head out beyond the break wall. I proceed to try and hold our position while Graham and Alex bring up the anchor, remove the paddles on the dinghy, untie and store fenders and yada yada yada. Finally when all of this is done and I think my huge stomach ache of stress will subside we head out beyond the break wall to find HUGE swell and high winds :-). OMG at this point you just have to laugh. I guess the part that worried me was the dark squally sky and the fact that the lee shore was to close for my liking. LONG LONG story short we finally got around the island and the swell was were it should be...BEHIND US.....and I just felt like a good long cry! The last thing I felt like was our overnight sail to Nuka Hiva.

We called Gromit on the radio. They were anchored at a different island and were going to try and hook up with us at sea to sail overnight with us. They let us know that they were delayed but would love it if we would come over and anchor with them til they were ready the next morning. This sounded great to us. We both desperately needed our "happy hour". We arrived at their bay and it turns out that it is known as the most beautiful beach in Marquesas. It is wonderful. We have decided to skip Nuka Hiva and spend a couple of days here and then off to Tuomotos.

We had an amazing stress free day on the beach yesterday. We did "Survivor Marquesas" and set up a huge obstacle course and all ran it in teams and pronounced a winner. We had a potluck on the beach with all the other cruisers around. In total there were 9 kids. The kids woke up feeling so sore today from all the activity. It really was the perfect day. The water is crystal clear and there is an abundance of beautiful fish. We have all our work done (or at least the priority items) so we are just loving life right now! At this moment Graham, Mike and Cornelia are off to the little villi age on the island to see if they can get some fresh food and we would like some more propane. The boys are playing star fox on the wii and the girls are making oatmeal raisin cookies. The wind is blowing at about 20 knots, the sun is shinning and I am stress free!

July 04, 2010

Lazy in Marquesas

"We'll have breakfast after we change out our ripped main sail", says Graham. It is 7:30 am and I have barely had my eyes open for more than a minute. "Come on there is no wind. It will only takes us a few minutes to pull down the sail and put on the old one." I have heard this before. There is no way that this is a 'few minutes' job. I know better. I reluctantly pull myself out of bed, pull my shorts on, throw my hat on and grab my sunglasses. Up on deck the sun is already full on.

We ready and uncoil all the lines and then we begin to unfurl. Of course due to the fact that the main was ripped when we furled it in, it is now jammed up. We have it about half way out and flopping/flailing around in the wind. Time to hoist Graham up the main to try and un-jam it. First I have to locate his runners, the climbing harness and the locking winch handle. Up he goes as I winch away and raise him. I then lock him in place and then try and pull out the main as he works it from above. I then race back and winch him up a bit more and then lock him in place and back to trying to pull out more. This continues for the next 30 minutes....until finally success. I lower Graham down and then we lower the main sail. Not an easy task even in light wind.

We wake Alex up. As Graham lowers the main, Alex and I attempt to flake/fold it in the limited deck space.....have I mentioned the unrelenting sun?? Finally the sail is down and flaked and I fold it up and put it in its bag and before I can breath the words..."break", Graham has the old sail up on deck and time for us to get this up.....

"This will go much easier and will surely only take us a few minutes", says Graham.......I don't believe him. We locate the tools to connect the sail. We tie the outhaul on. I work the winch, Graham guides the sail up the furling groove and Alex makes sure that the sail is pulled over and ready to go up. I winch and winch and winch and winch.....omg....I winch and winch and winch....I remember hearing Alex say, "you are halfway there mom"..How can this be, I am thinking...I winch more and more and more...Finally it is up. We wait for a bit of total calm and we harden up the main and then we try to furl it in and .....of course it gets stuck! Oiy. For the next 45 minutes Graham goes up the mast, I stick a huge screw driver in the furling area and Alex works the outhaul and miraculously all three of these jobs in unison release the main. We all go back to our original positions. We wait for calm, we harden the main and then finally success she furls in without any wrinkles. The anchorage hears our hoots and hollers! Success!

At this point (11 AM) we are allowed our breakfast. We then proceed to clean up the boat, pack the backpack for the day, locate everyone's shoes, untie and lower the dinghy motor, raid the boat and we are off for our uphill hike into town.....of course it is now the hottest part of the day!

3 hours later we are back at the boat. Hot and tired. Time to begin our water runs. Load all our water jugs in the dinghy and take them over to shore, fill them up, return them to the boat, hoist them up via the halyard, fill the tanks and then repeat 3 times.

Once we are finished with this, it is time to connect the dinghy to the halyard and hoist this up out of the water for the night.....in case you are wondering I am the one doing all the hoisting!

Now I am pretty sure that this day is the farthest thing away from lazy??? Am I right people? You are probably wondering where this is all coming from, eh. The Captain mentioned today that he is lazy. That the boat would be in better condition if he wasn't so lazy?? Now I have been married to the Captain for coming onto 20 years.....he may of said "I" but I could so hear "you". If I could of breathed fire I am sure I would of! I am thinking that I might show him lazy tomorrow! ;-). Wish me luck!


ps...We made landfall at Fatu Hiva and as far as I am concerned the landscape there was the most beautiful in the world. We made friends with the locals, hiked to the waterfall, bathed beneath the falls, watched the native dancing, listened to the rhythmic drumming, had 11 people over and around our table for a "We did it" South Pacific crossing sit down dinner, traded various treasures off of Artemo for fruit and best of all ran and walked on glorious ground! We are now at our second anchorage located on the island of Hiva Oa. This is our working anchorage. Our goals are change the main sail, do the laundry (25kg by hand) on shore, have a shower (outdoor spigit on shore), wash the boat down, check in, take down the Genoa and tighten the screws on the foil, fill the water tanks, change out the side stay with a rope as it is frayed and pick up any other provisions we need (which is only veggies and POPCORN!). If the Captain has his way we will be done all these chores in two days and on our way to the next Marquesas island of Nuka Hiva to hike the famous Vaipo waterfall (2000 foot drop) but I am thinking it is going to be at least 3 days :-).