16 02 S
142 28 W
9 April 2016

Hello friends,

There would have been an email last week to say we arrived back in French Polynesia, but that one got lost in the distant, ethereal world of computers.

It was a long journey involving 4 flights from Calgary to the little volcanic island of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas. When we arrived, we were both hot, and David was stiff enough to have a sore back for several days. Kevin, an American who has set up home in Nkuk Hiva met us at the airport. He had been visiting Dulcinea each week, and she was anchored safely and securely when we arrived. We like Kevin.

There was the usual list of gremlins that needed subduing before sailing, but after a week, the boat was cleaned, an alternator with a seized bearing was changed, the frig was recharged, the sails were bent, the bottom was cleaned, Dave's iPhone had been accidentally soaked in water for 1/2 hour which is partly why this email is delayed.

We sailed on 5 April for the Tua Motus, and arrived in Raroia on 7th. We had planned to visit Raroia last November, but the wind had not cooperated then. This atol became known when Thor Heyerdahl's balsa raft, Kon Tiki, crashed into the windward shore in 1947.

Another boat, Silent Sun, sailed in through the pass 15 minutes in front of us. The crew of Chris & Jess spent a few months here last year and had been asked to bring back a pair of goats to start an breeding population. The young goats were very pretty and seemed lovable when they left the Marquesas on a 37ft sailing boat, but we heard that this love-affair tarnished after 4 or 5 days of converting useful boat gear into excrement. Still they arrived healthy, started eating again immediately, and are now attached to their new owner.

The Tua Motus are beautiful atolls surrounded in blue seas, but provide little substance other than sea-food and coconuts. The small village here, of maybe 200 people, seems particularly friendly and active. They have been managing to husband slim crops of bananas and papaya on the narrow strip of dry coral soil. There are also a few pigs, hens, and now goats.

Two kite surfers have been showing their talents. One caught a coconut crab (a rare and special delicacy). A volleyball game materialized one evening, and a jam session with drums on the beach.

It will be hard to leave at all, we shall push on SW for Tahiti soon where we have a new fuel tank waiting for us, and a booking to lift out of the water for paint and maintenance at the end of April.

The "World Arc" will also be in Tahiti at that time for those sailors who wish to spend money to dash around the world in scheduled convoy. We last met The Arc in Cape Town SA when there were so many boats trying to get work done that it was nearly impossible to find facilities and tradespeople free. We hope that won't repeat this year.

Dave Jan & Dulcinea

PS We had no internet for several days. Now in Tahiti ready to get some jobs done. Lovely few days in Raroia and Tahanea in the Tua Motus. From some of the news we are reading this may be some of the healthiest coral and reef systems left in the world, plus some really friendly people.

On an ancient wall in China
Where a brooding Buddha blinks
Deeply graven is this message
"It is later than you think".
The clock of life is wound but once
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
Now is all the time you own
The past a golden link.
Go cruising now my brother
It is later than you think.

Anon courtesy of Earl Hinz