Bonjour and greetings from the lush hills of the Marquesas. I am quickly reporting my well being and surroundings to those wondering the result of our largest ocean undertaking.
It’s with dashes of exhaustion, spliced with excitement and aftertastes of frustration that we find ourselves breaching the westernmost point of French Polynesia here in the stunning mountainous Marquesas. The lengthy passage to this point was for the first part seamless, gliding over thousands of miles of ocean fluidly with the wind, waves and plentiful Mahi-Mahi fish in our favour.
It was well into our second week where the drama occurred, in the form of a damaged car and sail track (the car being the device that attaches the main sail to the mast and enables it to be hoisted and lowered) that broke under intense strain of constant powerful winds, sending ball bearings raining onto the deck. This conundrum has been dealt to us by a single inch screw working its way loose and compromising our rig, and such a challenge in the more accessible regions of the developed sailing world, nearer professional assistance is no slight task, But out here weeks sail from any chandlery this makes for some uncomfortable realities. However, we are rolling with the punches, and will attend to the issue fully in Papeete, Tahiti, concerning ourselves more at this point with filling the Natty M with the last readily available fruits and vegetables for some time, and preparing for our arrival into the reward of the perfect reef passes of the south pacific, our next destination a weeks sail south east.
We find ourselves here amongst an enormous lush natural fruit store, with most plants furnished with grapefruits larger than your head, mangos, bananas, papayas, oranges, breadfruit, coconuts and an array of sweet smelling gifts I am unfamiliar with. It is fortunate thing that the fauna of these Jurassic park-esque islands are so hospitable as the cost of imported all foods to this far flung region of the planet, already compounded on the expensive euro, makes shopping a comically expensive adventure (I was amused at finding a 80 dollar tin of Milo today.
We plan to make for the Tuamotus and the lure of perfect and empty waves after we have crammed all the produce that will fit aboard our boat and hiking the hills here to find the Tiki god carvings, hidden amongst the towering hills and plummeting ravines that collar our anchorage.
Look forward to reporting in after we unveil the awaiting secrets in the 78 islands of the Tuamotus archipelago and sharing with you our captured treasures,
Message to Assuage Familial Apprehension
Dear Family (and MysticSail followers)
This is a note to let my friends and family know I am alive and well. I am forced to use the blog medium because internet in the Marquesas costs literally ten times what it does in the rest of the world, along with everything else.
The details of the passage I’m sure you will get in full from Kyber’s instalment, but for my part I can say I had an enjoyable sail. The boat once again astounded me with its race-car performance, and I had the pleasure of hand steering us through the passage’s top speed-over-water of a butt clenching 18.5 knots. Am now feeling rested, and very fit and healthy, as I diligently practiced yoga and did a hundred press-ups every day during the passage.
The Marquesas are stunning, reminding me a lot of Punakaiki back home, but on a much grander scale.
I’m amping for Tuamotus surf and believe internet connections to be non-existent from here till Tahiti, so expect email silence for a long while yet, but we can upload blogs via satellite, so watch this space.
Peace, love, tolerance, and generosity find you all.
Kahlil, aka Mullethawk