Sunday, August 11, 2013

Welcome to Taiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva, Marqueses. - May 23 - Aug 11 2013

We are well and safe with our ‘honey do’ list a mile long...and we are in Marquesas ..where the bad news is there any parts have to come from a long way away.  The good news is there is Kevin and WE ARE IN THE MARQUESSES ..this anchorage is breathtaking...the cauldron of a Volcano, dramatic steep jagged sheer mountain sides all round but the entrance way, green and lush, oasis in the middle of the ocean, a respite from the heavy Ocean swell, (not always) however it is a safe harbor.

Taihoe Bay, Nuku Hiva, Marqueses

A note regarding our SPOT ADVENTURE GPS ...we did send signals every day...however, based on the number of messages I personally received via email being 6 out of does not appear that it worked all that well and is not something we would recommend to those following our path. was Passage Making you ask?...I reply...typical...about 99 % boredom and 1 % it's SHEER TERROR! ...and if you can live with that...give it a try!

For you who say...stop your wining...I remind you that I am not
complainin...just reportin...and realize that no one ever heard Columbus say..."What no GPS"??.what do you mean the autopilot isn't working!....I don’t care if the chart-plotter says we are in the Bahamas!...we sailors recognize the awesome abilities it took for these early explorers to do what they did and survive to tell their stories...incredible men all of them!

We are thankful to the Master of the Seas and Maker of the Wind for providing us safe passage. Mr. Murphy for compassion when we were exhausted and near broken and reminding us that we are only human.  I'm still not certain what message/lesson I was being taught on day 25...but no worries mate...I have the rest of my life to ponder that.

Since arriving in Nuku Hiva, we have enjoyed many healthy hikes around the Taiohae Bay. 

The neatly restored Tohua Koueba, a sacred place venerated by the ancient Marquesans is about 1.5 km of up the city. 

Tohua Koueba Traditional Cerimonial Site

Then there are the Sentinels ..a well marked trail going from town to the entrance of the bay.  It is an amazing vista of the entire bay looking down from the rim of this ancient volcano

Taiohae Bay from the Sentinels

...a full day motor coach ride around the island.  There is actually a hummer on this island...go figure and maybe a total of 10 miles of concrete roads...hahahah ever heard the expression...more money than brains...oh well...the owner said it was too good a deal to pass up. 

Traditional Marquesas Tiki Ceremonial Site

We also enjoyed a wide variety of festivals and banquets...these folks enjoy their food!.   The highlights so far have been mother’s day, father’s day,

Father’s Day Festival 2013

the June music festival in which Steve (sv Liward) and myself participated with the locals...jammin and havin a ball...

Fete de Mus 2013

The month of July is the Marquesan festival of dance and local music...every weekend is another spectacular show of the various islands dance troupes.

St. Bastille Day Nuku Hiva

The Beautiful Girls of Nuku Hiva

The Manly Men of Nuku Hiva

This little princess stole the show!

Now almost two months after arriving, we have just received our transmission parts and discovered that the key part is more DHL and more waiting...but all other repairs are completed so we keep a happy face and hope that when the final part arrives we will be able to move the boat.

During the last week of July our good friends Bob and Annette Sv Tempest sailed into Nuku Hiva.  It was a happy day for all as we had not seen each other since our days in Shelter Bay Marina, Panama, months earlier.  Tempest had been in the marina for over a year and B & A worked hard on rig repairs and interior upgrades including beautiful new bamboo cabin soles.

We decided that an evening of celebration was in order and so attended the final night of the July Festivities of music and dance.

Kaija with her head Lay, Bob and Annette Sv Tempest & Stars of the Show

Finally with only days remaining before our departure for Canada, our transmission parts arrived and with the help of Kevin (Nuku Hiva Yacht Services) and friend Terry we worked feverishly to re-assemble our transmission without all them new fangled tools so commonly found back in the ‘land of stuff’.  No hydraulic press to re-assemble the new bearings…I discovered that as the old saying goes…necessity is the mother of invention…the Marquesean version of a hydraulic press is three guys…one holding the transmission shaft with the new bearing sitting on top, the second holding a large steel pipe in place over the bearing and the third, a 13 pound sledge hammer…you get the idea…it was a verrrry scary moment when Terry dropped the hammer….I was busy counting fingers but after repeated efforts we managed to get all the bearings back on the input, output, and intermediate shafts.  We finally got it all in the casing and ready to put back in the boat.

We had to wait overnite for the seals to set.  Early Sunday morning I poured in the transmission fluid and with fingers crossed and held breath, Kaija started up the engine that had not run for almost two months and everything seemed perfect…that is except for a slight whining sound…we shut everything down…inspected everything in site…found nothing out of place so started up again…and for about 5 minutes everything when all of a sudden we heard a loud snapping sound…something akin to taking a 4 foot elastic band and snapping it…we quickly shut down…again inspected everything in sight…nothing was out of place…I could still turn the shaft by hand…so we started up a third time and for approx. 5 minutes…it all sounded great…then we heard a loud noise, something like throwing a bucket of nuts and bolts into the engine…then everything stopped…and I mean everything…it looked like we had seized up the transmission and the engine…my heart stopped! much time…so much effort…so much disappointment.

We removed the transmission, and discovered that the new bearing on the input shaft had exploded…NO WAY!!!...YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!!!....but yes…it was so.  Over the next few days, we managed to find a replacement bearing in Papeete at about 10 times the cost we had paid…flew it in, rented a car and picked it up and got it installed (the Marquesan way).  This time we were a little more carefully with something called the ‘Axial play’.  You can only guess how hard it is to make minute adjustments of .05 mm with a sledge hammer…but…after repeated efforts…we got er done…re-assembled the transmission, re-installed it in the boat…waited overnight for the new seals to set…and finally, the next morning started up the engine again.

This time, everything was perfect…Hooray  and yippieIAA…we were ecstatic…we motored around the bay…and decided that a trip to Daniels Bay was required to give the tranny and motor a ‘road test’.

Daniel’s Bay is home to the third highest waterfall on the planet.  With Bob and Annette sailing beside us as we motored along…we made our way into this beautiful anchorage.  During the following days, we hiked and swam and shared a wonderful meal with host Tiki and his wife.

Daniels Bay Hike 

Vaipo - World's third tallest waterfall (1148 ft) in Hakaui Valley home to elusive Tropical Bird

Traditional Marquesan Lunch with Tike and wife (note the face tattoo's...done the traditinal way....OUCH!

It was finally time to prepare KS for our departure which seemed a much larger task than we thought.  However, finally the Sunday morning of our flight arrived and knowing that our new friend Kevin would keep a watchful eye on KS during our absence we said our farewells to our new ‘family’ and boarded the small plane for Papeete en-route Auckland NZ, losing a day as we crossed the international date line, overnight then flight to Los Angeles, again crossing the international dateline, gaining back a day and arriving before we left??? How does that work again???

We are looking forward to a trip back to Canada to visit family and friends in August where we are planning on purchasing a small Motor-home RV for our land touring adventure across Canada and down to Washington to play tourist and visit as many sites as possible, foremost the Smithsonian Museums including my favorite...the Air and Space Museum.  We are also looking forward to attending the National Quartet convention in Louisville Ky to visit with old friends.  It is the 20 yr that the NQC is being held there and also the final year.  Next year it will be taking place at Pigeon Forge, home of Dolly Parton’s Dollywood.  We will keep y'all posted on our land touring as time permits.