Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Best laid plans

Like all cruising plans, ours were written in the sand at low tide! It seems we will opt for more challenging places in the Tuamotus! The conservative route is sounding overcrowded and the locals welcome is wearing thinner each year! So based on feedback from friends who passed this way last season and a closer study of charts and tides, we think a more easterly approach is feasible.
JD will appreciate this...we ran into Rose and I think her husband's name was Robert, on a boat called Tillicum! They are from Victoria and have been cruising now off and on for 20 years. They were headed for a Tuamotu called Kauehi and we will follow them and hopefully catch up to them there. We were leaning to Raroia as a first stop but decided it would be almost an extra week which we cannot afford. We may also stop at Toau and/or Fakarava. These are not on the 'beaten path' so we expect
fewer boats in them and perhaps more appreciation from the locals.
But that is planning and written in sand! You will have to tune in to find out where we end up! Meanwhile, after a few days in this little village on Hua Pou, we perhaps had a peak behind the Kimono as far as the French and Marquesan's are concerned. It's a strange little place and although the sound of children's laughter rings out as they play on the beach and families gather on Sunday to cook picnics on barbeque pits, there seems to be an undercurrent of unease. People are polite and helpful
if you direct an inquiry at them, but they are also preoccupied. Then we met Xavier, actually I sort of met him when we anchored as he was swimming across the bay on a boogie board and I spoke to him. Later we ran into him in town and he threw his Kimono so wide open, it near blinded us! Suffice it to say, he is a French national and came to Huku Hiva as a teacher on a two year contract, was run over by a drunk driver, walks with a limp and a cane, has retired and built two houses on land he purchased
here, one to live in and one to rent. Unfortunately something happened and one of the houses burned down. He blames a couple in the community and that's where we decided maybe this was more information than we needed at the time....
So we carried our little plastic bag with four items from the magazin.....peanut butter, a loaf of frozen bread from New Zealand, a liter of juice and a dozen eggs....1900francs worth..or about $27....back to the boat....couldn't find a baguette in the whole town! Apparently the bakery opens at 5AM and if you don't get there by 6AM, you are out of luck. We may attempt that tomorrow!
Today was a busy day! Linda went to refill the rice container from the big Tupperware bin it is stored in and discovered it was crawling with little black bugs. A more careful survey found they had migrated to the Italian pasta and a few other places! So all of the cupboards were emptied...no small feat....and everything investigated....she then washed them out with bleach and I sprayed them with some heavy duty bug killer left over from San Blas, Mexico. While she was busy eradicating critters,
I was in the cockpit, hiding from the sun and splicing ratlines for the shrouds! More on that when they come into play eh!
The pamplemousse are ripe and are great for cleansing the system!
Next day....got the anchors up and dinghy loaded. Made it to the bakery at 6AM and stocked up on baguettes. Now underway for the Tuamotus!

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