June 2006
There was a festival in Nuku Hiva, while we were waiting for Jim's knee to heal.  You could buy anything from a Landcruiser to a cow or horse to fruits and vegetables.  It was a lot of fun.  We met a few more cruising boats with kids.
Anne and Moetai work for Polynesian Yacht Services, they assist cruiser's with anything and everything.  Helping with your check-in, laundry, internet, sail repair, propane and disposing oil etc.  They were a wealth of information.
During the festival all the children would play in the square, Phoebe  brought her jump ropes and immediately made friends with the locals.   The festival included an outrigger race from Comptrollers bay to Taihoe, the winner received $6,000 US.  It was a hard race, with high winds and  seas.   There were coconut shucking contests, dance contests and great food.  It was a week long, so it was a nice treat to be stuck in Nuku Hiva.  However, we were getting anxious to leave.
Jim is pictured with Dr.Fine, the surgeon in Nuku Hiva.  Jim visited Dr. Fine weekly and the Doctor told Jim to stop walking and stay off the knee.  Emma caught a bug and Jim had to do the shopping and care for the children.  The Doctor caught Jim in town twice and set back healing one week.  Jim is smiling beacause we finally got the green light to leave, after being there for a month.  Now on to the turqouise waters of the Tuamotos.
Photo above is The Blue Sky family with Peterdog and Giles from s/v Petral.  The photo on the left is a squall that's heading our way.  You can't outrun these squalls as they travel at over 30 mph.  You can see a rainbow in the photo.  Looks pretty, right?  Well this sucker hit us good and hard.  Even with all sails reefed we sailed along at 6 knots.  The good part was that it rained so hard we and Blue Sky all received a nice fresh water shower.
We arrived to the Island or Rangiroa in the Tuamoto chain.  Crystal clear water in the lagoon.  I could see our anchor in 40 feet of water.  The water tempature was 82 degrees.  We could swim right from the boat, but we were constantly circled by remora's.  Those are sucker fish that attach themselves to sharks.  They thought about attaching to us.  It does not really hurt when they try to attach but it is unnerving as they look like mini sharks.  I had to fend quite a few of them off while I was cleaning the underside of the boat and scrubbing the prop.  We chose to swim at the beach to be free of them.
The photo on the left is Drake, Phoebe, Claire and myself.  We are swimming off the dock of the Hotel Kia Ora.  This was a great find.  They had two polynesian dance shows a week.  They allowed you to use their dock and beach. They had a great bar where you could get the greatest chocolate and vanilla ice cream, with glass floors and a basket of bread to feed the fish..  Phoebe and I would sneak over any chance we could.
On the right is a little island, or hoa,  inside the lagoon pass.  Phoebe has been looking at my screensaver all her life, which is basically this picture.  She has always asked when will we go to an island like the screensaver.  Well she finally arrived.  I have seen her smile often but the look on her face when she reallized that this is real was perfect!  Emma was not too dissapointed either.
Blue Sky family on Brian and Julie's over the water room at the Kia Ora.  Brian and Julie (photo below) were on their honeymoon and we were lucky enough to meet them and go snorkeling together.  They came out to check out the boat and join us for a sundowner(s).  They live in Sacramento and very happy to be in French Polynesia.  They went scuba diving twice a day and saw different things each time, a divers dream.
Sundowners were spent either on Blue Sky or on the deck of their over water room.  We could take the dingy directly to their room as each room had their own dock. The outdoor showers were a really nice touch.  Water in the Tuamoto's is precious.  The hotel has their own desalinization/reverse osmosis water plant.  We were very lucky not to have to run the Blue Sky watermaker all the time.
Brian, Phoebe, & Drake on the outrigger.  The lagoon was shallow so it was really easy to check out all the fish and coral.  Small reef sharks would come in attracted by the lights at night.  It was great to sit and watch everything swim by.
One day we went over to a small pass between two motos.  Drake and Phoebe would hike out towards the Pacific side and rush in with the incoming tide..  The sea life was different than other sites we snorkled. It was more like a tide pool enviorment than anything else. 
Brian caught a couple of geko's for Blue Sky.  They now live with us and are happily munching any insects they can find.
Miss Phoebe out for a-little snorkel near the pass.  There was a great reef that the locals had named the aquarium.  True to its name it really was a spectacular aquarim.  You could see all kinds of fish and sharks, and the coral was incredible colors.  Phoebe liked to stay near the surface but Drake loves to dive down and get a closer look.  The boy is at home in the water.  We needed to stay near him as there were a few sharks near by. 
Drake diving at the aquarium, he can free dive about 10 feet, and likes to look for the white and black tip reef sharks.
Fish at the aquarium above and me on the hooka right.  The hooka was great to get a closer look at the deeper corals and find the fish that were hiding in the cracks.
Phoebe and Drake hanging out at the pass.  It looks very tame here but it can run at over 6 knots.  The waves can become very close together and make for a really wild ride as we were to find out a few days after this photo was taken.
Pheobe and Drake have finally caught up with their friends from s/v Capaz. We all rode the trucks into Papette for dinner at the Roullets.  Pictured is Zack, Drake, Phoebe and Jake.
The next day we rode the trucks back into town to do a little site seeing.  Emma wanted to see the huge outdoor market and I wanted to see what the downtown docks for sailboats looked like.  Think about docking your boat next to a highway.  The noise must be incredible.  I'm glad we anchored out at Marina Tiana.
Claire's 11th birthday celebration at McDonalds.  The kids were in heaven.  We had been threatening them with the loss of McDonalds privilage when they were misbehaving.  This usually brought them right in line.  I don't know what we will use once were out of this big city.