May 2006
On May 4th we dropped anchor in Atuona Bay, Hiva Oa after 27 days at sea.  We enjoyed unlimited fresh water showers and went out to dinner with fellow crusiers from s/v Sensei & Petrel.  The anchorage in Hiva Oa is really tight.  When we arrived the anchorage had suffered 4-5 foot swells and all boats were both bow and stern anchored.  That night at 0330 Emma awoke me to say that our neighbors on a catamaran were screaming at us.  Yes there was collision but it being the middle of the night all I was willing to do was put out fenders.  (We have over 10 of various size and shape.)  That did the trick until dawn but asap we moved s/v Blue Sky out of that %$# spot  and moved her outside the breakwall to a safe bow only anchor.  Here at peace we sat in 30 feet of water with nothing to threaten us.  Unfortunatly this was just the first hit in the Marquesas.  The next occured on the Island of Ua Poe once again in a less than ideal anchorage that forced steren anchoring.  Once the bodies had been cleaned and the boat put away safely it was time for 27 days of laundry.  Phoebe and Drake did their part by stomping on the wash in an attempt to get the grime out.  We were also able to utilize the fuel dock and reload diesel & gas with jerry jugs.  There was a holiday when we arrived so the gendarmie (French Polynesisan Police) post office, bank and stores were all closed.  The next day I packed up all of our documents and rather painlessly checked into the Marquesas/French Polynesia.  
We were able to organize a land tour of Hiva Oa.  We traveled from our anchorage up and over the top of the mountain to the South West side.  Here we went to Puamau Bay.  We visited the Me'ae Tei'i pona ceremonial sight.  Seen above is Taka'i'i is the largest stone statue west of Easter Island.  Below is a large stone head which commemerates human victims offered to the gods.  There we quite a few of these as we walked about.  The sheer presence of the place was something that can't be described.
When we left the anchorage we traveled on black top up to the airport.  After that it was all dirt roads.  The views from the switch backs were spectacular.  The interior of the island is lush.  About 4 miles from Puamau Bay we hit a sharp rock and the back tire went flat.  When we looked underneath the truck for the spare, it was not there.  Good thing a couple of men from Colorado were right behind us in their rental car.  Mary Jo our guide had a friend in the next village that just so happened to have the exact same car.  The Coloradans wisked Mary Jo off and Peter, Emma the children and I had a picnic in the middle of the jungle. 1/2 hour later Mary Jo was back.  The tire was on and we were back underway.  Quicker response than AAA!
Emma, Phoebe, Jim, Drake and Maurai (Mary Jo's 6 year old) are standing by the Dog Tiki.  Every five years the Marquesas have a huge celebration between all the Islands, and the last one was at this sight.  The next one will be in Ua Poe.  After the ceremonial sight Mary Jo took us to the beach for a refreshing swim.  She also stopped off at a friends house, who loaded us up with Pompolmouse's, the local version of grapefruit, but much sweeter.  They grow everywhere, but you have to know someone to get them, as they don't sell them in the stores.
The children got along well, Marurai was worried at first at Phoebe and Drake did not speak French.  After a while it did not matter, because they all spoke the same language of little children, and played well together.  The tour was well worth it, and after we got back to town, we went and had a cheeseburger in paradise and cold hinanos.  We then readied Blue Sky as we were leaving the next day. 
After Hiva Oa we sailed a couple hours to Hanba Moa Noa Bay on Tahuata.  This was one of our favorite anchorages.  The snorkeling was great and there was a sandy beach for the kids to play on.   No one lived ashore, however, there was a copra drying shed.  We found some beautiful shells and were greated by a Manta ray each morning and evening swimming around the boat.  They are beautiful to watch swim, Peter even got in the water with it.  Our friends on s/v Sensei with their daughter Claire were with us, and we could not keep the kids out of the water, which is 80 degrees.
We called Hana Moe Noa "Sandy Beach" as it is easier to pronounce.  There are very few sandy beaches in the Marquesas.   After we left Sandy Beach, we went to the next Anchorage down, Resolution Bay.  This was the first Land Fall that the spanish explorer Medana made.  There is a large red roofed church on shore, built from the ballast stones from old ships. 
One day we decided to go on a hike to the next town, Hapatoni.  All the locals told us it was only an hour away.  After hiking up hill for two hours, we realised it would be longer.  Jim decided to go back down and get the dinghy, and he would pick us up, so we would not have to hike back.  To the right is a view of Blue Sky from our hike.  As we started to descend into the village a huge rain storm hit and we were soaked.  The children loved it, and it gave them their second wind.  Finally after 4 hours we made it.
Hapatoni is a beautiful old village, to the right is the church, in front of it is the ancient stone wall which is actually the old road.  The people were very friendly and we handed out toys and balloons.  They have beautiful stone and wood carvings, and jewerly carved from shells.  It was wonderful to have a dinghy ride back instead of hiking.  Our friends from s/v Sensei and  s/v Petrel were with us as well. 
After Tahuata, we had a 6 hour sail to Fatu Hiva, and the famous Bay of Virgins.  (It was originally called the bay of Penises, however the missionaries did not like that).  The village is called Hanavave, and the people love to trade for everything.  Below the kids are swimming off the boat and we are anchored in 120 feet of water. 
Below is a picture of Vaieenui Falls, it was a beautiful hour hike.  Fortunately, we saw some children playing who guided us to the falls, as it is very difficult to find the trail.  There was a lovely pool at the bottom, with very cold water, to swim in.  The local kids were jumping off the cliffs.
Phoebe, Claire and Drake found fresh water crawdads and shrimp swimming in the pools.  They all did great on the hikes.
To the right are some of the hikers after the adventure, Peter, Emma, Claire, Phoebe, Kelly and Chris from s/v Sensei.  Later that evening, we were invited to a house for a feast.  We left the kids on the boat and joined an Italian boat.  We were served, roast goat, pig, breadfruit, fried bananas, rice and pasta.  It was very interesting, the hosts were wonderful.  I took some photos and the next day brought them copies of the pictures and traded a back pack, some bracelets and fish hooks for a hand carved bowl, pompoulmouse and bananas.  What a deal!
Above we are enjoying yet another spectacular sunset, sitting on the surf boards on the back of s/v Blue Sky.  The show never disappointed us. 
On Fatu Hiva Emmawas know as the balloon lady.  She always trys to carry something in her back pack for the local children.  Balloons are easy to carry and she usually has a zip lock bag full, for the times when the whole village is out to play.  The children were having fun with them and filling them with water.  We enjoyed relaxing on afternoons and watching the locals on shore.  On weekends, everyone is out relaxing, playing sports or swimming. 
Bad news.  Somehow I caught a really nasy bug that wanted to use my body for their home.  After about 48 hours of truely violent food poisioning, I had discovered that somehow I had smashed my left knee.  The knee, ankle and foot all were swollen.  I could see the red veins extending up from my knee and my node was really swollen.  Off to the hospital for injections of antibiotics and huge doses of antibiotics taken 4 times per day.  Three weeks later the swell is just now going away.  Many other boats reported similar yet less sever sickness.  Most reported only one or two crew members were effected.  We were lucky that Emma, Peter and the children dodged the bug.
Mr G. with the spires of Ua Po in the backround.  This island was just spectacular.  It is the third largest population site in the Marquesas.  The freighter/cruise ship m/v Aranui from Tahiti calls here.  When they do, a dance performance is schedualed.  Emma, Peter and the Children joined s/v Sensei to check it out.  I stayed with the boat because of the bad knee but it was "Victor at Sea" in the anchorage.  I was really concerned we were going to drag or lose the anchor.  If that would have happened I would have had only a couple of minuted to keep s/v Blue Sky off the rocks.  Below is Phoebe and Claire with the male dancers and Peterdog was pulled on stage to do his best.  I am truly sorry I missed the show.
That night Emma had a little birthday party for me.  She played a trick on us when the candle would not go out.  Much to the joy of Phoebe and Drake we blew and blew until I finally gave up and we gave it a dunk in the beer.  The next day we crossed the channel on to Nuka Hiva and the largest town in the Marquesas.  The bay is large and has every provision that one might need to re-supply.  It is nice to be in an anchorage where there is plenty of breathing room between boats.
For my birthday, Emma and I stayed up at the Pearl Lodge Hotel.  Phoebe and Drake had their way in the pool and then Peterdog took them back to the boat for the night.  Emma and I had a quiet dinner in the dining room and slept the whole night without getting up once.  Peter and the children met us in the morning for breakfast and we ended up spending the afternoon enjoying the view and poolside again.  We returned to the boat in the late afternoon and did not leave it again for 2 days.  We had the most amazing tropical rain storm I have ever witnessed.
For two solid days it rained.  We washed everything.  Finally with everything and everybody clean we plugged the scuppers, opened the water tank deck fills,  and filled the water tanks.  It took no less than 20 minutes to fill two 150 gallon watertanks.  We then filled extra jerry jugs with the best tasting water we have had in a long time. All around us there were waterfalls.  We counted a total of 17 that had formed from the deluge.  Massive trees were swept down the rivers that entered the bay and on a few occasions they fouled in our anchor chain.

Phoebe  (8 going on ?) on the left is enjoying her Birthday.  She is wearing all her presents and is having a satilite telephone converstion with Grandma Ruth in Tucson.
Along the shore there is an ancient Tiki Garden in Nuku Hiva.  Here the Children are sitting on top of the boat tiki.  Below they are on a Canon from the old French Fort.  When the French were negotiating with the chiefs in 1845, one chief, Pakoko refused to accept French domination, and he killed six French soldiers then fled to the hills.  Once he was captured he was shot with six bullets, and refused a blindold.  The canon is on the spot where the French soldiers were killed.  While we have been here there has been a week long festival, with great foods.  They have been selling fruits, vegetables, horses, cows and cars.  There was a outrigger races and coconut cutting competition.  Phoebe has enjoyed jump-roping with the local girls. 
The Pearl Lodge is under the rainbow to the left.  We could land our dingy at the beach behind the sailboats then have the short walk up to the hotel and pool.  The children loved the pool and we just enjoyed the view and the abiltiy to relax.  Pheobe and Drake have new boat friends here from Austraila, Denmark & exotic San Francisco.