Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tropical Logistics

09* 49.2' South
140* 03.8' West
Anaho Bay, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia
May 3, 2010

There are different reasons why people cruise. Many of the people around us have chosen to explore far corners of our blue planet in hopes of finding a place where there isn't a McDonalds or Starbucks for a thousand miles. We read about the "explorers" who "discovered" the islands of the South Pacific and wonder about how exciting that cultural exchange must have been. I am not sure that even here we can get a very good idea of how they may have felt as there cell phones (called "vini" after the provider here) and satellite dishes that beam in who knows what kind of programming.
Still, there are enough differences to really make it worth it. By worth it, I mean that it is not an easy place in which to arrive. We sailed almost 3,000 miles to get here, but even coming by more mainstream means doesn't come with the ease to which most of today's travelers are accustomed. There are no direct flights to the island of Nuku Hiva and there is no Hertz Rent-a-car waiting for you at the airport. The airport is located in the best place on the island for landing planes, not anywhere near any of the towns. Then, there are the roads, where there are roads. By the way, maps and street signs are pretty much non-existent.
On Capaz, as long as the bay is free of obstructions, we can pretty much go anywhere we like (we like protected bays with no roll, but you can't always get what you like). We found a beautiful bay that was rumored to be almost 360* protected which would be good for a visitor who is not completely comfortable on a boat, but intrepid enough to meet us here. (I should mention the visiting-cruisers-rule: To visit there are two choices: you can pick the place and we will tell you when we are getting close and you can buy your ticket, OR you can pick your time and as it approaches we will let you know where we are. However, you cannot pick the time and the place - UNLESS YOU GIVE OVER YOUR HUSBAND AS OUR CREW FOR A MONTH). There is always the other side of the coin: the road does not come all the way to this bay.
This is how we came to be meeting Kelly in Anaho Bay today . . . . and it all worked out. Kelly actually started traveling from Seattle two days ago. She endured a six hour layover in LAX- ick! and then an eight hour long flight to Papeete, Tahiti. Why is it even if we sleep or vegetate on long flights, we are still exhausted when they are over. As luck would have it, yesterday's flight to Nuku Hiva was full so Kelly had arranged for a hotel and recuperated by pool with a cocktail until she could fly over today. We heard her plane go overhead (there is only one plane a day) and then she made an hour and half taxi ride to the town in the next bay over where the road ended. We were able to borrow a sturdy Whaler from our friends to go and meet her. Then she got a nice 20 ride around the point to the gorgeous bay where we are anchored! Now that is traveling dedication and we thank her for loaning us Tim for the last month.

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