Monday, April 18, 2011

I've always tried to be careful . . .

. . about boasting about the fact that Rutea doesn't leak. After every rainstorm or wash-down, her bilges would remain dry, as would her cabins, mattresses, lockers, books and all the other things that aren't supposed to get wet. Well, not no more. We have had some torrential downpours here on Fatu Hiva and we've sprung leaks all over the place. Of course, the worse place is our cabin where our mattress got very wet (I suspect a leaking stantion base that's positioned right in the middle of a scupper). The aft head has a leak too but the inside of the boat would stay a lot drier if we'd just remember to close the hatches before we leave!

It appears that the entire village turned out to play yesterday. I guess on Sunday after church there's volleyball and soccer (futbol) games. The little bay is filled with kids swimming. Everyone seems to have a good time.

Last night we were invited aboard Mariposa, a Lagoon 47 catamaran, by the owner, Dr. Michael Leppert. He's a German dentist and has spent a lot of time in French Polynesia performing dentistry for the local populations. His boat is all set up to be a dental clinic. I'm not sure how many languages he speaks, but last night he gave us a 4-hour run-down on where and how to sail in the Marquesas, Tuamotos and Society Islands. There were eleven of us cruisers on his boat and whereas most of us speak English only, there was another couple from Germany there so Michael made sure they understood what he was saying as well. His suggestions on how to access the internet, deal with authorities and which places are the best to see are very helpful. We got excited all over again.

After cruising Mexico for the last three years, I had come to the myopic assumption that the vast majority of cruisers were either American or Canadian. After all, that's just about all we ran into up and down the west coast of North America. However, here I'm finding that American boats make up a small minority of the cruising fleet. We're coming across many French, English, German and Spanish boats. What's a little embarrassing is that most of these people, while not only are very accomplished sailors, speak multiple languages. I'm still struggling with 'Hello' and 'good-bye' in French!

I think we're going to leave tomorrow and head for Tahuata, a small island just 2.5 miles from Hiva Oa, where we made our first landfall. There's a bay there that Eric Hissock (a well-known cruiser) says is the prettiest in all of the Marquesas. We'll let you know what we find.
At 4/18/2011 6:39 PM (utc) Rutea's position was 10°27.93'S 138°40.11'W

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1 comment:

  1. When I go to Switzerland every year, it is always quite embarrasing to be a unilingual American while all my Swiss friends speak four or five languages fluently. My Danish cousins speaks seven or eight! None of them is bothered by my linguistic defiiciencies since they enjoy speaking english. If I had it to do all over again, I would learn as many as I could. The portugese porter at my hotel in Wengen speaks english, french, spanish, german, italian, and of course portugese. I feel downright uncivilized!