April 2000 - Islands in the sun
Posted on 24 April
MARQUESAS HERE WE COME!
Kurt and Claire left. I hate saying goodbye! Philippa has arrived so we are ready to go to the MARQUESAS! We swam with the sealions and girls called Ellen (9) and Katy (12). They are American and come from a boat called Nighthawk. When we were going back, Philippa showed us a scratch that a sealion had done with its teeth. It was probably over excited, and certainly NOT an angry male! Then we went on Lazy Duck and got ready for the adults were going out, while the kids were on Nighthawk doing their own thing and having supper. We watched a film called ‘Parent Trap’. It was quite good.
Before we left, we went to Manglo Adventure with Paula. We weren’t allowed to use the pool table because we were kids, but we played ping pong, table football and had some fanta. Then we went to a different place to play pool. They also had a slide there, and swings. It was great fun!
On Sunday, we left at noon, and we have been sailing for a night and half a day. We have done 15 miles and have only 2885 miles to go! We think it will take three weeks. In the night four squids landed on board! One down the hatch, the others up on deck. John John says he wants to eat them!
EVEN MORE FISHY FISHY!
The weather has been light, breezy, sunny, a few clouds and blue sky. The Duck, I hope, won’t have to use the engine today. We have been using the engine for four hours in this passage so far, and I hope we don’t have to use it any more! I think I have been here before. John John with us, catching a tuna of the same size and shape! The only difference between the two tunas is that the first one in Mahon was a blue fin tuna and the second one here was a skipjack. I can’t wait for supper. Talking of supper, we had a delicious one last night. Pasta with a lovely squid sauce ala John John mmmmm!
The tuna provided delicious food. The first sample was with raw, and cooked. The raw was a hoarse raddish sauce (it is called sushimi). Everyone tried it. I didn’t. The second was just as delicious but not raw. It was with rice, tuna sauce and beans.
Yesterday we saw dolphins. Not in the bow, but far off splashes and a few jumped right out! At first we thought it was tuna. This morning we found quite a big flying fish and two more squids on the deck. We couldn’t eat them because they had been there too long and been roasting happily in the sun.
I did the breakfast washing up today and Hannah did the gulleys. We take in turns like the Atlantic, but Sebastian does lunch and supper, taking it turns with the adults.
THE BIGGEST TUNA SO FAR
It was really raining and bouncy. Not a very nice day! I was staying down below making a start on a shop I was working on. The next day it was calm. We have gone 1000 miles since Galapagos, and we were going to celebrate with having roast beef but ... WE CAUGHT A NINE KG TUNA!!!!! It took quite a while to cut it up. We blooded it by tying it on a rope and dragging it along behind and when we looked, no more blood. It tasted much better without.
I have been working very hard on my shop that I will open this afternoon at tea time.
We’ve been having good steady breezes so far. Not too much, not too little. If we’re feeling hot down below we go up on deck and feel the wind in our faces. Yesterday me and Sebastian set up our shop. But it wasn’t like you can just go in, take, buy and go. We didn’t have enough of each, so they order what they want, we write it down, and we make what they want in the next few days. If two want the same thing the first one to ask for it gets the origanal. The second gets the newly made one. It was quite fun. We sold: a flying-fish-airline arroplane, a model boat, a pack of cards, jokes, mobiles, pictures, stuffed fishes with paper inside and flags. We also gave away little pieces of coloured paper away for free.
A REAL FLYING FISH AIRLINE AND SQUID SURPRISE!
The weather has been sunny, steady breeze (quite steady), in other words... good weather! Yesterday was a fun day. A real flying fish airlines landed on our deck in the cockpit. I did a bit of exercise by sitting down on air, which improves your leg muscles. It really hurts. I did it for four minutes and my cousin Sebastian who is 13 (four years older than me) did it for five! Only 60 seconds between time and 4 years between age! We had chocolate brownies for tea (yumm yumm yummmm. Mum’s homemade chocolate brownies are especially good) Today we saw a HUGE squid that had landed on our deck and it let out some of its ink because it was scared.
BOOKS AND BREAD
The weather has been strong. Quite a big swell! But it has come down much more than yesterday. I started a book called ‘Doctor Dolittle’. It is FANTASTIC! A true story of Doctor Dolittle’s adventures with ten year old Tommy Cobbles. Yesterday at teatime we had gooey, yummy chocolate brownies. We also had delicious mother-made bread YUM! We all had a delicious supper on deck and then I settled down to do some songs.
Yesterday we had a sweep stake. Everyone writes on a piece of paper what day and what time we think we’ll arrive, once we are a few days until we arrive. Sebastian and I think Friday night and everyone else thinks Saturday morning. We were expecting 7 knots all the way, but last night we were flopping about at 2 knots, going around in circles! Then Sebastian and I started to finish the orders for the shop. Now all we have to do is another pack of cards. We also caught ANOTHER skipjack tuna!!! This time it was 11kg. We haven’t tasted any yet.
The wind has been as soft as the tufty clouds above us. The sea is as smooth as glass. It looks as though we will arrive on Saturday or Sunday. Yesterday whales were in sight! We reckon there were about 20 of them. They were all spread out, like a blanket, some ducking and diving. The water was so smooth and clear we could see them clearly. We could hear them breathing like the sound of a man blowing after taking a huge puff of smoke from his cigarette.
Yesterday me, Hannah and Dad practiced some songs. We learnt four more. Daniel my brother, Let it be, Blackbird and Sound of Silence. At teatime yesterday I dressed up as a postman for fun. I got Hannah’s backpack and gave round letters that me and Hannah wrote. It was fun! I started some tapestry. I made my own shapes and started sewing. The picture was a boat, and underneath the waves there is green seaweed, yellow seaweed and a red fish. This morning we caught a lampuka. Long time since we did. This time it was Sebastian’s fish. It had lovely colours. John John caught first sight of land. It is very exciting because we are getting in tonight! That means that Mum has won the sweepstake.
BUSY BUSY BEE
We arrived in Fatu Hiva. It was the best place I have ever seen! Beautiful trees, smell of grass, coconuts, streams, it was lovely. That night we went for a drink on Escapade and we watched ‘The Dove ’ on his TV. The next day we made plans to go ashore. Early in the morning Philippa, John John and Sebastian went on a four hour walk to the village and we were going to the water fall later on. But the wind was so strong (that meant Dad didn’t want to leave Lazy Duck and wasn’t sure about me Hannah and Mum going on our own) that it flipped the dinghy over. We lost the oars, but Glen and Dad took four hours to get all the water out of the outboard engine. That gave us (including Julie) a chance to go to the water fall. It was quite a hike. We climbed over rocks, got stuck in trees, walked through spides’ webs and got eaten to death by mosis. But it was beautiful and you couldn’t go to the watefall without swimming! When we got back, we got ready and then Julie, Glen and another man in their crew, came to watch our concert. As soon as they went, we crashed in a deep and peaceful sleep.
MORE BUSY BUSY BEE
After an early breakfast, we started to go to Hiva Oa. We got there just before lunch. We were surprised to see so many boats around and were delighted to see that we could use the hose to scrub the filthy deck and scrub our salty selves! It was lovely to have a fresh water shower and taste the hose water (no sea water) on our lips. Then I got in a dress and helped Dad to check in. When we got back, Dad, Philippa and Sebastian went for a run and Mum went to the shop opposite. Then we dressed up, put make up on, perfume, clips, hairbands and all sorts of fancy things and went out to a restaurant. The food was perfecto! Wonderful! Out of this world! Then we went back. At 4 o’clock in the morning, we set off for Nuku Hiva and here we are.
WATCHING THE WORLD GO BY
I am sitting here on the sail-covered boom (very comfortable too) at about quarter to seven. As I am writing I hear the waves crashing. When I look up I see cars lorrys and motorbikes, zooming around and on the side of the road, neat little houses and if you look up in the hills you can sometimes catch a glimse of the rooves poking out of the top of the trees. In islands like this, when you go inland, the smell of grass and trees, when you are in the harbour you smell barbaques, or smoke from bonfires. I love it here!
Today Bob and Simon are coming. I think it is at 2 pm. We are very excited. But it really is annoying. Philippa is going tomorrow. Well I hope to see her again!
Posted 30 April
FUN ‘N’ SADNESS
In the morning of ‘watching the world go by’ (the other diary entry) we sailed to Daniel’s Bay. When we got in the dinghy to go on the beach, a man came out of his hut and beckoned us to him. So we launched the dinghy onto the beach and walked towards him. He was called Daniel (that’s why we call that bay Daniels Bay). He welcomed us with fruits and gave us coconuts galore. I had the green coconut’s milk. I love it. Daniel said he did that to every sailing boat (he didn’t like ships) and at the end, he would give them the visitors’ book. The visitors write in the book if they liked or didn’t like what he did for them. Daniel said that Robin Lee-Graham (the 16 year-old boy who sailed around the world single handed. He is very famous. He was the first teenager to do that) had come there in the seventies in his voyage! That gave us all a very weird feeling about that place. Daniel was so historic. He knew a lot of history (he was 73 and had only one tooth in his mouth). Then we went up a stream. After that we went back. Then we met up with Bob and Simon. I had a delicious supper: lamb. Pudding was exotic fruit salad and vanilla ice-cream melting on top. Yum! The next morning we said goodbye to Philippa (sniffle, sob, cry).
We hired two cars and two guides to drive and guide at the same time. We split up in the different cars and started. We drove up in the mountains and stopped every now and again. Then we stopped right at the top and walked. We went to the tiki site. The tiki site is where in the old days people used to cut another’s head off. Dad took a picture of me and Hannah with our heads on the head rest and it was very hot rock and uncomfortable! Then we had lunch and played on the beach. Then we drove a three hour drive back.
WEEK OF GAMES
Saturday: John and Sebastian went and we just pottered about the boat for the rest of the day.
Sunday: It was Hannah’s and Ed’s birthday and EASTER SUNDAY! It rained and rained, but at tea time we had a chocolate cake and just before that we found two eggs each and Hannah found a chick that when you wound it up it walked! I had one too, but it was a bunny. The chocolate cake was delicious! Everyone said ‘yum yum’ as soon as they had the first bite. It tasted unusual because Mum made up the icing but it was much more delicious than the previous cakes I’ ve had!
Monday: That day we went round to Daniel’s bay. He gave another green coconut (yum yum) and we gave him a t-shirt, a Lazy Duck card and drawings; one from me and one from Hannah to stick in his visitors book. I found lots more cowries, and in the evening Friar’ s Goose’s crew came over for a drink. They are people from the boat that was next door.
Tuesday: Left Daniel’s bay to sail to the Twomotus. We thought we were coming in on Saturday, but at this rate, it’ll be Friday! We’ve been going very fast and it is very hot!
We arrived in the Tuamotus (as I said, on Friday) and it took my breath away! If I had been asked which was my favourite place, I would have said ‘here’! I want to live here when I grow up (like I said in Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva and Galapagos!) This place is a ring of islands, with a lagoon in the middle. There were once little reefs all the way around a big big volvano. The volcano disintegrated over millions and millions and millions of years. Buy now all that’ s left of it are the reefs and the atoll that has formed. The volcano had disintegrated even before mankind had arrived! The islands (or reefs) were very flat and there are lots and lots and lots and lots and LOTS of palm trees! This place farms black pearls. We tried to buy some but they were something like 300 dollars (about 250 pounds in English money!!! Only about 50 of them, AND they weren’t very special either!) We hope to buy some in Tahiti.