About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Outbound Marquesas....Inbound Tuamotus

We've been having a great time here in the Marquesas.  Our last post promised an Ua Pou Island update.  Will do.....here goes if this tenuous internet connection behaves itself!!!

Ua Pou proved to be a fine stop.  We anchored in Hakahau Bay, the capital of the island.

A pretty Polynesian town nestled against the spires and peaks, with typically friendly locals who went out of their way to make us feel welcome.  For example.....we had heard there was a restaurant in town...one that served pizza.  We were drawing blanks as we tried to find it for lunch.  We asked a woman (with our nearly hopeless French).  After she tried to explain the directions into our blank expressionless faces, she finally kicked her 2 sons out of her truck and told us to get in.  She drove us the few blocks to the pizza place!!!  Couldn't ask for more.....or could you?  10 minutes later, as we nursed our $4 beers, her truck pulled up again, and she motioned us over.

Adam powers down another PERFECT mango
We were amazed to see that she had brought an enormous stalk of bananas and a 30 pound box of fresh mangos for us to enjoy...no charge, just wanting to be a good host!!!  Incredible!

The next day, together with our friends Aaron and Nicole from s/v Bella Star, we set out to find a trail we'd read about, going cross island to the town of Hakahetau.  Armed with a bit of water and some granola bars, off we went to do a nice little hike.  So we thought!  After asking several locals how to find the trail (several said there is no such trail, only the 16 km main (dirt) road, a nice farmer finally walked with us to be sure we were off on the right foot.  The trail proceeded to climb 2 ridges as we made our way across the island.  In places it was more of a goat track, and we got lost several times.

The ONLY trail marker on the 10 mile trek

Aaron demonstrates fine rope work...in flip flops no less!!!

This was no cake walk, and we finally arrived at our destination 4+ hours later....pretty much whupped by the jungle heat and rugged terrain.  But it was great to get out and explore a part of the Marquesas that clearly not many people visit.  The views from the spires were terrific, and we happily found a truck to pay for a ride later in the day back to Hakahau.

After Ua Pou we headed over to Nuku Hiva, about 25 miles to the north.  This is the largest island in the Marquesas, and is the archipelago's capital as well.  Taiohae Bay is the primary town, and we settled in comfortably in the huge anchorage, the caldera of an extinct volcano.

First order of business was for Adam and Aaron to find some ink....tattoo ink that is.  We were directed to Francois, a talented artist who agreed to see us that same afternoon....no way to chicken out, or even time for any tequila, it was off to his house to do the deed.

Adam's new ink.....what do ya think???

Aaron went with a manta ray motif....a winner!

Turns out that Francois is the grandson of Daniel, of Daniel's Bay, an anchorage about 5 miles to the west.  He had the logs from past cruisers to the bay, and we enjoyed reading the messages from yachts over the past 25 years who visited. 

Friends aboard Kashmira...still cruising 14 years after this was written!

Saw log entries from several yachts that we know from crossing paths in anchorages in our wake....great!

Taiohae Bay has numerous grocery stores, a hardware store of sorts, a couple of small restaurants.....very pretty.  We stayed for several days.

Adam even found a restaurant who would let him play ham radio for a few days, giving out hundreds of contacts to hams around the world from this rare DX country.

  After hearing so much about Daniels Bay, we decided to head around the corner and see for ourselves.  WOW!  What more can you say???  The place is absolutely spectacular.  Surrounded all around by another volcano's rim, the perfectly protected harbor provides a gorgeous place for hiking, boat chores, and just hanging out.

Tatooed host Teiki strikes a warrior pose...a wild and crazy guy, with his tats done the TRADITIONAL way!
Several people live in the paradise on shore, and all we met couldn't have been more generous sharing their fruit and hospitality with us.  They grow bananas, papaya, pistachio, breadfruit, pamplemouse, limes, oranges, mangoes.....Wild boar, goat, and fish round out their diet....not too shabby.  This place truly defines paradise!

Augustine invited us in for some of his homemade papaya wine and fresh fruits

2 week old papaya wine went down VERY easily!

How do YOU spell paradise???   This has got to be pretty close!!!

Must be the prettiest site for a phone booth in the world!  Serves about 6 houses!

Together with friends from boats Kahiba and Helena May we decided to take the 2 hour hike up to an 800 foot waterfall.  The hike, following ancient paths lined with stone from archeological settlements, was one of the most beautiful we've ever done.  The rich green canyons surrounded us as we forded several creeks, and made our way to the pool at the head of the valley.  Though we're now in the dry season, and the falls were not running too strong, the pool at the base was perfect for a dip.....hard to beat a fresh water bath after a scorching hot jungle hike.  Damn good!

A Rorschach test??? .........nah!

While anchored in Daniels Bay Cindi looked aloft and noticed a bad thing....one of our shrouds had a broken strand of wire.  This is a potentially BIG deal, as the wire shrouds are all that holds up the mast.  We were planning on replacing all of the shrouds as a major project in New Zealand, but this one didn't make it.  Adam went up the mast to inspect, and has rigged a block and tackle to double up the broken shroud.  It should be fine, and provide the required strength until we can replace the shroud in Papeete, Tahiti in 5 or 6 weeks.  It's always something!  Fingers crossed!

Sharks in a daily feeding frenzy when the fishermen clean their catch at the dock.....no worries, just don't fall in!!!

We've just returned from Daniels Bay to Taiohae.  We're waiting for better winds to take us on our next passage to the Tuamoto Islands, a bit over 400 miles away.  Looks like this may be in 2 days, so we'll just have to hang out here in yet another corner of paradise.....life is good!


  1. Paradise, indeed!! Love your posts! Keeping my fingers crossed, too.
    - Jackie

  2. Hi Adam and Cindy, Jed here....your posts are fascinating! We've followed you since Mexico.

    Everything's good in the 'hood.

    Best Regards,

    Jed and Layne