29 May 2006

25-May-2006 Position Report

Anaho Bay, Nuka Hiva Island, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
25-29 May 2006

  • Anaho Bay
Greetings from Anaho Bay, Nuka Hiva Island! Last Thursday morning Amy and I felt that we were over our Marquesan fevers. We wanted to see the other side of Nuka Hiva before we left. So we "sprung into action" and left Taiohae Bay, crossing around the east side of the island, headed for Anaho Bay on the north side.

The trip around was not a whole bunch of fun, as this is the windward side of the island, and we had to motor sail straight into large swells and strong winds. Halfway through the trip the engine's sea-water pump decided to stop pumping water. It failed just long enough to freak me out, as we were on a lee shore. Then it just decided to start pumping again.

We tried fishing along the way. I lost our best lure to something huge, with large teeth, that just slice through the 500 pound wire leader.

Anaho Bay is a small bay with one of the best anchorages in the Marquesas. On shore there are a few houses and a Pension (family run remote hotel). There are no roads here. So the only way here is by boat.

When we came to Nuka Hiva Island, the Sandpiper's water tanks were starting to get low. The freash water at other bays are not good for drinking. So we had been forced to make water using our water maker. But this uses battery power, and it makes only one gallon per hour. So we like to fill the tanks, if we can, by filling our 6 gallon water jugs ashore. There is really good spring water here. So we are filling up Sandpiper's 200 gallon water tanks. We don't think that we will have good water again until Tahiti.

Our friends on SV Sensai, that we were tied up next to in Puerta Vallarta, are anchored out here as well. And there is one other boat too. All three of us being from the Bay Area.

Yesterday it decided to DUMP massive amounts of rain all night and all day. I do not think that this is normal for this area. We are anchored right off a small creek that suddenly turned into a river, dumping everything that could float into the anchorage. All three of our boats were surrounded by hundreds of coconuts and tree branches.

There were waterfalls on all the hills and mountains surrounding this bay. Normally a waterfall is downriver somewhere. But the rain was so hard that the biggest waterfall started at the top of the biggest mountain.

The current plans are for Team Sandpiper to head back to Taiohea Bay, get groceries, and check out as soon as the winds look good for our 675 mile crossing to the Tuamotus.

Tom and Amy, SV Sandpiper

Notes from Ron:
  • The sea-water pump is part of the motor's cooling system. It works similar to both the water pump and radiator fan on your car. It pumps cool sea water to the heat exchanger (like a radiator), and then pumps the warmed water back out the sea. The motor can not function very long without it.
  • Having a lee shore means that the shore is leeward (downwind) of you, a dangerous place to be if something goes wrong. In this case, the wind and waves would push the Sandpiper into land.

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