Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baie de Controleur

Time is flying in paradise. It is almost been one week since Amy and Strahan arrived. We had a nice relaxing day yesterday with a lazy sleep in, pancakes for breakfast, and took a few loads of laundry to the beach to make use of a freshwater tap on the beach. While our laundry dried, we went for a snorkel among the mushroom coral that inhabit this anchorage. John fixed the outboard motor, so we can once again use the pull cord, and don't have to continue to start it by using a length of string wrapped around the head.

This morning we spent some time planning our passage to the Tuomotus, which route we will take, and which atolls we would like to visit once there. We made plans with A Small Nest to see them in a few days, and we upped anchor and moved to Baie du Controleur. After a short motor-sail, we set our anchor in the bay - all by ourselves. It certainly isn't as picturesque as many of the other anchorages we've been in, but we heard that we may find a store ashore, and we did. While on a provisioning run, the boys discovered that there is an outrigger canoe regatta here tomorrow. There are paddlers practicing on the bay, and we're trying to decide if we'd like to linger here another day to take in the races.

For those who are curious, the boys bought a bit of flour, tuna, yogurt, meat and a couple of donuts. All of this fit into two small grocery bags, and totaled almost $70. All of the food is flown into these islands, and everything is very pricey. We wish we had the space to have bought more supplies in Mexico. Fruit is hard to come by in the stores, even though it is everywhere. It is possible to trade for fruit, and while we don't have any 22 cartridges on board, which is their preferred trading item, we have been able to trade for wine. Next we'll start trying to trade with our supply of lipsticks, pencils, balloons, playdoh and t-shirts.

This bay is also the setting for Typee, Herman Melville's book, after he deserted from a whaling ship in 1842.

We plan to stay in this area for a couple more days, before heading South on a 400 mile passage to the Tuomotus...a three or four day sail. Suddenly we will switch from steep, lush, mountainous terrain here in the Marquesas, to the low-lying, coral atolls of the Tuomotu Archipelago. We can't wait.


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