Letters from Leslie, June 2015

June 30, 2015          Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia

Vaituha, Bryce returns from a refreshing swim after a long hike
Vaituha Eiao, Bryce returns from a refreshing swim after a long hike

Dear Mom and Dad,

Really quickly, as I’ve finally succeeded in downloading our emails sent to us while we sailed from the Galapagos…it took 3 hours. I see you pdf’d the newspaper articles: “Other Side of Paradise” and the Ventura Star Article. It’s terrific that you were able to scan them for us. We will add them to the website. Thank you.

We are just about ready to depart for the island of Eiao, 70 miles to the northwest, with the Falchetto family and their French yacht friends, Guy, Marian and son Taeva on their monohull Manatai. Eiao is a small, uninhabited island with little water, sparse vegetation, and one decent bay called Vaituha. It was suggested we make the overnight sail there: hike across the island, hunt pigs and sheep, spearfish, and snorkel in the clear water where a plethora of fish and manta rays dwell.

It is 6:00 pm here in Taiohae and the men are all loaded. Just me and Raymonde remain at their house packing up last minute food items and working on the computer. I changed into my pants because there are quite a few mosquitos here that are feasting on my blood.

It was great to chat with you on Skype today – always too short. It is so beautiful, green and lush, we know you will like it a lot. Many activities to pursue – somewhat primitive infrastructure, yet life as a yachtie is definitely workable here.

Sending you many hugs and kisses. Thanks again for selling the Prius for us. That was quite a bit of work and dedication on your part. And happy anniversary again. I’m sorry we weren’t there to celebrate with you. Our 26th is coming up. I almost forgot. Funny! Love you!

Leslie

 

June 30, 2015

Dear Aunt Kay,

We wish you a Happy Belated Birthday; you’ll have to imagine us singing to you!

All is well in Taiohae, the largest bay and town on Nuku Hiva and incidentally in the Marquesas; it is the administrative center. We arrived in the Marquesas Isles 6 days ago. It is beautiful here and lives up to its Marquesan name: “The Land of Men.” Boys are having a swell time and fortunately Kandu is in good repair. We had a great experience in the Galapagos. Our 24-day voyage across the Pacific from Isla Isabela went without problems, although the seas weren’t idyllically comfortable. We experienced convoluted swells, but mostly large rollers stemming from the south and southeast, which we surfed. There was one extraordinary late afternoon when hundreds of dolphins teamed around, surfing the waves along with us. Their thrilling surf and acrobatic show lasted a couple hours until it got so dark, we couldn’t see them anymore. We also benefitted from predominantly strong winds, which sometimes increased our speed up to 9 knots – our average speed was 6.5 knots. Coming into Nuku Hiva, we were so happy to see land that, as usual, we couldn’t wait to disembark from Kandu and go ashore. Our Marquesan friends were at the wharf to welcome us with flower leis. The Falchetto family of over 30 members threw us a welcome party that very evening as if we were long lost family. No wonder Eric was anxious to sail straight here.

Presently, we’re visiting and anchoring around the island of Nuku Hiva: Taipi Vai, Anaho, Hathieu. There are many lovely bays to visit, adventures to be had and extremely generous people to appreciate. We are fortunate indeed. And on top of all the good news, Bryce and Trent are going to attend school in August. Isn’t that thrilling? We have been working on teaching them little bits of French, but by going to school here, they will hear French daily and really learn it; a dream both Eric and I have hoped to realize for a long time.

All four of us are in good health aside from treating the constant bug bites for infection. We are missing home a bit, but enjoying the fresh air and new daily challenges.

Sending hugs and songs to you from our hearts,

Leslie

After 24 days at sea, we arrive in Taiohae, Nuku Hiva to be greeted by dear friends.
After 24 days at sea, we arrive in Taiohae, Nuku Hiva to be greeted by dear friends.
Welcomed like a royal, enveloped by the scent of fresh tiare
Welcomed like a royal, enveloped by the scent of fresh tiare
A Falchetto family celebratory dinner in our honor. The Plymouth Pilgrims have nothing on us.
A Falchetto family celebratory dinner in our honor. The Plymouth Pilgrims have nothing on us.
Denis prepares fresh roasted breadfruit poi in fresh coconut milk for all to savor.
Denis prepares fresh roasted breadfruit poi in fresh coconut milk for all to savor.
Table is set for a Falchetto family dinner, welcoming us to Nuku Hiva
Table is set for a Falchetto family dinner, welcoming us to Nuku Hiva
Falchetto potluck dinner presents local favorites too complicated to describe.
Falchetto potluck dinner presents local favorites too complicated to describe.
"Puaka" is the Marquesan word for pig. Delicious is the English word for how it tastes.
“Puaka” is the Marquesan word for pig. Delicious is the English word for how it tastes.
Kandu and Manatai in Vaituha Bay, Eiao
Kandu and Manatai in Vaituha Bay, Eiao
Eaio landscape resembles Africa more than Polynesia
Eaio landscape resembles Africa more than Polynesia
Trek was aided by cloud cover
Trek was aided by cloud cover
Spring water flows freely at Vaituha, Eiao
Spring water flows freely at Vaituha, Eiao
Wild mutton air-dries before packing in salt for the sail back to Nuku Hiva.
Wild mutton air-dries before packing in salt for the sail back to Nuku Hiva.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *