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Musket Cove

The last couple of hours of our passage were spent motoring in increasingly lighter air. We radioed in and secured a mooring ball in advance of learning where best to anchor. With four of us in the dinghy we didn’t want to be too far away from shore so the mooring ball seemed the best option for now.

We were soon ashore to register ourselves here at Musket Cove. I felt like we’re back in the Caribbean. Manicured marinas, resorts, boat loads of tourists and not so clear waters. This is not the Fiji we’ve grown to love over the last few months. There are merits. I’m sure we’ll get used to it. I make it sound bad. It’s not. It’s quite beautiful. It’s just a bit of a culture shock.

We were soon registered and, having made earlier calls, found out Anne and John’s delayed luggage was arriving before midday. We decided to have lunch at the coffee bar while we waited for the ferry to arrive. Arrive it did and Anne and John’s luggage was duly collected.

After lunch we returned to the boat and so began Xmas with the unpacking of our goodies. Bilge pumps don’t sound exciting but in the right circumstances they can be. During the unpack we each had a beer. This was our undoing as we all conked out for an hour or two.

Later, Anne and John took the kayak to explore. While they were out I had our dive tanks filled and topped up the dinghy fuel. While I was out and about I bumped into Steve and Portia from Dreamcaper (not seen since Tahiti last year) aboard Leu Cat (not seen since New Zealand). It was nice to have a chat and quick catch up.

In the evening we went for the curry buffet at the resort bistro. It was pretty good but not the best. With all we could eat we ate all we could and were quite replete by the time we headed back to Dignity.

Although before 9pm we were all pooped. Our bunks beckoned for a sleepful but hot and sweaty night.

This morning I have begun the job of uploading our recent photos. I haven’t finished and I won’t be able to get round to putting the albums into previous posts just yet. For now, you can find the recent uploads on our photos page.

Night Out, Penguins, Seal Lions, Iguana

We learned that a couple of cruisers were going to be playing their guitars and singing live at one of the bars ashore – the Pink Iguana. We decided to hook up with the Leu Cats and Dream Capers and go ashore shortly before 5pm. The Leu Cats showed us the way through the rocks to the dinghy dock which was not at all straight forward as the straight line trip would involve crossing a surf line and some rocks.

We were prepared to walk the 3/4 of a mile to the bar but fortune showed and a 9 person taxi-bus appeared out of nowhere and we all caught a ride to the bar. We all arrived in time for Happy Hour and half price drinks however they weren’t serving drinks or food. We had to get our drinks from the bar next door where there was no Happy Hour. Still, we enjoyed the cool atmosphere of the place and the company of our friends and other cruisers who we met there. The bar was also quite popular with the local iguana population who used it’s deck and walls as an evening hangout.

After a couple of beers and the music was over we walked into ‘town’ and chose a restaurant that some had noted had been busy with the locals previously. We joined tables and ate all together. After dinner we made our way back to the dinghy dock and found our way back to the boats in the pitch dark with only our dim torches and the clear heavens above us to light our way.

This morning Helen and I have been out to see the penguin rookery and to go ashore a nearby island. We have to go early as the local tour operators shoo cruisers away from the island. Leaving at 7am, as we did, we also had the benefit of being on the island before anyone else and had the benefit of seeing the animal populations undisturbed.

We saw about 8-10 penguins at the rookery. They were all quite small and some quite scruffy. We managed to get a few good pictures before moving on to find the dock that allowed access to the island. As we were close to low tide finding a navigable passage was tricky but we managed it. We were well rewarded with our efforts.

The island is all lava rubble with some vegetation and a couple of small beaches. There was a made path which we kept to which circled the island. The first, and main, beach we came to was covered with sea lions. Although we kept to the path it was hard to avoid disturbing their slumber. There were a few pups and one or two larger pups still suckling. Moving on we began to see more and more iguana not realizing how many we would see towards the end of our walk. On this last section the lava field was facing the rough ocean swell and here they were festooned with iguana of all sizes, some sleeping on top of others. We took many pictures but have had to delete some as the colouring of the iguana matches the rocks so well it’s hard to see them in stills.

Today is almost certainly our last here. It’s most likely we’ll leave for the Marquesas in the morning. The plan will be to find a balance between a good sailing angle and sailing SW until we get to around 5 degrees south of the equator at which point we’ll follow the rhumb line to Fatu Hiva.

Isabella

We are now anchored outside of Villamil, Isabella. The night crossing proved to be prudent as it wasn’t long before we shook out all but one of the reefs in the sails to make some headway. For most of Helen’s watch she had no wind at all and we made only 2nm as a result of the current. As it was, we arrived shortly after 8am when the light was sufficient for us to pick our way around the huge breakers.

As we arrived we saw a large ray swimming by and it wasn’t long before we’d seen sea lions and a penguin swimming around. We’re anchored fairly close to Leu Cat with whom we’ve already chatted on the radio. We’ve also met Steve and Portia (who did once own a Porche) from Dream Caper who are off to our port and popped by to say hello.

We’ve already greased the ‘maintenance free’ seals and are now resting. Tonight we may go ashore for some live music performed by one of the cruisers here. We may also explore the penguin rookery and take some pics.