From Bob Marley to Paul Gauguin
In the last couple of months we have sailed from Bob Marley in Jamaica all the way to Paul Gauguin in French Polynesia in the middle of the Pacific. As usual there have been ups and downs but things keeps getting better and better and now here in the middle of the Pacific it feels quite amazing! The water is full of fish, we trade old ropes for fruits with the locals. There is almost no shopping or people in general.
The girls right below the Bob Marley statue in Kingston, Jamaica. We didn't go into the museum due to cost and the general tourist trap feeling. We also noticed a funny thing about Jamaica. We heard no reggae anywhere! All over the Caribbean we have enjoyed the reggae but when we come to the homeland of reggae they seems to have tired of it. On the other hand euro disco like Ace of Base still seemed to be in fashion.
I found this in a Jamaican supermarket. Here they have no pretence of fancy wine. Instead you can enjoy this lovely 3,4L plastic jug of "BULK WINE" mmmmm classy!
After Jamaica we sailed for a week to Colon in the Caribbean side of Panama. Here the Marina (Shelter Bay Marina) share a spot in the middle of the jungle with a large American military fort. There is nothing to do outside the marina except jungle walks and fort exploring but that's quite exiting with monkeys swinging around the old artillery positions and bats living in the barracks.
Since we had to wait 3 weeks to go thru the Panama Canal we took a break from the marina and cruised around the San Blas archipelago. Its a number of small sandy islands and reefs that belongs to the Cuna Indians. Its still a nice place if you enjoy unspoilt nature and peace and quite but it wont last much longer. The archipelago is getting more and more crowded both with Indians and tourists. Its just a matter of time before Mc Donald's establish a franchise there. However this picture shows dinner being prepared. Spearfished mixed reef fish.
(No starfish was harmed in this production)
Finally the last lock om the Panama Canal opens and we are in the Pacific.
The crossing from Panama City to Galapagos was utterly awful. We got a gale for days right in our face. We could make no progress at all in against the strong wind and big seas. 2 forestays broke, the wind generator broke and the autopilot too. After 12 mainly awful days and 900 nm we limped in to Galapagos. As a final humiliation the had lost of seabird onboard every night and the deck looked like the floor of a barn.
We quicly recoverd from the terrible crossing and enjoyed the fantastic wildlife. or well tried to enjoy it, your not really allowed to go anywhere or do anything on Galapagos unless you pay hundreds of dollars for it. Galapagos is the only place i have been to where I had to pay a hundred dollars to snorkel IN THE ANCHIRAGE! Anyway here are some lizards, they were free.
The sea lions are ubiquitous on Galapagos. They are active and curios and we have some lovely snorkelling sessions with them.
Look at the face or the turtle! That's what a friend of mine looks like before he gets his morning coffee.
After a couple of weeks we left Galapagos with mixed feelings. Its is a fantastic place but unfortunately the locals milk the sailors for all their worth, the amount of stupid things we had to do and pay for ruined part of the experience for me. Still the sea lions are awesome!
I think this is a Chinese squid fishing vessel. The original colour is white, all the black parts are dirt. We say hundreds of these fishing vessels in the first week of the crossing to French Polynesia. They turn on strong lights at night to attract the fish and you can see them all over the sea, like the night lights of villages when you are out driving.
The Chinese are not the only ones doing some fishing. And you should have seen the other fish that ripped of a 200kg line!
Repairing things at sea is an important part of life as a cruiser. Here both of our spinnaker poles have broke so I'm shortening them a bit using drills, angel grinders, rivets etc.
Finally after 28 days and 3000nm we arrived in Fatu Hiva in French Polynesia. There is no airport here or anything really except a few locals and a supermarket but is so beautiful we almost cry and cant stop looking at the wild and fertile landscape. Jungle mix with reef and volcano. The underwater slopes are as steep as the one behind me and the anchorages few but beautiful.
I'm preparing dinner for friends and family. No one seems to like the octopus I caught but me and I cant understand why...
More Fatu Hiva
That's it for now folks. Next time I wring might be in October in Tahiti, maybe...
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