I think having a good adventure is a little like...falling in love. 

One should definitely be willing to jump in with both feet and it sure helps if you are prepared to relinquish being in control all the time. After that, it's all about having the right attitude: fully committed, unconditional optimism and a resolve to dust yourself off and try again, if things go awry -- practical states of mind, that pretty much assure at least modest success in either Love or Adventure (or both, if you're lucky).

For a long time now, we've been saying;
"we'll figure that out when we get there"...
with regards to where we would go and what we would do, once we reached the South Pacific. we are.
And the burning question is definitely on the table;
Now, what?

It seems, this is one of those places, where Love and Adventure  intersect.
Every choice we make (assuming we are brave and daring and jump headlong into total uncertainty)
brings us even deeper...

The Marquesas is a rather long way from anywhere and getting home from here -will require some solid brass cojones.

Forever, sailors traveling from East to West follow particular routes convenient to trade winds and currents. There are a plethora of cruising guides, downloadable charts,blogs, websites, books and CD-Roms, all devoted to explaining the easiest routes and most convenient anchorages along the way....
but the question of HOW to get BACK-is trickier.

These days, the circumnavigation plan via the Suez canal is kind of out of the question; what with Piracy being fairly rampant in the Red Sea area. Personally, we don't have the financial means to spend years and years cruising and make it all the way around the Cape of Good Hope and back again, so ...

What to do?

Many of the US and Canadian boats (in this year's fleet, anyway) will sail either for New Zealand or Australia and wait out the cyclone season. Lots of them plan on selling their boats there and then returning home to school and jobs. Others, will work on their boats for awhile, explore New Zealand and then continue to explore the South Pacific the following season...
A few will return to the US or Canada via the line islands and Hawaii.
These are the most common plans-ones that are relatively safe and assured (as much as any cruising is, anyway). And all of these are options WE had been considering...
Up until about four days ago.

Like being in Love, we try to approach Adventure by placing the highest value on trust, commitment and striving to get as much fun out of everything possible.

So, naturally, we have started to formulate another kind of idea...
about how one might find their way home to Canada and the US from the South Pacific.
An "OUTSIDE THE BOX" kind of plan...
and like any good love affair and/or adventure,
It's unique and has maybe some grey areas of certainty...
But the potential rewards....
are what makes it exciting.

For these kind of off-the-beaten-path thoughts, one needs experienced sailors to turn to -- salty folks, that have been at the game for awhile and are not at all freaked out by the fact that you don't have a working water maker or 300,000 stashed in the bank back home and could care less is you also happen to be pretty green about this whole blue-water cruising thing.

The only questions this hardcore group of people ask are;
Is your boat seaworthy?
...and Do you approach Love and Adventure with the right attitude?

People, like our friends Ali and Carl, from SV Muktuk-an Austrian couple, cruising with their two adorable children Noah and Jan. We met them in the Sea of Cortes, a few months ago and they were instrumental in inspiring us with the confidence to go ahead and make the crossing. A few days ago we caught up with them again, over on Tehuatu.

Carl and Ali have been at this for a long time, even though they are both still young, now.
They just completed the Northwest Passage, last year...
Greenland to Alaska-then zoomed on down the west coast to Mexico, restocked, then jumped on over here to the South Pacific.
Now they think,  maybe they will go from French Polynesia to Chile, Antarctica and back up to Marquesas and then straight on up to Alaska...again.

"You can go anywhere..." says impossibly impish and adorable Ali, with her pixie-cut and her big blue eyes, "It just depends how much sh*&*t you are willing to put up with".

We listen to them talk about Western Alaska.
Kai is obsessed with young Jan's stories of giant Halibut and King crabs.
Jon wants to know about the Aleutians...

There are alternative plans hatching.
Plans that require another leap, another level of honesty and trust.
Love never stops asking you to go deeper...
neither does our adventure, apparently.

I am looking at maps.
I am thinking,
North of the cyclone belt, possible to pick up work for a few months,
epic diving, friendly people, off-the-beaten-path...

We wonder.
We lie awake at night...
Can you sail from the Marshall islands to the Aleutians...
What about the Marshalls, Micronesia, JAPAN, Kamchatka islands, the Aluetians...
Undeniably, difficult passage....
But, we COULD, couldn't we?
And still arrive back home around the time we had planned?

click the map to enlarge

We look at each other.
Then, we dingy over to Muktuk
(with some wine and cheese).

We spend the evening talking and laughing and asking a LOT of questions. When the wine runs out we drink Carl and Ali's homemade beer-even though it isn't done yet. Its still so yummy.

Muktuk says this is an excellent plan.
Yes. You can do this...
Off the beaten path, in a good way....

It will be challenging.

They lend experienced eyes to the charts and give us all kids of tips.
They even download all their pilot charts and navigation programs onto our computer.
We are encouraged--boldness creeps into our blood.

We go back to our boat and lie awake some more.

Thankfully, there is much to see and do still before those decisions must be made.
When the wind fills in again, we will make the five day crossing to the Tuamotos and begin a new phase of this French Polynesian adventure.

Hopefully, we will catch back up with Marionette and share some diving adventures together,
and after, we will be off to the Society Islands;
Tahiti, Moorea, Bora bora...
so many wonderful things to see and do.

Thoughts of returning home are always in our heads and our hearts these days. How we will wind our way through thousands of miles of ocean and exotic lands and find our way back to the place and the people we love, is uncertain but will answer itself in time.

Eventually, we will simply point the boat East and off we will go-
with the sun setting behind us, for a change...
and we will head home.

Our experience will be up to the fates and our
ridiculous, faithfully fantastical attitude towards life and love...
but one thing is for sure...
It will certainly be an adventure.


Disappointment filled me when Dad told me I could not go boar hunting.
I told myself not to be angry.
It was not his fault.
Joseph was the one who said I could not come-but it was not his fault either-it was no one's fault.
It was just a change of plans, instead of going during the day, they would also be going at night and it was just too dangerous.
Still, I couldn't help but feel disappointed...I had been waiting for weeks to go.
I sulked off into my room.
That night, my hopes rose somewhat, again, when Paul came home and said the plans had been changed again.
The men would go hunting only in the day now, because the boat driver who was going to take everyone to the back side of the island-had to do something, so they would not be staying over for two days. This still did not mean i could come but it was a 'maybe".
That night, I lay there contemplating all the possibilities of getting to go boar hunting and hoping with all my heart, Jospeh would say "yes".
The next morning, I got up and put my clothes on, hoping against hope-that I would get to go.
I decided to get ready, just in case, I could come.
I put on my cargo shorts, sneakers and belted on my knife and filled up some water containers. 
When Mom saw me, she gave me a curious look.
"Kai, are you going somewhere?"
"No" I said. 
"i'm, um, ahhh... getting Dad's water bottles ready".
Mom gave me a pitying look. "Don't get your hopes up" she said.
I knew she was right, but it could not  hurt to hope.
Just then, Dad walked into the room and said, 
"I'm going to shore, to talk to Moie".
Without hesitation, I asked if I could go with him.
"Sure" said Dad.
So we hopped in the dingy and raced off for shore.
Moie was waiting for us on the dock.
Dad was halfway done talking to her about what to bring, when I gave him a nudge.
"Oh, yeah" he said. "can Kai come since we are only going for the day?".
Moie gave me a long hard look and said..."YES".

Two hours later, i was rumbling into an anchorage with a boat full of men going boar hunting.
I looked at the twenty foot breaking waves on the shore.
"We are going into that?" I asked Dad, quietly.
"Yup. Good thing we have a hard bottom dingy with us".
He was right, the waves were breaking on big volcanic rocks.
"Yeah, mate. I hope it doesn't get too banged up in the process" said Bruce who owned the dingy, that we were dragging behind the speedboat.
Bruce is a friend and also another cruiser.
Right then, the engine stopped. 
"It's time" said Dad.
We all took off our t-shirts and shoes and put them in our backpacks-which we loaded into Bruce's dingy.
Then, we dove into the water.
The water was like pitch; Thick and black, from all the black sand and rocks on shore.
It gave it a spooky feeling, sInce you also know that hundreds of sharks are below you.
As we neared shore a wave so big came by, that even outside of the break zone-it was starting to break.
All of a sudden, I felt sand between my toes. I looked down and I was in waist deep water.
You wouldn't be able to tell from the surface, for all anyone else knew, I could be in fifty feet of water.
While i was walking in, I saw a very large wave coming towards me. A sudden stab of pain, shot through my right foot.
"awww. crap" I said out loud.
I just stubbed my toe on a rock, which meant that I was in the second break zone, where the rocks met the sand.
It was not a good place to be, with a breaking wave over your head-because if you fall and tumble,( which you always seem to do, in this situation) you would get smashed against the rocks. 
This really sucks. Trust me, I know. I tell you this from experience.
Suddenly, I felt my feet lift out from underneath me and I fell backwards, with an awful "CRUCH" my back hit the rocks.
Then the water washed over me. The first thing that happened was both my shoulders slammed into the rocks, forcing me to flip over onto my back again. Then, I was sliding and bumping along...
Right when I thought it was over, my head slammed into a rock and my neck crumpled under the weight.
I stood up out of the water.
"OWWWW" I grumbled to myself softly as I scrambled onto shore.
When I got to shore, I sat down and resting and mustering all my strength for the hunt ahead.

"Quiet" said, Dad.
It had been two hours, since we had come stumbling off the rocky shore and into the bug-ridden jungle.
"What?" I whispered back.
'Look there, see all the eaten fruit and all the tracks...a boar has been here recently"
I looked and there were a lot of tracks.
I slumped over to a nearby tree. My chest was burning. 
We had been bush crashing up an almost vertical slope for an hour and a half in a muggy, hot climate.
I caught my breath while one of the more experienced hunters tried to discern where the tracks led.
After a while, he seemed to get an idea of the general direction. So, he signaled for me, dad and Taiki to wait-and told Paul to come.
Paul lifted up his 22.caliber and tiptoed off into the undergrowth.
It was a long suspenseful half hour before we spotted Paul again and another fifteen minutes before we saw the hunter.
But both of them were unlucky-there was no boar to be found.

We took a little break, listening to the tropical birds as we ate some crackers.
'You...come" said the main hunter to my Dad. 
His voice was thick with the Marquesan accent.
Without a word, Dad picked up a gun and walked off into the green depths of the jungle.
I climbed up a low-lying tree to watch Dad go.
Just as he turned out of sight, there was a loud groan and a crack as the branch underneath me broke...
and I fell.

As we headed down the mountain, I cursed myself, silently.
It was late in the afternoon. 
I knew it wasn't really my fault but I couldn't help but blame myself for not getting any pigs.
I looked up and could see the bay.
The speedboat was already there, waiting to take us home.
As we left the jungle and stumbled onto the beach, we stripped off our t-shirts and ran into the water.
It felt so god to be back in the water after hiking all day.
After body surfing for awhile, we put our stuff onto Bruce's dingy and fought it back out through the surf to the waiting boat.
It wasn't a bad day, all in all...even if we did not get a boar.
I got to lots of fun stuff and it was a really great experience-one that I will never forget.
Jungle boy and mango
(Kai wrote that whole story totally by himself, with no help or prodding, He spent about three hours doing it and then gave it to me to post. Yay, un-schooling)

Singing in the rain


The Marquesas-By Hunter

Laughter is a language everyone understands
We have been in the Marquesas for one month. We have met many lovely people.

People we have gone to BBQ's with and we don't even know the language they are speaking!
We love the people here.
One day, when we were at a woman named Moie's house, she said;
"you are coming to visit my island where I grew up., Hivva Hivva, for the weekend. I will cook the food and the men will go wild boar hunting".
So my dad asked what he and Kai could bring. 
It went quiet and Joseph ( Moie's husband) said;
Kai cannot come.
"absolutely not" it was too dangerous.
When Kai heard this he looked so sad.
Two days later, Moie came over to the boat in a Kyak and said the plan was changed and that the men were not going to go boar hunting at night and Kai might be able to go if it was only in the day time.

The thing I like best about being here, is all the new friends I am making.
Atea and Mailie are Moie's daughters. They are 13 and 15 and are really nice girls.
The day after the boar hunt, we loaded some people on the big boats, PUra Vida and Marionette. 
Pura Vida had Moie and Joseph and Atea and Marionette got Tefa ( Moie's son) and Taiki and Viri ( Moie's cousins).
Atea got a little sea sick but we played music and tried to keep her happy and pretty soon we were in Hivva Hivva.

We all jumped in the water right a way and went swimming in the perfect clear water.
Good thing we have a lot of snorkels and masks because all the kids wanted to use them.
There was a lot of screaming at first because of all the jellyfish-but we assured everyone they were not the stingy kind.
Mailea, Atea and I all swam the long way to shore.
We got there and camp had been set up already.
I went up to see it.
It had a swing hanging from a palm tree, several hammocks and a basket of fresh baked banana  beignets.
To stop my hunger, I had two and then went to play in the waves.
Splash. Splash. Ha. Ha.
We played in the waves all day long.
Sometimes, we got tumbled in the waves and sometimes it was just very fun.

That night for dinner, we ate goat, that Ton Ton Leon got.
We had coconut rice, with fish...My plate was soon empty, huh!
So, I waited for the girls to finish and we all went to play soccer when everyone was done.
In the dark!
After a while, Atea, Mailie and I were all tres fatigue ( which is how you say tired in French).
We lay down on the ground under a blanket and looked up at the beautiful milky way.
Well, that's the Marquesas for you!
Mailea and Hunter

Tefa and Atea

Ass clowns

Have a happy life
Something is wrong with our tribe.

A startling majority of us ( Euro-whitey descendants ) suffer from a painful disorder, which we seem to be utterly and remorselessly, clueless about.
The disease, goes by many names, depending on the country you are visiting;
I think, the Latin derivative is  something, like...
Otherwise it is known more commonly, as...
"head-up-the bum" syndrome- a phrase, bandied by bemused locals at any gathering where white people talk only amongst themselves, dance badly and assume everyone is out to rip them off.
It's relatively easy illness to self diagnose...
Just take this simple test:

If you are invited to ( or you plan to crash), a party hosted by the locals, do you bring...

A) Your nicest stuff. Be it wine, beer, food , drink, party favors, etc.. and share it freely with everyone, expecting nothing in return but some Irie vibes and a jolly good time?

Or do you...

B) Rustle something meager to put on the table from your least expensive and most easily expendable stuff?


C) do you actually bring NOTHING except the booze you plan to drink yourself, and then hide it under the table in your ponce-y little backpack, and proceed to make yourself and your cruising buddies stingy little cocktails while offering nothing to your hosts?

Answer key:
If you answered....

A- Shine on you crazy diamond. Our tribe needs more of you.

B -You are sadly misinformed about how to truly have fun and enjoy life. You can do better. It's okay, though, you are not terminal. LOVE more. GIVE more. You will not lose out. In fact, if you let go and relax a little about your stuff, the Universe will actually roll in ecstasy at your feet.  Don't cop out and bring the cheap crackers or the pasta will never regret sharing the nice chocolate and the Costco rum you had ferreted away. It's importance to you will pale in comparison to the smiles it brought the new friends you made. 
This is the way of Love. 
Buddha would have shared his candy-stash, too.

C- You are an Ass Clown. Seek help immediately.

If you, or someone you know, suffers from this terrible sickness, my advise, would be to immediately arrange a trip to the Marquesas and hook up with Moie and her family. Observe the locals in action. If you are diligent in your study and allow yourself to absorb their good vibrations, and do your damnedest to emulate them- your condition should clear up immediately.

I don't mean to grumble but holy-moly, did we witness some embarrassing behavior lately. By the way, I did not coin Ass-Clown ( AC), that was Paul, a young cruiser we adopted/rescued last week, from his certified AC skipper.

Before, I get too far ahead of myself, I should introduce a few of the new characters who recently joined in on our strange little journey though life:

Stand-up guy ( 32, American/Michigan/Sicilian), totally answers "A" to all questions in his life.
I noticed him the first day his boat rolled into the anchorage after their crossing. 
Paul was wearing a tie-dye t-shirt, had a sweet surf board strapped to the deck and his skipper was yelling at him ( never a good sign for a skipper). Never-the-less, Paul was managing everything on the deck with a calm, get-it-done attitude and he even smiled and waved at everyone despite his skipper being a tweaker.
"That guy's dad is a (bad word)." I said to Jon.
As it turns out, I was half right. 
The guy was NOT Paul's dad...but he was a (bad word).
A lunatic, who poor Paul had unwittingly signed on to crew for in Panama. 
Over the next few days (and at several parties Mo-ie threw for us all), we got to know Paul and witness some of the hysteria his skipper was causing him and any boat that they happened to anchor near. I had had my own run-ins with this skipper myself,- a party crashing, answers 'C" to all questions in his life, user-cheapskate, planning on skivving out of paying Paul ( who was supposed to be compensated as hired crew) and intended on leaving Paul in the lurch out here in the middle of nowhere. 
Now, Paul is a kid any mother would be proud of; super-cool, hilarious and really, really kind. 
He's also is a combat veteran. Navy Search and Rescue...Motto: "We serve, so that other's may live". He served three tours, two in Iraq, one in Afganistan, took shrapnel in the leg from an IED and was discharged. Since then, he has been a dive guide in St. Thomas and has over three thousand dives. He plays guitar in a band, was also on Phish tour has excellent musical taste...I, mean, seriously? 
I liked him, instantly. 
When I heard his cheapskate-show-up-at-Moies-house-uninvited-and-emptyhanded-act-like-it-was-her-duty to-cook-food-and-serve-him, Skipper, was trying to figure out a way to NOT pay Paul his recompense AND had Paul doing the whole night watch all by himself for the entire crossing AND told Navy rescue swimmer, Paul, that he "had no self-discipline" because Paul said he might need to fly home from Hiva Oa to be at the hospital for his stage 4 cancer-patient dad....well. 
That was it.  
"Get your stuff together and come over to our boat" I said.
"I'll be back to pick you up, in a few minutes".
I had been doing laundry at the tap, on shore, when this whole soap opera went down, so I had not talked to Jon about any of this, yet.
I told him as soon i got back to the boat.
"Paul is coming to the Tuamotos with us." i said.
"What!?" said Jon, waking up from a rare nap.
I was talking really, really, fast, like I do.
"...he's a dive guide and he's cool and his skipper is a crazy jerk...."
"Honey. We don't even know the guy" said Jon, rubbing his eyes. 
"We have to." I said, feeling very patriotic. "He's a vet."
"Okay" said Jon, shaking his head.
He climbed out of bed and went to pick Paul and all his stuff.
*The postscript here, is that we spent about a week with Paul. 
He's not going to the Tuamotos with us because he had to go home to be with his dad and the rest of his family
and we're so happy he's with his loved ones but we all miss "Uncle Paulie" (as the kids called him). 
I could not have made a better judgement call, back there at the laundry tap.
Not only did WE want to adopt Paul, everyone who met him did, too. 
Mo-ie and her family loved him, because he was generous and kind and easy going. 
He laughed and made everyone smile and hung out and was helpful all the time. 
He absolutely showered us with gifts; dive guides, cruising guides, BC's, regulators, wetsuits, surfboards...he gave Moi'es family a perfect Ovation guitar, he pitched in for food and drinks and did all kinds of stuff without being asked.
When he had a little accident at Moie's weekend party, and cut open his foot really badly ( spewing blood everywhere) he gamely put-up with our novice attempts at using injectible lidocaine and cleaning his wound.
He laughed at all Jon's jokes( even the off-color ones) and talked to Kai endlessly about fish, he let Hunter tease him relentlessly and swapped favorite tunes with me.
Paul also shared in our collective dismay at  the inexplicable rudeness( and latent superiority) we witnessed from certain other cruisers.
Not everyone...thankfully.
There are other card-carrying members of the best version of our tribe out here, too. Like, our friends on Marionette, who jumped into this crazy experience with open hearts and generosity equal to that they were shown.

One morning, I woke to notice a stunning boat had entered the anchorage during the night. 
"Marionette is here!" I yelled to Jon and the kids.
Everyone jumped on deck and began waving at skipper Bruce, who was grinning and waving at us.
Bruce is great friends with our Manta-family, Terry and Dawn from back in Baja. We all had a whole bunch of fun together last summer and it was really great to see him come into anchor right next to us all the way out here in the Marquesas. 
Bruce is a Kiwi, who happens to look a lot like a young, Peter-o'toole ( if ol' Pete had a fantastic tan and really, really white teeth). He's also the nicest guy and a professional skipper ( in real life) and owner of SV Marionette, fifty feet of beautiful, lovingly restored, sailing perfection. 
His crossing was 18 days...
(we can learn a lot from Bruce).
He and his gorgeous, French-Moroccon wife, Katherine and their charming 27 year old son, Luca and two friends are cruising Marionette back to their home in New Zealand...

I wasn't there, so I can't actually do it justice-but since Kai finally prevailed and managed to wrangle himself into going, against my maternal wishes- I extracted a promise from him ( in exchange for the many hours of vexation it would cause me) to write a blog about it, which will follow, once I've finished this rant i'm on.
What I do know, is that about 10 people went off to hunt a boar with a very old and half-blind dog and there was much crashing about in the bush with no luck although the blind old bitch did manage to scare up a chicken from the undergrowth- but not much else.
The men returned, dirty and exhausted, no one fired a gun, except my 11 year old, who also got to cruise around the jungle with a large knife and a bunch of dudes and have this great experience without actually encountering any terrifying beasts or receiving a  gore wound and luckily... Ton-ton( uncle) Leon killed a goat so, the party was gonna continue. Only it would be a goat cook-off, instead. 

The next day, we loaded Pura Vida and Marionette up with Moie and her family, piles of food and crates of beer, eight bags, three guitars and a ukelele, four enormous coolers-one of which had the goat stuffed inside it-and we all headed over to Tehuatu...
The weather wasn't perfect but no one really cared.
We listened to music and laughed and fished on the way over.
Moie told us stories about the island where she grew up and pointed out every tree and hill, land or cove and beach that her family lives on.

As soon as we hit the small bay where Moie's uncle lives, we dropped our anchors and all the kids jumped in the water. Paul look off for a free dive and on his first drop encountered a huge Manta, Jon and I met the biggest octopus we have ever seen, the kids swam through pods of gooey non-stinging jellyfish and body surfed in the beach break.
Moie had somehow prepared everything she needed to bring to cook for fifteen people and even managed to make home-made banana beignets which she put out for all us kids as soon as we got there.
That night, we feasted on chicken and green beans in coconut sauce and fragrant coconut rice and bananas and fish curry-
Moie fed everyone and did all the cooking herself.
A few other boats who Moie had met through us, also came in tow. That was cool and all but there was an entire armada of boats, the next anchorage over who seemed to think that the party was an open invitation and just started dropping in. The Marquesans were so nice and inviting, they never said a thing, they just smiled and included everyone and gave them all plates and welcomed them.
Some people were fine, of course but unfortunately, there were others, who's assumptions and behaviors were actually pretty shocking and it made us sad. 
(Although it provided and excellent context for a dialogue about respect and manners with our kids).

It happened to be a holiday here in the Marquesas, a long weekend (kind of like labor day, in the states). Of course, you would not know this unless you actually asked a Marquesan what they do and where they work and what school is like and such....
Moie and her family had an  extra day off and were taking it easy and having bbq's and a big camp-out with their family and some new friends they made...(us).
We had all been planning this event for a few weeks and everyone was really excited and Moie and Joseph had put a LOT of time into organizing and arranging the whole event.
I heard SEVERAL cruisers comment things like;
 "I guess, all these people do here, is drink and smoke dope  all day". 
We were guests at Moie's uncle's property and yet boat after boat ( I think about 12 uninvited cruisers) showed up for two days of parties and brought as little as they could and then ate everything offered and drank the beer we brought  and yet assumed that none of these people actually had jobs or worked?
How do they think all the food got there?
Didn't they notice how beautifully kept the property and animals were?
Maybe they thought the cook and the gardener must have done all that?

When I told one of these uninvited AC's that Moie's Husband works in the mayor's office and is in charge of unemployment on Hiva Oa, he actually responded;
"'Must be a busy job," then he snorted, and reached for another plate of the excellent poisson cru Moie made.

If one of these intrepid travelers came to our island, on a long weekend, in the summer, and we spotted him at the general store and he seemed like a good sort of fellow, he could very easily be adopted by anyone I know. All our friends back home are generous and fun-loving people. a person could easily end up at one bbq after another and be offered places to stay and sleep and and his impression of Bowen may very well be that people there love to drink and party and that would be true- 
but would also he assume that that is all we do? 
That we do not work? 
I doubt it.

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the negative anymore. 
I've said my peace.
There are all kinds of people in the world,
I'm just grateful for the nice ones.

It was a WONDERFUL weekend. 
We had a great time with Moie and her family and Paul and the gang from Marionette.
Jon and Kai went fishing the next morning at 4am with Moie's cousins...
They came home with a couple of tuna's and Moie prepared another HUGE feast the next day as well.
This one was particularly spectacular...
Moie used to work for several French chefs and she can cook anything and prepare it in total, 5 star-style.
She laid out a traditional Marquesan feast, a banquette of at least eight courses, all prepared absolutely beautifully.
There were thinly sliced platters of sashimi, delicately spiced goat in coconut sauce, grilled Mahi Mahi with a tangy bbq sauce, baked breadfruit which was finished in sugar and broiled so that it tasted like sticky, sweet creme carmel ( which is like an impossible thing to manage with breadfruit, if you ask me), there was perfect poisson cru ( a local dish of raw fish, marinated in coconut and lime juices ) a salad with juillened cucumbers, carrots and spicy fish, more sweet coconut rice, baked bananas in syrup, piles of fresh mangoes and pamplemousse. 
Moie hopes to open a small restaurant one day, so let me be the first to write a review for her;
"Spectacular, lovingly prepared, only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients...Moie combines the best of traditional Marquesan cuisine with the flair of a French trained chef".
I think she also plans on brewing her own beer one day.
Oh yeah, and the place will be on the utterly spectacular beach we were visiting.
Any cruisers planning on visiting the area in the next few years...
Don't miss out on making Moie and Jospeh's joint a mandatory stop on your South Pacific adventure.
It will be a culinary highlight and a lovely experience-guarunteed.
In the meantime, if you are lucky enough to be adopted by them (and it isn't hard-just smile a lot) for goodness sake, PLEASE don't be an AC and hide your hooch under the table...
Just SHARE  it.
Like they do.
One of Moie's two beautiful daughters-this is Atea.

Bruce and Taiki

The guest rooms
Off for the weekend with our new crew

SV Marionette

A huge spread

I'm smiling because I  adore this woman under my arm but I have no idea who any of the people behind me are.

I offer to come run the farm someday.
Moie showed us how to gather sea urchins and eat them raw with limes she picked fresh off the trees in the forest.

Off to the boar hunt-Kai's in there somewhere.

Uncle Paulie-this shot was taken right after he gave Kai his awesome surfboard and its carrying bag.


Boys 4am fishing trip-returns!

My little piggy

Marciano carves a piece of coral-he speaks Marquesan, French, Spanish, English and even some Italian.

Marionette and Pura Vida

Moie's Titanic moment

I could live here.

The world's most efficient garbage disposal-right behind the sink, too!

waiting to be fed

Taiki introduces me to the goats.These were the prettiest, cleanest goats I have ever seen.
I don't have a picture of the horses-they're shy but they roam freely all over  the island-only coming back at night to rest.

With love... from Hiva Oa

Ever since the epic excursion to the summit of their mountain, we have been adopted by the community here on Hiva Oa...
lucky, lucky us!

There was quite a large and somewhat unpleasant, weather system that came roaring up rom Antarctica... 
it turned Paradise into a few days of heavy black  clouds, high swell, wind and rain. Boats large and small, came crowding into the anchorage, seeking refuge in the tiny, rolling harbor.
It made for a tight and sometimes rather challenging fit, especially when many of the boats were arriving after a long and difficult crossing. I think Jon must have assisted in at least eight dragging anchor rescues.

It made no difference to us...
weather be damned, the party continues aboard Pura Vida!

We were constantly hosted or hosting impromptu gatherings ( what  else do you do when canoes loaded with locals arrive at your boat, bearing food and flowers?).

Everyday, we receive giant bags of fruit, entire stalks of bananas, 
We are endlessly and continually, invited to lunch or dinner at someone's home...

Mo-ie hosted a giant BBQ at her house.
We brought a Thai shrimp curry, which I  had cooked in the giant earthenware pot that had been left at our boat the previous night -when 7 of our new friends turned up unexpectedly. Just as we were wondering what we would make for supper, they knocked  on our hull, bearing bowls of rice and a vat of pork stewed in spices and wine,  they brought more bottles of wine to drink and bags and bags of perfect mangoes. 

We kept the anchorage awake all night, singing  and laughing. 

The men taught Jon to chant the traditional  hunting songs and handsome, young Tahiki played and sang us French love songs and American country music on Hunter's tiny guitar. 

The other cruisers couldn't exactly scold us for the late night party, becuase we were hosting the locals after all...

The Marquesans will not eat until the end of an evening.
They prepare all this fantastic food and let it rest while everyone drinks and sings( but the guests must eat, of course) and then they all eat at the end of the night and promptly fall asleep....
On our deck.
We love them. 
They are the most enthusiastically generous people.

Always, we must agree to see them the next day for more meals and visits and hugs and kisses- or they will just come out to the boat, anyway.

They insist on making us try every yummy, traditional  thing they have on his island; chicken curries and roast pork, BBQs that you cannot believe, bananas in coconut cream, poisson cru, local tiny crabs roasted in butter, the most delicious sashimi in honey sauce...oh, it's just ridiculously, awesome.

Jon has agreed to go with our new friends to Joseph's valley for boar hunting-this is a very serious and dangerous event and will apparently take place at night. There will be sleeping in the jungle and hunting dogs and knives and chanting and much sacred juju. 
Kai is beside himself that he cannot go- but children are not allowed on this event. Needless to say, I am greatly relieved by this rule.

When the men return the next day, we will sail to Mo-ie's village (everyone will load on our boat and also on our friends on SV Marionette who have just arrived from Baja)  and we will all roast the boar on a spit on the beach and sleep in hammocks in the trees and....
We could not possibly imagine a better South Pacific adventure, especially as we have made such wonderful new friends and are now joined by other cruisers we just love.

At Moies BBQ, Jon received a boar-tooth necklace from her and Joseph that an uncle had carved for him. 
Mo-ie's nephew, Viri made us hair pins carved from ironwood and ivory.
I also received a pair of earrings made from the ribs of a horse. 
The men honored Jon by giving him a Marquesan name...
Tematiu - the Mountain.
This is how you are "made", here on Hiva Oa.

Watching Jon hanging out and talking to the men, in French and Marquesan, learning their chants, making them laugh...
I think that somewhere in his distant karmic past,
he must truly have once roamed these islands.
The fit is just too good.

The next day we were tattooed. 
Rinaldo's (the artist) house faces Tematiu.
A rainstorm was raging across the island that day...
great, grey sheets of warm rain drifted across the valley, 
we stretched out on the tattoo bed, 
(which is set up under the  coverd porch of Rinaldo's totally stunning house that he built with his father)
Drinking in the smells of the hundreds of orchids that grow on his property, 
we were surrounded by the sounds of the island;
chickens and horses, pigs snuffling around in his garden, neighbors laughing and singing as they walked up the road...
Rinaldo's beautiful wife nursed their baby as we watched fat raindrops roll of banana trees, grandfather, father, uncles and aunts all passed through to inspect his work...

This was the day Jon got his first ink.
It couldn't have been more perfect.

Rinaldo gave Jon a turtle, surrounded by Marquesan symbols for father and son, waves and the ocean,  teacher and student. The piece is led by a Tiki in a canoe ( symbolizing Jon and his previous big adventure), signs for protection and strength...

I added to my already rather large piece.
A motif of waves and four curls symbolizing birds ( for the four of us), a trail of flowers, flowing like hair ( female) down my back...

It's almost time for us to be moving on from this magical place...
When we do, we will certainly leave behind a large piece of our hearts. 
We have grown to love the warm, singing, generous people,
and the deep green beauty of this formidable island.
This is why, we will (forever) carry now,
a little Hiva Oa, wherever we go.