Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carlie Simon

The complete bloody experience of Carl's tattoo can be viewed here or you can go to the video link on the right side of the page.

Somehow the video did not turn out X-rated

Monday, July 18, 2011

Confessions of a Calendar Girl: Hiva Oa edition!

Hiva Oa, notably, the town of Atuona, was really good to us, which is why we stayed longer than we expected too! Again, pictures will be added when we stop slacking!

June 12- dinner out. Raleigh eats all the granola bars!

Here's a good idea. Don't leave Raleigh alone ever in Ventura or Mexico, then, after a 21 day passage, leave him alone in the middle of the night and forget to hide the tuperware of granola bars, while you go enjoy pizza and poisson cru (raw fish and veg marinated in lime and coconut milk). Raleigh does not know the subtlties of wrappers, so he got quite a bit of extra roughage. Fortunately, his colorful poops over the next few days weren't too messy. 

June 13- movie night with kaja and Jean Paul

Kaja, from maine, has been cruising since 1993 and has been everywhere. In brazil she met Frenchman Jean Paul, who renamed his boat after her, kajananas. We invited them over to watch the sailboat racing classic from the 80s (90s?) staring jennifer gray and matthew modine, Wind. I'm glad we are not racers! 

June 14- pamplemoose party

Sandra, the local agent/angel to boaters, gave us some of this delicious local version of grapefruit. Sweet and grassy, we flip out and froth at the sight of any tree bursting with this fruit. 

June 15- moved Debbie

We had supposedly been in the way of the shipping boat that comes every thursday, so we moved but it didn't come til Tuesday and we missed it anyway. Allegedly it is a town event. Poo. I think this is also the day don and I walked about 4 miles to Taha'a. Hitchhiking is very normal here (it's usually how we get to and from town), but nobody picked us up for a long time. I blame don's werewolfy good looks. Finally a family stopped and took us the rest of the way, about a 5 min drive. There is a church that looks like an old new England stone church, but up close you can see that the stones are volcanic rock. We had a crappy map that led us up a road to an ancient ceremonial site. There was no sign indicating distance, so we almost gave up, but pushed on just enough to finally get there. There were many stone walls/foundations, but the tiki were seemingly way up in the jungle, beyond some amazingly massive vine-entwined trees (I think the sacred banyan tree?). It was getting late and the mosquitoes were hungry, so we cut our Indiana jones adventure short. Fortunately a couple picked us up right away and drove us all the way to the port. 

June 16- Raleigh is legit!

Our fears of ral being stuck on the boat in the marquesas were averted! He spent a danger-filled afternoon on shore playing fetch (fell into a hole and scraped his nose), watching the locals fish (nearly swallowed a hook going after a baited line), and strolling with carl (had to be thrown onto the shoulder after wandering repeatedly into the middle of the road.) We think he's learned an important lesson: freedom has a price.

June 17- atuona

A big day out in atuona. Don and carl got picked up early in the morning to go see sandra's husband david's workshop. He makes stringed instruments out of breadfruit trees, heart cedar, hibiscus wood, and other local flora. Lee, Andy, ral and I went for a hike and saw many jungle chickens, goats, horses, and grumpy dogs who barked at ral. 
Later we all went to sandra's to use her wifi, then don went with David to meet the mayor and help show the town how to use their new audio equipment. This is a good example of why I love don.

June 18- little island

We took a break from our dirty, sharky, rocky anchorage and spent some time at the picturesque island of Tahuata, only an hour away.

June 19- frisbee on the beach!

The water was warm and clear, great for swimming, and the sandy beach was nearly people-free.  Raleigh enjoyed playing frisbee, but was not so into us playing in the waves or swimming away from him. 

June 20- dinner on Eden

We'd met Adam and eve briefly in San Jose, and knew we'd be doing the crossing around the same time, and ending up in the same area. Luckily we met up on Tahuata and invited ourselves for dinner on their aptly named power boat, Eden. While we may have been uncouth in our desire to see their boat, we are good guests! We brought over a fresh baked loaf of bread, cous cous salad, and a sort of margarita punch made with tequila from Tequila, Mexico, simple syrup and limes picked onshore that day. The boat...talk about lavish! It was nicer than the nicest apartment I've ever been in. Cream leather seats, lots of nice West Elm-y pillows, tatami floors, shiny kitchen with a regular sized stove and fridge/freezer, computerized everything, an indoor cockpit like Captain Kirk's, the ability to watch The Sopranos while steering, washer and dryer, second freezer, princess bed in a real bedroom, spiral staircase, covered porch-like transom, and a seemingly loose attitude towards fresh water; water pouring down the drain as they washed their hands and dishes! We use buckets of sea water and squirts from a 28oz spritz bottle of fresh water, so all of us gasped in awe at this. Envy much? I'd give up apples entirely to get into that Eden! Dinner was great, raleigh, andy and carl 
feasted on chicken, and we all, except for ral, enjoyed eve's fresh green bean salad and adam's great chocolate cake. Not to mention all the wine and the board game...I forget the name. 
Lots of fun! And, Eve gave us the much missed treat of magazines! Hope to see them again one day. 

June 21- Raleigh surfs

Slowly but surely, R dog braves the waves! He only gets rolled a few times! 

June 22- swimming with rays and a shark.

Andy and carl wake up early to swim with manta rays (you know, what killed croc hunter Steve Irwin). Carl sees a shark swimming below him and nearly kills himself getting back on the boat! 

June 23- back to atuona

Back on shore, Lisa, Don and I attack Andy's hair with scissors, while the nice Aussie family on Connect 4 laughs with/at us. Lisa and i give each other trims, while don hacks at his own hair, as usual. Later, we start watching season 2 of true blood on the projector.

June 24- music fest! Rum n coconuts!

Don and carl head to town early with david to help set up the music fest. R dog and I walk to town later and get swarmed by children. Raleigh is a crowd favorite! The music fest is not what I expected (guys on electric guitar and keyboard playing island Muzak), but the atmosphere is fun, like a small fair or a big family cookout with tents of food and drink for sale. We buy coconuts from a linebacker of a guy in drag (seemingly not a shocker here) and spike them with a bit of Tahitian rum. The mayor, a big, friendly, heavily tattooed man, treats us to a few orders of grilled meat and french fries. Kids run around playing in the field all night long, and the lovely Connect 4 australian family hangs with us. We are glad we came back for this!

June 25- music fest 2, beers with david's band and Sandra

Day 2 of the fest. David's band plays an upbeat sort of reggae-influenced rock. No one, however dances at all, save for later when too highly inebriated guys cut loose. I let 2 little kids try out our digital point and shoot, and they take awesome pictures! There will likely be a whole post slide show devoted to them. We really enjoyed sitting in the grass with david's band, Sandra, and her friends, sipping the local beer, Hinano, making shandies with beer, 7up and lime (not bad), and discussing life on the island, how david and sandra met, and of course, cannibalism. I'd always understood it to be a war thing between tribes (mainly via Herman Melville's "Typee"), but Sandra and her friend believed it was a hunger issue in the old days. Are you sure that's chicken on the grill?

June 26- Negro head rock, dinner out! Pizza! Mahi mahi! Green beans! 

David and his friend Jack, or Sako (his marquesian name) drive us to a bay on the other side of the island, with a famous and distinctive rock jutting out of the water. We jump off the pier and the rocks, and, lets just say that carl is a "natural". A post is soon to come with some colorful photos illustrating this. 
Later we have a farewell dinner with ourselves at the pizza place (I'm the one who always orders the fish, whenever possible), and Raleigh gets a banana from the owner himself.

June 27- carl gets tatted! Fruits galore!

David comes to pick us up with a giant tattoo artist named Axle riding shotgun. Carl's tattoo decision is only 1 1/2 days in the making, but how can you back out of a marquesian tat from a 275 lb man named Axle? Carl grins and bears it well, and now has a life long memory of his trip. The zigzags represent the cliffs of hiva ou, and with the anchor he fulfills our pact. Donny's the last one! Man up don!

June 28- leaving atuona

The boys shove us off at 2am for the next island, Ou Pou. We are excited for the next leg of our adventure! 

Confessions of a calendar girl: The Crossing

Confessions of a calendar girl

If Andy and Lisa's rollicking tales of life at sea weren't enough to make you quit your job and stowaway on the first boat you see, here are the Pacific crossing highlights from Aldebbie's social calendar.

May 20- San Jose to cabo, cabo passage; scary windy swelly
After fixing our leaky water tank in San Jose, we anger the fuel dock guys at cabo by sitting there for 3 hours while we run off on last minute errands. Oh well, we paid for fuel and water, calmete hombres!
Right out of the gate, mid-pop from the Henkell champagne bottle, we are met with nasty weather. Andy, Carl and Leslie begin to turn a nice shade of sea green. Family "iron stomach" Fierro have no problems. 

May 21- lovely day
Although maybe not according to Andy's tummy.

May 22- overcast rolly, but nice
This passage business ain't so bad! Although at some point in the night/morning we bust a shackle on the preventer, but it's an easy fix for Don. "Guys, don't over-tighten the preventer! What's your heading?"

May 23- overcast, ripped a sail
Ripped a reef point on the main (a reef is a way of making the main sail smaller when you have a lot of wind). Andy and I spend about 4 hours passing a needle back and forth through the thick sail, sail tape and patch. It's not so pretty, but it works!

May 24- banana muffins
Banana coconut chocolate muffins, to be precise! Mmm! Lisa wins for best galley slave ever! 

May 25- Raleigh's pee and poo explosion!
Raleigh's first experience on an overnight watch, and a rolly, windy one at that! He was too scared and too desperate to make it to the bow, so he used our foot towels as a last resort. He was very ashamed of himself, but he soon got into the daily habit of constituting himself on the bow, with moral support from carl! 

May 26- Grodnick
This is what we call our jenniker sail, because though it seems nothing more than a beautiful, light and airy bit of balloon, it's really going places, just like carl!

May 27- carl gets a tuna!
A ten pound yellowtail, delicious sushi right off the freshly slain corpse, but even better seared as tuna steaks with wasabi, soy and an asiany slaw!

May 28- olive oil bread
Lisa taught me and Andy how to make this versatile and delicious bread recipe, though Andy cannot stomach the galley during passage, so lee and I alternate making bread every day for the ravenous beast-boys, who act like a day without bread would destroy them! 

May 29- still motoring going rolling along
No wind affects the crew's sanity and sentence structure.

May 30- hot hot hot
It was hot!

May 31- bird on the mast
A booby stayed on our mast for a few days, pooping on our Grodnick, which made the other Grodnick mad  and wish for an air rifle. Lee and don named the booby "Titswiggle" because they are 10 years old. 

June 1- another fish! Totally legit fish! Big!
This 20 pound, blue-hued beauty may have maybe perhaps kind of been on the no-no species  list, though carl squinted and swore the fin had a little yellow in it! At any rate, he tasted marvelous filleted and served with coconut rice. Later that night, bioluminescent dolphins congratulated us with an amazing laser light show around the bow! 

June 2- rain
Rain on our parade, a gloomy day and a wet dinner of sadsacks and yummy leftovers. 

June 3- sun

June 4- whale
50 yards off. I didn't see it. Are we there yet?

June 5- equator day 0* 129*
Woke up at midnight to take a group photo. What a mess!

June 6- champagne + dunks + haircuts = shellbacks! 
More Henkell champ, jumps in the sea after we hove to, Raleigh dunked, hairs snipped! Don and Andy finally shave those horrific beards!

June 7- waves!
Big ones! Nothing Debbie can't handle though. 

June 8- foccacia! Mmm!
The same bread recipe as the olive oil bread, with sundried tomatoes, parsley, pepper, basil and thyme.

June 9- fat lip bread! 
The humidity makes the bread rise quick and pout over the side of the pan. Still delicious though. 

June 10- one more night!
The rock'n n rolliest yet! We get there a bit earlier, so we head the wrong way for an hour and then turn around so we'll get there at first light. 

June 11- Marquesas Eureka!
It's raining but nobody cares! We muscle our way into a fairly crowded anchorage at tahuata bay on hiva ou, and put up our tarps as a full rainbow stretches itself like a Cheshire grin across the breakwater. In town, which is only like 3 blocks long, we buy baguettes and orangina, then walk to gauguin's grave. It smells like fruit and flowers everywhere.

If the passage sounds like a relative walk in park, here is a word cloud of notes from our overnight logbook to add another dimension of mood:

Vomit feel like vomit no vomit need sleep slam! Slammy stupid wind why why? Just get to 270*! engine started wind sucks sailing this way sux Line islands or bust genniker line chaffing effed up Ghost whale wind light and shifty can't find headlamp This sux as mutter I love trivial pursuit nice sunrise gps speed f**ked fuel gauge broke storm sail reefed let out reef more right, less left midnight cowboy was x-rated? Wind freckle swell annoy slower slammier ruff as bro big splashier waves lots of spray land! 

(pictures to come someday when we get our act together!)