We have been "idylling" on the island of Nuku Hiva, waiting to leave for the Tuamotus,the winds at sea having dropped off to almost nothing for days. We remember the doldrums, the sails flapping and the boom banging, and content ourselves with the Marquesas. Which isn't so bad. At the moment we are in Anaho Bay, a sweet anchorage, protected from the swell and rimmed with a few homes, communal gardens, and a path which takes you to a long sand beach in one direction, and in the other, over a steep trail to the village in the next bay, Hatiheu, a town of exuberant gardens, nestled in a perfect semi-circle of blue bay at the foot of long fingered mountains.
But lest you think life is perfect in paradise I have prepared a list, a REALITY CHECKLIST I guess you could say:
1. bug bites
For the last five days or so Farlyn and I have become covered with dozens of bites. You see, every beach is home to legions of tiny black flies, called no-no's. You can't feel them bite. In the next few days the little red spots become unbearably itchy. This lasts for about three days or until you are unwise enough to be seduced by another perfect white sand beach. We smear calamine lotion, we sit on our hands, we give in and scratch fiercely
2. miscellaneous injuries
foot and hand mostly, from the various ways you can injure yourself here: scrapes with the rigging, shoe blisters, stubbing toes on the deck hardware; and mystery lesions like the little red spots all over Kim's chest, or the jellyfish sting on Tavish's leg, which he didn't notice for a couple of days, or the sore on one of my ears which turned into a hive of angry blisters.
So far, snorkeling, we have only encountered harmless reef sharks. The other day, hanging out at one of the towns here, Tavish spotted a very big shark gliding past the pier. Turns out it was a bull shark, about 10 feet long. Our book says "considered dangerous." At the next anchorage we chatted with a local boy who told us that a bull shark had killed his cousin in January on nearby Ua Pou island. (We're sure he was killed, despite the fact that our French is so bad, by the way the boy drew his finger across his neck and rolled his eyes back in his head).
see previous posts.
5. lack of privacy
Not to complain about my shipmates, but how much time can you expect the average person to enjoy living with three other people in 200 square feet, twenty-four hours a day?
Understand, this is not whining. I just thought, before you sold everything, quit your job, and bought a sailboat, you should know