Global Voyage

A Story About Sailing Around the World

Ray & Jenny aboard the ketch Suka

3 years, 35,000 miles, Nov 1982 - Jan 1986

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Chapter 2: Marquesas Magnifique

page 26 of 109

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“We act as though comfort and luxury
were the chief requirements of life,
when all that we need to make us happy
is something to be enthusiastic about.”

- Charles Kingsley

Fatu Hiva Island

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Water Planet


Zoom out to see where we are.

Jenny slept soundly below, but my night was full of excitement. Sleep holding aloof, on a cockpit bench I lay beneath a dazzling moon as it plainly illuminated the nearby yet inscrutable island. My deprived senses discovered an alluring banquet of earthly, aromatic nuances emanating from land. They seemed like an olfactory smorgasbord. Most vivid was the rich, balmy smell of moist dirt and organic humus, and this came with the redolence of lush greenery and a delicious fragrance suggesting a profusion of blossoms. Occasionally I could discern a mildly acrid odor that spoke pungently of burning garbage, and for a while the incense of smoldering tobacco wafted forth.

A scant breeze toyed with the deep-reefed mainsail, nudging us gently along at a mere one knot. And while idling away the hours I discovered another facet of Suka's nimble repertoire. Admittedly, this one probably lacked far-reaching consequences, but I found it amusing. With the helm hard over, and with the main-sheet drawn right in, Suka would sail in full circles, round and round. With the wheel wound the other way, she would circle in the opposite direction.

“I had never imagined such audacity of powerfully upthrust rock, nor such comeliness of tropical verdure.”

Dawn lit the island, which stood before us in increasing splendor. I had never imagined such audacity of powerfully upthrust rock, nor such comeliness of tropical verdure. Steep, jagged, interconnecting ridges led to higher inland regions, and these were thickly covered with foliage in a thousand shades and hues of green. In his book "A World to the West," Maurice had chosen Fatu Hiva as his "world's most beautiful island." Our thirsty eyes, having seen no land - not even so much as a ship - for a month, found great poignancy in his words.

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Hana Vave Bay

Starting the diesel, we motored to the cliffs, where neither electronic depth-sounder nor the cobalt blue water itself suggested so much as a hint of sea-bed. The sheer slabs of rock slanted almost vertically into the ocean abyss.

Hana Vave Bay

After a short investigation we moved away to safer offing, and proceeded along the coast, eventually to enter Hana Vave Bay. An outrigger canoe sped past, bearing a trio of dark-skinned natives all in smiles. They waved warm-heartedly and of course we did the same. Disappearing seaward, their nimble craft, with its narrow beam and sharply pointed bow, seemed an odd amalgamation of the traditional and the modern, for bolted incongruously at the canoe's transom was a hefty outboard engine.

We maneuvered close-in and dropped the anchor into twenty feet of water, churned murky by the surf. Wind funneled from a chasm in the mountains, and pushed Suka hard to seaward against her cable. As the chain stretched taut it transmitted the grumbling of the anchor as it trundled over rocks, unable to dig in. I motored ahead while Jenny hauled aboard the chain and anchor, and we tried resetting again, but were met with the same lack of results. The holding was poor, and try as we did, the rocky bottom thwarted our bid for security. Regretfully, for the setting was extremely enticing, we had no alternative but to depart.

Omoa Bay

Dejectedly, we motored out of Hana Vave Bay and proceeded a few miles south to Omoa Bay. This was little more than an open roadstead, a coastal indentation, but as we motored closer we could plainly see a sand bottom shoaling from the depths. We lowered the hook into five fathoms (a sailor stands about a fathom in height) of crystal clear water, and to our immense relief the plow set securely. We had arrived!

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Omoa Bay

The anchorage was most satisfactory save for a swell working into the bay, which rolled Suka heavily, and save for the lack of cooling trade winds. The air was stiflingly hot, so the first order at hand was to rig the large cockpit awning between the masts, and then to fit the wind-scoop to the open forecastle hatch.

Two islander youths motored past, again in a motorized outrigger canoe. One of them asked, in French, where we were from. Jenny's French was limited, but it was to prove its worth in these Polynesian islands many times over. However, we mostly resorted to the time honored language of smiling and gesturing, which we did here. The encounter reminded us to dress Suka more befittingly in her ensign.

The story has 109 pages. This is page 26.
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Page Links
GV 001: Title Page
GV 002: TOC
GV 003: Dedication
GV 004: Preface
GV 005: Prologue
GV 006: Beginnings
GV 007: Work Done
GV 008: Making Ready
GV 009: Departure
GV 010: Sailing Credentials
GV 011: First Lesson
GV 012: Sextant Navigation
GV 013: Safety Harness
GV 014: Murphy's law
GV 015: Spirit of Adventure
GV 016: Holding On
GV 017: First Big Storm
GV 018: Storm Intensified
GV 019: Rolling Violently
GV 020: Mizzen Sleeping Bag'sl
GV 021: Freeing the Propeller
GV 022: Visits by Birds
GV 023: Crossing the Doldrums
GV 024: Nearing First Landfall
GV 025: Land Ho
> GV 026: Fatu Hiva
GV 027: Trek Inland
GV 028: Anchor Watch
GV 029: Passage
GV 030: Hiva Oa
GV 031: Skin Diving Circus
GV 032: Almost Like a Jungle
GV 033: Polaris Missile
GV 034: Taiohaie Bay
GV 035: Cascade Hakaui
GV 036: Taipi Bay
GV 037: Cyclone Lisa
GV 038: Cyclone Nano
GV 039: Passage of Patience
GV 040: Tuamotu Archipelago
GV 041: Tahiti
GV 042: Cyclone Reva
GV 043: Secret Sharer
GV 044: Moorea
GV 045: Cyclone Veena
GV 046: Aftermath
GV 047: Good Weather in Papeete
GV 048: Huahine
GV 049: Raiatea
GV 050: BoraBora
GV 051: Rarotonga
GV 052: Tonga
GV 053: Fresh Air
GV 054: Tongan Feast
GV 055: Excursion to Maninita
GV 056: Mariner's Cave
GV 057: Fiji
GV 058: Ndravuni Island
GV 059: Mara Island
GV 060: Aneityum
GV 061: Noumea
GV 062: St Elmo's fire
GV 063: Breakwater Reef
GV 064: Bundaberg
GV 065: Life on the Burnett River
GV 066: Engine Sabotage
GV 067: Flying
GV 068: Aground in Round Hill Creek
GV 069: Gladstone Confinement
GV 070: Tropical Queensland
GV 071: Trip into Townsville
GV 072: Cairns Sojourn
GV 073: Cramped Cooktown
GV 074: Lizard Island
GV 075: The San Michelle
GV 076: Lost Mummy Cave
GV 077: Land's End
GV 078: Darwin
GV 079: Christmas Is
GV 080: Passage
GV 081: Cocos Keeling
GV 082: Crossing the Indian Ocean
GV 083: Rodriguez
GV 084: Mauritius
GV 085: Reunion Cirque de Mafate
GV 086: Reunion Cirque de Salazie
GV 087: Passage to Africa
GV 088: Kruger National Park
GV 089: Richards Bay
GV 090: Durban
GV 091: Port Elizabeth
GV 092: Cape Town
GV 093: Storm Passage
GV 094: St Helena
GV 095: Passage to Brazil
GV 096: Fortaleza
GV 097: Passage to Caribbean
GV 098: Bonaire
GV 099: Passage to Panama
GV 100: Panama
GV 101: Panama Canal
GV 102: Medidor
GV 103: Costa Rica
GV 104: Passage to Acapulco
GV 105: Acapulco to Cabo
GV 106: Baja
GV 107: Home Port
GV 108: In Retrospect
GV 109: Next Time
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