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 32 of 109

The next day, while George dismantled his outboard motor "for the fifth time," he quipped, Jenny and I walked back to our diving place. The tide was high, leaving our site free and clear, so when I went into the water, I found Jenny's face mask lying at the bottom of a narrow cleft.

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Atuona

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Atuona: I've fitted a hand-crank to Jenny's sewing machine (a hand-down from her grandmother) so she can use it at anchor. It worked surprisingly well.

Valley of Taa Huku

“By Jenny's reckoning, the interior jungle was "almost like a jungle.”

The next morning, early by ship's time, mid morning by the clock, Jenny and I set out to explore the adjacent valley known as Taa Huku. We pulled ashore, carried the inflatable into the coconut grove and tied its painter to a coconut tree. By Jenny's reckoning, the interior jungle was "almost like a jungle." Nevertheless, into the jungle we went - following a large, fresh water stream. The thickets grew nearly impenetrable. Tree branches arched overhead and met in the middle so thickly that they filtered much of the daylight.

The trudging was not easy, and after 1-1/2 hours of bashing through the bushes and splashing across the shallows, I reasoned that there must be a road or trail nearby providing access to the ever-present coconut trees. They appeared to have been harvested on occasion. And sure enough, thrashing laterally away from the stream we eventually reached a rough road hacked through the jungle.

Curiosity led us onward. The farther we went, the less traveled the road, until eventually it dwindled to a footpath. Edible fruit was in abundance, including papaya, coconut, mango, banana, and even a few avocado. All were owned of course. Plump papayas hung heavily in all stages of ripeness, and the ground was littered with rotting fruit.

Rain began pelting the foliage high overhead, creating a sound that suggested we were inside a huge tent. Birds chattered and prattled constantly. Here was the perfect scene for a Tarzan movie, complete with twelve-inch centipedes creeping about the coconut trees. Gecko lizards scurried across the ground in our path. The air hung heavy with syrupy aromas of the exotic frangipani and the many other blossoms. Big weighty dollops of rain pelted us from the jungle's canopy overhead, mixed with our sweat, and rolled down our happy faces.

The trail eventually converged with the stream. After long and delicious swigs, Jenny followed me across the slippery stepping stones. Half way across she slipped in, and surrendering to her pratfall she waded the knee-deep water, grinning sheepishly.

The trail ended, presumably at the last workable coconut grove, and from there we could see that further progress into the dense vegetation was impractical. Here we discovered a vestige of some ancient civilization. What appeared to be a hand-laid stone foot-path disappearing intriguingly into the dense overgrowth. Regrettably, there was no way we could have followed it.

Back at the stream, we sat on a dry rock, and taking temporary leave of our morals we indulged in a juicy papaya, peeled and eaten South Pacific style - with the fingers. Then we retraced our steps along the trail until it became a road that eventually led back to the anchorage.

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The Coconut

A few words about the coconut. Generalizing, it grows through four edible stages. On the shelves of American supermarkets one may find it in stage three. The outer husk removed, the shell lined inside with a tough flesh, and otherwise containing a measure of watery liquid. This is by far the least appetizing of the phases. The immature coconut, in stage one, is known as the drinking coconut. As yet it contains no white meat, but is instead full of delicious juice. Phase two, the juvenile coconut, contains a quantity of juice, but the flesh has jelled to a delicious pudding-like consistency. In order to be eaten in either of these first two stages, the coconut must be picked from high overhead. When the fruit reaches stage three it falls from the tree. Not to worry: according to Polynesian folklore, with their flippant sense of humor, should the coconut fall on the head of a person, it would do so only on a bad person. At any rate, the fallen coconut eventually sprouts and begins sending down roots from one eye and a leafy sprig upward from another. When the sprig has reached a foot in height, voilĂ : the coconut has reached phase four. No longer does it contain juice. Rather, it is filled with a fibrous, creamy pulp. Mixed with flour, eggs and sugar, this pulp makes excellent pancakes.

Water in the Masthead Light

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Murky water inside the masthead light.

Later that afternoon, having returned aboard, I took advantage of the bay's relatively calm water and climbed aloft, to the top of the main mast, to inspect the "5-function" masthead light. After the terrible storm three weeks previously the light has stopped working. Imagine my surprise at finding this expensive, "waterproof" light contained murky water. The top of the mast stood sixty feet over the sea. Indeed, that storm had been a bad one.

The story has 109 pages. This is page 32.
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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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