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 37 of 109


Heavy rainfall of cyclone Lisa.

Heavy Rains of Cyclone Lisa

“We could hardly bear to see so much potable water gushing wastefully off the awning and into the sea, so we filled the laundry tubs, the hiking canteens, and even the coffee pot.”

Early the next day (Mid December, 1982) a deluge fell upon the Marquesas. Using buckets we eagerly caught precious fresh water streaming and dashing off Suka's awning. The buckets filled within minutes, and with alacrity we poured the water into Suka's fresh water tanks. In half an hour the bilge-tanks were full. We could hardly bear to see so much potable water gushing wastefully off the awning and into the sea, so we filled the laundry tubs, the hiking canteens, and even the coffee pot. Still the rain pummeled down in torrents and cascaded off the awning.

When we awoke the following morning, dawn seemed to persist several hours. Rising, we saw thick, moiling clouds obscuring the sunlight. And as the morning wore on, the incredibly copious rain began to ease. The sky brightened somewhat and we relaxed in the cockpit, beneath the awning, each sipping a cup of coffee. Suddenly, a mass of muddy, debris laden water spewed from the river's mouth and rushed out across our bay. A dam somewhere upriver must have burst. The surge reached us quickly and engulfed Suka in a confusion of sticks, coconuts, tree branches and logs. Even a few trees went past. Wielding a dinghy oar, Jenny stood at the bow fending off the worst of it. Moving at about one knot, the debris went out to sea and never returned - except for one breadfruit, which we appropriated as it drifted past.


The flooding river sends a surge of debris out into the bay

Later we learned that the twenty-four hours of heavy rainfall was attributed to cyclone Lisa which had ravaged the nearby Tuamotu atolls with 100 mile per hour winds. This was the season's second cyclone, and was to prove but another precursor of dreadful storms to come.

The weather improved, and we enjoyed two more days exploring the hinterlands above Taipi Bay.

The human is capable of remarkable adaptation, but how the natives manage to coexist with the damnable nanu defies the imagination. Their blemished skin testifies to a lifetime of being bitten. The bugs were now beginning to drive Jenny and me to distraction. We experimented with every means of prevention and cure at our disposal, including hydrocortisone, but none relieved the tormenting itch. Eventually Jenny recalled a home remedy for sunburn: a vinegar soak, and by then we were at the point of trying anything. We sprayed vinegar onto our bodies with a plant mister, and to our immense relief this soothed the fiery itch. Vinegar, of all things, enabled us to begin enjoying life once again.

Return to Taiohaie Bay

Another meteorological anomaly seemed to be brewing, so we returned to Taiohaie Bay and joined the small fleet of yachts anchored there. A few more sailboats had arrived in our absence, one bringing news of disaster. On the night of December 8, a storm had beset Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, driving twenty seven yachts onto the shore. Most were demolished in the surf. Miraculously, no one was seriously injured, even though only five of the vessels beached were salvaged. Among these was one of the world's most famous sailboats, Bernard Moitessier's steel-hulled Joshua.

The north-eastern Pacific's annual hurricane season usually plays itself out by November 1st, and this is when the cruising yachts began departing San Diego bound for tropical climes. For the crews with French Polynesia in mind, there were generally three options. By far the more popular one was to cruise the coast of Mexico, calling in at the many anchorages along the way, then at some later point to strike out for the Marquesas. In light of the Cabo disaster, this proved a most unlucky choice this year. The second option was to sail to Hawaii, then after perhaps calling in at Fanning Island, to sail to Tahiti. This year, a hurricane struck Hawaii in late November, reducing this choice to the unfortunate. The third option, seldom chosen, was to sail directly for the Marquesas. We had chosen this one because at the outset we lacked the experience to navigate safely along the coast of Mexico. This time the fickle finger of fate had pointed in our favor. But our turn was coming.


Back in Taiohaie Bay (late December) taking a look at Suka's broken trail board.



The story has 109 pages. This is page 37.
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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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