Wet dreams

Alone Like a Rolling Stone

I've been lying in the bay of Hakahetau on Ua Pou for two days. Not a soul here. The waves crash into the rocks and foamily jump back into the sea. The beach, which consists of stones the size of ostrich eggs, creates a background noise that at least inspires respect. The waves that break there move the stones back and forth, rumbling. Especially in the evening hours, when I'm sitting alone in the cockpit, and it gets dark, the white edge of the wave glows, reflected by the moonlight. The black beach forms a symbiosis with the night and can only be distinguished by the spray. Alone, the impressions offered by nature are even more intense. I think to myself and review the week.

Beach of Ua Pou, Marquesas

Gaby arrived in Germany a few days ago and underwent an eye operation. Everything has gone well so far. In the meantime, I've been preparing to leave Nuku Hiva and get a little closer to Papeete. It's only 26 miles, but still. The anchor chain was full of fouling again and had to be cleaned for over two hours. But this time I had help from SY Tuvalu. Together, we used the root brush and toothbrush to remove the stubborn creatures from the chain. The next day it was the hull's turn. Armed with a spatula, I jumped into the water and scraped off the coating. This works quite well with Coppercoat as an antifouling. In the corner of my eye, I see the tail fin of something bigger. I leave the water in a hurry to check the peacefulness of the individual from a safe distance. It is a tuna about 1.5 meters in size, accompanied by two smaller ones. Attracted by the fuselage coating that falls to the bottom as it is scraped off, they try to get a piece of the feast. In the end, there are seven of these magnificent specimens, which keep coming towards me from the open water at great speed and then turn off just before the hull. After three hours, both hulls are cleaned, and I'm curious to see how much of a speed boost this will give me tomorrow. However, nothing comes of it the following day because the wind has completely died. The crew of the Tuvalu picks me up with the dinghy in the evening, and we spend another nice evening in the pizzeria. A welcome distraction, as Gaby is on her way to hospital at the time and is due to have an operation. The two Styrians make every effort to distract me, which they do brilliantly. But the next day I actually set off. I pull up the anchor and even though there's not too much wind at the moment, I'm confident that there will be more to come. At the exit of the bay, the dinghy from SY Kobel catches up with me and wishes me a good trip. The wind does indeed freshen to ten knots outside the bay, and the Katinka picks up speed. 

Lonely anchorage on Ua Pou, Marquesas

We reach up to five knots, which is a significant gain in speed compared to the last time. The cleaning of the hull has therefore paid off. The wind dies down around midday, only to pick up again two hours later. I pick up speed again and am soon accompanied by dolphins. They play with the bow of the Katinka for half an hour and then are gone again as quickly as they came. So I'm back to being alone like a rolling stone, thinking of Gaby and hoping that everything went well. Tears well up in my eyes, you just get a bit stupid with age. That's the downside: when you sit so close together, as we do most of the time, you just miss something. 

Impressive mountain world on Ua Pou, Marquesas

But I don't have any more time to think about it now, because I've come within a nautical mile of the coast of Ua Pous. Now it's time to hoist the sails and enter the bay. Of course, 15 knots are now blowing around the corner and I have to get into the wind to haul in the genoa, as there is too much pressure on it. I can take the main down straight away. I motor the last stretch and drop the anchor in the sand at nine meters. Furthermore, I'm the only one in the bay. The last time I was here with Gaby, there were four of us. And once again I'm alone like a rolling stone. A minestrone and the news from Germany that everything went well lifts my spirits. Tomorrow I'm going to clean the inlet of the water maker, as it doesn't get enough water.

While cooking

Shortly after breakfast, the water around 100 meters away from me starts to foam. A few fins become visible, the rest of the body remains underwater. As dolphins are mammals and need air to breathe, at least one of these bodies should surface after a while, which is not the case. So it must have been sharks, which makes me postpone my plan to clean the inlet of the water maker. I'd rather ask a few locals what's swimming around in their bay first. Maybe a boat will come into the bay in the next few days, then I won't be not alone like a rolling stone. With this in mind, always fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.