Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A New Year Has Begun

2014 has started and will no doubt disappear as fast as all the previous years, or, maybe even faster, since I do believe that the older you get, the faster time flies! Mark and I are still sailing, living and working on our little, but sweet and brave catamaran Irie, and that for 6.5 years now. It probably does not come as a surprise when I share with you that this feels like a long time and that we are getting very tired of the boat life and all its daily and remote hassles. Despite the beauty of the islands, despite the pleasant climate, despite the exciting cultures, despite the surrounding wildlife, despite all the wonderful things that freedom on the water brings. Comfort, convenience and rest are what we miss the most. At the moment anyway.

We have come up with some personal resolutions and with a loose plan for 2014. After my three week visit to Belgium this month, we will explore Ua Pou - the last of the Marquesan islands – and its spectacular scenery, before heading to the Tuamotus early in the new cruising season. We might stop briefly in one of the northern atolls and will haul Irie out of the water mid-March or so, in Apataki. Then, we hope to sail east (yep, into winds, waves and current again) a bit and enjoy some other Tuamotus, low laying atolls with clear water and amazing underwater life. At some point in June, we plan to sail to the Society Islands (think Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora), before continuing on west via the Cook Islands, maybe the Samoas, Tonga and Fiji. We hope to haul out in Fiji in about a year from now and take a break from the boat life.

Of course, as every sailor knows, when living on a boat and with Mother Nature, plans are called plans and not realizations… For that, we will have to see what happens. What we do know is how we floated into this New Year. Together with Chris, Katie, Dylan and Leili from SV Iona and with Patrick and Rachel from SV Namaste, we had a nice BBQ on the beach in quiet Hooumi, along the south coast of Nuku Hiva: good food, tasty drinks, some live music and friends – Mark and I even made it past midnight this time!

Preparing the BBQ - the set-up in Hooumi was perfect: tables, a grill, shelter and fresh water

Butterflied leg of lam and grilled chicken - the side dishes are on the table

Chris and Patrick playing some tunes on their guitars

A morning at the beach (with Leili in the hammock), until the nonos chased us off and back to Irie

Ready for a hike with the Iona family

Church in Hooumi

Nativity scene in the church, Hooumi

Hooumi beach - Baie du Controleur, Nuku Hiva

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