After a few hectic days of fixing, painting and cleaning, launch day arrived. And on 3rd March we said au revoir to Vincent and Maria and their MMS boatyard. Lady Jane was lifted up onto the tractor’s trailer and trundled down the rocky road to the launching ramp.
After 20 minutes of careful manoeuvring and repositioning to lower us deeper into the water as we checked for leaks, we switched on the engine, engaged reverse gear, and after a squeak of protest from the rubber holding us to the tractor, Lady Jane slid off the trailer. We immediately spun around and headed out of the bay to Tuahata, the next island along from Hiva Oa.
Our first stop was Hanamoenoa bay where there’s no shops and no way of getting to any. There’s just sea and sand, and it’s the perfect place to heal boatyard wounds.
We spent our days recommissioning the boat, cleaning away the boatyard grime, rearranging storage – and Maria made the most of the new bread maker.
I occasionally snorkelled around the bay, took a wander along the beach and Maria and I saw a huge ray come into the bay to feed – his mouth wide open collecting the plankton that seems abundant here at the moment. Life was good aboard Lady Jane.
Show some respect!
A few days later, I was relaxing in the cockpit one evening when I heard a knock on the hull and a quiet “Bonsoir.”
“Bonsoir,” I replied into the darkness. Then a figure loomed out of the gloom on a kayak. “I can see you are a respectful man,” he said. Obviously, he couldn’t see I was wearing just my knickers and a t-shirt. “Some of the sailors come into my garden and take my fruit. You haven’t, so I have brought you a gift for being respectful.” With that, he handed over a couple of large pamplemousse.
Steven has been having a hard time of it with people coming onto the beach then onto his land. I don’t know anyone in possession of their full faculties who would think it OK to take fresh produce from someone’s garden. I doubt I would have reacted too kindly to anyone wandering into the back of our house to help themselves to a sackful of King Edwards. They’d be limping out again with a face looking like a sackful of spuds.
And that brings us nicely onto the subject of anchoring etiquette.
A place to park your bike
I was musing to Maria that the palm trees lining the beach almost look like flowers with their petals facing towards out to sea. The image in my mind was something like a Monet, perhaps. I was allowing myself time to be whisked away with the artistry, appreciating the natural beauty of the landscape of the sunsets.
Then this arrived:
I have banged on about nudity a couple of times in previous posts. And, although I’m getting a bit desensitised to the sight of testicles and boobs sweeping the decks, I still think that if you are going to enjoy being as free as nature intended – do it at the back of the anchorage so that only the dolphins can see how you’ve let yourself go. Exposing yourself near to someone’s home doesn’t seem appropriate either.
The clincher, though, was that they also ran their generator during the day and near sunset when everything quietens down and people sit in their cockpit to watch the solar display. Thanks to our new neighbours, we were now watching the sunset to the accompaniment of diesel fumes. As with exposing ones ugly bits, running a generator should also be done at the back of the anchorage. Although both the environment and fellow sailors, I think, would prefer the use of solar panels.
Not having a generator onboard Lady Jane hasn’t been an issue. Granted, we don’t have any power-hungry systems such as a washing machine, dishwasher or air-conditioning units; nor have we missed them. Our 800 watts of solar delivers sufficient power for us to use the bread maker and cook using the halogen hob, most days.
At the time of writing, Jimmy Cornell is commissioning an Outremer catamaran for his next circumnavigation that will be fully electric: no fossil fuel-powered systems onboard. Power will be generated by solar and hydrogeneration and stored in lithium cells to propel the electric motors when needed. Although not new, it’s a great concept, and I sincerely hope it works because positive publicity may increase the technology’s popularity and reduce the price enough to make it more mainstream. Because if we really want to get closer to nature, reducing our carbon emissions seems a far better way to go about it than baring your buttocks.