Leaving the Lovely Marquesas Islands

June 2013, Taiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia!

Fran, Richard and RED’s series of very fortunate events.

We’re beginning to think that RED simply wants to stay here in Taiohae Bay (Nuku Hiva Village) and here’s why:

  • The water maker stopped making water.
  • We left last week to go to another bay on the north shore and broke an intermediate shroud.
  • Our brand new “One Pull” Honda generator – for charging the batteries and making water stopped working.  (It’s less than 3 months old.) Frustrating as it is that the Honda isn’t working, not too bad as we have enough water to get us by, and, after all, we can charge the batteries with the Yanmar…
  • Our trusty Yanmar engine the big workhorse of the boat when it’s not sailing (and alternate battery charger), blew a hose and we lost our ability to cool the engine.  And our ability to charge the batteries, and motor if there’s no wind.  The hose had an aneurism, there was no duct taping (or duck taping) it back together.


We crossed most of the Pacific ocean with narry a hiccup, then within about 10 days all of those things happened…so, you might be wondering why I’m calling this the series of fortunate events, rather than unfortunate…here’s why:


  • The water maker membrane was old, maybe as old as the boat.  It did make water for awhile, but Fran found the water objectionable.  Though it was technically OK by World Health Organization standards (I’m not kidding), it tasted yucky (I’m not kidding about that, either).  So, when the water maker quit working altogether, we needed to install a new membrane.  Which we had.  Which we did.  And the water it makes now?  Perfect!  Yay!
  • The shroud that broke, did so when we had no sail up, so no frantic efforts to get the sails down before something worse happened.   And, if we had to, we could motor all the way to Tahiti.

Then a few days later, our friends Brian and Mizzy from S/V Alegria anchored next to us and loaned us their temporary shroud kit.  Local handyman “Jon” – pronounced “Yahn” from Madagascar (he’s been here in Nuku Hiva for 5 years, living on his boat), installed the 8mm Dyneema line (which is almost as strong as the stainless steel rod that broke), and Alegria also loaned us their block and tackle.  So, we now have a temporary fix that gets us to Tahiti (sailing).

When we return from our trip to the states and Canada, we’ll be bringing a new shroud from the original rigger.   And, through this all, we’ve reconnected with the designer of RED, and are looking forward to spending some time with he and his wife during said trip.  Yay!


  • One Pull Honda is back in business.  Jon thinks that there was water in the gasoline and One Pull really didn’t like that.  So, we’ve emptied the fuel, cleaned it and the carburetor, popped in a new spark plug (thanks to S/V Kjayia’s Song) and One Pull is back in business.  Now, we don’t have to consider turning off the fridge/freezer and giving away all of our food (the biggest draw from the batteries is the fridge/freezer, if we can’t charge the batteries, well, you get the picture) – Oh, YAY!


  • Now,  after the shroud broke and we were anchored in a lovely little cove on the north side of Nuku Hiva, far away from the “city” of Nuku Hiva Village, with access to the internet, the friendly and helpful staff of Yacht Services, etc.  We chatted with another boat about how lucky we were that we didn’t have any sail up when the shroud broke and our Yanmar is so very trusty that we don’t have any concerns about motoring back to Nuku Hiva Village (+/- 4 hours) past a lee shore.  (A lee shore is a place where the wind wants to blow you onto the land.  Which, in this case is phenomenally beautiful, and rugged, and steep and, let’s just say, a very bad place for a boat to get too close to.)


You can imagine the heart stopping realization once we were  very safely and snugly at anchor back in front of Nuku Hiva Village that, in fact, our motor did quit – fortunately, while safely and snugly at anchor, rather than as we passed that lee shore.

And, fortunately, Yacht Services was able to source said hose and have it (and a few others) shipped in to Nuku Hiva and we had it about 4 days later.  And, it was even quite simple and quick to put the new hoses on.  Now, we not only have two ways to charge the batteries (well, three actually, if you count the solar panels), we also have a trusty Yanmar to run the boat, if there’s no wind.  We’re both feeling quite fortunate, and very grateful!

An added bonus?  While we’re waiting for a good weather window to head down to the Touamotu’s, we get to be here for the start of Heiva, the month long celebration with traditional dancing, singing, food, crafts and other cultural activities.  What could be better?

Fran & Richard








  1. Sounds like you had your hands full fixing your boat! Hope all is in working order for your trip to Tahiti. Great photo of Fran, you look so trim and healthy! Sailing becomes you!! Meanwhile, summer is taking a little break in Alaska. We are at our Iliamna cabin again, set the net and got 12 early red salmon in just a few hours. Smoking it today.
    Bon Voyage!
    Maria and Per

  2. Loving your lucky stars that you are sailing under! Meanwhile… we are in Williamsburg stepping back in time and looking at colleges for Spencer. Fun times, heading to Baltimore tomorrow for a Orioles/NYY game at Camden Field.