Logs of S/V Bravo Charlie III



We're typically up by 7:30, since that's when the 'net' is on....that's where boats around the islands here give info on weather, sailing conditions, different island/atoll passes, etc. Today, we went to shore early to get legumes, and get our bond posted (cruisers have to pay a bond while sailing in the area). Turns out it's a holiday, so we walked over to the art store run by an ex-cruiser...We found a great local drum...we brought it to a local wood carver to get more designs....We're going to try to get some interesting woodwork/art and especially musical instruments as we travel around. We met some Brits who were staying at the hotel...they were not very happy with the 'laid back' attitude around here, but, that's just the way it is...We took our spinning rods (with 10 lb test line) out with the dinghy over by the entrance to the harbor. Greg got a bite pretty quickly, but lost it. I got a bite and we netted it, but it was one of the weird long nose/snout skinny things with huge teeth. Let it go...it started pouring rain, but we stayed out, feeling like we were at least giving the locals a good laugh. Something huge jumped out of the water....I looked over and saw the biggest shark fin I've ever seen (live) come out of the water...hmmm....something really wanted to get out of the sharks way! Greg then bags a nice shark mackerel. I changed lures, putting a small octopus shirt on one line....I figured we might get something big, but it was a pretty small lure, so I thought we might be able to finesse something in on a 10 lb line. But...not the case...I handed the rod to Greg, so I could change lures for him...I dropped the 2nd line in the water, then started reeling in, when Greg says 'you've got me'....what 'got him' was something very big...I knew by the bend in the rod that it would break the line quickly and, even though Greg played it well, it did...a local fishing boat, seeing all the action came by, but left after a few minutes....we went in, I cleaned the fish and we celebrated with a Mango smoothie! The second Greg thru the mango nuts overboard, some weird looking 3 foot 'things' came along the boat...they were remoras....hmm....remoras attach themselves to sharks and eat the bits of food the sharks don't get. We have a funny remora story from last trip, we'll have to tell you sometime...Well, I'm ready to go out again, with the hand lines this time. Greg doesn't like me to go out alone, but one round of fishing a day is definitely his limit, so I'll wait until tomorrow. I've stocked up on a couple of Rappellas for the trip to the next island, so I'm really hoping for some good Wahoo (Ono) or Dorado (Mahi Mahi).


We had a great Marquesan dinner with the Mayor, his wife and some other cruisers. The Mayor used to be the school teacher here and has been instrumental in rediscovering Marquesan culture. Lots of good stories/history lessons. We took a jeep tour of the island with a guide from one of the cruise ships, who was born here and lives here. We had lunch with a local family; it was a lot of fun. We've been fishing, swimming, some French practice, some guitar practice, and some hiking. Greg 's on another boat right now, fixing someone's printer. When people find out we're 'computer people', we get invited over a lot! We've managed to get a lot of fruit and some veggies from the locals, which is great. We're talking about staying in FP for a few seasons, before going to New Zealand, maybe even taking French lessons in Tahiti every 6 months or so. Of course, Fiji and Tonga are pretty inviting, too, so we'll have to wait to see. We can understand much more French than before, but we need a lot of work. We're probably going to go to another island on Tuesday. Unfortunately, a boat anchored on top of our anchor and we have to get them to move before we can take off.


Bravo Charlie III is defintely the envy of the fleet! Lots of people want to get a tour...HRs are known as fast boats, and ours definitely is...Our top speed is 11.6 knts. and the next closest we've heard is 6.5!! We blew out of the last anchorage, with everyone in their cockpits watching. We put up the sails in a minute (electric winches/hydrolic furling), had good wind and literally blew out of there! It feels great to be sailing in a real performance boat (and great comfort!!) We sailed over night to Hapatoni village on the island of Tahuata in the Isles Marquises (09 deg 57 min south lat, 139 deg 7 min west long). Great anchorage, and we are the only boat here! We managed to get some great veggies and fruits (paumplemoose, mangos, bananas and watermelon!) from the locals in Oua Pu before we left. Last night we were just sitting around and decided to throw out a few lines (spinning reels with 10 lb line). We caught several big rock fish, including 1 about 20 lbs....Greg will fish if I rig the lines, cut/hook the bait, clean and cook the fish ;-) We're testing for ciguatera right now....we seem to be the only boat with the test kits, and have heard some people have gotten ciguatera poisoning...it lasts in your system for years....you can have about from eating lobster and anything that may be even slightly tainted, years later. Anyway, we had fun, and I was thinking JO would be proud of me bringing in the big guy on small line. Not many ocean fish being caught, but we keep trying for another MahiMahi or tuna. This village has about 8 families, all of whom are artists of some kind. We're tryng to collect musical instruments from various places, but there's not alot around. The drums here are really great, but they typically only make instruments for their own use. I might be able to trade my guitar for a drum somewhere. We're thinking of going diving here...we know there are alot of fish (from fishing)....we also have small underwater camera with a monitor (b&w only)....I do remember this place from last time...we didn't go diving because the sharks were very abundant...even though they were just reef sharks, there were about 30 around the boat, which makes me a little chicken...we'll probably go anyway....chances are we'll be ok (she says). We'll be here for 3 days, then to the Touamotos.


We took the dinghy over to the snorkeling place, to check it out for light, etc. We were going to go snorkeling with the people on the other boat (named Tigger) in the anchorage (with the 2 kids). On the way there, we saw some 'flapping  around....sharks don't act like that, so it was either dolphin or rays. It was dolphin! We jumped out and spent the next 2 hours snorkeling with the dolphin! There were about 25 adults and 6 babies....the babies stayed close to the mothers...these were both bottlenose porpoises and spinning dolphin, and yes! they were spinning!! We could here the sonar and clicking in the water...Greg said they had missle lock on us;-) After we were tired, we got in the dinghy, and they followed us! So, we spent another .5 hour driving around in the dinghy..they were 'leading' us around...we would turn off and would follow us and 'lead' us in another direction, jumping and spinning all around us... It was really a great time. We're going on a night dive tonight...I'll add comments about the dive when we get back.

Night dive wasn't too spectacular, but did see some lobster (no, we didn't have something to snag them with), some small fish and a very beautiful moray eel! It was great to be out there again.


Dolphin are back around the boat, having a great time. We're leaving at sunset for the Tuomotos; it's tricky because you have to time getting there at slack water, prefererably after low tide, *and* when the sun is where you want it. Some of the passes run north/west, then take a turn to east, so

you need the sun in different positions, which of course is impossible...then when you get there depends on if you are going 5, 6, 7 or 7.5+ knts (over the ~3 days to get there)....it's not real comforting hanging out for the right time around all the reefs, which are so low some of them can't be picked up on radar until you're right on top of them (especially at night). Anyway, we're planning on leaving at sunset because it's always a little more comforting starting a passage with a little light, to get out of the anchorage and away from land...planning, then, on 6 knts which, of course, is slow for us..but we don't want to use any diesel. I did my 'drawing' lesson today. Getting better (of course, I can't draw a stick figure, so better is relative). Greg is 'putzing' around the boat...we're lucky he's such a good putzer!


Wahoo! Yahoo! Yesterday we caught a ~40+ lb. yahoo. While we were getting it on board, the other line caught a nice ~25+ lb yellow fin tuna! We had caught a similiar size tuna before, but lost it as we were dragging it in...we hadn't slowed the boat down, and I think it was just torn off. This time, we slowed down a bit! We now have 12 fish dinners in the freezer. Having ahi for dinner tonight, after having ono last night! We are moving along nicely. Exactly 2 days to go. We could have gotten here 1 day earlier, since we had a .75 knot current with us the first 2 days (gone now). We're hoping the rest of the 'fleet' doesn't decide to go to the same atoll as us....a few boats is nice....lots of boats make anchoring more difficult (plus makes us sleep less sound, since many boats don't anchor properly, especially around coral heads!). The fish quit bitting as quickly as they started but, since we don't have more freezer space, we're happy with what we have. We're 2 days out of Fakarava atoll in the Tuamotos and should arrive Friday around noontime.


We made it into Fakarava yesterday, almost exactly at slack water, with the sun overhead, so we had no problems finding coral heads (conning). This is a great place, but it doesn't seem like the diving can be as good as Rangiroa or Fanning, two of the best dive areas we've ever been to. Caught 2 more tuna on the way over, 1 pic of Greg attached.....The other pic is of me with village kids in Tauhata....kids seem to congregate around us...They point and chatter about Greg's beard. They took a walk on the beach with us and helped us find shells. A couple of boats got bad cases of ciguatera (fish poisoning). Same thing happed last year. We did get on the radio when they were talking about going fishing in an toll, and told them to be careful....that it wasn't cut and dry which fish were poisonous. We have many test kits..One fish we caught in an open bay (vs. coral area) did have ciguatoxin. The test showed light traces, so we probably could have eaten it, but we're pretty cautious, so we threw it out. With ciguatera, you can have a relapse years later if you eat anything that has the slightest amount of the toxin. Tasks for today have been scrub boat bottom, replace zincs, clean refrigerator, re-anchor to a nicer spot (including diving on our anchor to make sure we're hooked and seeing if our chain can get fouled on anything). Then probably just walking around the atoll, or maybe some windsurfing.

6/28/01 Had a nice little dive yesterday, right next to the boat. Almost landed on a 5' moray on our descent...big, fat guy! Lots of small fish, some big ones and some interesting coral...coral looks like it's just starting to come back from some abuse. Alot of the coral in the Marqueses is suffering from the purple urchin attack; this area seems to be free of the critters. Had dinner with the locals last night for the 'Miss Fakarava' festival. Chinese food with pig, chicken and dog. We passed on the dog. We left early....after 9 pm the yachties tend to fall asleep! Greg and I were looking for shells the other day at high tide, on the ocean side, when we came across a group of black fin sharks feeding in a small lagoon. We didn't have our camera but it was really cool...like a little shark aquarium! We're diving the pass here tomorrow, then heading to the south anchorage. The wind has really died around here, which is perfect for us, since we're at anchor (of course, we're not doing any windsurfing!). Hopefully, it will pick up in a week or so when we head to the next atoll. Nothing too exciting happening here. We did get a tsunami alert last week when the earthquake hit Chile. The bays in Marqueses were evacuated since they have large bay openings, narrowing down to smaller anchorages. The atolls are the opposite, narrowing openings leading to large/wide anchorages, but since the atolls are only a few feet above sea water, if 'the wave' were coming' it would come right over the entire coral reef. We just stayed here, waiting to see if the huge wave appeared and figuring it wasn't going to be big enough to come over the reef without breaking, before getting to us. The warning was canceled about an hour after it was issued, so there was no problem at all. Well, time to do a little boat scrubbing.