About The Trip

About The Trip

I'm joining my friends Tony & Margaret, owners of the graceful sailboat "Joalea" to be be part of the crew for the next sailing adventure:  Crossing the Pacific Ocean from Panama starting in April, 2015

I was lucky enough to sail the Caribbean Sea with them for many years, visiting all the beautiful islands from Spanish, US, British Virgin islands to the Lesser Antilles. (Which are a long arc of small islands in the Caribbean Sea extending in a north-south direction from the Virgin Islands to Trinidad and then in an east-west direction from Margarita to Aruba off the northern coast of Venezuela).

"Joalea" just crossed the Panama Canal in late February, 2015 from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Now awaiting her crew to sail further to the French Polynesian Islands,  "The Jewel of World"

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Personal Info

Travel Blog

  • CONTROLEUR BAY June 3, 2015
    May 23, 2015.      CONTROLEUR  BAY
    We left Hakatea bay after breakfast to visit one more bay before we say good by to the Marquesas Islands. Controleur bay was on the list. After anchoring the boat we decided to take a visit to the archeological site and the tikis in the valley. 
    Sometimes we use “Charle’s Charts of Polynesia” as a reference. According to this book there is an easy landing at the dock. Anytime we go to shore Margaret places her professional camera  in a watertight bag. At this time she neglected her good habit, based on the easy landing note in the book. As we approached the shore, the dock was washed away and the only option to land on was the sandy beach. Heavy surf were pounding the shore so it needed a bit of precision, usually we never have any problem with that, but it was just an unusual circumstances. Suddenly a big wave flipped the dingy over and all of us ended up under water. Margaret got rescued first, since she does not feel to comfortable under water, this feeling reflected on her face right away. Fortunately nobody got hurt, this incident goes down in memory lane, so as her submerged fancy camera, it was not protected in the back pack. Later on by following the right procedure the camera got cleaned and survived.
    The small village had an archeological site with ceremonial platform made from huge basalt block which was used to used by priest for burials, worship and human sacrifice.
    Day 2.
    The weather prediction was right for this weekend. It rained a lot, we were working on the boat getting her ready for the next leg. Since the Marquesas Islands compare to the rest of Polynesian islands have limited turquoise water and white sandy beach, we were craving for change of scenery. Setting sail was planed just before sunset.
  • HAKATEA BAY June 3, 2015
    May 21, 2015       HAKATEA BAY
    Hakatea bay is 5nm west from Taiohea. That was a short motoring in the morning. Spectacular steep mountain towering up to the sky on the west side of the bay. The easter cove has a  yellow sandy beach, interestingly the western cove has a long shallow beach coved by black sand. According to Charle’s Charts of Polynesia, in the middle of the valley the 3rd highest waterfall in the word cascading from 2,000 feet plateau.
    By the time we dropped anchor it was 11am. Hiking up to the waterfall takes about 2.5hr. there and the same time back. Because of the time and the heat everybody decided to do the hike in the following morning, except me. I had “ants in pants” I packed a light lunch and got dropped off at the west beach. Right after I started my hike a nice Marquesasan family invited to their little house, offered me fruit to take with me to my hike. I still feel sorry that I did not take a picture of them, the husband’s body was covers by traditional Marquesas  tatue. I’m not a big fan of tatue but it looked very impressive.
    My walk started through the old village, full of flower and fruit trees, followed by coconut palms and up the slope through the valley, across the river and into the South Pacific rainforest. Crossed several creeks, river in the heat and humidity under the dense forest on the narrow slippery and muddy trail. “What a joy” I kept telling to myself “I hope it worth it”. An hour later, I arrived to the first look out. It was breath taking. 200meter drop below me where a wild river running through the unusually tall coconut palms and above me the majestic peaks reaching to the sky, right beside each other. In the distant the narrow cascaded waterfall sighted. About and hours later, I was swimming under to the fall in the big deep cave. I had it all for myself not a soul around me. Would I do this hike again? In a heat beat!
    Next day Jessica and Jason completed the same hike but in the heavy rainy condition and they returned to the boat with a bag full of fruit, received it from the locals form this tiny old village.
  • NUKU HIVA ISLAND June 3, 2015
    May 19, 2015.       NUKU HIVA ISLAND
    Nuku Hiva is 25nm north from Ua Pou. This is the principal island of the Marquesas. It is a spectacular island with the highest peak of 3,888 feet called Takao. With many beautiful waterfalls on the norther coast.
    Taiohae bay is the principal bay and the administrative capital of the Marquesas. It lies in the open remains of  volcanic crater with caldera walls behind the town. Also, it is a Port of Entry and a spectacular bay to arrive, specially from a long crossing. 
    When we arrived, we counted 69 sailboats anchoring in the bay. One of them was the biggest single mast sailboat in the world the “M5″  (ex Mirabela “V”) 256 feet long. Some of boat just arrived from the continent and some of them waiting for the weather to continue the journey towards Tahiti via the Toamutus. 
    This small town offers all what most of the  sailers need, after a long crossing. Evan a free Wifi for our Internet hungry society. I could not wait either to FaceTime with my family. It was such a joy seeing them after a long time. 
    Next day, we all decided to go on our own way to learn more about this postcard picture town. My first visit was the “Notre Dame of Marquesas Islands” located in the middle of the bay. Only a short walk from the beach through the well mature mango trees and tropical flower bushes. Tween peaked tower gate lead you in to the interior square where the old wooden roof church found with beautiful carvings inside outside. Opposite side of the church an open building with impressive carvings provides shade for the locals before ceremony. The grave of Herve Marie Le Cleac’h is facing towards the entrance of the far end of the. Really peaceful setting. Nice to see the well dressed locals gathering in the square. 
    As I mentioned earlier that most of the time Ua Pou’s peak is covered by cloud, that day the entire island was clearly visible from the bay what a memorable site.
  • UA POU ISLAND June 3, 2015
    May 18, 2015.         UA POU ISLAND
    We left Hanaiapa bay, Hiva Oa at 0330. We supposed to have 12/17kn NE wind but we got light wind instead, it was not even enough to hoist the main to balance the boat. The batteries needed to be charged up to 100% in order to be synchronized so motoring was the perfect option.
    Right after the sunrise we noticed that we were escorted by a pot of happy Dolphins, they always put smile on our face. As on every passage the fishing lines were out hoping to catch our dinner, needless to say, not even a bite. Start wondering, if there any fish in this water. Apparently there is because when we arrived to Hakahau bay we noticed a fisherman returned with a big cooler full of tuna on his small boat. We picked three big tuna from his cooler. It could not be more fresh than that. He charged only $20.00 for all of them. Sushi dinner was on menu that night.
    Ua Pou is a diamond shaped island. It’s highest peak reaching 4,040 feet often covers by cloud. Spectacularly serrated skyline with countless soaring mountain towers and spires. Well build hiking trail leads to the spires.
    Hakahau bay is the third most populated village in the Marquesas with about 2000 residents.
    In the morning we visited the local bakery for fresh croasson  and baguettes. The baguettes are subsidized in French Polynesia it cost about .60 cent each, but anything else have a heavier price tag on those islands. After breakfast we decided to save the hiking to Nuku Hiva.


  • Hanaiapa Bay, Hiva Oa May 15, 2015

    It was raining all night long and in the morning when we left Hapatoni bay, Tahuata. Half a mile away the sun was shining again while we were motoring toward to the north side of Hiva Oa. After a rough ride early afternoon finally we dropped anchor and had lunch.
    Hanaiapa is a small village tucked in in a lush valley, from the anchorage there is no sign of the village. Tony decided to stay on board and the rest of us felt the urge to explore the shore.

    As soon as we set foot on the island a line of lime tree welcomed us. Needless to say we were thinking of gin & tonic with fresh lime as an aperitif before dinner. Decide to pick some on the way back. The bay looked a bit rustic with some wild goats running around us. The dirt road lead to a clean paved road sided by tropical flower bushes. Immediately we felt that it might be the entrance of a real Polynesian village what we were pictured earlier. As we walked further in we kept repeating “this is unreal” Small, but clean houses on the both side of he road with all kind of tropical fruit trees in the front and the back yard. It felt like being in the “Garden of Eden”. Smily faces were welcoming us, as we enjoyed our walk. A dark tanned elderly man invited us to his home before he pointed to a hand written sign at the entrance of his property “Yacht Club William Hanaiapa” He was asking us if we can write some note in his yacht book collection. It turned out that several hundreds of boaters had stop by his house and enjoyed his hospitality while writing about their sailing experience to get to this island. William shared many stories with us with his self studied English. He gave us a big bag full of all kind of tropical fruits to take it back to the boat. This man lives very modest with out any luxury but with a big hart.

    We decided to return to his house next day with a bag of full of our gift.
    On the way back to the boat we got invited to an other family’s house, where we learned a lot about growing vanilla, certainly it takes lots of effort and work to get to the finished product. Also, Jessica was able to arrange a ride to the local airport to pick up her boyfriend Jason who is arriving on Sunday.
    Tony could not believe to his eye, when we returned to the boat with our goodies and stories.
    By the way the gin & tonic with local fragrancy lime never tasted better than that night.

    Day 2

    Early morning is the time to take a long hike to the valley. We filled up our bag with useful present for William. He was happy to see us again. We spent a great time with him listening his stories visiting his parents and grand parent’s grave in the back yard of his property and after couple of goodbye picture we were heading out of the village. That was a hot day and we were running out of energy quickly, the valley have a long banana and coconut plantation and among them papaya, mango, grapefruits trees were seen. What a sight, we enjoyed every bits of it.
    On the way back to the boat the village people were so kind to us, we received a boat load of all kind of tropics fruits from them. I’ve heard a lot about the Polynesians generous hospitality earlier but that was more than that.
    Father and son returned back from fishing when we arrived to our bay. We asked if they have any fish for sale? They caught only one yellow fin tuna and the father sad “It is to much for us for dinner, please take the half of it”. And he fillet the fish immediately with out expecting anything in return. I know nothing taste better than cold beer after fishing, so that was our treat for their kindness.

    Day 3

    We decided to move on to our next destination Ua Pou tomorrow. Jason got picked up at the local airport after a long flight from Vancouver via Tahiti, he brought joy to Jessica’s heart.
    That was a really hot day even the sea didn’t help us to cool down, hard to believe but the sea temperature was 34 Celsius.
    We timed our dinner early with the sunset at 6:30pm because we were planning to leave the island before sunrise. The alarm was set for 2:30am


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The Sailboat "Joalea"

JoaleaJOALEA is a 2010 Hylas Raised Salon. The highly regarded Hylas 54 designed by German Frers is one of the premier semi-custom quality performance cruising yachts in the world.  
Joalea (2) 003

JOALEA is a 2010 Hylas Raised Salon.

The highly regarded Hylas 54 designed by German Frers is one of the premier semi-custom quality performance cruising yachts in the world.

Hull #59 was the last of the Hylas 54’s built offering a luxurious 3-stateroom interior arrangement featuring contemporary style varnished teak woodwork with custom details, large navigation center and galley, full width master suite aft, two guest cabins forward and spacious salon amidships. The raised main salon provides a bright, airy living area
with settee to port and straight settee to starboard. DSC_0122 DSC_0119 DSC_0097 DSC_0077 DSC_0074 DSC_0696 The exterior very strong Hylas 54′ fiberglass hull is reinforced with Twaron (similar to Kevlar used in bullet proof vests). On deck there is a comfortable cockpit, wide side decks and a raised salon trunk cabin with large fixed windows and multiple deck hatches and stainless opening ports. The transom has wide built-in steps and swim platform with hot and cold shower and drop down swim ladder. Her long list of builder options includes: Fischer Panda 8KW generator and three zone Cruise Air reverse cycle air conditioning, Selden Electrofurl mainmast, Antal electric primary winches and Side power bow thruster. JOALEA is registered in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. How did JOALEA’s name come about with a Portuguese good luck rooster? We were sitting around the dining room table with family members July 1st Canada day and were trying to come up with a good name for our brand new purchase that would be meaningful to the two of us. There were many ideas given of which some names we wouldn’t dare mention. Then we had a very special thought both of our parents had passed away at the same time and are resting in the same special place and we believe they were instrumental in us coming together. Tony’s father’s name JOAO and Margaret’s mother’s name LEONA, thus JOALEA came about.

As the Legend of the Barcelos Cockerel goes…

A pilgrim was leaving Barcelos on his way to Santiago de Compostela when he was accused of stealing silver from the landowner. For his alleged crime, he was sentenced to death by hanging.

He prayed to Our Lady and St James, the patron Saint for Protection, that justice be done. As a final effort to save himself, the prisoner pleaded for a meeting with the judge. The judge was about to tuck into his roast cockerel, when the pilgrim said to the judge that as proof of his innocence, the cockerel would stand up on the plate and crow three times. The judge ignored the pilgrim’s claim and pushed aside his meal. But, as the pilgrim was hanged, the cockerel jumped up and crowed. Realizing his mistake, the judge rushed to the gallows and found that the pilgrim had miraculously survived due to a loose knot. According to the legend, the pilgrim returned many years later to carve the Cruzeiro do Senhor do Galowhich is now housed in the Museu Arqueologico in Barcelos. Of course there are many variations and embellishments to this Portuguese legend, but the Rooster from Barcelos has become one of the national symbols of Portugal and is said to represent faith, justice and good luck.  

"Joalea" Sailing the World