No wind, no waves, just silence…. It can make you crazy and make you run for the engine to put it on, so you can be sure of making the day average of miles you have in mind to reach your next destination ‘in time’. Or you can sit down and relax into this magical moment of complete stillness surrounding you. You get completely lost in time, in the vast blue of ocean and sky, no idea when the wind will catch up and when you will see land again. Complete surrender… This is the moment to really feel the Ocean and melt with her, melt with something immense bigger than the little you. So endless she seems, so deep and blue… Than suddenly she seems to breath: water blown into the air. One, two, three.. Several places where water seems to try reaching the sky with full force. We are surrounded by eight giant whales, slowly passing our boat to where, I don’t know….
Three weeks it took us to arrive in the Marquesas from Galapagos. We had a beautiful sail with enough time on our hands to meditate, relax and to enjoy our memories of our time in Galapagos.
Playing sealions and dancing Boobies
Galapagos was beyond our expectations! The fearless and curious animals, most of them unique to this part of the world, made our stay one we will cherish in our hearts forever. I will never forget those playful young sealions, who came to us while snorkeling and invited us to play with them with their beautiful big brown eyes. Closer and closer they came when we gladly accepted their invitation. Us, trying to make the same acrobatic moves like they do: circling around them, deeper and deeper in the water, than come up again for some air and blowing the air in eachother faces. After some time we had to stop because we were exhausted and jumped into the dinghy. One of them did not want to stop and jumped in the dinghy as well. Looking up at us like saying: “come on!! Just a little while more!” When we didn’t really respond anymore he jumped in the water, tried one more time with a push in my bumb to get me playing again, than gave up.
Or those curious pinguins, who came up to us while snorkeling and just checking out what kind of creatures we are. Not afraid at all!!
The dancing blue footed Boobies, a kind of sea bird, were also not shy at all to perform their beautiful dances with us looking at them from not even a meter apart. The males were to busy to show their most sexy blue feet to the ladies. The bluer the better.
With pain in our hearts we had to leave this precious piece of Mother Earth with her more than special inhabitants.
Gorgeous drops of green in the middle of endless blue
As soon as we caught the heavy smell of wet earth in our nose we knew we were really getting close to Fatu Hiva, one of the most dramatic Marquesian Islands. We had already spotted it hours ago because of her height. After three weeks on the ocean it was nice to feel ground again under our feet. It felt so good to move our bodies while hiking and to smell the freshness of this island mingled with the sweetness of innumerous flowers. And, not to forget, to taste the delicious local fruits.
In Hiva Oa we picked up Sarah, who was going to join us for a month. Together we discovered the wild beauty of these unspoiled, hardly inhabited, lush green islands. If you ever wish to have some time off and escape the busy western society… You can’t be more away from it all than here! In older times this area was a lot more inhabited. It was a thriving community with a rich culture. At some point however a lot of the indigenous people died, because of all kind of tropical diseases, and left the islands almost empty.
More sharks than people
The Tuomotus Atolls, some four days sail West from the Marquesas, are completely different again. From above it looks like big circles of sand and reef with water inside them. The land is low, covered with palmtrees and low bushes. The beaches are incredible white and unspoiled. The waters are of a mindblowing turqoize and most of the reefs are a dream for snorkelers and divers. Again hardly people living here! This is the area where a lot of pearls are produced.
For us the diving and snorkeling was a big highlight. Imagine hundreds of grey reef sharks hanging around a wall of beautiful coral, just enjoying the current and you diving in between them. Not being more than a meter away from them. In the beginning I had to get used to all the sharks. You see them with every dive or snorkel! But after this diving experience I really started to love them for what they are: gracious, calm and impressive creatures, who are not agresive or willing to attack human beings as soon as they see one. Ok, when you start feeding them with bloody fish heads, they might get confused and take a nibble of your arm as well.
Image sequence of Blue Boobies shot by Loek Steffanie