Ua Pou, Marquesas to Honolulu ,Hawaii : of human bondage

At 0730 on Thurs, April 11th 2013 we left Hakahau on the island of Ua Pou. We are bound for Hawaii on the next long leg of the grand voyage. The course is 330 T and is 2100 miles to Honolulu. We are sailing to go under the lee side of Nuku Hiva and then will assume a course that will hopefully get us to windward of Hawaii , but still comfortable sailing. The idea being that when we hit the NE trades N of the equator ,which often seem to be a little stronger , in the 15 to 20 knot range, we will be able to sail off the wind a bit. At the moment the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which was formerly known as the Doldrums, seems to be non-existent on our longitude. Which would be a great stroke of luck if that persists until we get there in about a week. And here is the deal with our experience with French Polynesian bureaucracy and the famous `Bond Requirement`: We cleared in to the region in Mangareva. There is no banking facility there , so no mention was made of the `bond` which is usually required for all non-EU visitors to French Polynesia. The next and only other place we visited with any official presence was UaPou. We chatted with the gendarme when we first arrived, with no paperwork. Yesterday we took our papers to his office and he has given us official clearance for Hawaii, an international exit clearance. There is a bank machine and a bank in Ua Pou. Doug’s facility in French and careful diplomacy was a great asset For the vast majority of boats visiting Fr Polynesia, the bond requirement would apply. However there may be other non EU crews traveling to Hawaii or N.A. with a fairly brief rest and provisioning stop in the Marquesas, and they could also do as we did. Our feeling is that if we were to have visited Hiva Oa (Atuona) or Nuku Hiva (Taiohae) ,which are the 2 main administrative centers, there would have been more complex and expensive bureaucracy. There is a 3 percent fee associated with the $1200 bond as well as bank or credit card fees. Not a huge issue. Also we found that for our rather simple provisioning requirements the shops in UaPou were more than adequate, and were much better than in Mangareva ( which were also OK). We ate pizza for the 3 nights we were at Ua Pou! ( A personal record for me). The anchorage at Ua Pou in Hakahau Bay is OK. If the Aranui ship is not in ( which it is for 8 hours once every two weeks) you can anchor up close to the quay out of the significant surge. There was a little more swell than is usual we were told while we were there. The lads were surfing outriggers, surfskis, surfboards, and a St Up Paddleboard about 150 to 200 m from our initial anchor spot. When the Aranui departed, we moved in close to the quay. So there it is , the log is at 4600 miles since leaving Juan Fernandez Island. We stayed only 6 days in the Marquesas, and a week each in Mangareva and Juan Fernandez. We`re reaching at 6.5 knots between Ua Pou and Nuku Hiva in fresh tradewinds. We shall see what the next 3 weeks brings us ( hopefully it will be a lot closer to Hawaii). Cheers from the Boat ###

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