Hike to Waterfall…..

Dear F&F,
June 28, 2009

It was my best night of sleep in a long time. Fantastic to wake up & feel good right off the bat. Splendid! We spoke to David & Mary on the radio & agreed that this was to be our day to hike to the waterfall, rain or shine. There was a lot of rain. But we didn\’t let it dampen our spirits. I loved the exercise & took in all the green everywhere. Green foliage of every tropical type & variety. Plants with variegated leaves are some of my favorite & they are in so many festive patterns & shapes. Being Sunday, there were a lot of locals out in the one street & in the yards of their humble dwellings. They were mostly friendly if we waved or said Bonjour. Only about 250 people live in this entire community; only about 600 on the entire island.

Once the paved road ended, the mud road continued for a while, then it became more of a path. David had gotten some tips on finding the way by another boater, but with all the rain some of the landmarks may have been obscured. We asked a man at the last home seen & he gestured up the hill, \”Oui cascade (waterfall)\” so we carried on. We had a few false turns into dense brush. Had to cross a calf-deep creek and be very careful not to slip in the mud or twist an ankle on slippery rocks. David brought walking sticks. He uses 2 & I was happy to have one. The three of them all had on tennis shoes or better, for some reason I had just put on my usual \”wet landing\” sandals. They worked out fine but will try to remember to wear more substantial footwear for hikes.

It was well worth it. Beautiful, dramatic water falls 400 feet high & 40 feet wide. The kind that sprays you (& your camera!) even when you are standing well away from it. Scott & I had packed our swimsuits but since already soaked to our skin from the rain didn\’t feel the need for a dip. It wasn\’t hot at all, just comfortable. In fact when the wind piped up it felt rather cool. We all had light rain jackets but they were too warm when it wasn\’t raining hard & got all wet inside as we took them on & off. More of a bother than anything. So we were wet, no big deal. We had made it to the famous landmark of Hanevave Bay, Fatu Hiva & were quite proud of ourselves for not letting the elements deter us.

We met a group of 4 boaters on our return to shore. We stood under a shelter & swapped stories a while. David & Mary then dropped us off at \”Beach House\” to change into dry clothes, grab the food she\’d prepared (that I\’d kept from yesterday) & we went over to \”Giselle\” for lunch. More good food & friendly companionship. I was intrigued to learn of the diet they are on. Apparently they each used to weigh about 30 pounds heavier & after a variety of unsuccessful diets, discovered the \”Montignac Diet\”. The line below the book title says \”Eat for Pleasure – Stay Slim Forever\” by Michel Montignac.

The concept is based on the glycemic index which I had heard of & it makes a lot of sense to me. I\’ve borrowed the book to copy key points & menus. We overall eat fairly healthily I think, but Scott is in the habit of a fairly steady sugar intake drinking Gatorade & sweetened iced tea all day. I almost exclusively drink plain old water. I don\’t discount my lucky genes as a big factor in staying thin & his unlucky slow metabolism. I am not trying to get him to be me. Just a slimmer, healthier him. He understands keeping trim will improve his longevity & appearance so is willing to try. We can\’t start it until I next provision. If any of you are interested, check out the book. I think it is an intriguing plan & enables one to lose weight without feeling deprived. In fact, David and Mary say they can\’t eat enough on the plan and get to eat lots and lots of things they love. For me to not lose weight along with him, but just maintain, I will eat at a Glycemic Index of 50 while he tries to stay at 35. Apparently results are not seen if you only partially do it. So we will wait until I have enough of the right kinds of food to delve in fully, but meanwhile we are wrapping our minds around the concept. Scott asked to try his evening tea without sugar. That\’s a start.

David will be investigating a hopefully minor engine problem tomorrow. We have some onboard projects of our own to attend to. The wind & rain looks like it may let up by July 1st. So we hope to move on to the small island of Tahuata in a few days. Since there are very few American yachties in this area at this time of year, our next big holiday will not be July 4th but rather July 14, Bastille Day. We are thinking to reach Nuku Hiva by then in hopes that there will be some local \”Fete\” festivities.

Fatu Hiva, Day #5