Black Moon Bread Bottle: Action Vitamins – Sailing

“Do you hear this?” Beeping sounds wake us up early in the morning. I’m wide awake immediately. We have moved to the third island of Marquesas: Tahuata. Anchor Bay with clear waters is known to have many dolphins and manta rays. The Black Moon is located at the foot of the Vaitau, a deep valley, and is now frequented by dolphins. Countless pin balls playing around. Somersaults and screwdrivers. I do a less elegant jump. Even before breakfast we swim to them, but they are always too quick for us. “Then with the canoe?” They seem to love this game. When we’re surrounded, I let myself immerse for a while. Fabulous! Three local boys wave to us from the beach. Whether they can sail…


Boys can’t stop having fun. Hands stretch back, fighting for the accelerator pedal, the other hands point forward: “Here they are!”. It’s hard to choose between driving or sitting in the front row. This is followed by a musical chair dance in the dinghy. Dozens of dolphins swim with us. Our 3.5 horsepower can barely keep up — or it’s sagging, maybe it is. According to local experts, we won the race. They came back to the sidewalk in dripping clothes. I wouldn’t be surprised if they came home drenched every day. After the dolphins come the manta rays, or the largest species of rays in the world. In peace we take turns dipping between these magical flying mats.

Dolphin racing with local experts

rite warrior dance

“Do you hear this?” We are tempted to sing, scream, chop and drum on the beach at lunchtime. It is Pentecost. Approximately 600 islanders gathered for haka training. The boys on the left under the lean; A thick exclamation and a loud voice echoed across the valley. girls standing or sitting right in an open field with a flower behind their ears; They sing loudly and move gracefully with stepping steps. Hakka is a ritual dance of warriors to address the gods, to welcome people or to frighten enemies. There is now a lot of training on every Marquesas island, because in the second week of July there is a big festival in nearby Fatu Hiva. We hope the weather gods will listen as well and be so kind to us to sail there.

Polynesian girls practice the hakka
Polynesian girls practice the hakka

Quit the game

After a good walk through the valley, we settled in Chez Jimmy for an early dinner. “They were supposed to open at 5pm, right?” After a few minutes Jimmy comes walking across the road. “Bonsoir!” Of course we are most welcome. He opens the balcony, dispenses our drinks and points to the menu board. “Think about it for a while, I’ll continue my Jeu de Bolles game.” and gone. After a while the red pickup truck stopped. “That would be the cook,” Niels jokes. The woman on crutches is already disappearing into the kitchen. When the bottom of our beer pops up, Jimmy comes back: “So, I won! What could it be: steak or tuna?” What a working life. That would be out of the question in Holland, we’re discussing that.

Vitamins work in Polynesia
In Chez Jimmy

ukulele game

We are the only guests with four other sailors. Another table occupied by his wife (also known as the chef in a chair) and their four children. When food is served, Jimmy plays the ukulele. Then join us and play some Polynesian songs. “Now it costs more,” he jokes after each song. I ask if he will also go to the festival. “No, because I have a wife!” He laughs loudly, revealing his split teeth. After payment, he asks about which of us would like to exchange a long rope for a boatload of fruit. We meet the next morning around nine o’clock.

night work And vitamins work

“Do you hear this?” It’s almost midnight. Canyon winds howl across the canyon over Anchor Bay. All evening we had been swinging behind the anchor, left to right, so we had to anchor again before dark. But now our neighbor’s boat in front of us is suddenly very close. His announcer also started to scratch. Niels gets into the canoe and awakens the sleeping Czech. While I’m awake, I check my phone. Well, many applications and emails from Zeilen editors. It’s urgent. I have a very nice additional writing assignment “as a reporter abroad”. They are eagerly awaiting the first news. Oh yeah, deadlines, that’s how it went again. Jimmy should have known.


With bulging eyes we are sitting in front of Chez Jimmy’s closed beach shutters at 09:00. Jimmy himself can’t be seen anywhere. Between us there is an old ship line that is 12 meters long, and it was too short to trim the vertical sail properly. About an hour later, his red truck stopped. “Ja Fa?” He nodded yes, his wife shook no. They just came from the doctor, something with heart valves nothing he’s doing now He says in perspective and points us in. He and his family live a little higher in the valley. We pick mango, papaya, orange, lime, banana, eggplant and grapefruit. In between, he speaks proudly of his paradise.

Action vitamins
Fruit barter rope
picking mangoes
picking mangoes

When we say the third time that that’s really enough, it just closes the pickup lid. He looks approvingly at the rope. Everyone is happy, or maybe not … “What are you going to do with it?” I ask curiously. “There in the valley a cow runs away from me, and with that I can tie it up.” He sees my stunned face and quickly says she can graze in a different place every day. A somewhat relaxed nod. It’s a great trade, but now that I know this I would have preferred a longer streak. Well, this cow has a paradise life anyway.

cow on leash
Jimmy’s cow tied up
Action vitamins: a boat of fruit
boatload of fruit

At the end of July 2020, people in their thirties left the Netherlands with Greetje Tops and Niels Eikelboom Black moon, Taling 33, for a world tour. Every three weeks, Zeilen editors receive their mail in bottles containing all the adventures and challenges.

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Would you like to read more departure stories? Discover the adventures of Anna Column and Sailors for Sustainability and Yndeleau.

Photos and text were taken by Greetje Tops and Niels Eikelboom of Sailing Black Moon

Tags: black moon sailing Last modified date: August 9, 2022

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