04 Apr Taiohae, Nuku Hiva – Wednesday, 04 April 2001
We had originally planned to leave Taiohae today, to spend a few days in Hakatea, also known as Daniel’s Bay, but decided to stay an extra day in order to have new acquaintances from a Norwegian sailboat to dinner. Arve Johannson, owner of S/Y Hildring, and his friend Egil Mollekleiv both speak excellent English and seemed like interesting people to get to know. Little did we know how interesting. Arve and his wife Vera Sletto, who we have not yet met because she is back home in Norway, are on an around the world cruise. He owns a consulting company with forty employees who assist companies that are relocating in Norway and she was a Project Manager in construction. They had never owned a boat, but decided to cruise around the world and proceeded to learn how to do it. They bought Hildring, a Junneau 42, learned to sail it, took numerous classes, and cruised Hildring on some long passages in order to practice their skills.
They left Norway in May of 1999 and near the Canary Islands rescued a young man from Dakar who they found floating at sea. He had been a stowaway on a freighter and when he came out of hiding; the Captain tied him to a barrel and threw him overboard in the middle of the night. Arve and Vera found him, almost dead, after he had been in the water for 22 hours and took him on board. Later they found a wealthy family in the Canary Islands who “adopted” him and he is now going to school. He had never been to school. Eight weeks later they rescued a famous sailboat racer who had been knocked overboard during a race in the Caribbean. This time they were participating in an organized search. They are now known as “the rescue boat.
Egil was helping Arve take Hildring from the Galapagos Islands to the Marquesas. They met when Arve and Vera took a class in celestial navigation from him. When he came to dinner, we knew that he was a retired naval officer, but we did not know that he had, at 27 years old, been the youngest Captain of a submarine in the Norwegian Navy and that he had also, for ten years been the Captain of the K/S Norge, the 300 foot private yacht of King Olaf of Norway. Egil is an interesting fellow with many stories to tell. We had a delightful evening and are looking forward to meeting Vera when she returns to Nuku Hiva in two weeks.