We did well to arrive in Papeete before the bad weather. We have had a
couple of days of rain but with a barely a gust in the marina but boats
arriving have reported 30, 40 touching 50 knots of wind with big seas.
Several crews arrived very frayed at the edges and a bit traumatised by
the experience. Fortunately, there seems to have been no lasting damage
to boats or people. Talking to them reinforced the feeling that we're
glad we've arrived. This is despite the fact the Papeete is definitely
the least pleasant location we've been to for 6 months!
It's a different life in Papeete to the rest of the trip. There's a real
feeling within the fleet of 'Phew, we've just sailed pver 6,000miles
since St Lucia - always pushing on. Now we've arrived in Tahiti and
we'd just like to stop for a while'. The fleet is altogether now for the
first time since the Galapagos Islands nearly 2 months ago. We are
enjoying seeing everybody again, catching up and taking stock - and of
course the inevitable boat jobs.
People who have not experienced blue-water cruising might wonder about
boat jobs - 'surely you just sail the boat? and if nothing breaks, it's
all good'. Well, sort of. We have a strong boat, we prepared well and
- touch wood - have had no major failure so far' Still however, the
list of jobs was extensive. My notebook of jobs for Papeete had the
- Fix Snowy. This is the only journey-limiting problem. The seam on
the inflatable floor had come apart and there was a hole in one tube.
We had tried multiple time to fix both, but air always continued to
escape. Snowy is now in hospital and due for release tomorrow
- Service the loos. Take them apart, clear out the crap, replace any
worn parts (only a spring this time). Nice job.....
- Waggle all the seacocks to ensure they still open and shut (plastic
handle on 1 is cracked, but safety is unaffected)
- Grease the steering cable (slight squeak gone now)
- Financial Admin, paying bills at home, ensuring there is money in
the right place etc
- Buy petrol for outboard and compressor
- Recheck the travel on the engine gearshift selector cable (you
don't really want to know)
- Buy a new shower head to replace the leaky one in our heads
(remarkably, we found an exact replacement)
- Add dyneema soft shackles to the mainsail cars as an addition to
the bungee currently holding the sail to the mast
- Update necessary bureaucracy re crew changes
- Get a new electric dinghy pump. After 12 noisy years, the old one
- Download charts for cook Islands, Nuie, Fiji & Tonga
- Restick the table leg to the hull where Richard and I pulled it off
- Service both genoa winches. Now not squeaking any more
- Laundry. Great to have it done by someone else, but always seems
to come back at nearly double the original quoted price.
- Fix SSB problem. It kept freezing after 10 minutes use. The tale
of importing the replacement part into Tahiti is extremely long and
dull. But it's now fixed under warranty so hopefully will not re-occur.
- Paint marker lengths on chain. Red at 10, 40 & 70m, Yellow at 20,
50 & 80m, Green at 30 & 60m
- Write chain marking scheme on inside of anchor locker lid because
we keep forgetting
- Improve the plate on the guardrail for holding the outboard so
that it actually is big enough for the outboard.
- review list of scheduled maintenance
- Buy all the dry stores & drink required for approx next 2 months
Yesterday, we did a lap of the island with Betrand, a friend we've been
on parallel tracks with since Fakarava. He is on his boat 'Mupi' alone
for a couple of weeks as his wife flies home on family matters. It was
an interesting drive but what stood out for me is just how little the
middle of the island is developed or even considered. There are barely
any roads going further inland than, say, 1/2 a mile. The fantastic,
lush, vertiginous mountains look completely unexplored. One can visit
the base of 100m+ waterfall - climbing to the top is not an option. The
island's entire focus is the coastal strip and the sea inside the reef.