2nd half of summer i Polynesia

The featured picture this time is for all our female readers – we thought you would enjoy this nice tight butt covered in tatoos……………………….

The days pass slowly here in Paradise. We can almost always find something to work on, on the boat. We decided that after over 25,000 nautical miles, our old sails were ready for retirement and we should mount our new ones before Lene and Ove came to visit. Some of you will remember our problems involved with flying out here with our new mainsail as baggage (over weight issues). Our new Genua (foresail) has been with us the entire time – we packed it on Capri when we sailed from Copenhagen.

Both sailbags have filled the entire area under our salon table and we can’t wait to get them out of there so we can have our feet under the table again.

Our old sails have served us well. As I said, over 25,000 nautical miles and 12 years and I guess we can’t ask for more than that. The repair Mario and I made on the mainsail in the BVI’s has held together for a year and something like 7,000 nautical miles – so we done good.

We raised the genua without any problems whatsoever. The mainsail turns out to be a different kettle of fish altogether.

The sail mounts on some small sleds that run up the mast in a slot. The sailmaker, unfortunately, has sewn in some plastic rings that are too small and won’t fit the sleds. GOD DAMN IT! Ok, no problem is so great that it can’t be solved with a little ingenuity and lots of elbow grease. It is possible to reuse the plastic rings from the old sail, but that means several hours of sewing on deck in the hot sun for me. No fun at all.

DSCF2078

amatørsejlmageren ved sit arbejde

The sail battans were also 1 inch too long, so I had to cut them down. Finally, we could raise the sail. Up it goes but I think it is just a hair too large – we might not be able to raise it fully. If that is true, then I can’t do anything about it myself – that needs a real sailmaker.

Once more we are made painfully aware of the first lesson of cruising – always, always check everything yourself – even if a professional has done the work.

But, we have no reason to complain. This is the rainy season, although so far we’ve not seen much rain. We usually get little rain the morning and a little again in the evening – if it rains at all. Kevin, an American that lives here and owns Nuku Hiva Yacht Services, says that last year they got almost no rain at all, but the year before they almost drowned. Into every life a little rain must fall.

Near the end of January, a 45 foot catamaran rolled into the bay and by golly there on the stern we could see the Danish flag proudly waving. A little later when I dinghied in to go shopping, I sailed by to say hello. No one home, but I could see the boat was named Mandalay!  It must be Peter, whom we met on St. Maarten. Later, when I was at the market, I met them, Peter and a couple of paying crew. They had a terrific sail from Panama. Four thousand nautical miles in just under 20 days. The winds were on a broad reach blowing 15-20 knots and they made over eight knots the whole way

WOOOOOW! What a trip.

There have been other Danish boats here, the two Danish live-aboard dive boats, Moana and Atlas. Poggy sailed in one day – Poggy is Niels, Tanja and their 4 kids, 16, 13, 10 and 3. They bought Poggy in Tahiti and will sail around out here for a year before selling the boat and flying home. It has been hard on Niels and Tanja. As Niels says, he is a shore-based sailor and they were simply not prepared for the challenges they have faced out here. First of all, all the things that can and do go wrong on the boat need repairing and you have to do it all yourself. Niels is handy but he simply hasn’t the skillset necessary for all this. The learning curve for him has been vertical. The same for anchoring – anchoring out here simply isn’t like anchoring back in Denmark. First off, the bottom you’re anchoring in is not the nice sand you are used to from Denmark, secondly the swells are something else again. Poggy has dragged several times, once into another boat and they are happy they have insurance. Poggy also has a CQR anchor – which almost no  one has out here, since they do not hold as well as a Mantus (us) or a Rocna.

Calle II has also been for a short while, Robert, Sine and their 3 children. They have sailed here from Denmark, but like Poggy, will only sail as far as Australia, sell their boat there and then fly home.

We see more and more catamarans.  We haven’t counted them, but think it must be about 40%. The world is going in that direction. Cats get better and better and they have a comfort level that few monohulls can match. Vinni and I have become convinced that were we going to do this again, we would sail a cat. They can’t sail uphill (well Catanas can – they have drop keels), but as many cat owners say: “That’s why God invented diesel engines.)

I suppose they might have something there.

We’ve had problems with a leak at the front end of the boat. In retrospect, we’ve had these problems almost since we left Denmark. Crossing the Atlantic, I noticed that some of my clothes on the starboard side shelf over the bed were moist. I couldn’t find anything at the time and assumed it was condensation – after all it had rained cats and dogs coming over the Atlantic. Later, some of our bedsheets that are stored at the foot of the bed were wet and dirty, so this time I started taking things apart and got all the way into our anchor winch. I couldn’t find anything and finally gave up.

Again last spring things were wet and this time I localized the fault – the anchor winch. Apparently, it was leaking around the gearbox. I tightened all four bolts as tight as I could get them and Voila! – Problem solved (or so I thought). This fall the problem reasserted itself and now I tried to dismount the entire anchor winch. For those who have never tried this, dismounting it requires lying on your back, with your arms stretched straight up and twisting your wrists and fingers into positions God never meant for them to be twisted into. When you finally get there, you can try to get a wrench on the bolts and undo them.

This is extremely entertaining for those watching, less so for those doing it.

Unfortunately, the winch was immovable and there was nothing I could do. A couple of weeks later, we hoisted anchor and our anchor chain was covered with seagrass.

DSCF2229

our chain is in there somewhere

The dirty water simply poured in. Faced with this, I went at it again and this time, after several hours of cursing and having all my knuckles skinned, the winch came out. Now I could see the problem, the bearings inside were worn out and the packings that made it watertight were worn to a nub.

GOD DAMN IT!!!!

Our winch is not in production anymore – spare parts are difficult, if not impossible to come by and it simply isn’t possible to find a new winch that has the same bolt pattern as the old one. Mounting a new winch requires plugging the old holes and drilling new ones while hoping that your repairs are watertight. To do it right, you need to cut a piece of the deck out, lay a new deck and then drill new holes.

I was depressed. I didn’t want to tell Vinni what shit we were in until I had tried everything else. Our internet, as you know, is very poor but I managed to get a mail through to the Italian manufacturer asking about spare parts. He didn’t answer my questions, but sent me a volley of questions about the shaft etc. etc.

Fortunately, I spoke with Kevin, owner of Nuku Hiva Yacht Services and he thought could help me.  The next day he had found the parts I needed at an industrial supply house on Tahiti and three days later they were lying on his desk. A new winch would have more than $2000 and the parts on his desk only cost $70.

Oh happy Day!

Of course now it just had to be mounted which meant that the rusted in remains of the bearing had to be pounded out, but few things can resist a chisel and a 5 lb. sledgehammer. Out it came and we mounted the new bearing and the packings and then there only remained to try it.

Damn! It works!!!!

So I’m rightfully proud of myself but the big test comes the next time we haul the anchor up – will it leak?

While we are talking about repairs……………………

Our wonderful watermaker – that has run without fault for 3 years now and made over 50,000 liters of clean fresh water has begun to produce less. It is supposed to produce 30 liters per hour but only produces 20 liters. Normally this reduction in production is due to a blockage of some kind on the suction side – soooooooooo Carsten gets on his diving gear and goes under the boat to clean out the suction inlet. Everything is honky dory down here. Unfortunately, the cleaning didn’t help. Ok, so let’s try cleaning out the suction strainer – nope no help. The suction hoses?  No. The pressure filter? No.

DSCF2105

working on the watermaker

Hmmm. I’m running out of options. OK, so it probably is the membrane. Order a new one ($300) and wait a week then mount the new one and Presto!  No change.

Shit and double SHIT!!!!

We’re really out of options now, the only thing left is the main part of the unit, also called the Clark pump. We happen to have (happen my ass – be prepared is our motto) a total rebuild kit for the Clark pump but I’m skittish about doing it. It is ungodly complicated and I’ll need to do it on shore – I can’t do it in a rocking and rolling boat. Kevin tells me that he has done this once before a couple of years ago and is willing to help.

I spend a couple of hours dismounting the damned thing and then going in with it in the dinghy.

DSCF2113

There are a lot of parts inside a watermaker

We spend 8 (yes count ‘em – eight) hours rebuilding the contraption then back out with the dinghy, spend an hour remounting it and by golly turn it on ……………………………

No change – still 20 liters per hour. I can curse in more than one language and here I used all the languages I know (and several I didn’t). There really is only one item left to change and that is the feedpump. We have tested that and it gives the proper pressure and seems to put to the proper flow – but this is all it can be. Order a new pump ($200), then Fedex ($200), then customs and duties ($100) and this is now the most expensive feedpump in the universe.

The new pump showed up a few days delayed (this is French Polynesia) and I’ve spent most of the morning mounting it.  The big moment came and I hit the switch. 10 liters per hour, then 20 liters per hour, then a slow crawl upwards to 25 liters per hour. Ok, still better than before, but I can’t figure out what is wrong with the damned thing.

I keep talking to Spectre and they are also at a loss – they think it might be because the salinity of the water is very high and that is causing it to produce less. We’ll find out when we sail to the Tuamutos – the water is less saline there.

Our supply ship, Aranui 5, normally comes every third week. Twice a year, it sails to the Gambier Islands and Pitcairn. When it takes that route, it skips the Marquesas and we go without fresh supplies for 6-7 weeks. The stores have run out of almost everything – the refrigerated items are all gone and the refrigerators stand empty and turned off – even staples like coffee, tea, beans etc. are low – there is no coffee here. Fortunately, Vinni and I were warned and stocked up on most everything, but our larder is almost cleaned out. Cooking gas is non-existent at the moment (we have enough), diesel for the automobiles has run out as has gasoline.

Aranui finally shows up on the horizon and now we understand why in the old days everyone stood on the pier and danced when the supply ship came in. Vinni and I are almost ready to go out there and dance also.  Aranui is efficient. The cranes start almost before they finish docking and the pallets start piling up on the dock. The pickup trucks stand in line to get at the goods and bring them out to the stores and small villages around the island. By midafternoon the refrigerators at the stores are filled up – but everyone comes from all over the island and by nightfall the stores are empty again. Nothing to do but wait another 3 weeks for Aranui to come by again.

Yes dear reader – life out here is different.

Late one afternoon, this boat came struggling into the bay, a 1983 Choi Lee, 53 feet. It came in as you see it, without masts (it is a 2 masted ketch), and bimini, sprayhood or railings. To get the whole story, we need to rewind a bit. A cruise ship was supposed to have come to Nuku Hiva a couple of days ago but never showed up. Well that happens. Sometimes they get behind on their sailing schedule due to bad weather or something else and they are forced to skip a stop.

Back to the Choi Lee. It was purchased by an Australian in the US, for $116,000 taken to Mexico for at refit (including new rigging) and then a delivery crew was hired to sail it to Australia. They were well underway when about 500nm from the Marquesas the entire rig came down. Not only did the rig come down, it took the sprayhood, bimini railings etc. with it on it’s way. The crew managed to cut everything away and let it sink. Fortunately for the skipper, who had been up in the mast only 10 minutes before it came down. No one was hurt, but now they had a problem. No sails and apparently not enough diesel to make it to the Marquesas. The cruise ship happened to pass close by and they managed to call them on a handheld VHF and get their diesel tanks filled from the cruise ship.  The cruise ship then followed them for the next 3-400 nm and when they were sure they would make it the ship sailed on to its next port of call.

DSCF2126

Battered but not beaten – the Choi Lee just needs new masts, rigging, railings, sprayhood and wow !- she’s set to go!

The Choi Lee sailed into Taiohieu Bay. The delivery crew got off and flew back home leaving the boat here as you see it. What will happen to it? No one knows. It is not possible to get new masts here in the Marquesas and even if you had some brought in from Tahiti, there is no mast crane to set them. So if the boat is going to be salvaged, it needs to be sailed to Tahiti. Which can be done – the engines work fine so it would be about a 6-7 day uncomfortable sail – but you’d get there. Fixing it up would probably cost around $100,000, so the owner is going to have to be willing to sell it for nothing or give it away. Right now the owner and the insurance company are fighting it out about calling it a total loss.

If anyone is looking for an excellent boat (Choi Lees are good boats) and want to spend some time in Tahiti fixing it up – well we know where you can probably get one for free.

The Choi Lee is not the only strange boat here. There’s a 46 foot catamaran that has been lying in the bay for the past 18 months. Apparently, a couple of Dutchmen filled it with 600 kilos of cocaine in Columbia and were sailing it to Australia where they were going to sell the coke and get rich. They had some engine problems and laid to here.  The Gendarmes were waiting for them, having been tipped off. The cops boarded her and found the coke. 600 kilos – well, yessiree, that’s a bit more than you can say is for personal use. So the Dutchmen are now spending the next many years looking out from between bars. As soon as they were found the guilty, the government put the impounded boat up for sale.

In the meantime, dishonest sailors (no not the locals – cruisers) had ribbed it for everything they could, the winches and the chartplotter, anchorwinch etc. Vinni and I find it unbelievable that there are such dishonest sailors. If you can afford to sail around the world – why steal?

The day came when the sealed bids for the boat were opened and Voila! Our friends from Moggy, Lynne and David had the winning bid. Now they have two catamarans. They’ve already started the fixing up and they intend to sail it to Tahiti and sell it there when they are finished.

There are a number of Canadians and Americans here in the bay and Kevin from Yacht Services  is also American. Nothing, of course is holier than Super Bowl and Kevin closed down his internet wifi to everyone else and invited anyone who wanted to come watch the game. So we were 10-12 who came along, drank beer, ate chili and yelled at the screen. Great afternoon and if we all got a bit more beer in us than is good for us – well the gendarmes don’t give tickets here from driving your dinghy while under the influence.

Thank you Kevin.

Ove and Lene came to visit. They were supposed to have sailed with us in the Caribbean, but inclement weather kept us from reaching Antigua to meet them. But Lene and Ove had a holiday on Antigua. This time they were coming our here, and were smart enough not to buy their tickets until we were here. We rented a car and picked them up at the airport and drove around the island.

DSCF2143

View from the road back from the airport

They brought the good weather with them. This is the rainy season here but we had only sunshine and clear skies the entire time they were here.

DSCF2148

Taioheu Bay in the background

Wonderful sunshine and 35 degree C every day. Lene is a vegetarian and was in seventh heaven as we walked around and pick fruits right from the trees. Fresh avocados, as many as she wanted (she wanted a lot), mangos, papayas, pamplemousse, guava, bananas and carambolas and limes.

DSCF2178

The back end of the car was completely filled with fresh picked fruit

DSCF2216

Chop down a banana tree and here’s the result

Fresh picked fruit every day for breakfast. A cornucopia of fruits that you don’t find in Denmark.

They were here for two and a half weeks so we decided to take a short sail over to Ua Pou, a nearby island that you’ll remember Vinni and I are fond of. We wandered around, picked fruit and rented a car to drive around that island also.

One of the peculiarities of Ua Pou is that the bay is very small and you need to leave lots of room for Aranui and other supply ships. That means that you need to set a stern anchor. No problem in terms of seamanship, but you have to be careful not to set your anchor so it grabs other boats stern anchor. When we arrived there was only one other boat in the bay, so there was lots of room. We dropped our main hook and set our stern anchor. The next day was Sunday and Vinni had told us how beautiful the singing was during services at the local church, so we were up early and dressed in “Sunday go to meeting clothes” and off to church. As it happened, it was Springs Tide (for those non-sailors amongst our readers, Springs tide is at full moon and is an extra ‘high’ high tide and an extra ‘low’ low tide. We have a blue Clorox bottle tied to a line from our stern anchor that floats on the surface. This is to tell other sailors that there is an anchor down here and they shouldn’t drop their hook right there (everyone uses a small plastic bottle to mark their stern anchor). Coming back from church (about one and half hours later), we saw that a big 54 foot sailboat had arrived and anchored near us and now we couldn’t see our blue bottle. It hadn’t been low tide when we left and it certainly wasn’t low tide yet when we came back so the bottle should have been visible.

As we sailed back to Capri, we passed close to the big boat and asked if they had hit our blue bottle (shit happens) and had it wrapped around their rudder or keel.

First I’m going to apologize here to our French readers, but I’m going to let my prejudices come to the front. The boat was manned by a couple of Frenchmen (we’ve had numerous bad experiences with French sailors – they are unbelievably arrogant). The problem is partly communication, few Frenchmen speak English and we don’t speak French. Having said that we also know some Belgium sailors or sailors that do speak fluent French and they also find the French sailors, as a group, to be truly arrogant.

Back to our story. The older sailor spoke no English but the younger spoke some. No, he yelled, they had not seen a blue bottle and they certainly had not run over any bottle.

Hmmmm. Well the damn thing didn’t just disappear into thin air. We had to find out what had happen to our stern anchor. Back on Capri we could see the stern anchor rope was now pointing directly at the big boat – when we left it was pointing 90 degree the other way. Nothing else to do but get the diving gear out and jump in. Which I did and followed our stern rope down to the bottom along the bottom and ‘What’s this?’ the chain now started rising towards the surface and what did I find hanging there?

Why our stern anchor of course.

The line with the bottle continued (the anchor was hanging from it) and where did I find the blue bottle? At the end of the line wrapped around their anchor.

I surfaced and yelled for the sailors on the big boat, but they didn’t feel like coming back to their stern (they were busy inflating their dinghy), until Vinni screamed at them from Capri. The younger one finally moseyed on back and looked down at me. When I told him that our ‘tripline’ and bottle were wrapped around his rudder, he said he knew. When we had asked from our dinghy he had jumped in the water afterwards and seen it there.

Well wouldn’t it have been a good idea to tell us before I got out all my diving gear and swam over here? He really didn’t care. When I asked him to try turning his rudder so I could see if I could get the line loose, I stared at me and finally said, ‘say please’. By this time my blood pressure was going to the moon, but I said please and he tried to turn the rudder. I couldn’t get the damned thing out so I decided that the best thing was to cut it away. I surfaced and asked him for a knife. He looked at me and just walked away.

Ok – so I swam back to Capri, got a knife, swam back and cut it away. I had not gotten the line out of his rudder, but now our stern anchor was free and could be reset and I’d salvaged our blue bottle. Despite his arrogance, I decided to be a nice guy and when I cut the line, I left him enough so he could tie more line onto it and use a winch to pull it out.

He didn’t deserve such good treatment.

But his karma caught up with him and he got his cosmic comeuppance. We wondered at where he anchored his boat – it was right where Aranui needed to pass its shorelines. The younger guy left the boat with luggage and flew out and the older guy had a woman and little come visit (daughter and granddaughter?) and left with them. Aranui showed up the next day and sure enough, his boat was right in the way.

The supply ship don’t put up with that kind of crap, so they took their big tender, tied a line to his boat and pulled him, and his anchors, 15-20 meters backward and left him. Someone must have called him because he showed up on the pier an hour later squawking and fuming about how they had moved his boat. He also didn’t have a stern anchor out and he couldn’t figure how to do set one himself.

For some strange reason, we didn‘t really feel like helping him.

DSCF2290

We brought out the beer and chips to watch the “harbor show” as the Aranui hauled his ass away from the dock

Finally, a couple of locals took pity on him and helped him.

It was a ‘harbour show’ of great entertainment.

My apologies to the French one more time.

A couple of days later we upped anchor and sailed back to Nuku Hiva – once again we had a fantastic sail, a good reach with winds at 12-15 knots and Capri (and her new sails) just floated along making 7-8 knots. Ocean sailing when it is best.

Back on Nuku Hiva we decided to sail around the island to Anaho bay, a marvelous place Vinni and I have written about before. Despite a good weather forecast the swells were high and the sailing uncomfortable so we bailed out and made into Controller Bay for the night and continued onward next morning early. The swells had died down and suddenly a dolphin appeared alongside. He must have liked what he saw because he called his pod over and then we were surrounded by 15-20 dolphins cavorting around Capri, including 3 baby dolphins that were showing off around our bows (Mama dolphin swam right behind them to make sure they didn’t get into trouble). The entire show lasted an hour or more so Ove and Lene got a dolphin show of a lifetime.

sdr

Dolphin show for an hour

We’ve learned to play Mexican Train out here (a domino game all cruisers play). We taught Ove and Lene and especially Lene enjoyed it (showing a competitive streak she didn’t know she had). So we played almost every evening.

In Anaho there were no swells and few boats. Lene and Ove swam around most of the bay and snorkeled the coral reefs and really enjoyed having the baby Black Tip sharks around their feet when we waded into shore from the dinghy.

Vinni led them over the mountain to the next bay and lunch at the fine little restaurant there, while I stayed on the boat repairing a few things. They came back tired as all get out and I was perfectly happy since I had managed to fix all the little things that needed it.

We drove completely around Nuku Hiva. One of the most interesting places was a visit to a vanilla farmer. Admittedly, I knew nothing about vanilla except that I use it when baking.

DSCF2156

Vanilla drying in the sun

The woman part of the farm household was a French nurse who had met and married a local. They built a house and decided that vanilla farming was a good way to make a living. She was more than knowledgeable and really passionate about vanilla. Her explanation was truly interesting.

 

She also said that the vanilla farming gave her lots of time for her children and family so she didn’t miss France at all.

Nuku Hiva is home to the third highest waterfall in the world (about 2000 feet). Some of you will remember that Vinni and I visited Daniels Bay a couple of months ago and didn’t trek in to see the waterfall. We figured that since Ove and Lene were coming and we would end up trekking in there with them, why do it twice? They were here now and we sailed through the heavy breakwaters into Daniels Bay. The sail in was just as spectacular as the last time and you can get dizzy trying to look at everything all at once.

DSCF2338

Tell us it gets more spectacular than this………

Lying at anchor here is a sheer joy – you have to experience it to believe it.

DSCF2235

Capri by herself in Daniels Bay

The next morning we set out early (it is a two hour walk in and a two hour walk out).

DSCF2231

This guy was not going to move

There is a path or rather there is a path part of the way – other times you are simply trekking through the forest. “You must cross the river three times” said the locals – OK, crossing the river meant wading through heavy rapids in knee deep water (and slippery rocks). We got to the falls without serious incidence.

DSCF2244

Crossing in swift running water

Part of the way there, the locals had chopped down some trees so trekkers could see the top of the waterfalls. You can’t see the entire falls all at once. You can see the top from a distance and the bottom from up close.

DSCF2253

Top of the falls

As we got closer, the ravine and canyon narrowed and finally we were walking between cliff walls.

DSCF2252

The canyon walls closed in

Finally, there, there is a small lake. To see the waterfall properly, you need to climb over some rocks, swim across the small lake and climb over some more rocks and – there you are.

DSCF2267

A little skinny-dipping in the pool

Of course, in this group there was only one Tarzan – me, of course. While the rest only swam in the lake, I both swam and climbed and got all the way into the falls.

DSCF2272

The bottom of the falls

Coming back we had lunch at one of the couple who live in Daniels Bay.

DSCF2276

Our hosts for a grand 8 course lulunch – $10

Times flies and suddenly Lene and Ove were leaving. They had brought many good things with them (read: spare parts, gin and licorice), and last but not least, Vinni’s birthday present for me – a drone. So now I need to assemble it and learn how to fly it – then you’’ all get lots of aerial views of Capri and her surroundings.

Here’s a video of the bay we have been in most of the time the last six months.  The big catamaran seen at first is supposedly the world’s largest sailing catamaran – just under 150 feet long.

 

Out time here in the Marquesas is nearing an end. The hurricane season ends in a few weeks and we will sail for the Tuamutos and dive on the atolls. It will be a 4-5 day passage and believe it or not – we are looking forward to a passage. Then we will be in bountyland with white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, only palm trees etc. etc. We will be diving amongst the sharks, Mantas, and everything else. One of Vinni’s previous work colleagues will join us there for a couple of weeks and sail with us to Tahiti.

Capri will be going on the hard on Tahiti, we need to change the stuffing box and perhaps she’ll get an extra coat of bottom paint. We’ll also be provisioning like mad there – there will be few to no stores until we reach New Zealand next October. Our very good friends and previous neighbors, Tony and Marianne, will join us on Tahiti and sail through the Society islands with us. It will be great to see them again.

We’ve begun to provision for the trip and the Tuamutos – we dropped a huge order at the supermarket for delivery with Aranui when she comes on April 9. It is going to be expensive. We’ll also rent a car just before we leave. We want to drive around the islands again and load up on every fruit imaginable. So our fruit larder will be overflowing. Everyone tells us that the locals on the Tuamutos are very happy to trade for pamplemousse so we will load up on those.

Kevin, owner of Nuku Hiva Yacht Services is a nice guy. As a farewell gift to all those that have been here through the season he held a good-bye bash at his house. Fifty or so hungry and thirsty sailors showed up, everyone carrying food and booze. What a party! I don’t know where Kevin found them but he had a local blues band playing all night and man could they play blues – great music.

Quite a few of the women cruisers have been going to dance lessons all winter and call themselves Vahine de Moana (women of the sea or mermaids for short). They put on a dance show for us and we could see that they had learned to wiggle their bottoms just a nicely as the locals can.

DSCF2303

Our own mermaids get ready to dance

Our dinghy motor decided to strike. It has behaved itself since I threatened it with a watery grave when we were on USVI. Apparently, it took the threat seriously because it has given us zero problems since then. But now it started acting up. It wouldn’t start. It wouldn’t run, it just wouldn’t anything. We can’t have that when the dinghy is your lifeline to the shore.  First I pulled it apart, cleaned the carb and the spark plug – Hallejuha!! It works.

For a day or two. Hmmm. More problems. Bring the motor in to Kevin, who has a proper workshop. Go through it once again. Water in the oil – Ok fuel pump leaking. No spare fuel pump – fortunately Kevin has an old motor out back that has the same fuel pump. Use that. Change the oil.

Hallejuha!!! Now it runs.

At least until the next afternoon when it stalls half way out to Capri and I just barely manage to nurse it back to the boat.

GOD DAMN IT!!!!!

Back to Kevin, but this time I have tested the entire fuel system and was pretty sure the problem was with the tank. So we pulled that completely apart and there it was. The hose from the outlet fitting on the tank down to the fuel was cracked, letting the engine suck false air. New hose and the problem is solved.

The engine is now completely rebuilt and that’s Ok, it probably needed it anyway. We’re hoping that that is it for problems – we can’t survive without a dinghy and motor.

We took a couple of days and sailed back to Daniels Bay. First, because we felt we needed a change of scenery (yes, you can get tired of seeing the same beautiful mountain vista every day) and also because I needed to go up in the mast to check the rigging before we set out on a passage. Taiohieu Bay is wonderful, but a bit rock and roll because of the swells.  Daniels Bay is much quieter and I can go up without being thrown all over the place. Unfortunately, while the swells were down, the katabatic winds were blowing full blast meaning I was getting hit by heavy wind gusts while I was up there. This, of course is unbelievably funny when you are hanging up there.

DSCF2328

It might look like fun, but when the wind gusts – it ain’t

Oh the life of a cruiser (sigh).

While I was doing my thing in the mast – Vinni, Capri’s “winch wench” cleaned and serviced all our winches.

DSCF2319

Vinni the Winch Wench hard at work

DSCF2320

Almost impossible to get too much of this scenery – here at happy hour

Of course, we weren’t done yet – not by a long shot. When we started the engine to leave Daniels Bay, the alternator didn’t charge. Oh Crap! I poked around in it and tested everything I could but couldn’t breathe life back into it.

Back in Taiohae Bay, we called Kevin out and we spent a couple of hours trying to resuscitate the damned thing. It was dead and intended to stay dead. The batterysplitter had also gone to wherever dead batterysplitters go. Nothing for it but order new. One alternator, $1000, 1 splitter $300, freight and customs (hold on to your hats), $700 or total $2000.

There goes the April budget. We drown our sorrows with a rum and lime juice.

Meanwhile ARC World, an around the world regatta, passed through. Some will remember that we crossed the Atlantic with ARC+ (where we won the first leg in our class – something that cannot be repeated often enough). Most of these boats are big, 50 feet seems to be the starting size and going up from there (Capri is 40 feet). Unfortunately, many of these ARC sailors are an unsympathetic lot. They tie their dinghies up on the ladders on the pier instead of the rings provided, thereby making it almost impossible for the rest of us to climb up from our dinghies. Their attitude seems to express that they feel they are better than we are (well they probably have more money). They will make their circumnavigation in 1 months which is unbelievably fast, especially since they will be going around Cape Hope, south of Africa. They don’t have much time at any of their stops and most of what they will see is water, water and more water. I’m happy for them, but I wouldn’t want to do that.

This will probably be our last blog from the Marquesas. We sail in a couple of weeks and as noted the passage will take 4-5 days. We know that internet in the Tuamutos is non-existent or if there is some, it will be slow, sloooow , sloooooooooooooooooooooow.

We’ll try to send a greeting through when we can but don’t count on it. You’ll hear from us again when we reach Tahiti, early June.

As a last treat – here is some aerial footage of these beautiful islands – truly a Garden of Eden or Paradise on earth.  Enjoy this video

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “2nd half of summer i Polynesia

  1. I was at the Grand Canyon when I saw your latest email. I tried to find the cave we saw when we camped there in 1970?! Yikes!! Love living vicariously through your emails. Stay safe and well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s