Papeete, rudders, etc...
10 July 2011 | Papeete, Tahiti
Papeete was a successful stop. Lots of personal things such as souvenir shopping and mounting pearls etc... We also discovered that we could go to the stadium every night that no show was scheduled and watch the practice for free as well as video tape which is a strict no no during the show. The main task was to receive the rudders and replace them. This got off to a bad start when the builder decided to send them half way around the world wrapped in one layer of pea sized bubble wrap and one layer of cardboard. That's right, when paying over $3000 just for freight; no one thought it would be a good investment to spend $100 building a shipping crate out of wood. So we started by getting out the epoxy and repairing both new rudders. Then after removing the starboard rudder shaft found the 4 new bearings they sent were machined to the wrong size. So it was off to find a machine shop that could cut them down for us. This caused a loss of two days in itself. Once the rudders and bearings were repaired it was time to go diving in Papeete harbor. 300 yards down the seawall is an overflow pipe from the city sewer system, normally dormant but I guess they had a heavy load that weekend and decided to release the excess into the harbor. So each time I came out of the water I was pouring hydrogen peroxide over all the invariable nicks you receive when doing that type of work trying to prevent a staph infection. Long story short after the first full day of trying to install the starboard rudder and being totally exhausted I arrived at the decision the boat would have to be hauled. But the next day we decided to give it one more go and using the old bearings were finally able to get the job done. At this point I was toying with the idea of not replacing the port rudder and carrying the new one as a spare but after bouncing the idea off Phillip from Free Spirit he convinced me to replace the port rudder as well. Having messed about enough with the starboard rudder I figured I would not need anything more from Papeete and decided to head over to Moorea to do the work.