09/29/2011, Papeete, Tahiti
Thankfully, we have received 2 of the 4 packages on which we are waiting so it looks like we might be leaving Sunday or Monday for.....well, we haven't got THAT far yet!
Mark has been enjoying his first forays into the underwater world of SCUBA - what better place to learn where the water is so warm he didn't need a wetsuit and there are tropical fish everywhere! Unbeknownst to me, he has also booked an introductory dive for me tomorrow so I'll give you an update. Lochy and Mia can't wait for them to reach the minimum age so they can SCUBA too - probably after NZ during our next South Pacific season.
We've been focusing on school in the mornings - Johannes from Goody has been joining us which has helped his and our kid's attitude to school - nothing like a bit of competition! For PE, we joined Goody and Luna for a game of beach volley ball just along the road from the marina which was completely tiring for the adults - well, me anyway! Mia has been making herself another skirt and Lochy has been mastering his magic kit we bought from Jersey and have only just re-discovered. We also re-discovered our game of Cluedo I had put away because the kids were too young when we left and we had a fun evening, once Lochy learnt not to say for example, "So, it's not the candlestick then" every time he saw a card! Mia asked if we could play it every night, but I'm not sure Mark and my patience could last for much longer than once a month! At least it wasn't monopoly. No thank you, we don't need monopoly on the boat - perish the thought!
09/24/2011, Papeete, Tahiti
I've just realised I didn't update the blog about our wonderful wonderful humpback experience two days ago. Dan offered to take us out to see the spinner dolphins, but just as we got out of the pass, we spotted humpback whales. Dan's girlfriend Perrine does whale spotting tours for a diving company and so we knew that if the whales looked like they were just chilling out, we could snorkel with them. What I didn't realise until we got in, was that the whale we could see on the top was just a baba and was being held up to the surface by his mother who we couldn't see until we were looking under the surface. Dan reckoned the baby was about 4-6 weeks old due to the colour and the fact that he was still needing help to breathe. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing the experience was, to be within a couple of metres of a 20 metre whale and her baby. That was our first win of the week.
The next win was closely followed by a lose, as last night we watched the France -New Zealand match on a big screen on a superyacht - Tiara. 5 minutes before the game ended we were winning the sweepstake for the scores and then the referee made a terrible decision on France's last try and the scores changed - we were so close to winning $600. Mark stayed on for a little while after the rest of us and I got a message to say our dinghy wasn't where we had left it. Thinking rather negatively that it had been nicked, I was relieved to hear the chug chug chug of our 3.3HP engine coming back to the boat, having been found by Mark drifting in the marina. I think someone must have accidentally let it go when they were untying their own painter and whilst I have my suspicions as to who that was, they shall remain nameless!!
We are now anchored back in our original spot with very clean children, very clean clothes and a very clean boat. Mark and I scrubbed up quite well too!
09/22/2011, Papeete, Tahiti
Yep, Mark and my 9th wedding anniversary! And our present to each other? A couple of nights in a marina. I can't explain the excitement I've had of being able to use a hose to wash the boat, instead of sea water by the bucket. Or Mark's excitement at being able to fully charge the batteries using shore power. It's the little things! The kids were over the moon to be able to have a water fight (on the condition they scrubbed the decks at the same time) and to be able to ride their bikes up and down the pontoon. Mark and I weren't intimidated by parking between two super-yachts at all, honest, as it has only been, oooh, 9 months since we have been in a marina. Actually Mark is super cool when it comes to parking the boat, so we had no problems. I haven't actually had one on shore yet, but I'm also excited about having a proper shower, although I expect I will still rinse all over, turn the water off quickly, lather up before a quick rinse off, purely out of habit!
We had a lovely BBQ on Luna in the evening, which was supposed to be a welcome back to Joop (dad from Goody) It made me giggle to see Jacolette pour her beer on the BBQ to calm it down with the declaration "just leave it to the South African woman to control a BBQ" and the look on Lars' face as she put out the flames on his lovely gas BBQ. "Oh, is it gas? I'm used to the real thing!" Luckily Lars had everything under control and could light it again. But I made a mental note not to leave Jacolette near my cooker!
The downside of the day was that Joop couldn't join us for his welcome back to Tahiti BBQ as when he arrived in Tahiti, he didn't realise that the visa they issued him when he first arrived in the Marquesas was a single entry one, so the moment he landed, he was deported on the next plane out. He did however manage to hand Jacolette the spare parts he had bought with him, so the mechanic can get on with fixing the engine. And the last news of Joop? He had managed to get tickets for the South African rugby match, as the first plane out of Tahiti was to NZ. Mark is now wondering how he can get deported in time for the Scotland game!
09/20/2011, Papeete, Tahiti
20 September 2011
Pacific Bliss stayed an extra couple of days much to the kids' delight and they really did get to play in concentrated bursts in between school and food and sleep! We went snorkelling with them over a sunken aeroplane and boat which was pretty cool. They have been the first boat we have met who have a girl Mia's age and a boy Lochy's age. A perfect match.
The Jackson Four enjoyed a lovely meal at Perrine and Dan's apartment and a swim in their pool and Lochy was completely made up by being given a grey shark tooth that Perrine had collected on one of her dives.
This morning we went to the diesel dock to fill up with the intention of staying a couple of nights in the marina so we can completely recharge the batteries using shore power. It would be cheaper than hiring a generator, however, no room in the inn today. We've reserved for tomorrow.
We've been told that two of our 6 parcels we have arranged to be sent here have arrived, so Mark can get on with the duogen repairs tomorrow!
A little update on our next plans? Well, we need to be in Tonga for the end of October to leave for NZ. With so many places to visit and so little time left, we (well I - still need to discuss this with Mark!) have decided we'll go to Bora Bora (MAY need to miss it out and see Moorea instead) which takes less than 48 hours. Then 1035 miles to Nuie (about 9 days) and then 250 miles to Tonga. Then next season, we can decide how far we will come back again towards French Polynesia before spending a more leisurely season in the Pacific!
09/17/2011, Papeete, Tahiti
Well, Dan has returned Mark safely to Tahiti (or vice versa!) and they arrived before sunset last night. Dan used to work on super yachts here and so knows all the crews, so when the opportunity to watch the rugby on one of the big boats came up, they both jumped at the chance. In the meantime I was recovering from losing - and gaining again - a day, when Pacific Bliss informed me (yesterday) it wasn't Friday but Thursday. Not that it matters what day it is, but I was baffled for half an hour until PB then admitted it was they who were mistaken and my sense of equilibrium was restored. It's not for another few hundred miles before we lose a day to the international date line!
We've placed orders for fuel filters, smart chargers, and are still waiting for the propeller that still hasn't arrived in Nuka Hiva, let alone been returned to Tahiti, so we're going to be here for at least another week.
Mia and Lochy have had another sleepover and also pleased to see Luna again, so although we're stuck here for a little while, it's nice to be stuck with other boat families! Dan has lent us his car whilst we are here, so we're looking forward to a tour of the island and also maybe the opportunity to go whale watching with Perrine his girlfriend and have a dip in their pool. So it was definitely worth losing Mark for 2 and a half days, not to mention the fact that it was just nice to have some time apart and to enjoy seeing each other again. That's OK isn't it?
09/14/2011, Papeete, Tahiti
Well, Mark left at 10am to catch a noon flight and I've heard from him that he has safely arrived in Rangiroa, all ready to set sail first thing tomorrow morning. As he left, he mentioned that if I could just do the 200 hour oil change for both engines whilst he was gone and order some filters and a sterling smart charger that would be great - oh, and the engines need more diesel and don't forget to turn on the engines twice a day to charge the batteries. Once Mark had gone and school was finished, Pacific Bliss came over to collect the kids and I blitzed the boat - I even saw the table again! Cosmo has totally restored my faith in Lochy's ability to make friends as they are getting on so well and the girls, well girls are girls aren't they?! I've never had the same concerns that Mia would turn around and deck her 'friend' in the same way Lochy might! And now? Pegasus is having a girly sleep over and Pacific Bliss is having a boys sleep over - the girls are watching a film and everything is calm and lovely. Oh PS, I think I might have a job lined up for NZ - fingers crossed - now where is my CV?!