Friday 20 January 2006,
HAULING OUT IN TAHITI
The last time Prrrfection
got her bottom cleaned was nearly 3 years ago in Trinidad. The plan was to do that in New Zealand, but as we decided to stay in Tahiti for the season and because of the water in the sail drive in our starboard motor , I decided to haul out while we have lots of time on our hands. The sail drive can only be done with the boat out of the water.
The hauling-out facilities in Tahiti is at the marina in Port Phaeton. We have been anchored in this "hurricane hole" since December and although the water is murky, we have been enchanted with this part of Tahiti. We are close to Taravoa, the local village and shopping centre of Tahiti-Iti (small Tahiti), where there are various internet cafes, supermarkets, hardware stores,etc. Hardly possible to imagine that barely 5 years ago there was nothing! It still has its small town appeal and we get to see Tahiti and French Polynesia at its best!
The girls got involved in the local sailing school and wait for it - are enrolled in the primary school! A French school I might add, and we are totally overwhelmed by the friendliness and warmth that the girls have been showed and been welcomed in "Ohi Teitei
" their new school for a few months. I will do an update with photos of the school, the friends, the teachers soon.
But to get back to the hauling-out. As I mentioned earlier about the starboard motor and water in the sail drive - we can use the motor but have used it "in" gear just in emergencies.of which there were none - thank heavens. A few days before hauling out, the engine starter battery decided to go dead. After being unsuccessful in charging it, I finally had to admit defeat and had to buy a new battery. Now to get the battery in it's new place, right at the back of the engine... (yeah, where else?) I had to unpack the whole of the back cabin. Fine, girls are in school, I have plenty of time.. and we are in Tahiti so - Aitea e pae pae
(no problem). That eventually done, I proudly went to the ignition and started the motor.. and a clack sound was all I heard! The motor was totally stuck, would not move! Out came "Nigel Calder", (his Boat Builder's and Mechanical Handbook
an absolute must on every boat [Cruising Books
]) but for a few pessimistic pieces of advice, it basically came down to a serious problem -one for the experts. And we find ourselves in French Polynesia with a European currency and African Monopoly
Once again I was reminded why I like this lifestyle and cruisers so much - everybody offered help and advice and when it all failed - the moral support. We could not get the motor to turn and crank and I had to enter the marina with one motor and get our catamaran on the trailer at the slip for the hauling out, with one motor!
I entered the marina on Friday with a 20 knot wind (it has been blowing non-stop the last couple of (eeks) only one motor in use, lots of friends with dinghies in the water to help and a serious knot in the nervous part of my tummy! I must tell you, I always try and envisage scenarios that I think would be difficult, testing one's resources.. this was one of the worst scenarios. Somehow I entered into that all concentrating mode, just doing
what I could and being totally supported by the many friends and helpers that morning. I can remember Prrrfection
getting stuck on stern mooring lines of yachts in the marina, the tide was low - but we preferred the less wind of the early morning. These lines caught under the keels as we slowly manoeuvred the boat in the channel of the marina and eventually had Prrrfection
on the trolley, in front of the slip and ready to be hauled out. There was no shouting or hysterics, we all worked as a team.
As I sat on the side of the slip, the boat at an angle on the trolley, waiting for the tide to come in and me slowly coming back to normal mode( if I ever am like that!) I felt as if I could just hug and kiss all the helpers that ensured our home was safe and sound. The yachting life can be extremely satisfying, tranquilo and relatively stress free..but when we stress - we stress
! and i gave up smoking about 2 months ago and it was my first stress-test without smoking..... I passed!
Ivan from the Carenage and his team really did a professional job and they deserve all the praise. The mechanic from Volvo Penta promised to be there as soon as possible to see if the problem can be sorted out.
So, now Prrrfection
is on land. High. but not dry - we have had heavy rain showers the whole weekend and progress has been slow in the "work department", just as well because I tend to overdo things and push myself too hard in order to get things done and with the rain stopping all work a few times per day, I have been maintaining a slower pace
Must quickly mention our pets. As I am writing this update - it is day 3 on land - albeit high and wet in the air, the cat is still totally freaked out and nervous by all the smells and movement of land "things" under , next to and around our boat! The rustling of the leaves on the big tree next to the boat, the barking of the guard dogs in the marina, the sound of car tyres on gravel - have her crouching low in the boat, ears pulled back, eyes wide open - I guess it will be a while before we can even think of taking her down to the land.
spent the first day running up and down in the shallow water, trying to catch the fish in the water, totally exhausting himself and has been sleeping a dead man/dog's sleep under the boat.
I have a few photos , taken by "Sail Rover
" for now and I will let you know how I am doing on the hard! Thanks a lot for the mails I received, I will be a bit slower in answering them - I do not connect to Sailmail
whilst out of the water and collect my mail when I go to connect to the internet.
More news next time!