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SV Secret Agent Man
Eric Rone
The level of grode

The worst two areas on a boat that a crew member might work is the head/brown water system, and the bilge. Here is a picture of what takes over your bilge pump after a while.

02/09/2011 | Dad
A dirty job but someone's got to do it. I appreciate the grime and difficult reach to the bottom of the bilge. But in the end you'll be better off. I am sure S.A.M. is enjoying your attentions!
02/10/2011 | Mom
Eewwww! I can only imagine what the head/brown water outlet looks like. How goes that project, anyway? Loved the fish story, and I have a great visual image of what your face must have looked like when you surfaced in triumph. :-) Love you! Mom
Fish Story

Hello all,
Well for all you fishermen out there I have a crazy fish story from today. We were fishing with two of my best and favorite Rapallas. (which is a plug that swims) Alain got hit really hard and by the time I had reeled in and started driving the boat he had lost the lure. I thought for sure that he had caught the reef. We took our bearings as best we could and went back in to get my mask and fins. I swam and looked around for about ten minutes as our friend Helmut swam over and talked to Alain about the futility of my search. To make a long story short, I did in fact find my lure. I also found the grouper that had eaten it and I caught it with my bare hands. Helmut and Alain could not believe it when I finally had the fish in the bucket and I was very very happy to get my lure back and catch the fish. Insane!

02/07/2011 | Julia
Don't forget fishergirls! That's a great story.
02/07/2011 | Eric Oscar
"Something just touched my leg..." Epic fish story! You have mad skills that Napolean Dynamite himself would be jealous of... the Force is strong with this one!
02/08/2011 | Allison
As good as Ingrid is getting at grabbing, I think she has a long way to go before she can catch a fish with her bare hands like Uncle Eric! Very impressive.

Hello all,
Yesterday I went to the visa office and found out that I may be able to extend my 3 month visa that I have to account for time working on the boat. If I cant then I have to leave french polynesia at the end of march. It also turns out that because it is a la nina year, cyclones occur further west than usual and it is relatively safe to sail around. So I am getting psyched to continue getting the boat ready and start sailing in several weeks. Yesterday I also finally fixed the gear shifter on the engine that I broke on the wharf at Hiva Oa in April. Dad got the part in Tacoma, and sent it with a crew member from Seattle sailing with Totem from Mexico to the Marquesas. So I had the part but it was going to be a mission to install it. Yesterday I finally got it done. Here is a picture of it. I had to take the fuel tank out and the engine apart and it took a long time but now I have taken most of the engine apart which feels good. I hope you all are well.

02/03/2011 | Dad
Congratulations Eric the engine mechanic. Another expansion of your résumé. Looks like world cruising develops some interesting skills. Nicely done.
02/05/2011 | Behan Gifford
I remember when we(OK, Jamie- nothing to do with me) got through the first learning curve hurdles on dismantling and reassembling our outboard- it DOES feel good knowing you can deal with it yourself! That is a well traveled boat part. ;-) Totem is in Australia now... glad to know you are back on SAM and looking west! What's next? We have opinions... just sayin'

Hello all,
Alain and I caught two grouper this morning. The fishing was slow because we didn't get out there until 8:30. But we both caught a grouper using different swimming rapallas. They are not very big and the local knowledge is that there is no ciguatera here so we have decided that they are not going to poison us. (ciguatera is caused by highly local populations of benthic dinoflagellates. they are toxic and are most concentrated in bait eating predators like big groupers and amberjacks.) But I have heard from multiple sources that the fish here are OK. We are going to go out again this evening. The right time is right at dust.
PS here is an outrigger made by a local Frenchman.

02/07/2011 | Julia
Toxic as in "ugh - I was miserable for a day or two" or poison as in "curtains for you"? Yikes. I take it ciguatera is not something that can be killed with cooking like salmonella. You are braver than me to eat them!
petit poisson!


Hello all,
Today I finally got the dingy in the water and used the engine for the first time since I put the boat away. Guess how many pulls.... 3. That is why it is important to properly winterize your engine. A little work in the fall helps to avoid a lot of work in the spring. Alain and I went for a tour of the lagoon. I did have a good fight with a fish (big bonito) but the camera was on video so no photos for the blog. The engine was running OK and we ran a tank and a half of Gas through it. Perhaps it could use a little maintenance but beyond the plugs and filters I don't know what to do and it is impossible to find a manual online that is not really expensive. My friend Hero is the engine man and we are supposed to go spear fishing next week so maybe he will hear how it is running and know what it needs. But over all I am very happy with the engine running and the boat not leaking. Here is another image from hiking last week.

01/24/2011 | Dad
Nice mechanical maitenance strikes again! Do you haver any photo's of life in the yard?

Hello all,
Here is another photo of Alain. For those of you just re-joining the blog Alain is a frenchman who lives two boats down here at Raiatea careenage. He has lived on the island for several years and knows his way around and has been an enormous help to me. So here is his shout out.
Peace Alain

01/19/2011 | Mom
I see you took out the picture Alain didn't like, and have to admit that this one is better. Thanks, Alain, for being such big help to Eric! Mom
01/20/2011 | Ken & Lori S/V Trim
Good to see you out on the water again. If happen to see Liz Clark who is on the vessel Swell, say hello from Trim. She is a professional surfer from UCSB sailing around the South Pacific looking for the perfect breaks. We last saw her in Taaha.

Her blog is here:
01/20/2011 | Alain
Bonjour Madame! The other shot was really a mistake of inexperienced photographer:) Eric is at home here, his French is improving, I must say that my English is so perfect that he can not understand me ... I think he likes Raiatea. We'll keep you informed, the discovery of the island is not complete!
Sunny greetings. Alain
01/20/2011 | Julia
I love all the photos! It makes me want to travel - especially to the sun. Your mom's right - it is wet and cold up here this winter. Your new friend looks like a neat person.
01/22/2011 | Allison
Je t'aime, mon frere. Ingrid, James and I are visiting Mom and Dad in Tacoma this weekend. We all went for a run in the park this morning and you were missed. Thanks for posting so many beautiful pictures of the islands!
Mt Taptoi

Hello all,
On Sunday Alain and I climbed Mt Taptoi. The hike was fun and I learned french as always. It was very nice to hang out with Alain all day and speak French. I learned a lot. The reward on top is a panoramic view. You can see Taaha, Bora Bora, Huahine, and Otura and the lagoon that taaha and Raiatea share. The price that both Alain and I paid was a coup de soliel (sun burn) which we are still recovering from. The next mountain on the list of mountains to cap is Mt. Temehani. This mountain is where the Tiare Apetahi grows. It is a rare flower that grows no where else on earth except this mountain. If I see one I promise a photo. Not much else new. The rest of the week Ill be doing boat work and I hope to get the dingy in the water and do some fishing. This photo is of Taaha getting rained on with a little piece of Bora Bora visable in the distance.

01/19/2011 | Mom
Wonderful pictures! Thanks for sharing them with those of us enduring the wet, cold Washington winter. Love and miss you. Ingrid says hello. Love, Mom
01/21/2011 | U - Kenny
Great pics, great climb. Weather everywhere, all the time! Wow. What a place!
Nel blu, dipinto di blu,
Felice de stare lassů.

Squalls about to hit Taaha

black box

This is how they grow vanilla.


Passe Teavapiti with a boat making landfall.


This is the pass that I came through when I arrived here on Raiatea. Passe Teavapiti.



Bora Bora

This is Bora Bora from Raiatea with Taaha in the foreground.


This is the northwest shore of Taaha from Mt Tapioi.

01/18/2011 | Jacob Ellestad
Glad to see your back on your boat and posting again. Taaha looks amazing, I just found out I will be going to New Zealand and Austrailia this summer with the training ship. Definitely jealous of your for already being back on the water, I will have to wait another 4 months. Best of luck, and keep posting.


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