03 July 2008 | Papeete
We pulled in to Papeete at noon today! It feels like we have finally reach the end of a big leg.
Last night we put the jib up when the wind came around to 50 off the port bow and started running consistently at 10 knots. We were doing high 8s with the starboard engine at 2,000 RPM. We had the tanks combined to equalize port and starboard diesel supplies. We usually keep them separate and only fuel one at a time so that if one is contaminated the other is ok. We have been running both tanks independently long enough to trust the diesel in each though. Only having a prop to starboard was enough motivation here.
Tahiti is easy to see from pretty far off. We were used to the Tuamotus which are almost invisible until you are on top of them. On the approach we called the harbor master on 12 and they had us wait for a freighter to enter the pass.
I was predicting a 2 knot current but the harbor master suggested more. It was a little squirrelly coming in but we had plenty of power with just the one prop.
We had planned to tie up on the Quai right in town. Noisy but so close to everything I wouldn't stay anywhere else until we were done with Papeete. We had coordinated with Dave on O'Vive who was going to help us get on the dock with just the one prop.
You'd think that one prop would not put you at much of a disadvantage. I would suggest you try docking a cat with one prop to see. It is ok if you only want to turn to port.
Dave took a line to our port quarter that Nobu deftly threw as we idled by O'Vive. Dave belayed it and we swung into line. I gave little blasts from the starboard engine to bring her slowly around. The wind was gently blowing us off the dock so Dave brought in the line as I pulled back on the starboard. In no time we were perfectly tied up with two lines to moorings off the bow and 4 lines, two off the quarter and cross ties, to the dock.
It was great to meet Dave and Nathalie in person and catch up. We immediately started talking boats and probably have another 10 hours worth to go. Dave and Nathalie have also gotten us plugged into the town on the fast track. They are just wonderful people.
We picked our friends Pabs and Lou up at the airport at 6:30 PM. It was so fun to see them again and give them flower lays (the airport has an awesome flower shop). We dropped their bags off at the boat and then went to the Le Roulotte (sp?) for dinner. This is an area on the waterfront where lots of vans cook foods of all kinds. We had steak frites and various other tasty things.
Back at the boat we had some French pastries for Lousie's birthday (she's 29 today) and a great time catching up in the heart of Tahiti.