Hot, hot, hot
16 May 2017 | Pension Tiare Nui, Raiatea, French Polynesia
Hot, tired Bill
We awakened early enough today to visit Madame Faux, the sailmaker whose office and sailmaking loft is in the Apooiti Marina. She’s short, very thin, and has closely-cropped brown hair. She’s a working woman and spends her Polynesian summers back in France. She’s done work for us on several occasions, and although it’s not cheap, it’s nicely done and she can certainly follow a design that one provides to her. She’ll visit the boat tomorrow to take some measurements and make a few items for us.
My only big missions today were to add some fuel hose to the Racor so that it sits straight on the mount, and can be easily removed and manipulated, and to remove and replace the electric fuel pump. As I mentioned, it’s 33 years old, so we’ve gotten our use from it. Its proper functioning is very important, as I’ve explained.
My thought was that, since the new pump is a new version of the old one, that it would be a bolt-on replacement. I should have known better. Holy smokes!
Although I had checked voltage at the pump-end of the wires before installing the new pump, the new pump did not operate when powered. What? I removed it and tested it by wiring it directly to the battery bank and it worked. Ah, a wiring problem. The quandary was whether to find the fault in the old wires, or simple remove the old wire and rewire the whole thing. In the end, that was the decision and it was the correct one. It was SO HOT below decks today that just holding a screwdriver was difficult in my sweaty hands. As usual, running wire on a boat is, at best, frustrating and takes much more time than one expects. Yes, I did learn more about how the boat is wired, and the pump will work when I finish tomorrow, but what a sweat-fest! Advil and some wine will help erase the remnant discomfort of the day’s activities.
Tomorrow, I’ll complete the install and add the needed extra fuel hose to the Racor primary filter. If it’s cool enough, I’ll disassemble and lubricate the anchor windless. Of course, it’s on the foredeck, away from any shade, and it’s just too hot for me to work there during the hot part of the day.
Conni was a whirlwind! She got the main halyard rove, got the dodger installed (by herself, a difficult task), polished the dodger frame with Flitz, washed the cockpit cushions, washed the main companionway cover, removed the corroded stanchion from lifelines, stowed food, and washed the cockpit. Whew! She was working in the shade, but it was still bruisingly hot work.
Flitz is a German metal polish that is Conni’s all-time favorite. She’s started “verbing” and has named the job of polishing metal, “Flitzing”. Ach!
I must relate this. I received email from Trip Advisor requesting some reviews of lodgings. Fine: I am a regular on Trip Advisor and our travels have allowed me to recommend, or at least comment, on some interesting places.
I chose our own Pension Tiare Nui. There are four bungalows, three of which have kitchens. The kitchens have 3/4 doors and flying critters can enter without hindrance. There’s a small fridge and very rusty hot plate for cooking, an electric hot water kettle, and sink. There are plates, cups, and silverware enough for two, and some pots and pans. The main room has three beds, no more than plywood frames with a foam mattress, although the bedding and towels are changed twice a week. We do all housekeeping, otherwise. The shower has solar hot water, so if the sun’s out, we have plenty, but no sun means no hot water. Only the shower has anything BUT cold water. There’s no laundry, no restaurant, no spa or gym. And then we have roosters. Grrrr…There’s a TV with limited local channels, an overhead fan, and, well, that’s it. Primitive to be sure. We eat outside to lessen attracting insect pests into the bungalow, but when the tiny porch light is on, insects gather, and that brings geckos. Tonight, two large one were in a territorial tussle, and one fell on Conni’s arm, eliciting a shriek of alarm. Another tiny one dropped in my plate. After a particularly vociferous rumble, two adults (well, larger ones, anyway. I cannot discern gecko age.) dropped in my plate! Both missed landing in my wine glass, luckily. Geckos, by the way, make the oddest and loudest sound. Who knew?
How does one describe this? Are these “features”? In comparison to living on the boat when it’s in “project mode”, it’s luxurious, with indoor plumbing, light, and walk-around space. We’re fairly low-maintenance folk, but if one were not, this might not be the place! After the third gecko landed on my plate, I can imagine others who might feel a departure coming on.
Raiatea has some tourist amenities, but for the most part, it’s an non-tourist island, and that’s what we prefer. I mentioned the lack of gym and spa because those were items that I was requested to review for Trip Advisor. This place just did not fit into any categories that were available. Still, it’s inexpensive by French Polynesia standards, provides a vehicle in the cost, and is near Uturoa and the Raiatea Carenage. Trip Advisor requested a photo, so I provided a pretty one showing the fan palm in the middle of the compound and the four bungalows. I hope that I don’t mislead anyone. My reputation for unbiased and useful travel advice might be tarnished.
It was so hot today and so humid, that we actually stooped to use the AC tonight. What a difference it makes not having sticky skin. We’ll both sleep better.