Papeete-Wind and Rain!
01 July 2010 | Tahiti
We are aboard for the third day now, our yacht among a small flotilla of yachts - all the yachts bows facing sharply into a strong east wind, our mooring ropes straining, taut to breaking, Bluebottle's stern a distance of fifty or sixty feet off a sea wall of volcanic rock. The wind blows constantly at 20 to 25 knots, as forecast, gusting to 30. When the rain comes it is usually accompanied by 30 knots, and the rain is on and off, coming soon after you open the hatches for some air, making you jump up (maybe you're even asleep in bed) and close them.
It's Thursday July 1 and we arrived here threading the reef last Saturday June 28 late afternoon around 4:30 and found our Aussie friends from Dagmar (they came from Toau like us) out in their dinghy to guide us in, leading us to a mooring owned by Tahiti Yacht Club. Spent Sunday resting up, went briefly ashore to take a shower and have a walk, buying baguettes, Arnotts Scotch Fingers (Sao biscuits are here in Polynesia!) and New Zealand butter at the Mobil Service Station's Shop 'n Stop. Got up Monday determined to get on the bus to Papeete and Marina Tahini, a few miles the other side of the city, to find Francesco, our agent, and give him our passports and check out the anchorage near the marina. Then to the massive Carriefors supermarket, to wander in the aisles exactly as we had in vast super-stocked aircraft hangars in Panama, Ecuador and Mexico; they are the same everywhere.
Our guest Jack who crewed with us from Toau in the Tuamotus and is still living aboard wants to be out and about, searching dumpsters for goodies and finding fruit from overhanging boughs of breadfruit and mango trees. He found himself a job in a kitchen prepping food for lunches delivered to Shop 'n Stops and such places; he knows a preacher who has invited him to go preach in the Tuamotus, saying it pays well. Jack will leave us in Moorea, our next stop, a beautiful island near Tahiti. The last two mornings we have risen early and set out in high wind and rain for the shore so he can be at work by 7:30. Adrienne and I are "couch potatoes" and read while we drink tea, coffee or beer, and chew on huge baguette sandwiches with salami or Brie (today: pan-grilled tuna!) with sauerkraut or onion or sprouts with mustard, with plenty of the NZ butter. Jamie and Isobel have had us to dinner and we make music. Time is gentle, and the weather says: stay here, stay below deck and rest. That is not hard... not difficult. Perhaps we are still recovering from running our restaurant for two years ...
[Photo, taken a few minutes ago, a rainbow on the land, while the wind takes a rest from near gale force...]