Back to Tahiti for a bit
02 May 2021
February 22 to May 01, 2021
We headed back to Toau on Wednesday March 3 for almost 2 weeks. During the second week friends arrived on 3 boats, Ocean Maiden, Moggy and Nuwam II. We hung out each afternoon for a B + B in the water at Wallis’ place. (B + B is Beer and Bob; as in bobbing around…not named after me!) We went snorkeling towards the west side of the Atoll on a couple of reefs. Got to visit with numerous fish, White Tip Sharks, Black Tip Sharks and even a Grey visited us for a short time. The White Tip was inquisitive; it kept turning back towards us to do a “swim by”.
We all gathered one afternoon and made Pizza from scratch at Wallis’ place using his barrel oven. I think we made about 6 Pizzas! I was stuffed!
We headed back to Fakarava on March 14. We needed to visit the medical clinic and visit the Doctor. The Doc wanted to see Laurie again a week later after giving her some antibiotics. The second visit the Doc was not happy and she sent us off to Tahiti for more tests. So, the next day we set sail for Tahiti. It was a boisterous downwind sail with swells to 2.5 meters and wind waves to 2 meters. All was good and it made for a quick trip of only 33 hours.
We spent the next couple of weeks in Tahiti anchored off the airport. We both got our doctor visits in and Laurie had a couple of scans completed. Laurie’s Doctor was optimistic and scheduled another scan and consult for about a month later. We also ventured out and got our 1st COVID vaccine “jab”. Pfizer actually and they then booked our 2nd “jab” for exactly 4 weeks later. During the wait we got work done, hopped over to Moorea for about 12 days and then came back. The second scan and visit went well and Laurie got the thumbs up from the Doc. All good! Phew! We also went in and completed our 2nd “jab” the next day so we are done with vaccines…for now.
And during this time, we also decided to order some boat parts. The “biggie” is it is approaching time to change out our house bank batteries. We have 4 Slim Line 210 amp hour batteries but they are now 6 ½ years old and not holding up as well as they used to. So, we decided to do the plunge and order new Lithium Iron batteries (LiFe04). (not to be confused with Lithium ION batteries!) They are more money but the pricing has come down and they will give us almost double, if not triple the capacity that we have now. The new batteries will consist of 2, 400 amp hour banks for a total of 800 amp hours, basically the size we have now but, and this is a big but, you can run them to 50% capacity and still maintain the voltage.
To feed these guys we decided to, once again, add more Solar Panels. We went shopping for these right here in Papeete. Man, they have come down in price! We have been quoted for two, 340 watt panels for just $160 each! Wow! I remember when we bought our first panels about 16 years ago, a 68 watt panel was about $800! To add these to our existing array I needed to order some hardware and another solar controller. These will all be coming in on the same Ocean shipment which is scheduled to depart California almost anytime. The new panels will bring our total Solar capacity to 1700 watts! Too big? No. Remember, the water temperature here averages about 30C and the wind is not that high most of the time, not like the Caribbean. As well, we can take these batteries down more so we will not need to run the generator at 3 in the morning while on passage. They can wait to be charged when the sun comes up! And if you think it is a big array, our friends on Moggy have over 4000 watts! Our boat is not big enough for that!
So, we are sitting off Papeete this morning but are planning on heading back to Moorea for a couple of weeks while we are waiting for the “boat” with our stuff to arrive. Afterwards, not sure but probably head back Northeast to the Tuamotus and then maybe the Marquesas. We did get our 4th year renewal for our residency cards and were given a 6 month extension on keeping the boat here due to COVID. Normally the maximum you can keep you boat here is 3 years (2 years for new arrivals now). If countries are not opening by then hopefully, we can get another extension otherwise we need to pay TAX on the boat!
So all is good!