25 May 2017
Landfall is imminent on the Katie G.
We are hove to( dead in the water) waiting for sunrise to start into the anchorage.
We have a policy not to go into any new anchorage at nightfall or after. So, we are enjoying just sitting here, resting comfortably.
We are still doing our watches like always, checking the radar and for any AIS targets (boats with transmission devices that our chart plotter picks up). We do this every 20 minutes all day and of course, at night when the visual is non existent. With no moon now to check, the radar is a most important piece of equipment. During the day time, we do the visual instead and use the radar for the squall management.
We had a lot of fun today dodging squalls - mostly successful, caught the tail end of a few but less than 30 secs of rain. Getting better at this for sure.
So we will be off at daybreak for the last 40 NM and likely will get in in the morning. The gendarmerie closes at 2:00 and the paperwork goes to Tahiti for our check-in into the country and our duty free fuel paper (the Pacific Puddle Jump organized by Latitude 48 gives us this perk). We also do not have to post the $2000.00 bond that most do when they enter the country. They really want to make sure you have a way out and if you want your money back, you need to leave.
We will be allowed to spend only 90 days in French Polynesia which includes the following places we plan to go - some islands on the Marquesas, some in the Tuamotus, Tahiti, Raiatea and Bora Bora (the Society Islands). That will be all for us and then after that we need to leave French Polynesia and will likely head to the Samoas. However, we will send updates as we know more.
The explanation is long as to why only 90 days. We would love to spend 30 days more but rules are rules. The choice is a long-stay visa which is extremely time consuming and expensive. We looked into it and have a few stories about how complicated it is so we decided: "if they don't want us - that is fine - we will just go elsewhere."
I hope to write all of you who have sent individual messages but in the meantime, thanks for all the hockey updates, the news of your lives and the political updates - BC election and Conservative leadership convention. Fascinating - thanks Gregory ( bro).
One little anecdote before closing off. We have always struggled for my "official title" on the boat. We are not fond of the token "admiral" that a lot of 2 person crew get. The Captain and then the admiral. Obviously you have to be a Captain before you have the knowledge to be admiral.
Well, I got my title today after this very wonderful voyage that has taught me so much. I am "Best Mate". I am excited as I am truly Chuck's Best Mate in all ways as he proclaimed - with the "Chuck provision" that it will be shortened to " BM" when I am in the dog house.
Haha, I will be trying hard to avoid that shortened version. Must say it is happening less frequently. Fewer shit shows since we started this sailing adventure 12 years ago (as of Aug.22 - the day we took possession of the Katie G in 2005). Easy to remember as that is Katie's birthday. Oh, and speaking of birthdays - today, May 25th is Chuck's 65th birthday. I have not seen him so excited about a birthday in years. Quite the coincidence to make landfall on such a special day. Okay friends, take care and keep those emails coming. We love them! Skipper (Skippy - as in peanut butter which he loves) and Best Mate (BM).