Maintenance in Paradise
25 September 2016 | Rotoava, Fakarava
We are back to the village of Rotoava where we have internet. We anchored in the same spot as last time as we knew that we could get a signal from the village. The bloody wind finally lost steam, after 3 weeks of blowing hard, and we could finally have 2 days of calm, flat water to get the jib sail down to do some repairs. Felipe did a super job of fixing it and by the end of the day we had the sail up. But when the sail was up we noticed a fraying in the bottom part of the sail and had to bring it down again. Due to the time, we decided to finish the work next day. Luck was on our side, and the wind was actually lighter than the prior day and it was easy to hoist the jib up again. Today the wind is back but much less, about 17 knots. It is nice to keep things cool.
I don't know who coined the phrase that states that cruising is doing maintenance in exotic places. it is so so true. There is always something to be repaired, checked, cleaned, polished, adjusted, oiled, charged, tightened, logged, and planned. We are so glad to have Felipe to help. It is amazing to see how much he has learned in such a short time.
A few days ago we left the spectacular turquoise lagoon where we tried to hide from the wind and motored to Hirifa, just 7 miles away, looking for protection from the wind. We motored through uncharted waters, except for a few markers on the bigger reefs, and had to keep our eyes on the water at all times to spot the "boat eating reefs" that lurk everywhere. I was very nervous and what a relief when we got to Hirifa without a scratch. And as a reward the bottom was sandy, soft white sand, lovely sand. I could have kissed that sand. One of the most harried thing in these atoll is to anchor. The bottom is rocky and almost always your anchor gets snagged, wrapped around the rocks which makes the retrieval of your anchor a job you hate to do. Sometimes we have to dive to help with the process. We only saw two houses on the shore. One of them had 2 very large pigs, a dog, a cat, and a little cafe on the shore, Hirifa snack. We didn't see a soul there and my craving for a cold ginger ale couldn't be fulfilled. But the anchorage was quiet, more protected and sandy. Yeeeey.
Next day, we moved on 17 miles north to anchor by a small pension named Pakokota. We were told that we could get good protection to get our sail down and that there was internet. Neither one was quite good enough. So, next day, again we lifted anchor. And the bottom was sandy!!!! Sweet.
We had a lovely motor sail to Rotoava, via the near shore channel, which is well marked. I was surprised to see al the new homes, some very chic, and new small hotels, and small vacation rental places along the shore. The sleepy, out of way Fakarava is no more.
Now I understand why the provisions in the stores is so much better than when we came in 2012. We found a variet of fresh fruit and vegetables that it was not available then (we could only buy cabbage, onions, carrots and pumplemousse). Having said that, the supply shop didn't come this week and the store shelves are empty of fresh stuff. They even ran out of ice cream. So did we. My Aloha to you all and until next post.