Fixing stuff and frustrations
26 June 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
08 55.038 S
140 05.994 W
Weather; sunny then overcast and raining, wind N/A, waves N/A
A quick recap of the state of the nation as I left it yesterday, in case you have already forgotten.
The topping lift line - unsuccessfully run and left dangling from the top of the mast, cleated off on the deck as it was well and truly jammed and not moving in any direction.
The main sail - draped over the starboard side of the deck with the batten pocket half stitched awaiting the other half to be stitched.
Tempers - somewhat short and frayed.
Contact from the French authorities regarding our request for an extension to our stay in Nuku Hiva and permission to stop in Tahiti to get the boat hauled out - none existent.
Availability of fuel filters in FP - still none found.
Frustration - at an all-time high.
Alcohol consumption -at an all-time high, we are now out of coconut rum and the down to drinking the red wines.
I think that puts us all in the picture, but today was a new day and everything was going to go smoothly!
When we got up the water was calm, it was overcast with a very slight breeze, good for going northwards up the mast. But the first job of the day was to fix the zipper on the main sail bag, I don't think I've mentioned that the zipper had come adrift in one place towards the aft end. There was no way I could reach the thing to see what needed doing and it was even a little too high up for Gerry to see but we had a sort of solution. Using my dock ladder (the one I need to be able to get off of the boat) and balancing it precariously on the cockpit seating, with me holding it steady as it didn't sit flat, Gerry was able to reach the top of the sail bag and could see the issue with the zipper. Apparently the stitching along the zipper teeth had moved southwards and just needed to be pulled back up into position and voila the zipper was working again, ready for when we put the main pack away. Time to attack the topping lift issue next. Starting out with a positive attitude Gerry donned the gear and I helped haul him skywards to the top of the mast. He had put a knife in his pocket for that moment when everything went to shit and he had to cut the rope, but we just knew we weren't going to need it! Once he had reached the top of the mast I made my way to the base of it armed with the fishing hook (the bent fid) and prepared to fish the line out through the exit hole. Then came the exasperated yelling and swearing from on high, Gerry couldn't move the line in any direction, it wouldn't pull up nor would it wiggle or drop down no matter how much he tugged or pushed, there was nothing left to do but cut the line free. This was done with a whole lot of reluctance as it meant that the chain, small piece of lead line and the residual rope would be left stuck somewhere inside the mast, possibly wrapped around another important line, so before cutting the line we tried all of the other lines to make sure that they weren't jammed by topping lift one. All of the lines seemed to move freely so we have no idea what the topping lift line is stuck on and with a whole lot of reluctance Gerry cut it free, dropping the majority of the line back down to the deck. There was no sudden noise from within the mast of a chain dropping so it is well and truly jammed on something inside. Time to let Gerry backdown to the deck, on his way down he did an inspection of the standing rigging and you know how if you look for trouble it will appear, well he discovered that 3 wires on one of the port side shrouds has broken. There are 19 strands of wire wrapped into a single shroud so 3 of them is equal to 15% of the shroud broken, not a complete disaster but it needs to be replaced as soon as we can do it (read Tahiti as it won't happen here) just another thing to fix in an exotic place!. Back on the deck we gathered up the line and retired to the cockpit to have a cool drink and cool down, its hot work even in the cool of the morning. The next "job" was to email the French authorities once again to try and force a response out of them as we were running out of days here, to be exact today was supposed to be our final legally allowed day in Nuku Hiva. After a short time Gerry got a reply saying that we needed to apply for an extension, I thought he would explode as that was what we had sent 2 days previously. He sort of kept his temper under control as he emailed back stating that we had already sent in an application and had no reply and he attached the previously sent application to his email, now we would just have to wait and see. To while away the time Gerry returned to his sail mending from yesterday and put some very large and clumsy stitches into the remaining side of the batten pocket, it's not pretty but it will probably keep the pocket in place until we can get to a sail loft for proper repairs. We were now at the point of being able to return the main sail back to its operational position which meant that one of us had to guide the sliders into the track whilst the other winched the main up high enough to allow the next slider to be put in the track. I opted to do the winching this time as I didn't think I would be able to support the weight of the sail and thread the sliders into the track at the same time, it was a good choice and we soon had the sliders all in place with the locking pin in place all we had to do now was to drop the sail back into the sail bag and zip it up, once this was done it was time for a shower and a trip into the dock as we had some shopping to do and laundry to collect. It was still early but Gerry suggested that we have an early lunch and at the same time see if we could download some more books at the cafe where the internet was free if you were eating there. I had one other thing that I wanted to do first, there is a huge Tiki which overlooks the harbour and wasn't here last time we visited and I wanted to do the tourist thing and take a look, so that was our first stop. I was glad we did it as it is an awesome bit of sculpture and I took a load of photos which you will have to wait to see! We returned to the dock and went for lunch after a quick browse around the veg/fruit on offer at the market, I only found one thing we needed, a bag of onions. I am still a little bewildered by the lack of usual fruits and veggies but I guess that we will have to make do with what we can find. We had lunch and tried to download some books but the cafe was busy and the internet was obviously very overloaded with almost everyone inside on an electronic device of some sort. I managed a couple of books and Gerry loaded a new series before we gave it up as a bad idea. After lunch we walked along the shore line to the supermarket where we bought a few more bits and pieces, Gerry found a single fuel filter on the very top shelf which he thought was the right size and that got added to the shopping. I scoured the fridges and found some mushrooms, a cauliflower and a couple of green capsicum, I was winning! We got the store to drop us back at the dock so that we didn't have to struggle under the weight of the bags in the heat of the middle of the day. Our laundry was ready for pick up so we stopped for that and an ice cream (you have to take the opportunity when it arises), I made a quick detour to the artisan store as they had a heap of sarongs for sale and mine are ready to hit the bin. Disappointingly the artisan store doesn't take cards of any description and I didn't have any cash on me (the bank is still not recognising our ANZ cards) so sadly I had to forego buying the sarongs. Back at the dock we loaded up the dinghy and set out for the boat arriving shortly before the rain started. It was a really heavy downpour for the next couple of hours so after stowing our shopping we spent the rest of the afternoon reading and catching up with emails. We still haven't heard anything from the French authorities and have been told by the agent here that as long as we have applied for an extension prior to our current 4 days ending we are good to stay, so as of tomorrow we will be here without permission but are apparently covered as far as the customs and immigration laws are concerned - it makes no sense to us what so ever but everyone seems to flaunt the rules here so we are just one more boat to add into the mix! Dinner was once again soup as we had eaten a big lunch. Of course it was accompanied by an adult beverage or two. Tomorrow it looks like we will be tackling the leak in the forward stateroom as it looks like the rain has settled in for the weekend! So much for everything going smoothly today!