Tumultuous Uproar

A cruising boat with a racing problem...

05 December 2018
01 December 2018
20 November 2018
15 November 2018
15 November 2018
15 November 2018
15 November 2018
27 October 2018
20 October 2018
18 October 2018
02 October 2018
08 September 2018
04 September 2018
29 August 2018
29 August 2018
29 August 2018
06 August 2018
04 August 2018

Sticky Harbor

05 December 2018
Cruisers know the term well. Best example is when you find your boat is stuck on the pile of coffee grounds you have been dumping overboard. That's a clear sign it is time to move on.

One notorious sticky harbor is Georgetown, Bahamas. It is a popular southern harbor that is home to hundreds of cruisers during the season. Many intend to sail to the Caribbean via the thorny path, a difficult passage upwind. But they remain stuck in Georgetown where there are a wide variety of social activities every day. We jokingly called it “adult daycare.” And we had a great time there. But we sailed on to the Caribbean.

The entire Eastern Caribbean is a very difficult place to leave. There are dozens of beautiful islands which are different nations and cultures. Boat parts are readily available as are other yacht services. The anchorages are great and weather to match. Passages between islands are usually quite easy. The whole of the Eastern Caribbean fits inside Lake Michigan. No wonder it is quite a sticky place to leave.

We have been in Tahiti, Moorea and Huahine for over three months. Our current anchorage is adjacent the airport. This is actually a plus. I enjoy watching the planes take off and land. I especially enjoy watching the little, yellow race plane that does great aerobatics. They are seldom a noise problem.

There is great snorkeling here and we are a 20 minute dinghy ride from downtown Papeete. We are also a 10 minute dinghy ride and 15 minute walk from Carrfore, a great grocery store and more. It is pretty much a French Walmart anchoring a small shopping mall. One would think all cruisers do is eat. We can never pass up a grocery store without shopping. But when there are no stores, one appreciates the opportunity to stock up. Some call it hoarding.

Best of all, we are anchored with good friends here. Skabenga, Bella Nave, LaMitzu and Blue Spirit have been hanging around here for the past week or so. We have been having fun with cocktails and dinners on each others boats, snorkeling and fixing boats together.

Now Uproar is making a big leap. We are sailing to the remote Austral Islands, 400 miles south of Tahiti. From there we may sail further to Rapa and then east (upwind) to Gambiers. This is not only a safe path away from cyclones but a route that takes to places we have yet to visit in French Polynesia.

It is comfortable here even though it is not the most beautiful or remote spot. We have overcome the pre-passage butterflies. Houdinky is safely on deck, gear is stowed, and we are ready to weigh anchor. We hope to arrive within three days.

Bohemian Rhapsody

01 December 2018
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
….......
Any way the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me.

Yes, Lisa and I saw “Bohemian Rhapsody” last night in Papeete, Tahiti. They have one theater that shows English language films on Thursdays. We went with Don and Joy from Hua'kai and Roy from Mabrouka. We sat in cushy seats in an air conditioned theater with huge tubs of popcorn (but without butter. Come on, this is France!).

Lisa and I tried to remember when we were last in a movie theater. It was about a year and a half ago when we saw “Vanishing Sail” in St. Lucia. I looked at Lisa, enveloped in her red velvet seat and said, “I don't remember the last time I sat in a chair that felt like this either.” Not a complaint, just an observation.

We live a fantasy life at times and a bit difficult at times. But it feels like a fantasy. Tonight we saw the evasive green flash when the sun dips below the horizon. I blew our conch horn to celebrate. Sure hope others in our anchorage saw it too. There are only four other boats around. Two of them are coming for cocktails tomorrow night. Perhaps we will persuade others to join us.

All day we listened to Queen songs. The movie was a delight. If we had to wait for over a year to see a movie, BH was sure worth the wait! What an amazing band, story and Freddie Mercury.

We went ashore for some minor boat stuff and final grocery shopping before we head to the Tuamotos, sparsely inhabited atolls on the way to Gambiers, our destination for Christmas and New Years, safe during cyclone season.

Dinner was lamb chops, Jamaican peas and rice with a Bourgogne, Aligote. Lisa and I talked about our favorite music during high school years. That will be another blog. But I just finished the set of CSNY we have on our Ipod under a starry sky.

Thanks Freddie for all you gave us. Yes, this is a fantasy. And we care not where the wind blows, Uproar sails just fine to weather...or we wait until it changes.

breakfast on Uproar

20 November 2018
I tried to take a picture of Lisa making her famous granola. She ducked out of the picture saying she wasn't dressed for a picture. Debatable, she wasn't dressed at all!

Breakfast on Uproar has evolved over the years. We don't carry milk on board and boxes of cereal are not often available. Plus, they take up a lot of storage and are expensive!!!

Eggs are available everywhere. Lisa doesn't often eat eggs for breakfast but sure makes some nice over-easy eggs for me with leftovers. Great, hearty breakfast.

But our staple is yogurt and granola. Cindy from Zensations showed Lisa how to make yogurt from powdered milk. Cheap and simple. But when good grocery stores are available, we buy yogurt.

Lisa makes the granola from whatever seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and some oatmeal she can find. She makes a very rich, sead-nut mix with very little oatmeal.

This is quite a process and takes hours. She mixes the ingredients in a huge vat with honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract (we make from rum and vanilla beans), and some water. She bakes the mixture in pans mixing occasionally. It takes four batches of baking to complete the process. When cooled the granola goes into lock-n-lock containers.

This makes enough for 3 or 4 months. The granola/yogurt mix and green, Jazmine tea are often accompanied with our morning music mix: Johnny Cash, Nora Jones and Carol King and always beautiful scenery!

Ken and Missy, French Polynesia

18 November 2018
Ken and Missy are not immune for being blogged about, none of our guests are. We are so fortunate to have family and friends visit us and Ken and Missy have won the frequent stayer award. They sailed with us from Guadeloupe, Dominica, to Martinique in 2016. Their next visit was Barbados for Missy's birthday, 2016. We hung out for the Panama Canal crossing but they were on Skabenga. We fortunately had seven visitors from Milwaukee who were sprinkled on both boats, a great time. This visit was again a birthday cruise for Missy in French Polynesia. Let me say right now, we sure hope they come again soon!

This is a long way from Milwaukee. K and M stayed for nearly two weeks and it sure went by quickly. But that time gave us some latitude in destinations. Tahiti is the major airport but not the most beautiful spot in FP. We quickly sailed 100 miles to Huahine, an island much recommended but one Lisa and I had not visited before. We sailed a night passage to save time. Lisa and I also prefer night passages as we have plenty of light for anchoring the next morning. Well, it wasn't the smoothest passage. Waves weren't that big but quite confused. The motion was uncomfortable.

We were towing our new dinghy as we expected smoother seas. Instead, the dinghy often surfed right up to Uproar and snapped at the painter when Uproar surged ahead. Not ideal! At about 6:00 am Ken came up from off watch. He looked back and said, “The dinghy sure is far behind.” Sure enough the line had snapped. We had a difficult time grabbing and re-tying the painter but accomplished this with Ken driving and Lisa and me working on the swim platform. We tied the painter to the bow handle.

It wasn't more than an hour later when another surge snapped the bow handle off the dinghy. Our recovery went more smoothly, we had some practice. Bad dinghy! Or bad parents. We knew better than to tow it on overnight passages. We usually (and from now on will) put the dink on deck for longer passages. We hadn't named our new dinghy but Ken readily came up with a name for our escaping dinghy, “Houdinky.” Houdinky it is!

I am certainly capable of writing far more than the reader will endure about our weeks with K and M. Huahine is a beautiful, sleepy island. As we experience everywhere in French Polynesia, the people are most welcoming and more. We stopped to listen to a group of about 10 people having a few beers and playing some music. One guy just handed a beer to me and invited us to sit down. Ken grabbed the Congo drum, I played a little on the locally made ukulele and we sang “My Island Home.” I sang the English verses and Mana sang the Polynesian. It was a magic time with welcoming friends.

Entering the harbor, we were just in time for an outrigger canoe race. There were as many spectator boats as in Bermuda for the America's Cup. We hung outside the harbor and watched the start of a grueling paddle to Raiatea. Most of the boats followed the fleet the 12 miles to Raiatea.

We swam, snorkled, rode bikes, rented a car and just soaked in this paradise. Next was a sail 85 miles back to Moorea. This was a night passage much less exciting than the ride out. Moorea is another FP gem. The anchorage is right near where we spotted whales, swam with and fed sting rays, saw numerous sharks and excellent snorkeling. We rented scooters, saw the sights, and had great pizza with a waterfront view.

Missy's birthday started with 10 other cruisers joining us for pot luck appetizers and drinks on the beach. We ended up on Uproar for more drinks and craziness. The traditional midnight, naked swim was tempered by the numerous sharks in the anchorage. Oh well, next time. Happy Birthday Missy!

We picked a beautiful day for the sail back to Tahiti. It was an 18 mile beat and Uproar loved it. Ken brought some Eclipse with him. We spotted another performance cruiser, about our size who left the anchorage ½ hour before us. Ken reeled him in and we passed him well to weather. In spite of the adverse current, we rounded the island in one tack. Ken was challenged to sail high enough to clear the beach. He did.

Back in Tahiti, we enjoyed a Tahitian dance show at the Intercontinental. Civilization has its merits. We rented a Jeep Wrangler with heavy duty suspension and drove the treacherous route across the mountains. Vistas were well worth it as was the mountain lake where we had a picnic lunch. The driving was a challenge Ken and I shared. It would have been exhausting for one driver to make the entire trip.

Lisa and I gave shell necklaces to Ken and Missy just before their flight home. Tahitian tradition is that if you leave with shell necklaces, you will certainly return. Nana (Tahitian for goodbye) until next time. Uproar sure feels empty now. Whose next?

Not-a-sailboat

15 November 2018
Years ago, our Limey friend, Glyn Livermore introduced us to his phone app, “Not a Hot Dog.” He tried to entertain us with the endless possibilities of this ingenious app. All he had to do is aim his phone's camera at something. The app would instantly identify the target as “That's a hot dog!” or “Not a hot dog.” Occasionally it would say, “May be a hot dog.” None of us were particularly hungry. But if we were starved for mystery meat in the shape of a tube, that app would be quite useful. Such is British humor.

But Glyn would chortle and guffaw at the verdict of whatever NAHD was aimed at. ….That was about five years ago.

Recently, Lisa and I rented a scooter to ride around Moorea, French Polynesia. World over there are ubiquitous cell phone towers. But on Moorea, they often decorate them with plastic palm tree fronds. As we rode around Moorea, I would point out to Lisa, “Not a palm tree.” We instantly remembered where that came from.

Ken and Missy visited Uproar for two weeks in the FP Society Islands. We were all at one time or another puzzled by Glyn's entertaining NAHD app. The British humor seemed to come alive in these islands. Suddenly we encountered, “Not a shark, not a Harley, not snow, etc.”

On Tahiti, we rented a huge Wrangler-something that was “trail rated.” Good thing as we punished it on the mountain pass. Or rather it punished us. Actually it was the right tool for the job. But you should have seen our combined efforts to remove the top and re-install it. “Not a useful vehicle!”

Ken and Missy's last day in Tahiti started off with shopping in the marketplace. Missy pulled me aside and said, “You need to take Ken out on the water.” Mais oui! Ken and I loaded snorkeling gear in our dinghy and headed out to some reef buoys in the harbor. As we approached the turquoise water, we looked at each other and said, “Not a shopping trip!” How true! We enjoyed some beautiful and unusual snorkeling.

Thanks Glyn, we are living “Not a normal lifestyle!” And great that you aren't either!

Not-a-sailboat

15 November 2018
Years ago, our Limey friend, Glyn Livermore introduced us to his phone app, “Not a Hot Dog.” He tried to entertain us with the endless possibilities of this ingenious app. All he had to do is aim his phone's camera at something. The app would instantly identify the target as “That's a hot dog!” or “Not a hot dog.” Occasionally it would say, “May be a hot dog.” None of us were particularly hungry. But if we were starved for mystery meat in the shape of a tube, that app would be quite useful. Such is British humor.

But Glyn would chortle and guffaw at the verdict of whatever NAHD was aimed at. ….That was about five years ago.

Recently, Lisa and I rented a scooter to ride around Moorea, French Polynesia. World over there are ubiquitous cell phone towers. But on Moorea, they often decorate them with plastic palm tree fronds. As we rode around Moorea, I would point out to Lisa, “Not a palm tree.” We instantly remembered where that came from.

Ken and Missy visited Uproar for two weeks in the FP Society Islands. We were all at one time or another puzzled by Glyn's entertaining NAHD app. The British humor seemed to come alive in these islands. Suddenly we encountered, “Not a shark, not a Harley, not snow, etc.”

On Tahiti, we rented a huge Wrangler-something that was “trail rated.” Good thing as we punished it on the mountain pass. Or rather it punished us. Actually it was the right tool for the job. But you should have seen our combined efforts to remove the top and re-install it. “Not a useful vehicle!”

Ken and Missy's last day in Tahiti started off with shopping in the marketplace. Missy pulled me aside and said, “You need to take Ken out on the water.” Mais oui! Ken and I loaded snorkeling gear in our dinghy and headed out to some reef buoys in the harbor. As we approached the turquoise water, we looked at each other and said, “Not a shopping trip!” How true! We enjoyed some beautiful and unusual snorkeling.

Thanks Glyn, we are living “Not a normal lifestyle!” And great that you aren't either!
Vessel Name: Tumultuous Uproar
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 42s7
Hailing Port: Milwaukee, WI
Crew: Russ Whitford & Lisa Alberte plus Sophie our Jack Russell Terrier
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