Tumultuous Uproar

A cruising boat with a racing problem...

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Boat Bound, day 5

21 December 2018
Boat bound, day 5.

Lisa and I haven't left Uproar for five days. We anchored a week ago behind some motus (islands forming the surrounding reef) of Raevavai. We are right on the Tropic of Capricorn which is quite far south in French Polynesia. Weather is not as settled as the rest of FP. Fronts haunt this area as highs and lows pass to the south of us. That's why we are boat bound. Wind has been raging for 5 days.

Wind has been a solid 20 knots with some squalls and gusts over 30. Rain and clouds are predominant. We are inside the lagoon but about ½ mile behind the line of motus and 2 miles from the main island. Wind kicks up a constant chop of whitecaps all around us. We are isolated except for Off 2 Sea who is anchored 200 yards away. They visited 5 nights ago for dinner and cards. We meant to get together again soon but it is so rough, neither of us want to get in our dinghies in this weather.

The Raevavai lagoon is 25 feet deep where we are anchored. We picked this spot carefully a week ago. Coral heads are everywhere and grow right up to the surface. We anchored in a clear spot but they are all around us. If our anchor loses grip, we will surely crash into the coral heads with our 8 foot deep keel. As Uproar swings and rocks in the rage, that thought is not far from us. The nearest repair yard is 400 miles away. A bad grounding here means loss of the boat. Even if we could travel in the dinghy, we wouldn't want to leave Uproar unattended. But we trust our anchor. I snorkeled on it when we arrived to make sure it was well buried in the sand.

Not only are we boat bound but we are spending all or our time in the cabin. Uproar never seems small to us as we have all of the outdoors when we sit in the cockpit. Now we are driven below in a space the size of a small kitchen or large bathroom. This is not the tropical boat life we have enjoyed for the past 3 ½ years.

But we have everything we need, food, water, electricity, and some communication with the outside world. Uproar is well sealed so we have comfortable beds and a salon where we hang out and play cards. We have 1,000 videos and 2,000 books on our Kindles. Our IridiumGo satellite system gives us limited email capacity and weather files but no internet. The Google FI phone works with the island cell system and we can make phone calls. The SSB radio keeps us in contact with other cruisers. I am the PolyMag net controller on Sundays where I MC a scheduled check-in program. It is fun to hear what other boats are up to where they are going.

Meals are a highlight of the day. We eat only a light breakfast and a dinner. Dinners have been elaborate affairs, steaks, roast duck, etc. always with a good bottle of French wine. Popcorn and movies are the evening entertainment. We often watch two or 1 ½ when we fall asleep. During the day, we keep busy with boat projects or arts and crafts. Lisa has done a bit of painting. I built a small wooden toy called a “nasty box” and am working on a Chris Craft model.

We read, talk, and play cards. I play the ukulele or guitar. More movies, read some more, eat, and repeat! Groundhog day? Of course. But these are activities most do on vacation. The overall feeling on Uproar is one of hugge, the only Danish word I know. Hugge is a Danish attitude that means coziness, comfort, and contentment. Even though there is an underlying element of danger in our lives, it is still an enjoyable time in Uproar.


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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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