12 May 2016 | Oakland Peets
As we always do, we’re sitting in an Oakland Peet’s Coffee using their Internet connection. Conni has work to complete and I’m checking baggage allowances and costs, last minute tasks that must be completed but not in the no-Internet home of Conni’s dad. He’s not a Luddite, but he has no computer, laptop, or tablet (so no need for wireless in the house) and he just acquired a mobile phone. Sigh.
We experienced that “withdrawing from our previous life” feeling again as we left home. We always have the baggage stacked outside, ready for our ride to the airport, and we start at the top of the house, checking windows and doors, turning off lights, and generally checking things out as we go. Finally we set the alarm, close and lock the front door, and we’re out of the house. If I could illustrate it, it would be standing in a hole and reaching out to pull in the house and all of Anchorage after me. Finally, I’d pull in the hole and disappear. Of course life goes on in Anchorage, but only as a distant location for us. Now we’re checking weather in French Polynesia rather than Anchorage.
All of our gear survived the trip from Anchorage, but now we’ll repack a few items and try to equalize the weight among the boxes to reduce over-weight charges. I’ve ordered a few item at the local West Marine that I forgot to order from Anchorage and hope to fetch them tomorrow. The staff at the Alameda West Marine have always been exceptionally nice to us and has done a lot of extra work to help out a colleague. Luckily, the items that I’ll fetch are small and light weight and won’t disturb our packing. I did order a replacement oscillating fan for our galley and it’s no small item. The previous version’s oscillating feature failed and without that, it’s much less effective at increasing comfort in the cabin. The traditional mounting orientation is upside down, hanging from the cabin top and that seems to add to the failure problem. I might mount this one on a piece of plastic and use silicon caulk to fasten the device in another orientation. Since the old fan operates, I’ll probably mount it and use it as a stand-alone fan where we need extra ventilation.
We leave here on Saturday and fly to Los Angeles, where we board an Air France flight to Papeete, Tahiti. We’ll arrive in the Fa’a International Airport at 0500 hours on Sunday morning after an 11 hour flight, feeling and looking our very best. We move all of our junk out of customs (hopefully with few difficulties) and board a smaller aircraft, a turboprop, to Raiatea and our bungalow. The owner of Pension Tiare Nui will meet us at the airport and transport us and all of our crap to our bungalow and hand over the car. Since it’ll be a Sunday and we can’t get into the yard anyway, we’ve decided to take a car tour of the island. Perhaps we’ll find a little restaurant as well. There are several that we’ve been unable to try since we’ve been on such a tight schedule in the past years. This time, it’s just Conni and me and we’ve got 11 weeks to enjoy ourselves. Finally, we’re cruisers.
Our wonderful friends, Peter and Toby, fetched us and our gear from our house, fed us a wonderful meal, and then transported us to the airport. Thanks, P and T! They might join us, too, and we hope that they do. They’ll just track us and if they can join us, they’ll fly to the nearest island. That would be cool, wouldn’t it?
I just completed a chat with Jen at ATT in reference to an ATT international plan for calling and data in French Polynesia. Holy smokes, she was so helpful! Amazingly, they do have decent coverage throughout French Polynesia, although the coverage has waxed and waned through the years. Jen..thanks.
Not sure when the next update will be, but perhaps from our bungalow on Raiatea. It seems a world away.