Into the water!
24 May 2018 | Pension Tiare Nui
Anxious and excited Bill
This little Pension room is small and sparse but it becomes "home" in short order because of the relief from work that it affords. On Monday, we decided to take a drive around the island simply because we'd seen nothing but the boat yard, the Pension room, and the inside of our rental Fiat Panda for 9 days. We're reaching 14 days tomorrow and it's time to depart.
Conni creates a little home life for us, complete with cocktail time and hors de oeuvres. We have Internet for blogs, communications, and ordering parts. The room has air conditioning for comfortable, relatively bug-free sleeping. Life goes on.
When we go into the water tomorrow morning, we'll be on our own again. It's the yard time that's so difficult. Once we're on the water, crowing roosters (yes, they're still active and a nuisance) bugs, and boat yard heat are gone. Immersing the hull in cooler water is so much better than hot, boat yard air. There'll be no AC, but we have fans, breezes, and natural ventilation. We'll be fine.
We think that we might receive our solar charge controller tomorrow, and we'll have solar power for batteries. We've got the generator for main charging, and the engine when we're moving. Things are looking better on that important task.
I think that Conni and are resigned to having no wind information. We don't like it, but there's little that we can do but "reframe". Having definitive wind speed data helps decision making, of course. We're always conservative, but numbers help.
The propane system is working, although we'll have to close the tank by hand after every use. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but we'll have to get in the habit. Still, Conni's menu and food choices are usable. She's not a sandwich eater like I am, so the thought of five days of sandwiches, three meals a day, was unpleasant. Didn't sound so bad to me.
The fridge is working, and staying cold. We moved most of our food into it today since we learned this afternoon that they'll splash us no later than 0900. We had asked for afternoon, but as I said, they've got some catamarans from the local Moorings (an international charter company) that take priority in time and effort. We haven't felt the love. It'll make it a rush for us, getting ready to splash by 0900, but that's what they've scheduled. They'll move us out of their little launch slip and leave us for a few hours, then return us to the launch slip so that we can complete preparations to move somewhere, anywhere. We need to inflate the dinghy, fill our water tanks, stow gear, and mount the jib, among many other tasks, but then we depart. We're ready to be shed of the yard.
We spent some time today registering for the local Wifi company. They've got hot spots on many local islands and we've used their stuff before. We badly need weather information since we're so close to leaving. A day earlier or later means that we hit bad weather or no-wind weather, either undesirable. Conni looks at weather in three locations at three time: a day out of Raiatea, at midway to Rarotonga, and a day from Raro, at our estimated times of arrival at each, and we decide what departure day will minimize the worst conditions. It's the best way of planning, but it requires access to the best weather that's available. We've also bills to pay and blogs to post.
We've decided to depart from this island, Raiatea, rather than sailing to Bora Bora. Why not? We just haven't thought of it before, but they've got a Gendarmerie here that can clear us. It's also a bit closer to Raro, a tiny bit closer, than Bora Bora.
I was working on the winches today, disassembling them to stainless steel shafts and bronze gears. One-speed winches are no problem, but damned if I don't still have trouble with the big two-speed ones. I am careful to disassemble only clumps of attached parts, clean, lubricate, and re-assemble. STILL...I had to disassemble the damned thing three times to get it re-assembled correctly. My first problem was that one of the interior housings didn't fit another, and of course it should have. It required a bit of work just to realize what the problem was, for heaven's sake, then some careful sanding with fine paper eventually allowed the pieces to mate properly. Jeez! I've got one more primary, the big two-speed ones, remaining. The one I cleaned today certainly needed the cleaning.
Our port-side fuel tank looks clean and the diesel looks great, but we don't trust them. We replace filler O-rings yearly, now, and we think that's the biggest difference. If we do have some motoring through no-wind days, we'll need fuel, although at US$5/gallon, it's not cheap. We've paid as much as US$12/gallon, so it's better than that.
We've found a Papeete rock and roll station that has a repeater here in Raiatea, so we've got some world rock to smooth the work. Working in the cockpit with some nice tunes from around the world has been relatively nice.
The tentative departure dates are either 31 May or 1 June, depending completely on conditions. That means that we'll have to be near Wifi on a regular basis and I'll be able to tell post some blog or photos. I've also got to inform the Cook Islands Immigration Service of any changes to our arrival.
In the water tomorrow and our last night on land for a long time!