We Move Aboard
08 August 2020 | Aboard Wings
William Ennis | Hot and windy
Conni had scoured the Internet for recommendations for a restaurant dinner, and found Villa Ixora, on the sea side of the Tepua Bay barely outside of downtown Uturoa. When we arrived, there were a few vehicles, but when we departed, it was full! And we know why: superb meals, excellent service, lovely surroundings. What a nice break in our routine.
The setting was lovely and understated. Our server spoke superb English, thankfully, and was vivacious and entertaining. They serve one of the best Mai-Tais that we've ever enjoyed, too. Duck for Conni, and New Zealand steak for me were the main courses and each was exquisitely prepared. Conni had read that the business was opened by a French couple, the husband formally trained as a chef. We certainly believe it. If you're in search of a fine meal, this is closer and more highly rated than Opoa. Conni's thought that after a cocktail and half a bottle of wine, it was unsafe to drive from south of Faaroa Bay, dodging chickens the entire way.
Conni continued to prepare the boat for our move onto her, and worked on the varnishing project, while I worked on the small display box and its wiring that holds the old autopilot controller and the new "shows lots of stuff" B&G Triton display. We need to be able to easily remove the box since there are locations where theft is an issue, as well as the removal requirement at season's end. I purchased a special watertight through-bulkhead fitting for that purpose. It connects to a NMEA2000 cable from the Triton, then to a NMEA2000 drop cable on the outside, providing just the kind of connection that we were seeking. My largest bit was 7/16", so the 1/2" fitting required some hand-filing to fit, but it was quickly done.
Due to poor planning on my part, I did not have a properly sized grommet for the old SeaTalk1 cable that connects the old autopilot controller to the remaining and abbreviated SeaTalk network, and also transits the box back. I'll have to tape over the opening and bring a better grommet next time.
I also cleaned the depth transducer hole of old caulk, a job early accomplished by the same burr grinder that I've used before. With Conni's help, I also drilled the hole for the anti-rotation bolt for the new depth transducer. The guy who cut the fairing block did such a great job that there's little for the caulk to fill, so when I drilled the hold, using the fairing block as a drill guide, the bit went cleanly through the hull and into the upper part of the fairing block. Both pieces of fairing block are used to maintain the transducer in its vertical position. Unfortunately, the old bolt hole didn't get filled, so we're out of luck for this weekend unless I can find a way to complete that job. Damn.
Conni and I busied around the bungalow in preparation for departure. In a single load, we had moved to the boat, then another trip to complete provisioning for a few weeks, anyway. We're officially boat people!
Conni and I both pushed hard to move from "project mode" with nothing but equipment and tools everywhere to a livable boat with places to sleep and cook. We've got a bed and the galley is mostly clear. The fridge is on, thank heavens, and most things are working as they should. We checked the damned propane a few days ago and that system is also working. Our AC outlets are tripping breakers in the yard, and I can't reset the breakers myself, so I'll have to work on them on Monday. I have no immediate ideas about what the problem might be. All I can think of doing is disconnecting the AC power at each outlet and seeing what happens. There are 5 on port and another 5 on starboard, so it's not a huge number, but sheesh!
I completed the display box (it holds the new Triton display and the old autopilot controller) and finally got everything connected. Unfortunately, the autopilot didn't power up, so perhaps it's gone, a complete surprise and unpredicted. If it doesn't spontaneously spring to life, we're simply going have to hand steer this season. The larger question is what our plan will be for next year without an autopilot, and we haven't decided: new autopilot? new or rebuilt controller?
This is our first night aboard. Conni's got music on and we split a beer, baguette, some great Camembert, and olives. That woman can make a party anywhere with almost anything.
More as we can.