Cake Day in Paradise!
11 August 2020 | Raiatea Carenage yard
William Ennis | Too hot to work in the sun
As we took our showers tonight, I was sitting outside the little shower building, a shabby affair with 50°F water and a bare toilet, and admiring the setting Polynesian sun. It was so still, not a breathe of air moving, so the water reflected everything. There are a lot of sailboats at anchor here (trapped by closed countries to the West), so there were signs of life: several flashlights nosing around on their evening inspections, silhouettes moving in front of ports from below decks as families congregate. Bora Bora dominates the horizon in that direction, with its characteristic skyline: the west peak shaped like a volcano, and the east peak looking more like a sad, bent over top hat. The sky was spectacular. I could see the Southern Cross, of course, but the sky transitioned from deep red at the horizon, through orange, yellow, a specific green section, then to the deep blue of a South Pacific night sky. The entire scene was breathtaking and also very tranquil. I was grateful to be there to see it. Gratitude provides satisfaction and happiness.
I reached the age of 71 today. It certainly seems old: I could fool myself that I was still "older middle aged" when I reached 60, but 70 and beyond brooks no fooling. Interesting, that.
I am grateful for my friends, and am grateful to have so many. I have a specific couple of friends in Anchorage, both of whom have been close friends for 30+ years. Jonathan set out to make this remote birthday a bit special, and holy smokes, did he succeed! Last week, he "cold called" the local Raiatea office of a worldwide charter company, spoke to the manager, and SOMEHOW convinced him to procure and deliver to me two cases of beer and a bottles of wine! JG, as he is known, emailed me to expect a visit, and since he knows people everywhere in the world, I thought no more about it, little guessing what ensued.
Fredrick Dofre, the aforementioned manager, arrived this morning, knocked on the hull, and invited me to come down. I realized at once that it must be Jonathan's friend, so eagerly climbed down our ladder to say hello. "Come with me." he said, and I did. When he slung open the cargo doors of his company van, there sat two cases of Hinano and two bottles of good French wine! He smiled and I stood there speechless!
So, Jonathan, thank you for your supreme generosity and creativity. It was a grand gesture and we are deeply touched. I, and we, hope that we expressed our appreciation in our call to you. Linds, thanks.
I wanted to post some photos of the birthday goods, but since I must post via Singapore, it was more akin to sucking peanut butter through a straw to get anything to upload. I'll try again tonight.
We did get a lot done today. The young man who was sent to sand the carpal to prepare for our varnishing job has done an outstanding job with his sander, so that heinous, hot job is done. Conni completed varnishing about 1/3 of the cap rail after the temps dropped yesterday, but must apply masking tape to the remaining work before the varnish. I worked on the new instrument panel. Unlike the new instruments, we knew that we needed to install the new panel so had taken measurements and fabricated a cardboard pattern for our local fabricator. The new acrylic outer door fit so well that I had only to add a handle. The adapter plate for the new panel, on the other hand, required a bit of finishing. The basic shape was correct but a lot of plastic had to be removed for a good fit, then that nice panel had to have most of it removed to allow the new instrument panel to be inserted. All of the measurement and cutting was free-hand, so it's not perfect, but Conni pronounced it satisfactory. I'll get the thing installed tomorrow and the engine cable connected.
The yard also sent a guy to complete the requested work on the depth sounder fairing block. The anti-rotation bolt hole in the hull from the old transducer needed to be filled and I don't have the tools that tI needed, so depended on the yard for the work. That's done so I can sand the area smooth and get that task completed. I've still not heard from B&G about the cause of our various instrument problems, but I'm hoping that I do prior to splashing on Friday or, more likely, Monday.
Conni pan-fried another small steak tonight and we each had a Hinano from Jonathan's largesse. Cheesr, JG! We also polished off the remnants of a nice bottle of red from our fancy birthday dinner at Villa Ixora Friday evening. All in all, a fine 71st birthday aboard Wings in the South Pacific.