Return to the Carenage
10 September 2020 | Raiatea Carenage slip
William Ennis | Still hot
Yep, we're back.
We had a lazy morning in Haamene, but finally got moving at 1030 or so. We motored to the Hibiscus Cruisers' Bar in the outer bay, where in days past, our friend Leo had held court. We were convinced that the old man was probably gone, but we love the place so motored to a mooring and latched on, then jumped in the dinghy to motor to their dock.
On arrival, we learned that Leo is still kicking! He's in hospital in Papeete but at least he's around. We ordered a beer each and wandered around the bar that we know so well. Through the years, we've left a Kenai Fjords Yacht Club burgee and a William H. Seward Yacht Club burgee, and both are still hanging. We love being part of the background history of the place. Leo built the place and was the owner/manager for a long time. Originally from France, he speaks French, German, English, and Polynesian. There are burgees from clubs all over the world, quite literally. The Hibiscus has been a stop on most of the Around-the-World rallies, too, so those burgees are hanging from the ceiling rafters as well. The food is always exceptional and the cocktails are superb.
The motoring to Raiatea was uneventful, and we arrived outside the Carenage at 1430 or so. I called the office to request that we be allowed stay in the slip overnight, since we get pulled on Friday, sometime. They agreed, so I quickly inflated our few remaining fenders, placed our 4 dock lines at our corners, and we motored in. After so many years, we've dramatically improved our ability to navigate into the slip with fewer scares, so in we went. I took the helm and with Conni's able assistance as observer, we nailed the approach. Ahhh... The Carenage owner and boss, Dominique, was around to help. He's a great guy and has been more and more helpful and friendly to us.
In preparation for the pull tomorrow, we removed and stored the jib and got the dinghy cleaned and on the dock although we'll have to move the dinghy back aboard before we're pulled. There's no way that we want to haul that damned thing from the slip to wherever they place the boat. Tomorrow morning, we've got to loosen the bottom connection for our roller furler, but we've gotten faster at accomplishing it.
I was able to jury rig a power hookup to the boat, so we're charging our batteries and can power anything that we want. We can run fans, lights, whatever we wish. Rather than being crazy about conserving electrical power, we can splurge. And the shower... Yes, it's pretty cool but not Alaska cold, but there's plenty of it and we can stand up! When you've been without, those little things matter. I'm afraid that our bar for comfort drops precipitously while we cruise.
We'll be living aboard until Sunday afternoon when we'll move back to the Pension. Of course we've got 10 days of hard work to decommission the boat, and then we fly home. It's a bit much to countenance completely.