To Tiare Nui
14 September 2020 | Pension Tiare Nui
William Ennis | Still very hot
On Saturday night, we spent our last night aboard for the season. At 1500 on Sunday, our Pension Tiare Nui host came to fetch us and we began our stay at the Pension.
We've both worked very hard, but the truth is that at 1500, it's so hot, inside and outside the boat (90°F inside), that it's unpleasant to be anywhere but in front of a fan. By 1700, we can work again, but it's virtually day's end and darkness arrives quickly in the tropics.
Up early to avoid the late afternoon heat, we work until lunch, then do what we can until 1500-1600, then call it quits. We sit below decks since it's even hotter in the cockpit and below decks we do have fans to help.
As part of our morning's work, we packed clothing and food for the move off the boat and after departing when our Pension host arrived in our rental car, Conni returned. We climbed down the ladder with boxes and packs, and enjoyed the air conditioning in the car all the way to the Pension.
I had told Conni that when I arrived at the Pension, I'd take a standup, warm, shower and then I'd lie in the AC and do NOTHING until dinner. We both did exactly that. A hot shower is wonderful but staying cool and not sticky with sweat afterward is even more marvelous! I wrote to someone that finding joy in such trivial pleasure was a sure sign of how rustic our boat life had become.
We were relaxing in the room enjoying our cocktail time, both of us clean and dry and cool, when the oddest battle unfolded. From under the door, and through every cracked window, came armies of these small black insects. We think that they might have been termites, but whatever they were, they arrived in swarms, in civilizations. They were on the walls, on the floors in swarms, on our beds, in the shower stall: they were everywhere! We squashed them by the dozen trying to reduce the numbers and our efforts were finally rewarded after an hour or so. The numbers entering dropped and we had exterminated enough to get to bed. Conni was truly grossed out by the prospect of having to endure the tiny insects crawl on her, so it required quite some time before she was asleep. The insects didn't sting, they didn't smell; their irritation was in their numbers, and in their being everywhere. Interestingly, before they began to arrive in such numbers, we were startled by several birds banging on our plastic roof, but after the Attack of the Black Bugs, we realized that the birds had come by to partake of the buffet-de-bug that was descending on us. I wish that they had been a bit more successful.
Working in heat and then living in heat and disorder is difficult after a week or so, but being able to leave it all behind is a sanity saver. We work and sweat in the heat, then return to the Pension room where we can get clean of the day's sweat, stay cool and dry, and enjoy the evening.
This morning, I swept out all of the tiny carcasses, of which there were many, and it looks none the worse for the battle. We're unsure if this were a passing event or a salient by the Armies of the Insects. Tonight will tell, but we're going to be forearmed with some toxins.
There are heavy electrical cables that feed power to the windlass from the battery, and they've never been properly supported: my fault. Since our deck is cored with teak blocks, I never drill holes into it for mounting cables, but place a blob of epoxy on the surface after cleaning thoroughly with acetone, then insert a machine screw into the blob. After it cures, I've got a fine mounting point for supporting whatever needs it. I use a product called 610, a thickened epoxy. The 610 would NOT stay put and dribbled down like unthickened epoxy. Certainly, expecting a machine screw to stay in the epoxy was unreasonable. I gave up in frustration, and then thought that perhaps if I simply waited until the stuff was mostly cured, the epoxy would work as I wished. According to the packaging, the 610 would remain workable for 42 minutes. At 40 minutes after installation, the epoxy was almost stiff and the screws remained where they should have been. Tomorrow, I'll fasten some mountable cable ties and get those cables supported. I forgot to mention that the dripping 610 dribbled all over my scalp, so Conni had to cut out a lot of my remaining hair. Now as I feel my hair, there are some fairly solid patches!
We're still ahead of our schedule, so we'll continue to work as hard as possible, hoping to gain a day of relaxing.