Remembrance Then Work Sept 11-12
12 September 2021 | Pension Tiare anui
William Ennis | Very hot
11 Sept We had our moment of silence today for those who died on this day 20 years ago. I remember exactly what I was doing and where I was. Don't you? At any rate, American citizens should remember.
We were off to the boat. Our wonderful host, Raihau, manager of Raiatea Location, the car rental/bungalows printed and completed a form for us to carry around with us each day that tells officials that we're traveling to and from work. With his signature on the form, we're legal.
[Something just hit our bungalow roof, a mango from the tree behind us, we imagine. Very loud but we can't locate it. Conni settled on grabbing some bananas growing nearby.]
I painted two coats on the dinghy transom. It's needed it so we did it. I'll spread some Flex-Set epoxy on the top of the transom to prevent gouging and water penetration of the plywood.
I added oil to the main engine so that task is done. I also completed the outboard decommissioning, so that's complete. We're completing tasks as fast as we can manage. Conni worked most of the day below decks, completing the galley tasks. Cleaning the fridge/freezer is backbreaking work and she's pleased with the results. She cleaned the forward head and the messy shower sump. She also installed the middle section of our boat cover, providing much needed relief from sun heat and rain. We can leave the top hatch open, now. Our forward cover is still off, but the dinghy is taking the space. When I'm done tomorrow, we can collapse the dinghy, roll it up, and stow it, then put the cover on. We've had a new aft section fabricated by the wonderful Regine Fauxe: we'll fetch and pay for it on Monday. Conni is moving through her list faster than I.
12 Sept Sunday, a rest day in other situations, but not for the wicked or cruisers trying to depart a country. We were at it quite early and accomplished a lot. Our task list seems to be shrinking quite nicely.
While still in Mexico, we made the decision to sacrifice our old chemical toilet for the space needed for our water maker. What I failed to remove was an air vent for the mixing tank that penetrated the side of the cabin. That piece of pot metal has corroded through the years and became a source of a bad water leak in that area. I should have made the connection earlier, but just didn't. The metal was so corroded on the outside of the cabin that I was able to break off most of it with my bare hands. Removing the part inside the 1-1/2-inch-thick cabin wall was a bit more complicated but manageable.
So, we're faced with a 1-1/2-inch hole deep, 3/4-inch in diameter. How to fill it so that it's attractive (or at least not unattractive) and waterproof? Certainly, epoxy is part of the answer, but it's a lot of epoxy. The solution was to use a plug of 3/4-inch oak dowel that I had for another purpose and not discarded. We dried it in the room overnight, I used a small hand plane to decrease the diameter a bit to free space for more epoxy, cut it to length, and added a small screw in one end to help guide the piece while installing it. With Conni on the inside and I outside, we coated the hole walls with white MarineTex epoxy. I coated the plug with the same, and inserted the plug. Lots oozed from the inside, but we were ready and retained it for use. The repair isn't pretty, and is still very lumpy both inside and outside, but we'll let it cure then sand it flat. I think that it'll be fine. Conni was happy with the repair and it'll certainly eliminate the leak.
We filled our main diesel fuel tanks in Uturoa as we began the trip. The seas were on our beam so they slammed us into the damned dock. We sustained some damage to the gel coat on starboard side and today was the epoxy/gel coat day. Gel coat, by the way, is the outer layer of material on fiberglass. It contains the color in it and protects the fiberglass from UV damage and water penetration. Another task today was to fill the gel coat holes appearing in several parts of the starboard hull. There were plenty to fill!
Conni also moved far down her list and we both felt much relief with what we have accomplished.
Departure: We leave French Polynesia on Thursday, 16 Sept. We depart Raiatea in the early afternoon. We'll be hauling our usual load of gear, unfortunately. To re-enter the US, we both must test negative to a PCR test just prior to boarding. We've taken the initiate to register for a priority test and paid for it, so we will get a test early and not stand in line. Reasonably, French Polynesian health authorities are requiring that we pay for the tests since they are for our re-entry into the US and not into their country. We land in San Francisco and if Conni's father allows us, we'll visit him for a week or so, then home. We're definitely on the downhill run with a lot of work ahead of us. As we were sitting out tonight having cocktails (well, rosé, tonight), a cool breeze swept through and we were both cold! Are you kidding me? We'll surely perish in Alaska, where it's cold and rainy!
I have photos to post when our Internet connection improves, and i posted two pages last night.