19 September 2022 | Pension Tiare Nui
William Ennis | Windy, rainy
Wings was pulled out of the water 9 days ago. As we've been working on Wings as she sits in her cradle, we've met some very interesting other cruisers.
Next door were Brita and Michael, Germans from Berlin. They speak English as well as we do, for heaven's sake, idioms and all. He's an architecture professor and she's a biochemist professor and they take sabbaticals from their teaching positions to go sailing. Shoot, their last 3-year sabbatical allowed them to circumnavigate!
Michael wrote a book and he gave us his last copy, and signed it: how nice is that? Michael, thank you. Of course, they can tell some interesting stories and both are very kind people.
We met the crew from Winsome in Apu Bay. Jay and Irwin dropped by in their dinghy and Jay said that she'd take our garbage ashore! What? They did and we all became friends, re-acquainting since they're in the same yard. Irwin is a double PE (professional engineer) in electrical and mechanical, and he was an engineer on a Navy nuclear sub for many years, then worked on nuclear power plants. He built Winsome over 40 years ago and has lived aboard her that entire time. Imagine! They're both bright and wonderful people.
Alfred and Anva are companions, we are told. She's Israeli, working on her master's degree from University of Tel Aviv in story telling. She interviewed us tonight for that project. I've never been interviewed but she's very good aa eliciting comments.
So, the yard is full of interesting and accomplished people, all brought together around love for the oceans and cruising. It's a strong attachment and makes for good friendships.
We've been working like crazy, arriving early and staying late, although we've also spent more time with friends than we usually do. Yesterday, Saturday, we were in a panic about not being far along enough, but today we made substantial progress and think that, perhaps, we'll be ready on Tuesday afternoon. On Tuesday, we fly from Raiatea to Papeete, then board the United flight to San Francisco. LaVerne will meet us there and take us to his place for a several day stay, and to help him celebrate his 96th birthday. Happy Birthday, LaVerne!
We can't get the proper glue for our dinghy's repair, so we've had to make due with caulk, for heaven's sake. All they have are white and black caulk, so any mistake is obvious. We've still got to buy and replace a bad valve on the dinghy, but can't do that this season.
Otherwise, we're plugging along, trying to get outside work completed while dodging the ever-present rain. Jeez, it's getting down to the wire and the weather has not relented.
Both sails down and packed, two of the three boat cover sections are up, and most tasks for the engine and below decks are complete. We had some bad gelcoat problems on the foredeck. Gelcoat is the stuff that you see when you look at a fiberglass boat: it's the very thin outer layer that provide color to the fiberglass. At any rate, the Careange worker is doing a superb job but leaving a big mess.
We leave tomorrow afternoon, as I said. I haven't written much since tearing down the boat is the same old thing. [I just brought in our next-to-last cup of cold instant coffee for the season!]
One last story is in order. Dominique told us about a leased catamaran that had lethal-ignorant crew. On Huahine, they were motoring toward Avea Bay and the male aboard decided to re-fuel as they were motoring. He grabbed a gas can instead of diesel, and poured into the bilge, or least most of it. Spark...BOOM! The hull exploded, sending him through the cable lifelines, dismembering him and throwing pieces into the water, although his family avoided the blast and leaped overboard. Since it was a lethal event, the wreck has been off-limits since last year, and Dominique finally got the request to move the wreck. He went out over the weekend with a crew and his tug. They raised the wreck with big air bags, and dragged it back to the yard where it sits, leaking diesel into the water. I'll post a photo or two when we return to Oakland. It's probably the most gruesome story that we've heard here.
We'll work today and some of tomorrow, pack, and be out of here tomorrow.