Nancy explains to me why it would be good to go to Papeete. Logical stuff. Charge batteries. Take on water. Odd big city details addressed. I was with her. The Tahiti/Moorea/Puddle Jump Rendezvous starts in Papeete Friday the 23rd. Wouldn’t want to miss that. One of the attractions is representatives from host countries down wind will be present to acquaint us with the details of traveling to their countries by boat. Good Idea. So we left Cook’s Bay about 0930. Got to Papeete about noon. And found a slip in Marina Papeete. Stroke of luck. Damn near full and this weekend is the peak of high season. Watered up. Charged up.
Never mind checking in at the marina. I load my most empty propane tank and bust it off to the filling station. Our neighbor has a tank needs picking up. It’s a long walk when you are schlepping a big propane tank. Unless you have a bike to strap it to. And I do. So I swoop into the Mobil station. Pick up my neighbor’s tank. Drop mine off to be filled (and they SAID it would be done by Friday…). As I’m strapping neighbors tank to my bike the gas truck comes along and hauls off the tanks, mine included. Timing could not have been better.
But damn is it Hot. No wind. Nancy says Hey Man… if we turned the boat around on the dock we’d get more wind in the cockpit. Yeah whatever.. but it might work. So we release all the lines and I head out to turn around and come right back. Nancy and a neighbor are on the dock to manage the lines on the way back in. I have moved one fender to the starboard side which will now be to the dock. I need 3 really but I hear a funny note from my diesel exhaust. Like no water coming out with the exhaust. And there should be. More often than not diesel marine engines have a water cooled exhaust system. I used to have one too. Now suddenly I don’t. It’s the same water that cools the engine. So now you begin to see the scope of the issue. Quite in a hurry to get back on the dock now. It’s calm. Did I mention no wind? Land her easily with my excellent dock hands’ assistance. And darned if we did not see a bit better breeze in the cockpit for the turning around. Bonus!
Now to sort out the cooling system on Spill The Wine. Blocked intake? Bad impeller in the pump? Blocked hose that would introduce water into the exhaust? Most likely impeller bad. Odd because I replaced that on April and the tend to last about a year or more. But then the last few months the motor has seen a lot more use than it used to see in a year in Seattle.
Open the pump and the impeller is shredded. There are 12 fingers or flat vanes on the rotating impeller. There are 3 left. The others are piled up in the pump housing in bits. I collect all the parts and all 12 vanes are not accounted for. Two are missing. Musta got pumped downstream to the heat exchanger (like a radiator in a car). I look there but no vanes. Hmmm. I remove the hose from the heat exchanger that brings the water from the pump. Nancy starts the motor and I hold the hose over a bucket. Water pump is certainly working now. Strong flow. And along with the water, the missing 2 vanes are revealed!
Close it all up and start the motor. The exhaust is full of water again as it should be. And there are no leaks in the engine “room”. Even better! More like the vaguely accessible engine cupboard…
So off to the store. Need another impeller to have on hand. A patch kit for the dinghy. It has a slow leak that I recently located. Need charcoal for the Big Green Egg. Might not find any of that for awhile after here.
What’s next. Oh yeah the VHF radio has been refusing to turn on. How rude! There is a electronics fixit place here. Remove radio and pack it up.
Electronic fixit place is not too encouraging. They are not sure if the can fix. They don’t have parts for my brand. Ok let’s nevermind the radio then. I scored on the rest of my supplies and back to the boat.
Nancy and I step out for a smoothie in the heat of the afternoon. Perfect. We encounter a mob of Tahitians playing ukuleles in a store front. The graffiti behind them even celebrates ukes! Fun!
White bread baguettes are great but we found whole wheat ones. Awesome. The post office here is called OPT. The office of postal and telecommunications services. So you buy your cell phone at the post office. Odd. Anyway I managed to screw my Polynesian phone up and needed help. That was easy!
Nancy made marinated lamb chops. More awesome! Then she went off to girls night with some of the other Puddle Jumpers.
So I have this dead radio hanging around the salon. What to do. Oh well. I’ll just hang it back where it belongs. And the SOB works perfectly. Twas ever thus. I have not mentioned it yet but I have crew coming on July 8 and they are bringing Another Radio! I scored that on ebay. I’m still happy it’s coming as this one’s inconsistent behavior is really not ok. It can become a spare when the new one shows up.
This afternoon there was a kickoff event at the Tahiti tourism office on the waterfront. People from New Zealand and Fiji gave presentations to encourage the Puddle Jump participants to come and visit. And to give us customs and touring clues. The minister of tourism was on hand to speechify and bless the fleet. Seriously athletic Tahitian dancers put on a very impressive show. There were some folks looking to hitch a ride from Tahiti to Moorea with the fleet. All 15 miles of it! All the participant boats are scheduled to depart tomorrow (Saturday) for Cook’s Bay in Moorea. Nancy and I take on 4. A Dutchman, an Irishman, an Englishman and a German woman. Fun bunch of 20 somethings trying to find their way around the world. They stayed with us for the whole weekend. Wore us out!
Our crew showed up at 9am as planned and we departed. About 25 boat’s are in a big pile outside Passe Papeete and then they are off! Wind is light. Seas are building just the same. Strangely enough Spill The Wine ends up in front of everyone. That is not what usually happens. About 2/3 of the way there, the wind expires and the swell is large. Ideal for seasickness. Accordingly we have a seasick crew. Nevermind being in the lead, we motor up and find our way to the bay. Much smoother! Crew recovers in time for an anchor down beverage. 🙂 It turns out everybody motored but one boat. It required patience and strong stomachs but Wiz sailed all the way they win the event!
We tour the anchorage visiting our peers on our way to the grocery. Then ashore for more destination seminars and dinner. Some of our young crew stays out a bit later than us and returns silently. Sneaky buggers!
Crew makes us all breakfast. I knew we had the right folks on board! We are fueling up for the outrigger canoe races. My hand picked international cabal crew ended up the gringo victors! That’s the good news. The bad news is they had to defeat their captain’s team to do it, the bums! I got over it….
More amazing Tahitian dancers and a Polynesian feast followed. We ended up on another boat playing and singing into the night. How their cockpit managed to swallow 16 people is unclear…
Our hitchhikers made breakfast again, cleaned up and cleared out. Great crew. They all get invited back. Just the same it will be nice to have just Nancy and I onboard for a bit. Some of them are returning Friday. And a couple more signed up to cross with Spill The Wine to Raritonga in the Cook islands at the end of July. That is about a 5 day crossing. It will be good to have the extra hands.
The bay is shedding boats now that the event has finished. I was hoping that it would. Peace descends on Cook’s Bay. Ambition might happen tomorrow…
So the 27th we invited our hosts from the night before to come and visit. More music! So much fun that we added more folks the evening of the 28th.
Now the wind is up. Gusting to 25. Cooler too. Good day to be anchored! Reading, Internet dose, neighbors coming later for chicken on the Egg!