Wednesday, June 08, 2011

From the Captain...

I spent the day rowing, reading and snorkelling. I rowed in this morning with two things to do - laundry (cost me a lot - but it's done and the sheets are clean for mom), and to call you.  I'd carefully made notes of what I wanted you to do, model numbers, contact phone numbers etc. -- got to the phone booth and realized I did not have your number - it's always just been on my cell.  Row back to the boat, back to land and do it all again - tried you twice, tried Dan, finally called home and the one I didn't expect to connect with was home - go figure.

The boat is over a sand desert with an occasional oasis in the form of a coral block or some bricks and debris where a cluster of tropical fish hang out at each one.  I swam towards the reef where the coral get's dense and there's all manner of fish in a few feet of water, along with tube worms of amazing colors and clams that are in rock crevices - their shells gape about 20 mm and the lips are bright blue and purple and black and yellow.  There was a really cute baby Moray eel hanging in a crevice.  His head was about 50 to 75 mm across but his color was something else.  Imagine a bright yellow background overlaid with a black fish net with maybe 10 mm hex mesh woven by a slightly tipsy netmaker.  It was really neat.  And no, I didn't try to pet him although that big one I saw at Rangiroa, the divemaster was petting.  I leave thing strictly alone.  There as also a different style of puffer fish with horns above his eyes that stuck out forward and a long tail (most of the puffer fish tails look like hatchery trout tails - worn off)  Anyway, I'm told that this reef is "dead" but I find it neat.  I think people want to be overwhelmed, and this way I can focus on one spot or colony or fish and just hang out a bit.  I forgot the ray that hangs about - maybe a meter across.  I wish I had a good underwater camera - it would be worth taking some pictures.  The vis is 20m+.

I wonder what a decent underwater camera and light source might cost?  I wonder what your camera, with a housing might cost?  Could you look that up please?

I'm getting some boat work done.  I cleaned out the chain locker and removed the mass of rust that was a chain, and then pounded it to loosen the rust and make it chain like again.  I cut off about 5 m to use as a weight for the series drogue should I ever need that - now that "package" is complete.  The instructions suggest a 12Kg anchor should be attached to the end when deploying but I'm thinking I'd rather have a dedicated lump of disposable weight in the kit rather than having to dig out an anchor when things are rough.  So that's done, there's another 5 m I'll just leave in the lazarette.  It could, I suppose perhaps be used in an emergency.  Anyway, got the chain locker cleaned up and resealed (I hope).  Fixed the lite in the head, and the one on the port side, main cabin.  That one is not pretty (no fixture to screw the bulb into so I soldered the wires direct to the bulb - and led) but it works and it is one of the most useful lights in the boat.  I still haven't worked up the enthusiasm to deal with the head.  First task is to hand bail out the holding tank.  After that it should be fairly straight forward - pull the holding tank, take apart a bulkhead, use the toilet plunger on the outside of the boat to seal the through hull (I think I expleaind how that works in a previsou note - re a beer and discussion on an Aussie boat provide that solution rather than a haulout) turn off the old valve, put on the new one and reverse the above (but not having to refill the tank!)  Hopefully the end result will be a working head that doesn't smell.

Anyway, take care - I think you'd like it here.  It's different than I expected, and the cruising community is quite different as well.  Loosly knit, sort of social but not really.  Maybe I'm just not connnecting.  Such is life.  Had a cold beer tonigh from the cooler unit - that's been a god send, though it eats power.  Need a wind generator.

Love Dad
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At 08/06/2011 5:01 AM (utc) our position was 17°28.89'S 149°48.95'W