Monday, June 06, 2011

From Le Captain

Thought I'd update you.  I'm still at Moorea, having taken the ferry to Tahiti to check in with customs etc. a couple of days ago.  I was at Opauna Bay night before last and it blew nasty.  Anyway I didn't drag in the night like other boats did, then went to shore to walk about 12 k to find a phone to call Mom (anniversery) and the phone booth didn't work.  Got back, all was well, went to have a nap and the guy in the next boat "hooted" me - I was dragging then!  Anyway, hauled up the anchor, toured around the bay dodging boats and reset almost exactly where I had been - dove over the side and swam the anchor to watch the sucker move!  I slid a second anchor down the rode to improve things and it held.  Got lunch then picked up the works and got out of there - crowded, windy and nasty.  Motor sailed and motored into Cooks Bay where I first arrived and the wind is howling.  On the way in, while furling the headsail the flogging sail whipped the sheet across my hand and hit my thumb - it's now a multitude of pretty colors!  Funny how a wet rope being flogged by a 20+k wind feels a lot like a hockey stick being smacked hard onto your ungloved hand in a "serious" fun game.  Anyway, got in, anchored, hauled up because I was too close, motored about and re-anchored, and then set a second anchor.  Almost dark, tired.  Wind howling but not as bad as the night before.  Set the gps and woke up lots.

Got up this morning and swam the anchors.  Neither has moved.  Learned something though - the second anchor is a plough and it's buried itself, while the Bruce seems to be half set.  All was well, wind down so went into town to do some shopping after having a long swim.  Got back to the boat and found it sitting oddly in the wind.  Dove and found one of the anchor rodes had wrapped around the keels so I muscled that off - one of the down sides of the keels is that they can hook the anchor rode really effectively  Now all is fine but it bears watching.  Tonight, secured for 30+k and it's dead calm.

Getting in a lot of snorkeling.  On one hand it's a bit of a sand desert around the boat, depth abut 3 m, but there are chunks of rock etc. and at each one is a colony of various tropical fish.  Mostly small pretty ones of an amazing range of colors and shapes, plus larger ones about.  There was a big (1 m across) ray flying along the bottom and then "parking" under the boat, parrot fish and a couple of puffer fish. As I swim further back from the boat, I get into more corral and there's more variety - all in 2 to 3 m of water.  The water is warm so it's not unreasonable to spend an hour or so at a time mucking about.  A 1.3m black tipped shark came by - I'm told you don't need to worry about these but I kept an eye on him and he just moved on.  

On shore there's a "tourist town" of small shops etc. selling the usual stuff but prominent are the black pearls that are cultured here.  The prices are high - basically double what I was seeing in the atolls before, but half what you pay in Papettee!  Most consumer goods and groceries are at least 30% more expensive.  Fortunately I don't need much.  Chatted with a local fellow who found I was an engineer and we started talking water system - and he wants me to help him come up with a package treatment system to sell around the islands.  Not sure I want to go there, but I'll try and talk to him again tomorrow.  See what happens.  Seem like I carry around in my head a lot of information people can use - at Rangiroa it was a tourist tunnel, here it's water systems and pre-fab houses.  I wonder if it's  possible for me not be an engineer?  

So, it's warm, doing lot of snorkelling.  Had an exciting day and night with high winds.  Managed to smack my thumb.  Forgot - the Customs people descending on the anchorage to check boats - and all my paperwork was in order!  They seemed surprised - it was just a bit disconcerting but perhaps that was because I had just settled down for a nap when then arrived.

Anyway, take care.  I really should get some supper of some sort.

At 07/06/2011 4:13 AM (utc) our position was 17°28.87'S 149°48.96'W