Thursday, July 28, 2011

From the Captain...

I finally got away from Moorea, I spent a lot more effort than I intended getting things sorted out and tied down etc. before getting going.  I got away a bit late, about 5:30 pm for the 80 nm sail to Huahini, and actually sailed most of the way, running the engine only for an hour or so.  It was a lovely night sail with a steady 8 to 10 k of wind and a low sea.

Got some sleep but the stars were really lovely, capped off by a really bright shooting star that crossed directly overhead with at least 90 deg of arc in the sky.  Really neat.  The moon rose late, about 4:30 am, and then with the dawn the island was in sight.  Most of the night I was only making 3.5 to 4 k so I wasn't as far along as I should have been, but I sailed the length of the south coast to the pass and I had the hook down in the lagoon by 4:00 pm more or less on my own - there was another boat a couple of hundred meters away for company.  I was tired, so I had supper and pretty much crashed.

The weather has been generally good.  It's hot (mid to low 30's during the day), though it tends to cool down at night to the mid 20's or so.  Generally there's a light breeze on the water at least.  The forecast is for the wind to pick up in a day or so, and I want to be somewhere else when it does since there's no protection here.

It was a bit of a blustery night so I didn't sleep as well as I might have.  Had a hard time getting away because the anchor chain was wrapped around a coral head - thank goodness it was chain and not rode.  I'm anchoring with "all chain" now that I have enough - with the rode only used as a shock absorber and never more than the depth to the water to ensure it can't hang up and be cut by the coral. I moved the boat over to the "town" and got in a bit of a wander checking out the grocery store which is reputed to one of the better places to re-stock in this local. Spent the night in close quaterts with about 20 boats in the more or less official anchorage - fortunately it was a very quiet night - it's deep here.

Today was inventory day - I went through the can lockers and counted what was there and then made a list of items to bring me up to at least 6 weeks of meal components in all categories.  I still have a lot of cans of tuna and brown beans, but I was getting shy of vegetables, canned meals and fruit.

This island is a lot cleaner than Moorea, to the extent that there are even very few fish hanging around the docks etc.  It's also a lot more mercenary - I needed some water for the boat tanks and they wanted $10 - for 50 l to fill the jugs and it's not worth it.  I'm in a minor bind at the moment because the main water tank failed, so I'm restricted to the smaller tanks plus the jugs. I'm good for a couple of weeks with care and I should be able to get water somewhere else by then - perhaps rain water if the god's cooperate.

Part of the day was spent greasing bearings because coming in the engine / drive train didn't sound right.  Hopefully the grease is the issue, seemed like it since the bearings took more than expected, so I suspect the interval I was given is too long.  I'll schedule greasing every 50 engine hours and we'll see.  Hopefully it's nothing more serious like another cracked engine mount or blown bearing -- I just wish the bugs in the drive train had been sorted out before hand - I would have expected that given the age of the boat but I was wrong and such is life.  The other major chore was sopping water out of bilges with a sponge - fresh water from the failed water tank.  After sailing more of the water trapped in various crannies ends up in the centerline bilge where it can be got at.  Hopefully this is near to the last of it since it's a lot of effort to get at.

Tomorrow I'm off to Raitrea, about 10 m away.  It looks interesting and I'll go tourist for a few days.  Hopefully I can connect with some people - the yachties here, and for the last month at Moorea seem an closed minded group.  It's probably me in that I don't mix much - which is your great asset.  I've been reading  up on the Cook Islands and I just may blow past them if I keep going west - anchorages don't sound very good and there doesn't seem much to attract me on the islands.  I could be wrong.  I confess I'm not nearly as keen to be on my own as I thought I'd be - I really miss having company.  See what happens - I have decisions to make in the next couple of days.

Take care.

At 25/07/2011 3:42 AM (utc) our position was 16°43.98'S 151°02.78'W