Posted by: catamarantwooceans | April 6, 2010

Back in Raiatea

2.4.10 – Friday – 

I finally got to the boat but not without stress!  Air France flight landed in Papeete at 0355 and after the usual formalities I proceeded to Air Tahiti in the domestic terminal. “The ticket office only opens at 0600 but all the flights to Raiatea are full today, it’s a holiday” says a lady in check in. I decide to buy a ticket for the first available flight and put myself on standby with the hope of some “no shows”. The first flight is at 0630. With a ticket for the next day in hand I go back to the check-in area. It is full of people and all the counters are dealing with all flights to all destinations, I see no chance of getting on the desired flight. In desperation I approach an agent passing by and explain my predicament. I told him about me being a former airline captain and said I am prepared to fly on a jump seat. The guy took my ticket. “Wait here” he said and disappeared in the office. At 0625 my name was called and I was given a boarding card for a regular seat. The flight left over half an hour late – but who cares ?

At first glance the boat seemed to be all right but a closer look revealed some undesirable things.  The worst of all was that somehow water got into the chart table. I left my Iridium sat-phone there in its neoprene bag, which is not water tight and it became wet. In the last three years of cruising, many a time in very heavy rain, nothing like that ever happened!

The loss of the Iridium put an end to my plans for getting weather and updating my position on Google Earth through Mailasail. This is just for the next two months. I’ll have it fixed or buy a new one.


–3.4.10 Saturday  –

  The Jet-lag hit me big time! It is 13 hours from Israel clock here. I woke up at 0100 and somehow passed the night reading, napping and waiting for first light. I had a long list of jobs I wanted to accomplish. The first was preparing for taking the port fuel tank out for repair since it had a small leak. This meant taking everything out of the locker, dismantling the windlass and the anchor chain compartment as well as all the pipes and electrical connections. It took me four hours not including the time I had to go and hide in the cabin every time it started raining. I could have given the job to Thierry, the local mechanic, but at 60 euro an hour I decided the effort was justified. In the evening I wanted to charge the laptop, so I turned the inverter on to get 220v – NADA! It gives out a code as if the battery voltage is too low but really it’s OK.


– Sunday 4.4.10 – Again a bad, Jet-lag night. It is also raining a lot, maybe El Nino is to blame. I found the electricity box of the yard and plugged in getting 220v. When I put the battery charger on – the circuit breaker tripped. Checked all the connections – they are OK, this probably means that the charger–inverter unit, a Freedom 20, is faulty. Will the engines alternators fail too? Do they have a professional yacht electrician here? I’ll find out the day after tomorrow when the yard people come back from their Easter holiday.

I changed the impeller in the port engine water pump which is almost two years old. Easier doing it out of the water, but somehow – what took 45 minutes in previous occasions stretched to over two hours! After that I felt I deserved a treat and went swimming in the rain.


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