Posted by: catamarantwooceans | July 24, 2010

Back in Samoa

 I stayed two and a half months in Israel. My mother’s condition stabilized so I allowed myself to go back to Samoa. But getting here was not so easy. I flew with El Al from Tel Aviv to L.A – 14 hours and 40 minutes arriving at seven AM. Went to a hotel to wait for the Air New Zealand flight to Apia which was supposed to take off at 2315 the same evening. Around 7PM I decided to check the flight situation (recommended by the airline and as it turned out – for a good reason) and with a sinking feeling saw the word “cancelled” next to my flight! Immediately I called their 800 number and after holding the line for a long, long time, I received a new itinerary: I had to wait for the next day, fly to Auckland, that took 12 hours),wait 7 hours at the airport and fly 4 hours in the opposit direction to reach Apia Thursday evening instead of Wednesday morning. To their credit I will say that they provided hotel accomodation and meals. But I lost two days in which I planned to do a lot of work on the boat.

I arrived at the marina at 8:30 PM, I was TIRED! By the way, the reason for the cancellation was generator malfunction on the Air NZ 767. So electrical problems happen to airplanes too! The first thing I did was reconnect the house batteris and check their voltage. Frankly I was ready for any disaster but was relieved to find out that they had good voltage, 12.05 v. Tommorow I’ll start the engines and see how the system works.

23.7.10 – Friday – Jetlag woke me up at 0130…Can’t go back to sleep, so I started doing things around the boat. Number one: put the laundry in the clothes cabinet. Surprise! everything in my part of it is dripping wet!  How the hell did water get in there? Come morning I take the items out to dry and can see the extent of the damage. Almost all the clothes and towels stained with black mould, luckily the sheets were spared. I hang all of it to dry and will have them laundered later in the day.

Next project – start the engines and charge the batteries. Once the first engine is on I can turn on the various systems including the fresh water pumps. The starboard pump is not working (investigate later) so I turn on the port one. Gas bottle opened and stove operating I can already smell the coffee coming when I notice the port bilge red alarm light is on. Opening the bilge cover I see water pouring in, taste it and it’s fresh water. Water pump off (coffee postponed) I search for the source of the leak and find that a brass fitting in the cold water line has cracked! The water just flowed into the cabinet and bilge. This must have happened on my last day aboard in May so the items had enough time to “cook” and get mouldy. I succeeded in taking the part out but decided to bring a proffesional plumber to do the job. I would have lost hours just trying to find the right part in Apia.


Next task: check the Iridium. It was repaired in the U.S, sent to my daughter in California and brought by her to Israel – without the antenna. I tried to recall whether I sent it to the repairers with it or left it on the boat but my memory failed me. Now that I’m on the boat I cannot find it!  Not a big problem since I have another one, for a fixed installation, a bit cumbersome but operational. But where is the Iridium charger? Can’t find that either…Before flying over I spoke to my friend Boaz, whom I sailed with on his 44′ cat from Athens to Israel last November and voiced my unrealistic fear that the Iridium will not work. “Take mine as a spare, I don’t need it in the Med” he said. I declined but now I’ll ask Gili to take his antenna and charger and send it with Meir, my crew for the next month, who is joinning in a few days.

Coming to the marina I saw that “Two oceans” was moved to another position to make space for a familiar catamaran – “Carpe Vita” – which I met in Atuona, Hiva oa. Mary and Mike showed up in the evening, coming back from a land trip to Savaii, the other Samoan big island, and we had a pleasant evening in a Chinese restaurant. They had more than a fair share of technical problems and breakages, including a snapped anchor chain ( luckilly the anchor was recovered) engine inoperative, instruments baked in the hot Polynesian sun so that the plastic cover of the display became opaque, not to mention squalls of 50 and once 60 knots of wind, breaking battens and batcars in the mainsail… So you see – it’s not only me and my boat, this is cruising under sail!


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