Posted by: catamarantwooceans | July 21, 2018

Marquesas–July 2018

13.7.18 – Friday – Without giving it a thought I chose to fly back to Polynesia on Friday the 13th. The time from landing in Tahiti to the flight to Nuku Hiva, take off at 0700, was a tight one hour and forty minutes and sure enough Air France announced a delay of 35 minutes, which grew up to over an hour. After landing I left the airplane at 0618, ran to immigrations and then waited nervously for my bag to show up. At 0640 I passed customs and hurried to the domestic section of the airport; although the flight was closed I was accepted and was the last passenger to board the ATR turboprop airplane to the island.

Minutes after we landed heavy rain started falling. The drive from the airport on the northwest of the island to Taioahe in the south was quite stressful; the driver, a talkative fellow, was conversing incessantly with a French couple, taking high G turns on the wet road with an uncomfortable proximity to the side of the road where deep chasms waited for an accident to happen. We finally made it to Nuku-Hiva Yacht Services office. I had a quick lunch, Kevin took me to Two Oceans where I crashed for four hours of uninterrupted sleep. There was a lot to do in the following days; the plan this time was for Gili to arrive on the 20th, accompanied by her brother,  Yaron, who already sailed with me in the Caribbean and the Philippines.

If you had read my “For sale” post in the past you may remember that I was in touch with a brokerage firm based in Tahiti and Raiatea. For some reason they took no action, making promises and not keeping them. I happened to find an Australian company called “Multihulls Solutions” and saw that they had an agency in Tahiti. Got in touch with them and maybe that avenue would lead to something. In secret I can divulge that the idea of sailing west to Australia is quite tempting…

14.7.18 – Saturday – This is the Bastille Day, celebrated in France and its overseas territories. In town they put up a market, a restaurant and a tent for the politicians to give speeches. I was more interested in a section where local carvers did their work. Here’s a Tiki sporting an impressive member, normally not so apparent in this kind of sculpture.

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I did some shopping – no eggs, yoghurt, peppers or garlic were available in any of the shops; need to wait for the Aranui supply ship next week. I spent the day working on the boat. Doing two rounds of filling water at the quay meant hauling 180 kgs of water in Jerry cans from dinghy to deck; hard work. Although I was aware of the possibility of marine growth attaching itself to the hulls I was surprised by the quantity of it. I scraped the propellers and some parts of the hulls but would have to put many hours free diving to reach a reasonable condition. Very tired, I went to bed at 8 p.m…

15.7.18 – Sunday – At 0630 I was ashore for the WIFI. The town people were watching the World Cup soccer finals between France and Croatia, which started at 0530 local time. From time to time roars marked a goal for France. I checked my mail, filled my Jerry cans and motored back to work on the boat. Main task for the day was cleaning the interior but diving for hulls scraping was not neglected.

16.7.18 – Monday – Early in the morning I went ashore for WiFi. Fishermen were cleaning their catch, throwing offal into the water. I counted four sharks enjoying the free meal. Now I need to go into the water to clean the hulls…                              Kevin (the man of Nuku Hiva Yacht Services who watches our boat when we are absent) comes to discuss a few matters. Number one on the list is replacing the cracked window; the new one awaits on Kevin’s porch, packed in a heavy, strong crate which I immediately named Fort Knox.

We could see that the quantity of window adhesive I had brought was insufficient for the job and decided to postpone it for my next visit in October, when I’ll bring more. Item number two is checking the alternator that I had brought with me. It seems to be different from the one I have so we’ll have to investigate the matter. The alternator was bought on Ebay from a U.S company; it came without any installation guide or wiring diagram. I sent a mail to the company with some questions and Kevin is going to consult a book he has, called “The Alternator Bible”; we’ll figure it out eventually. I rented scuba diving gear from Kevin; it’ll be much easier to clean the hulls without the necessity to come up for air every few minutes.

17.7.18 – Tuesday – Started the day with cleaning the hulls using the scuba gear. Much easier than free diving but still very tiring. I did two dives, finishing one hull each time; the amount of sea-weed and barnacles was staggering. I also took the bridle out of the water onto the trampoline. During the months it has been in the water it had accumulated a lot of marine growth.

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I had to work about 40 minutes, using a brush and a knife to discard all that stuff. Lesson learnt: when anchoring for a long period of time – do not use the bridle. If you want to lessen the strain on the windlass use a single or even double ropes that would be out of the water.

Kevin found the information we needed regarding the new alternator; it seems it has an internal regulator and Kevin now knows how to modify it to work with an external one.

18.7.18 – Wednesday – Alternator installed and working giving out good amperage. .now I have two operating which is the redundancy level I wanted. Changed oil on the starboard engine and fixed the shutdown solenoid which was working intermittently due to dirty electrical contacts. More interior cleaning – this job is Sisyphean, you clean an area and after a few hours you find new particles of unidentified matter in there. Filling water is also difficult; I have four jerry cans containing a total of 90 liters and hauling them on board puts my back in danger.

19.7.18 – Thursday – Working, working working. In the evening, as I was having dinner, I noticed that the yacht near us, a heavy large monohull, is too close for comfort. The winds and currents in the bay have no regular pattern, sometimes pushing yachts on the same location in different directions. I called them up and suggested that each of us shorten chain a bit. It seemed to work.                            Gili and her brother are coming tomorrow and we’ll go sailing. That the original purpose, isn’t it?

20.7.18 – Friday – During the night the swell in the anchorage became bigger and the boat was rolling uncomfortably. At 0945 I took the dinghy to the dock wanting to fill water. The surge near the dock was considerable and Kevin, who was standing there, cautioned me and other yachties not to come ashore and especially not to leave the dinghy there. I turned back; my thoughts were centered on my incoming crew. How are they going to reach Two Oceans? Hopefully the situation would become better at midday.

To be continued…

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