Posted by: catamarantwooceans | August 19, 2019

Sailing Tahiti and Moorea

10.8.19 – Saturday – Early in the morning I hitched a ride to Carrefour and tried to publish a post. No joy! Anything that includes pictures seems to be too big for uploading. Back at the boat I did some small jobs, like replacing the starboard jib sheet; I lowered the dinghy to the water, checked that there was only a small trickle of water into it and started the outboard. In the afternoon I invited Marc for a coffee and a chat, planning his role after I leave in September. He will need to keep Two Oceans presentable for any potential buyer (I’m being optimistic here).

11.8.19 – Sunday – I woke up to a very calm morning; made breakfast but was so impatient and eager to go that I left it on the table and cast off, from time to time nibbling a spoon of granola and slurping some coffee while driving the boat. In contrast to the forecast that gave easterly wind of up to 18 knots there was almost no wind at all and the sea was glasslike.

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                Slaloming out through the well marked channel

My plan was to go to a Papeuriri bay, about 5 miles to the southwest of Port Phaeton, which on the chart seemed to answer my need for an “Enchanted Bay” (EBAY). I also wanted to fish so I lengthened the way by doing a dog-leg towards the deep offshore. When a light wind came I shut the engine and ghosted between 2.5 to 3 knots, which I am not allowed to do when Gili is on board but enjoy in conditions  when time is not a factor.

After a while, no fish taken, I aimed at the pass into my destination. A small island on the east, Ilot Puuru, was supposed to give good shelter but the area was too deep.

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                                              Ilot Puuru

I continued into the bay and anchored at 10 meters. Nice place and popular with the local inhabitants, who, this being a Sunday, filled the black sand beach. some swell found its way into the bay and the boat was rolling slightly. Not a big deal. Paperiri anchorage was at 17 46.224 s 149 24.225 w.

12.8.19 – Monday – Basically a repetition of the day before. Out of the bay I sailed towards the deep water trolling a line. In difference to yesterday we had nice wind and in order not to go too fast for fishing I used the jib only and still did 5-6 knots. I was enjoying myself greatly and when we reached an area in which the wind became too light, I turned back to Aifa, a bay 1.5 miles west of Papeuriri. The anchorage was close to a village with houses right on the beach and the main road behind, so at the beginning there was a lot of noise but as evening fell it quieted down. The sea was calm too, no swell entered my location. This anchorage was 12 meters deep at 17 46.358 s 14925.264 w. I forgot to mention that no fish was caught.

13.8.19 – Tuesday – Today’s destination is the Taina marina area south of Faaa and the airport. The distance of the trip 20.7 miles. I went out of Aifa with a short dolphin escort, raised the main to first reef and opened the jib fully. For half an hour the ride was great, 7 and sometimes 8 knots. Then, as if Poseidon turned the switch to “off” the wind disappeared and I had to motor all the way. Tahiti is surrounded by reef and to get to my destination I entered via Taapuna pass, where swells broke on the coral on both sides and surfers were having fun riding the waves.

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Even from very far away I could see the great number of masts filling the Taina marina area. I followed a monohull in and we both found free moorings. The one I chose was not marked the way I thought the Taina ones were but I figured they would explain it in the office. The visit to the office made clear the fact that the mooring I took is a private one and that the owner might come back at any minute, so better go elsewhere. The guy at the office stated that they did not have any free mooring so I  was to find a place to anchor.

Before going back to the boat I tried the internet at Casa Blanca restaurant but couldn’t connect. I went to a supermarket south of the marina and on the way saw a MacDonald place. “I’ll goo there for the internet and have a Caramel Sundae while I surf the web” I thought, but can you believe it? Big Mac does not have WiFi! With supermarket goods in hand I rushed back to the boat, Released myself from the mooring and started looking for a place to anchor. The number of boats in the area is fantastic; I estimate it in the hundreds. The first location I dropped my anchor was too close to one of the boats so anchor up I went further north and found a better one.

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   View from the anchorage; you see the same everywhere you look!

This evening I finally had a fish dinner but not due to my success in fishing; It was bought in the supermarket…

14.8.19 – Wednesday – Woke  quite early and even before my morning meditation or breakfast I lowered the dinghy and rushed to Casa Blanca to try my luck with their internet before the surfing crowds arrive. Success! I downloaded a new forecast and published two posts. Back at the boat I saw no reason to stay near Taina another day, started up and went out towards Moorea. Most of the yachts go to Cook bay or Opunohu, where I would have found yet another crowded anchorage. I decided to go to Viare, on the east coast of the island. The sea and wind conditions were ideal and it was lovely sailing. As I arrived at the pass I saw a single catamaran at the southern anchoring area, beautiful turquoise waters, signifying their being shallow and clear, catamarans heaven.

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I motored to the place and anchored in 2.5 meters on sand. It was lunch time and before I even started eating the salad I made we were joined by two other cats. Two oceans at 38 feet was the smallest, the others were larger than 50 feet, perhaps charter boats.

After a short rest I went to fix one of the mainsail battens which escaped its pocket. Once finished I went for a swim and after not more than three strokes of the fins four eagle rays appeared and let me approach very close. “To Gopro or not to Gopro, that is the question”. Deciding in the positive I returned to search for them but now they did not consent to come close.

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                                    Taken a day later

Night fell, the moon is almost full; bliss.

15.8.19 – Thursday – Another beautiful day in paradise. Started the morning with paddling the SUP. When I came back I saw another of those eagle rays, jumped in with the Gopro and took some nice pictures (see above) and videos. I spoke to the people on the big catamaran next to me; it is a Melvin and Morreli design (I hope I have their names right)  built in California and it is 65 feet long…

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All the boats in the anchorage received a visit by the maritime patrol of the Moorea community who came by to remind us about the rules for length of staying in the various bays.

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In the afternoon I went on yet another attempt at stemming the dinghy leaks. Goes to show that I am optimistic by nature. Yachts kept coming and going but it was still very peaceful and quiet. Another SUP sortie ended the day.

16.8.19 – Friday – For variety sake as well as for the limit the community patrol imposed, I moved 1.5 miles to the north and found a nice anchorage on a sandy bottom in the company of four monohulls. In accordance with the forecast the wind piped up to 20 knots. My anchor was embedded in sand so no worry. It seems tomorrow would have the same wind so I would probably stay here another day.


Posted by: catamarantwooceans | August 14, 2019

Maintenance Finish and Launch!

Published two posts at the same time. Scroll down to see the previous one!

5.8.19 – Monday – Painting start was delayed because I needed paint thinner and a few rollers. One characteristic of the antifouling paint is that shortly after you open the can it begins to thicken and you must add thinner to be able to continue. Marc, without whom I cannot get anywhere, had other things on his schedule and I had to wait (doing other jobs) until about 1000. Going with Marc in his car is a bit scary; the passenger window was broken in an accident and a piece of plastic, barely transparent, replaces it. Marc is a smoker and the ashtray is full of old reeking butts. Frankly, with what he charges for his services it’s a wonder he can keep a car at all.

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The late start, 1100, and the fact that I had to have a sort of lunch and some rest made it impossible to finish both hulls until 1700, when the light became too low. Looking at my work list I am delaying the launch to Thursday.

6.8.19 – Tuesday – Finished painting the hulls. Found place for all the tools, paints and other stuff that were scattered around the cockpit and was finally able to wash it in fresh water. We did not have connection to fresh water pipe since our time on the hard in Hiva Oa at the beginning of 2018. Next on the agenda – repair the dinghy. I don’t have great hopes about that; a new dinghy should be purchased. I spoke with David Allouch, the Tahiti rep of the Australian brokerage Multihulls Solutions. He is coming Friday morning to see the boat. I probably mentioned this before: If we sell here we’ll buy a cat in the Med. If not – we’ll put her on a ship (at horrendous price) that will take her to the Med.

Talking to a a young man who is also on the hard I complained about the lack of internet. “All you have to do is ask Yvan, he’ll give you the password”. The marina WiFi does not show at our location in the yard and seeing yachties go to the dive club for it made me think the marina was internetless.

7.8.19 – Wednesday – Day of cleaning the boat inside out. I worked with special acid to clean the waterline. In preparation for living offshore I shopped for food thinking about less frequent visits to Carrefour and started the freezer to keep the perishables safe for consumption. Got internet but only on my smartphone; got to speak to Yvan about that.

The most difficult part of the day was paying the marina’s bill. The boat was on the hard for two weeks and four days; had I specified at the beginning that I wanted to stay a full month I would have paid about 120$ LESS. Those things have their own logic which is not always aimed at the benefit of the client. In the afternoon the launching trailer was positioned between the hulls. I’m starting to plan the next moves.

8.8.19 – Thursday – The story of launching in pictures:

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                     Trailer positioned between the hulls

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Yvan arranges the supports

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                 It’s raining as she goes out – note the rainbow

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                                    A bit narrow, isn’t it?

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Almost there but here I had to go on board and stopped taking pictures

Finally in the water! We tied the boat to this rickety dock and I can stay here until Sunday morning; I’ll check the weather and decide. Oh, being in the water does not really mean the end of Big M. When starting the port engine it’s big alternator did not work. Nicolas, who was supposed to come for the launching, called me to say he was needed at some more important emergencies but did come at 1645 to check the engines. Tomorrow he’ll be back for the alternator.

9.8.19 – Friday – A bit after eight o’clock I easily connected to the WiFi near Carrefour; alas, it was quite slow. I succeeded downloading mail and forecast but publishing a post was not successful. Back at the boat I waited for David Allouch to arrive. David stayed almost two hours on the boat, taking pictures of every nook and cranny and explaining the procedures for the sale.

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David is a very nice person and seems to be very good at what he does. I do wish both of us success in selling Two Oceans. After he left I started thinking about things I would take home when I leave (I would not be required to be present here for a sale) and became somewhat sad.

Nicolas took the alternator; he will take it to Dieselec in Papeete and try to get a quote for it’s repair.

I made a plan for the next few days and would be advancing slowly clockwise around the island to Papeete and then to Moorea.

Posted by: catamarantwooceans | August 14, 2019

Maintenance in Tahiti – part 2

28.7.19 – Sunday – Just as I was preparing to sand the hulls Mr. Dominic arrived, explaining his Saturday absence by stomach pains. He started working and I saw that his progress was much slower than mine. He pressed the disk to the hull too hard which at the end of the day resulted in the Velcro part of the sander losing grip requiring replacement, meaning another expenditure for me. When he finished for the day I told him I’ll do the rest of the job myself. Laurent continued with the keel and other fiberglass work. his girlfriend, Ana, who is from Germany, came to visit. I asked Laurent where they had met and the answer was right here in Taravao quite recently; so this is a budding romance, how lovely! With the help of Dominic, I transferred the dinghy to the forward deck with the intention to go at yet another try of sealing and stopping the ingress of water into it.

Right now the solar panels are my sole electricity supply and are good for keeping the fridge running plus the house lights. I cannot use my freezer because my battery charger is 110 v and my transformer doesn’t work. Unable to keep frozen food I cooked a whole package of chicken breasts (800 grams) and they would be kept safely in the fridge. I had my dinner and a small consoling whiskey and just past nine p.m went to bed. Ian McEwan’s book “Machines Like Me” lulled me to sleep.

29.7.19 – Monday – A day with good progress. Laurent finished fibreglassing the keel and Nicolas, arriving with his mobile workshop replaced the drives oil seals, took out the exhaust elbows and the heat exchangers and cleaned them. When lunchtime came and the man showed no sign of stopping for food, the socialist in me made a nice chicken sandwich for him.

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Later he drove me to Ace and Sin Tung Hing Marine to buy some things I needed. It was a pleasure to see the professional at work. He still has to manufacture some gaskets and bring one from Papeete and his job would be concluded tomorrow. One of the yachties in the bay, an electrician, was sent over by Marc and took my 110v transformer for repair.

Once he left I went to install the propellers. A car stopped by and a man asked whether the boat was for sale. I invited Philip and Virginie to climb the ladder and look the boat over in the worst possible condition imaginable; tools, paint cans and other paraphernalia spread all over, the keel repair visible, in short – a mess. I gave them all the information and my card and suggested they could come and sail with me once the boat is launched. Philip said that the boat was “propre” which means clean or neat, maybe he referred to the design generally. By the time they went away it was too late to go on working. Shower, improvised dinner and I called it a day.

30.7.19 – Tuesday – Just like yesterday, Laurent went on with fiberglass and Nicolas brought back the heat exchangers, which after spraying them looked like new.

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After all the components were installed Nicolas started the engines to check for leaks. Gladly none were found. Now was the time to pay the man. He charged 7000 xpf (about 70$)  per hour which is rather steep and having worked for 15 hours he rounded the sum down to 1000$. Just for comparison – Laurent charges 30$ per hour. Still I was happy with Nicolas; apart from doing the jobs agreed upon he drove me to shops, helped me with small matters, like finding an Allen screw for the prop after one was damaged and I had no spare. He requested that I call him when the boat is to be launched, he wanted to check the engines again when the boat is in the water with no charge. As a mechanic he is the ultimate professional and I recommend him highly. His phone is +689 87232289.

The pros went away at lunch-time and for the first time in so many days I had a proper lunch – salad, omelet and the last of the baguette. Mindful of the collapse to bed at an early hour, which resulted in awakening at crazy hours during the night,I had a short nap before resuming work. I decided not to go to bed before 2200, let’s see how that turns out.

Afternoon jobs: finish the sanding of the hulls (close to two hours) and fill drive gear oil. Yvan, the marina manager asked me whether I would be ready to go to the water on August 5th. I said yes and will make an effort to make it happen.

31.7.19 – Wednesday – A strange day; I did a few small jobs and waited for Laurent to come and finish his keel project. When he came he surprised me by stating that he was going to put another layer of filler. “But you can paint it with the primer tomorrow evening”. I sure hope so.

1.8.19 – Thursday – Another frustrating day in which I was busy all the time and still felt as if I was getting nowhere. This, of course, is not the first time I am in the “on the hard”  situation and for some reason it is longer and more difficult than ever. One reason is that in the past the hulls preparation for painting was taken care of by the yard people, using their tools and materials. This time I am very much involved, in the actual labor as well as in procuring tools and materials, some of which turn later to be unnecessary. Another reason is that everything is so expensive in French Poly that I get the feeling I’m losing control of my expenses. Three more days to go until we splash; I can’t wait.

2.8.19 – Friday – It rained a lot during the night and it continued to rain on and off during the day. Not good for painting!


                                        Gloomy weather

I may need another day before we launch.

3.8.19 – Saturday -  Still raining, very frustrating. The forecast for Sunday is good, but would I be able to paint two layers in one day? At some point I noticed that the area between the hulls and under the bridge-deck is protected from the rain and actually dry. Blow the horns! I am going painting. In two and a half hours I painted what I estimated to be a third of the first layer. Being busy is satisfying. This was a good day.

4.8.19 – Sunday – I woke up to clear sky, what a relief! Here is the same scene as the one above as it looked today.

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I started painting and by midday understood that the thought of doing two layers in one day was not realistic. After having lunch and a half hour rest I still had to work another two hours, finishing at 1730.

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                                       Pic taken by Laurent

The race to finish the first layer using not more than half of the antifouling paint (I bought two 5 liters cans) was won; I have a little over half paint left. Thinking about all the jobs I need to accomplish before launching I now plan to advise Yvan, the marina manager, that I would like to delay to Wednesday.

I used to get internet from the WiFi of the dive club which is right by the marina’s shower and toilet rooms. Yesterday the WiFi disappeared. I asked Thomas, who is the club’s manager, who gave me their password in the past, about it and he gave me a strange answer related to the fact it was high season and they are very busy. OK, but why not open it at the end of the day when you leave the club? How am I going to publish this?

Just go to Carrefour. They have good WiFi…

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