The following are compilations put together
from different sources. Some are updates to
friends sent out by Debra using edited and
cleaned up emails sent by me while under
passage. Some are "reports" sent by Debra to
friends as we were cruising. Hope you enjoy
8 days out from Catalina and here's my report. We are well into the tropics
and heading for the equator. I'm having Austin forward this from my Dawntreader
e-mail. I can't reach any incoming from there so I won't be able tp respond to
any until we get to a land line where we can get internet access.
First - Mom, make some Cafe Vienna ( cause I have a cup right now) and
pretend that we are sitting at the kitchen table and I'm telling you about this.
OK - here goes. First couple of days out were better off forgotten. The seas
were pretty rough and the winds were good (depends on your definition of
good -in this case meaning that they made us move fast) Food wasn't much
of an issue - granola bars went fast but not much else. We got to test out the
turtleshells that Tim built, the door sleeves that Tony helped me design and make
and the removable water dams that Tim built and Greg painted. Thanks to all,
We have had no water in the cabins since the installation of these items in the
Channel Islands Harbor. OK let’s move along . . .
Deep blue sea and blue water sailing . . . they mean it! You should see the color
of the water out here. Brand new original 501 Levis shrink to fits are pretty close first
thing in the morning. By mid day you are about at the second or third washing –
the harshness is off and its a soft rich denim color. Totally incredible. NO green –
solid blue as far as the eye can see.
Sea critters - very few. A couple of sea birds - I still don't get why they are out here .
Flying fish - very cool - they really do fly a long way - unfortunately they tend to land
on the boat in the middle of the night in some kind of suicide mission. We also had a
little squid show up rather stiff one morning. He became bait. Dale has caught 2
yellow fin tuna (ahi) to provide dinner 2 nights for those whos stomaches could handle
fish (I passed). George and Richard saw 2 dolphins along side the boat on their night
watch ( but it was about 4 am and they might have been dreaming)
Yesterday, the sun came out bright and clear for the first time since we passed into the
tropics. No wind so we had to motor (stinky). Other than the exhaust, it was beautiful.
Although everyone kept laughing at me for my overplanning, all are very happy that I
made the phifertex window coverings and side walls for the cockpit awnings. Direct
tropical sun is pretty warm.
Last night we had the first tropical sunset without clouds. We have not yet seen the
"green flash at sunset" but we did get to see the southern cross as it rose before the
moon came out. Of course it was accompanied by a rather out of tune rendition of
Crosby Stills and Nash . . . when you see the southern cross for the first time . . .
Lots of stars - absolutely gorgous sky, then the moon came out and most of the stars
disappeared - oh well, hopefully they will be back tonight.
This morning the sun came out with a nice little wind. Dale and I were on watch
this morning. Coffee, breeze, gentle rocking, dark blue water with the sun sparkling
off of it – now that I could do for a long time. However, have no fear, I know that it
doesn't stay like that and I still can't sit down inside the cabin without wishing I were
anywhere else as long as it didn't move. Outside is the only place that I can be in a
vertical position with any comfort.
So . . . so far so good. All systems are running well, we are on course (if moving a little
slowly). Hopefully the Trades will show up soon and we will be merrily sailing along at a
good clip (there's that word "good" again).
We found wind and are flying on the home stretch. Not too comfortable, but quick.
Passed over the equator on Friday and are now official "Shell Backs" having crossed the
equator by sea - complete with ceremony passed on from Neptune himself (Paul was the
duly noted representative)
Dale caught a Marlin by accident on Thursday. He was trying to catch us a mahi mahi for
dinner and landed a 118" 150lb marlin instead. Boy was he tiired. Not enough room in
the freezer so we kept about 20 lbs and fed the other fishes with the rest of him.
Wednesday - in this huge ocean, we see no other humans for weeks and suddenly we are
on a collision course with a freighter (Just for Lisa) - Spotted him in time and changed
our course (the bigger ship wins) - Dr Santizo should be proud - I had my glasses on and
found him 8 miles out. Turns out it was a floating gas station that goes out to fill up the
fishing fleets tanks - from Singapore. Paul talked to them on the radio.
Before that we had a huge pod of dolphins which found us early in the morning - at least
50 Dale thinks maybe 75. They were huge and fast. These weren't any little coastal
dolphins. They were all around us way far out and really close too. I think they were
making fun of how slow we were because they would swim around behind us then shoot
up under the wing decks and jump out in front of us. They finally got bored with us and
left - pretty cool.
All systems still working and we are moving in the right direction - all for now.
Got here OK Today was a put the chain back together day and look at a lot
of things on the boat that were a trouble to George. So far all seems to be OK.
Got our Visa extensions done today and we are good for 3 months.
Tomorrow we start the hunt for the missing anchor and chain. Not sure if I need to go
diving or not. I think we'll start the search in close to the same place they did
but we are going to look in a different direction. We'll see what happens.
I'm beat and need some sleep so I'll let you know how we are doing.
I had to dive in and swim for one of the deck chairs first thing this morning because
when I got up to get another cup of coffee the gust of wind blew it over. I got it back OK
and rinsed it off but in the process my dive watch died so now I'm without a watch
again. Oh well.
Got a lot of work done over the last couple of days. I dove for the
anchor on Saturday after spending most of Friday dragging the bottom
with grappling hook style anchors that we modified to work better to pick
up something but we had no luck, just a lot of possible hits that we
marked with GPS (we used Moxie as the tow vessel with Ian on one stern
holding the dragline and George on the other). Used my first tank of
air on Saturday morning in an area that had the most promising hits but
got nothing so after reexamining all of the data, I decided to go back
to my original search plan and start from there. The bottom on the
first dive had been kinda shells and sand with small growth of coral, and I
MEAN SMALL, and visibility about 20-30 feet from about 55' deep and
deeper but as soon as you got inside 50' it was all silt/mud and you
couldn't see your hand in front of your face. It really sucked! So for the
second tank we picked up and moved about 300' to the East and I was
going to start from there but I found out that the valve on my other tank
had gone bad and I had zero air in the tank and had to wait until
Monday morning to get the first tank filled and also rent a tank.
Sunday was spent fixing all of the sail cars and batten cars with
bearings and reinstalling them on the track (no easy task) and putting on
the new blocks on the reef lines. We haven't done the block on the
halyard yet but will do it soon. I think we're OK for the traveler and if
you can bring those when you come that would be great.
Well here it Monday and I'm beat to @%&*. We picked up the tanks at
the dive shop and got in the water a little while later but when I got to
the bottom I was really bummed becuz it was the worst conditions I've
ever dove in. I could see my compass only a third of the time, the
bottom never, and there was a 10-12" thick silt layer over the mud that
made it impossible to feel anything.
In the above message, is that all that you got? there was a whole bunch
more that explained all of the #%*& we went thru looking for the anchor and
more about how I was so #%(&#& great after I found the Bruce and chain
buried down about a foot in the mud with zero visibility etc etc. We're still in
Taiohae Bay but we're leaving at o dark thirty and heading out to see the rest of
the Marquesas and then off to some of the Tuamotus and Rangiroa and
then to Papeete to see George off and pick up Della. I've had to fix so
much @%(&@ it isn't funny. I rebuilt the water pumps, the water maker had
a leaky crankshaft seal and needed rework, somewhere in the middle of
the pacific we left the bottom half to the starboard daggerboard and the
port board had a chewed up bottom that took me more than two plus days
to fix. I think we must have damaged them when we bottomed out in
Catalina at the fuel dock. And on and on...
I'm really tired and gotta go.
Well we are finally out of Nuka Hiva. We are now in Hakahau Bay in Ua
Pua, the Island of Pillars. The view from the boat is awesome! These
incredible spires shooting into the sky with palm trees lining the beach
in front of us. Now this is more like it. The little bay we're in only
has room for few boats and we're all anchored up with bow and stern
anchors except for this 35' cat next to us. Makes me a little nervous but
I think we're far enough away. It took us almost 61/2 hr to go the 25
miles. The wind was in our face the whole way and so was the 6' swell.
Made for a very bumpy ride. Poor Ian spent most of the time over the
rail or off the stern. Not sure where we'll go next, either Hiva Oa or
Fatu Hiva. We'll see what the weather brings.
Well just a short note. We left the Marquesas yesterday after trying
to sail to Hiva Oa or Fatu Hiva but with the wind in our face and a
forecast of more of the same over the next few days we decided to sail
smart and head for the Tuamotus. We were really tired of slamming around.
Made 192 miles the first day but the winds and seas built to now we are
running under a triple reef main and no jib with the wind on the beam
at 20-25 kts and 8' seas and we are doing 6 kts. We're getting hit by
squalls every couple of hours but we're dealing with it OK. Not as
much sleep as we'd like but all is OK. We should be in Manihi Friday
morning and plan on a couple of days there then on to Rangiroa. I'm on in
three hrs. so off to get some rest.
We are almost at Manihi in the Tuamotus. Should be there somewhere
around 8 am at the speed we're traveling, 7+kts under a triple reef main
and 2/3 furled jib. Winds are steady at 22-25 kts with a 7-8’ swell at 6
sec. Way too much going on to cover it all but I'll try after we make
Well here we are in this South Pacific Atoll at anchor with winds
constant out of the East at 20kts making me nervous as @%(& because of all
of the Coral heads around us. I sent Ian over the side to check our
clearance when we first anchored up and was told less than a foot so
seeing that it was high tide and was going to drop about two feet we picked
up the anchor and moved. There isn't a lot of room here since there
are four other yachts already here. Anyway I've got the Bruce down in
35' and a tight alarm radius so we'll see what happens. We're all pretty
beat from our passage. Not quite as windy or as large of seas as the
West Coast Tour but it was more taxing and rougher to get rest. The
wingdecks felt like they were moving 6" and you were getting jabbed in the gut,
even thru the new mattress. The getting thru the pass into the atoll was quite a trip.
Kinda took a little out of me. By the time we had cleared the pass, got anchored and
holding good and then made dinner (tuna I caught on the way) with Red beans and
rice and grilled zucchinis I'm friggin exhausted. Tomorrow we are going to fix the tramps
again (the cables let go, same as last time) but this time I think we'll use Spectra for the
main line from bow to bow. I have also cut a hole and installed the gauge in the fresh
water tank so I need to wire that up and install the water and fuel gauge in the dash
where there is currently a big hole. I still have to install the gauge for the fuel tank.
I'll use a nice piece of ply and stain and sikens it to match as close as I can. Hopefully
I'll be able to get a pass drift dive or two in before we leave here for Rangiroa.
I don't know what's up with YOTREPS. I thought it should be updating. I fill it out right
after I get done emailing you.
We're leaving here tomorrow and heading for Rangiroa to hopefully do some drift
dives and shark cave dives. Rangiroa is World renown for its dives. Right now I
only have one good tank. I have been getting it refilled for about 1000cfp, but
it would be nice to have both tanks.
AHE has been a really cool little Atoll. We are anchored in 35' of
water but there are Coral Heads close by that come up to about 5-6' below
the surface. Kinda makes me nervous but after diving on the anchor
(we're using the Bruce with a total 300' of chain, 160' is out) and felt
much better when I saw that the Bruce had buried itself all the way
except for the very tip top of the stock and the first 50' of chain was
laying flat and snug. A great anchor set. I am now diving every set
first thing so we know how we are. The little village has no paved
streets about 5 cars total and is all solar powered. Does my heart good to
see all of the arrays all over. Last night was the awards ceremony for
a lot of the activities that have been going on all over Tahiti Nui.
The ceremony was held at the only intersection in town in the street
under some large EZ up like canopies. Most of the village of 150 was
there and there was about seven or eight of us yachties there and they
brought us out some chairs and we had ringside seats for the whole affair.
Quite cool! They had some of the locals doing Traditional Dance on and
off thru the show and then a group of teens and younger did some hip
hop/break/robo style and it cracked the audience up. One of the guys was
Pied Piperesque and had all of the little kids going to it as the
parents cheered and hooped it up. Hope the film comes out OK. AHE is what
we've been looking for. A very laid back little Atoll.
Getting late and we've got work to do before heading out tomorrow.
We'll sail all night in order to catch the right tide to leave here and
also to enter at Rangiroa. I think we'll be going thru Passe Tiputa.
There is another pass, Avatoru, but I think we're more likely to find
better shelter from the Trades (they've been blowing hard for the last week
with no let up in sight) and the village of Tiputa is less Touristy
than Avatoru. Will probably sail triple reef and no jib to keep the boat
speed below 8 kts.
Are you drinking water and taking your Vitamins? I am.
(re: Webpage) I've been doing some updates on the
laptop and will post the new pages when I can get to an internet cafe.
The last three islands we stopped at didn't have one. Actually Rangiroa
does have one at the Kia Ora Hotel, where we are anchored, but it's for
the guests only. They had one in Avatoru, about 5 miles from here, but
it closed down a couple of months ago so I'll look for one in Tahiti.
We should be there early next week. Leaving here maybe Sunday or
Monday. Should be a 24 hour sail if the winds stay the way they are.
The fresh water pressure system continues to be a major pain. These
Jabsco Sensor max pumps have been real pieces of @%$! I am spending
way too many hours a day, every day, trying to keep the pumps working.
There is another pump on board that has different ends on it that unless I
Rube Goldberg it it won't hook up to the hoses. I'm going to see if I
can make it work today. The little foot pump has been great but
without the pressure system, we have no hot water.
The islands have been way different than the Marquesas. The temp has
dropped and the humidity is down. With the trades blowing at 10-15kts all
day it is quite pleasant. Anyway, everyone is up now so time to get to work.
Today we're rebuilding the daggerboard, adding stainless steel to the
bowsprit/anchor area so the chain doesn't chew up the deck, doing a cleaning
and back flush on the water maker and working on the fresh water pumps. I've
got the gauge installed in the fresh water tanks and it works good. The
dinghy has Moxie's name on her bows and looks good. I think the decals
will stay on ok. I moved them back just a little to keep them out of the
traffic/rub area climbing in and out of the boat. Look up the Kia Ora
resort in Rangiroa and that where we are anchored.
Well we're off to Tahiti. Weighed anchor at 0745 and set sail for
Papeete. Wind is good at 15-20 kts out of the SE ( I'd like it more out of
the East but hey what the heck) and the swells are about 4-6'. Our
heading is 213 true so we've got a little bump but not bad. The boys
wanted tuna for dinner so they had me go put my fishy shirt on and bam, we
have tuna for dinner tonight and I'll make up a fresh tuna/pasta salad
with the left overs for lunch tomorrow. We should be getting into
Tahiti sometime tomorrow early afternoon. It's185 miles and we're doing
between 7-8 kts.
Rangiroa was a cool place . The towns/villages weren't much but the
lagoon was incredible. I got in a couple of tank dives (made contact
with one of the local dive operations and they gave me deals on refills)
and a bunch of snorkling right at the entrance to the atoll, at a place
called the Aquarium. I hope the underwater photos come out. I
actually hope I got a picture of a Humuhumunukunuku-a-pua'a. It's really a
trippy looking fish under water. The one I got a shot of was very wary,
contrary to most of the other fish, but using my stealth sneak mode I
was able to get around it front of it, hide behind a coral head and
waylay it as it swam by. George thought I was making up the name until I
showed him the tee shirt (spelling is correct).
We did get to play but my frustration is from the fact that these systems were
broken from lack/misuse and it was really frustrating to fix what should not have been
broken. All systems are currently up and running well and if we use
them like we should they should be OK. It is nice to have both pressure
water and hot water back for the showers instead of using a bucket.
Also the water maker is making away, did 21 gals today, and no smell and
good taste, according to those on board, not me.
I think over the next couple of weeks, we'll explore some of the
anchorages in Tahiti and around Moorea. I don't know if we'll sail to
Huahine and Bora Bora while Della is here but we'll for sure get to Moorea.
We have met some nice cruisers in Taiohae and Ahe and hope to run into
them in Tahiti for cocktails and dinner. We definitely have not been
social circuiting out here like they made mention of but we have met
some nice people.
It's my watch so gotta go.
From me to Dale - July 22
Everyone keeps asking me HOW you found the anchor. I never got the
e-mail with that explanation in it. So . . . you need to send me the story
of how you actually found the anchor, a feat that no one thought would happen.
Come on Mr. Twain . . . give us the story.
From Dale to me July 23
OK here's the way it was... when I got back here George had met a lot
of yachties who all had there own idea of where the anchor was, why it
was lost and what an ass I was for leaving George on a boat without an
all chain rode. They had all drawn up grids and lat/long numbers as
to where it was. George had hired the operators of the local dive shop and
they put spears down in the bottom and did circular sweeps tied to the
spear with line and going out a radius of 100'. They dragged the bottom
for hours and hours with no success. Then I got there. We set up the
grapnel mushroom anchors with 5' of chain on them and 100' of line with
Ian holding on to one while sitting on the stern of one Ama and George
doing the same on the other and I motored Moxie around and around and
around in the area where they all thought that George was when the coral
cut the line. Well after all of this dragging I said to heck with it
and put on my tank and went over the side to take a look at what was
down there. There were two distinct bottom types. One was a thick silt
and mud with zero viz starting at about 50-55' and going towards shore
and then deeper than that was a shell/sand bottom that had very small
pieces of coral looking growth on the shells, much like the pieces that
were in the end of the line. After that dive I said to George “I'm glad
you at least had the end of the line for me to look at.” He said that
this wasn't the end of the line; it was the end after he had cut off
the end. I said, “you mean there is another piece to the nylon rode?” He
said yes and went and got a baggy that had the actual end of the rode.
It was after my examining this piece that I said all of the yachties
were fools and didn't know what they looking at. The end of the line was
still there with the bitter ends still whipped by Paul before he
spliced it. It hadn't been cut, the splice failed and all of the original
line was accounted for and that during my hour long dive I saw not one
piece of coral that would cut the rode. So I went back to the chart of
the bay on the chart plotter and asked George where he thought he was
when they dropped the Bruce. He said he wasn't sure but that he had a
set of lat/long from an hour and a half later after they had been
dragging for a while. I then figured that what had happened was that they had
only been drifting for less than half an hour after they separated from the anchor
and chain and took a line from where they were when they woke up and plotted
back to where they thought they were and then thru in some fudge factors like time
of day, the tides (I have a tide chart for Taiohae Bay) and then used my best guess
where I thought they were and motored Moxie over to that spot and said OK
I'll dive here in the morning. Well dawn broke and I had my coffee, put
on my wet suit and scuba gear and in I went. The day before I had
pulled a float around with me to tie on the anchor and that had nearly
killed my legs from kicking so hard (matter of fact I put so much force on my
Gorilla fins by ScubaPro that I broke one of the fins) that this time I
put a small ball size float and sixty feet of parachute cord in my dive
bag on my BC so I had something to attach to the anchor when I found
it. Down I went into the depths of hell. When i got to the bottom, it
was a thick, 10-12" layer of mud on the bottom, curtain of silt
suspended it he water from the rains, which made seeing impossible. I really
could not see my hand in front of my face. I could only read my compass
every third or fourth time I held it up to my mask and those were more
guessing what it said than seeing what it said. Any way I said "tough
shit, you're down here now so finish off your dive the way you planned
it", so I did. I headed out to deeper water first and then turned east
then turned north then turned west then turned south traveling about
80-100 feet before making each turn. All the while I was keeping track of
how far I had gone by counting to 50, figuring that I was doing about two feet/sec.
I was using my left hand, reaching, pushing, shoving as deep as I could, with my
little finger as the feeler. After about 45-50 minutes of this I was
pretty pooped but had one more leg to do in my first pattern when my
little finger hooked on something solid. Many times during that first hour
I had run into sacks of garbage, umbrellas, hose, tree branches etc but
this time it was chain. I wasn't sure if it was the current boat chain
or the missing chain so if I went to the left it would lead me back to
the boat, if I went right it should lead me to the anchor. Well I went
right and was having a hard time just holding on and following it (when
I started the dive I tried to follow the anchor line from the boat to
check out the anchor set but lost the chain in the mud and couldn't find
it again because of the surge and depth of mud and visibility) and was
beginning to feel like I was never going to get to the end when my hand
went up the shank of an anchor. No more chain, just the shank of an
anchor, the Almighty Bruce, totally set and buried all the way down! I
tied the little float on to it and slowly made my way to the surface,
coming up right next to the boat and was able to pass the float to Ian to
hold onto while I went back down with a longer stronger piece of line
that would raise the chain. Fifteen minutes later we had all of the
old chain and Bruce on board and 15 minutes after that we had the Bruce
back in the water with 300' of chain attached. George was the most
relieved man alive at that point. We've been using the Bruce ever since
and we haven't moved a foot from where the anchor first sets, if you set
it right the first time. The guys in the dive shop were absolutely
amazed that I found it and bowed to the better diver. I was suitably
humble but truly felt like top dog at that moment. Nobody in the bay gave
me a snowballs chance in hell of finding that chain and anchor but I
swear I put the boat right on top of where the anchor was. One of the
divers, Eric the French, said I should go looking for sunken treasure.
Maybe sometime, but for now there are other islands to see and little
time to do it. This is the short version, unedited and it's late and we have a full
day planned for tomorrow.
From me to all of you - Good grief, if this is the short version, we are in
trouble when he gets home . . .
Well here we are in Papeete. Went to get checked in with the Authorities today but the
Immigration Man was a real PAIN in the #$%!! He didn't like the fact that we already
had Visa extensions from Nuku Hiva, so, is making us jump thru hoops for him. We have
to go back tomorrow to finish off. What a waste of time. Anyway we are down around
the corner from the main harbor by the Marina Taina facilities next to a bunch of boats
we've met over the past couple of months. There is a huge shopping complex just up the
street from here that has everything. I had to buy a new watch since my dive watch
gave up the ghost in the Marquesas. I've been waiting ever since to find something that
wasn't a fortune. So I got a Timex for $40, good to a depth of 40 meters.
Hoping to take a sail over to Moorea in a day or two for a day or two before George
leaves. When Della gets here at the end of the week we'll move to a different anchorage
and check out a couple of other places to be when you guys get here rather than just in
Papeete, the same with Moorea.
George is leaving tomorrow so we picked up anchor and headed to Moorea.
Wow, what an anchorage. We are at the back of Baie de Cook and is it
spectacular! Tall vertical side and spires abound. There are maybe 10
boats here, not many for such a great place. The cruise ship, Paul
Gaugan, was leaving just as we pulled in thru the pass, so no tourist to
worry about. One of the boats here is Mariner IV, a boat that was very
helpful to George. Also there is a blind couple sailing around the
world and they are here. We had missed them in Taiohae, and Papeete, but I
made contact with them and will get together with them today to see all
of the visual aid goodies they have to assist people with loss of
sight. I'm really not sure how my eyes are doing because sometimes I feel
pretty good about them but then I do my close one eye trip and reality
comes back. The right eye is still OK but I think it is getting tired
sometimes. Well here we are pulling into this bay and as we do a loop
around the boats at anchor, looking for a spot, I spy this boat named
Tournesol, from San Francisco. Now it is really bugging me because I
know that name from somewhere and then it hits me. Remember the guy that
we got the water maker from? Joel Tuttle. Well, the Total Dissolved
Solids meter has the name, Tournesol, in magic maker, on the side of it. So
I get on the VHF and hail Tournesol and I get an answer and sure enough
it is Joel Tuttle's boat, only Joel doesn't own it anymore. A couple
named Pam and Scott do and they are the blind couple that I have been
trying to meet. Man o man what a small world! We will be here for one
night then go to the next bay over for Saturday nite then back to Tahiti
Sunday to get George on his plane and pick up Della.
Well we got George off tonite and Della here an hour before George
left. I gave him two items for you to see if you can send them off for repair,
my dive watch and the Kodak digital camera. It turns out that the
black screen pictures you were getting were when you used the zoom. It got
worse in Rangiroa and then by the time I figured out why all of these
pictures were blank it decided not to take any pictures at all. The
movie camera has been doing double duty but just doesn't have the
resolution that the Kodak has. I think the old dive shop in old town Goleta
can do the watch.
We had a very enjoyable time with the blind couple, Pam and Scott. We
spent a while on their boat and then a couple hours on Moxie. They had
never been on a tri so I asked them to come on over for a tour. Scott
used to have a company, which he sold before this trip (sorta like the
Karl Stortz purchase of Medical Concepts but in reverse), that went into
the workplace and did evals and recommendations for Visually Impaired
workers. We talked about what is available and coping and sailing and
they were just really nice. It seems I spoke out a little too early
about yachtie get-togethers. We've had three in the last few days.
Bring things like Austin Crackers, Maple Syrup, Snack bars, Chocolate
covered almonds, half and half.
That's it for now. I'm really tired and gotta get some sleep.
Well the last two days haven't been good for me. Just didn't really
feel good and my kidney was bothering me a bit. Spent pretty much all day
yesterday afternoon and night sacked out in bed. I'm OK and feeling a
lot better but I'll sure be glad when this whole stint thing is out and
over... The irony of it all is that one of the cruising couples who had
done so much for George, Heather and David, a British couple on a
Solaris 42 catamaran called Milliways, she was one of the first to recognize
that George was in trouble and while standing on the quay in Taiohae,
the day after the anchor left the boat, said "you look terrible, why
don't you come over to our boat for a spot of tea and some conversation."
Pure Heather. David is our age and they are both super. Sunday
afternoon when we got back from Moorea, we anchored up right next to
Milliways, and Heather, usually calm cool and collected, looked frazzled and
there was no David in sight. Turns out, the nite before they had to take
David into the hospital with, of all things, a kidney stone. He got out
of the hospital yesterday, still has the stone, but we have pretty much
been looking after Heather and Milliways. We had Heather over that
first night and gave her food and gin and got her calmed down. Then on
Tuesday, we moved Milliways from anchor into Marina Taina, there was one
place open that the boat might fit into if you could walk her sideways,
with a couple feet at each end. Long story short I put her spot on and
never even touched the dock. Boy, are twin engines nice! Anyway that’s
what has been happening here the last couple of days. The Cruising
community has been very supportive of Heather and David since they have
been meeting up with each other all over the world. Once you meet and
become part of the community it is much easier. They are not exclusive
restrictive, it just takes time to meet them. I feel very good that
David had asked me to Skipper his boat, worth $half a mil, and had
confidence in me. Moxie's crew has been building goodwill with the way
that we've looked out for Heather and David.
Pam and Scott blow my mind. They really have no super cool toys on
board other than one device they use to enlarge print. It really is cool
and I could actually read with my left eye if I used the periphery
instead of center focus. They have Raymarine radar and not a lot more. Scott
has a couple of programs on his computer that help with screen size and
text but they don't use much else. What blows me away is getting into an
anchorage and getting the hook down. Seems that the yachties out here,
who know what's going on, lend a hand when they can. It's the little
stuff like seeing a frayed line or a loose screw or anything that would
be hard. Whenever anyone is on board they will point out these little
things and then Scott and Pam will fix them. They are a very nice
I went to the Internet Cafe in Papeete to finally do the website update
and in the middle of the upload the server started telling me that it
didn't like the picture file names I had and wouldn't take the files.
Turns out that they had done a version change and I was screwed. I
have to rename some 319 files and update them in the HTML code. Looks
like that's what I'll be doing today. Probably a good thing cuz I can use
The water heater has been smoking a lot lately and finally wouldn't
ignite anymore. I called a place in Washington that I had dealt with all
ready and after explaining to Fred what the glow plug element looked
like he agreed that that was the culprit and had one in stock, about $65
and said it's on the way.
We've decided on New Zealand. Samoa is out and we are going to take
the southern route down thru the Cooks and then to Tonga and Fiji. Those
who have made the trip before say that Samoa is not pretty, stinks and
the only thing good about it is lots of American supplies but if you're
going to New Zealand don't bother. The route back to Hawaii is long
and hard and against the weather unless you sail back to the Marquesas,
against the weather, and even then it's tough. I'm tired of sailing
against the weather. The downhill run to Tahiti was a nice way to sail.
We could even sleep.
Well we're off for Huahine tomorrow. Moorea has been great. Today we
motored out of the bay we're in, in the dink, and went snorkeling in
pink coral and then motored down the isle passed Club Med and threw out the
anchor in about 4 1/2 feet and while we were standing there we were
surrounded by huge stingrays and I mean stingrays. It was really cool!
There was about 4-5 black tip reef sharks circling out on the edge but
never came that close. Anyway we're off to Huahine tomorrow so
hopefully the sat phone will be able to send this. We're planning on being
back in Papeete by Thurs evening or Fri morning.
Well we made it to Huahine this morning. We left Moorea about 1830
hrs, just as the sun was setting and motored out of Robinson's Cove and
raised the sails after clearing the Passe Tareu. Of course there was no
wind so we just kept on motoring. It was a pleasant nite except for
the little drizzle I had on my midnight to 3 watch. Ian and I stood 3 hr
watches (Della helped Ian) and we entered Passe Avapehi and anchored up
in Baie Haavai at about 10AM. Nice place. We'll do some exploring
tomorrow. We checked in at the Gendarmerie and then had lunch and came
back to the boat for a nap (must be getting old). The temp here is not
bad. Right now it's 76f and quite pleasant. The day wasn't much warmer,
maybe 80 with a cool 6kt breeze. Not sure what our schedule is but
we'll probably head back for Papeete on Wed nite or Thurs nite. Probably
won't make it to Bora Bora this trip. Anyway, that's the scoop on
Huahine for now.
Updates and Reports