Sunday, July 31, 2005

Journal Entry July 30 & 31, 2005 A Weekend with Sting Rays and Puppies

Author: Pam

Saturday started with more bio writing, our deadline was looming near. Around mid morning the crew from Moxie came by to say hello in person. They came aboard Tournesol and sailing adventures started flying. Dale is the owner and his friend George and his son Ian are his current crew. Once Dale was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration his wife told him he better get out there and do what he has been longing to do. She had intended to make the voyage with him, but after the crossing she determined that being seasick all of the time was not going to work for her, so she headed home and went back to work with the intentions of joining him along the way. Though we made a dent in the chocolate cake the night before it was a perfect opportunity to make sure more was eaten by feeding it to three men who are currently baching it. After a while Scott took Dale below to demonstrate for him the adaptive technology we use. Dale was very appreciative of the opportunity to see what tools are available to allow the visually impaired sailor to access information. His vision has not deteriorated to the point where he will be adding any of this equipment to Moxie at this time, but if and when the time comes perhaps he has more piece of mind that he will not have to give up his dream of sailing. After a several hour visit they needed to get going to prepare Moxie to head around the island to an adjacent bay. I have never been on a trimaran before and was very excited when Dale invited us over for a tour. Moments after they departed, we jumped in the dinghy and headed over to check out how much room there is on a 48 foot tri. Needless to say it is an unbelievable amount of real estate, it felt like Tournesol would fit at least twice. There is a very roomy salon and galley in the center. The outer hulls can be closed off for privacy and the deck space is huge. There is even a washing machine, but they don’t use it because it takes so much water. I am not a multi-hull fan from the sailing perspective, I am much more comfortable with a boat that will turn right side up again on its own if it should get knocked down or pitch poles. It was fun to finally see a trimaran and I am sure we will cross paths with Moxie again down the road.

Antoni had recommended one restaurant in Cooks Bay and it happened to be in close proximity to where we were anchored, so we decided to go out for a Saturday night date. The restaurant is Te Hono Iti (the little turtle). It has a very quaint atmosphere over looking the water with bright paintings of the sea on the walls. There were bright lights along the deck that attracted fish and as we were to find out later also sting rays. I had Caparccio, raw tuna marinated in olive oil, shallots, garlic and parsley. It was amazingly tender and really delicious. I am still in awe of my relatively new love for raw fish. Raw fish was not on the menu growing up in Maine. Now I would much rather have it raw then cooked. However, I will still always love my favorite corned hake when I go home to visit my family. After we finished dinner the waitress came over and informed us it was feeding time. We hesitantly made our way down the steps to the waters edge where she was feeding a half dozen sting rays and an eel pieces of raw fish. She explained they come every night for their dinner. She asked if we would like to feed them, Scott went first of course. To feed a very eager sting ray you hold the piece of fish by the end and move it gently just under the water and the sting ray comes right up and takes it out of your hand. They also let you pet them as they swim by, they are incredibly soft on the top and the white part on their underside. I asked if they had names and she said only one, “that one, we call her Big Mama”. The name couldn’t have been more perfect, she was at least four feet across, she was huge. They are graceful and very gentle, well unless you hold on to the fish too long. One sucked a little hard on Scott’s finger, I think for an instant he thought it was going in. I was happy that happened after I had my gentle experience. They are awesome creatures and who would have thought we would get that up close and personal, it made the evening very special.

Sunday morning Scott went in with mask, snorkel, fins and green scrubby to work on cleaning the beard Tournesol had grown at the quay in Tahiti, a green beard is not a good look for her. I diligently worked on and finished my bio for Randy, phew. It is very difficult to write about yourself and your life, I found it especially difficult with the idea of a book in mind. Who would have thought I would do something worthy of a book?

Being that it was Sunday on a small island in French Polynesia we found again there is nothing open, so we headed to shore to take the trash and go for a walk. While we were dumping the trash behind the grocery store we were greeted by two small adorable puppies that came out from under some crates to say hello. I thought they were going to wag their little tails off as they ran from one of us to the other for attention. They were absolutely filthy and I could barely think of anything else but dunking them in a tub and taking them home. We have seen many stray dogs throughout the South Pacific. It is heartbreaking to see dogs that are skin and bones, often only have three legs and spend their time sleeping in the dirt while no one pays any attention to them. It was the first time we had encountered puppies and it made me terribly sad. I am hoping they are at least fed by the grocery store, I can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t want to take them home. We at least have them on video since there was not way I could take them home, you can check them out in the video link.

After we left the store we headed around the island and the gray skies turned to light rain. As we were walking around a curve I heard my name, imagine how that felt in the middle of the South Pacific. It was Titaina and Antoni, they had come over to Moorea for the day and happened to be driving by. We chatted for a few minutes and then said our final goodbyes. As the rain was getting heavier we decided to head back to the boat and spent the rest of the day reading and relaxing inside as the rain gently fell on Cooks Bay.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Journal Entry July 27 - 29, 2005 Magnificent Moorea!

Author: Scott

This is what I pictured the South Pacific to be like. When we were in Nuku Hiva we had a taste with towering mountains coated in lush greens, but there was no turquoise water there like you see in all of the postcards. We did have a glimpse of this water in Tahiti, but Moorea brings it all together. Tournesol is anchored in emerald green water. Our anchorage is surrounded by huge peaks of lava rock covered in greens. At the head of the bay is a mountain where hikers climb to the Belvedere lookout point. Just a short dinghy ride away is a small dock adjacent to the “Snack Bar”, a little outdoor café serving pre-made baguette sandwiches, burgers, and ice cream. There is another dock on the edge of the bay with fuel pumps and a third dock and boat ramp at the fish cooperative. The village at the head of the bay is sparse with the grocery store being the largest structure. At the mouth of the bay there are sailboats anchored in shallow water off the reef, and there is where you can find that striking blue south pacific water.

On Wednesday morning July 27 we woke up to roosters crowing and dogs barking at 0330. Yes, we are back in the heart of Roosterville. Here in Moorea there is an ongoing competition between the dogs and roosters. I think a lone dog decides to throw out a “Im going to chase you tomorrow and have me some rooster pie” bark, and the cocks respond in force with a “not on your fat doggy woggy life” cock-a-doodle-doo, and then the squabbling begins in earnest. I have never heard anything like it, it didn’t even come close in Nuku Hiva. Other than being woken by the chaos, Cook’s Bay seems to be a completely calm anchorage due to the protection from the barrier reef.

We jumped in the dinghy and dropped by Novia to say hello. They had decided to stay on Moorea a little longer because in the night they had a head catastrophe and James was elbow deep in the repairs. Fixing a boat toilet is usually much more complex than fixing a land unit and James was planning for an all day battle. I offered to help, it was only fitting since James helped me rebuild our head, but space was limited. They said they would be coming to town in a bit and we agreed we would all see each other on land. On land we dropped by the Snack Bar for a tuna sandwich and milkshakes. We were absolutely stunned when the bill only came up to 680 francs, about $7.25. Next we headed off for a walk along the waterfront. The road is well paved but drivers in Moorea have a lead foot and we were often lurching onto the embankment to avoid a collision. Just about everything was closed for the lunch break, but we did find two grocery stores, an Internet café, a couple of gift shops, a few restaurants, including one recommended by Antoni, the gas station, and adjoining fuel dock. We strolled out on the fuel dock and who should we see, but Novia coming in for some fuel and pineapples. Apparently the best place to get pineapples is at the gas station, six for 500 francs. Ann and James decided to head over to the Bali Hai Club to look at their gift shop and we decided we would check it out. The Bali Hai Club has been on Moorea for many years with two properties, The Bali Hai Hotel and Bali Hai Club. The property was beautifully manicured with an inviting pool and little cottages strewn about neatly gardened grounds. While we were exploring the club we learned there was a traditional dance performance scheduled for 1900 and we could attend for 500 francs each.

Our next stop was the grocery store, a regular stop for us at each new destination. The store was surprisingly comprehensive. We reunited with Ann and James at the store and they gave us some additional visual information about available merchandise. We told Ann and James about the performance at the Bali Hai Club and they agreed to come along. We all returned to our boats to get ready for the performance. Pam and I took this time to watch the DVD Roland have given us, that contained recordings of the television segment filmed in Tahiti. It was interesting watching the segment broadcast in French and Tahitian. Though we could not understand what was being said, we think they did a good job of reporting our story.

At 1830 we were off in our dinghy to pick up Ann and James and then head over to the Bali Hai Club. The show was performed on their grassy lawn under trees that dripped enough moisture to cause us to move once. The scuttlebutt around the dripping trees is apparently the ex President’s wife illegally imported some plants that contained bugs that have now infested the trees in French Polynesia, and the illegal immigrant pests are causing great damage to the local plant life by chewing holes in the tree leaves causing the trees to dehydrate. I don’t know if this is fact or political fiction but it makes for an interesting tale. The show turned out to be mediocre in comparison to the talent we had witnessed in Tahiti, but it was a fun night out, culminating in a group dance with the audience shaking their not so Polynesian “thangs”.

Back on Tournesol we ended the evening with Pam’s current favorite meal, barely grilled tuna with jasmine rice and lots of wasabi. This means that Pam had tuna for lunch and dinner today, she is going to grow a tail and swim off someday.

Thursday was all about doing our homework. We had an assignment to complete for our friend back in the Bay Area who is co-authoring a book about our voyage. Almost all of the beautiful South Pacific day was spent below typing away. We finally emerged to make a quick run to the store for fresh dinner supplies. However, once we were back onboard we were visited by Frank and Rachael from Starship. They stayed for a cold drink and some chatting, and then asked us over for dinner aboard their Pearson 390. The groceries could wait for the next day. The evening was lots of fun. They have similar music tastes and we instructed them on how to play “The Game”, a music game that is sort of like “Name that Tune”, where the person to call out the music group first, wins a point. I first started playing “The Game” with our friends Steve and Renee. There are more specific rules, but you get the gist. One element of “The Game” is that “The Game” is always being played, so as we ate delicious lamb stew, we would randomly scream out music performers. We stayed late with our new friends and enjoyed the companionship that so easily comes with other cruisers.

On Friday we managed to finish our homework and emailed it off to the States. Pam also spent the morning baking me a chocolate cake for my birthday that she had smuggled in from home. She wanted to make the cake when she knew it could be appreciated, and we had plans to invite Ann and James over for dinner, so the cake would have a proper party to devour it. We stopped by Novia to invite them to dinner so the cake would be consumed and we also invited them to walk to the local Pineapple Plantation with us and Starship. We made plans to meet at the dock at 1330. On Tournesol we grilled cheeseburgers that were to be the prior night’s dinner before the invitation from Starship, and they turned out to be scrumptious. At 1330 we met at the dock and Starship, Novia, and Mariner IV were all present for the walk to the Pineapple Plantation. The hike took us from the head to the mouth of the bay and wound along the perimeter road circling the bay. We walked along the water as it turned from deep green to shades of sapphire and then turquoise. Canoe racks were scattered along the banks of the bay, waiting for the occupants to take the canoes out racing or fishing. We walked along the road in single file or pairs sharing cruising stories and the fellowship that comes with blue water sailing. As we came to the mouth of the bay we were treated with a panoramic view of the bay with towering mountains, palm trees, white sand beaches, and perfect blue water. The sailboats anchored on the reef bobbed on their anchors, and the ever present cruise ship that seems to stalk us from paradise to paradise was pulling into the bay.

It turns out that the Pineapple Plantation was closed for tours as they were expanding the facility to meet growing International orders, but the gift shop and tasting room was open. Now I have been to plenty of wine tasting rooms in Napa and Sonoma but nothing could prepare me for the alcoholic onslaught we were about to experience. Our group bellied up to the bar and a very hyper and gregarious woman dosed out a shot glass to each of us. In the next ten minutes we were subjected to tastes of twenty-one different liqueurs. I couldn’t keep straight what I was being served, was it the pineapple coconut, or the vanilla or banana run. It was obvious they were accustomed to offering tastings to large tour groups on a tight schedule. We all staggered away from the bar with tropical moonshine smiles painted on our faces and poked around the store for potential purchases. Somehow spending money came a little easier after our encounter with the Pineapple Liqueur Lady.

We all floated home to our boats. Onboard Tournesol we were preparing for Ann and James’ visit when were hailed on the VHF by a boat named Moxie. We returned the call and we were asked if our boat once had a water maker. We responded that it had and that the prior owner kept the water maker. Apparently the water maker had been sold by Joel Tuttle, the prior owner, and the name Tournesol was still written on the unit. Dale the owner of Moxie figured there could not be that many Tournesols from San Francisco and decided to give us a call. Yes indeed he had the right Tournesol, how funny that the boat and water maker were reunited in Moorea, French Polynesia. Dale also told us he had heard of our voyage and wondered if we could get together at some point because he had been diagnosed with macular degeneration and had questions about how we managed sailing. We agreed to get together sometime the following day.

Ann and James came over and we were all treated to pasta in clam sauce. For dessert we indulged in my birthday cake. After dinner we taught Ann and James how to play Five Crowns, a card game we learned from Abe and Amy. I was victorious!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Journal Entry July 26, 2005 Escape from Tahiti!

Author: Scott

We did it; we finally pulled away from the quay and put Tahiti astern! It is so strange to me how you can arrive to a new landfall full of anticipation and excitement and then a month later you can feel so much relief to be on your way again. I will have so many varied memories of our time in Tahiti all mostly good, but I will also remember the endless trips to the industrial district and the vacillation we went through before finally settling on a plan to resolve our engine issues.

Today started at 0530 with both of us ready to meet our departure day with zeal. We had a lot to do before we could depart and we wanted to get an early start so we wouldn’t get jammed up. Our friends from the blind association were meeting us at 1000 and we had to get the boat prepared, get Pam a dose of fresh tuna, and get checked out with the Gendarmerie, Customs, and the Port Captain. The morning was going smoothly and we jumped through all the hoops at each office and we were racing through the home stretch when the Port Captain tripped us up and our efficiency ground to a halt. “You can not pay for your stay with a credit card”, said the Port Captain as if everyone carries around hundreds of dollars in cash to pay for over a month of spendy mooring fees. To make it worse, the entire time he was calculating our bill he kept moaning and talking under his breath about how expensive our stay was while keeping us in suspense as to what the huge mysterious bill would total out at. “Just tell me how much”, I was screaming in my head. He finally did give me a total and I was off to see if I could convince the ATM to dispense enough cash to free us from Papeete and Pam headed back to the boat to meet the association. I had visions of returning to the bank three days in a row to collect the maximum allowable withdrawal from the bank to equal enough clams to pay our bill. Fortunately I was able to finagle some financial voodoo with my ATM card and a few credit cards to extract just enough money to pay Mr. “We don’t accept credit cards” Port Captain. I was beginning to taste freedom. I returned to the Port Captain’s office just as a strange man walked in the office and started a very vocal and heated argument with the Port Captain in Tahitian. Another yachtie and I just stood there staring at the ceiling while the two men screamed at each other while waving their hands violently in the air. The argument ended as abruptly as it started and the Port Captain snatched up my payment and even let me slide a few francs because of course he couldn’t make change. All paid up, I made a dash to the market to find fresh fish for our first dinner away from Papeete, my pocket was filled with a plastic bag full of coins that equaled exactly 1000 francs, enough for a big hunk of thon rouge. Though I was way late I managed to make a quick stop by the pastry lady and got one final strawberry and custard tart for breakfast.

As I walked up the quay I could see the association for the blind had arrived with a television station camera crew. Pam was bravely holding everything together and when I reached the group, the day got going into high gear. The television crew was running late and needed to shoot quickly, they wanted to film us saying goodbye to the association and we were presented with many leis and shell necklaces. I presented Roland with one of my white canes, a carbon fiber, low profile cane that can only be purchased in the United States. There were hugs, handshakes and kisses everywhere! When the filming was finished we had a chance for a more leisurely goodbye with promises to stay in touch. Pam and I climbed aboard Tournesol, adorned in leis. The association cast off our lines at 1100 and we managed to successfully pull up our anchor chain without snagging the infamous hurricane chain that is rumored to snare sailboats like a fly in a spider web. However, our anchor and chain were heavily coated in stinky green slime that had accumulated over the past month. I looked like and smelt like a swamp thing as I pulled stringy green goo from the anchor. The group stood on the quay waving for many minutes and both Pam and I felt the mixed emotions of saying so long to new friends mingled with the thrill of heading to sea. Our departure from the harbor went smoothly and just as we turned to head out the pass we heard a loud whistle and were surprised to see though our telescopes that our friends from the association had driven down the waterfront to give us a final wave before we sailed off over the horizon.

Tahiti stood in our wake full of so many memories. The morning was a steely drab gray with dark squally clouds hanging in the distance, this was not going to be your perfect postcard South Pacific day sail, but at least we were moving with the power of a functional engine that was not overheating! I wish I could say we immediately fell into a peaceful mood while making way towards Moorea, but I think we will always be a little on pins and needles while the engine is running until we reach New Zealand. Once we put a few miles between us and Tahiti’s barrier reef we raised our main with a double reef and unfurled our jib and fell off to a lively beam reach. We did finally turn off the engine and we each sighed with a bit of relief. We were finally at sea again! We quickly resumed or habits at sea and settled in for some reading. Pam read to me about future destinations while I hand steered towards Moorea. As Tournesol scooted towards our next landfall we could see rain squalls move across our bow and shroud the entire island of Moorea in rain. It was thrilling to see the island become engulfed in the squall and disappear just to reappear as the rain moved on. It reminded me of watching a car go through a car wash to emerge squeaky clean on the other side. Tournesol was not exempt from the rain and she got a much needed bath while Pam and I huddled under the dodger. We had to fire up the engine for about half an hour because the squall sucked away all of our wind leaving the sea a dull glassy gray. While we motored I just happened to take a look at our non functional temperature gauge that had plagued us in Tahiti, and to my complete surprise it had resurrected itself and was working perfectly. Soon we were able to quiet the engine but now we had the knowledge that our temperature gauge was functioning to brighten the cloudy day, and this would last for just a few more minutes. As we were preparing to continue reading Pam happened to look over the side of the boat at our dinghy that we were dragging, and it was deflated on one side. I was careful to tie it so that it would not be punctured by our windvane, but it appeared to be popped somehow. Our spirits immediately fell with thoughts of patching the dink before we could even go ashore in Moorea. I pulled the dinghy up on the foredeck and my emotions rebounded when I realized the cap covering the air intake had come loose and the dinghy was perfectly fine! What a silly scare!

Our eighteen mile sail to Moorea took us about five hours with our speed averaging 3.5 knots. When we finally came around the north side of Moorea, the sun came out to greet us, and we were treated with a spectacular view of the steep and rugged mountains and spires on Moorea. The island looked like a fairytale land, conjuring visions of knights, elves, and dragons, I would not have been surprised in the least to see a castle poised on the towering cliffs above. Waves pounded the reef throwing huge white plumes of spray into the air, and the setting sun cast pinks and yellows across the retreating storm clouds from earlier in the day. Moorea is breathtaking.

We did not have long to bask in the beauty of Moorea because we had to be spot on accurate in our approach to Cook’s Bay because we would be facing our first pass with low lying coral and although the pass is well marked, we wanted to make sure we were in the center of the channel. As we approached watching the GPS like a hawk, the first buoy became visible in our telescopes and we were able to negotiate a track for entering the bay. It was fascinating to enter the bay with calm water all around us, only broken with small waves breaking on both sides of the boat, but I knew that these seemingly harmless little waves represented dangerous coral just under the water’s surface. There were boats anchored inside the reef to port and the emerald green water with the towering mountains surrounding Cook’s Bay off our bow. We decided to play it conservative and headed towards the head of the bay, leaving reef anchoring for another day. As we crept into the bay we heard James from Novia over our VHF radio. “Welcome Tournesol, you are looking in fine form!” James then offered to jump in his dinghy to guide us into the anchorage and we accepted with enthusiasm. There were thirteen boats anchored in the head of the bay and we wound our way to a spot just in front of Novia. Our first anchoring attempt left us a little too close to Novia, so I pulled the sucker back on deck. Our second attempt was a perfect (and lucky) insertion in the center of three boats. We were safely anchored in Moorea!

I wasted no time emptying my pockets and I was in the clear, green, warm water in a flash! James hovered in his dinghy and chatted with Pam on deck and me paddling around his dinghy. Ann called over from Novia and asked us if we were interested in joining them for dinner, and we gladly put the tuna on hold. What a treat to have dinner with friends at a new anchorage. We agreed to come over in a little while, after we got Tournesol reorganized.

Pam and I were on deck a few minutes later when a dinghy with four people in it pulled up and welcomed us to the bay. “You’re famous” a man called from their dinghy. “We saw you in the paper today.” They even had a copy of the paper with them. They were from the boats Gosi (also a Valiant) and Windsong and they had seen us in the paper, but they did not know why we were in the paper since they could not read French. We told them our story and had a nice chat.

Dinner on Novia was a yummy treat and James did an excellent job of translating the newspaper story for us. Before we could find sleep we had to stuff everything back in the V-berth that was strewn about the boat from our earlier anchoring. Moorea is what you pictured a South Pacific island to look like and tomorrow we would get to explore our new temporary home!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Journal Entry July 23 – 25, 2005 Final Days on Tahiti!

Author: Scott

Tomorrow we leave Tahiti. It feels like we have been here forever. I know the readers of our journal do not have lots of sympathy for us spending over a month on a lush tropical island, but the sailing bug has bitten hard, and we want to move on and continue to see the world! The past three days have been busy.

Saturday was mostly devoted to preparing for the departure. We started the day by rushing off to the pedicure place that Antoni had told Pam about, she has not had her paws or claws done for quite some time. However, Pam’s pedicure experience shows that you never know where the next cultural twist is lurking. After arriving to the pedicure place, Pam was ushered into a sterile room that looked more like an operating room than a salon. It turns out the man who performed the pedicure was trained in clinical pedicures and only gave therapeutic pedicures, although Pam did manage to coax him into a claw trim in addition to the surgical paw procedure. I scurried off to the store to start our final Tahiti provisioning and to escape the paws and claws office. When Pam met up with me at Champion, our local grocer, she told me of the clinical pedicure where not a single drop of polish was used.

We bought the usual food and trudged back to the boat with a full cart of grub. Back at the boat Pam jumped into the laundry, quite literally she was up to her shoulders in squishy squashy sudsy laundry. I devoted myself to rewiring our three solar panels. When they were installed in Mexico, the vendor who helped install the panels made some splices in the wire that were exposed to the elements, and they were now shorting out, causing the entire system to stop charging. I am usually comfortable imitating any boat work I have witnessed, and had no problem rewiring the panels, I even managed to remove all the external splices so the problem would not repeat itself. Next we pulled the outboard motor on board Tournesol, giving it lots of love in the process, so maybe it will keep functioning to New Zealand. Then we filled up all of our water tanks and topped off the sun and bug showers. Last on our list was mold maintenance, where we hunted down the inevitable mold in all of Tournesol’s nooks and crannies.

With a day of work behind us, we dressed and prepared for a very special occasion. Sunday July 24, is a very important day, MY BIRTHDAY! Since everything shuts down on Sundays on Tahiti, Pam wanted to take me out for a nice dinner.

As we were getting into the dinghy for our quick ride to the quay Joanne on the boat from Japan next to us invited us over for a look see. We have been intrigued since we first met our neighbors to see this very interesting vessel. We quickly agreed and next thing you know we were chatting up a storm in their cockpit. We learned that Joanne’s husband had personally designed the 53’ motor sailor to his specifications. The hull is aluminum with three separate water tight compartments. There is a huge pilot house for sailing in any weather. She is one of the stoutest boats I have ever been on. It felt like this boat could tangle with a tug boat and win. They are on the home stretch of their circumnavigation, it will take them just over a year. Before leaving Joanne gave us two log books, because we were so impressed with the log format they had created. By the time we finished socializing and the tour was complete, we realized it was after 2200. Nothing was open and so my birthday meal was the old standby, Mc Donald’s.

Sunday was July 24th, the international holiday, Scott’s Birthday! My birthday morning was a second attempt at the prior Sunday’s antics. We got up earlier, at 0700, and headed to the market. The market was an amazing mass of urban commerce. There were venders with everything from whole fish and roasted chickens, to coconut milk and pineapples. We had heard the produce was better and less expensive than at the stores or the market on other days, and this proved to be true. We bought lots of yummy veggies; there would be a salad in our future.

We quickly dropped by Tournesol to unload our produce and Pam put them in for a debugging bath. Then it was off like a flash to the Protestant church. We were determined to hear the singing we had heard so much about. The church was simple, airy and very large. The service was give by a number of ministers, and mostly in Tahitian. The only thing we recognized was the lords prayer. The singing did turn out to be lovely, but rather than the entire congregation singing, hymns were sung by pre designated quadrants. What amazed us was that everyone seemed to know when it was their section’s turn to sing and they executed each hymn with perfect harmony. Initially I was very respectful and refrained from taking photos or filming, but I got bolder when I witnessed many people flashing cameras. We later learned the church welcomed visitors to come and take photos or make recordings.

After church we headed straight for the store for even more provisioning. Each trip was limited by what we could carry, so we loaded up with provisions and a few things for dinner and our visit from the neighboring boat.

Back at Tournesol it was back to the boat projects. Laundry girl struck again while I went to work installing dinghy wheels onto our dinghy. We struggled through Mexico with no wheels for our dinghy to assist in dragging the beast out of the surf, and I was now getting around to installing the wheels we bought from another cruiser just before we left Mexico. My task was tedious with meticulous measuring and lots of drilling and screwing. My drill ran out of juice just as I was finishing the first wheel and so the second would have to wait until Monday.

As the day moved into twilight we focused our efforts on preparing for our guests from the neighboring boat. After our gracious tour from the prior day, we wanted to show off Tournesol at her best. We whipped up some baguette with flavored cheeses. Joanne and her husband (not sure of the spelling of his name) arrived and we had a lovely Tahitian evening in the cockpit sharing stories. They brought me a birthday gift, a baseball cap with their boat name in Japanese. After their visit we ate our salad made from the veggie haul at the market and headed to bed early.

Monday, our last full day on Tahiti was bustling. We woke early to start boat chores and to be ready if our friends from the association turned up for the possible picnic we discussed on Friday. Can you believe it, Pam was back at the laundry with a vengeance. Now before anyone thinks that I don’t help with the laundry, let me just clear this matter up now. Yes, I help but I do not have the zest and lustful enthusiasm that Pam has for laundry onboard.

Roland and Jacqueline did show up early and suggested that instead of a picnic they would like to take us out to lunch. They also generously offered the use of their driver and van for any final errands. We were thrilled to get to spend more time with them and the clients of the association, and we were excited to have the use of a vehicle, to clear our To Do list in style. We agreed to meet at 1100 and they left us to finish up our chores. I did manage to get the second dinghy wheel installed and I made Pam giggle when I walked back and forth along the quay totting the dinghy behind me.

The association’s van picked us up and we were off and running. All of the clients from Friday’s meeting were onboard. First stop was to fill our propane at Tahiti Gaz. In the blink of an eye we had freshly filled tanks, an errand that would have taken us hours to complete. Our next stop was lunch at the Royal Tahitian, on the beach. On our way in Roland and Jacqueline’s daughter Natalie arrived to have lunch with us. Natalie had spent a few years in the states attending high school and spoke very good English. The restaurant was a beautiful thatched roofed building looking over the crystal clear water behind the barrier reef. Lunch was elegant and delicious. We dined on everything from soup to nuts. I had French onion soup, and the puffed pastry filled with chicken and local spinach, and Pam had Poisson Cru (marinated fish and veggies) served in a coconut shell, and french fries. I topped off my meal with a parfait made from three ice creams, and a cappuccino, while Pam had the chocolate raspberry mousse. We spent our leisurely lunch getting to know more about blind people living in French Polynesia and getting better acquainted with our new friends.

After lunch we said goodbye to Roland and Jacqueline and we were turned over to the driver to continue our errands. We were then taken to Carre Four, one of the largest grocery stores on Tahiti where Natalie worked. Natalie gave us the lay of the land and we flew through the store scooping up all the heavy provisions we could lay our hands on. What a treat to have our provisions driven to the boat! Our ride in the van was a fun and very silly time as we joked, sang, and discussed music with the association’s clients. Back at the boat we all piled out of the van and continued our visit sitting on the quay. Just then Antoni and Frank from Starship showed up at the same time. Antoni stopped by to say hello, and let us know we may see him on Moorea over the weekend. Frank showed up to give us a piece of spare Spectra line for our wind vane. Pam and I did our best to introduce everyone. It was great having so many visitors simultaneously, we really felt like we had made many friends in Tahiti.

When the dust cleared and our friends departed, we still had to make one final trip to the store to pick up a few fresh items and some odds and ends. As we were walking home from the store we had to pass by the great Italian restaurant where Pam found her mussel pizza and we were saddened because we thought they were closed on Monday’s, but as we approached we were pleasantly shocked to find them open. Dinner out was a great way to top off a wonderful frantic last day on Tahiti!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Journal Entry July 22, 2005 Learning About Blindness in the South Pacific 1

Author: Scott

Wow! Today is one of those days that makes you sit back and bask in the satisfaction of what we are doing out here on this voyage. One of our biggest motivators in going to sea was to meet and learn from other blind people throughout the world. Today we had our first South Pacific encounter with fellow blind people and what a great day it was!

The day started out frenzied and never really eased off. The mechanic was due sometime between 0700 and 0900 but due to the language barrier he could have shown up anytime. We also had the local television station scheduled to show up at 0900. The mechanic showed up abound 0800 and we went straight to work trying to resolve the problem with the diesel engine’s temperature gauge. It quickly became obvious the mechanic was not familiar with our instruments but we did manage to locate and test all of the wiring and sensors. We could not find an apparent problem and I think he was suspicious of the gauge itself because he told me to follow him. We rowed the dinghy to the quay and I thought we were just getting a tool, but he gestured for me to get in his pickup truck. Now this was a surprise to me and I hesitated only for a second, though I was shirtless and shoeless dressed only in a pair of dirty shorts. We were off with blaring music playing in his pickup truck and me riding around Papeete half naked. We headed straight to the industrial area and before I knew it we were back to Sopom, the place where I had found the external water pump. He waved for me to follow and I tromped in feeling a little self conscious. They recognized the mechanic immediately and to his surprise they also recognized the naked American as well. The mechanic had no way of knowing that I was a regular in the industrial section. After learning that they did not have the gauge we needed, we were sent on to another store. The second stop was Nauti Sports another of my industrial district haunts, and again the naked American was recognized with the familiarity of a local. No one even seemed to notice I was dressed for a spread in Play Girl, as if customers came in all the time in skimpy shorts. We repeated this process two more times and never managed to find the part. Time was running out and I had to get back to the boat for the media, so I managed to communicate this need and we returned to Tournesol.

Thankfully I made it back before the media arrived and managed to pull some clothes on. I think the mechanic tried to tell me he would keep looking for the part and return in a few hours. Without the slightest break, all of a sudden a van full of blind folks pulled up to the quay and spilled out. “Hello, we are the Sixth Sense Blind Association and we are glad to meet you”, said a friendly Tahitian man. We learned the man making introductions was Roland, the President of the Association. Roland introduced us to his wife Jacqueline, three clients of the association and their driver. As we were making our introductions (including the Tahitian kissy thing) the television crew turned up and the cameras started rolling. Roland introduced himself again for the media and presented us with a beautiful plaque made from mother of pearl, engraved with the association’s name and logo. After all of the introductions were made, the questions began. We each had millions of questions for each other, and we were also anxious to bring everyone aboard for a tour of Tournesol. Pam stayed on the quay with Jacqueline and continued to ask questions while I ferried Roland, the clients, and the television crew over to the boat. Once on Tournesol we toured her inside and out and demonstrated the adaptive technology we use when sailing. The television crew interviewed everyone and asked many relevant and thoughtful questions. I learned that Roland was once a television cameraman for over thirty years, prior to loosing his sight and because he was so active and well connected he was a natural for founding the association. I learned one of the clients had heard our press release read over Radio One, the local radio station, and the association contacted the television station and arranged for the coverage.

Our time on the boat was wonderful and chaotic, and everyone had a great time. Even the dinghy trips on and off the boat were filled with laughter, thrills and chills. As we all got to know each other we learned many tings about living in French Polynesia with a visual impairment. We learned there are approximately 140 registered visually impaired people in French Polynesia, 50 of these are children. Roland believes there are many more people with vision problems but they are not identified. As in Mexico, many families serve as a primary care giver to people with disabilities and often disabled people live a sheltered life at home. Visually impaired people are currently restricted from having a bank account or credit card, because it is believed they can not independently manage their financial affairs. If you loose your vision while living in French Polynesia, you are sent to France for rehabilitation training, and there is only the school for the deaf to provide training for blind children, unfortunately the school is on summer break and we would be unable to visit. Roland explained that diabetes is the most common cause of blindness on the islands. There are currently no guide dog users, though Roland has already made preparations to be the first guide dog user in French Polynesia. The association struggles to get supplies and equipment and most adaptive equipment and aids come from France at exurbanite prices. A basic white cane cost over $60, about three times the price in the United States.

We also had a chance to learn a little about the association’s history. In 1998 after Roland had lost his vision suddenly, he was approached by blind people in the community and asked to found an association for the blind in Tahiti. In an impressive amount of time, the association has grown to serve most of the visually impaired population throughout French Polynesia. The association (3 paid staff) teaches Braille, daily living skills, provides education on diabetes, employment training, and offers sports and recreational opportunities. The group is funded in part by Lion’s Club International, and through support from the French Government. However, the funding for the association may be at risk in future years as French Polynesia moves towards greater independence from France.

While we were all on the boat, the mechanic returned and took the whole scene in stride. With Jacqueline’s assistance translating, Pam was able to learn a little more about the work he had already done on the outboard motor. Apparently he had found some clogged hoses and cleaned the carburetor. He assured us the repairs should get us to New Zealand, but we may need a new carburetor. He also got involved by helping offload folks from the dinghy. With the interviews complete we discussed the possibility of going on a picnic with the members of the association on Monday and agreed we would be in touch before Monday. We were also told the clients wanted to give us some of the special oranges that are only available on the island in July, and that they would return in a while with the oranges. It was clear we had made some great new friends on Tahiti.

With the association off buying oranges we returned to the business of the day. The mechanic informed us he would return again later in the day and I ran off to forage for food while Pam stayed on the boat awaiting a possible visit from the local newspaper who had also expressed an interest in an interview. After a speedy lunch we completed a few boat chores and then the mechanic was back on the scene and ready to take on the temperature gauge again. We were huddled over the engine, probing and inspecting when without notice another television station arrived for an interview. On Tahiti there are only two television stations and now we were to be featured on both. The media focused on the fact we were experiencing an engine problem and had lots of questions, they even interviewed the mechanic. Pam and I were then interviewed and we gave them a similar demonstration of the technology we use when sailing. When the filming was complete we all made our way back over to the quay. The mechanic informed us he could not repair the temperature gauge, but he believed our engine was running sufficiently cool and should be fine for our trip to New Zealand. He refused any further payment and told us to call him from Bora Bora to report on our outboard engine. The television crew also said their goodbyes and Pam and I were left on the quay feeling a little drained.

We rounded out the day by visiting an Italian restaurant that was recommended by Antoni and we were treated to delicious pizza with mussels and hearty lasagna. As we were in the dinghy returning to Tournesol we said hello to the Japanese boat next door and agreed to have them over for a drink on Sunday and they invited us to visit their boat on Saturday. We all said goodnight and we quickly made our way to some much needed sleep

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Journal Entry July 18 - 21, 2005 Tahiti, Our New Home

Author: Pam

This journal entry begins our fourth week in Papeete, who would have thought we would be here so long? When we saw Antoni on Friday he brought a friend by the boat to talk about the problems with our engines. His friend made arrangements with his mechanic to come by on Monday morning to take a look at the outboard and the temperature gauge on the boat engine. We got up early on Monday, because no time had been set and who knows what time he might come, life starts really early here on Tahiti. I went about the task of rinsing out laundry while we waited. By noon he had not shown up and we were feeling a bit dismayed, are we ever going to get these issues resolved? We are feeling good about the water pump, but somewhere along the line while the engine has been being worked on the temperature gauge stopped working. Since the engine had been overheating it felt prudent to not leave without this gauge working, at least I am pretty dedicated to the idea. We left the boat to go have some lunch and call Antoni to find out if he could track down the illusive mechanic. He said he would come by later and let us know what he found out from his friend Jerry. Again, no time was set, so I stayed on the boat while Scott went to return belts he had bought for the alternator and to buy some hose for the new water pump. I used my time alone to wrap his birthday presents, I was wondering when I was going to get a chance with him not around. Antoni came by around 1600 and let us know the mechanic would be coming the next morning, for sure.

We went to the store and bought the ingredients to make a big salad for dinner, which in addition to the usual suspects included chicken, beets and black olives. We are still missing salad a lot, so it was a nice treat. We ended the day with anticipation of tomorrow being the day for the remaining issues to get resolved. Though we are a little tired of this feeling, we are trying to stay optimistic and enjoy our surroundings.

We got up early again on Tuesday morning, because as it seems to go no time had been set again for the arrival of the mechanic. He showed up at 0900 and Scott made his best attempt to communicate with him, which included a phone call to his boss to translate. He does not speak English and our French and Tahitian is coming along at a snails pace. After a brief chat he put the outboard in the back of his truck and said he would be back again in a few days. Once again, who knows when that might be? He did leave his phone number, so we decided we will call him on Thursday to check in if we haven’t seen him yet. He also said he would look at the temperature gauge when he brought the outboard back. We don’t know anything about his qualifications, but at this point he is our only option.

We decided to go out for sushi for lunch, I had a big hankering for some wasabi. There is a small restaurant in the mall near the quay and we had heard it was good. Long story short it was ok sushi at Papeete prices. The most disturbing part, was there were no prices on the menu. We ate light, but it was enough to get a taste. We decided after lunch we would buy some fish at the Market in the near future and get our wasabi fix that way.

After lunch we sussed out the jewelry store where Titaina works. She was very gracious and spent considerable time explaining the finer intricacies of “Tahiti Cultured Pearls” or more commonly referred to as black pearls. I had never seen a black pearl and of course I expected them all to be black. Tahiti cultured pearls are pearl-containing concretions that are secreted inside the black-lipped of pearl oysters of the species Pinctada Margaritifera cumingui variety. They are cultivated mainly in the lagoons of French Polynesia. They consist of thick pearly layers containing organic substances and calcium carbonate in the form of aragonite. They are characterized by a diversity of shapes, diameters, qualities and several shades of natural colors, ranging from pale grey, peacock green to anthracite black. Four basic qualities are defined A, B, C, D that classify the surface of the pearl, A being the most perfect. Titaina explained the technical classification of a pearl is the diameter, form and quality, color comes last. It is difficult to not get drawn into the colors, they are very beautiful. Many people buy pearls and design their own piece of jewelry. I have never been drawn to pearls, the white ones always seemed too old. I did spot a beautiful bracelet that I left with in my thoughts for consideration of a treasure from French Polynesia.

When we returned to the boat we discovered we had a new neighbor on the quay and as we approached the woman on board was calling to us. She was inquiring if we had a large hex key. Come to find out on their way into the quay they had run over the line we had on a mooring and fouled their prop, causing a problem with a part on their engine. Scott took over our hex key set, but we didn’t have the key they needed. At this time we discovered the fender we had put out to mark the line was missing. Putting out another fender didn’t seem like a good idea, since theft is suppose to be a problem along the quay. I emptied a Clorox bottle into a water bottle and Scott took it out and attached it to the line as a marker. We both felt badly they had run over our line, it definitely seemed to add to a fairly long list of issues they had arrived with.

We walked to the store and bought beef brochette for dinner to BBQ. When we came back to the boat we checked in with Starship (our new neighbor) and gave them some info on the lay of the land. Scott promised to bring a map over in the morning and give them some tips on the industrial area. We decided we had bought enough brochette for two dinners, it was yummy so two nights in a row won’t be torture.

Wednesday was a pretty mellow day, due to being in our holding pattern waiting for the mechanic to return with the outboard.

On Thursday we decided to take some time to explore the Market (Marche). It is two levels with a very high ceiling filled with tables displaying vanilla, body lotions, perfumes, jewelry, wood carvings, t-shirts, pareos, fresh flowers, local fruit, vegetables, fish and many other delicacies of the area. It is sometimes difficult to discern where one merchant’s area begins and ends. It is a sea of bright colors with all of the fabrics of the paroes and Polynesian shirts, mixed in with the flowers and fruit and vegetables. There is also a row of food stands that is always crowded with locals and tourists. The food is already prepared choices such as the infamous sandwiches with chow mein or some kind of meat and french fries, the fries are on the sandwich with ketchup, as much as I love french fries that did not appeal to me. There are also rice plates, though we can never figure out what the dishes are, as well as a stand that sells waffles with every combination of bananas, cream and Nutello (that is really big here) you can imagine. It feels like the heartbeat of the city, where you can get whatever you might need whether you are a local or a tourist. We bought two pounds of Thon Rouge (red tuna) for $1000 cpf ($10.00) for dinner, after our little foray yesterday with wasabi I was craving more.

We stopped back by the pearl store and I bought the bracelet, I have not bought any mementos of this adventure yet and a bracelet with a beautiful pearl was the perfect trinket for this jewelry lover, though I hardly wear any these days. While we were visiting Titaina and buying the bracelet we asked her to call the mechanic to find out the status of our outboard engine. He told her we need to get a new carborator and he would bring the engine by at 1600 that afternoon. We asked her to ask him if the caborator would make it to New Zealand and he said yes.

As Rachel and Frank on Starship had left earlier in the day, we came back to the boat and met our new neighbor. As we were walking by Paul and Cindy on Simplicity stopped us to give us a message from a reporter who had come by while we were gone. We had worked with our friend Mike back in the states to get a press release out about our pacific ocean crossing and arrival in French Polynesia. The release dropped yesterday and we already had a bite. Our luck with the media was looking better than our fishing. Not long after being back on the boat another reporter came by on the quay and we arranged an interview for the next morning at 0900. It was very difficult to hear him from the back of the boat and when he left I was unclear who he worked for. He also said the president of an association would be joining him, but this also wasn’t very clear. I figured we would just be ready for whoever showed up in the morning.

After we dropped the computer off on the boat we hustled to the store and back to meet the mechanic. He showed up on time and he and Scott put the motor on the dinghy, started it on the first try and went for a whirl. It seems to be running like a champ for the moment, we really won’t know until we get to the next anchorage and need to use it to get to land. We also are not entirely sure what he did to the engine while he was working on it, but we are hoping that whatever he did it will work better than before. The mechanic (we still don’t know his name) said he would come back tomorrow morning to look at the temperature gauge. We had a difficult time communicating about the time, as far as I could tell it would be between 0700 and 0900, it was a case of what he said and how many fingers he held up did not match.

We waved the tuna over the BBQ for a couple of minutes and ate it very rare with wasabi and soy sauce. I think I am now addicted to Thon Rouge, I asked Scott after dinner when he would be willing to have it again. All of the locals think the red tuna is better than the white and I would agree, though either would do in a pinch. Off to bed fairly early, it looks like tomorrow is going to be a busy day with reporters and hopefully some engine resolve.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Journal Entry July 17, 2005 - Out and About on Tahiti!

Author: Scott

Today we had big plans of waking up early to visit the market ( Marche) in downtown Papeete. Early means well before 0800, by 0900 everything closes down, so that folks can get to church by 1000. Somehow though, we didn’t quite get on the ball this morning, it was more like the ball pinned us to the bed. By the time we reached the market, we only had a few minutes to whiteness the frenzy. We will have to return next Sunday if for some reason we are still in Papeete! We then decided to walk up to the store and possibly drop by the protestant church to listen to the famous singing. We were wearing shorts and flip flops and felt a little self-conscious so we just moved on to the store. With groceries on our back and in our hands we almost ran back to the boat to meet up with Antoni and Titaina for a day of touring the island. We were so excited after weeks of being in Tahiti, with the industrial zone comprising our major sightseeing, we were finally going to get a chance to really see Tahiti. We were so lucky to meet Antoni in Nuku Hiva, you just never know when you meet someone how they can turn out to be such a good friend down the road.

Pam and I waited on the quay and our hosts pulled up in Titaina’s car looking ready for the outing. Once inside the car, imagine that a real car, we were off and running. Antoni started to give us snippets of information, and this information he continued to provide all day, as well as to patiently answer our onslaught of questions. We first learned Tahiti is divided up into many districts, each having its own local government. Within a few minutes we had broken free of our known boundaries and were seeing uncharted territory. The island is beautiful with a barrier reef creating blue lagoons around much of the island’s perimeter. With our monoculars, we could just barley see the white water, off in the distance, crashing on the reef. The sight is powerful and beautiful, and a scene we hope to always see from a distance. Our first stop was “the Grotte” or Grotte Vaipoire. The Grotte are two caverns that are naturally formed from rainwater runoff. These giant caverns continuously drip water into clear cold pools that some people come to bath and swim in. The area of the Grotte is very lush with an abundance of exotic tropical plants. After we had a look we were back in the car zooming around the island to the rainy side. As we rode on we learned Tahiti has a population of about 120,000 people. The island is really two islands connected by an isthmus. The small island is called Tahiti Iti, and the larger main island is Tahiti Nui. There is also no personal income tax on Tahiti, only corporate and business taxes. We were also told of the wild oranges that grow on the tops of mountains in Tahiti and can only be harvested each July. These special oranges are considered a real treat in Tahiti and fetch a high price at the market. As we drove on we passed a noni juice plantation. Noni juice is made from an island fruit and is thought to have great medicinal qualities; it is believed to build up the immune system. Antoni takes the juice daily and is an advocate for noni juice. Ironically, we also discovered Tahitian’s don’t like the taste of noni juice and most of the product is exported throughout the world.

We pulled into the Cultural Center, located near the isthmus joining the islands and overlooking a spectacular blue lagoon. The cultural center houses the Paul Gauguin Museum which we learned displays very little of the artists original art, so we decided to skip visiting the museum. Instead, we were taken to a restaurant that overlooked the lagoon for a traditional Tahitian brunch. On our way into the restaurant we walked up the dock, just out front. The water was fenced off and divided into small pools. Apparently fish were farmed here and we stood over the pens watching the fish swim in circles and then it was time to head in for brunch. After sipping on a cool Hinano beer we headed up to face the buffet with mysterious delicacies of Tahiti. There was a central table which held the Tahitian food. We took samples of curried chicken, locally grown spinach, tarot root, and breadfruit. There was Poisson Cru, an island culinary mainstay, made from raw fish, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions marinated in a lime and coconut milk sauce. In the center of the table was a white urn, tightly covered. Titaina explained with a smile on her face that inside the urn was fafaru, which is a fermented fish, and that it was housed in the urn to contain its odor. To be blunt, the fish stinks! This is one of those times on the voyage I had to muster up my courage to share a cultural experience. I gingerly lifted out a few slices of the slightly green stinky fish, and scooped up an overly sufficient dose of the accompanying coconut milk sauce used to mellow the flavor of the fafaru.. Titaina explained she liked fafaru, but this is due to years of fafaru traditionally eaten with her family, she praised me for my bravery. In addition to the Tahitian food, we had other more mainstream dishes to choose from, including a large desert laden table. We ate well and learned more about Tahiti from Titaina. It was so nice to have friends to educate us and share the experience with. I even managed to eat my fafaru, though I can not claim to have liked it. Pam also gave it a taste. The coconut did cover the flavor a little, but there was still plenty of green slimy putrid fish flavor to remind me what I was eating. Maybe in twenty years I would grow to appreciate the flavor, but probably not.

After our meal it was back into the car for just a quick trip over to the botanical gardens, but just as we pulled in to the parking lot, the rain started to fall steadily. We were all well fed, dry and comfortable, so we voted to skip the gardens and continue the drive. We came along a large coconut plantation with hundreds of coconut trees densely planted with the palms snaking around each other as they rose into the sky. Antoni pointed out that the trees had metal bands around their trucks to prevent the rats from climbing the trees to eat the coconuts. I had already become aware of the possibility of a coconut falling on my head while walking under a coconut tree, now I could start thinking of a rat slipping on the metal band and falling through space to land on my head. Of course I had to pass this thought on to Pam and she was not amused.

As the rain continued to fall we drove out over the isthmus to Tahiti Ita. Antoni pointed out the breakers coming into the bay that divided the two sides of the island and told us this was where they held international surfing competitions. You could easily see this would be a prime location as huge waves crashed down on the reef in the distance. The surfers are pulled out on jet skis past the reef and then surf in on massive waves just to pull out before they come crashing down onto the reef. Cowabunga!

We drove around Tahit Ita and Titaina showed us a small white sand beach where many locals visit. We then drove back over the isthmus to the other side of the island. We drove for quite a while and passed through a number of districts until we reached Venus Point. The Captain Cook Lighthouse at Venus Point marks where Captain Cook observed the transit of the planet Venus in 1769 on behalf of the Royal Society. There is also a sculpture that honors the missionaries that came to French Polynesia, displaying a rock from each island and the date the missionaries arrived on each island. We wandered around Venus Point and came out onto a broad black sand beach overlooking the bay. This was a perfect location for a photo and we were supplied with a perfect rainbow in the background. We had a picture taken of ourselves and we photographed our friends.

Our next trip in the car was quick; we drove for just a few minutes up a hill and pulled over to admire the view from the top of one of the hills overlooking the bay. This was the bay where the Bounty first made landfall in Tahiti. Antoni pointed out where his home was located and then it was back on the road.

After a full day of touring, we had finally circumnavigated the island and we were approaching the quay. The last district we drove through was the industrial district but we did not require any assistance from our guides to recognize this part of the island, in fact we could probably start giving tours of the industrial area ourselves. We reached the quay and were dropped off, with plans to visit Titaiana who worked at a local jewelry store that sells black pearls, so we could learn more about pearl farming. Antoni would be leaving Tahiti for a trip to Easter Island and we are not sure if we will have a chance to see him again.

What a wonderful experience today was. We are so happy we had a chance to really see Tahit and Antoni and Titaina were wonderful tour guides. Our dinner back on the boat was pure American cuisine, cheeseburgers! We spent the remainder of the day trying desperately to make some headway on our journal. Tomorrow will start a new week filled with a series of attempts to get our engine issues resolved so we can escape from the Papeete quay.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Journal Entry July 13 – 16, 2005 Engine Decision Reached

Author: Pam

Wednesday started like all other days start now that the laundry mat is open on Tournesol. It is also turning out to be a good way to be social. While I was on the side of the boat again a man called to us that he brought news. We didn’t have a clue what that meant. Scott went over to the quay in the dinghy to meet Larry who was on vacation from Palo Alto. He had brought copies of the July issue of Latitude 38, a free sailing magazine published in San Francisco in his suitcase with the intention of giving them to cruisers from the US. He and Scott chatted for a while and come to find out Larry had read about us in a previous issue of Latitude. He invited us to have lunch with him and his wife on Saturday, so they made a plan to meet again then. He has a boat in the Bay Area and I think it was a nice way for him to connect with people who are out cruising and we of course appreciated getting a copy of Latitude.

Our frustration with what to do about the engine finally hit a climax today. I think we both had reached our limit for how many times we could discuss this problem and all of the possible solutions. We made up our minds we would make one more attempt to shop for a reasonable airline ticket so we could fly Terry our mechanic and long distance support team to Tahiti. We had visited the Air France office and the Air Tahiti office only to be disappointed by the cost of a ticket during the peak season. This afternoon we made one more ditch effort and searched all of the on-line discount sites, nothing looked good. Terry was willing to come over and even to go through the process to get a passport on the fast track, but not having a passport made it a catch 22 situation on top of everything else. You can’t buy an international ticket with a passport. At any rate we were willing to try to find a way to make all of that work if we could find a ticket we could afford. We called Terry again this afternoon to discuss his terms and to ask more questions about the external water pump we are also considering. After the sun went down we sat in the cockpit, looked at each other and emphatically agreed today was going to be the day we made a decision, this problem has been on the table long enough and we want to get moving. Since the water pump stopped working on the ninth day of the crossing I have consistently said I would be most comfortable fixing the engine, in fact I even said I really didn’t want to leave Tahiti unless it was fixed. Also, as we looked at our options I felt the most comfortable with the idea of bringing Terry over, he is familiar with our engine and he speaks English. However, what you want and the reality are not always in the same court. After I asked a million questions and finally felt comfortable, I began to lean toward buying the external pump for $500.00 (ouch) and waiting until we get to New Zealand to install the proper part. Terry thinks it is a good work around and he feels it will get us to NZ. Our several hour discussion ended with the final decision to buy the pump and either find a mechanic in NZ or fly Terry there using Scott’s frequent flyer miles. It will surely cost less than the at least $3,000.00 we were looking at to fix it here in Papeete. We went to bed feeling relieved and excited to finally have a plan.

At the end of this trip we will probably have a top ten most disgusting project list and I am sure the head will be on it. The toilet has been having issues since right before we left Mexico, which includes overflowing if you don’t close the seacock. Fortunately we have only been dealing with seawater, but it is still a mess I have reached my limit for cleaning up. James offered to help Scott with the rebuilding of one of your valued bowls on board. He came over bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to tear the beast apart. The next thing I knew there were little bits and pieces in buckets from the head to the cockpit. From my vantage point inside the boat I kept hearing James say, “oh you do have that piece, exeellent.” You would have thought they were playing with Legos or an erector set. An hour and half later the pieces were reassembled and the handle was working smoother than it ever has since we have been on the boat. The best news, the water level does not creep up and out!

They finished just in time for us to get ready to meet Antoni for lunch. We met him on the quay at 11:15 and headed over to Le Retro to wait for his girlfriend who would be joining us. Titaina picked us up a half hour later and we found ourselves in a car for the first time on Tahiti. We started to drive past the limit of our foray so far and we both got excited about seeing something besides the quay, the industrial area and the few block radius of the city around the boat. We drove for a few miles to the Sheraton where we were seated at a table overlooking the water. We even got to see a little bit of the end of the canoe races that were part of the Heiva festival. Lunch turned into a four hour event while we asked a million questions about the island and where the best deals could be found. Also, Antoni had traveled a lot by boat and he shared many of his adventures and information about his favorite places. It was especially nice to meet Titaina, nothing can compare to meeting someone who has lived somewhere their entire life. She is very friendly and delightful. Lunch was delicious, Scott especially enjoyed his pasta with chicken and cream sauce. They drove us back to the boat and on the way we made plans to see them again on Sunday for a tour of the island. We got back to the boat totally excited about our good fortune, again there is no better way to get a tour then from a local. How did we get so lucky?

This was a how much can we fit in one day kind of day. We got back to the boat and I immediately began preparing dinner, we had invited Ann and James over for dinner. Since we could finally get chicken breast I had promised Scott I would make his favorite pasta dish with chicken and pesto cream. Clearly he wasn’t remembering our dinner plans when he ordered lunch, but it seemed like there was a good chance he would suffer through it. We had a very nice time, it was the first time we had entertained for dinner since leaving Mexico and all of the famous dinners with Abe and Amy. James thought the pasta was to die for and insisted Ann have the recipe. Always a good sign.

Friday morning Scott called Terry to let him know we had decided to go with the external water pump plan and wait until we get to New Zealand to install the part he now has in his possession for us. We will either have him ship the part sometime in the near future or we will get it when we go back to the states around the beginning of the year. He offered to send instructions and the special tools needed with the part. We thanked him for his awesome support, it has been immensely helpful to have someone to knock around ideas with.

We headed off to the industrial area after lunch to buy the infamous pump. We arrived at the shop right before it was going to close at 4:00, found the pump that had been set aside for us back on the shelf with Scott’s name still on it (they had just put it back on the shelf that day) and pulled out the credit card to pay. The moments that followed included our mouths dropping to the floor, they don’t take credit cards. How could they not take a credit card, they sell giant motors that cost thousands of dollars? We had been boasting about this being our last trip to the industrial area on our way, well that joyous bubble was popped in an instant. We would have to go to the bank and come back in the morning. They are only open from 7:30 – 11:00 on Saturday. On the bright side, there is much less traffic on Saturdays, so we might not feel like we are going to get run over every time we cross the street.

We met Ann and James and headed over to the plaza to listen to some music, but we were misinformed, there was no formal entertainment that evening. We went to the trucks again for dinner and tried the pizza this time. It was much better than our lunch experience at the Market. I don’t love the cheese they use here in French Polynesia, it definitely isn’t mozzarella. Our new monocular had fallen apart in Scott’s hand while we were chatting with Ann and James. Our new fix it friend James jumped in and came to the rescue. Ann invited us over for the apple cake we had been hearing about and we sat and chatted about our eminent escape from Papeete and their planned departure the next day. We left with a monocular in one piece and plans to see them again soon at another beautiful south pacific island.

We woke up early and trotted over to the industrial area to buy the pump after stopping at the ATM for cash. While we were at the ATM a man started yelling at us, it felt just like being in San Francisco. We thought for a moment we had cut in front of him in line, but two locals passing by said in broken English he is crazy, it’s ok. It was an odd experience to have here, it felt like it came out of nowhere. We haven’t observed people exhibiting odd behavior like you do on every other block at home.

When we got back to the boat there wasn’t enough time to start the water pump installation before our lunch date with Larry, the Latitude 38 delivery man. Scott decided to install the second Hella fan I had brought back from West Marine. I am most excited about this fan, it will turn and face the galley, some airflow while cooking will be wonderful.

Larry and Christine arrived around noon and we headed out to a lunch spot Antoni had said was one of his favorites, Patachou. Larry and Christine had spent their vacation week on Moorea, our next destination. It was fun to hear about their experience of the island and get some tips before we get there. We had a yummy lunch, I think I liked mine the best. I had a delicious steak sandwich which Scott was happy to help me finish.

Larry and Christine’s flight wasn’t until 11:00 pm so they still had lots of time to kill. Larry had developed quite an interest in our engine woes and offered to go back to the boat and help with the pump installation. He suggested I go shopping with Christine for her last remaining souvenirs, so we headed off to the Market. I hadn’t really had a chance to look around at the Market, so I didn’t mind keeping her company. She was a woman on a mission and was successful finding trinkets to bring home. She and I arrived back at the boat to find Scott and Larry with their shirts off elbow deep in the pump installation. They were in a very optimistic mood. It was soon time to try out their handy work. Scott turned on the switch for the pump and there was a momentary lapse in the optimism. Another approach at one of the connections and there was success. The pump sounds like gallons of water are rushing through it, this has to be a good thing.

We walked Larry and Christine to the Le Truck stop, they had not ridden one yet, but being experienced riders to the airport we could give them the scoop. We said our goodbyes with promises of keeping in touch. On our way back to the boat we decided to go out to dinner. We ended up at Le Mandarin, while looking for Dragon Dor the restaurant we ate at our first night in Papeete. It was a nice relaxing evening and celebration of our working engine after two months. It also included dancing to a two man band singing songs like “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” with a Tahitian accent, it was very fun way to end a long week..

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Journal Entry July 10 – 12, 2005 Imagine that, now Tournesol’s a Laundromat!

Author: Pam

When we left San Francisco one of our agreements was we would not do laundry by hand if we had other options. Well, those words have been eaten since arriving in French Polynesia. In Mexico we were spoiled by the many options for someone to do your laundry for you for nominally more than it would cost to do it yourself. In Nuku Hiva we paid $40.00 to have our laundry washed and line dried. After the state it came back in I decided I wasn’t paying that much money to get back clothes that were barely cleaner than we when dropped them off. Hence, let the laundry perfecting technique begin. We learned about Oxyclean from our friends on Novia right before I went back to the states. So, not only did I bring a tub for them, I also brought back one for us. On Saturday night I put the first load of washing in to soak overnight with Oxyclean and Tide. I gave it a few plunges with a small plunger and let it sit until the next morning. This load included Scott’s fleece sleeping bag. We had heard it cost $25.00 to get a blanket cleaned, so I decided with access to plenty of water I could tackle the furry beast. On this day we became one of the cruising boats with laundry hanging on the bow. I decided I don’t mind hand washing, but only if I have access to lots of water for rinsing. I won’t like it if I have to be careful how much water I can use, so the hose coming from the quay is the perfect answer. I foresee laundry as part of quite a few upcoming days since we haven’t done any for over two weeks and there is more bedding. It is a great arm workout.

After our day of chores on the boat we were rewarded with our first true Polynesian dance and music performance. We met Ann and James from Novia to head over to the Heiva Festival after a quick dinner of noodles with black bean sauce and chicken on the boat. Before we came to the South Pacific we had heard Bastille Day (July 14th) was a big celebration, but it turns out since the changes in government and the desire to be independent from the French government Bastille Day will not be recognized and the Heiva festival will take the front seat. Heiva is a celebration of the Polynesian culture which includes cultural displays of the art of dancing, drumming, canoe races and spear throwing. The show we attended was sold out. The dancing and the costumes were beautiful, how do the woman move their hips that way and that fast? The drumming was exhilarating, it almost made you want to get up and dance. The first half of the show was the amateur dancers, the middle of the show was a Tahitian choir, the last half of the show were professional dancers, the audience was asked not to take pictures during this portion of the show. The only disappointment was we did not understand anything that was said, it was all in Tahitian and French. There was clearly a story being told during the second half, but besides the dancer playing the role of chief we didn’t have a clue what it was about. It was a little surprising there wasn’t a program or some translation, since there were many tourists who spoke English attending the show. It was a lot of fun and we had great seats with a good view using our monoculars.
Monday morning began with a trip to the post office to exchange the phone card Scott had bought that stopped working after one short phone call. I then called Air France to make arrangements for them to deliver my bag. They confirmed it had arrived the night before and it had gone to China and then back to Tahiti via Australia and New Zealand. The agent said he would call a car and it would arrive in twenty minutes. We stood on the quay near the boat and waited for the world traveler to be dropped off. No more than twenty minutes later a woman came rolling the 69.5 pound beast down the quay. We wrestled it into the dinghy and onto the boat. On the way to the boat Scott commented “the bag smells like it has been in China.” Oh no, I had a sinking feeling in that moment, I had chanced packing two bottles of light soy sauce in my luggage. Sure enough one of them didn’t make it through the many tossings and had leaked all over all but three pieces of clothing and some paperwork. I did think twice about putting it in my luggage, but I really didn’t have room in my carry on and I didn’t think it was going on a four day journey. Lesson learned. Huge bummer, I ended up hand washing all of the clothes I had had the luxury of washing in Richard and Joan’s washing machine in SF. The good news, Oxyclean came through and all of the soy sauce came out.

Once we finished the initial bag reconnaissance, we headed out for an afternoon of errands. We first ate lunch at the local Market, pizza by the slice. It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t say it was good either, mediocre is a good word. We then headed to the industrial area to believe it or not look at a large tub we had seen. I was thinking I would like a larger tub if I am going to be doing hand washing, but the tub was too big, I will stick to the five gallon buckets. We returned a couple of things Scott had bought and headed back to try to get my bangs cut, unfortunately the shop was closed.

While we were making phone calls that morning Scott called the mechanic to cancel the appointment for Tuesday morning. We didn’t feel comfortable with his estimate or his lack of enthusiasm and we don’t have the part yet. We also called Antoni, a man we met in Nuku Hiva who lives in Tahiti part of the time and Thailand the rest of the year. He said he will come by the boat sometime to say hello. It will be nice to see him again and to find out some local information from him. We are also hoping he might know a mechanic that could take a look at our poor sick outboard engine.

What’s a day without laundry? While I was on the side of the boat on Tuesday morning furiously rinsing out yet more laundry, Antoni stopped by to say hello. We made a plan to have lunch with him on Thursday. On our way over to the Internet café, we stopped by Novia to say hello. They were in the midst of replacing several shrouds, the last project on their list before leaving Papeete. We offered to come back and help James go up the mast when he was ready to install the new ones. We were speedy at the Internet, you have to be when you are paying by the minute and then set off for round two of the bang trim attempt. We found the shop open, but she couldn’t squeeze in my shaggy bangs for an hour. I was determined to get the mop out of my eyes so we decided to kill the time by window shopping. We ended up at a shop with a really nice pareo selection and Scott finally bought one. I had tried to talk him into one in Mexico, but he didn’t think tying a large brightly colored piece of cloth around himself was for him. After hearing a lot of men that are cruising find them comfortable to wear on the boat, he began to change his mind and then it only took seeing a really nice one with a big lizard on it to clinch it. He didn’t end up buying the one with the lizard, he got one with turtles instead. We decided to shop around for the one with the lizard at the Market for possibly a better price. Pareos are one of my favorite things to wear when we are at sea, the light fabric is really comfortable. I can’t wait to see Scott on the boat in his, it could be a picture for the website. The woman who cut my bangs did not speak a word of English, another customer was kind enough to translate. When she was finished with the lopping I asked how much and she waved her hands to gesture it was free, that was a surprise since everything is so expensive here.

We finally made it back to Novia just in time to help send James up the mast. He got his shrouds in the first try. We invited them over to the boat for a glass of wine to celebrate the completion of their project and it looked likely no one was in the mood to cook, so we would probably head to the trucks again. The options on the table ended up being McDonald’s or the trucks, the trucks won. Scott, James and Ann had steak and were very disappointed, I think there were secret regrets that McDonald’s hadn’t been the vote. I had stirred fried beef and onions which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Journal Entry – July 8 and 9, 2005 – Work! What happened to snorkeling on the white sand beach!

Author: Scott

We recently heard a story about some veteran cruisers who were at anchor in Tonga. They had been contacted by a prominent sailing magazine and invited to take part in a photographic feature. The cruisers agreed with zeal and made plans for a Saturday afternoon photo shoot. When the photo journalists arrived, covered in the latest gear, the cruisers were asked to do whatever they would normally do on a relaxing Saturday afternoon. However, we don’t want any shots of laundry hanging on the lifelines, no photos of boat maintenance. How about grilling some scrumptious fish fillets?” The yachties were planning on eating spaghetti because they had no refrigerator at the time. “Well maybe you could just go for a sail today.” The couple looked around at everything strewn around the boat that has a place but wasn’t in it, and they knew sailing today was would be a challenge. There was also the fact the engine was partially disassembled due to the latest engine project, so sailing was for sure out of the question.

“Well let me get this straight”, said the journalist. You don’t have anything to do other than laundry and work on your boat. You can’t take a day off for a sail because you have a broken engine, and you are stuck on your boat with only spaghetti to eat. We can’t possibly shoot any of this; we need to get photos of the sailing life.

The couple looked at each other and smiled. “Well we were happy to provide you with material to share about real life abroad a sailboat, we’re sorry we can’t help you out.

This story is very apropos for our weekend in Papeete. When we email or talk to friends and family at home, we are often chided with sweetly sarcastic comments about our luxurious life on the white sand beaches, with nothing more to consider than whether we should have a maitai or a pina colada next. Now, I don’t mean to whine because we are having an adventure of a lifetime, but so often this escapade finds us with a hand down the head, or our bodies hanging over the engine. The cruising life is certainly a rugged life where a day can be completely filled with laundry by hand. Grocery shopping can be a trip to three different locations, hoping to find a single ingredient at each stop. And then there is the language barrier, we have become epic charades players.

This weekend was spent as modern day Gilligan’s Island refugees still stranded without an engine. We had lots of work to do including most of our laundry; at least we had abundant fresh water. Our one new food experiment for this journal entry was a chow mein sandwich which we had for lunch at the market on Friday. It tasted like you might image, greasy chow mein competing for taste bud attention from the not so fresh baguette bread. There were baguettes with all sorts of things on them like fish and chips or chicken and French fries with catsup.. Now French fries on a sandwich roll is certainly a cultural shift for us. I think you can find just about anything served on a baguette in the French Polynesia.

We also decided to investigate the option of fixing the engine with an external high quality water pump, and found exactly the right thing at a shop in the industrial area. However, we also spoke to Terry our mechanic friend in the states and he felt it was an unnecessary use of money and that we should be able to get the engine repaired correctly since we have the parts on the way. Just when you have a plan, you get conflicting information that makes you rethink it. So, we are back to finding a way for Terry to fly out to fix the engine, and the engine saga continues…

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Journal Entry – July 7, 2005 – The Pamster Back in Papeete!

Author: Scott

I tossed and turned through the early morning of July 7, Pam was somewhere up in the air over the Pacific Ocean and although I had dutifully set my alarm for 0430, I was sure I would sleep through the dreaded rooster call alarm and Pam would be standing in the terminal with hundreds of pounds of luggage cursing me. So, I finally crawled out of the sack at 0415 and tried to get myself into a presentable condition for my airport appearance. I had no idea how to get a taxi at this early hour, but I figured the Le Truck would be running by 0500 to get people to work, since life starts so early here in the tropics. On my way to the Le Truck stop I stopped at the small corner walk-up café by the mall to find a cup of coffee. They were not quite open yet, but the nice lady behind the counter had pity on me and poured me a cup, pulled out all of the accoutrements, and then didn’t even charge me sine she did not have the cash register ready. Life was looking good, I got up on time and got free coffee! I wandered on down the street with Papeete coming alive before my eyes. Shopkeepers were pulling open their security grates, I could smell fresh bread baking, the first of the business people dressed in comfortable tropical attire were making their debut for the day, and a few strays coming home from a night of partying were creeping around. I walked right up to the Le Truck stop since Pam and I had already staked the stop out on our trip to find her ticket at DHL. There was a bus running and ready to go, so I paid my fare and stepped aboard with the confidence of a local. As the bus pulled into traffic it was just after 0500 and I was going to be right on time.

I arrived at the airport and headed straight to the reception area where all of the people meeting those on the airplane stand around and stare blankly at the foreboding and mysterious electric doors shrouded with opaque glass. Behind the doors are the spooky customs and immigration people waiting to pounce on and seize the luggage from our beloved ones. There was a distinct difference between me and the others waiting, they had flowered leis and I had nada, not ever a single flower. Even the little kids waiting were layered in fresh flowers. Where did they get them and how could I meet Pam without a lei? I quickly looked around and there was no visible source for the flowers. Could all of these people possibly think far enough in advance to buy a lei the prior day? I momentarily considered stealing a lay from the rack near where the tour companies corral their guests upon arrival. I had already scored free coffee; maybe I could plead my way into a free lei. Just then I had to abandon my plan as the magic passageway opened and passengers started spewing out looking haggard, ecstatic to see family and friends, and some full of energy to start their long awaited vacation. As the passengers poured out and the families rushed forward I had to duck, roll, squirm and slither to stay in the front so I could see Pam in the chaos. Me and a six year old were jockeying for a better position and of course the little beast had about fifty leis to greet her loved one with, brat! Thoughts of working a deal with the munchkin fluttered through my brain, “hey kid I will give you 500 francs for one of those leis”. The hoard kept on coming and coming. People greeting, lassoing each other with leis and there was lots and lots of that interesting kissy greeting thing that is common here in French Polynesia, where people bump each of their cheeks and make a kiss smack without actually sharing a single micro organism. Pam and I are still working on perfecting the kissy greeting. After countless people passed and were reunited the stream started to get a little thin and there was no Pam. Could this all be a sick joke to make me get up at 0430 and she would really roll in around noon? Did she miss her plane? No way, not Pam! Where oh where could little Pam be, oh where oh where could she be? Maybe she knew that I was leiless and didn’t want to face the humiliation of arrival with no flowers. Finally, the doors slid closed with finality, and there was just little old me standing there by myself with the tour people packing up. I just stood there transfixed in a trance staring at the wall of glass doors wondering what to do next when suddenly the door slid open and Pam came out with an official looking person in tow. “They can’t find one of my bags, and I forgot to bring my bond receipt, so they are going to keep my passport” she pelted at me. “I have to go back in, I will be back in a few minutes.” And then she was gone, back into the depths of the travel dungeon. Here I was worried about not having a lei and Pam was being held captive by the spooky Immigration people.

There was no place to sit so I just stood there looking like the last kid to get picked up from school, and I waited. Eventually Pam came out with a cart full of luggage looking surprisingly chipper for an immigration POW. Pam explained that Air France had in fact lost a piece of her precious luggage bursting with all of our treasured supplies from the States, and to make matters worse they kept her passport because she was arriving in Tahiti at the end of a round trip ticket with no proof of paying a bond. She would have to return immediately to the airport with proof to get her passport back. We found a taxi and piled Pam’s remaining ton of luggage inside and headed off to the boat. Pam was back! Back to a world of hauling your luggage onto a boat via a dinghy ride from the quay, back to a world where nothing she brought back would have an easy place to be stowed, back to a still broken engine, but she was back diving head first into the adventure.

We managed to get everything on board Tournesol and Pam wanted to show me what she brought back with her, minus the MIA 70 pound bag. When she was finished my lovely boat that I had worked so hard to prepare for Pam’s arrival looked like Christmas at the Brady Bunch house, we had great stuff everywhere. We sat back stuffing our faces with chocolate covered cashews and gooey black licorice from Trader Joe’s and Pam began to tell me about her whirlwind trip to the US. Soon we had to face the music and return to the airport to retrieve Pam’s passport being held hostage. Back to Le Truck! We got to the airport surprisingly quickly and were escorted into the inner sanctum of the Immigration Police. Pam showed her papers to the official and was quickly giver her passport. We were then escorted to the baggage office where we were told that the bag was not yet located on the computer and would probably arrive in the next few days. Of course we don’t have a phone so we had to settle for getting all of the office hours for the baggage office so we could call in for status reports. We asked if Air Frnce would be able to deliver the bag and if they would cover the cost of our extra taxi ride. Without a flinch we were told that the airline would like to offer us 1,800 CFP or about $200 for our inconvenience and all of a sudden the inconvenience wasn’t quite so bad as long as they find the bag.

We had lunch with a little of our lost luggage money and then returned to the boat for a well deserved nap. We slept amongst our peaches in vanilla sauce and stainless steel boat parts and the rest was heavenly. When we awoke it was time to get ready for the Heiva show. Poor Pam who was probably disoriented and jetlagged was going to have to rise to the occasion because we had tickets for a night of Tahitian song and dance. We met Gill and Trevor from Last Call over at James and Ann’s boat Novia and we were all decked out in our finest tropical duds. Just as we all greeted each other the light misting we had had that afternoon turned into real rain. The rain grew steady and we guessed the show was cancelled but decided to walk over to the theatre in the rain to see if it was rescheduled and to possibly get a refund if we could not attend on the rescheduled date. We learned that the show was rescheduled and that Gill and Trevor could not go that day due to a conflict. We talked it over with Ann and James and decided we would see the show on Sunday. We all walked back to the boats and Pam and I decided we would go eat at the trucks since the rain was letting up. We sat in the mist eating steamy stir fry and I got another chapter in Pam’s adventure in the states.