Sunday, July 1, 2007

Another Sh*ty Day in Paradise

The first day in Tahiti was calm and beautiful. We relaxed and watched a movie as we rested from the rough crossing from Rangiroa. The next day we spent the day shopping. I found the marine stores and welding shops. They are all 10 to 15 blocks past the end of the bus lines. Lots of walking. Trinda found the craft supply store and the pearl stores too.
When we returned to the boat just before sundown it was apparent that we had dragged anchor some. We busily reset the anchor a little further form the neighbors and watch the wind build. During the night, the wind switched around to the south and came up to 25 to 30. We dragged a little again. We took down all the awnings and shade tarps and the boat settled down some and stopped moving. It then blew all the next day and the next. No one seems to have left their boats. This morning it seemed like
it was going to stop, but by 10:00 it was blowing 20 again.

The surf on the reef.

During the first blow, the dinghy was off the davits and the new block I ordered in Nuka Hiva came loose in the gusting wind and unstrung. One of the blocks and its shackles came completely off the line and sunk. It is about 60 feet deep, so it will be possible to scuba dive to look for it after the seas calm and settle. When we first anchored, I could see the bottom some, but the wind has stirred up the sand and added bubbles so visibility is below 30 feet now.

We haven't been able to visit the other boats because of the wind and waves. Even though we are inside the reef and there is less than a mile of open water, the wind waves are 2 to 3 feet high.

With the cool weather, we have had spaghetti and oxtail stew. I did make it ashore for bread and a few veggies. Trinda has been doing the laundry and polishing some shells.

Tomorrow, if the wind dies back like it is supposed to, I will go pickup the new heat exchanger for the transmission oil cooler and get the stanchion base welded.

Tahiti is very pretty from a distance. in town, the first "big" town we've seen in some time, there's lots of noise, dirt, traffic and air pollution. Everyone is rushing around and have little patience. There are two bus lines, the regular bus and 'la truck'. La truck is a small flatbed type truck with wooden seats along the insides, a roof and most have windows that can be closed. it is cheep, at 130cfp or about $1.50 each way the 5 miles to downtown Papeete.

Trinda says, "But it does have big grocery stores!" One called "Cost & Co" even has a lot of Kirkland brand stuff, just like Costco. The groceries are still very expensive. The only bargin here is bread. A regular French bagget is about 50 cents. eggs are $4 a dozen, beer is $60 a case for Hinaken and $50 for the local stuff, Hinino. Thank goodness we still have a little $20 Mexican beer left and don't have to buy it. All we could fit in our 2 back-packs was over $150, that's about 3 regular shopping
bags. The French have lots of tax on everything.

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