Thursday, October 30, 2008

Funafuti Tuvalu Arrival

Here safe and sound. We arrived last night after dark, and waited 10 miles off for the daylight to come into the lagoon. This morning we motor sailed up to the pass and then the 5 miles across the lagoon and anchored about 11:00.

As Aunt Kitty always says, "If it weren't for bad luck, We'd have no luck at all!". Yep, it started when I noticed the foil for the roller furler was not acting right. It has a channel of aluminum inside to hook each section together. The bottom one that hooks the main foil to the drum to wind up the sail had sheared off, making it difficult to roll up the jib (the big sail in front). Its not too serious to fix here at anchor, I'm just glad it didn't tear the sail before we got here. Then it quit
steering. Auto kept loosing the course. I tried all the usual fixes to get it to work then giving up went below to check the ropes and pulleys that had failed on the way to the Marquesas. Then I noticed the quadrant had broken off. No fixing that at sea, it'll take a stainless welder to put it back. I sure hope there is one here. That was night before last, so we were hand steering the last day and a half. While I was bored sitting there holding the wheel, I looked up and noticed a dark looking patch
near the top of the main sail! It was night, so I got out a big flashlight for a better look. Darn! The top seam of the sail had blown out. When they sew a sail, it makes a row of little holes in the material, just like the 'tear here' lines on the plastic bags. Yep, it did, right there all across the top section of the sail. As soon as the wind died back after the next rain squall (one of many in the last 4 days) We pulled it down. We finished a little slower with just the big jib (still nervous
about rolling it up with the broken foil) but we made it.

Just after we anchor, Trinda makes this pan of biscuits (just Bisquik) and butters up a couple and eats them. Then she notices the butter smells a little funny. We didn't realize that butter goes bad, but.... sitting on the pot or in front of it the whole 2 hours it take me to check in with the officials! She is just recovering enough to think about food again tonight!

Now for a few days fixing these things.

Funafuti reminds me a lot of Christmas Island, just more crowded. The folks I met during the check in seem very friendly.

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