Well, our necessary replacement parts traveled for over two weeks DHL style from S.B. to L.A., OH, NY, Sydney AU, New Zealand sitting there for a week, making for a long slow trip to Papeete, Tahiti where we are currently waiting for them to clear customs. “I guess we should have used FedEx,” like everyone in their old ad campaign proclaimed. Now with some luck we can get the new alternators installed and have a fully functioning boat again shortly. While hopefully improving the system, to limit the charging of the alternators with an alternator temperature sensor should they start to overheat and a “centerfielder” device to coordinate charging between the two sides, when both engines are running simultaneously. Will it all work and go smoothly? Answer, it’s a boat, and the first rule of boats should be. If you don’t want problems don’t be involved with boats. Once you realize that, the stress of boat problems just washes away, into the deep blue sea.
Our friends on “In Motion,” all great folks, were having similar issues with their basically new Mega-Sail Yacht; Hydraulic problems, compounded by wrong part problems and DHL fucktness too. Trying desperately to make a Monday March 9th departure date heading up-wind, the wrong way, to the Galapagos, driven by the prevailing winds of her removed from the journey owner. On our last BBQ Friday night with them, that Christian and Danny (their lovely crew) helped put together, their compounding problems had driven their engineer almost to the breaking point and it was quite odd to find such a stressed out individual in Tahiti. But, as luck would have it for them or rather $700 bucks on a Saturday, for customs officials to go to work. They received their tardy parts and their visiting, expensive, sitting on his ass for days now hydraulic technician had the problem licked, with plenty of time to spare for their planned Monday departure.
It will be sad to see them all go, we have had the pleasure of spending months of time with them all, as our neighbors in Marina Taina and everyone aboard “Natural Mystic” wishes them safe sailing and no winds on their passage to the land of Darwin, because there is zero chance of having fair winds, unless you go way, way out of the way.
As for the “Natty M” boys, we don’t seem to get too stressed out about it all, it is totally out of our control and we might as well enjoy life in the meantime. Now imagine this, a Tahitian culture that emphasizes relaxin’ in the first place, combine that with all the excess holidays of the French and one has a culture with heaps of days off work and as you’re on an island, you don’t travel someplace, you party! Thursday rolled around, another Tahitian holiday, with no waves, but bright sun, which equals Sand Bar party. You make friends here real quick and what do you do when they all offer you ice cold Hinanos and good vibes, but quench your thirst. One thing leads to another and soon your partying Tahitian style, in turquoise waist deep warm water, with tons of scantily clad and half scantly clad girls and women dancing on top of boats, SUP boards, and most anything that semi-floats and the good times quickly turn classic.
I helped ferry over round two and some more ice from a stash in a nearby car, and as “Red Rocket” is low in the water when compared to the bigger boats, it made a perfect floating platform to put ice and drinks in for people to grab, unfortunately. The previous day, our point and shoot “waterproof” camera leaked, while we took a picture of a repair we made to a crack in the faring plate around the port sail drive. Once out of the water it wouldn’t turn on, but to Dom’s credit and perseverance, he huffed and puffed some hot air and magic into the device and got the camera functioning again. I don’t know how long it would have stayed working, as saltwater did penetrate it, but the camera was working again, unfortunately we never were able to confirm this. It came with me to the Sand Bar and I had it stashed intermittently in “Red Rocket,” trying not to get it too wet again, while everyone snapped plenty of party pics. Tons of funny photos of me with older topless Tahitian women who took a particular liking to me existed on that camera, when I noticed it had vanished some where during the fiesta. Oh well, ce la vie, as they say over here, its nothing we can’t eventually replace. So, you don’t get lots of pictures of this Blog as a result, which really is too bad in this case, but with some luck maybe they will turn up in next year’s Tahitian Topless calendar that dot the shelves of every tourist store here. And there is even more hope however as, new batteries for our old backup camera should arrive with the tardy DHL shipment breathing new life into a long dead digital life form.
And so, there is also no photographic evidence to document the longest trip we had yet to undertake in “Red Rocket.” Dom was off on a hot date, and I growing weary of our lengthy stay in Tahiti and wanting to get away from it all, jammed over to Haapiti on Morea. Scoring some fun waves on a mediocre surf day for Tahiti Nui. “Red Rocket” blasted across the fairly narrow channel, 10 NM and obviously trade wind absent day with no problems, allowing us to breathe in the lush, calming air of this garden island. For we have been on the city island for way too long now and I could feel my soul revitalized and soothed, from the relative rushed pace of life on Tahiti Nui. The long churning lefts allowed me to whack away all my aggression on the pitching lips and carve away my worries and my continuing interaction with the French was tested yet again, as one French surfer said something to me in a not so pleasant tone (I find you really don’t need to understand the language to understand the French) and I just replied with a boisterous “NO.” Instantly resulting in a look of pure astonishment, that a person existed who had the audacity to talk to a Frenchman in such a manner. My Tahitian friends in the water were all laughing and doing imitations of the quizzical look of the Frenchman, as they filled me in on the meaning of his words and my appropriate response was confirmed. The little adventure was absolutely great fun and a jumbly ride back across followed, as N and S swells collided, bringing back memories of crossing the treacherous Santa Barbara, Channel, as I did so many times on “Jackpot” the sea urchin fishing boat I worked on for a year and like the SB Channel its totally doable, if you are prepared with a good boat and proper offshore kit. With a cell phone, VHF radio, GPS, flares, warm clothes even in the tropics and enough food and water to last you a little while should you need it.
As, typical for Tahiti there are fun things to do somewhere most all the time and everyone has been getting their share of fun in. Whether it be more Taapuna sessions or some of the boys romantic themed surf expeditions over to the N. Side with its easier on your flesh beach breaks I have still yet to surf or hiking expeditions to the top of Tahitian mountains, that Dom and Kahlil arduously conquered one day. Unexpectedly spawning an unreciprocated gay love affair towards Kahlil by one way too friendly local, who generously gave the exhausted, sweaty, muscular, handsome boys a ride home. Culminating days later in what had to be on of the funniest yet disturbing text message barrages the “Natty M” cell phone has ever received, causing raucous belts of laughter to emanate from the “Natty M,” breaching the typical tranquil silence of our nighttime anchorage and turning Kahlil just a bit rouge.
Yes, its truly hard not to enjoy yourself in Tahiti, a true land of plenty and its hard to imagine a better place to be stuck in for a little while, even if you do have to pay a high price to be here sometimes. I imagine we should have the replacement parts in our possession sometime before midweek and Patrick the man helping us install them hopefully has a semi-free schedule to perform the work, or else its going to be back to the Immigration Office once again, for yet another attempt at a visa extension, ours expire Thursday, March 19th. I’m kind of hoping this is the case, for it would be a shame to be unable to visit the famed leeward Tahitian islands of Bora Bora, Tahaa, Riatea and Huahine while we are in this neck of the oceans. Well, we’re all keeping our fingers crossed in the mean time and like always we will keep you informed to where the wind blows us next. Cheers – Kyber