Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 24, 2014

Just a quick update.  We are hoping to get to Field Trip and send emails soon.  They didn't answer their radio, so maybe are resting??

I spent the morning cleaning while most of the kids played on shore.  Then I sewed tabs onto the couch cushions so that they can't slide onto the floor and get thrown down, but after that I had a nice afternoon.  I got a quick motorcycle tour around the island, then a nice swim, then volleyball.  The water is welcoming; everyone had a nice swim this afternoon with kids on boogie boards and kayaks all over the place.  The last 2 afternoons we've played volleyball on the beach.  Going quite well with the teams here.  We have Moana Roa, Field Trip, and us. Elena arrived this afternoon.  Cowabunga has 5 people in their 20's or early 30's on it, so they keep the game moving!

We usually eat at 5, but tonight got home at 6:30 and had to make a rush dinner for hungry, wet, tired kids.  They had a great afternoon.  We may do a campfire onshore tomorrow for dinner so they get food while we all play.  They get chilly as the sun goes down and ask for a fire each night.  May as well plan ahead for it and do it tomorrow, marshmallows and all.

Integrity had a cold type illness, then Vitality, now Valiant.  They all seemed to be doing better until this morning Vitality woke up with a huge swollen left cheek saying it hurt from a ball hitting her yesterday.  She appears to have a large swollen lymph node.  Other than discomfort, she's doing great.  No more fever, appetite and energy are good, so when you don't remind her, she's fine.

I think everyone's going to sleep well tonight.  In a few days we'll head up to the main town where the grocery store is right across from the dock and propane is right next door to that.  It’s easy to do errands up there.  There are some ruins there and an area where they have blue-eyed eels apparently.  Also a map shows an area with a natural aquarium, so likely some good snorkeling.  The beach here is so inviting, and our friend came over from Raitea and indicated that this was much nicer over here, so we're in no rush to leave.  Two other kid boats, Dafne and Caminante may also be coming over here in the next few days, so we're getting a pretty good crowd.  Everyone's missing Cassidy here!!  Haven't seen Hot Spur lately, since they left Tahiti.

Looking forward to getting our marine radio back.



So for the last 2 afternoons we have been playing volleyball with some of the other cruisers. Now truth be told we did all right, even without Bigfoot and Cassidy. There is strangely enough a large flat grassy area with super soft/plushy grass that is just perfect for playing. As the afternoon the guys end up on the volleyball field, the wives all gathered around swapping recipes, and the children playing together some version of hide-n-seek/tag.

Having 2 sails, two rudders, and two engines sure makes cruising easy! Now if we just had a functioning radio!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Honeymoon Beach -

Finally the rudder is complete, and re-installed. About 5 different boats all came and helped at different stages of the removal, drop off, pick-up, and re-installation. The re-construction was done by Shannon and me, and is no where near Vision or Loyal standards, but is a typical "quality" Courage operation. The shaft still has some curves in it, and the cracks are only about as big as my fingernail.  I am figuring that it should be strong enough to last until our return to America sometime late next year.  And the prop that we had straightened is back on and hardly wobbles at all - - (At east not at the low RPM's.).  It is even better than it was after we hit the log.

We are now at Honeymoon beach. This is the same place we stayed 11 years ago on our Honeymoon!! There is a beautiful beach, and the water is deep so we can anchor pretty close to the shore.  We just left a super fantastic place that our friends on Alba told us about. 

There is a deaf/mute guy there who is wonderful and loves sharing his beautiful motu with everyone. We went for a ride on the motorcycle all around the island, and he showed me all the great secret beaches that I should explore. The people that we meet are one of the best parts of the traveling, even when you speak with just your hands and drawing pictures!


Sunken Boats

So there is this giant government boat that comes and does searches of your boat to see if you have anything that is not declared. We got searched in Nuku Hiva.  Well the story goes that they were here in Tahiti, got drunk, found some nice women, and took their small ship out for a spin. Unfortunately they hit a reef and sunk their customs boat.

In our anchorage here there is a sunken boat that a fellow cruiser found when he could not pull up his anchor. Very interesting to dive on! It appears to have been down there for less than a year, and still has the winches, chain, fishing rods, and everything else. It looks like it was once a nice boat.


July 19, 2014 -

This morning we swam with the sting rays (and a few sharks), snorkeled over some sunken art, walked/played on a white sandy beach, then returned to the boat.  We are having quiet time and likely going to Huahine this afternoon to arrive sometime tomorrow.

Courage has been rebuilding the rudder and it's looking nearly complete.  Needs many layers of fiberglass outer-coating, maybe some sanding, some bottom paint, and it's done.  He used spray foam, which isn't as strong, but it's what we had available.  We don't really plan on hitting anything else anyway, and with the welded straight shaft, we really can't be taking on force anyway.  Our straightened prop is doing well for us and our spare prop from the shipwreck is on our back steps, but looks great.

We dove on the shipwreck and got the lifelines to make them into a nice dinghy anti-theft wire.  We ran out of air in the SCUBA tank, so we went up, but I wanted to see more of the boat.  Maybe next time in Tahiti we can fill our tanks and dive again.

We also helped another boat with US fittings gravity fill their propane tanks (cheaper), then we kept the French tank and bought ourselves a fitting so that we can use it since gravity filling the tanks only gets our tanks partially filled and takes a long time.  We understand that we can use the French tanks, exchange them (for a fee) whenever they are empty, and then return it for a refund of the deposit when we are leaving French territory.  We'll see how this goes.  Gravity filling was OK, but not great.  Maybe buying into their system will be better.

It was so nice to have fresh stuff again; I loaded up on everything I thought we could eat before it rotted just before we left.  The kids LOVE it!  We had apples for snack, pears, tangerines, and mangos for lunch.  They ate all the yellow bananas, but we still have a few bundles of green bananas.  The fruit from the Marquesas is significantly cheaper than the other fruit around here - mostly US and New Zealand.  Marquesan bananas are 72 cents per kilo, whereas other bananas are 1.30 per kilo.  Marquesan limes were $1.00 per kilo while other limes are $3.50 per kilo.  Grapefruit are 89 cents per kilo; there are no other grapefruit.  But apples are $3.50 per kilo, tangerines $4.30 per kilo, nectarines $13.95 per kilo, plums $12.00 per kilo, strawberries $13.00 per kilo, etc.  They look great, but are ridiculously priced.  Potatoes are $1.14 per kilo and carrots $1.00 per kilo, so those are more our speed.  They also have nice lettuce for $2.00 per kilo (which goes a long way).  It's very interesting to me to see where all the food around here comes from.  Nothing is close, so there is food from everywhere - Asia, New Zealand, US, Europe, etc.  Interesting collection.  Things you don't see in the US - canned butter (good for tropics when you can't refrigerate), radiated milk in boxes on the shelves (non-refrigerated), literally legs of lamb sitting in bags in the freezer section (I saw a cart with 3 of them in it at check-out, very bizarre).  But in general, the grocery store by the marina is huge and has everything we could think of American, plus these other sections and items.  It's nice, you just have to be selective about the prices for the imported items or it can add up pretty quick!!  Best of all, baguettes are $.50 each.  So you could get 26 baguettes or one kilo of nectarines. . .