Monday April 12, we are beginning preparation for leaving French Polynesia. As in most countries we’ve visited, the process is tedious with several places to visit, get papers emailed to the Harbormaster, go to customs, immigration, get a PCR COVID test. And of course they are not all in the same location.
We were visited in the afternoon by Sue and Mike from Australia, arriving in their dinghy, they are headed to Fiji this week also. I connected with Sue via Facebook.
Destination Fiji. We are participating in the Bula Fiji Rendezvous, an organized event to cruise around Fiji. This required filling out 9 documents for entry.
Sundowners with Kate and Graham (also from the UK) on their boat s/v Barracuda of Islay along with Alison and Andy from s/v Venture Lady. They are both participating in the Fiji event, will meet up with them there in a few weeks.
Tuesday April 13, unfortunately our 30 day extension request was denied.
We had lunch with Cindy and Mark at the Urban Cafe then walked to Institut Louis Malarde to get a required PCR COVID test for Fiji.
Wednesday April 14, went to customs office by dinghy this morning, it was maybe 5-10 minutes by boat, would have been 35 minutes walking one way.
Our world traveling FedEx package still stuck in Paris, with us leaving Friday, hopefully we can get it to Fiji.
In anticipation of our Friday departure, we fired-up the engine to ensure it would start. The engine started and worked just fine. However, afterwards the bilge pump continued to cycle once every 5 minutes or so. Uh Oh… water is leaking in the boat! Likely, the propeller shaft seal, which we’ve been keeping a close eye on since we’ve owned TRANCE.
Dan has always been nervous about this component. Yet, the adjustment and fix was much simpler than expected. During the fix, he thought water would gush-in all over the place, but only minor dripping when he released the existing set screws. Dan just needed to push the SS collar back/aft about 1/4 inch to squeeze the rubber bellows more (which was easy to do with the tap of a hammer), and then insert new set screws (We purchased two replacement kits before we started this trip). Now everything is dry again!
We understand some people don’t like these types of propeller shaft seals. Yet, now that we’ve had an issue with ours and understand its mechanics better, as well as how easy the fix was… it’s a keeper! http://www.shaftseal.com/pss-type-a-seal.html
Thursday April 15, Dan did a trial run to airport to Immigration, in the morning, by bus, so when we go on Friday we know exactly where to go. He took photos and we shared them with the three other boats here that are heading to Fiji also, and will be checking out of French Polynesia in Papeete.
Improving the quality of the boat’s watermaker… our last project before the passage to Fiji. Our watermaker was not producing quality drinking water. So, we decided to change the membrane cartridge. Another project easier than expected!
Friday April 16, bus trip to the airport to immigration, passports stamped. Thanks French Polynesia it’s been a wonderful 120 days! Off to Fiji!