“Let the Sunshine“

Monday April 5, walked around Papeete a bit today just abut everything is closed for Easter Monday. We did stop at Les Reves de Lucie and shared a delicious chocolate croissant.

Tuesday April 6, our new solar panels were delivered. They were partially installed, as we needed to get plastic washers requiring a walk to Ace hardware store. There has been an Ace hardware store in every country and city we’ve visited!

Sundowners on our boat with Andy and Alison on s/v Venture Lady, from the UK. They are a couple boats down from us.

Wednesday April 7, finished the solar panels install today.

Thursday April 8, decided to keep one of the older panels, and connected it in parallel with the two new panels. We walked a good 6 miles today. First to a solar panel store that sells parts, for a connector to combine the 3 solar panels, then to Maxi’s the store that has Costco and Sams Club’s products. Of course we pulled our wagon with us all day!

For dinner we went to the Urban Cafe. Great food, live music. We sat outside on the patio under umbrellas with lights and banana trees.

Friday April 9, I baked a loaf of sourdough bread today. It’s been awhile since my last bake. Bread here, well baguettes are subsidized by France and cost around 65 cents. Much cheaper than the cost of baking. Dan likes the bread in a loaf pan compared to a boule, better for sandwiches, which is a matter of opinion.

It took most of the day to mount a frame for the third solar panel to sit. We had to cut a couple holes in the Bimini as this one is attached to the pipes that support the canvas. There is a small shadow certain times of the day from the boom, but the added amperage going into the batteries out weighs that.

Saturday April 10, Happy First Birthday Cora!

We left the boat at just after 7am to get in line for our second Pfizer COVID shot, arrived at 7:20, they opened at 8am, left at 8:21am. They had 6 stations set up with 2 people giving shots at each station. It was quick and very organized. First shots were also being administered to others.

Afterwards we went to our favorite bakery/coffee shop Les Reves de Lucie and shared a chocolate croissant.

Sundowners with Graham and Janaki on s/v Leela.

“More Power Scotty”

Monday March 29, sundowners on our boat with Janaki and Graham from s/v Leela, she is originally from Australia, he’s from the UK. They had lived in the USA for about 20 years, in Texas and New Hampshire, as well as in Canada.

Tuesday March 30, our friends Didier and Magaly left for Raiatea this morning. We hope to meet up with them in the near future.

It was a walking day. Only 4.2 miles today but I don’t think I ever mentioned the temperature. It’s been in the low 90’s (for all of walks) with sunny skies little cloud cover.

Wednesday March 31, our DHL package arrived! We had to pay an additional $150 USD for DHL administration fees to get it.

This package is the new windlass gear box. The box was opened on the dock, as it is never good to bring corrugated cardboard on a boat. Roaches and other bugs have been known to lay eggs in the layers of the cardboard.

And of course the new part, same model number as the old is two inches longer. Fortunately it fit in the space with some effort.

We met up the boat near us at the restaurant next to the marina for drinks in the evening, Paul and Suzanne on s/v Rubis. They live on their boat here in French Polynesia. He is from France, she is Canadian.

Thursday April 1, we purchased two new solar panels for the boat today from a local company. They are each 320 Watts Monocrystalline, which will give us 50% increase in power. They will be delivered next week.

Friday April 2, today starts a 4 Easter day holiday in French Polynesia. Stores all closed by 11am today. We finished the windlass installation, putting back together the winch on the bow attached to the gearbox.

Saturday April 3, trip to grocery store, lunch at the ferry terminal, hung on the WiFi for a while, downloaded a movie and a few TV episodes.

Sunday April 4, Happy Easter. Went to Tahini Tourism, then to the ferry terminal to video chat with the kids. it was a very untraditional day for us, we made spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner.

Friends, Wine & Waiting

Thursday March 18, breakfast at the ferry terminal for free WiFi. Later purchased a new SIM card for my phone, $80 USD for 10G of data, that expires after 30 days. AT&T is supposed to work here through their International Day Pass, but it doesn’t, it’s only one bar of service, can’t even text.

For dinner I made smashed sweet potatoes, so good!

Friday March 19, chocolate day#16! The last one!

Tahiti is not a very big island. We’ve seen just about all of it. If our boat part was here we’d be off exploring other islands. So we wait…

It’s tough writing about everyday life on a boat, but it’s the memory we’re going for.

Saturday March 20, recently we connected through a closed Facebook group, sailboats that are going west the same as us. It’s looking like possibly 4 boats to buddy with crossing the Indian Ocean. We’ll coordinate later in year where to stop, which countries have opened up.

Sunday March 21, reading and sewing day. Dan also washed his clothes.

A little excitement last night. A boat was towed into the marina with engine troubles, they put it between us and another boat. We are are in a catamaran slip so it’s really wide. This boat had to be tied to us and the other boat on the adjacent dock. Not a good situation, hopefully they can fix it quickly.

Monday March 22, The boat next to us was fixed and they’re gone now.

Still waiting…Package update, the FedEx one went from LA back to hub in Memphis, now it’s in Paris! I’m thinking this is a good thing, as there are weekly flights from Paris to Papeete. Just wish we could collect frequent flyer miles from this package! The DHL box left LA went to New Zealand then back to the hub in Cincinnati. Wonder if it’s going to Paris also?

Tuesday March 23, I found DMC embroidery floss! Never thought I’d find that here. I only needed one color, so I picked up 2 skeins of it. Finished my cross stitch project with the exception of the metallic threads, those I left at home.

The small chapel is Chapelle de l’Évêché, Capel of the Sacred Heart, built in 1877 by Brother Théophile, remains one of the oldest buildings in Papeete. The grounds surrounding it are Gardens of the Bishopric, gardens of the bishop. It is very lush with many plants, flowers and trees.

On a sad note, friends we met are leaving Thursday on a medical transport evacuation plane. He is currently in the hospital. They hired a captain to sail the boat back home. Hope all goes well for them.

Wednesday March 24, had sundowners with Didier and Magaly on s/v Falbala, they are from France, also on a 2.5 year circumnavigation like us. Served were traditional French hors d’oeuvres, Cod liver pâté on baguette slices, with and without a dill pickle gherkin, and a really intense Brie spread also on bread. They also shared two exceptional white French wines. If plans work, out we’ll cross the Indian Ocean with them to South Africa, then north up the Atlantic Ocean.

Thursday March 25, Magaly and I went clothes shopping. We both purchased a few of dresses. Dan helped Didier tune the standing rigging on their boat, as we have a large loose gauge.

Friday March 26, went to JoJo’s for pizza, this time we did take out and went back to the boat.

Saturday March 27, we had lunch at Miri Miri Tea House, it’s next to Tahiti Tourism we can pick up their WiFi there.

For dinner we cooked a Duck breast that friends gave us. I thought it tasted like the dark meat on pork chops.

Sunday March 28, pancakes for breakfast, then walked to the Champion grocery store for a few items.

In the afternoon we fixed the spinnaker pole. The release line broke months ago.

In the evening sundowners on our boat with Didier and Magaly. I made a Buffalo chicken dip served with chips (an American dish), accompanied by red wine from California.

Still here in Tahiti

Wednesday March 10, found another store like the Polynesian Trading Company. This one is called Maxi. It also carries Costco and Sams Clubs bulk products. Both stores are very small but well stocked.

Our kids shipped us a package via FedEx on February 17, that hasn’t arrived yet. It went from Philadelphia to Memphis to Los Angeles. Then to Honolulu, to East Tamaki, (Auckland) New Zealand, back to Los Angeles! The boat part we are waiting for are in Los Angeles too. It has not quite been the world traveler. Started in Southampton, UK, went to Los Angeles then Cincinnati, back in Los Angeles on hold since February 16. We called the local FedEx and DHL (boat part) offices here, they are frustrated too with many customer complaints. As it turns out shippers put their cargo on passenger planes, right now French Polynesia is COVID closed. Hopefully they will reopen by the April.

Thursday March 11, on our walk today we stopped for brunch at this wonderful little coffee house with a delicious selection of French pastries. https://www.facebook.com/revesdelucie/

Friday March 12, walked to grocery store for a few produce item, 2 mile trip.

Chocolate day #14, we keep forgetting, so the schedule is now Tuesday and Friday. We’ll see if that works.

Saturday March 13, this morning along with two other boats here, s/v Tiapan and s/v Bliss, received our first COVID vaccine. We walked to the Presidential Palace where they had set up a mass vaccination center, no appointment needed. It was held under an outdoor pavilion. The process was relatively quick, less than 1.5 hours, there were close to 700 people. Numbers were handed out to those in line for counting purposes as they had 1100 doses available this day. We were also given a date for the second shot. There will be several mass vaccination centers around as they are eager to reopen the country.

Afterwards we all treated ourselves to French pastries, followed by sundowners on s/v Bliss in the evening.

Sunday March 14, started a new tradition today, Sunday morning pancakes. You see I have a Costco size bag of Krusteaz pancake mix I’d like not to go to waste.

The rest of day was R & R, as are most day as we’re still waiting for packages. After they arrive and the new windlass is installed we’ll leave Tahiti and start sailing west but not til after our second COVID shot.

Monday & Tuesday March 15,16, no side effects from our first vaccine. It was two relaxing days. I worked on my hand sewing project, Dan was writing on his computer.

Tuesday was chocolate day #15.

Wednesday March 17, ☘️ today we went for a long walk 4.5 miles, in search of a boat part. Had lunch at third floor rooftop restaurant. I went back to the boat, Dan got a hair cut. Tomorrow I’ll have to purchase a new SIM card for my phone as my data is almost gone.

We’ve been using WhatsApp for texting. It uses less data, that number is my cell number. (in case anyone wonders why I don’t return your texts) Facebook Messenger works well too.

Visit to Moorea

Sunday March 7, another trip to the ferry terminal for WiFi. Had to look up a few numbers for our accountant, aka daughter Danielle. While there, we video chatted with the kids, each individually, seems to work out better that way. We have found video chatting here works best through Facebook Messenger, must be their fast low bandwidth.

Monday March 8, trip to the ferry terminal, this time to purchase tickets. Tomorrow we really taking a private guided tour of Moorea. We had lunch there too, Cindy and Mark showed-up, and joined us.

Tuesday March 9, Moorea. On board the 8:10 ferry, we’re heading to the island of Moorea, taking a 4 hour tour with Ron from Safari Mario. We were his first tour in four months!

Some of the land in the center of the island is leased by the government to collective of 30 families. There they grow fruits, 80% go to the juice factory, they get the rest plus the juice profits. The factory also produces rum and champagne. None of the products are exported.

The view from The Magic Mountain. Moorea is surrounded by a coral reef.

Still Waiting

Sunday February 28, R & R on the boat. Dan has been reading the book “Robin”, a biography about Robin Williams. I brought along two craft projects that were started several years ago. The first project was counted cross stitch. I’m not finished with it but I can’t do any more as I need more of a few specific thread colors. The second is one Danielle and I started maybe 25 years ago? It’s an eye spy mini quilt made up of juvenile novelty fabrics cut in hexagons and solid colored triangles, English Paper Piecing, all sewn together by hand. I’m on row 6 of 15.

Monday March 1, we took the boat out for a short sail to fill up the gas tank. The gas dock is at another marina. For dinner we walked to JoJo’s pizza located the other side of the park. Dan played a game of foseball with our waiter, close game but Dan won.

Tuesday March 2, we hung out at the ferry station, good WiFi, had lunch, picked up a schedule. We’re thinking of taking a day trip by ferry, over to Moorea and possibly take a guided tour of the island.

Later we had sundowners at the outdoor bar next to the marina with Kris and David from s/v Taipan. Their boat is also here in the marina. We are both looking to sail to Fiji in the near future. They will be returning home to Australia completing their circumnavigation that began in 2004.

The world just got a little bit smaller, as Kris and David know our buddies on Saltair3! They were all friends in the Bahamas.

Chocolate day #12.

Wednesday March 3, boat projects in the morning, thunderstorms rolled through in the afternoon. Dan read, I sewed.

Thursday March 4, spent time at the Ferry terminal on WiFi, doing more research.

There were several significant earthquakes at the Kermadec Islands Region, northern New Zealand today, one as high as 8.1. This prompted tsunami warnings across many South Pacific Islands. Here in Papeete, officials said 60cm to 1.5 meter (2-5 ft) waves were possible or higher high tide levels. Some areas were evacuated. Nothing significant was noticed by us, we did follow all the updated reports. Tsunami sirens here were not sounded.

For dinner I made a cold pasta salad with shrimp, onion, green pepper, roasted red peppers, chick peas in a white wine lemon juice dressing. topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Friday March 5, it’s a cloudy day with little wind, so we turned-on the engine to charge the boat’s batteries. Yet, the engine was not charging the batteries! After an investigation of checking connections and wire continuity, we found a disconnected wire at the oil pressure sensor that provides an indication the motor is running… which “switches on” the voltage regulator. Problem solved saved $100’s of dollars!

Today is a public holiday in French Polynesia. It’s Missionary Day. Schools are closed as well as most businesses.

Saturday March 6, boat project day, it’s never ending. Today Dan added waterproofing to the Bimini. I read through Dan’s ASA text books. He’s an ASA sailing instructor. We went through all the review questions guess I know how sail! I learned a new valuable knot, the Rolling Hitch.

Chocolate Day #13.

Waiting days

Monday February 22, 3B’s is a local restaurant micro brewery with outdoor seating. On Mondays they have 1/2 price beer. We went there for dinner, it was a bit crowded for me be we were sitting on the outside edge.

Our windless broke when we were in the Tuamotu Islands. It’s a motorized device to lower and raise the anchor. We are on hold here waiting for the part to be delivered. It was ordered from the UK and is currently in Los Angeles, expected delivery early March, maybe.

Tuesday February 23, on Sunday at the market, Jaye purchased some Rambutans. She gave us a few to try. They are a tropical fruit, very sweet and sugary tasting. Cut open the the furry red outside to reveal the slippery white gelatin like fruit inside. There is also a pit within the white. Dan ate the pit too, he said it has the texture of coconut.

For dinner we had pizza with Cindy and Mark on their boat, ah air conditioning!

Wednesday February 24, spent a fair amount of time on WiFi at the Miri Miri Tea House, with snacks of course. Researching our next destinations. Sundowners with Brigitte and Guillaume on our boat. Also a delayed chocolate day # 11.

Thursday February 25, Brigitte took me to this fabulous Chinese owned craft store near the market. we both purchased some polyester strings and I got a few black pearls, had them drilled while we waited.

For dinner I made Wild Rice, Cabbage and Chickpea Pilaf, think this a new favorite of ours. Also added some sun dried tomatoes.

Friday February 26, Did I mention it’s hot here? When we were in Panama, we used an old Thistle Mainsail and Jib as a sunshade for the boat. We brought them out today to do the same thing except with a few modifications. We removed the bolt rope from the main and the cable from the jib, sewed those two straight edges ends together. The other sides were left alone, it works. For the bow, we have have a blue canvas salvaged dinghy cover from Hawaii, thanks to Mark and Beth.

Our new friends Brigitte and Guillaume departed today, they are heading back to the Tuamotu Islands. He has a job prospect as the dive manager at a resort.

Saturday February 27, just another day in paradise.

Life on a sailboat

Monday February 15, final provisioning day with the car, produce and perishables. Dan did errands with car in the morning and I baked a loaf of bread.

Sometimes in the evening we’ll watch a movie. We brought several CD’s with us. Movies weren’t high on our priority list when we set off on this journey. What we should have done, is loaded them all on an external hard drive for space savings. Not really sure where some of these movies came from, our kids I suspect. Anyway a few really bad ones, in our opinions, Just Friends and American Psycho, they may just get left behind somewhere.

Tuesday February 16, The rental car was returned today. We were able to pick up our refilled propane tank before dropping off the car. This tank is now filled with butane, they said it burns hotter than propane, another challenge. We also dropped off laundry at a cleaning service, no self serve coin operated machines here.

Had sundowners with Cindy and Mark on s/v Cream Puff, they are several boats down on our dock. She is from Texas he’s from the UK.

Wednesday February 17, picked up our laundry this morning. Also shopped for swim trunks for Dan. We added a one week extension at the marina.

Thursday February 18, boat projects day. Walked to Tahiti Tourism for WiFi, it still works outside their building after hours. It’s the best WiFi nearby. Dinner at the food trucks.

Friday February 19, a lovely rainy day! I was able to purchase a new SIM card today for internet, amazing how fast 10G of data goes. Later we video chatted with Beth and the boys, Luke, Mecca and the girls as well as with friends John and Joy.

Had sundowners with s/v Winsome, Jaye and Irwin. Jaye is a net controller on the the French Poly Net, on single sideband hight frequency radio. That’s how we met them. The Poly Net is a way for cruisers regularly to communicate for safety and social purposes. The broadcasts are twice a day. They were anchored by the airport here in Tahiti but came into the marina for a few days. Originally from the US, they had lived in several states, but have lived in Tahiti for over 5 years. Irwin used to sail small boats including Thistles!

Saturday February 20, rainy day! video chatted in the morning with Danielle and Mike, also Ben, Rachael and Cora, did boat projects rest of the day.

Sunday February 21, We went with Jaye to the Sunday morning outdoors farmers market. The best market we’ve seen. Produce is bundled in little basket, typically 1 for 300 or 2 for 500 CFP ($3 and $5 USD), or 1 for 200, 3 for 500 CFP. We shared several purchases of 2. Many vendors toss in a additional item, like we bought 2 bunches of bananas and an avocado was added to the bag. The produce tables were on several streets surrounding the Market, as well as vendors inside. Fish and meats are inside, we purchased a swordfish steak.

In afternoon we put the Sailrite on the deck so I could repair a tear in the sacrificial sunbrella on the Genoa. Dan decided to lower other halyards to check for chafing. The code sail had several bad spots, it was shortened by 4 feet.

Chocolate day #10. Grilled swordfish for dinner, with grilled zucchini.

Driving coastal Tahiti

Saturday February 13, with a rented car, were touring the island. Today we will explore the Eastern shore.

In 1769, James Cook was the first to explore the island on foot. Over the next 5 years other explorers had also walked the land. In 1818 building of a shipping port began. This area is the bay where today the city of Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia is. Tahiti was very isolated to maritime shipping routes until after the open of the Panama Canal when regular shipping lines began.

The first stop on our self guided tour was the James Norman Hall Museum. His most famous book was Mutiny on the Bounty, which he co-wrote with Charles Nordhoff, both Americans.

One of Captain Cooks exploration voyages in the South Pacific island was to observe the passage of Venus in front of the sun. The goal was to calculate the distance of the Earth from the Sun. He settled near a northern peninsula they now called Venus Point at what is now Matavai Bay.

Further south, the church of Tautira, completed in 1865, is dedicated to Our Lady of Peace. Tautira, for the Catholic mission. This is where the first Spanish Franciscan missionaries settled in 1774.

Sunday February 14 ❤️, day two of our adventure. Traveling down the Western shore there were many historic places or structures that are no longer there.

Where the road ends on the southern coast, in Teahupoo at the Havae Pass, has become world known area for championship surfing. The barrier reef lies very shallow and with a slowed distant drop off of the reef, this produces tunnels of waves. The water was quite calm on this day.

Chocolate day #9, again we missed that last scheduled one! Guess being Valentines Day it was meant to be❤️

After dinner, this big guy was swimming around the marina. (30 seconds with music)

Tahiti

Wednesday February 10, we arrived around noon. The morning was spent sailing through a horrible squall with lots of thunder and lightning and a downpour of rain.

After registering with the marina, we went to a local sandwich shop, then ate lunch by the water. Later headed off to the Tahiti Tourism Office, picked up a couple of maps and hung around a bit on their free WiFi.

Stopped by the Market but it was closed at 4pm.

Thursday February 11, Got caught up with social medial, added photos to Facebook and Instagram as well as published 2 blog post. Later we had lunch at a restaurant on the outdoor deck, by the water. Still arrived at the market too late. Walked around a lot, had drinks and appetizers at an outdoor bar on the waterfront.

When he was here in 1968, Bernard Moitessier mentioned in his book, “The Long Way” that he was disappointed with the construction of the new road along the warf 50+ years later it looks great, and we believe he’d be happy with what they’ve done with the place.

Friday February 12, on our daily walk, we finally made it to the market when it was open! Half of the area is produce and fish, the other is more miscellaneous vendors. We did buy some vanilla, and vanilla beans. Afterwards we had lunch, then stopped at the Tahiti Pearl Market.

How a hole is drilled in a pearl (9 seconds)

Early afternoon we picked up a rental car we reserved the day before. Did some non-perishable provisioning. First to the Polynesian Trading Company, they sell bulk items from Costco. Then to a really nice grocery store, Carrefour, it’s part department store, part food store, located in a mall.