Dear F&F,

This is the companion post to our “12 – 2009 – Tahiti Boat Projects” photo
gallery.

The photos show about 10% of what we actually did. I don’t want to bore
you with too many details and the photos pretty much tell the story. Some
of the nice “Tahiti Topside” photos of the sister island of Moorea were
taken while Cindy hauled me 75 feet off the water; up the mast. We had
broken our sail track on the way from the Galapagos to the Marquesas and it
took us the better part of five days to replace it. While “aloft” I took
some cool photos of the Marina and Moorea. (See our 09_2009 Tahiti Topside
Photo Gallery).

It’s the middle of Summer here and while you all in the Northern Hemisphere
are emailing us about how wet and cold it is in the US, Canada and Europe,
it’s hotter than blazes down here in the Southern Hemisphere summer. Think
“Palm Springs in August”. As we don’t have a car and we have lots to do
aboard the boat, a bit of cabin fever (at least cool cabin fever) has set
in. Also, as this is an “El Nino” year, we get to watch for the errant
HURRICANE that occasionally threatens French Polynesia. So far, only OLI
(As of February 24th, 2010) has done some area wide mischief here. A tree
next to the boat fell down. The island of Tubuai to our south was not so
lucky. They got a direct hit, one life lost and 200 homes destroyed. READ
THAT AS ALL THE HOMES WERE DESTROYED. It blew 60 knots in the marina here
for several hours. The small side of Tahiti, Tahiti Nui had 100 mph winds
for awhile. Glad we weren’t there!… The Hurricane never came closer to
Tahiti than 170 miles. SO, you can imagine being in the way of a Catagory
3-5 hurricane like KATRINA.

Cindy has been more than patient during all of the boat project and weather
challenges. Her mantra is: “It will all be okay IF: “YOU GET ME IN THE
WATER”. This has been our second “summer” in the wrong hemisphere in very
hot weather. We will try not to repeat this a third time.

On two trips we’ve taken to Los Angeles so far, we’ve brought back over 350
lbs of spare boat parts and “stuff”…..It’s getting harder to find a place to
put it all.

*A partial, but by no means complete list. If you’re a glutton for boat
project punishment……read on: (Disclaimer) – Children under 13 and Women of
any age may need to be protected from this list; skip to end if this
describes you.*

Replace Zincs on propellers, grease propellers, clean hull, replace zincs on
refrigeration/freezer units (underwater heat exchangers like a radiator in a
car)

Recharge, evacuate, troubleshoot Refrigeration/Freezer issue

Chase ANTS that got aboard.

Rebuild main toilet

Clean out all toilet lines that have stopped up over 5+ years.

Seal deck seam tape inside to insure no leakage when at sea.

Replace escape hatch gaskets and reseal side port lights/replace gaskets

Hydraulic steering fluid replacement

Engines: replace oil and filters. Fuel filters, primary and secondary. Lap
cone clutch on starboard transmission. Tighten motor mounts. Reline engine
room and generator room sound material.

Generator: EVERYTHING. New electronic governor, new capacitors, coolant
leak, fuel air leak.

Air Conditioning Main: Re-wire for 220 volt/50-60 hz power. Fix plumbing
leaks, replace 3 cooling sensors.

New Little Air Conditioning: Install….TWICE…Complete

Mast/Rigging: Replace leisure furl in boom furler track, gooseneck shims.

Maintain all deck hardware due to UV damage including all shock cords, zip
ties, rings, cotters, etc.

Wash boat and Wax (in April)

Paint and repair washer/dryer

INVENTORY EVERYTHING on a spread sheet.

New AIS (automatic identification system), update software in
chartplotters.

New little inverter for computers, old one fried on Galapagos crossing.

Complete SCUBA compressor maintenance

Lots of deck hardware/anchor roller maintenance

Repair window screens and canvass

Repair mainsail chafe, genneker tear, spinnaker sock tears

Remove and replace water tanks and replace gauge sensors

Replaced all interior ventilation fans.

Replaced all Watermaker filters and main water system filters

Lots of wiring clean up

Drawers needed hardware fixing

Radio modem for “at sea email” needed re-cabling

Finish work on several wood pieces and vents

Clean and organize everything….mildew is a bitch!

Gee when I see it written down this way, It doesn’t look like that much. I
know forgot lots; most likely a mental block.

We have put in approximately 4 months of 5 day weeks doing all this
stuff….only about 2 weeks to go as of this posting in late February 2010.

And you all thought we were retired!….

Happy Holidays,

KIT (keep in touch),

Scott and Cindy

Dear F&F,

We had been working constantly on the boat without many breaks and only one
days diving. There is much to see here, so we decided to “take the day off”
and drive around the island by car. On this trip, we would go to the home
of Alex, Heike and baby Yann.

Alex runs a commercial aquarium service in Los Angeles and is married to
Heike who used to be the manager of “The Boat Yard” in Marina del Rey,
California. They had baby Yann (cutest little guy ever!) here in Tahiti
where Alex was born. Alex is a US citizen as his Mom is. Here in French
Polynesia, he has a commercial aquarium collection service and is licensed
to import fish to the US for re-sale.

We’ve been in email touch for a long time and finally got to catch up. Alex
and Heike have been very helpful in many ways here, both being fluent in
French and knowing where everything is in the way of parts and
services. They’ve
included us in some gatherings with friends and introduced us to US Consul
Christopher Kozely who has helped us with some business stuff as well.

So, we’ll let the photo gallery tell the story……see: “12-2009 Tahiti Land
Redux”

Enjoy,

Scott & Cindy

Dear F&F,

We watched the 170 or so outrigger canoes begin the race right past
where we were anchored at Huahine. There were about 100 other boats
following, escort power boats, families, & other tourist/observers
like us. The shore was lined with 100’s of people cheering them on. It
is a colorful & festive spectacle. It was 4 hours to Raiatea. The lead
outriggers kept up a pace of almost 8 knots. About as fast as “Beach
House” motors. The sea was kind of lumpy, which makes their work
harder. We had to pay close attention to not hit another spectator
boat and stay out of the path of the paddlers.

The shore at the finish of today’s leg had lots of banners & 100’s
more cheering fans too. The Shell Oil team (7 year winner) came in
first. We proudly wore our logo gear given to us by our dock neighbor
Stanley.

We called Jerry Woods cell phone. He is an American boater who we
first met in Ensenada on his Catana 53 catamaran, who bought a house
on Raiatea. He stood on his dock waving. It was not sheltered enough
to anchor right by his house, so we settled near a motu (islet) then
took the dinghy in to visit. The house is nice & airy, wonderful view
of the pass & lagoon. He drove us into town where there was much
post-race revelry. He bought some fruit & wine & we enjoyed visiting
with him back at the house. We ended up moving the boat to an even
more calm area overnight, near the airport. We were able to pick up a
mooring which makes it easy.

November 5th
We didn’t know the start time of today’s race so we slipped our lines
by 7:45 a.m. Turns out the start wasn’t until 9. There were A LOT more
boats following the race today between Raiatea & Tahaa, at least 400!
It felt like we were in the Indy 500 or something. It was remarkable.
I was glad to feel more exhilarated than afraid. I don’t love driving
in close quarters, but everyone was pretty well behaved & we didn’t
see any collisions which is a miracle. Except for the front 2-3
canoes, the others had really lumpy water to paddle through due to the
wakes of all the spectator and coaching boats. We were impressed that
the paddlers kept up a pace of nearly 8 knots for 2 hours. Only
slowing a bit when they hit 15 knot head winds. We kept our distance
from the finish in order not to get trapped in the pack. A different
team, The Tahiti Post Office (OPT) won today, so it keeps it
interesting.

We called our friend Wilfred, assistant manager of the Pearl Beach
Hotel in Tikihau. There is a Pearl Beach property on Tahaa, we
inquired about anchoring there. He called the manager for us & told us
it would be fine. We ended up staying only briefly because the swell
was very lumpy. We moved a ways down to a deep bay where we have a
nice breeze but flat water. Scott changed the transmission oil while I
hung the laundry. We are settled here with only 2 other boats. We saw
many of the smaller power boats zooming back to Raiatea after the
race. The logistics of housing & feeding the 170 x 6 men teams of
racers on each island is really a feat. There were women’s crews as
well, but not nearly as many.

The last race day is tomorrow, Tahaa to Bora Bora. It is such a
striking island, made famous as “Bali Hai” in the movie South Pacific.
That will be about a 4 hour run. We intend to go ashore tomorrow to
partake of the end of race festivities. And we’ll probably spend
several days at each island as we work our way back to Tahiti. It has
been a great excuse to get out & explore.

Cindy & Scott