Bora Bora Island…..

Dear F&F,

MAY 8th-18th

May 8th – Saturday Keep on Diving

The two other couples today were fun. An American woman with her Polish
immigrant husband, now living in Seattle. She looked like and had the
mannerisms of a younger Meryl Streep, it was amazing! She said she is told
that all the time. She works as a voice actress: reading audio books, doing
commercials, etc. The other couple were from Guanajuato, Mexico which was
one of our off-boat trips that we really loved. We went with the dive boat
to the resort motu where they are based, so I had one last chance to give
C&V hugs & kisses. Clark was talking to the Italian honeymooners & she
reluctantly wrote down our website, teasing that she hates us. It was very
funny. It has really been a boost to view our life not only through the eyes
of C&V, but these other divers, vacationers, honeymooners. At the moment I
feel very light & able to laugh at everything. Even as our refrigerator is
still misbehaving… We may need to have a new evaporator shipped to Tahiti
then here. Scott believes that is the solution. Meanwhile there is much good
diving to do and the toilet project awaits. Scott is editing his underwater
video footage as I write.

It continues to be bloody hot, but I am acclimatizing. Yesterday I felt cold
during the second half of dive #1, the entire surface interval & all of dive
#2. Today I switched from my 3 mm to my 6 mm wetsuit, put on my cuter mask
and headband instead of the dorky beanie to be a better dive model. I was
toasty warm on both dives. Of course I am now still toasty warm, whereas
yesterday the hypothermia kept me cool all afternoon. I kept thinking, Ahh
it\’s finally cooler, but when I looked at the thermometer it was 91 outside..
It was just me. Today it\’s overcast, raining off and on and I feel hot at
87. C\’est la vie.

Tonight is a BBQ for the 13 boats moored at the Bora Bora Yacht Club. (Which
sounds way more grand than it is: just an open air bar.) I will take a 3
bean salad.

May 9th Work & May 10th Dive

After 5 hours yesterday, my Bulldog got our toilet working again! For now
anyway. I talked him out of an elaborate refrigeration repair that I was not
convinced was possible, would really work and might keep us stuck here or
send us back to Tahiti for weeks. I told him I was willing to live without a
fridge if it died. And even though that would add to the \”camping\” aspect of
boating, I will have the option of converting the unit in the guest cabin to
a fridge when we\’ve eaten up the food that is currently frozen. I think
Scott was relieved to not have to tackle that big job in the field. In New
Zealand we will have much better resources to parts & technical support. We
are really out here on our own now. I was so proud of him for fixing the
toilet. It was multiple problems, not just one easy fix, which is why we
didn\’t have success before C&V arrived. It is much more civilized to just
flush the toilet and not have to wrangle with it.

We did two dives with Gilles this morning. The two Italian guys were in our
group plus a solo Japanese gal. Another 5 went with dive master Patrick (See
Bora Bora UNDERWATER Gallery for photos of Patrick’s “motorcycle accident”).
The gang that went with Patrick are here filming the reality TV show
Bachelor. They were all in their early 30s. We definitely felt the age gap
with this young, hip group. They were nice, but so different from us. The
diving was not as spectacular as some other days, but still enjoyable.

After lunch and a short nap, we rallied to dive under the boat. The
propellers and all parts underneath really grow algae fast with the 85
degree water. We both worked 1 1/2 hours and did a good job. William & Jubee
(nickname for Julie) invited us onboard s/v Fuerte for happy hour. We all
hit it off well. Sadly, they will be leaving here soon back to Raiatea where
they will pick up a honeymoon couple for charter.

Tomorrow is work day: we must get under our bed to clean out the fuel tank
gauge that has algae growing on it. Scott will continue the wax job. I need
to do a lot of interior cleaning. We are watching the weather day by day. We
are not in a rush to leave, but could jump on to the next island whenever
there is a good forecast for the trip. We have pre-paid for 3 more days of
diving with Gilles\’s company, so with the alternate day work/play program it
will probably be another week, which is fine.

It continues to be bloody hot. Even submerged for over 3 hours today it
feels very toasty inside the boat. As soon as I sign off I am rushing down
to our cabin to enjoy the little air conditioning unit for an hour while we
run the generator to charge the batteries and make water.

May 11th

Scott is bravely waxing the boat section by section. It is a 4 step process..
First he uses rubbing compound in a slurry to get the oxidation off the
hull, then washes it off. After it dries, he applies the wax by hand, lets
it dry and the hardest part is buffing it out by hand. Too difficult at a
mooring to use a machine and we don’t have a good one anyway. This
afternoon we attacked the fuel tank under our bed. The digital gauge gave a
warning message that we have bad fuel in the starboard tank. Sure enough,
algae is growing in the diesel. We took out, cleaned & dried the sensor.
Then began the messy process of siphoning the fuel from the tank into 5
gallon jugs through a filter. I forgot to open the air vent in one tank so
it overflowed causing about a quart of diesel to go spewing all over our
bedroom floor and me! Yikes. We persevered siphoning about 40 gallons and
are letting the 8 x 5 gallon jugs sit overnight for any water/algae/crud to
settle overnight. Early tomorrow we we will re-filter the fuel and put it
back in our tanks. We re-installed the gauge & it seems accurate, but we
won\’t really know until we next top off. We still have to attend to the
leaky generator oil hose which seems to have multiple pin holes in it. Why?
We’re not sure, but Scott is going to have a new set of hoses and fittings
shipped from Wisconsin to our next island, Maupiti and replace the whole
thing their. The fun never ends. Well the work never ends. The key is to
just take time for fun regardless.

I got in a midday snorkel: saw an assortment of beautifully colored clams
and a really large eel. It helps to cool off so much, even 15 minutes in the
water. Tomorrow is diving – thank goodness we scheduled every other day to

More boats have arrived. The ARC Around the World Rally is passing through.
They started in Europe or the Caribbean. So far about 5 German boats have
pulled in. Some seem to have a hoity toity attitude. They\’ll be on their way
soon enough. They are heading around the world in 18 months. Seems absurd to
me, constantly on the move but to each their own.

May 13th

There are now about 15 other boats at the Bora Bora Yacht Club, plus another
20+ around the nearby motus. Many are participating in the Tahiti Pearl
Regatta sailboat race.

We dinghied to town to get fuel in 8 x 5 gallon jugs. We are hoping some
fresh fuel will help dilute and fight the algae growth in the diesel. We
have fuel additive plus lots of filters so should be ok. Scott also waxed
more of the hulls while I cleaned our interior fans, which is a tedious

The generator oil hose leak continues. Scott was on Skype with the tech
support guys trying to figure out why this hose failure is occurring. Same
hose that is in the engine rooms, no problem. I got my exercise wiping down
the oil spill from under the boat where it drains out. Multiple swimming
trips from the stern with paper towel sprayed with Simple Green to wipe off
the oil slick.

Our primary fridge is sadly not keeping up with the heat. Likely bad
evaporator. The two freezers are working like champs. I am prepared for more
\”camping\” in that department at any moment.

While in town, we also went to the market. Not much that needs refrigeration
but other basics. Tonight I cooked a pack of chicken thighs with rice &
broccoli. It is crazy hot again over 90. We got in a snorkel before sunset.
After sunset we had hard rain & wind, just for variety. Scott frequently
helps out the Pacific Seafarers ham radio network, acting as relay which is
an important job and fun for him. All the net controllers have become quite
friendly and appreciate his assistance.


We must be having fun, because the past 17 years have flown by! Nothing
beats celebrating with a couple of great dives.

The first dive was at a sweet spot with a lot of pretty fish & clams. The
clams come in such an array of colors & patterns. I am mesmerized by them.
Scott took some video, but I hope he’ll have a chance to get some close up
still shots. A couple of eagle rays swam in the distance. Very fun. We only
had one other American guy with us today. A honeymooner who\’s wife doesn\’t

Today was (possibly) our last day diving with Gilles. We\’ve had 7 days,
spread out every other day which has worked out great. We went for the 4th
time to a site that usually has lemon sharks. They are 7-10 feet long, very
girthy, have beady little eyes & nasty looking teeth. Everything you\’d
expect a shark to look like. Gilles brought a fish head and hid it under a
part of the reef. Enough scent to make the sharks circle the area. Scott got
some great video. I even grabbed the camera so he could swim with them for a
change. We kind of get desensitized when swimming with sharks, but sometimes
they\’ll swim right up to your face and you realize \”this thing is wild &
could bite my face off!\” Thankfully, hopefully, they can discern that we do
not smell like food. It was totally awesome. Four big beasts for about an
hour, up close & personal.

The weather is blustery, not good for making the passage to our next
destination: Maupiti. We will just watch the conditions day by day. It has a
narrow, shallow reef & if there are big waves it is too tricky. We may be
able to dive 1 or 2 nearby sites here on our own, or go again with Gilles if
we get too stir crazy. Not that we don\’t have plenty to do… Scott has a
pile of photos and video to edit, which is very time consuming. I helped him
with shot selection last night. And the every present repairs and
maintenance. We have issues with the generator oil hose leaking. The
refrigerator cooling ability is marginal and our main potty once again won\’t
flush #2. But none of that is a catastrophe. We hope to get the special
generator hoses shipped out tomorrow. I can live without a fridge if I have
to. And we can poop in the potty on port.

A bunch of the boats with the Round the World Rally sailed off to Suwarrow
today, a Cook Island. It will take them 2-3 days. One American boat is still
here. A radiologist, wife and grown son from Maine. Apparently she is not
happy about the fast pace of the rally. I can console her with my sad tale
of being stuck in Tahiti for 7 months.

Today is 2 weeks that we are in Bora Bora. This island has a great
combination of tourist amenities, comfortable mooring, so far the best
diving of all the French Polynesian islands (Maupiti & Mopelia could yet top
it), and is a gorgeous setting. We have already been in email contact with
the dive guy in Maupiti. He thinks the weather may be good enough to cross
there on Thursday. We need to fuel up and I\’d like another shot at the
market for produce. May do that tomorrow. It is still hot: 93 today, but
spending a couple of hours submerged helps a lot.

May 17th – Fuel & Food

We had pretty strong winds this morning from the south. It is an
uncomfortable direction making the boat lie sideways to the swell. I felt
seasick on the mooring. Didn\’t get the Annoying Wrist Zapper & Bonine quite
quick enough so they weren\’t as helpful.

Scott ordered replacement generator oil hoses. Why they are leaking when
normally they should work 20 years is a mystery. Amsoil will ship to Mike,
who will ship to Papeete through an agent who will expedite them through
customs and ship to us in Maupiti. It is always a concern that all goes
smoothly, but we are likely not to head over there until Thursday and if the
diving is as good there as here we will stay at least 2 weeks.

After lunch the wind seemed down so we dashed up to the fuel dock. We left
our dinghy tied to reserve our mooring because we like that one. Good thing
too because another wave of boats doing the 18 months around the world rally
showed up this afternoon. It was more windy up by the fuel dock, we smacked
into the pier causing minor cosmetic damage. The boat was really jagging up
& down badly. The fuel station is closed from noon-1:30 p.m. We arrived at
1:05. I knew it would take Scott and the fuel dock guy some time to fuel up
both tanks plus the extra cans, so used the opportunity to jump off, walk
the 10 minutes to the grocery store dragging my cart & bags. No eggs or
lettuce. Got apples, grapes, cheese, wine, turkey & salami slices & most
everything else I wanted. Just because I could, I bought a Dove chocolate
ice cream bar as a treat and ate it as I walked back.

My timing was good. I knew we\’d need to shove off as soon as the fueling was
done so the next boat could tie up. There is only space for one at a time.
Casting off was kind of scary. I was at the helm but did not feel I had good
control over our house in the wind, so called for Scott to take over. I hate
it when I freak out in challenging circumstances, but Scott was very sweet
afterwards, reassuring me that it was a tricky situation and that I should
not be embarrassed. Tying the boat back up to the mooring and getting the
dinghy off was another trick, but we did it after a few go arounds.

I avoided reading/writing until now & am testing out the Phenergan (seasick
med) with coffee (to prevent drowsiness) seasick cure. I waited 45 minutes
for it to take full effect & am happy to report that I feel pretty darn
good. Granted, there is not as much sideways swell. But still, I am glad to
have options. The weather should be calming down over the next couple of
days. We want to work on photos and write new Ships Logs, so I really hope
not to feel seasick. If the conditions on the mooring are crappy, we can
always take our laptops to the beach bar.

I would normally go for a snorkel but last night my right ear was bugging me
plus I had a sore throat. I did an extra vinegar/peroxide rinse of my ears &
took Zicam. Ears seem ok now but it\’s probably best to keep my head dry for
a couple of days. Darn.

May 18th – Media Day

Scott is editing and posting photos and I have been writing these Ships Logs
all day. It is sunny with little breeze. The good news is that it is
comfortable on the mooring & I am not seasick. The bad news is that it is
hot and hard for me to concentrate for a long time. Scott is more driven for
these projects than I am. I’d rather be diving!

Cindy & Scott…..Off to Maupiti Soon!