A Watched Pot Never Boils...coolin' our heels August 18 2007
August 13 at 8am we were off the mooring ball at Taravana Yacht Club and headed excitedly back to Raiatea to pick up our delivered spinnaker...and get sorted out to leave French Polynesia. We topped up with diesel, anchored back at CNI, hitch hiked into town, checked out with the Gendarmerie, got our bonds back (okay, Aussie dollars not possible...we will take US dollars...yikes, all 2500 of them), provisioned at the supermarche and took a cab back to the dinghy dock. We checked in with the office (darn Amandine is on vacation)...no spinnaker...maybe tomorrow. When tomorrow came...no spinnaker...and the next day is a National Holiday. How do you say "manana" in French Polynesian?! "Island time", we suppose. Ah well, wind is supposed to get pretty strong so back we went to Tahaa...this time to a "hurricane hole" in Haamene Bay. It was a glorious sail into the bay with jib alone going 5.5 knots in 20 knots of wind...ah, the clean, slick bottom!
We made pretty good use of our time while anchored in 27 feet of water...stuck well in sticky mud...while wind swirled around (up to 30 knots). We made two small tarps (one for the cockpit and one to screen the salon "eyebrow" window), made the courtesy flag for Tonga (and the base of the flags for Fiji and Australia) and placed a deposit for dock space while in Australia. Wow - Australian dock space was no small feat...countless emails and only slightly fewer phone calls finally found us a slip near Brisbane. You see, many people laugh out loud when we asked about space for a catamaran...we thought it was the land of multi-hulls. Anyway, we will be in the Scarborough Marina (www.scarbmarina.com.au)...unless something changes between now and then.
Off to the phone booth in hopes that Amandine is back at CNI. Phone card and phone number in hand...off we go. Drat - what is that sound after the second number?! Numerous more attempts but same "game over" sound after the second digit is dialed. Dinghy back to Barefeet to confirm the number is accurate, dinghy back to shore and tried it again...same sound...and no love. Definitely feel like a watched spinnaker pot never boils. Finally stopped a passerby who enlightened us that this phone is out of order...ahhh...try the one across the street. Perfect - connection made and the spinnaker is "in."
Aug 17 we pulled up the anchor...with lots of mud rinsing of the anchor chain along the way and back to CNI we went. Grabbed a mooring ball and headed to the office. Oops, credit card machine is broken...okay hitch hiked into town to the ATM cash machine for some cash...and avoiding the Gendarmerie since we have already "checked out." We replenished the provisions we have eaten the last couple of days and back to Amandine we go. Phew - there it is!! What a small package?! Chris is happier than a pig in $%#@! and is madly replacing the old with the new. Very exciting stuff - make no mistake!
Today is August 18 and we will make a trial spinnaker run to Bora Bora and hope to get any kinks worked out...light winds are forecast (but at the moment it is pond still). Then we wait...tick, tock, tick, tock. Seas need to calm and weather stabilize before we make the approx 1300 miles to the Kingdom of Tonga...two fronts have just passed through which would make the passage more boisterous than we like. Looks like Sunday or Monday will be good departure dates...but we will be patient. There might not be much internet ahead so it will probably be some time before we update again...but we will update the map positions as we move along.