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"Nereida" in Tahiti 11-15th May 07

'Le Truck' - local bus from Taina to Papeete.  
Originally uploaded by svNereida.

I'm in chaos here - major problems sorting out propane system (no cooking possible still) and changed engine oil, but unfortunately didn't tighten filter enough so most of new oil spewed out on starting engine - had to buy more oil & screw on the filter again, so tomorrow's job list includes cleaning oil from under the engine (yet again!!) & topping up and starting the engine - with fingers crossed I get it right this time...!

I had a 100% motoring passage over two nights from Tiputa, Rangiroa to Tahiti - but just as I entered Passe de Papeete soon after sunrise, having paused for a couple of fast ferries from Moorea to go in ahead of me, the engine stopped (I'd run out of fuel.... didn't keep eye on tank level, thinking I had plenty, so hadn't switched tanks....grrr!!) Had to unfurl the genoa in a hurry (having not long dropped the mains'l), with only 4 knots of wind (almost ahead!), & prepare the anchor.. I just managed to sail out of trouble into the West Basin (a bit too close to breaking surf on reef & breakwater for comfort!) where I dropped the anchor & then had to bleed the engine. (Glad I had a tiny 12V pump I could place in fuel line to help things along - thanks yet again, Alan!)

One & half hrs later I had the motor running & I made my way through the well-marked channel inside the shallow fringing reef around from Papeete to Taina. There's a big supermarket within walking distance, friendly, helpful marina & fuel dock staff & a local bus - 'Le Truck' - into Papeete town (130fr), a good 20 minutes drive away.

I've got to know the industrial area in Papeete (port area) very well, having spent most of Friday and Saturday walking around there, not to speak of today, chasing around unsuccessfully for propane, dinghy & watermaker parts & plumbing connections. I was lucky to discover a good refrigeration guy here in the marina area who has sorted out my fridge problem (insofaras he can - the system is not really suited to the tropics). The French Polynesian Wi-Fi system is run by Mathieu here in the marina - he has been very kind & helpful & I've made good use of my Internet access on board 'Nereida' (such as in posting this with a photo!). I also had to visit Customs & Immigration, who are on the seafront near the Tourist Office where the bus finishes not far from the market - finishing with paperwork took 4 visits (It would have helped if they had posted a notice pointing to the very closed door at the side for entrance & given some idea of their opening hours.)

I'm hoping to sort out the propane regulator tomorrow (the present one leaks badly). The only possible replacement one on offer is twice the size of the present one so may not fit into the space, but I did find the brass connections needed to adapt it to use in my system. Tahiti Gaz also said they couldn't fill one of my 3 gas bottles - a valve was faulty & they can't replace it - Cairns, perhaps??

With any luck, I'll be able to leave for Moorea on Wednesday... In the meantime, the view I have from the boat is of Moorea & its jagged mountaintops across the reef from here & each day I have a dip in crystal clear water.... I'm constantly reminded of the definition of cruising as "dealing with boat problems in exotic places"...!!

Written by : Mike

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