Tahiti - Moorea (French Polynesia) Gas & oil OK! 18-20May07

The good news is that I now have propane flowing into my cooker - so coffees, teas and cooking are all possible now that I've replaced the gas regulator - what a lot of time, walking & effort over six days that has involved! Had to ask for help from kind people at the marina twice - once for male muscle-power (!!) to undo a gas-pipe connection and once for a second pair of hands to push two bits close to each other while I screwed them together (I needed four hands for that job - impossible!).
The engine oil-change problem turned into another time-consuming job - removing surplus fresh oil from the engine (as well as cleaning up lots of spilt oil from under the engine)..... It turned out that only some of the oil I'd just put in had spurted out from the loose oil-filter thread, so when I put more oil in (the dipstick had shown the level well below minimum) I actually put in way too much! Two-and-a half litres too much, in fact, as I discovered after finally figuring out pipework/pump connections to remove it... (That great little 12V in-line pump again...!)
I gave up trying to leave on Wednesday, being busy well after noon, with the bonus of finding that I was in a relatively safe marina berth while a nasty frontal weather system passed over, giving heavy rain & strong winds. There was also a big southerly swell & I could see the breakers crashing onto the reef near the pass I had intended leaving by. I also gained the company of two other cruising boats: 'Far Niente' & 'Southern Star' berthed close by & we ended up socializing during the evening - a pleasant change from my jobs!
So I finally left Tahiti for Moorea at noon on Thursday - 3 days later than intended. Straight into 25-30 knot headwinds down the channel leading to Papeete Pass! Only the thought that once outside my course to Moorea would put the wind abaft the beam stopped me from heading back to the marina, as I hurriedly put 3 reefs in the mains'l waiting to be raised...! In the event, the winds reduced somewhat as I got further out & I had a lovely/lively sail over.... very enjoyable.
What dramatic scenery Moorea has - high, steep-sided, jagged mountains - clearly of volcanic origin - covered in greenery. I dropped anchor near the head of Opunohu Bay - & was promptly invited over to the only other boat nearby for a sundowner. The next morning, I moved anchorage to be close to the outer reef, not far from the pass, to be able to enjoy some snorkelling ....and also to be within range of Wi-Fi internet access! Again, I was invited over to a nearby boat for the evening... and people think single-handers are lonely...?!!
Unfortunately, I'm now having a problem with my 12V circuit - it keeps blowing when I connect my laptop to the outlet at the chart table and also when I connected in at the cockpit with a different plug.... more investigation needed.. the 12V circuit wiring has also been suspect since San Diego - may need 'beefing up' to be able to take the load.
Saturday morning, I shall sail to Bora Bora - an overnight passage of about 135 mls - just over a day away.

P.S. I'm now nearer to New Zealand than to Hawaii... & Sydney is closer than San Diego!!

Written by : Mike

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