Tahiti report 2 - boat jobs keeping me very busy

Sunday 10th June (Tahiti time!)

My present berth is in a lovely spot - looking out over breaking surf beyond the anchorage inside the reef, towards Moorea and its dramatic outline, behind which the sun sets every day. The concrete dock beside me has its own bit of coral growing - a mini-reef, with lots of different, brightly-coloured fish all around!

Wasn't feeling too good last night and this morning - decided it was a touch of sunstroke from having been on deck solidly all day Saturday - a productive, long session, with lots of lines having been thoroughly rinsed of salt, whole boat rinsed off and tidied on deck & damaged mainsail traveller line and staysail car lines replaced (there's a good shop in the marina for buying new line, fortunately, and owner Michelle is an expert at splicing).

Topping lift was found to be badly damaged - so that was replaced today, with help from neighbour Phillippe after I found I couldn't pull the new line through the mast-top sheave using the mousing line I'd attached. He kindly offered to go up to help the line through the sheave... so the new topping lift is now in place. He also had a look for me to see why the genoa halyard was so badly chafed where it exited the mast-top through its sheave .... On Friday, I'd lowered the genoa and, with Patrick's help, folded it ready for Laurent to pick up later to take for repair - that's when I'd noticed the badly damaged halyard. Fortunately, it's long enough for me simply to cut off the damaged length & not to need to replace it. But the sheave needs to be replaced at the first opportunity - it's worn badly and is very loose, hence the chafe problem.

Friday morning, Patrick came and spent some time with me, firstly dealing with the genset - as I'd suspected, the impellor had gone and the reason I'd had trouble removing the seawater pump (to get at the impellor more easily!) was that a metal plate was corroded in place, needing some 'persuasion' to move. So a new impellor is now in place and the genset is running fine after he'd removed & replaced the old grease from the actuator spindle at my request - it had been sticking and causing a problem. I showed him the hydraulic fluid I needed for the autopilot motors coming in - a couple of phone calls later, he'd located someone who could supply it - excellent news!

He told me he'd spent fifteen years in a sailmaker's loft - which came in useful when I showed him a mainsail car which had come adrift with its tape having come unstitched - he spent a time part way up the mast, sewing it back on & then I spotted that one of the tapes holding the head board to its car was looking badly worn, so he replaced that tape also... a good job done!

A priority job I got to on Friday was to remove the bolt on the Hydrovane ratio knob, which had been coming loose, and put plenty of Loctite on its threads before replacing it. I noticed I'd lost one of the locking pins from the end of its 'safety' string - nuisance!

After walking around to the nearby 'Carrefour' supermarket (busy!) for softener for the lines I'd rinsed off, I've now nearly finished with them, along with some handwashing .... the marina machines take 8 x 100fr pieces per wash... that's a lot of coins!!!

Tonight I had a surprise visit from a group of surfers here on holiday from Sydney (Southside Malibu Club, Cronulla) who I'd met up with here in the marina restaurant/bar two nights ago - they're being well looked after by their local host and clearly enjoying the surfing here. They seemed to enjoy looking over 'Nereida' and had plenty of questions about her (only one was into sailing - originally from Hobart!).

In order to 'post' this, I might have to walk over to the 'Pink Coconut', hoping they're still open so I can make use of their wi-fi Internet access, if I find I can't connect by SSB radio - often difficult in the marina environment. Tomorrow, we'll see how well (and how quickly) the autopilot issue will be dealt with - hopefully, the parts are here, ready for collection.

Written by : Mike

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