Maintenance mode

This had been planned for a while: scheduled maintenance to the engine. In theory I could have done it any other stop, but, just in case there were to be any suprises, it would be nice to be in a place where spare parts might be available.

I had anchored near Taina Marina, past the Tahiti airport, close in because I needed some diesel. Not only because I was running low (well, halft empty or full, depending on your mood) but also because it really helps to have some diesel handy in a jug when putting the fuel filters back on. Saturday morning I got off early, and the engine oil change came without any trouble or spills. After the oil came the fuel filters. Last time I had changed both primary and secondary filters, but I had not cleaned the primary filter’s (a Racor) bowl. Well, that really was necessary this time, it was full of sludge, I could not even see through it. Took my time for all this, finished early in the afternoon, feeling quite good about it. This was the first time I completely took the fuel filter apart, but I might have to make that part of the routine. Contributing to that could be the sometimes questionable quality of the diesel (in Panama and Galapagos?). When I looked at the diesel I had gotten at the marina (rowing the kayak, always fun to go around in a kayak with a large jub of diesel) I surpised how clean it was. Had not seen anything that clear before, almost thought it was gasoline. After putting things together and bleeding the fuel system let the engine run for a while, after which came the reward of a cold beer (local beer price is about $5 a can, in the stores).

For the next day I had left another repair: fixing the reefing winch on the boom. Last times I was using it, it was skipping. Got my tools out, took the thing apart, it was obvious what was broken: the little springs the push the little levers out. Having spare kits for that, that was no problem at all. Thing was put together and tools were put away (only tool actually used was a little screw driver) before 8 in the morning. Made for a leasurely Sunday, though the weather was not completely cooperative, patches of cloudiness. Even had considered going for a sail that day, but there were never any signs of wind all day. Took the kayak to shore, just to stretch the legs for a little walk. No sights nearby, just a busy coastal road, but did notice a supermarche really close.

Monday morning I made a run to the supermarche, down town Papeete I had not had much luck finding one. Stocked up on cheese, some more fresh vegetables, and fresh French bread. After bringing the dirty oil to the garbage I made the boat ready. There were some signs of a hesitant wind, but it was still quite calm. There was an entrance through the reef just south of the marina, a couple of days back I had doubts if that was safe, looking at the large breakers there, but the swell had almost disappeared, and it was an easy pass.

Got the genoa unfurled and started sailing, more or less just waiting till some wind would show up. Destination was only 20 odd miles away, so there was no rush to get there. Eventually a really nasty swell started to develed, coming right from abeam, and with the little wind there was, it became a rollly affair. Could quite figure out where that swell was coming from, made a theory that it came two ways around the island and then met in the pass between the islands, made steeper by the current. After about 2 hours of that, suddenly someone (Aelus?) flipped the wind swith, and there was 20-25 knots of wind. Things became a little rough, but with only a short distance to go I decided to hand steer to keep things under control (the wind vane is a little more picky about the right amount of sail when the wind is gusty). Got a good sail onto Moorea, an island with a beautyful skyline, and went into Cook’s Bay (indeed, one of captain Cook’s favourite anchorages).

It was a cold night here, at least by my standings, and this morning it was all overcast, had some patches or rain and quite a bit of drizzle. In between I fixed the bow roller (where the anchors come over the bow). With the latest anchoring adventures (the coral had that came up in Kauehi, and the chain stuck in Ahe) there was not much left of one of the rollers. Once I took it apart it turned out that the bolt was severely bent, one more thing I should have done in Tahiti, finding a new bolt would have been easy there. Ended up swapping the rollers and bolts, this way the roller on the CQR (my main anchor) works, curious to see if picking up anchor will be lighter when I leave from here.

Plan was to go for a walk today, there is a path up the mountains to Belvedere (lookout point). But, with all the clouds and rain, the will have to be done another day.

Went through the pictures of the last few weeks, when I get within internet access (Cook’s Bay is a bit of a remote spot) I will upload those.

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