Good morning, it’s Monday, Beetle continues to hang out and enjoy Arue. Friends Tom & Sylvia aboard Cinnabar popped over to Papeete yesterday, and after several years of bopping around various anchorages in Mexico and French Polynesia Beetle and Cinnabar are finally close enough to go visiting – that will be fun!
General plan for my day is to stop by STH Marine and see if they have a French courtesy flag (mine has decided to unravel at the trailing edge), some 10 gauge wire, and a tube of 3M 5200. These are all fairly typical things to have in a marine chandlery, I hope they do have them. Alycone has invited the local boats (Ednabel, Pitufa, Beetle) to their boat for sundowners tonight, that should be pleasant and I’ll get to meet the folks on Ednabel. I’ve also heard there is a holiday tomorrow and that might make getting fuel from the Coconut shack interesting – fuel might get delayed until Wednesday. They sure do like their holidays here.
The Papeete City marina is where Cinnabar has a slip, and there’s an invite to visit with Tom & Sylvia tomorrow (Tuesday). I do want to get back to Arue before dark as it is a 3-1/2 mile run in the dinghy through the reef and I want to do that while I can see where the reef is. Looks like a busy social calendar in the works.
The docks at the City Marina are floating, which is nice – not all docks are floating as the tidal range is so small. And there are even fingers that allow the boats to side-tie to the finger rather than med-moor – even better!
The superyacht Felix demonstrates med-mooring. At 230′ this is a big boat, they have both bow anchors out and under tension to hold the boat off the stone quay, and a series of stern lines run to bollards ashore to keep them from drifting too far from the quay. The long extending passerelle is the gangway that gets you from the boat to the shore.
I did hear on the radio net that Liz on Swell was on a mooring somewhere in the Societies, that mooring broke and Swell went up on sand (good thing they didn’t go up on a reef). Swell was assisted about 2AM by a couple from another boat and pulled off the sand, so all is well other than the loss of some bottom paint. At least that’s the story that went out over the net.
As a follow up to the catamaran that was lost on the SW reef of Huahine, the folks on the boat blamed the Navionics charts as not having the reef in the correct position, or of having the charts shift the reef around as the charts were zoomed in/out. Several of us out here have inspected our own Navionics cartography and we haven’t been able to duplicate their experience. The reef is charted, it does appear on the charts at the position indicated, and we cannot replicate what they reported. None of us know exactly what hardware they were running the charts on, nor do we know specifically which set(s) of Navionics charts they were using. There are multiple cartography datasets available depending on which hardware is in use. We’re scratching our heads a bit on this one; we’d like to nail down the problem as nobody wants to hit a reef.
Round-abouts are popular in Tahiti and there are very few stop lights. The drivers are amazingly courteous and put Berkeley drivers to shame: if it looks like you might be thinking about crossing the road, the drivers stop and wait for you to cross.
On my end, I went for a walk on shore and wandered from here over to Papeete. It’s about an hour walk (twice the time it takes in the dinghy) and I got to see what’s happening on the shore. All you do is land at the Tahiti YC and walk down the main road and you fetch up at the harbor in Papeete. Lots of large fancy newer buildings with a sprinkling of much older coral block houses in between. Car dealerships, used car dealerships, and a lot of pizza places along the road.
When there is no parking on the street, why not park on the sidewalk? This seems to be a popular thing to do, the drivers are good at squeezing up against the fence and leave no room to walk around the car without going out into the street. Do look to make sure nobody is coming at you at high speed before stepping out.
The concept of ‘sidewalk’ seems to be missing here, in that there are raised sidewalks and they are treated as parking lots by the locals. This means that as a pedestrian you have to step out into traffic to get around the parked cars – not the safest way to get around. There are a lot of high end shops that sell the French Polynesian black pearls, set in a various ways. The pearls are ‘cultured’ using a sphere of some kind (most likely a machined spherical piece of shell) that is placed inside the oyster by a person and the animal then goes into self-protection mode and coats the foreign object with nacre.
My favorite sign from the walk. This fellow must know how to de-termite things.
The roads are good and the sidewalks and gutters are clean. For a really busy downtown area Papeete is kept tidy.
Just outside of the downtown area are lots of apartment buildings, with a lot of laundry out air-drying. It’s an interesting juxtaposition between the beautiful greenery and the drab structures and the ever-present metal corrugated roofing.
The internet just started working , I’ve been able to upload the photos I have from my walk. That was nice.
The amazing Intrepid, a 69 meter yacht *support* boat – it’s not even the main yacht. This boat drives around and carries all the toys that don’t quite fit on the big boat, such as the helicopter. The helicopter can land on the aft pad (which extends well outboard from the boat) and then be lowered into a below-decks hangar for protection from the elements.
And I heard that Condor, the Class 40 in San Francisco, went up on the sandy beach in Drakes Bay – seems like they had difficulty getting the anchor to set and somehow went onto the beach. I read this morning that they were able to get the boat free and as far as they can tell there was no damage to the keel or rudders. Some impressive pictures up on Erik’s pressure drop sailing web site.
So that’s what’s happening at this end. I’m thinking to head over to Moorea later in the week, perhaps Thursday or Friday. Cinnabar will be over that way as well, and Opunohu has good snorkeling. I need to find out about grocery stores over their, put some diesel on Beetle, and go do some more exploring.
Have fun today!