After 21 days underway we got ourselves off the sea and into an anchorage, so now begins the fixing of boats in exotic places.
Employing a little revisionist history (if it’s good enough for politicians then certainly it’s good enough for us?) we have arrived in the Australs exactly as intended. OK, so maybe we said Raivavae a bunch of times, and instead we’re anchored at Tubuai, but they’re both in the Australs. Compared to our passage you can practically throw a rock from one to the other (well, almost, sort of, with slight exaggeration). Close is good enough in horse shoes, hand grenades and cruising destinations. The weather report for our last couple of days showed that a high was building to our south while the convergence zone was just to our north. This resulted in us sailing in the middle of a “squash zone.” For simplicity’s sake let’s just say you never really want to sail in a squash zone if you can avoid it (for those of you who might be interested search the web for “Dashew squash zone” for some articles). Tubuai, where we ended up, was a day closer and much easier to sail to, so here we are. We’re comfortable in our anchorage while outside the squash zone has winds somewhere between gale and storm force, and we just didn’t want to be there.
Tubuai is a little off the beaten path for cruising boats, possibly in part because the anchorage just isn’t that great. But it is good enough that we are comfortable, and got 11 hours of sleep last night (straight through with no interuptions :)). We’ve started with just cleaning up the interior of the boat. Passages are just that way – you can keep up with the dishes, but mildew never sleeps, ventilation is limited and the boat just gets dirty. So, a general cleanup is in order. We’re using lots of bleach and keeping the hatches open whenever it’s not raining. We haven’t been to shore; it’s a little too rough in the anchorage for the dinghy and it’s also Easter Sunday so we can’t visit with officialdom until tomorrow at the earliest. Hopefully things will lighten up a little by then.
We have a fair amount of caulking and sealing to do to keep water on the outside (where it belongs) and prevent it from getting to the inside (where it is a general annoyance and pain and makes things very uncomfortable). We have all the bits and pieces we need for that. The other big item is laundry, we need to get things washed. We had a great plan for that, but yesterday as we were sitting at anchor the watermaker sprung a leak. It did the same thing on the passage but we managed a temporary fix. Two leaks, in similar locations, is now cause for concern. Our lifestyle and our laundry plans all rely on the watermaker. So, we’re going to try to sort that out over the next couple of days. Sent an e-mail off to tech support, but it’s the weekend, so playing the waiting game. If we get to shore tomorrow and deal with officialdom then maybe we can also use a phone and try and get it sorted. Otherwise we’ll have to decide if we want to head directly to Tahiti (a place with many more parts and services) early, or go back to a more monastic lifestyle using limited fresh water except when it rains. Which still leaves the question of the dirty laundry unanswered. Ahh, the cruising life 🙂 First World problems I guess.
We’ll be here for a couple of more days at least waiting on weather and will update when we know what’s what.