Other Than That Mrs. Lincoln, How Did You Enjoy The Play
| 10:00 PM local time Friday May 16th. (0700 May 17th UTC) 17 31 S 149
51W. Baie d'Opunohu, Moorea, Iles de la Societe, French Polynesia.
Temp. 83, Humidity 79%, cloud cover 70%.
We have finally left Tahiti and had a very nice short sail to Moorea
today. We are glad to be quit of Papeete, after 13 days, and on the move
again. Papeete is a rather large city, by far the largest in French
Polynesia, with traffic and pollution and crime. (The word "Polynesia,"
as romantic as it sounds, comes from Greek, and simply means many
islands. I don't know what the word "French" means.) In addition to our
other stresses, we had to be wary of leaving the boat at night and also
had to take precautions with the dinghy. Not to mention that we could
not for the life of us, just judging by their gestures, figure out
whether our neighbors in the anchorage preferred the Louvin Brothers or
Ernie K. Doe on the stereo. But we were, in fact, anchored in such a way
that we had nothing but a reef and open ocean separating us from a
sunset over Moorea. There were not even any other boats in that
direction. James Michener has defended the much-maligned Papeete by
saying that any place one can see Moorea from can't be all bad. So for
all that it would have been fine, but we were restless and wanted to get
down the road.
We removed the damaged folding prop and shipped it back to the states
for repair as everyone here gave it the RCA dog look. We had no nut to
hold our spare prop, a standard two-blade, on the shaft because the
Captain had not taken into consideration the fact that our folding prop
has a special nut which is not appropriate for holding anything but
itself, and had therefore failed to provide a nut amongst the spares.
The less creative of you may feel free to insert a joke here. In Tahiti
it is not possible to buy a bronze or stainless " S.A.E. nut, since the
French, so exemplary in every other way, go by that ridiculous metric
system. So we had two made at a machine shop. Because of the Captain's
limited command of French, we ended up with two bolts instead, and had,
in effect, to pay to have the nuts made twice. On the positive side, no
mention was made by the machinist of the profound difficulty he and
everyone else has understanding his dog. We hired a local diver to pull
the folding prop and replace it since even both of us put together can't
hold our breath that long. Frogman Terry Shrode was able to replace the
shaft nut and lock nut, however. The spare prop seems to rob us of about
1 knot of boat speed, and although this is probably an exaggeration, it
sure feels slow.
All this was more complicated than it sounds, which is why we spent
what to us was an excruciatingly long time staying put. We fixed the
autopilot, though. We also filled the propane tank with butane and,
after we got it filled, carried it all over town looking for that
unavailable S.A.E. nut. Ship's Trainer Terry Shrode is persuaded that
carrying things is good exercise, and the heavier and longer the better,
so why not fill the tank before you have to walk long distances. On his
theory, then, not a few benefits were enjoyed by the crew of Maverick
during this episode of our adventure.
We are presently anchored in Opunohu Bay on Moorea, the same bay used
for the setting of the movie "South Pacific." The spire of nearby Mont
Mouaroa, visible from the boat, was, in the movie, called "Bali Hai;"
and the Captain has been unable to dissuade Ship's Film Historian Terry
Shrode from, at all hours, breaking into an operatic rendition of the
song of the same name. We had planned to anchor in Cook's Bay, named
after that famous Captain, the one, that is, named Cook, not to put too
fine a point on it. However, we had earlier each visited that bay by
ferry and, aside from the fact, which the careful reader might deduce,
that this means that ferries go into that bay, today there was an actual
big old fancy cruise ship in there. We reckoned that there were probably
a lot of people on that boat, and since we don't like them, people that
is, we changed our destination to Opunohu Bay. This bay is in every way
as absurdly dramatic as Cook's Bay, and unlike Cook's, is a movie star.
Yet instead of ferries and cruise ships, tonight it harbors merely three
little old cruising boats counting Maverick. We'll have to take a bus or
hitch hike to get to the t-shirt shops and tattoo parlors
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