Yes, it has been a long time since we
had a blog entry and that has meant that we have uploaded entries
retrospectively and now out of order, we are sorry for the disruption to our
service and (hopefully) your enjoyment.
The past three weeks or so have been
bizarre to say the least. So let’s bring you up to speed with the comings
and goings of Beaujolais (or not as the case may be).
Having berthed at Marina Taina, Roger
set about organising all the work to be done. Yes the list was, as usual,
extensive. The sails needed repairing, the refrigeration wasn’t working
properly (there’s a surprise) etc etc.
I was due to fly out to the UK via the
states at the end of the week and Roger was due to fly to Austria the following
As Tom & Selme were unlikely to
be here when we returned, we took a day off and hired a car to tour the island.
Once we cleared the city centre and
travelled through the more rural areas, Papeete was slightly more appealing. We
had a tourist map which showed recommended places of interest.
Now Tahiti has an unusual traffic
system. They start at No 1 (no surprise there) in a clockwise direction from
Papeete, with numbered markers at 1km intervals right around to the causeway
to the little island of Tahiti iti (little tahiti). But then they start again
at No 1 but this time in an anti-clockwise direction.
So all the places of interest are
identified by the nearest No marker. Which sounds simple, but as it is French,
it is anything but.
Because they have few, if any,
signposts directing you to the particular place of interest. So consequently,
out of half a dozen or so places we were interested in seeing, we only managed
to find about 3!.
First on the agenda was the blowhole. This is
where the sea has eroded the cliff under the road and forces itself out of the
other side with some force. The beach had good surf and there were a few
After there we headed up to the
waterfalls, where we hoped to have a picnic. The way up to the waterfall was
via lovely paths through beautiful gardens and jungle. If we had not realised
we were back in civilisation before, we did when we arrived at the waterfall.
Remember how I swam in the waterfall pool in Fatu
Hiva? Well we had expected to do the same here. But instead we were greeted by
signs that said, ‘do not swim in the pool, danger of falling rocks’
and the pool was fenced off. You can imagine our reaction.
Then to make matters worse, the
mosquitos were rampant and voracious, so the picnic was a hurried affair.
After missing several other spots, we
stopped at the caves. Once again, no swimming and fenced off. But this time, in
a moment of rebellion, I ducked under the ropes to take a closer look. Roger,
seeing this, picked up a stone and threw it behind me, which sent me yelping
and scurrying back to the path, while he and Tom laughed their heads off.
I think to be honest, the bureaucracy
and reminders of all the things we hate about ‘the civilised world’
spoilt the day for all of us. Because it was the very thing we were all trying
to leave behind.
After a disappointing day, I spent the evening
packing, ready for my flight the next day.
So there we were, Roger & I, in
the queue for my flight, when they announced that all flights were cancelled
due to the Firemen’s Strike.
I was given a telephone number to call
to check when flights were to be resumed. But we didn’t hold out much
hope of anything before Monday, as it was Thursday night and only one day to
the weekend, plus our experience of French militancy ( I was once caught in the
lorry drivers blockade at Calais and only escaped by cutting a hole in the car
park fence in the middle of the night, but that’s another story) told us
not to hold our breath.
So I immediately called United
Airlines and cancelled my connecting flight to the UK and was luckily given a
credit for the cost, I then called the UK and cancelled my appointment with my
Roger’s flight was cancelled the
next day and so we had to wait to see if he could still make his meetings in
As I could not get a refund on my
Tahiti/Lax flight, I decided I would fly to Jacksonville and pick up all the
spare parts Roger had ordered. Lynne, through her connections was going to try
and get me an appointment with the top knee man in Jacksonville as soon as we
knew when I would be there.
Four frustrating days of phone calls
did nothing to make Tahiti any more appealing. We were in limbo, because we
couldn’t do anything or go anywhere as we had to be ready to go at a
moments notice. Roger had passed his deadline for getting to his meeting, so
was slightly more flexible than I.
Finally, at 7pm on Monday I received a
phone call telling me to be at the airport in 30 minutes to check in for my
flight, which they were hoping would depart at 11pm. So that gave me 30 minutes
to get online to find and book, a flight from Las Angeles to Jacksonville,
organise a cab and get to the airport. It is quite incredible that we have the
ability to do in 30 minutes what once upon a time would not have even been
possible out of office hours!!!!
Roger e-mailed Lynne and she arranged
an appointment and negotiated a discount for me, which at 3 days notice was no
So there I was in Jacksonville for 10
days, I had a list of tasks to do and a shopping list a mile long.
Both of our laptops had given up the
ghost, so I had to get replacements for both of us. I had e-mailed my friend
Stef to do the research for me as he is into computers and knows more about
them than I do. So Roger & I had used the info he had sent to select our
laptop, so that made my life easier (thanks Stef).
I then had to get the hard drive from
Roger’s old laptop backed up to save me having to carry 3 laptops back to
As our underwater camera had died, I
was hoping to replace it while n the states, but alas it didn’t work out
In the meantime, Roger was having a
good time back in Tahiti. It was the weekend of the Puddlejump regatta from
Papeete to Moorea and he had been invited to crew on Delos with Brian, Erin and
Brady. Brad and Cat off Ghost were also aboard and they had a blast, but
you’ll have to wait for Roger’s entry for more details, as all I
know was there was a lot of partying and great snorkelling.
My visit to the consultant, while
painless, was not good news. I had torn the Posterior Cruciate Ligament in my
good knee (the new bionic knee!!). The options I was given were to wear a brace
and physio, to have an dished implant put in (assuming they made one that was
compatible with my knee) or to have the head of the femur replaced.
So I now had another decision to make,
but had to wait another 4 days to find out if they could actually get an
implant. Darryl and Phil were waiting to step in and take over as crew, should
it be necessary, so they too were on tenterhooks.
I have to say Dr Heekin was most
impressive. He knew everything about my knee, which was experimental 4 years
ago. He was also impressed by the surgeon who had put it in, saying it was an
Over the weekend I tried to work out
all the options, but all I kept getting were more questions. So the day before
I was due to fly back to Tahiti, I was able to schedule another appointment
with him, just to get some answers. So after much internet research and a
refreshingly informative discussion, with Dr Heekin, the decision was that I
would wear the brace and do physio for the next 6 months and then review the
situation. I have to say I was surprised when I got up to leave his office,
instead of shaking my hand, he opened his arms and said ‘give me a
hug!’ Not part of the service on the NHS that’s for sure.
As for Darryl & Phil, well I am
going to spend the next few weeks assessing whether or not I am confident and
capable of continuing with the trip. If not, I will fly home from Roatonga and
they will fly in and join Roger, for a ‘boys own adventure’ to
Australia. So watch this space......