position S16 31.993 W151 45.161
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Wed 23 May 2018 07:36
We anchored when we arrived on on sunday among a group of yachts in an area marked on the chart as an anchorage. We could see that there is a restaurant with some cabins on the shore and noticed some ofthe yachties taking their dinghies to eat supper. On monday morning having tried all permutations of wiring for the alternator (but still using the Galagos variation) and come up blank I thought it would be a good idea to find the Bora Bora yacht club and ask if anyone knows of an electrician/mechanic who could help. Leaving the dinghy at the restaurant dock we walked along the road a couple of hundred yards and asked a local where the yacht club was to be found. 'It is about 200m back the way you came' was the reply and sure enough we had walked out of the gate under a large sign for the yacht club without realising that we were already there. We had to wait a little time for the bar to open so we could order a coffee and ask the proprieter about electricians. He promised to phone around and get back to us. It transpired that the achorage attracted a fee for use of dinghy dock and showers but actually not too frightening a levy.
We hung around a while to see if the phone calls produced any sparkies but yesterday turned out to be another public holiday and no-one was responding.
Hence in the afternoon we took the dinghy for a jaunt into the little town of Vaitape and discovered some shops open despite the holiday, and Diana improved her morale by purchasing some samples of colourful fabric. We stopped at the 2nd yacht club and asking about electricians a man sitting at the bar volunteered his services. Pointing at his glass of rum he said he wouldn't come staight away but would in the morning. Not convinced we had stumbled on an an alternator expert we were nevertheless pleased to have another head to give fresh ideas.
We thought it would be polite not to try the restaurant in our yacht club and so after a swim we enjoyed a very pleasant meal of salad overlooking the lagoon watching the sun set. An american couple from california who are in a charter catermeran chatted for a while. He has always owned boats and knows everything about everything-'a boats a boat' he said when I asked him if he preferred the cat to his 50ft powerboat in california. I did think of asking him to look at the alternator but the thought of having him on board looking critically at our humble boat was too much.
Today has been a day of electrical success, burocracy and a near miss. The elecrician arrived as promised, had a brief look and after determining that the alternator was not working said that was the extent of his ability and put us in contact with Charlie who is a mechanic and has a yacht in the anchorage. Charlie was out for the day however but offered to have a look later in the day. Meanwhile the fresh head did inspire me to pull out our old alternator that I remembered had been serviced in the Galapagos. I also found a basic wiring diagram for it and wired it accordingy fired up the engine and amazingy- 13.5 volts which is precisely what a healthy 12v alternator should produce. I report the fruits of my genius in order to try and offset my incredible stupidity that resulted in near disaster. The electrician asked me to up the revs on the engine while testing the electrics. I opened up the throttle and went below to look. A few minutes later shouting from a dinghy roused Diana who was reading in the cockpit- she roused me and the american couple were wildy gesticulating that we were in gear and racing round our anchor very nearly colliding with their boat. I was mortified and couldn't believe 1stly how dumb I am and 2ndly how we had escaped a disaster. I don't think the americans are very impressed with my seamanship.
With cured electrics and tail between legs we departed the yacht club leaving a message for Charlie and anchored off the town for extra provisions and visit to the Gendarme. The gendarme required filling of 6 forms and then told me to return in 24 hrs with a stamp from the post office for issue of the exit papers. Our departure for the next islands thus delayed a little we have now anchored out near the reef in cristal clear water with amazing views.