All powered up

16:28.285S 151:42.761W

 

Wednesday 28th August 2013

 

Distance run: 5 nmiles

 

We were up bright and early to watch out for the supply ship which was due to arrive at 0800.  At 0930 Steve went round to the commercial dock to see if it had slipped in early without us seeing, but there was no sign of it.  Eventually, around 1000 I spotted it making its way towards the pass, so we watched its progress and gave it time to dock, and then set off in the dinghy with paperwork and ID in hand. 

 

By the time we got there she was being unloaded, and we tied the rib against the concrete dock right next to her and went to find someone to help.  There didn’t seem to be anybody ‘official’ around, so Steve asked a chap who looked like he was involved in the unloading.  He took a look at the Bill of Lading and pointed to an empty spot on the dockside.  We were a bit nonplussed until he pointed to a container being carried along on a fork-lift truck towards the empty space and said, “Number 34”.  Sure enough, once set down and opened, container number 34 did indeed contain our four batteries in perfect nick. 

 

The very kind gentleman picked up one battery in each hand and carried them to the dinghy.  Steve tried to copy, but could only manage one at a time!  The chap obviously took pity on us, because he indicated for Steve to get in the dinghy, and he passed them down to him.  Then with a cheery wave he was off.  Easy as that!  No paperwork to sign in triplicate.  No ID.  No wonder stuff goes astray!

 

Anyway, we were soon back on the boat, and with the help of the outboard davit, so were the new batteries.  As we were currently Norman No-mates at the yacht club moorings, both Sheer and Sirena having shipped out to anchorages on the east of the island, we decided not to stop and fit the batteries there and then, but to go around to join them while we still had light to see the way through the reefs.  This took a bit of concentration to get through a narrow gap where the depth went down to 0.8 metre below the keel, but once through we were rewarded with a beautiful anchorage off the outer sand and palm tree motu in turquoise blue water.

 

We arrived at the anchorage in time for lunch, and then set about installing the new batteries.  They fitted perfectly and so this was a quick and easy job.  By late afternoon we were properly powered up once more, just in time to join the others on Sirena for sundowners and to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

 

Having thought we would have a real problem getting new batteries, we have been astounded by the efficiency of both the local supplier and the transport system.  We cannot recommend highly enough the services provided by Vetea at PSA (vlpsa {CHANGE TO AT} mail {DOT} pf or gdpsa {CHANGE TO AT} mail {DOT} pf) in Pape’ete.  We phoned him with the problem on Monday morning and by Wednesday lunchtime we had the new batteries on board.  He answered our various email queries almost immediately, both before and after delivery.  His prices were reasonable and he gave 5% discount.  Shipment from Pape’ete to Bora Bora was cheap at 1500CPF (about £10).  What might have been very stressful actually turned out to be quite an enjoyable adventure.  Thanks, Vetea.

 

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The Hawaiki Nui coming through the pass.                                                          It passed this close to us in the mooring field.

 

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It was soon tied stern-to the commercial dock...                                                and being unloaded.  We parked the dinghy close by.

 

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Unearthing our batteries from container 34.

 

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New batteries installed and working.                                                                      Time to sit back and enjoy the view of the peaks from the east.