Still in Papeete Tahiti 17:32.3S 149:34.2W

SV Jenny
Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Sat 4 Jul 2015 00:16
Dear Family and Friends,

3rd July 2015

Well, we are still here and loving it despite the maintenance and the expense. The upshot of the generator failure is that it can’t be repaired without craning it out of the boat and this is both difficult and in need of better boat facilities than are available here. Alan has fixed the radio hand mike and the third failure, just in case you were in suspense, our navigation lights, a poor design for their position at the bow, where they become corroded really easily. We received a very encouraging email from our good friends Gavin and Georgie, saying if we found a fourth thing wrong, to remember it was the start of the next 3 things! Unfortunately completely true, cheers guys! So we have purchased a 2kw independent petrol generator and will get the inboard one fixed in New Zealand. We have now recovered the large outboard motor but even after repairs the company had left it with floppy steering and a headache to find the parts to correct……enough of boat maintenance.

It is surprising where the time disappears to, I can assure you we are still saying I didn’t have time. But then all the domestic chores are more time consuming, we have no transport for shopping, no on tap internet, a fridge that floods, port formalities can take just hours, just as well we don’t have a strict time line.

The silver lining to our return here is that we were able to attend the opening ceremony for the Heiva, an annual festival of Polynesian culture with song and dance, here is Papeete. The locals came to support their friends and relatives had a very relaxed attitude to coming and going in the performance which I couldn’t help feeling was curious. But there again perhaps I could understand, the dancing was wonderful in the first and last parts of the show and by far the most popular, the singing was as they say a cultural experience! Large choirs sung in their everyday voices, (not polished and trained) their 4 part harmonies were good but above that there were women caterwauling out of tune. At first I thought it just that group but when the second did a similar thing I decided this must be cultural! A large number of locals left before they started I wonder why? But then the stadium filled with troops of 160+ dancers, beautifully choreographed and costumed was spectacular and well worth the pain.

Our plans have changed, with high winds forecast for the Tuamotus for most of the next week, we have reluctantly decided that we will give them a miss. With no land shelter to speak of, the difficulty of anchoring in sand and not coral, in high winds from the direction we hoped to go in and then not being able to have flat waters to swim and dive in, the circumstances are not favourable. But for every door that closes another opens, we will hire another car and see some more of this island and we will have more time in the leeward Society Islands of Huahine, Raiatea, and Bora Bora.