Hauled out Apataki Carenage
Wind: East nor' east, F3 Gentle breeze
Weather: Sunny, warm
Work proceeds slowly. Sylph really needs her bottom blasted, taken back to bare steel and repainted from scratch as the primer is starting to detach in several areas. On the plus side the steel that is being exposed is in excellent condition. Fortunately the carenage has some epoxy primer in stock so I will be able to patch the hull where needed and get us back to Australia hopefully with a nice clean bottom.
Last night the yachties here and the carenage owners, Alfred and Pauline, enjoyed a barbecue together. There are now three boats hauled out and one waiting, namely Casse-Tete with crew Jean-Pierre and Claudia which we met back in the Marquesas, so it was a nice gathering which I very much appreciated, especially as a couple of people spoke excellent English and I was able to enjoy some interesting conversations, which was like a fresh rain shower after a very long drought. During the evening I also learned a little about the carenage and the politics of French Polynesia. Albert opened for business only 18 months ago, previously having worked for 23 years with the pearling industry in Apataki. So the carenage is very much a work in progress. I respect and admire what Alfred and his family are trying to do, especially as it seems the administration here is not making things easy as it is very corrupt as a result of all the money that was poured into the country while France was conducting her nuclear weapons testing programme in the Tuamotus. Nuclear power, it seems we are learning an all too painful lesson about the hazards of this technology at the moment, though I am only hearing snippets about what is going on. I have not seen a newspaper or had access to the internet for several weeks now. At least we yachties are able to move where the hazards are minimal but sadly I wonder how long this will be possible. Planet Earth has become a very small place over the last hundred years or so.
All is well.