Other than that, its been a tough week ... sort of. I got into the jobs list rather well, attacking some of the big jobs first (incase I ran out of steam). Got the mainsail away for repairs and spruce up (came back today, all nice and ready to go back on the mast), and have sent away the sailbag for similar renovation. The sailbag is looking a bit old so I'm getting Seawind to make me a new one, but it's likely I won't be anywhere to receive it until I get to Aus - hence the repairs to the old one.
Worked on the Hydrovane as the tuning rope joint had parted, again (not a great design - or - not a great previous fix by me), and the guard ropes were looking a bit miscellaneous. The guard ropes are so that I can stand right at the base of the
unit when single handed - it's an exposed area, so mucho care required when alone (the ropes are not otherwise required, so will be removed in Aus).
Attacked the diesel tank checks with gusto. First I cycled miles, to an obscure factory in the outlands near Papeete, and bingy bingo, acquired 4 O-rings to fit the fuel tank inspection hatch caps, I'd had made back in Greece. I was concerned that if the O-rings seals had perished in the last year, I wouldn't be able to reuse them when I opened the hatches (so I couldn't open the hatches until I had spares in my hand). Then wired up the new diesel pump I'd bought a few months back (refueling at sea strategy, from the big drums), and bought a longer (10m) heavy duty hose. Dead set, so pumped the port tank dry (into the starboard tank) - all lovely dovely - no diesel bug to speak off (just a few small traces in the very base that I mopped out with a paper towel). Did the reverse pump, and again, all good. So a lot of preparation and work for nothing - except that in the boating world, piece of mind is priceless. Also emptied one of my 55 Gallon drums into the tanks to fill them up. I'm tempted to get rid of the drums when empty but have had second thoughts. The run to Aus is now a series of 7-10 day hops, so fuel is much less an issue, however, the trade winds become less predictable in the second half of the Pacific run (and finding 'Island fuel' can be an issue), so it's prudent to refill the barrels, and continue onward ready for anything.
A consequence of bending double in the bilges, and lugging the heavy pump and hose around, was that I tweaked my back. Rather painful, and it had me laid up for 3 days. No disaster, just delayed the jobs list work, until everything calmed down and my confidence in the ability to lug heavy things around, returned.
Several tasks inside were completed. After long passages it always seems like things are falling apart, but as long as you get the little things done sooner rather than later, things quickly become all shipshape and nice again. One of the best things that has happened while I've been parked here in Marina Taina, is that the growth up the sides of the hull (caused by the water splashing up 24x7 on long passages), has dried, died, and mainly flaked off! I'll still need to get in the water and do some removal/polishing, but it's not going to be anything like as hard as I was expecting. I'm not going to have the boat hauled out again, until I get to Sydney, due to all the hand cleaning I did in prep for the Galapagos (and the last haul out clean/anti-foul was only 5 months ago). In Sydney she'll be on land for a couple of weeks for a full and detailed pampering, top to tail.
I'm working from 7 to 12:30 every day (except those bad back days!), and then go to the pub :-). I have some well deserved pints and order a big pepperoni pizza take away. Then I lie in bed munching, watching a good movie for the rest of the afternoon. In the evening I've been reading another WEIRD book! I was so annoyed with the crappy state of modern fiction novels a few years ago, that I'd done a lot of searching for something 'worthy'. The search had turned up a monster of a book called 'House of Leaves' - man that was a piece of work, from the juxtaposition of "wow this is amazing literature" to "OMFG this is just too weird to go on with" (I did finish it, and I'll never forget it!). Anyway, I did the same searching again and come up with another epic called 'The Southern Reach Trilogy'. It's astonishing, and that's the only way I can describe it - or maybe 'well bloody weird' should be in there. The first part of it has been made into a film, and I'm shocked - who would take it on as a project, and how would you replicate something so esoteric in film!? The film has rather mixed reviews (it's called 'Annihilation'), and the director said he didn't want to do a follow up film - I no surprised! My advice, to anyone that gives a toss about my advice, is read neither book - you'll be changed forever and wonder why you hadn't just spent more time down the pub instead. I've 10% to go, and since 50% to go, I've been persisting because I'm a persistent SOB(!), although in truth, I've been picking up my kindle each day, with willingly interest. The biggest issue now, is what the hell I'm going to find to read next!
OOPs, back in the Marquesas, went emergency swimming when the tender escaped, with none plasticated Froggy Polly bank notes in pocky.
Out on the bike with a distinctly Polynesian backdrop in Tahiti.
Sunset in Marina Taina.
Washing day in Marina Taina.
All's well on x86, washing day.