Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Passage Preps - The Sequel

 Greetings,

Benjamin has just woken from his nap on my back, so while I sit and he feeds, I will dash off a quick note.  Yesterday and today are boat-prep days - time to do the last of the boat jobs (Max is going to breath-hold dive on the rudder to see if, despite the rolliness, he can coax the skeg bolts to stay put by tightening them and putting some Splash-Zone on top; he has already used Rescue Tape and JB-Weld in the engine compartment to buy us time to get to NZ), and I am stowing produce ...

So began this little dit early this afternoon.  Now it is approaching midnight, Benjamin is finally sleeping on the aft bunk after a rather squally (more teeth?) kind of a day.  It is fair to say that a baby is *not* an asset to one's efficiency.  A teething baby who is becoming mobile is even *less* of an asset.  Good thing he is cute :)  (And good thing Mom is a night-owl who can start her day`s work at 10 pm ... the aft cabin is now stowed for sea, the laundry is put away, and the produce will wait for tomorrow!)

Max ended up diving with his gear [and managed to not get eaten by sharks] on the rudder and using Splash Zone (2-part expoxy that gets mixed in gloved hands like gooey playdough) to secure the bolts, patch the rudder where the stern-anchor chain had rubbed it, and patch the transom where the dingy played too rough of a game of bumper-boats with Fluenta (so much for our beautiful Mexican paint job ... the dull-green Splash Zone is not what you would call a colour match, but at least it will prevent further damage to the fibreglass/paint until we can fix it properly).  This turned into an all-hands evolution, as it was necessary for me to form the Splash Zone balls and for the kids to entertain an unenthusiastic Benjamin... so much for stowing produce, cleaning the fridge, securing the aft cabin, running ashore for the last of the provisions, etc etc...

After a quick mid-afternoon bowl of soup, Max and Johnathan began the dingy trips to refuel our diesel two jerry cans at a time.  Johnathan earned his eight-year-old pay today (a bag of chips!) helping Max hoist the jerry cans several feet from the dingy to the jetty, carry them to the fuel station, return to the dingy with them, hoist them aboard Fluenta, and then pour them into the tank.  They did two runs today, and will do the final one in the morning.

It then turned out that all the jellyfish-like creatures that were hovering around Max under water (not stinging, but not leaving either) also found their way into our watermaker system, so after re-stowing all the heavy gear from the lazarette (removed earlier this week so Max could look for the source of funny sounds coming from the autopilot), Max had to trouble-shoot that system as well.  So much for an early night with a tidy boat!  It really did seem like one step ahead and two steps behind, but at the same time, we could be having this kind of day anywhere, and the scenery is certainly nice here :)

Such is a day on a sailboat with a baby ...

Thinking that this would be our last night here, we went ashore for pizza (overpriced and undersized, unfortunately, but the wood-fired oven that we could see from the table was worth the walk).  We had been planning to leave at noon tomorrow (Tues), but now it looks like we will leave at first light on Wed.  The journey will be between 450 and 500 nm, so it will likely take us 4-5 days, depending on the wind.  Unlike the Marquesas, which are high and mountainous (read lush, rainy, and fertile), the Tuomotus are a group of volcanic "motus" that are flat and consist generally of a ring of (very dry) land surrounding a coral-filled lagoon.  Passages need to be timed carefully so that the lagoon is entered through the pass during particular current windows, and when the sun will be above and behind us.  As I understand it, the wind will be a constant presence, but the anchorages are typically flat because the circle of land quells the waves.  Our batteries should be happy, and so should our souls, because we will finally be in a peaceful place with white sand, clear water, and minimal swell.  Now we just need to prep our boat and make our passage so we can get there!

On that note, I will call it a night ... much love to all,
Elizabeth
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At 6/8/2014 6:18 AM (utc) Fluenta's position was 08°55.00'S 140°06.00'W


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