Tuesday, 23 May 2017

2-2017 Settling in

Hi from Clare,                   2-2017 Settling In                                      Sunday 21st May 2017

We are enjoying a gorgeous day at anchor behind a small island on the east side of Raiatea. A little piece of paradise in flat calm water with beautiful views of the mountains and the surrounding reef. Both water and air temperature at 28 degrees makes life very pleasant.

We have friends on ‘’Plastic Plankton’’ and ‘’Flying Cloud’’ transiting from French Polynesia to Tonga expecting up to 40 knots, four metre waves and torrential rain. Also ‘’Tactical Directions’’ transiting from New Zealand to Fiji is slowing down to avoid the same Low Pressure System which is passing through Fiji to Tonga. It doesn’t sound much fun and the weather map looks quite scary, we are very happy to be here safe and sound.

Our only aggravation is that Andrew’s Master Card is declining payments but in fact the payments are going through. When Andrew paid the boatyard for six months storage the MC declined the payment so Andrew paid by Visa. However on our bank statement both payments are showing. So as you can imagine we have spent quite an amount of time trying to rectify the problem. Numerous phones calls to MC find us dealing with electronic prompts or being placed in a queue. Not at all satisfactory when calling from overseas. It is not over yet but we are hoping it will resolve itself this week. The MC declined a second time for a smaller amount (but the payment went through) so it seems that Andrew’s MC will be unusable for the rest of the season, which is a bit of a blow.

We were scheduled to have a pot luck dinner with twenty cruising friends last Sunday, but it was postponed due to rain. So we invited Mark and Cheryl on French Curve to have pot luck on Eye Candy. It was a good night as we haven’t seen Mark and Cheryl since last season. They are now on the hard preparing their boat to go west across the Pacific. The following night with improved weather the pot luck dinner went ahead at Apooiti Marina. Another good night, we meet some lovely people, all enjoying life to the full.

We have now been around to the main town of Uturoa and provisioned the boat. Many walking trips later visiting every supermarket both in and out of town, we now have the basics. We discovered weevils in the rice, pasta and flour products, so these we either did not buy, threw out or manually sifted the product and killed the little devils. After that we got rid of all cardboard and vacuum packed just about everything that didn’t come in a tin. We have learnt that vacuum packing is the only way to stay on top of the problem. So just remember when you drive to your local supermarket and pick up good quality food in one visit; you live in a great country, so enjoy.
Uturoa township from the dock

This morning I am washing the bed linen and baking bread, hopefully without weevils. Andrew is varnishing parts of the navigation table. Twice now he has touched the freshly painted area by accident, cursed and then laughed. I think we need a big WET PAINT sign. We haven’t made any definite plans yet for the season. We will wait for the sea to settle down before we venture outside our lovely lagoon.
Better than local bread

Varnishing the nav table

Love Candy xx 

Thursday, 11 May 2017

1-2017 Back in the Water

Hi from Clare,                     1-2017 Back in the Water                       10th May 2017

Greetings to our friends and relatives. We are excited about another year of cruising and very happy to relaunch yesterday after ten very hot and humid days on the hard. Any excess weight we put on whilst at home feasting like kings has now been sweated off.


As this is our thirteenth year on the boat we needed to change the rigging and replace some sea cocks. Andrew ordered the rigging before we came home last year so we could get straight into it. Fortunately we had some help from our friend Rob on “Athanor“. Usually I hoist Andrew up the mast by using the electric anchor winch but as we needed all the spare halyards to secure the mast, Rob and I had the job of manually hoisting Andrew up and down the mast far too many times for my liking :) Andrew also had a physically hard job wrestling with the wires, but an even harder job wrestling with his mind knowing he was a long way from the ground supported only by halyards instead of the usual rigging wires. It took three days to replace all the standard rigging, including the fore-stay and back-stay. We drank litres of cold water each day and dripped perspiration non stop. A cold beer at dusk was the most welcomed drink on earth. A few dinners out with yard friends Sylvia and Tom on “Cinnabar“ Linda and Chuck on “Jacaranda““ and Rob on “Athanor“ has also been a welcomed break and morale booster.
Attaching the D2

Refitting the fore-stay
Andrew also changed the sea cocks for the galley and bathroom sinks and together we completed all the usual annual jobs which need to be done. Eye Candy was in good condition when we returned helped greatly by having a dehumidifier installed and employing the services of a boat manager to check and air the boat regularly. One boat near us on the hard didn‘t do this and came back to endless mold. The poor woman needed to wash everything. Pretty hard considering there are no washing machines at the boat yard.

Scrubbing the deck

Out with fellow cruisers


The only surprise we had was a break in. The boat yard apparently tried to contact us in March but misspelled our email address. The intruder kicked in the door of the companion way, but the boat manager thought nothing had been taken. The yard repaired and replaced the door before we returned. This was not the boat yard‘s first break in and the thief targeted mainly alcohol. We lost our end-of-year supplies which consisted of nine bottles of spirits, three red wine and one beer. We consider ourselves lucky as nothing else was disturbed. Rob on Athanor lost all his alcohol also, his supplies very much more substantial than ours.


One night Andrew got up at 3am and could hear the floor boards squeaking in the neighboring boat. The boat was vacant and due to launch in a few days. Andrew could see a torch light inside the boat and so he called me. We turned our cockpit light on and took a flash photo of the boat. The torch light went out and there was no movement in the boat. We went down our ladder and found that the thief and hosted a ladder up against the side of the neighboring boat, his thongs were at the bottom of the ladder. We took a photo of his thongs and then removed the ladder from the side of the boat. We spent the next two hours watching from the shadow of our cockpit and wondering what was the best thing to do. We did not have the phone number of the local police. The thief was actively searching through the boat. We could see him using a headlamp, a small red light and the larger torch. He was being very careful, if he bumped anything or made a noise, he would go quiet for about twenty minutes. Eventually when the street lights went out around 5 am the thief emerged from the forward hatch. We called out to him and he scurried off down the side of the boat to where the ladder had been. Meanwhile Andrew went down our ladder and continued taking photos. Andrew figured the thief would jump off the transom at the back and so was waiting for him there. He took this wonderful photo. The thief said in English, “No photos “Andrew said “Why not?“ the thief said “I will shoot you“ Andrew said “ F... off!“



We are having a quiet day catching up with emails and paperwork. We haven‘t made a plan for the season yet but we will stay in French Polynesia.

love Candy xx