Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We have had an eventful few days. We moved around the island of Raiatea and I decided to go snorkeling. When I got back to the boat and took off my snorkeling booties I noticed that the ball of my right foot was very large, extremely so, in fact. I showed Barry and he who usually does not react to any of my hurts says “Oh, you had better get that looked at.” Well then I was really worried, I had visions of them cutting holes in my foot and draining buckets of puss out of it and me being on crutches, etc, etc.
We were anchored across the bay, about a mile by dinghy from access to town. It was blowing pretty hard and Barry would not leave the boat and come with me, so off I went in the dinghy with the slow leak! I made it across with no problems, left the dinghy at a lovely looking hotel and hitched a ride into town. I went to the hospital and in my pitiful but understandable French made them aware of the fact that I had a sore foot and wanted to see a doctor. Well I was nicely sent down the corridor, out the door and around the corner to a clinic, where there were a zillion people all apparently waiting to see a doctor. Once again my inadequate French was put to use and I was motioned to sit with the unwashed masses and wait!! Eventually they motioned me into the receptionist’s office and someone was found who could speak some English and after much toing and froing they sent me downtown to a fancier office to see a doctor, I must have been at the free clinic or something and once they looked at me they figured I could pay. Anyway, off I went and found the doctor and got to see him right away. He assured me that he would not have to cut my foot open, that all I had to do was to wear proper shoes, (he also gave me some prescription that I have to put on my foot for 12 days). All that walking that I was doing when we were on the hard to get money to pay the bill, apparently did my foot in. I used to have to come back to the boat and lie down with my feet up because my feet were so sore. I am now taking it easy and keeping my weight off my foot as much as possible.
Okay so I got through all that and then I had to get back to the boat. Well the wind had come up even more, the dinghy was on a lee shore and the waves were crashing into this area where I had it tied up. I had tied it off bow and stern and the waves would crash in under a dock and the dinghy would rear up with the wave and then come to the end of the rope and crash back down. It was rather spectacular to watch but a little daunting to think of getting into it and motoring out of the area!!! The dinghy was full or water and I had left my wonderful lifejacket that only inflates if it gets wet in the bottom of the dinghy. I picked up the lifejacket to put it on and whoosh it inflated. Oh well the cartridge was getting old anyway. I manage to pull the dinghy around the dock and had it tied off at the edge so as soon as I got the motor started I could just zoom away. Well I had a fellow waiting to untie me once I got going and I tried to start the motor, well I pulled and pulled and pulled on that stupid starter. It usually is a very dependable motor. I was nearly at the end of my rope when I realized I had taken the spacer out and without that in the motor was never going to start, man did I feel dumb. I put the spacer in and one pull and vroom! I got the guy to cast off and I set off for the boat. It was upwind and the waves were rolling and whitecapping in the bay. Man did I get wet on the way across, I was absolutely soaked. About 3/4 ‘s of the way across the engine sputtered and I thought, oh no what would I do if it quit, but it only sputtered once and then purred away. When I got back to the boat Barry had thought I had flipped it because my lifejacket was inflated and there was so much water in the dinghy.
A couple of days later we set out for Huahine, pronounced who-a-he-knee, which is east of Raiatea. That meant that we had to go to weather to get there or pound into the wind and waves. The wind was still up, we put a triple reef in and just had a bit of headsail out. It was only 20 miles, by the time we were halfway here, Barry figured we should turn around and go back and he wasn’t sure why we had ever set out in the first place. The boat was handling the weather fine and I was having a gay old time. Every once in a while though I would look at the waves and think man these are pretty big. They are probably the biggest seas we have ever been out in. About 6 miles from the entrance we had the full genoa out and the wind was whacking away at the sail and the poor old genoa just couldn’t take any more. I looked up and noticed that the top of the sail had parted from the halyard and was going to start coming down. We quickly furled it up and motored the rest of the way into the anchorage. Another adventure safely finished with.
Barry hauled me up the mast today and I got the halyard down and we managed to get the sail on the deck without getting it too wet. It has been very windy and rainy here for the past week so the timing of going up the mast was a little tricky, we would wait for a big gust to go by and then he hauled me up. We put on our smaller furling sail, our yankee which looks to be in much better shape than the genoa. The poor old genoa is pretty much beaten up, it is amazing what 3000 miles of ocean sailing will do to a sail. We are hoping to rent a car with the couple from Taran and head off around Huahine in a couple of days. We went to town today and scoped out the place. It was a nice little spot with a great grocery store. I look forward to seeing the rest of the island on Thursday.
If you managed to read this far, just wanted you to know that the picture is when we were approaching Tahiti. It has been too miserable to take any pictures the last few days.