Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Cruising = Enjoying the Exotic Locations while Fixing Boats

While we spent the last two weeks getting Shindig ready, the overall beauty of this tropical island, Raiatea, was not overlooked.   Raiatea is the 2nd largest of the Society islands (Tahiti is the largest) in French Polynesia.  The population is over 12,000 and primary economy is agricultural with exports of vanilla, pineapple and coconut.  There are a mix of Polynesia descent people as well as French, and each day we greet each other with either an "Ia Orana" or "Bonjour" depending on what language emerges first.  Our Spanish is complicating the mind a bit, so sometimes Nancy responds with "Si", instead of a"Merci".   Generally everyone is very friendly and smiles a lot.  Not a bad way of living.

Our rental car allowed us to enjoy the daily commute along the water to the boatyard.  There are lots of little cars and trucks zipping by, but also slow moving locals on bicycles sharing the road.  One  day we took off 1/2 day and drove all around the island.  The highlight was visiting the sacred Marae *(Temple)  Taputapuatea, once considered the central temple and religious center of Polynesia.  Priests and navigators from all over the Pacific would gather here to offer sacrifices to the gods and share knowledge.  The site is over 1000 years old, and became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2017.

Daily Commute 

The Marae Taputapuatea 

Western Polynesia's most significant political, ceremonial and burial site
Paved Courtyard with large standing stone in center

Time for Lunch

Simple French Lunch - Fish in Vanilla Sauce, Taro, Tropical Fruit & Rice 


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Cruising = Fixing Boats in Exotic Locations


A popular definition of Cruising is in the above blog post title.  Very true for Shindig, who has been waiting patiently in the tropical humidity and sun in the island of Raiatea.  Raiatea is about 145 miles  from Tahiti - a 40 minute flight by airplane, but more interesting, an over night sail by sailboat.

So we have been holed up in two different airbnb or little motels, commuting daily to the boatyard to try to turn Shindig into the cruising machine that she is.  We worked 11 days in a row, with a 1/2 day break;  scrubbing, un-molding, fixing, greasing, de-greasing, reorganizing, cleaning on the inside, installing new systems, negotiating with the boatyard as rain delayed their exterior work.  Rob installed the wiring for a new Iridium Go which will make our communications back home, as well as wind forecasts, much better.  Nancy was very happy to have access to a single laundry machine in the airbnb and did 15 loads of laundry in 5 days.  (Getting laundry done in the South Pacific is very expensive, usually about $15/load for wash and dry) Got to appreciate the little things.  

Photos below show a few different angles on the fix-it jobs.  

The Boatyard where Shindig has rested for 18 months

Interior shot of main salon in shambles.

Nancy crawling in the V berth to try to find some hidden treasures  SUP still in its bag, as well as surf board


Main salon table moved to expose hidden water tank baffles.  8 sections cleaned over 2 days.
Entrez vous - the entrance to Shindig via the 10 ft ladder.  Boat Cover remained on for first week

How Romantic!    R + N = Heart on the Garbage Can
Some Boat Yoga:  Into the Aft Locker 
Rob goes up the mast to fetch halyard messengers and install wind instruments

A well deserved Tahitian Beer - and un heated swimming pool   The Best!



The primer going on after 4 days of paint removal

Friday, May 3, 2019

Boatyard Purgatory

The recommissioning process is well under way.  Shindig is buried two boats deep in the yard and we hope to splash in a week.  What could go wrong.....



Thursday, May 2, 2019

Shindig Blog Reboot

Yes, the blog has been dormant for a long time......




We had intended on catching up on the blog following the 2017 cruising season when we returned home and had lots of good internet.

Unfortunately, 36 hours after arriving home in California our home was burned in the Sonoma County Tubbs wildfire.


Digging through the rubble, Rob uncovers Nancy's Stienway
So much community support for fire victims

Since the fire, we've been recovering from our loss, navigating the insurance process and getting back on our feet.

Rather than rebuild on our burned lot, we decided to purchase another home.

Now, 18 months later, we are mostly settled and look forward to restarting our seasonal sailing aboard Shindig.

Keep an eye on the blog for updates on our cruising in the South Pacific, and as we continue the  adventure in French Polynesia and further points West.

The Shindig Cruising Adventure Continues!

Current view from 200 200 ft above the boat yard in Raiatea.

Shindig is buried deep in the boatyard.  Soon she will be free!





Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tahanea

Shindig and Alcyone made an overnight passage from Makemo to Tahanea.  It is only 50 miles but we couldn't make that distance in the daylight hours.  In order to make Tahanea at dawn we had to average less than 4.5 knots.   Do you know how hard it is to make Shindig go slow?

Once in the lagoon we headed to the South East corner and met up with our buddies on S/V Tumbleweed that we had last seen in the Marquesas and Katie and Mike of S/V Pangaea.

Shindig, Alcyone and Tumbleweed swapping stories and telling lies

Local copra farmers dropped off a bounty of lobster

They wouldn't let us pay them!


Snorkeling on the bommies near the anchorage







Brilliant blue colors of clams 


Kite time!


Pangaea Mike gett'n it done!


Beach party!

Douglas making Fire

Rob extracting precious ice cubes with Kenny


The motley castaways.  Tumbleweed, Shindig, Alcyone, Pangaea

Nancy, Betsy and Katie

Friday, January 5, 2018

Mid-Mo

One of our last stops in Makemo before heading out the West pass was a place Mid-Mo.  So named by me because it is sort of in the middle of Makemo.

This was a picture perfect spot that we enjoyed with Kenny and Betsy from S/V Alcyone.



BTW, a note on traversing the lagoon.  Check out the image below.  See all those little specs.  Those are called bommies.  They are coral outcroppings that come to the surface and they are everywhere.
When moving around in the lagoon, Nancy will be the spotter on the bow and communicate to me if there is a danger ahead.  Many of the bommies are charted but many are not.   We travel only in the day time and when the sun is overhead or behind us.  The bommies are very visible and are easily avoided if you are paying attention.


Makemo lagoon is sprinkled with bommies

Here is what a bommie looks like under water.  It is about 2 to 3 feet below the surface.


Rob and Nancy in a Tropical Paradise

Kenny and Betsy of  S/V Alcyone posing for the paparazzi 

Shindig and Alcyone at Mid-mo


Little baby black tip sharks in the shallows


Lots of strawberry crabs

Debris on the windward side of the atoll.  Sadly common on most atolls we visited.

Unobstructed sunset

Bommies make excellent snorkel spots!