Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stopping in Rarotonga - Day 1

Right from the start, it did not look good. First of all, we went
through a front the day before we got there and we experienced again
strong wind and heavy seas. I needed to slow down as I did not want to
arrive in Rarotonga before day light, but even with the main down and
only 15% of the jib, we were still going 6 knots. Fortunately, things
calmed down and we got at the entrance of the harbour around 7:30 a.m.
which was perfect.
But the wind was still blowing at more than 25 knots and we were
supposed to anchor away from the wall and then back in to tied up
windward of a big catamaran with the wind on the beam. So, why we were
backing in, we drifted towards the cat, and after we got one line
ashore, we were riding above one of their lines and I could not use my
engine. In the process of moving of the car by using the windlass, the
waterpaddle of the monitor got caught in one of their line, and when we
moved away was forcefully pulled back, bending again the part that
support the strut and damaging the stainless steel welding. I felt for
sure, there is no way that I can get this fixed here in this small
island with surely no good facilities to weld and adjust.
So, as soon as we were tied up, I ran ashore and tried to locate a
workshop. I was directed to "Dave", working out of a 20 foot container
right on the harbour. I described the damage and he said "we'll see, but
you know, here we fix everything. I will come along this afternoon and
let you know". I was not going to wait, so we removed the Monitor from
the boat and I took it to Dave. He looked at it and said "no problem,
Mate ! Come back in 2 hours". And indeed after lunch, it was fixed and
looking like new.
Meanwhile, I dealt with all the various formalities, health, quarantine,
customs, immigrations, some of which had to be done by the harbour
master who did not spend much time at the harbour. But why be in a hurry !
However, having been warned that everything had to be settled in cash, I
then went to town (only 20 minutes walk) to get cash and a wifi card.
Back on the boat, time for lunch and we went across the street for
burgers, which turned out to be huge, with a large serving of fries
soaked in garlic butter. This called for a super sized nap, which did
not quite relieved us totally, but enough to go out again for drinks and
We went to the other harbour which is no longer used for large boat but
lies where all the polynesian canoes do their training. We had drinks
and a nice dinner at the Trader Jack. After dinner, I could hear some
nice music coming out of the "Banana Court" but rain was threatening and
I knew that I had left my hatch open. So, back to the boat, although the
rain never materialised. Banana boat will be there tomorrow, I thougth.
Nothing lost.

No comments: