Our week in Tahiti

Sunday was spent on board doing boat jobs…..  We had a late lunch before heading out for sundowners.  The Happy Hour deal at the Dinghy Dock bar isn’t bad with BOGOF beers – you get a voucher for the free refill when you purchase one – but the voucher is valid all evening so with some clever timing of purchases you can actually extend happy hour by quite a bit.

We enjoyed a wonderful sunset over the marina before heading back for an early night.

Monday morning we made an inventory of our food to generate a shopping list.   Most of it will wait until we are getting ready to leave Tahiti but, in the meantime, there were some fresh things we wanted.   So we wandered off down the dual carriageway towards Carrefour and the little shopping mall.     

We made the most of the small restaurant opposite the supermarket to have a traditional French breakfast whilst we caught up on the internet.   I also downloaded some more Kindle books as I had just finished reading the last one.  

On return to Morphie we tried to get hold of an engineer – Guy – who had been recommended by Michelle the marina’s chandlery owner.   But this proved problematical without a local phone or reliable internet access.  So we walked back to the mall to buy a SIM card so we were able to text and make arrangements.   On our return to the marina – again – Guy came and had a look and arranged to return in the morning to help us replace the autopilot direct drive unit.   Later on we went to Happy Hour and enjoyed a few hours socialising with other cruisers.    It’s quite the social event for an hour or so…..and we’ve certainly heard some interesting stories. 

Tuesday morning and Guy came on board to help Richard replace the autopilot direct drive unit.  I went off to meet Tahiti Crew – our Agent – as they had got our Duty Free Fuel certificate ready for us.   I also spent some frustrating time online sending them the final tracking numbers and original invoices for our packages coming in from both the US and New Zealand.    The internet here continues to drive me nuts.  The cheapest package is via the local hotspot and a scratch card which costs about £14 for five hours – but, in reality, the five hours only equates to about two because of the slow speed.    As a result we are doing the essential stuff only so sorry if we have missed anything! 

The drive unit job was going well – with the occasional snag – but Guy was very confident and able to resolve any difficulties as he went along.   Within a couple of hours it had all been replaced and we were able to test the autopilot sitting at the dock.   Hurrah….one job done.   But Guy and Richard were unhappy with the noise coming from the rack and pinion steering system itself so decided to investigate – we had never heard this noise before but I guess it could have been masked by the noise of the ocean underway.   So the front of the binnacle came off and they found that the pinion had some broken teeth!   OMG really?!?  This is too dangerous to continue without fixing….so morale slumped once again.    It feels like we might be in Tahiti forever….

In the afternoon we spent a few hours online trying to source Edson part numbers but failed miserably.   We ended up taking photos and sending them directly to both Edson and an Edson dealer in New Zealand.     Nothing else for it whilst we waited for responses so we went out for lunch – and I’m ashamed to say this – but we ended up eating McDonalds!!!    And, of course, this being Tahiti it is the only McDonalds that doesn’t have internet….

On the way back we walked the docks and checked out the Oyster fleet and the views out to the mooring field.  

There are some fabulous superyachts here – and some pretty unique and ugly ones too. Check out this one with the curved tubular windows….reminds me of a tube train LOL.   

We were surprised to see La Familia on the dock as they were supposed to have been and gone by now – well, we have found out they broke their engines on the way here.   Ouch….that is going to hurt a lot!!!!

Later on we headed to Happy Hour and this time we sat on our own and drowned our sorrows. 

Wednesday – I went out to get my hair cut – and Richard continued cleaning.    After I got back he went to pick up our gas bottle from the Mobile station and – yay – they had managed to fill it.   So that was good news for a change!    We then walked to the Dinghy Dock bar and sat in their gardens as they have a better hotspot wifi signal than anywhere on the docks.   We got online and were pleased to find that the Edson dealer in Auckland was able to help us.    Some back and forward emails and, by the end of the day, he had worked out the part numbers and had sourced them.  

Feeling happier we returned to Morphie – scrubbed and cleaned our saloon upholstery – and then returned to the Dinghy Dock bar for another Happy Hour.  We had a good evening chatting to some professional crew who were looking for an onward passage towards Tonga.    It was interesting to talk to them – especially the young Australian called Josh.   Would you believe the custom superyacht he is crewing on is made completely out of carbon fibre and even has its own submarine?  Crazy money or what?!?   

Thursday morning we went back to the French restaurant near Carrefour and skyped New Zealand – handed over the credit card details – and an invoice pinged its way to us pretty quickly.     Thankfully that is now resolved – just time to play the waiting game as things wing their way towards us.   We checked the trackers for the parcels – and were surprised to find that the windlass had actually arrived in Tahiti.  It will take DHL about 3-5 days to get it through customs apparently but at least that’s another job that can be sorted soon.   Oh yes, and the fridge compressor decided not to start today…..   One step forward…

Thursday night we headed over to the superyacht dock as there was supposed to be a dock party going on.   But we had clearly been misinformed as there was nobody around.   So we decided, instead, to follow the sound of live music and ended up in the Pink Coconut.  This is a locals’ hangout and the average age was about 20….so we definitely stood out a bit….especially when they all got carried away doing flaming shots!!!   But nobody bothered us and we enjoyed people watching and listening to the music.  They are very passionate about it all – it turns into a massive singalong – with lots of sexy dancing too.   Was really good fun.

Friday morning and I headed back to the mall as I’d booked myself in for a long-overdue neck, shoulders and back massage.   Well, the woman was brutal, and I’m not sure about paying for pain LOL.   But she definitely sorted out all the knots and kinks….   I headed back to Morphie – having done a quick shop in Carrefour first.   I just love wandering around and seeing what they are selling each day…the displays are pretty impressive!   

Richard was busy helping Bill get his mainsail back on having resolved the fridge problem which turned out to be an ‘undercharged’ system.   Oh yes and we had a new neighbour….who was unwrapping his helicopter….this place is crazy!

We had a lazy afternoon and Bill came by for dinner at 6pm – we then headed off in a taxi to the Intercontinental Hotel to watch their dancing show.  We arrived and headed to the Tiki Bar to be told that the outside terrace was closed due to bad weather.  Well, it had been spitting and spotting, but really?!?  So we reluctantly took a seat inside the bar and I wandered off to see if the restaurant would allow us to sit on their terrace drinking to watch the show.  I was cut off at the pass by the ever-vigilant French bar manager who told me ‘No’ very loudly, embarrassingly, and quite rudely.  I did explain that we had telephoned the hotel and had specifically asked about coming to see the show and had been told it was OK providing we purchased drinks.  He didn’t care that we appeared to have been misinformed.  A few of the bar staff heard his tirade and threw me a couple of empathetic looks behind his back.   Oh well never mind….we settled down to drink the biggest beers ever….with Bill checking out cocktails.    

Suddenly a table at the edge of the bar, overlooking the restaurant and the terrace, came free and we were ushered over there pretty quickly by the staff.  So we got to see the show anyway!   Yay….   It was great and for the first time it felt like we really were in Tahiti.

This morning, Saturday, and Richard has just been over to the fuel dock and filled up all our cans with duty-free fuel while I’m blogging.  Not sure what else we’ll do today.  We anticipate receiving the anchor windlass next week and so we need to get that fitted and tested.  Then we plan to go out and explore while we wait another week or so for the other parts to turn up.  

The steering issue is easily resolved with the right parts and, thankfully, we found this before we took off again.   The consequences of losing our steering whilst at sea does not bear thinking about.  

It has certainly been nice to have some fun this week.   Bye for now