Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fanning Island Tuesday/Wednesday

Oh man is it good to be still and sleep on a flat bed! We all slept really well. After a leisurely start, we started on our various projects. Lots to be done to regroup after a crossing.

Dennis spent the morning working on the generator. The head is off, so now it is matter off fixing it and figuring out where the water came from in the first place, so we don't have a repeat performance. He held pretty true to his vow not to do marathon days - sadly the dinghy motor had other ideas.

Josh and I had a pretty long list that we plowed thru as well. He took off the rudder to the windvane steering, then we floated the inflatable dinghy. That may sound straight forward, but it entailed lifting the hard dinghy up on the spinnaker halyard, disassembling the frame the hard dinghy rests on, pulling the inflatable out (finding the foot pump which I hid from myself pretty well :) ), partially inflating the dinghy, rigging it to the whisker pole topping lift, lifting it up and over the lifelines and then lowering to the water. At that point Josh walked it to the back of the boat, tied it off and finished inflating it. Oh and did I mention the rope slipped in the winch and Josh got a nice rope burn on his forehead - thanks Mom. After that we reassembled the frame, lowered the hard dinghy and put the forward deck back in order. I did one load of laundry - had just enough rain water to wash all the salty dish towels. Helped Dennis with the generator, put on the sail cover and wrestled with the grill.

The grill was kind of a surprise - it just did not want to light. All the parts had been replaced right before we left, but the crossing with the liberal application of salt water managed to gunk up the lighter knob. I finally managed to get that all cleaned up and the innards put together properly - just in time for a late lunch. Plank salmon, carrot sticks and apples.

After lunch we got all cleaned up to go to land exploring with Doug and Carla. This is the point that the dinghy motor laid low Dennis' - no marathon work day vow. 3 hours later the fuel lines are hard plumbed and the motor running well enough to get us to shore, but still needs work. Carburetor I think, or maybe the fuel pump. Beginning to feel like engines have a grudge against us........

On a more positive note - the breeze is back so at least working was reasonably comfortable. The lagoon is beautiful and the water warm (funny, it is still salty. Wonder when that will go away?) We had a mini tour of the immediate area and met Bruno (french), Fred and Mike. We will go back to Bruno's tomorrow night for a potluck and garbage burning party. We learned how to say hello in gilbertese (?) - May or ri (roll the r's).

The people here live in what most people would consider primitive surroundings, but it works for here. Separate huts for cooking, sleeping huts on stilts with thatched roofs and no walls, some solid buildings and some thatched buildings with walls. I am hoping Tabitha (helps Bruno with cooking) will show us around while we are here. Of course there are the requisite chickens running all over the place. I am at the point now that it is weird to not have free range chickens running about. Lots of pigs as well - piglets are just so cute. Oh yes and lots of dogs. I don't think I would ever want to be a dog in the south pacific - it is a hard life. I am going to have to remember to take a picture of the "school bus". OMG OSHA would be apoplectic! It is a flat bottom aluminum barge filled to overflowing with children - reminiscent of the boat people coming from Cuba! Definitely have to have a strong constitution. Everyone seems quite happy though. Lots of fishing from outrigger canoes. It is interesting to see them coming and going thru the pass riding the current - doing eddy turns. There is a vicious rumor about a kava bar - supposed to be open on Saturday, so maybe we will see what that is all about.

It is going to be a busy week here. The triennial supply ship (Kuaui)should be here Thursday and another ship the MoaMoa(?) is leaving Christmas Island for here tomorrow. Hope we are not anchored in their way. I guess they will let us know if we need to move. Will be interesting to see what ends up on the shelves in the store. Not that I need anything and even if I did it can wait until
Samoa.

Well, that is all for today. Hope everyone is well.

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