Thursday, July 28, 2011

Last Rites

On Saturday I walked 6km to Uturoa the main town. I thought there might have been a Tourist info place but I didn't find one so wandered the shops along the waterfront till they all closed at noon when I headed back to the boat for a swim . Later I started the frustrating business of sorting through my clothes and other bits and pieces , trying to work out what I could take and what would have to be left behind. - stuff inevitably accumulates over the five months I had been living on board. The next day Sunday I decided to take the inflatable out to visit a picturesque "motu" - an isolated little island on the reef- read my book and do some snorkeling as it was likely to be my last chance for a while. I got quite a surprise when I arrived at what had appeared a deserted island from a mile away, to find it swarming with campers and day visitors and their families and tiny tents, music turned up, the small sandy beach covered in sunbathers, barbeques on the go, speedboats lined up - it was like being in one of those ads for Coke, colourful party central in the sun! But I managed to find a coconut palm to sit against and read, and later, snorkeling the edge of the reef saw all those wonderfully colorful fish one more time..

On Monday morning I went ashore at 8am to meet with the people from Raiatea Carenage and to find out what the procesdure was and when we would bring Sapphire out of the water. Two hours later I was almost in shock, as they had sent me straight back out to bring her in, and by ten am it was all done - Sapphire was secured in a steel cradle in a security fenced enclosure with a dozen or so other yachts for company. I spent the rest of the day in the steaming heat taking the sails off , drying and packing away the dinghy, and the outboard, sorting through the food stores, cleaning and various other chores to prepare her for the layover.

I slept on board that night but decided I would stay at a nearby motel for my last two nights in Raiatea. At 11, I took my suitcase and backpack, closed the companionway hatch and clambered down the ladder wondering if how I was feeling was what it would be like leaving an aging parent in a Nursing Home, reassuring them they would be well cared for and that I'll be back real soon!

So now I am in a lovely bungalow by the water about a kilometer from Sapphire, Ive had a long and much overdue shower and change of clothes, and Ive been back to town for a haircut, food shopping and a visit to the Gendarmerie . On Thursday I fly to Papeete and Friday to Auckland - where it will be Saturday! Like I said before, Times funny stuff!

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

No comments:

Post a Comment