July 04, 2010
Lazy in Marquesas
"We'll have breakfast after we change out our ripped main sail", says Graham. It is 7:30 am and I have barely had my eyes open for more than a minute. "Come on there is no wind. It will only takes us a few minutes to pull down the sail and put on the old one." I have heard this before. There is no way that this is a 'few minutes' job. I know better. I reluctantly pull myself out of bed, pull my shorts on, throw my hat on and grab my sunglasses. Up on deck the sun is already full on.
We ready and uncoil all the lines and then we begin to unfurl. Of course due to the fact that the main was ripped when we furled it in, it is now jammed up. We have it about half way out and flopping/flailing around in the wind. Time to hoist Graham up the main to try and un-jam it. First I have to locate his runners, the climbing harness and the locking winch handle. Up he goes as I winch away and raise him. I then lock him in place and then try and pull out the main as he works it from above. I then race back and winch him up a bit more and then lock him in place and back to trying to pull out more. This continues for the next 30 minutes....until finally success. I lower Graham down and then we lower the main sail. Not an easy task even in light wind.
We wake Alex up. As Graham lowers the main, Alex and I attempt to flake/fold it in the limited deck space.....have I mentioned the unrelenting sun?? Finally the sail is down and flaked and I fold it up and put it in its bag and before I can breath the words..."break", Graham has the old sail up on deck and time for us to get this up.....
"This will go much easier and will surely only take us a few minutes", says Graham.......I don't believe him. We locate the tools to connect the sail. We tie the outhaul on. I work the winch, Graham guides the sail up the furling groove and Alex makes sure that the sail is pulled over and ready to go up. I winch and winch and winch and winch.....omg....I winch and winch and winch....I remember hearing Alex say, "you are halfway there mom"..How can this be, I am thinking...I winch more and more and more...Finally it is up. We wait for a bit of total calm and we harden up the main and then we try to furl it in and .....of course it gets stuck! Oiy. For the next 45 minutes Graham goes up the mast, I stick a huge screw driver in the furling area and Alex works the outhaul and miraculously all three of these jobs in unison release the main. We all go back to our original positions. We wait for calm, we harden the main and then finally success she furls in without any wrinkles. The anchorage hears our hoots and hollers! Success!
At this point (11 AM) we are allowed our breakfast. We then proceed to clean up the boat, pack the backpack for the day, locate everyone's shoes, untie and lower the dinghy motor, raid the boat and we are off for our uphill hike into town.....of course it is now the hottest part of the day!
3 hours later we are back at the boat. Hot and tired. Time to begin our water runs. Load all our water jugs in the dinghy and take them over to shore, fill them up, return them to the boat, hoist them up via the halyard, fill the tanks and then repeat 3 times.
Once we are finished with this, it is time to connect the dinghy to the halyard and hoist this up out of the water for the night.....in case you are wondering I am the one doing all the hoisting!
Now I am pretty sure that this day is the farthest thing away from lazy??? Am I right people? You are probably wondering where this is all coming from, eh. The Captain mentioned today that he is lazy. That the boat would be in better condition if he wasn't so lazy?? Now I have been married to the Captain for coming onto 20 years.....he may of said "I" but I could so hear "you". If I could of breathed fire I am sure I would of! I am thinking that I might show him lazy tomorrow! ;-). Wish me luck!
ps...We made landfall at Fatu Hiva and as far as I am concerned the landscape there was the most beautiful in the world. We made friends with the locals, hiked to the waterfall, bathed beneath the falls, watched the native dancing, listened to the rhythmic drumming, had 11 people over and around our table for a "We did it" South Pacific crossing sit down dinner, traded various treasures off of Artemo for fruit and best of all ran and walked on glorious ground! We are now at our second anchorage located on the island of Hiva Oa. This is our working anchorage. Our goals are change the main sail, do the laundry (25kg by hand) on shore, have a shower (outdoor spigit on shore), wash the boat down, check in, take down the Genoa and tighten the screws on the foil, fill the water tanks, change out the side stay with a rope as it is frayed and pick up any other provisions we need (which is only veggies and POPCORN!). If the Captain has his way we will be done all these chores in two days and on our way to the next Marquesas island of Nuka Hiva to hike the famous Vaipo waterfall (2000 foot drop) but I am thinking it is going to be at least 3 days :-).