Social side of sailing

Written by David Townsend

1, July 2007

Position 17034’874S 149037’132W

At anchor lagoon ‘Punaauia’ Tahiti South Pacific Ocean.

Hi dear friends, thank you for following my journey. Here is this week’s update.

The social side of sailing continues to grow this week as I spend more time on other vessels than onboard Pinta.

Life Onboard:
Due to the cost of drinking ashore (5$ a bottle) most of the time is spent socialising onboard, which what sailing use to be like when I first started sailing over 30 years ago. I have given up cooking to be honest, as I never know when I am going to be onboard.

Unusually the British fleet continues to grow with over eight vessels now anchored her, although some have moved on, a few have arrived.

Thursday night proved to be interesting for the wind had been increasing during the day with a steady Northerly 20 – 28kn. This caused huge waves to pound the surrounding reef, as the waves broke over the reef the authorities closed both entrances down on safety grounds for you could know longer see the reef outline clearly.

That evening a ‘get together’ was arranged on the dockside, the guy’s of SV Shangri la were going to be playing so around fifteen boats had arranged to go ashore and party the night away. Come 19:15hrs (local) we were all sitting on our respective vessels ready to go ashore when it turned a little uncomfortable within the anchorage, all but two crew decided to stay onboard and keep an eye on their vessels. Within minuets I was on the radio trying to contact the crew of SV Risqué affair for they had dragged their anchor and was now banging alongside me. David of SV Reflections came racing over and placed his dinghy between us so taking the pounding himself, a few moments Kip of SV Adelia also wedged himself between the two vessels.

Once the situation stabilised they both went onboard SV Risqué Affair and paid out some 20 metres of cable so allowing the vessel to sit behind Pinta.

Some 30 minutes later the crew returned and moved off to re anchor.

After that, everybody got changed and stayed on their respective vessels for, what would turn out to be a long night. I set the anchor drift alarm on then attempted to get some sleep. At 02:20hrs (local) I was woken from catching ten minutes sleep by a call over the VHF for Pinta. Kip had noticed the SV POUM dragging her anchor for the head of the fleet right through the middle, missing several vessels by only half a metre or so. One she was clear of Pinta, I jumped in the dinghy and chased after her, banging on the hull for what seemed like ages I finally managed to wake the crew moments before she crashed onto the bow of a vessel. Anchor and side rails entangled the painful sound of steel crunching fibreglass and wood filled the air that is between the gaps of raging water braking over the reef and howling winds.

Again, once stabilised, I returned onboard to try and catch another ‘ten’ minute sleep.

The following morning it was like musical boats as lots of vessels moved around the anchorage trying to find a spot where they could safely anchor, yet pay out over 200 feet of chain.

The Boat:
Well, the wind generator still works, the blades turning for the first time in over 14 days.

I spent Monday splicing (Liverpool) two eyes around thimbles in 6mm flexible wire, these would be the replacement steering cables, hours later they were fitted and tested okay.

I am still waiting for the replacement shroud!

Nana, Parahi (good bye)