Rikitea - Gambiers - French Polynesia
It has been a crazy and exhausting 3 days, but at least the nights have been restful in this very calm anchorage (our first since we left the Galapagos and when we leave tomorrow our first two consecutive calm anchorages since the San Blas).
We got here on Easter Sunday and went ashore in the afternoon to have a look. Monday was also a holiday here, but we got started on fixing the gooseneck. While the rents where ashore looking for any info or goodies to be had I got started and removed the vang from the boom and the boom from the mast, holding it up with halyards. We all joined in to remove the sail from the boom, which was complicated by the bent gooseneck that was impinging on the roll. Once on deck we could remove the mandrel from the mast and then take out the remaining bolts. One was a real bear as it was bent and needed to be cut down to free itself up. By 4:00 or 5:00 we were done and had a nice evening.
Tuesday Mom and I went to visit a pearl farm while Bill checked us in with the Gendarmarie and took the ferry to the airport to pick up our new parts. In the afternoon we dry fit the new gooseneck, took it to town to use a drill press to drill out the holes we needed to fit large bolts through, and finally got some internet time. In the evening we went to Soggy Paws for drinks to welcome them here.
Wednesday we got to work fitting the new gooseneck. The holes were all very close to lining up, but not quite perfect, so it was a time consuming process of enlarging holes as need be to get them all to fit. Around 2:00 it was finally attached and we could start replacing the boom, mandrel, gooseneck, and finally load the sail back into the boom. We discovered a broken batten that we will need to deal with, but all in all, the new gooseneck looks much better and we are once again a sailboat. As an aside, we need to give a huge thanks to Forespar for being an excellent company to work with. They supplied the new gooseneck free of charge after they heard how ours failed without an extreme gibe (without a sail actually flying). They also did it in a real rush and delivered the part to LAX where it was easier for Scott to pickup. I would whole-heartedly suggest them to any boat owner. In the meantime, we purchased 6 drums of fuel together with Soggy Paws and Infini from the ship that had come in and they spent the afternoon transferring that fuel to their boats. We would have to wait till the next morning.
Today we got started at 7:00 transferring fuel, but were done by 11:00 which was nice. We took 120 gallons and are almost full again (maybe room for 20 more gallons in the tanks). Meanwhile, mom went shopping and found some cucumbers, carrots, and a bunch of tinned goods. We still need to find someone with excess pompelmouse (think HUGE grapefruit). In the afternoon I went back with her for more tinned goods, and our first round of Baguettes (they had been out of flour till the ship came in). We had brie sandwiches for lunch which were AWESOME! This is what we came to FP for and it was nice to finally get some nice fresh bread.
Tomorrow we head off to another island within the outer reef that surrounds the Gambiers for a few days. I am uploading photos of Easter island as we speak and will get to Pitcairn as soon as I have a chance. Go see the Picasa web albums (link on the right) and finally see what we have been talking about.