Testing Testing

Dave’s olfactory senses are working just fine. If you’re struggling to find a COVID test, we accidentally invented one as I do believe a loss of smell can be one of the symptoms. 

The test is relatively simple to set up and administer. Buy some cans of beer in Carrefour in Papeete, Tahiti. (The shop and the location are actually irrelevant but it gives a sense of place to the story). Stack them carefully in a cupboard then sail 250 miles to windward. The boat will inevitably heel so dislodging can happen. 

I guess the sight equivalent would be having an eagle eye. Well Dave has an eagle nose.

He went down below into the cabin about 10.30 in the morning. I was in the cockpit keeping an eye on things. In reality there wasn’t very much to keep an eye on. The Pacific is pretty devoid of other boats once you get a handful of miles off shore. Just occasional birdies and sealife. 

Five minutes later he’s back up on deck with a can of beer in his hand. Hmmm. The beer police aka me, are alerted. We don’t drink on passage. Well we had a snifter crossing the equator and one on Christmas Day on our way to the Cape Verde islands. Having a chilled glass of white wine on arriving after days at sea is one of life’s little luxuries and something to look forward to.

‘Hello, hello, hello, what’s going on here?” The beer police are an inquisitive bunch. The defence made their case. Like a bloodhound, Dave reported to being drawn to a cupboard as a particularly familiar smell was emanating from its interior. Escaping beer. The cans had dislodged slightly and one of them had punctured necessitating immediate drinking. ‘I had no choice, me lord, but to drink it then and there.”

So that’s the test. A man with a nuanced beery nose will sniff out an open can at 20 paces. Hopefully proving an absence of Covid. 

We left Tahiti in the Society Islands, after just under 3 weeks there with a working fridge / freezer plus a boatload of stuff for the next few months. We had a couple of nights on Moorea, an island 15 miles north of Tahiti. The Society Islands combine the hills of the Marquesas with the atoll reefs of the Tuamotus. They make for popular tourist destinations and are much busier than what we’ve previously been use to.

Moorea has great trails to walk and we squeezed in one before our sail back east to Fakarava in the Tuamotus. Currently we’re anchored at Harifa. A fine sheltered spot in the SE corner of the atoll. We plan to spend at least a week here decompressing after the shock of city living.

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