We’re sat outside at the Rotarava Grill in Fakarava having a plate of food with Holly, Jarne and Holly’s mum. The conversation rolls and we’re absorbed in each other’s company. 

All of sudden two fulsome arms envelope me and a smacker of a kiss lands on my right cheek. Woah, what’s going on! I turn to my right and it’s Alise, the Tahitian woman who runs the little restaurant at Harifa at the south of Fakarava. If you remember from a previous post, her mother was a Parker, so we are officially cousins, Parker being my maiden name. 

Alise is dressed up to nines on a night out with her husband and she’s had a couple of sherbets. She’s beaming the biggest of smiles and is plainly delighted to see me. We have a chat about how she’s been in Tahiti and when she’ll be back home at the south of the atoll. Forget social distancing and Covid, when you see a family member, rules are out of the window!

We are now anchored down at Harifa with around 10 other boats. Many kiters base themselves here as the wind angle is often favourable. Dave is now one of these kiters. He’s making good progress  and getting upwind on occasion. With less major wipeouts. And Alise is home. Word went out, ‘they’re killing a pig’ and there’ll be a hog roast. 

Last night as the sun was going down about 20 of us gathered on the beach. The pig was on a spit and had been roasting for over 9 hours. Boy it looked great. Maybe not if you’re a veggie but to us carnivores, I knew this was going to taste great. And so it did.

The pigs on the property roam free under the coconut trees. At present there are many many piglets snuffling around joined by half a dozen cats, one little kitty, a black and white spotted puppy and two young woofers. One of the woofers, the leggy brown one, tags along on walks around the moto. He’s a great companion, independent but he also checks where you are and waits patiently if you stop for some reason. He likes the gang to be together.

Provisions arrive on Wednesday. The boat will be in and we have stuff ordered. We’ll go back north, 28 miles ish to meet it. Dave has been investigating getting new batteries shipped from Tahiti but stocks are out of the ones we want. August, suppliers say. Lithium is all the rage these days. But sourcing them for a sensible price requires time, and all the ancillary charging parts will add up. Plus the whole battery area will need re-engineering. So we’ll stick with what we have, lead acids. The ones we currently have were installed in Goole by Dave with much help from Phil in the winter / spring of 2011 /12 so they’ve done pretty well. It’s a big bank, 900aH for you techies. 

And finally a bit of an update for getting home. We have contacted four yards about getting hauled out. Two have offered a definitive no. We are on a waiting list for the other two. There is a ‘log jam’ in yards here. People hauled their boats when Covid hit and went home. They haven’t been able to get back meaning there is no space. The pacific does not have a plethora of options for haul out. 

International flights are looking slightly more possible. Another american airline is reinstating flights and air travel from France is resuming too. We’re hoping this easing will allow folk to get back to Tahiti  and get their boats in the water. Meaning space for the likes of us to haul. This may be an aspiration rather than a concrete plan. If you know anyone with a boat on the hard in Raiatea tell them to get their backside on a plane and get it shifted please.

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