Pee Test

Just over two weeks till we get in the metal tube and cross part of the Pacific and all of the Atlantic to get home. It’s not a particularly enticing prospect the thought of being in a restricted space with strangers for many hours sharing recycled air. It’s the polar opposite to being in the open air on a boat in the ocean by ourselves. 

We’ve been in Tahiti for a week now. We had a fast easy sail from Toau and have been anchored in the airport anchorage since we arrived. Well the autopilot stopped working properly but the wind vane stepped up admirably. Something else to add to the fix list. 

The authorities are in the process of dropping concrete blocks to install moorings. The overall plan, we believe is to restrict / cease anchoring possibilities. It’s something which we are told has been talked about for just 30 years! A french friend said I’ll believe it when I see it. 

Here’s a tale. The mayor wanted local citizens, well local men, to be involved in the work, thus providing employment. The work entails diving and being in the water so those interested needed to pass a medical before being accepted. To a man, they all failed the pee test as marijuana smoking is pretty common.

The doc said, if you want to be considered for this work, you need to come back to be retested in 3 months and be ‘clean’. Three months later, the blokes turn up with their pee samples. They all passed. And four of them were discovered to be pregnant!

The doc’s ultimatum was that he would test them again, right there and then. If you know you won’t pass there’s no point staying. They all left. This group was 20 strong.

The pull of a smoke is greater than the pull of work it would seem. How quickly the moorings are finished is anyone’s guess.

It’s fun here. There’s 7 or 8 boats that made up our Gambier Gang. We have been to Heiva which is a celebration of Polynesian culture, particularly song and dance. Troops of up to 80 dancers performed dressed in local costumes, keeping traditions alive. We supported England in the Euros. (came second if you were on Mars for the weekend and didn’t hear the score). We ate fresh mushrooms after a gap of 9 months. We shared dinner with the crews of 5 other boats on a catamaran. 

In the next few days we plan to head into the marina which is where Grace will stay for a while. It’ll be easier to get all the required Covid tests / paperwork in order being tied to the land. It’s a 20 minute dinghy ride to town which can be pretty damp experience depending on the strength and direction of the wind. 

This time last year we were 2 days out from Nuka Hiva, the end of our 29 day pacific crossing. It feels  a fair while ago. 

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