Rain

It’s been raining. Not light drizzle that leaves a faint haze of moisture on your hair. Proper rain that fills your dinghy so you can take a bath. Rain that wheedles it’s way behind your window seals to deliver annoying leaks. Rain that stops play when you’re varnishing.

Saturday was a wash out. Shame as there was a free festival of activity and health organised in the park. It’s not just local agricultural shows in the british countryside that suffer such fates with precipitation.

Sessions were advertised on big printed boards. The sand football pitch was offering a version of archery I’d never seen before. Two teams of kids fired sponge arrows at each other, their protection provided by face masks and inflatable balls to hide behind. It wasn’t quite Agincourt but with a bit of organisation it could have been. There was certainly lots of intent. Or maybe it was the opportunity to shoot your brother or sister that provided the motivation.

A bunch of adult blokes who were supposedly shooting at plastic shapes got bored with this. It was much more fun to shoot arrows high into the air and watch them fall on the unsuspecting kids. They guffawed with laughter. The blokes not the kids.

The rain arrived like the turning on of a tap and we retreated to Grace. Dripping, followed by stripping then tea. The outdoor activities for the day were over by 11am.

We’ve been on boat upgrades and maintenance for over a week here in Papeete. But it’s been fun too as there are several people around that we know. We’ve tackled the bits of outdoor varnishing we didn’t do last time plus we’ve applied some top up coats. Mechanical things like engines and generators and water makers have been serviced. The gooseneck on the boom has had some attention.

We submitted our application to enter Fiji and two days later received an email saying ‘approved’. Super speedy. Some American friends have also applied. Seven days later they have had no response. “Maybe it’s to do with the Commonwealth” they joked. My response, “we can certainly do common but we have no wealth”.

We are awaiting two packages with some small parts to arrive from the UK. Sometimes packages attract duty, sometimes they don’t. It’s a lottery. One previous parcel which contained some replacement parts from our outboard engine sailed through. To get a second parcel from the same company released into our sticky paws, we had to pay $50 of duty. How, why, logic, no idea.

Then we’ll be off to Fiji. We’ll probably check out of French Polynesia from one of the island 100 miles west from here, Raiatea or Bora Bora then it’s about 1700 miles to Savasava. Our next ocean passage is almost here.

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