Monthly Archives: March 2022

Boat Projects

We have time on our hands as we wait for a weather window and as we wait for storms/squalls to pass.  So, we fill those gapes with a few boat projects and general maintenance.  Just in case you are wondering, we do work as well as play. 

Jib Roller Furler Pin

There is a rather large shackle that holds the tack of the jib to the furler (very important).  The pin inside the shackle had weaseled its way out and was almost lost.  Thank goodness we caught it.  We had to unfurl the jib to release the pressure from the shackle in order to get the pin back into place.  Once inside, we zip tied it to secure it.  Yes, the bottom shackle is twisted as it is designed to be a 90 degree shackle.  Although, we never did understand why there are two shackles here.

Jib roller furler pin

Jib roller furler pin

Sail Bag

Our sail bag (which holds our main sail) has a panel with “Sugar Shack” stitched on each side.  The letters were starting to come off so we decided to take off the two panels and stitch the letters back on.  A lot easier said than done.  The panels were stitched on to the main sail bag and had an adhesive 2” tape around all four edges.  The stitching was rather easy to cut and remove, but the adhesive was a mess. 

We removed as much of the adhesive as we could (we did not want the sticky stuff on our sewing machine).  Then Matt began the slow process of sewing on each letter.

We had to remove the sail bag in order to sew on the repaired panels..  That is another huge project as we have to secure the main (which weighs in at 300lbs) using the lazy jacks, then remove the sail bag.  The sail bag needs some reinforced stitching and then we can put the panels back on.

About a month later, we had calm weather conditions and began the process of removing the sail bag.  Matt secured our heavy dacron main using the lazy jacks (the lines that hold up the sail bag).  He had to remove the reefing lines and a lot of other stuff to get the sail bag free. I must say hat it looks so naked without the beautiful sail bag!

Matt sewed the sail bag’s weak spots and made a few small repairs before sewing on the two panels.  We laid out the sail bag on the deck in order to properly place the panels.

And she is all repaired.

Washing Machine

Yes, we have a small wash/dry machine on the boat.  It is a 2001 Splendide WDC 1024C.  I have to be honest I love it.  We don’t use the “dry” portion of the machine as it takes too much energy/power to dry the clothes.  The spin cycle is so good that I can hang the clothes in the sun and they will be dry in an hour or two.  Having a washer is a true luxury on the boat. Well, frankly anything beats washing clothes in a bucket!  The only downside to the washer is that I can only run laundry when we have full sun (it takes a lot of power), full water tank (which means running the watermaker), and light wind (to dry the clothes).  It’s a lot to ask of Mother Nature. 

But I can usually do a full load of all our clothes every 2 weeks.  Of course, we do wear our clothes several days in a row (don’t gross out – we live on a boat!).

The Problem

There is a small 110v water pump that evacuates the water from the machine.  It has been on its death bed for about a year and we keep it limping along.  The machine is 21 years old after all.  Matt took it apart 8 months ago and fixed the fan that keeps the pump cool.  Each time I use the machine I test the fan to ensure it works before starting a new load.

However, during my last load, the machine would not evacuate water.  Fiddle sticks!  We had to drain the water into a bucket and out the window, spin the clothes, and then remove them. The machine is bolted onto a 1” piece of wood which can’t be removed.  So, in order to access the back of the machine, we have to unscrew the wood from the cabinet. This after I remove all the cleaning products from the cabinet of Course.

Splendide WDC1024 Washing Machine

Splendide WDC1024 Washing Machine

Matt was able to access and remove the small motor (which by the way is no longer manufactured).  There are two problems.  1) The seal is broken so there is a small leak from the water pump.  We can’t fix this as we would have to destroy the pump to get to the seal and we don’t have a seal replacement. 

The other issue is that the fan is moving side to side and it is not supposed to.  The bracket that holds the bearing in place (which holds the fan in place) rusted and broke (see 2nd image on right). Hmmm.  Well, we can’t get a new bracket or bearing so we improvised. Matt stuck two pieces of pvc behind the bearing to keep it from moving.  This is only a temporary fix!


We are working with Splendide to find a used water pump for our machine.  We found several on eBay but none would fit our old machine.  The thought has crossed our mind to buy a new Splendide but all of the new models are too big to fit our small cabinet. Drat!  Just our luck, we find one brand new part at an RV parts store.  We buy it and ship it to Wayne who is visiting soon.  Sweet luck!


Another joy on our boat is our fresh watermaker!  We are so darn lucky to have one onboard so we don’t have to retrieve fresh water from shore in jerry cans.  We have two pumps on our Spectra watermaker, but one of them decided it had enough of us.  Matt tried to repair it and it just won’t have anything to do with us.  Lucky for us, we were able to find a replacement and have it shipped to Wayne  as well. In the meantime, we are only able to produce 50% of the volume so we are running it a lot more than usual.


The windlass raises/lowers our 100m of stainless steel chain and our 60lb stainless anchor.  It is fantastic to have this done with a push of the button as opposed to by hand (can you imagine my biceps if that were the case?).  While we were trying to raise the anchor from an anchorage that was 18m deep, the windlass stopped working.  It would not go up.  Farfignugin!

Matt removed everything from the locker and proceeded to remove the motor.  After an hour, he cleaned everything, switched the up with the down (which was working), and put it back together.  This way we at least can use it to bring up the heavy chain and anchor.  To make it all go down we can do that manually in a controlled free-for-all type process.  Not ideal, but a temporary fix.

Matt realized that it was not the motor that was broken, but the relay.  We don’t have a spare one of these.  So, we get back online, order the part and send it to Wayne. Thank God Wayne is coming!!

Small Boat Projects

Table Runner

I decided we needed a new table runner for our cockpit table.  I found beautiful fabric in Papeete and went to work. Of course, Matt had to complicate (and yet improve) my pattern.  Not bad for a small project.

SUP Cover

The new stand up paddle board is very huge and it has been baking in the sun since we bought it about 2 months ago.  We’ve needed to make a cover for it – and now is the time!  We had some extra white fabric under the master bed that would work.  It is not sunbrella, but it will do for now (at least for the first iteration).  The cover fits snugly with a little extra padding on the tip and the side.  We left the fins on and the part of the board showing for photo purposes only (smiley face).

Other Completed Boat Projects

  • Replaced zincs on port prop
  • Cleaned Propellers
  • Repaired window leaks (port large window, starboard above nav station)
  • Salon Fan (this is dead and needs to be replaced)
  • Repaired freezer door trim

Pending Boat Projects:

A boat is always a work in progress (like a house).  In addition to the washing machine, watermaker, and windlass, here is a list of a few more outstanding boat projects:

  • Lazy Jacks – inspect and tighten
  • Main Sail – repair rub spot (port side stern)
  • Paint Bilge
  • Clean Engines
  • Paint Engines
  • Freezer insulation repair
  • Repair master bedroom leak

Keep in mind, that our beautiful home is over 21 years old and she has been across many oceans.  She is truly in excellent condition for her age and we are continually being praised for her beauty and good condition.  So, even though it looks like a lot is broken, it is just “normal” boat projects.

We spend the New Year celebration in Taravai with an authentic Polynesian BBQ in our  last blog.   Events from this blog post occurred in  January 2022.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Happy New Year 2022

Polynesian New Year

Matt and I decided to ring in the New Year Polynesian style with our friends Valerie and Herve on Taravai.  They promised a Polynesian BBQ and we could not resist.

We have enjoyed plenty of Polynesian BBQs but we have never been around during the preparations.  So, this blog is me sharing the process with you so you can be a part of this cultural event too.

First, we prepped the property.  Valerie and Herve have a beautiful sandy beach, but it often gets cluttered with seaweed and leaves.  One group cleared the beach to properly welcome visitors and to create a space for fireworks.  Herve dug a hole and Tony chopped the wood.

Cleaning up Taravai

Cleaning up Taravai

Preparing the Polynesian Fire Pit

  • 1: After the hole is dug, all rocks, tree stumps, and leaves are removed leaving behind a clean, flat bottom in a round hole.
  • 2: Add coconut husks already prepped and torn apart
  • 3: Gather a pile of sticks
  • 4: Add dried palm fronds on top of the Coconut husks

  • 5: Add more coconut husks on top of the dried palm fronds
  • 6: Add more dried palm fronds on top of the dried coconut husks
  • 7: Add the sticks
  • 8: Add the blocks of wood

Then we add small river rocks and then the large river rocks.  The pit is ready to light in the morning.

The next morning, we light the Polynesian Fire pit.  After about 90 min more coconut husks are added.  Once everything has burned down (about 2 hours after the fire is lit), the pit is ready.

Food Prep

In the meantime, another group of us start to make the food baskets that will sit in the Polynesian fire pit.  Valerie teaches us how to weave the baskets together using fresh palm fronds.

Making the food baskets

Making the food baskets

Everyone had prepared several side dishes – including manuk (like a potato) top photo, pumpkin and banana dish (bottom right), and the goat (bottom left).

The banana leaves are brittle so we lightly brush them across the fire to make them soft.  They become moldable once they are soft and can be used like foil.  The spines are cut off the banana leaves, food is placed on top, and then they are gently folded.

Herve prepares the goat meet with fresh rosemary and tyme.

Herve prepping the feast

Herve prepping the feast

Back to the Polynesian Fire Pit

The men cut down a banana tree, then cut it into chunks and finally pulverize it.  Then we place the banana tree on top of the hot rocks. It will serve as racks for the food.  In addition, the moisture from the banana tree will create steam to help cook the food.

Next we cover the food with more banana leaves, then a tarp, then covered with dirt.  The food will cook in the Polynesian fire pit for 4 hours.

The Celebration

AT 1400, everyone is hungry and ready to eat.  We remove the sand, dirt, tarp, and banana leaves from the Polynesian pit.

The smell is intoxicating and only makes us hungrier.  

We had about 35-40 people celebrating with us – both cruisers and locals from Mangareva.  Everyone enjoyed a day full of amazingly tasty local food and games.

Some fun photos

Valerie and Herve’s Auntie showed up at 9:00am ready to celebrate the new year.

Valerie and Laura and I pose next to our Happy New Year = Bonne Année 2022

Although it is way past the first of the year, please know we are wishing you all a delightful 2022!  Thank you for reading our posts.

We spent Christmas in Taravai (see post), we truly enjoy our time in Gambier.   Events from this blog post occurred at the end of December 2021.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Herve, Valerie, Ariki, Alana

Taravai Christmas

We arrived Gambier on the 12th of December and took a few days to regroup while anchored in Rikitea (main town of Mangareva).  We arrived the day after the supply ship came so we were able to stock up on fresh fruits and veg, replenish staples, and catch up on sleep.  As excited as we were about the fresh goods and sleep, we really did have an awesome Christmas in Taravai.

The winds dropped and the water was glassy.  We had stunning sunsets and sunrises.

Then as usually the case, we high tailed it out of the main, crowded anchorage and headed toward Tauna.


This is a small motu on the South East side of Gambier.  It is known for its shallow sandy shelf and great winds which makes it an ideal spot for kiteboarders.  I do love to watch the kiters but it takes away from the beauty of this little slice of paradise so we tend to not visit this motu when it is crowded.  We got lucky with a few days of very little wind which meant we had the anchorage to ourselves for 4 days!

We rested, explored the motu, swam, and enjoyed the peace and quiet.  After we were well rested and caught up on a few boat repairs, we made the move to Taravai. 

We had super light winds coming from behind us so we put up the parasail and enjoyed a leisurely 3-hour sail.  If you zoom in the photo you can see our instrument showing 3.0kts of wind and our boat speed is 3.2kts (we had a little help from the current).

Parasail downwind run

Parasail downwind run


As you know, Valerie, Herve and their two sons (Alan and Ariki) live on Taravai.  They are 4 of the 12 people that inhabit this island. They’ve become good friends of ours and we wanted to celebrate Christmas with them.  We arrived at Taravai Christmas week.  Everyone greeted us with huge hugs and warm smiles.

I spent several days preparing and baking Christmas cookies.  I made well over 600 cookies including gingerbread, sugar, peppermint, white mice, and toffee.  It was a labor of love, but it was fun to pass out bags of sweet treats to our cruiser and local friends.

We enjoyed several happy hours onshore with our friends and spent Christmas morning celebrating the holiday over blueberry muffins.  They are such generous and loving people!

Herve, Valerie, Ariki, Alana

Herve, Valerie, Ariki, Alana

Our Cruising Christmas card

Coral Spawning

In mid-December the coral spawn emitting a gazillion eggs.  Huge patches float and gather all over causing a pretty bad smell and really gross mess.  The wind blew trillions (at least that is what it seemed like) of these eggs to the shores of Taravai.  They leave a trail on the waterline of the boat as well.  Hopefully, some of these eggs actually make it to coral.

Coral Spawning

Coral Spawning

For some reason, there are lots and lots of jelly fish.  These are the non-stinging kind, but it still gives me the willies!

We see man beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  Love the top left photo with the blue shooting out of the mountain in Mangareva.  The cat’s name is Shasha and she is 5yrs young.

After our eventful passage to Gambier (see passage post), we truly enjoy our time in Gambier.   Events from this blog post occurred just before Christmas 2021.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.