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Home Port of Seward, Alaska


Leg 10

Leg 10 will greatly resemble Leg 9, although we were able to complete some long-anticipated activities in Leg 9: we visited two vanilla plantations and spent a week on Huahine, a neighboring island. We've accomplished those, now, and have time to experience more exotic activities.

This leg will allow us to continue our take-it-easy exploration of the many archipelagos in French Polynesia. As before, it's an open cruising season with few definite goals. I'd like to return to the Tuatomotus, and visit Raivavae, supposedly the most beautiful island in the world. Raivavae is in the Austral Islands, a 3-day trip for us, each way. We'd have to dedicate at least 2 weeks to the undertaking, not counting weather days waiting on favorable winds for a return. We'll just have to see.

During our recent (November, 2016) trip to Mexico, Bill earned his "Enriched Air" PADI certification, so can legally dive with Nitrox. Nitrox is the sole gas used for diving in French Polynesia since rescue and transport to a hyperbaric facility is unlikely. It's a safety margin for non-decompression depths and is not used to dive deeper. Bill was unable to dive in French Polynesia prior to earning this certification.

We'll transport our many blue boxes to Papeete, then on to Raiatea and begin work on commissioning Wings. Once again, we'll stay two weeks in the Pension Tiare Nui, our primitive but comfortable B&B. The package includes a vehicle, so we're set for commissioning.

We have decided on a replacement engine should that become necessary. It's a Beta 50HP diesel engine, and we'll have the propeller enlarged to 18-inches in diameter in order to transfer that power to drive the boat. See link for more information. The Beta engine is a marinzed Kubota tractor engine so parts are, at least in theory, easy to find. The engine has a reputation for extreme durability, as one would imagine for a tractor engine.

We're just not sure where we'll go, but it'll be in French Polynesia the entire season. We think that we'll have visitors this year, but it always remains unlikely since that's our experience. Possible guests include:

My sister, Debbie, and French husband, Philippe. They've accompanied us on may trips aboard Wings, joining us in the Sea of Cortez and back in Alaska. They're bon vivants and will do well in French Polynesia.

My brother, David, and his wife, Elizabeth. This won't be the first trip aboard Wings, but the first in foreign waters. We hope that they can find the time to join us.

Our good friends, Nate and Val. Nate accompanied us from French Polynesia to the Cook Islands several years ago, as we took Wings to Fiji. He's a good sailor, easy to live with, and Val is a learning but competent sailor as well. Both are delightful people.

Conni has taken on some extra responsibilities at her new law firm and they'll preclude a long trip, but we're still not sure how long we'll have this year. I hope for 12 weeks, with 10 in the water.

Who knows who'll show, but all are welcome.

Update: Debbie and Philippe, and Nate and Val will join us! Hurray! Conni's new managing partner responsibilities will, as predicted, reduce this year's trip to 10 weeks, but it is what it is. We'll stay in the Society Islands, so no Tuamotu or Austral trips will be possible.



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