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Home Port of Seward, Alaska


Our Final Day in French Polynesia

Stunningly, we're at the end of our trip. Wings is put to bed for the long season and we're dripping our last few drops of Polynesian sweat. Won't miss that! Presently, we're in Oakland visiting Conni's dad, so I might have the opportunity to post this page here. If you've been tracking us, please accept our deepest thanks.

I've written a lot about chain plates, and this is one. The lower end of the stainless steel tang is bolted to "knees" attached to the hull, and the protruding end (out of focus, here) is connected to the shrouds via a large pin that fits through the hole visible here. You can see that it's just a hole carved through the teak deck and then through the inner and outer fiberglass layers, and through the wood block core between them. Without suitable sealant, water can intrude into the core and a wet core is not strong. Deeper water intrusion ruins interior wood trim and soaks beds and books. It's a poor design, to be sure.

Yes, those are hose clamps holding the charging cables to the battery. They're all that I had.

Conni produced this hors de oeuvres plate for the last evening's meal. Lovely!

And this is Marie, the French woman who lives permanently at the Pension.

As we depart Wings for the season, I've snapped some photos of her below decks. Everything is stowed below that might get damaged by UV. If it's on deck, it's covered in Sunbrella, a UV-resistant cloth. Note that even the outboard is stowed below, although it's as much theft prevention as UV protection.

More of the same, showing starboard side and solar panel storage (black-framed rectangles with foam corners). Since we've arranged to have a mechanic travel to the boat and measure for the new engine, the covers for the engine compartment are also stowed on that side.

Our "attic" is the after berth, filled with storage boxes, lines of all kinds, and the cockpit cushions.

Conni attaches the final few cords between the cockpit cover and the lifelines. It's a long way to the ground and it always concerns me. A fall could be damaging.

This is a Swan sailboat, one of the most prestigious and well-built boats in the world. Note the very deep keel with bulb, keeping the weight very low and allowing for enormous righting moment. She can fly a lot of canvas and is very fast!

Our last view of Wings.

We made use of the remainder of the day by taking a drive around the island. On the South side, we found several lagoons and entrances that we have never explored. They're on our list for next year! Look at that water...

This is one of the small house groups accessible by road and through the lagoon. Not a bad place to live!

Here is a monohull at anchor out in the shallows over the reef. Seems like a great place to hang out for a few days, doesn't it? Next year, that'll be us.

Opoa Hotel, a resort on the East side of Raiatea, has this spectacular beach front entrance.

Lovely Conni imbibes the reason that we visited the Opoa Resort: midday cocktails!

The cocktail bar at Opoa is lovely and does construct interesting, delicious, and beautiful cocktails.

Here's the stash of gear that we're taking home. The Blue Box on the front of the cart, note, has two nested boxes, so we're returning home with less than we arrived with. Even my red Bill Bag is collapsed.

A poignant ceremony was occurring as we arrived at the airport. We speak no Polynesian, but we think that this man in the wheelchair was going off-island and not return. He was in tears, as were most of the participants. There was a lot of singing, accompanied by the uke and guitar players at right.



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