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Home Port of Seward, Alaska


Poised to Leave

Perhaps tomorrow, we'll become creatures of the sea again. Without a doubt, we're tired of being creatures of Raiatea Carenage! Nice place, but we're ready to leave. On this last day, perhaps, we took another stroll, not least to see the recently grounded catamaran.

The outside of our old starter, showing what saltwater and electricity can do. It's absolutely worthless and we discarded it other than the armature, the thing that spins inside.

Wings comes out from her covers. Fuel jugs are strapped to her sides, although we won't need them all full for this trip. Our two sails, jib and main, are closer to us and the rolled-up dinghy is just forward of the mast. Yeah, she's messy, but we're working on it.

This is the Catana catamaran that grounded on a coral reef. Catanas are a highly-respected manufacturer of large catamarans. She's 42-feet long and about 30-feet wide: a boat for three or four couples.

This is port hull. The rescue crew used these straps to help hold patches in place. Note the plywood patches in place on her bottom. A less-well-made boat would have been totally destroyed. It remains to be seen if the Catana will survive.

The damage. Note protruding screws at left mid-photo. The salvage crew applied caulk in copious quantities, then a high-density foam sheet, then screwed on 1/4-inch marine plywood sheets. What tremendous damage coral can inflict.

A nice view of the elements of salvage: white caulk, green high-density foam, then plywood is attached using big stainless steel wood screws. It worked, at least to get her out of the water.

All of those little coral organisms did tremendous damage, as well as the tremendous impact damage that split the hull as here.

The Carenage just before it rains. At left is the marine store that also fabricates boats. At right, Wings' bow protrudes from the yard.

In a previous set of photos, I showed a tunnel under a large catamaran. This is the boat. A few years ago, she was advertised as a fast ferry among the islands. She brought to Raiatea for an overhaul, and French Polynesia became independent. Without a guilty government paying the locals, the FP government did not have the funds to complete the work and here she sits.

Evolution at work. These cones have failed and become trapped in the launch bay, rather than reaching another island to spread their genetics.

Wonderful photo of the Carenage yard in wind. The full coconut palm was moving around dramatically as the storm moved through.

Wings, perched on her cradle and, along with her crew, wanting to return to the sea.

Evolution at work. Pass. This coconut survived and was able to roll to a place fertile enough for the tiny tree inside to sprout. The coconut milk and meat provide a great launching pad. There are few island in the Pacific to which this intrepid traveler has not ventured and successfully colonized.

Raiatea is a lovely place and Lovely Conni fits in. She's gazing at a line of coconut and banana trees just outside the Carenage gates.

Why can't you buy bananas here? Who needs to? They grow on the trees and most fall and rot with no one eating them, or even paying any attention. It's a beautiful plant, I think.

Wild-growing coleus, for heaven's sake.

Masts and cell towers almost block the sky at the Carenage.

Wild-growing hibiscus makes the place beautiful and scents the air.

A few blogs ago, I mention the 80+ couple aboard their old aluminum boat and here's the boat, Lea. I'm sure the woman's name must be Lea. If you think that Wings is messy, take a look here! It appears that they're engaged in some major work and have probably spent their lives cruising. Were my French better, I can't imagine what I would have learned from them. A life spent cruising...astounding.

It begins and ends with Wings. She looks a bit more like she's ready, and she is ready below decks. Above decks, not so much. We'll get sails on her when we anchor at Taha'a, or that's the plan.



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