- Here are a bunch of topics that I have missed along the way Spending – Our May spending was about $3700. Three things contributed to this large amount – we stayed in a marina in Papeete for more than two weeks. This was partly for convenience as we had many errands to run in town and partly because anchoring is not easy since most areas for anchoring have been filled with moorings. We also had to spend quite a bit of money on fixing things from our knockdown – a new solar panel, stanchion, and bimini repair. Finally, shopping was superb at the hypermarche, but it was not cheap.
Also, it has been brought to my attention that boat parts worth about $2000 that were brought to Ecuador by our friend Ian were not listed in the expense summary. I will try to update that when possible. We have ordered some things to be delivered to American Samoa because it is easy (no customs for stuff from the US) and cheap for shipping.
- Peru election – Of course everyone has been following this with great anticipation, but just in case you have not, I learned that you cannot pick favourites based on how many signs they have. In the first round of the election, the leaders were Ollanta (a former general who is quite populist in his views) and Keiko (daughter of former president, and now convict, Alberto Fujimori). I am using first names here because that is how they ran for election. In the runoff election between these two, Ollanta won narrowly so Peru now continues the trend in South America toward populist leaders (see Bolivia, Ecuador, and Brazil). Ollanta says he is more like Lula da Silva in Brazil than Cesar Chavez who is the boogeyman who gets linked to all of these left-wing leaders.
- Boil on my leg – A visit to the new and impressive hospital in Papeete gave me more information about what I had – a staph infection of the skin that got serious wherever there was a break in the skin e.g. insect bite or scratch. By the time I got to the hospital I had three lesions – the one that started it all coming from Easter Island and two others also on the same leg plus one on my arm that was just getting started. The very nice and competent doctors and nurse cleaned everything out (thanks for the nitrous to distract me from the digging) and sent me to the pharmacie with a long list of things to buy. The two smaller lesions healed within about 10 days but the original one is still thereafter 10 weeks although the opening now is quite tiny.
For those who are planning to go off cruising, I would suggest that you talk to your doctor about what to do about such infections. There was an American boat at the marina with a crew with similar infections – I think it may be a tropical thing. I used an oral antibiotic designed for skin infections, a topical antiseptic and a dermatological soap. BTW, the cost for the treatment at the hospital was less than $50 (and involved two doctors and a nurse, in total for more than an hour). Supplies at the pharmacy were something like $130. I shudder to think how much it would have been in the US.
· Hood-design – I had a question (sorry for the delay) about how our Hood-designed and Bristol-built boat has done so far. Overall I would give it an A rating. It is remarkably strong and resilient. I suspect that our knockdown might have been worse and damage much more with a lesser boat. I am very appreciative of the 17 tonnes+ of displacement we have. It makes the boat more comfortable both at sea and at anchor. We have been experiencing another maramu wind at Moorea for the past few days with winds gusting above 40 knots at time. There is a Saga 43 (nice boat, but fairly light) anchored here and it gets thrown around in the gusts and heels at least 15° at anchor.
The centerboard configuration has been helpful and it gives us three advantages I think. We can get into shallower spots (more of an issue in the Bahamas than here where anchorages can be 80 feet deep and more), on those rare occasions where you need to point it is great, and most often, when reaching it allows easy control of weather helm which is essential with vane steering.
Complaints? The bow could be a bit higher and fuller which might keep the deck drier. It is common to have lots of water on deck. Having to rely only on the deck drains means that more water comes before the previous wave has drained – the high toe rail (a very nice feature for putting your weight against) also does keep the water on board. I would like interior construction that would make it easier to access tanks, wiring, etc. Too much stuff is built-in and not easily accessible.