Jitters

Folks in the sailing community around Tahiti and Moorea have the jitters. Huddled groups with serious faces discuss the weather and only a token few are British. It’s the cyclone season. Meaning our little bit of paradise called home, could be at risk.

A couple of weeks ago, a number of Papeete Marina pontoons were badly damaged and some boat fenders burst when the swell came in.

The recent grim weather forecast for lashings of wind, rain and swell have driven folks out of the marina. Preferring to seek refuge in known boltholes in the lagoons around Tahiti and Moorea. The marina was eerily quiet over the weekend.

Empty berths in the Papeete marina

Just one yacht here

Predicting the effects of the weather, particularly with a convergence zone, is notoriously difficult. It follows no pattern; a bit like me and my map reading skills. We then have to decide what effect the conditions will have in the marina. With John’s skilled knowledge, hunched over the computer deciphering the weather, we opted to stay in the marina.

Most yachts are tied securely to the pontoons.

It has poured with rain for days. I’ve checked on the welfare of the solitary Muscovy Duck who also opted to stay in the marina. Poor thing has been so wet, bedraggled and miserable, plucking out feathers in despair. I don’t like the idea of a wild animal becoming dependant on humans but in time of need… Some rustic whole meal bread, seeds and grain have been gratefully swooped on, with an appreciative little tail waggle. From the duck not me, I hasten to add. I ignored the raised eyebrow from John, as he compared his bland subsidised baguette to the duck’s wholesome delicacy.

The poor Muscovy Duck

Last night the wind was due to peak and head straight into the cockpit. Lucky for us, in the evening, the cruise ship “Marina” appeared. It was 12 hours earlier than scheduled and formed the perfect windshield for us all.

Early arrival of the “Marina” cruise ship. Happy days.

By morning the wind had dropped off and changed direction. The rain had eased a little. The smell of kippers for breakfast wafted across from the cruise ship. The Polynesian dancers, were braving the elements to greet the guests. The place was noisy and vibrant once more.

We are not complacent. It’s the swell that wrecks the pontoons and brings along with it tree trunks and debrey. We have yet to have that event. Our fingers are crossed.

Bag a baguette 

Today I cycled to the supermarket to purchase my groceries and a baguette.

The trick, is to return with the baguette in one piece. This is difficult when I’m balanced on Green Dragon with a heavy rucksack on my back, a saddle bag bulging on the back rack and hanging over the handlebars is a cloth bag full of fruit and vegetables, amongst which sits the 67cms long baguette.

Today I returned with my baguette intact.

I paid 50 xpf for the baguette in Carrefour. Most baguettes in French Polynesia cost 53 xpf. They are all subsidised and mass produced.

President Macron wants UNESCO world heritage status for French baguettes. I don’t think he eats the supermarket mass produced ones which are pretty tasteless really.