Monday, June 25, 2007

June 25, Raiatea

We haven't moved very far but at least we are at anchor in this beautiful spot watching the waves break over the reef, the palms and pine forested mountains on shore, the outrigger canoes training hard for the equivalent of the French Polynesia Nationals, and the fruit man motor up in his colorful launch selling bananas, coconuts, papaya, pamplemousse, and limes while he plays his ukelele.

It is a very beautiful place to be cleaning, repairing, testing, revamping, replacing, and studying boat system after system. We have not uncovered any major problems - yet - and by hammering away, day after day, week after week, we will get away from here someday soon. Not that we are in a rush - this is tomorrow land. Fortunately we have on hand what we need. Between the distance, the shipping strikes and the prices, replacement parts can be hard to come by.

There is also no shortage of consultants nearby - the fellows in the boatyard and the skippers from the other boats in the harbor..all working away on similar projects. People are very friendly and helpful. Their English is always better than my French but I keep trying.
About 11,000 people live on this island. There is a lot of activity during the week, but the weekends are tranquil, with virtually no traffic on the roads. There is not much in the way of public transportation here. So, to get to town you hitchhike. Go to the side of the road and wave and someone will stop...even if you are hauling a gas tank.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

June 18, Raiatea, Society Islands, FP

Raiatea is a beautiful quiet island inside a lagoon with fresh baguettes and lots of expat French people - as well as lots of American sailboat cruisers, maybe 25 US boats in this anchorage. They are here for the same reason we are - the boatyard. This is the boat hospital for a huge stretch of the Pacific, the first facility of its kind in over 3000 miles from the West Coast. Dismasts, broken engines, giant squid attacks, they come here where new problems arise, like engine accidents, batteries losing their juice, rats eating the sails, the list goes on and on. We feel very fortunate so far though we still have a fair amount of checking to do. The boat is clean and as of today, in the water after nine months on the hard.
We will continue to put the boat in order and hope to be able to sail away from this nautical rehab center sooner rather than later.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

June 9, 2007 Seattle

We leave Seattle for Raiatea, French Polynesia on June 12. The past six months have been a blur of activity to prepare for life aboard our boat, Rasa Manis (Indonesian for "that sweet feeling"). We have downsized to a small apartment on the bottom floor of our house, rented the rest of it, and will be disconnecting all phones and forwarding mail to a post office box for the indefinite future. We are tired, exhilarated, and ready to go!
Our plans - which will no doubt change - are to spend about six weeks in the vicinity of Tahiti, see the Cooks, Tonga and Fiji and get to New Zealand in early December. You can keep posted on our travels by visiting this site and can communicate with us:

Ellen -
Tom -
blog -
Mail - PO Box 31267, Seattle, WA 98103

Stay in touch!!! Ellen and Tom

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