Many people hear about us traveling by sailboat around the world, and hanging out for months in places like French Polynesia. They are naturally envious about the incredible opportunity we have to visit these islands in paradise. White sand beaches, coconut trees over turquoise waters, snorkeling with beautiful fish and coral, the beauty of the environment, the list goes on.
There is no doubt that it is a fantastic experience being here! However, many people think all we do is enjoy the scenery, sip our cold drinks while watching the sunsets, and relax all day. The reality is that we actually have periods where most of what we do is work ourselves silly so we can enjoy the next set of new islands. That’s what we’re doing right now.
We are back in Tahiti for the fourth time. Our primary motivation is to visit the biggest island in French Polynesia (at least in terms of population), so that we can prepare Tahina for the next phase in our trip. We have a huge list of tasks to perform for the next several days. Just a quick summary:
- Perform maintenance on the two engines and generator (change oils, filters, check belts, radiator fluid, etc.)
- Have maintenance performed on several pieces of sailboat equipment. This includes some repairs to fabric on the spinnaker sock, replace a furling line, fix some chafing areas, replace a broken outhaul strap, and more.
- Have some minor metal-work repaired.
- A huge list of household stuff like: laundry, cleaning inside and out, sorting storage area, etc.
- Get scuba tanks refilled
- Refill propane tanks
- Go up the mast to fix a light, check the rigging, clean stainless up the mast
- Go to chandlery and buy maintenance supplies, new lines, oil, etc.
- Replace a faulty pump
- Buy provisions for the next month
That’s just a sample of the full list. All the work on our list will take 4-5 days to complete (maybe longer depending on the sail repair and metal workers we’ve hired).
Last night, to reward ourselves for work we’ve already completed, we did go ashore for happy hour at a local restaurant, and shared in some big orders for pizza there along with crews from a number of other boats (like “Liquid Courage”, “Songline”, “African Innovations”, “Ultimate Lady”, and more). Jason also took off for a couple of hours during the day and went surfing. So, it’s not all work and no play, but it is a lot of work! One common saying among sailors is that cruising is simply working on your boat in beautiful places. It is true a lot of the time, but it does have its compensations!