Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Disappointment in Raiatea

(Written on July 28)

We booked time in the boatyard at Raiatea Carinage some time ago and we've worked up quite a to do list while we sat on the hard. When we first pulled into the lagoon at Raiatea, we went straight to the yard, picked up a mooring, and investigated. My heart sunk. The yard was dirty, no washer-dryer in sight, and worse of had only one toilet stall and a single shower. And both were beyond disgusting. I wasn't sure that I could withstand five days with such facilities. And I'm no princess. Mike and John were just a grossed out as I was. 

So, on Monday morning, when we were hauled out of the water, Mikey took a mop and a bucket of bleach to the facilities. Although it didn't look much better, at least we knew it was clean. Kind of. In any case, we were still very careful not to touch anything when being in there. EWWWWWWW....

The good news is that the stands they use to support the boat are pretty fabulous, and we feel quite secure about leaving the boat here. They've done a good job of hauling the boat, and the workers even swam below to boat, to place the straps exactly where they were needed. And the staff could not be nicer, or more helpful. Wow.

Our neighbors here in the yard have been great...Eric and Kris on SV Lady Meg are fellow Canadians and are finishing their trip around the world. They've been a great resource, as they've stored their boat in yards around the world several times to return home to Canada. There is a local family here, and the two girls, Leah and Daphine, are taking care of the litter of yard puppies...and have also been a hoot as we exchange language skills.
Our time at Raiatea went by in a blur of boat projects. Mike and John took a day off to dive a local wreck...John even saw the elusive Hammerhead Shark. I stayed on the boat, as I knew I'd want to do more diving here next year upon our return, and diving inside wrecks freak me out. Something about confined spaces, I guess! We also spent time with friends on Dillon and Escapade to check out some of the local eateries, share a few meals, and watch a local festival.

It was great having Mike here, although was probably not the most relaxing end to a dream holiday for him! He's promised to write a blog post about his time on the boat, so stayed tuned for his perspective! After a few days in Raiatea, we stuffed his duffel bag full of broken boat parts, and went to see him off at the airport. We'd be following in his footsteps in a few days as we make our own way home.