Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Papeete, Pals, Pompiers and Heiva

The outstanding street art in Papeete. This one was so beloved it was made into a postal stamp.

We've been in Papeete for over a month, taking care of boat repairs/upgrades, visiting with friends, and seeing the sights of beautiful Papeete.

Our marina neighbors aboard BIG FISH showing off their outside fuel tank. We met these guys last year in Fakarava. Adrien (right) is the local kiting instructor.
One night we were enjoying the sunset behind the mega-yacht Ethereal who was doing sail maintenance.

Then we noticed this guy WAY at the top. Bet he had a good view.

Upon arriving in Papeete our first order of business was to have a new lazy bag, aka stackpack, constructed for Cinnabar. Our old mainsail cover was in shreds and our huge mainsail, brand new, crisp and slippery, was almost impossible to handle the old-fashioned way by flaking it on the boom. Almost all the cruising boats that don't have in-mast or in-boom furling seem to use these long boom bags that double as sail covers. The idea is that you drop the mainsail directly into the bag and then zip it closed.

We had contracted Tahiti Sails last season to make the bag and put us on their schedule since we knew we'd be here during the "high season", and boy was it crowded at the downtown City Marina when we arrived. We came smack in the middle of the Pacific Puddle Jump fleet who were all waiting to do the popular Tahiti-To-Moorea Sail Rally held at the end of every June. Additionally, this year there was also a big Oyster fleet doing a group circumnavigation and many of them happened to be there too.

Sebastien measures the sail for the new lazy bag.

Sebastian from Tahiti Sails came out to measure CINNABAR for her new "outfit". We provided the fabric and special Tenara thread which we transported aboard SHINDIG when we did the Puddle Jump earlier this year. 

Sebastien finally installs the finished cover weeks after his first measurements.

Cinnabar's new look, no more sail hanging over the boom, now it's all on top.

We had also noticed a small leak in one of our main cabin windows during a heavy rain, so one of Tom's first projects was to remove the old sealant (sticky, gooey and black) from all four windows, tape off the windows, and re-seal them. Luckily the glue that was holding them in place was still good so he didn't have to remove them for the job.

NOT a fun task but Tom did a great job.

This was a several-day project, very messy, but the end result was perfect as all the windows passed the shooting-water-at-them test.

One of my projects was to purchase some tropical material and make cushion covers for our exterior and interior cushions. So Cinnabar got a new facelift inside as well as out. 

Many thanks to TUMBLEWEED who loaned me their machine.

One night we were surprised when a stranger stopped by to introduce himself. Turns out it was Josh from North Sails New Zealand who had sold us our new sails last year. He was working for North Sails when they made our original sails in 2001. He was on his way to Nuku Hiva to do a major sail repair on a huge yacht. He noticed Cinnabar in the marina and offered to go sailing with us on his way back home to check out the new sails.

Josh is a great guy and we appreciated him spending time with us. That's what we call great customer service!
There are many festivals and sports events in Tahiti throughout the year and one of the most important is the Heiva, a month-long celebration of Tahitian dance, music, culture and sports. Last year we missed Papeete's Heiva, so this year we were determined to enjoy some of the festivities. The climax to Heiva is the big dance and music competition held in July, but there were many other activities leading up to this that start in June.

Random parade in honor of Heiva
This Polynesian beauty was more interested in me than the parade.
My dock neighbor told me about a celebration of crafts, called Heiva Rima'i, representing the five archipelagos of French Polynesia, so one day at the end of June I took off my sandals, donned my walking shoes, and walked the 1.5 miles from the marina to the fairgrounds. The grounds were filled with tents where people were selling crafts unique to their archipelago. I saw booths filled with pearl jewelry, woven goods, colorful dresses, quilts, pillows, shell jewelry, hats, etc. 

French Polynesia is known for its beautiful woven products.

As I wandered around enjoying the sights a nice woman grabbed me and put me in a long line. Turns out it was a line for a traditional Marquesan buffet filled with breadfruit in different forms, small steamed crabs, bananas prepared different ways, and other things that were a mystery to me.

The Marquesan buffet reminded me that the cuisine from this island group was not our favorite
A woman handed me a large leaf to use as a plate and then put various items onto it. Quite frankly none of it was very tasty and I worried about those little crabs sitting out all day so I slyly slipped it into the trash at the first opportunity. 

On my way back to the marina I passed a large park filled with all of Papeete Fire Department's vehicles and boats. It was kid's day and hordes of children were climbing all over the trucks and taking tours. I stopped to check out the water rescue demonstration which was very interesting. 

Les Pompiers (firemen) and kids enjoying the water rescue

Eventually many of the Puddle Jump and Oyster Rally boats left for the big party in Moorea, so the marina calmed down a bit. Our friends PANGAEA and TUMBLEWEED arrived and it was fun to hang out with them and hear about their journey from the Marquesas, through the Tuamotus, and on to Tahiti. 

Mojito night with Kate and Mike (PANGAEA) and Douglas and Morgan (TUMBLEWEED)

We had some very fun times introducing our friends to Papeete, everything from showing them the best marine supply stores to Girl's Day Out lunches, walks, shopping and enjoying Papeete's fantastic street art. 

We celebrated Kate's birthday at the wonderful cafe La Perchoir, Betsy (ALCYONE), Kate (PANGAEA), Sylvia, and Annie, Kate's visiting friend from Colorado (Photo courtesy of PANGAEA)

Interesting street art at an apartment's entrance
This beautiful piece also decorates an apartment bldg

The highlight for Tom was when he and Mike from PANGAEA took the bus to Point Venus for a day of kiting. 

Our friends aboard SHINDIG, who had stayed longer in the Tuamotus for some good kiting, eventually arrived and it was terrific to spend time with Rob and Nancy again. When they arrived and I went aboard SHINDIG it felt just like home. Imagine that!

The cruisers who had been at the Heiva dance competitions last year raved about them, so we purchased tickets to some of the shows. 

Kate and Sylvia all dolled up for Heiva. 

The shows were nothing less than amazing. Picture at least 100 dancers, men and women, dancing for an hour, with several costume changes, and all the costumes made by hand most of which were woven with leaves, bark and flowers. The women shook their hips so fast it was a blur, all the while moving around on their toes keeping their upper bodies so still, except for graceful hand movements, that it looked like they were floating, not walking. 

The groups went through several costume changes. Who wove all those fantastic costumes? (photo courtesy of Info Tahiti)

Meanwile the men were bounding around, shaking their knees while doing squats and other things that seemed physically impossible for such long periods of time. 

This guy won first place in the men's solo dance. (photo courtesy of Info Tahiti)
All this dancing took place to a large orchestra of drums (various kinds), singing, ukuleles, and nose flutes pounding out a tribal beat that was truly primal and enthralling. The last show we saw was the last night of Heiva. We paid $20 each to see FOUR dance/music groups perform for six hours! We had never seen anything like this spectacle and were completely blown away. 

On our last night we were fortunate enough to see the woman who took first place in the solo dance because her troupe, the 2nd place overall winners, were performing that night. A MUST - Check out this stunning video of her (eat your hearts out Shakira and Beyonce): Hauhani Taputu, best dancer

Now we are doing some final tasks and provisioning in the comfort of Papeete's marina because in a day or so we'll sail over to nearby Moorea which we hear has some fantastic snorkeling and possibly diving. We're looking forward to exploring some new locations in anticipation of our friends Mike and Linda who will arrive to visit us in just three weeks. Inspired by Heiva, Linda and I are already making plans to weave our own outfits.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Raiatea to Tahaa to Huahine

We sailed from Raiatea (Uturoa area), to Tahaa (anchored in SW Apu Bay, red dot, then Mahea black dot), then on to Fare, Huahine

We left Raiatea on a Friday, ultimately bound for Tahiti, but since there are a couple of islands very close to Raiatea we thought we'd take some time to visit them and do a little "research" for when our friends come to visit in August and September.

The weather predicted that some strong southeasterly winds (called "Maramu" in Polynesian) would be headed our way so we thought we'd check out some possible anchorages in the nearby island of Taha'a, looking for protection on the west side. We left Raitea and went north to Taha'a which shares the same fringing reef as Raiatea. What we found was that because of Taha'a's tall mountains the western anchorages were directly hit by strong katabatic winds that rushed down elevated slopes at great speeds. We thought about anchoring at the famous Coral Gardens halfway up the west side (supposedly good snorkeling), but anchoring next to the reef would have put us on a lee shore in those strong katabatic winds. (Lee shore=when the wind blows you toward a shore or reef. Not good.) We tried a couple of other anchorages and they were also a bust for various reasons (too deep, too windy, anchor wouldn't hold). After what turned out to be our day-long island tour of western Taha'a we went back south to a mooring field we saw earlier in the day in Apu Bay. It is a favorite stop of all the boat charters and we were extremely lucky to grab the last mooring ball late in the afternoon. There was a big charter cat right behind us hoping to get the mooring but we beat them to it. It was a Friday and apparently a resort on land does a Friday night feast and dance festival, hence the crowd. We could hear the drums and music late into the night, followed by loud talk and laughter as the oversaturated cruisers dinghied back to their boats.

Aerial view of our anchorage in Apu Bay, Taha'a. (photo courtesy of Moorings)

We had a nice surprise the next morning. The Tahiti Pearl Regatta was happening that weekend and Cinnabar was right next to the buoy race course! Many of the boats sailed by and eyeballed Cinnabar's racey-looking red hull, wondering if we were racing. But we don't race our home anymore so we just saluted them with our cups of coffee and relaxed into our beanbag chairs for the show. We thoroughly enjoyed watching the 38 boats racing right next to us. 

We were surprised to see our rigger Fred sail by on this boat.

This colorful spinnaker had a wicked wrap and they were passed by the green spinnaker following them.

Then green spinnaker had an epic round down (crash), lost their spinnaker and finished last. 

We stayed in Apu Bay for 5 nights while the winds raged over us, but the mooring was strong and we were pretty comfortable. Once the winds subsided we decided to head over to Motu (Island) Mahea on the east side of Taha'a so Tom could check it out for future kiting sessions.

Mahea is a small island in the reef surrounding Taha'a (photo courtesy of Moorings)

Motu Mahea has a lot of coral heads so after making a few circles around the area we picked our spot and dropped the anchor. When we jumped in the water we saw that the chain was snaking over a coral head so we had to attach a buoy to lift it. The snorkeling wasn't great, but it was interesting to snorkel around an old, abandoned pearl farm. This was the second abandoned pearl farm we'd snorkeled, and we were struck by the fact that everything was just left there, piles of junk under the water. It was eerie.

After a couple of nights at Mahea we departed for the nearby island of Huahine. We knew our friends on JACARANDA were there and we were hoping to see them before they left.

We anchored near the town of Fare and VERY CLOSE to the red channel buoy. 

Sunset behind our close friend the red buoy.

After a couple of nights on the anchor a mooring ball became available so we moved over to it. We reconnected with Chuck and Linda on JACARANDA and met some of their friends, a father/daughter sailing pair, on a Swiss boat called KYORI. Linda, Sondra and I treated ourselves to a wonderful girls' day out and lunch at the deluxe Maitai Lapita Village Resort. 

Girls' day out with Linda (JACARANDA) and Sondra (KYORI) (photo courtesy of KYORI)

The village of Fare had a laid-back, surf town sort of vibe which we really liked. Although small, it was a bustling town and had a huge, well-stocked, grocery/hardware store, not to mention outdoor market stalls for fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and prepared food. The supply ships came in and out of the small harbor daily to keep the island's people and resorts stocked with goods.

A big ship in a little harbor. It was fun to watch these maneuver into and out of the passage.
Fare also boasted a wonderful beach-side bar and restaurant called the Huahine Yacht Club. Bars-on-the-beach abound in Mexico but are a rarity in French Polynesia, so we were extremely happy to find such a place. Not to mention they have an excellent happy hour that you can enjoy while watching the sunset.

A spectacular sunset from the Huahine Yacht Club. 

Much as we loved Huahine and wished to explore the island further, we had work waiting for us in Papeete and it was time to leave. Since the voyage from Huahine to Tahiti is "uphill", i.e. against the prevailing winds, we watched the weather and waited for a time when the winds might shift more northerly and make for a more pleasant voyage. Eventually the winds did shift in our favor and we left one evening before sunset. We had a very nice overnight sail with the wind on our beam (side) most of the time, so it was pretty comfortable. Cinnabar flew through the night with her new sails and we made great time. We arrived in Papeete early the next morning and found a nice spot in the marina. 

And that is where we are now, taking care of business and enjoying Papeete.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Living The Dream...aka Doing Boat Chores In Exotic Locations

Tom installs the wind instruments while Cinnabar is side-tied to a rusted old car ferry.

Some people think our lifestyle is Being On Vacation. Honestly, nothing could be further from the truth. We've just traded the 8-5 jobs and commutes for another work set. (Albeit with a better view.) The common cruiser description for our lifestyle is "Doing Boat Chores in Exotic Locations". 

We removed all the thru-holes and I lubricated and serviced them.

May 17: After a grueling 3-week schedule of working on Cinnabar in the boatyard, dropping her in the water (always very tense), and being tied up next to a rusted hulk of an old car ferry for a week next to the boatyard, we were finally ready to cast off and travel a few hundred yards out to a neighboring mooring field. Being on the water away from land was much more pleasant - it was breezier, cooler, and there were fewer insects (the biting kind).

It's been very challenging this year getting Cinnabar cruise-ready. The south pacific is much wetter than Mexico, and even though I did a vinegar wipe-down of all surfaces (I thought) inside the boat, there were some areas that ended up looking and smelling a bit mildewed and musty. So in addition to all the usual recomissioning tasks we had the pleasure of cleaning and airing out some of the cushions and interior decor from the aft cabin which didn't get as much air flow. On the positive side, the boat stayed relatively dry, no critters got inside (rats, ants and cockroaches are the problem here), and as far as we could tell nobody broke into the boat. We wisely rented an airbnb bungalow (three actually, plus one hotel in town) so that we could escape the boatyard each night. Then we spent the final three nights aboard Cinnabar wrapping things up in anticipation of going back into the water. 

High atop Mount Cinnabar, we get on and off using a tall ladder.

We did a major deck repair using all these tools and a lot of epoxy.

The following is a list of some of the things we did while at the Raiatea Carenage to get Cinnabar ready:

The Usual Tasks
-Remove stoppers and steel wool from all openings and thru hulls (critter prevention)
-Service the thru-hulls (remove, check gaskets and o-rings, lubricate)
-Check rudder post and bearing, we had a squeak at the end of the season and found a problem (see Unusual Tasks below)
-Clean and polish propeller and prop shaft
-Replace zincs
-Go up mast to install wind instruments, lubricate tracks and inspect rig, install lazy jacks.
-Bend on sails - jib and massive mainsail (aka the divorce sail, because putting it on and taking it off almost always leads to divorce)
-Clean all mildewed items with vinegar. Turns out vinyl/vinyl mesh of all things is the material that mildews the worst. Who knew? At least it's easy to wipe off.
-Wash linens and pillows that were mildewed.
-Clean and polish hull.
-Clean topsides
-Remove boat cover
-Install boat canvas
-Install solar panels
-Install auto-pilot replacment and new fluxgate compass.
-Troubleshoot autopilot and fix problem (wires were originally installed backwards)
-Remove messenger lines and re-run all halyards.
-Inflate dinghy (see Dinghy Improvement Project below) and install chaps (cover)
-Install outboard and try to start
-Remove outboard carburetor and clean
-Reinstall carburetor
-Start outboard - yay!
-Install new impeller in genset.
-Start Genset - it works, yay!
-Add refrigerant to refer system. Start refrigerator - it works, yay!
-Start watermaker. Test water. Troubleshoot watermaker. Strangely, different sets of CLEAN pre-filter elements affected the water quality readings (TDS).
-Inspect and burp PSS dripless shaft seal.
-Mount surfboard rack.
-Vacuum water from bilge.(due to stern low storage incline and melted bag ice water drained from freezer). 

The Not-So-Usual Tasks:
-Sand bottom and paint with epoxy primer and anti-fouling (hired the yard for this) - last haulout was 4 years prior in Ensenada.
-Epoxy damaged deck area. (Last year we discovered water leaks and spongy balsa core in the deck below the mainsail halyard, jib halyard, and spinnaker halyard blocks. Yep, all super-important blocks that get used a lot. We did a quick patch with some G10 but ended up crushing the balsa deck core when we had to remove the forestay to haul the boat in Nov. We brought back some epoxy with us and performed a major deck repair. It took a long time but was successful, yay!!)
-Rudder post and bearing: remove rusted hose clamp, clean bearings, run water through post area to clean out rust, re-install clamps in proper location (i.e outside the gaiter; initial installation by Bay Marine was improper) so as to prevent rust in the future. Remove G-10 cover plates hull bottom to facilitate bearing cleaning from below.
-Replace original steering cables. Broken fibers were starting to appear and we had a new spare set (from Edson).
-Replace boat lettering - Subcontracted to local French specialist. He was excellent and claims an 8-10 year decal life, unlike only the 4 years life of the replace Mexican decal.
-Internal mast jack - needed to find a manual hydraulic pump and adapter so we could jack down the mast to loosen the rigging.
-Hired rigger to help with mast jack, removal of forestay (to fit in Travelift), and rig adjustment.
-Replaced Genset BPE switch that I knocked off with my shoulder.
-Noticed some delamination "bubbles in the rudder blade. Drilled it out to check for water in rudder. No water and dry, epoxied hole, made note to keep checking and repair in the future.
-After re-launch, noticed leaking around rudder post, i.e. the boat was sinking. Tom found the culprit, a small tear in the rudder post gaiter, so he adjusted the hose clamps until leaking stopped. Made a note to replace gaiter at first opportunity.
-Dinghy improvement project: 1) cut, align, and glue hydro-turf onto all five panels of dinghy floor, 2) glue on 3 new lift-ring patches, 3) glue on 4 oar-holders, 4) screw webbing into floor panel to secure gas can. Sounds simple but it took several days while at anchor to do all these tasks.

Cinnabar gets new lettering. Jean-Luc did an absolutely perfect job.

Our rigger Fred was invaluable in helping us to jack our mast and adjust rig tension.

All the while we made a long To-Do List and we are working on some of those things right now, along with all the other Hey-I-Just-Broke-Fix-Me-First jobs that seem to pop up daily.

Our bilge alarm went off, water in the bilge! We traced it to the galley foot pump which had developed a tear in the diaphragm. Tom got to drop what he was working on so he could rebuild the pump.

While getting Cinnabar cruise-ready we (well maybe just "I") definitely had moments of "WTF are we doing? This is too much work!" But then we would be relaxing back at our air-conditioned Cozy Bungalow (airbnb), or in the cockpit with a cool drink, watching the sunset, and it felt like maybe it wasn't so bad after all. 

The lovely office staff gives Tom his boatyard bill.


Back in the water at last.

Coming up: we visit the islands of Taha'a and Huahine

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

An Unexpected Guest...Almost

 As if our boat isn't full enough, we brough a pallet's worth of stuff with us aboard SHINDIG and shipped it from Nuku Hiva to Raiatea. Where are we going to put all this stuff?

One day, in the midst of our numerous boat projects and our first day out of the boat yard, I received an email from my friend Kristen. She was about to fly out of LAX bound for Tahiti to catch a connecting flight to Nuku Hiva to visit her friend Rob on the sailboat Tiger Beetle. (Rob, who is also a friend of ours, had recently completed the Puddle Jump.) In addition to visiting for fun she was also his courier, bringing with her Rob's new auto-pilot, an essential piece of cruising gear.

In her email, Kristen was in a panic because she'd learned that due to a fireman's strike in Nuku Hiva all flights to and from Tahiti had been cancelled. Apparently, by law there must be several firemen standing by for every airplane arrival and departure. Too late to cancel her flight to Tahiti, she wondered if she could visit us in Raiatea as a Plan B. We responded of course, we'd love to have her, then had an "Oh S**t" moment as we realized the boat was still what we termed "a war zone", loaded with items that still had to be re-installed for cruising and new things that still needed to packed away. Heck, we didn't even have our dinghy inflated to pick her up from shore! We figured we'd stand by and work something out if necessary.

We heard from Kristen when she arrived in Tahiti. Exhausted from her red-eye flight she was quite upset as the airline still could not reassure that she'd be able to fly to Nuku Hiva. "Maybe the strike will end soon" was all they could tell her. She was due to fly out in two days. There was no way we could get Cinnabar guest-ready in two days, but we figured Kristen was a game girl and we'd all be able to work around the clutter.

We talked to Kristen the next day and she said that the airline was going to allow one early-morning flight and she would be allowed on it. Hopefully her excess luggage would go as well; the flights to Nuku Hiva are notoriously stingy with their weight allowances. But she wasn't going to believe it until she actually got on the plane. If not, she would fly to Raiatea. 

We were still in wait-and-see mode, but since we didn't hear from Kristen early that next morning we figured she'd made the flight. Sure enough, she called later that day and was aboard Tiger Beetle with all the transported gear. Whew!

Kristen, we're sorry you couldn't make it to Raiatea and here's what you missed...

Welcome aboard!! This is the main salon (aka saloon) and dining area. I'm sure we'll find a place to put our plates.

This is our cabin so you don't have to worry about the kiting sails and clutter.

The galley. Lots of room for cooking and preparing meals. We'll work around the mainsail and boat canvas.

And finally, here is your cabin! Roomy, yes? And note the booze bin lives there as well. We'll find some way to squeeze you in.

UPDATE: Most of this stuff had now been stowed, installed, hidden and Cinnabar is approaching livability. We are now at the island of Huahine. It's fabulous. More later...

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Boatyard Booze Burgler - Caught In The Act

After a fabulous month on SHINDIG we admitted to ourselves that it was time to get back to our own boat CINNABAR. A HUGE thanks to Capt Rob for allowing us to bring a pallet's worth of gear along on the journey.

We reluctantly said goodbye to Rob and JD, left Nuku Hiva, flew to Papeete (LOVE that city!) Then we did the short airplane hop to Raiatea.

Goofing off in the Hotel Sarah Nui, Papeete

Now we are in the Raiatea Carenage (boatyard) getting CINNABAR ready to go back into the water, which is fairly stressful. It feels like a completely different life from our voyage across the pacific on the good ship SHINDIG.*

CINNABAR high on her stands at the carenage. 

We are working everyday on tasks big and small, mostly big, and many of the boats around us have people on them just like us doing the same sort of work, hot, sweaty, dirty, and sometimes rainy and buggy. 

But there are diversions...Next to us is the boat EYE CANDY from Australia. 

Our view of Eye Candy from high atop "Mount Cinnabar"

We met Andrew and Claire last year in the Tuamotus. They were fun. They seemed so civilized, so, well, NORMAL. We knew they were a bit incorrigible, but little did we realize that Andrew and Claire are complete badasses.

Shortly after we arrived in Raiatea we began hearing about various boats that had been broken into with all their alcohol and sometimes other items stolen from them. Andrew and Claire arrived a few days after us and reported that all their booze (lots of it) was missing. We were lucky in that CINNABAR seemed untouched (so far), but many of our friends had their booze stolen (so expensive in French Poly) and sometimes flashlights, tools and other items as well.

Unlike us, Andrew and Claire are sleeping on their boat every night. One night at around 03:00 Andrew got up and noticed a flashlight in the boat behind them. He and Claire watched the light bobbing around inside the boat and realized it was being burgled!

They climbed down the ladder from their boat and quietly removed the ladder from the burgled boat so that the thief would have to find an alternate route off the boat (all the boats are quite high on stands). Eventually Claire saw the thief creep out the front hatch, notice the ladder was missing, and sneak to the rear of the boat which was closest to the ground.

Andrew was lying in wait with his camera. As the thief prepared to jump Andrew clicked off a few shots. 

Caught in the act! Attempting to hide his face, he was easily IDed by the gendarmes.

The thief growled "No pictures, I'll shoot you." Yikes! But was Andrew alarmed? Uh, no. He responded "F**k off!" and returned to his boat, camera in hand.

Andrew and Claire contacted the gendarmes (police) and eventually they interviewed Andrew and said they recognized the perp who is a repeat offender. Apparently he had been in jail locally but it was overcrowded so they released the jailbirds with less than a year left on their sentence. Andrew reported that "his" thief would be flying out the next day under armed guard to be delivered to the Papeete jail in Tahiti.

We were flabbergasted the morning of the excitement when we arrived and they told us all that had happened earlier that morning. "Really?" I exclaimed, "you had the wherewithal to move the ladder, trap him, take a picture, get threatened and then tell him to F**k off?!?" Andrew just smiled and shrugged. Unbelievable.  

Andrew the fearless, holding laptop with pic of the perp. He had more trouble with his prop shaft that gouged his head than he did with the thief in the night.

All in all the Carenage seems to be a decent yard, they seemed concerned about the thievery, and they have a gate that locks every night. Unfortunately there are holes in the fences, bad lighting and no 24-hour guard. We hope they take the cruiser feedback to improve security.

All I can say is that we're VERY glad to have Andrew and Claire as neighbors. EYE CANDY is our version of Neighborhood Watch, cruiser style.

A few of us go out to celebrate EYE CANDY's victory over crime. (L to R, the intrepid Claire and Andrew (EYE CANDY), Sylvia, Linda and Chuck (JACARANDA), Rob (ATHANOR))

*SHINDIG posted Part 2 of our journey across the Pacific. If you haven't seen it already check it out HERE at SHINDIGSAILING.