August 3rd 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1

We took the jolly truck into town, + popped Dave’s sleeping bag into the dry cleaners.  Then we popped over to the boat Bernadette was supposed to be on.  No sooner had we climbed up the gangplank tho’ that Dave, ever watchful of the yachts along the harbour spotted Buenavista.  This had been the boat Dave had been on, + had been kicked off of when they had to turn back to the States.  So what were they doing in Papeete?  We galloped along the dock to find out, but since no-one was home, our curiosity had to wait.

Dave is already a good friend.  He has a number of nicknames – Dick the Mennonite Muppet from Planet of the Apes (part 1 I already explained, the rest deriving from the slight physical resemblance due to his beard.)  However, he is also known as Doctor Bob, since he now has to administer eye-drops to both Val + I – I contracted the wretched thing this morning.  (Dr Bob is a muppet, in case you didn’t know.)  All of us are in a pretty poor way with respect to health – bad eyes, sores, bad colds…

We caught the bus out to the Yacht Club, this time making sure we obtained specific instructions from the Tourist Bureau first.  The Yacht Club fairly uninspiring – they did have a noticeboard, + we dutifully added our notes to the others of people looking for boats – there were none the other way round.  We had heard the competition was a bit fierce – this was further evidence.

Back to town – bread + peanut butter for lunch this time, then out to Buenavista again.  They were up + about, + the guy, Rick, came in to pick us up.  It seems they had become discouraged by poor conditions + reports of worse, so had headed back once again.  They now had some explaining to do to the authorities, who didn’t like yachts that changed their minds.  So after our brief visit, we made a few desultory enquiries, with no success whatsoever, along the yacht front – it is so difficult to find ways of opening the conversation without appearing pushy or inane.  A quick, indecisive call on Deliverance (we saw it in Panama – a huge boat which pays its crew), + then on “le truck” for the ride home.  The driver seems to know everyone on the bus (including us)+ varies his route accordingly.  There’s generally a beer stop, at a local supermarket.

Back home, Manate cooked us fish, with a rich white coconut sauce, + then this time we did go to watch telly.  There was quite a good film on, about the French Revolution, but we were all so tired we had to leave before the end.  Val was a real old granny, snoring away in the comfy chair.  Fortunately, Manate had already left, expressing his dislike once again for all things French.

Particularly bad news for Dave – kicked off the boat when it decided to head back to the States, and then finding it again in Tahiti! Travelling by yacht does seem to be liable to finding oneself in a difficult situation. There is the joy of the type of travel, and the opportunity to see places otherwise unavailable, but it also means being subject to the captain’s whim. I suppose the alternative is to BE the captain, but that too has its downside (one might be experience-rich, but cash-poor.)

More wonderful hospitality from Manate, but he is a curious character. He dislikes all things French, but finishes most sentences with “Ooh la la” – I suppose he doesn’t really have a choice of languages to express himself to us.

  1. Kevan Baker

    Landed on your feet with accommodation ……. rather than your face!

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