Monday, April 24, 2017

Baie du Contrôleur or And then the engine stopped working

Life doesn't always go as planned, even when you are living in paradise.  In fact, a common joke about boat ownership is that it is really just doing boat repairs in exotic locations.

Mike and I joined Rob and JD on Shindig in Comptroller Bay (site two of the first season of Survivor).  Because we had a good share of motoring between Mexico and Nuku Hiva, Mike thought it wise to change the fuel filter.

All went well.  He turned the engine on after he completed the task, and all of a sudden the engine ceased. Almost simultaneously we both shouted, "Did you do that?"


Mike is a mechanic and a mechanical engineer.  He is an excellent trouble-shooter. However, this time, nothing he tried seemed to fix the engine. To exacerbate our frustration, a lot of rain throughout the day left our battery levels low and we weren't able to fire the starter battery.  We went to bed feeling a bit worried that there was something more serious wrong.

The next morning we awoke to sun charging our batteries (thank you, solar panels!) and the trouble-shooting began again.  Rob and JD came over to help. 

Nigel Calder's book Marine Diesel Engines was propped open and the guys systematically followed the trouble-shooting section on engines failing to start.

Nothing, nada, il ne marche pas. The engine would not turn over. Rob offered to tow Pangaea via Shindinghy out to the bay where we could safely return to Taiohae Bay under sail. We prepared for a tow, and just before Rob returned with JD, Mike decided to try starting the engine.  

Guess what?!  It started!  I made a "whoop woo!" that filled the bay!  We radioed over to Shindig to share the good news and the guys decided it would still be prudent to have a dinghy escort out of the narrow, rocky finger of a bay we were navigating. 

We had a fabulous escort , little Perky kept on running and we made it back to Taiohae Bay. 

Time for a margarita! 

First Mate Kate

Fueling Up

We came into the Bay on fumes after having to motor for the last three days of our passage.

When Rob and JD offered to give us a hand at the fuel dock, we said YES!

There are no photos of this process, as it takes 100% concentration at hands on.

We had to tie up in a Med mooring stern-to. This alone requires a man on the dock helping with the lines, a person on board securing the lines, a person at the helm, and a person at the bow dropping the anchor and keep the stern of the boat at a safe distance from the fuel dock.

There was a lot of surge and swell which made the whole process a bit scarier.

When we finished, we were all hot and tired.  The remedy?  Go for a swim! We had about 6 knots of wind so we unfurled the Jib part way and turned off the engine.  We were moving 1.5-2 knots.  Rob tied a fender to 150 ft of line and attached it to Pangaea.

I went in, as well.  It was very refreshing!

Thanks again, guys!!

First Mate Kate

Island Tour

After our friends Rob and JD took the island tour and highly recommended it, we decided it would be a fun way to spend Al's last day. So, we met Jocelyn at 8:30 and away we went in her air conditioned van! 

This is looking down at Taiohae Bay where our boat is anchored.

See the large grey bird in the tree on the left?  It is a loud Marquésan Pigeon.

This is Comptroller Bay, the other tribal site for the first season of Survivor. 

Al, Katie and Mike

Little protective huts for drying coconut. 


A new cultural center for the gathering and teaching of old customs.

Tiki happy to see me

Another platform Tohua for ceremonies

 The Catholic Church

Marquesan Cross


Pulpit carved out of a chestnut tree and Ressurrected Jesus carving on front wall (unusual to see)! 


Marquesan Virgin Mary 

Marquesan Drum 

Separate bell tower in case of earthquakes 

Marquesan Palm Tree (rare)

Tattoo Fern

 Marquesan out looking for his friend (with two dogs and a donkey while riding his horse). Normal.

 Important Banyan Tree for ceremonies.  Archeologists found remains of the sacrificed hanging in these trees

Petrylgraph of tribal chief

 Another ceremonial site

Mike and Al happy to not be sacrificed

Lunch spot

View from Restsurant Vivian 

Anahō Bay


Sunset back at Taiohae Bay

A great outing!  

First Mate Kate