Leslie’s Letters : Stones and Modems

May 2, 2017

Mom and Dad –
Happy 78th Birthday this Friday Dad! Happy Mother’s Day on the 14th Mom!
We are always thinking of you!

Ron & Rosie Dennis at San Xavier Mission in Tucson

Such a lovely photo of the two of you at the San Xavier Mission in Tucson. I also am astonished to see photos of you riding on donkeys. Wow, full of surprises you are. That’s great! So glad you’re out doing it: traveling and living life to the fullest. Whoohooo!

Ron and Michele left yesterday for Bora Bora by plane. We were sad and frustrated to see them go as we had planned to sail with them to Bora and then to Maupiti.

Kandu captain and crew saying goodbye to Ron and Michele Bruchet

We have been slowed down due to two things: Eric was troubled by a kidney stone and we had a radio problem that we thought was going to be fixed by some parts brought in by another friend, but after three days of messing with it, the pactor modem seems to be broken, unfixable here.

Eric’s kidney stone started giving him trouble on Friday morning when we were leaving the Miri Miri surf site after spending 2 days sailing around Taha’a. He took 800 mgs of Ibuprofen around 9:00 am to reduce swelling and just after he took another 800 mgs of ibuprofen around noon, it seems he felt the most amount of pain, and must have passed it. We staged and enjoyed a lovely happy hour on the dock that night with our friends in Marina d’Uturoa hoping to leave on Sunday. It was a lovely farewell gathering. But based on the recommendation and help of two doctors who also live on their boat, Eric walked over to the emergency on Saturday morning to have an X-ray performed. Eric’s kidney stones are always oxalate, so you can see them on an x-ray if he has one. In fact, they could not see a single one, so either some stones exist but are so small they will pass, or he doesn’t have any more for the time being. This one was his 10th! Since it has passed, we can depart into the big blue without worrying that he will be troubled by the pain of passing kidney stones – at least for now! He is under doctor’s orders to drink twice as much water as before, preferably with lemon!

Eric Rigney drinking lemon water – Doctor’s orders!

On the other subject of the pactor modem, unfortunately it appears that the modem is faulty and needs to be repaired in the states. The system is so antiquated, there are only a few people who know how to repair it, and one of them lives in San Francisco. It looks we’re going to send it home with Ron and Michele to be repaired. We’ll have to sail without it for a while.
In the meantime, Eric set Bryce to read a manual on obtaining weather faxes straight from the radio through some special software that we already have…perhaps he’s going to become our weatherman specialist. And if we’re so fortunate, that’s all we’ll need to download weather grib files. We’ll see. To buy a new pactor modem we think would be about $1,500 and we just don’t want to spend that kind of money on electronics right now if we can avoid it.

We are pulling out of the marina tomorrow morning – finishing up last minute details today. I may pop into the market one more time for more oatmeal…as we pretty much used up all I had on stock. We plan to catch-up with Ron and Michele in Bora. If we leave tomorrow morning, Wednesday, we’ll arrive there by the evening and we could meet them for dinner and perhaps spend Thursday with them depending on their schedule. We want to get a bit more instruction on the new game they taught us: Cribbage. They leave on Friday for Huahine. We’ll pull-up anchor also on Friday for Maupiti.

Trent and Leslie Rigney learning to play Cribbage – our new favorite game!

Our plan is to visit Maupiti island for a day, then head north to Mopelia – a very small atoll to deliver mail and enjoy some lobster, which they have a plethora. Then we’ll head on towards Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and make Darwin by mid-July. Lots to see, lots of surf, lots of sailing. Our ocean passages will be about 10 days each, god willing. We simply don’t have time to stop in the Cook Islands or the Solomon Islands because we plan to join the Indonesia Rally which leaves Darwin July 28th. We did some research and found out that Papua New Guinea has a big theft problem. So we decided not to stop there.

Maupiti here we come!

It was lovely having Ron and Michele aboard. They were incredibly helpful – Ron worked a lot with Eric and was able to engage in some handyman issues that needed addressing, plus he washed dishes!!! Michele shopped food inventory with me, cleaned, vacuumed, helped with dinner, even planned and made dinner one night, and cleaned things all on her own volition (what a concept!)…generally reducing my work and stress. Amazing. I had a wife for a week!!

I only wish we had been able to sail with the two of them as planned to Bora Bora and then Maupiti. It’s frustrating. However, we did sail around the island of Taha’a together and got to enjoy the corral gardens there on the west side of the island near the Pearl Lodge Hotel. Also on Taha’a across from the corral gardens, we enjoyed an educational tour of a combined rum manufacturing plant, coconut oil, Temanu oil and vanilla bean provider. I had been buying the coconut oil from that very business, Pari Pari, since we arrived here in Raiatea. It’s the only local company around pressing virgin and edible coconut oil. I mentioned to the owner farmer giving us the tour, that I bought out all his bottles of coconut oil from the store that retails it in Raiatea. He was tickled to hear that.

The four of us are excited to head out. With the last minute details worked out: laundry, cleaning up ropes and installing the wind vane, we feel ready in mind and boat. Aside from the radio problem which previously allowed us to send emails at sea, and most importantly enabled us to download weather grib files, everything else is working great. We’ll get by with our delorme texting device and I can’t say I ever communicated by sailmail anyway. I send this email to you with big hugs, thoughts and well wishes for you r special days this Month of May. Please take very good care of yourselves. Did I mention to you that Curtis and Joel will be coming to see us in Darwin in July?  Sending you virtual hugs and kisses

5 thoughts on “Leslie’s Letters : Stones and Modems”

  1. Having worked in electronics all my life (cut my teeth on vacuum tubes) I can say we are always 20 years away from having none of it! If it doesn’t break, then it is only a few years away from being obsolete and unsupportable. It is always good to have “another way” to do anything electronic.

  2. Thanks for the birthay and Mother’s Day wishes dear family. The photos and write ups on your
    sails are so very interesting…and we did follow you while you carefully made it through the narrow
    pass into Maupiti. I hope you were able to snorkel there, and whatever else you had planned. Eric, you
    are such a master at fixing things, and I’m sure the boys are picking up some of these handy talents.
    All of you, thanks for all your updates and news. Love always Nani and Papa

  3. Hello Crew of Kandu,
    I’m very excited about your upcoming voyage to Samoa. You may have already set sail. I’m not certain of the timing. I have some sad news if you haven’t already heard. Cousin Billy died on the 9th of April. He spent his last few days with the woman he loved living life as he wanted. I am glad he had love and joy in his heart when we passed away. What a blessing.

    I will hold the crew close in my heart and mind knowing the seas and winds will be kind and helpful. That your voyage will be comfortable, enjoyable, and filled with love.

    Darwin doesn’t have a Costco so if you’re wanting something from there, you’ll need to let me know before we leave to meet up with you. We have some luggage allowance but if we need more, it’s cost effective to purchase more weight online before the day we leave. All things are possible but that is something to keep in mind. I have not seen the hot Cheetos in Australia but I’ll keep an eye out for them. There’s an American base not far from Darwin so likely, American food items will be around. This was the case in Alice Springs.

    All the best and much love,

  4. Leslie, we haven’t heard much of your recent travels. Did you stop at Cook Island? Is the crew
    troubled at all by sea sickness? Is the boat doing well? How was your Mother’s Day. Mom

    1. Internet access in Apia, Samoa has been hit and miss. We only just today really got it figured out with the data sim cards. Sigh! Yes – we’ll all be able to play cribbage together. What fun! On the passage between Maupiha’a and Samoa, all of us experienced sea-sickness. Kandu was rocking and rolling and so were we! We did not stop in the Cook Islands. At dawn, we depart for Fiji, skipping Savai’i the other island of Independent Samoa and Wallis (French overseas territory). It’s too bad, but entering and exiting these places is difficult when it comes to Customs and Immigration. We waste almost a day in the bureaucracy of it all. Ugh!

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