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Zhik Isotak Ocean

Back in the water

by Andrew and Clare Payne on 11 May
Attaching the D2 Freedom and Adventure
Greetings to our friends and relatives. We are excited about another year of cruising and very happy to relaunch yesterday after ten very hot and humid days on the hard. Any excess weight we put on whilst at home feasting like kings has now been sweated off.

The Work

As this is our thirteenth year on the boat we needed to change the rigging and replace some sea cocks. Andrew ordered the rigging before we came home last year so we could get straight into it. Fortunately we had some help from our friend Rob on “Athanor“.



Usually I hoist Andrew up the mast by using the electric anchor winch but as we needed all the spare halyards to secure the mast, Rob and I had the job of manually hoisting Andrew up and down the mast far too many times for my liking :) Andrew also had a physically hard job wrestling with the wires, but an even harder job wrestling with his mind knowing he was a long way from the ground supported only by halyards instead of the usual rigging wires.

It took three days to replace all the standard rigging, including the fore-stay and back-stay. We drank litres of cold water each day and dripped perspiration non stop. A cold beer at dusk was the most welcomed drink on earth. A few dinners out with yard friends Sylvia and Tom on “Cinnabar“ Linda and Chuck on “Jacaranda““ and Rob on “Athanor“ has also been a welcomed break and morale booster.



Andrew also changed the sea cocks for the galley and bathroom sinks and together we completed all the usual annual jobs which need to be done. Eye Candy was in good condition when we returned helped greatly by having a dehumidifier installed and employing the services of a boat manager to check and air the boat regularly. One boat near us on the hard didn‘t do this and came back to endless mold. The poor woman needed to wash everything. Pretty hard considering there are no washing machines at the boat yard.



The thief

The only surprise we had was a break in. The boat yard apparently tried to contact us in March but misspelled our email address. The intruder kicked in the door of the companion way, but the boat manager thought nothing had been taken. The yard repaired and replaced the door before we returned. This was not the boat yard‘s first break in and the thief targeted mainly alcohol. We lost our end-of-year supplies which consisted of nine bottles of spirits, three red wine and one beer. We consider ourselves lucky as nothing else was disturbed. Rob on Athanor lost all his alcohol also, his supplies very much more substantial than ours.

To catch a thief

One night Andrew got up at 3am and could hear the floor boards squeaking in the neighboring boat. The boat was vacant and due to launch in a few days. Andrew could see a torch light inside the boat and so he called me. We turned our cockpit light on and took a flash photo of the boat. The torch light went out and there was no movement in the boat.

We went down our ladder and found that the thief and hosted a ladder up against the side of the neighboring boat, his thongs were at the bottom of the ladder. We took a photo of his thongs and then removed the ladder from the side of the boat. We spent the next two hours watching from the shadow of our cockpit and wondering what was the best thing to do. We did not have the phone number of the local police.

The thief was actively searching through the boat. We could see him using a headlamp, a small red light and the larger torch. He was being very careful, if he bumped anything or made a noise, he would go quiet for about twenty minutes. Eventually when the street lights went out around 5 am the thief emerged from the forward hatch. We called out to him and he scurried off down the side of the boat to where the ladder had been.

Meanwhile Andrew went down our ladder and continued taking photos. Andrew figured the thief would jump off the transom at the back and so was waiting for him there. He took this wonderful photo. The thief said in English, “No photos “Andrew said “Why not?“ the thief said “I will shoot you“ Andrew said “ F... off!“



So what now

We are having a quiet day catching up with emails and paperwork. We haven‘t made a plan for the season yet, but we will stay in French Polynesia.

This article has been provided courtesy of the Freedom and Adventure.

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