Sunday, August 5, 2001
WELCOME! To the first annual Nordhavn boat show in Tahiti!
It was a one-boat Tahitian boat show. There we were, securely tied to a modern floating dock at Marina Taina, which is just outside of the city limits of Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, on the island of Tahiti. A man walked down the dock giving "Arcturus" the once over. I watched him as I hosed off a layer of salt from her deck. I knew that the water pressure at Marina Taina is about 200 PSI. Were she any other type of vessel, I'd be concerned about blowing her windows out with that much pressure but the 10-millimeter tempered glass that is standard equipment on Nordhavn 46s can take that pressure and plenty more.
"Parlez-vous Francais?" (Do you speak French?) "Non, pas tres bien, mais je vais essayer de vous repondre." (Not very well but I'll try.) "Votre bateau est tres beau." (You have a beautiful boat.) "Merci, elle est aussi notre maison." (Thank you, she is also our home.) "D'ou venez-vous?" (Where have you come from?) "Mexico et avant ca, Alaska." (Mexico and before that Alaska!)
As I tell you about that conversation, it sounds like it flowed smoothly but in all honesty it was halting and chattery and filled with those embarrassing long pauses, raised octaves and hand gestures that we all hate when we're trying to communicate with a person who speaks another language, especially so when we're guests in their country. As it turned out, Lucien is a newspaper reporter writing for le journal La DEPECHE de Tahiti and he wanted to write an article about "Arcturus" and her crew. He wanted to take pictures and hear the story of a small boat that crossed the Pacific Ocean. I could see I was cornered but I saw a way out! I just happen to be married to Christiane Caron, the best line handler I know and by some stroke of luck a person who was born and raised in France. She was away so Lucien agreed to return in the morning for an interview. He did return the following morning and after several cups of coffee, some lively conversation and pictures taking, he departed.
The very next morning his story ran and soon others began walking our dock, asking questions and checking out "Arcturus". \We gave a tour to one couple on that day and answered questions asked by others. The following day, we left for Moorea, a nearby island, and while we were at a local gathering, several people brought up our passage and asked about "Arcturus". "Oh, you are the ones from the newspaper story!" When we returned to Marina Taina three days later to say goodbye to a friend who had been visiting, others who were interested in hearing about our adventure and talking about "Arcturus" stopped by. All in all, four couples have been through "Arcturus" and many more have come down our dock, perhaps just to look or perhaps dreaming of their own hopes for adventures.