While Jack was cleaning the scum off EV’s waterline he checked the sacrificial zincs and found we need to replace them. We replaced them in Golfito, Costa Rica, last August so the fact they were nearly gone is a concern we’ll have to address. Right now, though, we must find a diver. We mentioned this to Phil of Moon Dancer when he kayaked over for coffee one day. “I’m a diver,” Phil said. “I’ll be happy to do it right now.” This is the sort of help and support other cruisers are always willing to offer and we’re touched and grateful whenever it happens. Phil paddled back to his boat for his gear and Jack picked him up in our dinghy and brought him back to EV. Replacing a zinc underwater is fiddly, requiring managing several heavy chunks of metal and small bolts without dropping them. While Phil was planning his approach Greg from Oceania dinghied over to invite us to a party on the beach at one o’clock. When he saw what Phil was doing he ran back to his boat and returned minutes later with his own mask and fins and essentially took over our project, replacing all four of our engine zincs without a tank. He stayed underwater so long we were amazed at how long he can hold his breath. Ah youth! Greg is in his 20s, the rest of us are in our 60s. His energy and enthusiasm are boundless and infectious. Well, the enthusiasm is infectious, anyway. The energy we can only dream about.
Job done, Greg ran off to continue his beach party plans, and I set to work cobbling together some snacks to take ashore with us. All the crews of the boats in the anchorage gathered ashore. Many knew each other already, many we met for the first time. As we tried to keep the names straight Casey of Oceania organized us into teams to play bocce with coconuts. “Curling rules,” she explained, which made no sense at all to us non-Canadians. It rained off and on as we played and ate and drank and enjoyed new friends. Long after the older folks retired to our boats the young couples partied on until after dark
Early the next morning Moon Dancer sailed to Atuona on Hiva Oa to take care of some business on the Internet and they returned by early afternoon with a load of baguettes for the anchorage. Jack dinghied Nell from boat to boat delivering fresh bread to everyone, a very welcome treat for us all. In the evening the crew of Wavelength invited everyone to their boat to celebrate the fixing of their engine overheating issue, and once again we gathered for food and drink and cruiser bonding.
The next morning three boats left but by the end of the day two more arrived, then four more the following day. We are now 14 boats in Hanamoenoa Bay and we expect at least one more tomorrow, our old friends on Flying Cloud, Meryl and Walter, whom we last saw Christmas 2013 in Martinique. It’ll be a great reunion and we can’t wait.