July 4

It's July 4th today. I almost didn't notice. We're not doing any kind of celebration, but I do recognize the importance of this day, especially when I contrast it with the big event down here upcoming Bastille Day. The holiday which was celebrated here last week on Tahiti was the equivalent to "Tahiti Pride Day" or "We Love Tahiti". The French
instituted the celebration, perhaps not many years ago - I don't know exactly, but I have read no references to it in any of the guide books I have, which admittedly are several years old. However, the French holiday of "Bastille Day" is approaching, and is noted as a big event in the Moon guide book "Handbook to the South Pacific" (which is an awesome book BTW).

It strikes me that the Tahiti Pride Day (which was put in the schedule 2 weeks BEFORE Bastille Day) to assuage potential (or real) hurt feelings on the side of the Tahitians that every year for the last 200 odd years they have been participating in a celebration of the independence of France. The day the French consider to be the birth of their nation, the way I understand it. The very day the French were given their freedom. It might bother me to be celebrating the emancipation date of the nation which has occupied my country for the last 200 odd years. There isn't even a large Independence movement here, though they do exist as they do in the Marquesas and the Tuomotus (we saw many homes flying the ("Free Tuomotus" flag).

It seems unlikely the French will ever grant these islands independence as long as the vast majority of native people enjoy such a high standard of living. All subsidized by the French Gov't through the French Taxpayers. When they become tired of the expense, it will all end and the islands will be freed - but who knows when that might happen, I know nothing about the mentality of the French taxpaying citizen, his feelings about this issue. If anyone reading this does (or is French) have any info, I'd be curious to hear. Are there any organized groups within France who are fighting to stop funding to the island possessions? I am curious.

I am relieved that I will not have to be IN Papeete for the week long Bastille Day festivities - too much hustle, bustle and tussle. We will be in Moorea with Grandpa Jonny and Grandma Barbara spoiling little Jonah rotten. Hopefully we won't even notice the incredible event.

We have been very productive lately! Our lists are falling one by one. We have completed several important projects and are taking on provisions daily (a little at a time). Our washing machine is even working again - it seems the problem is intermittent power loss at the outlet where the washer is plugged in. I thought I had tested the outlet for power but I tested it this morning (with a washing machine repairman who spoke only French and Chinese) and it had no power. I plugged it into a different outlet (using an extension cord) and it worked fine. Later I tested the washer's socket again and it ad power. At least we can do laundry now! YIPEE!

Our new generator end is still not here. In fact, yesterday I received an email from the dealer in Minnesota who admitted they had failed to ship it as scheduled (I sent them credit card info and told them where to ship it about 3 weeks ago). I had phoned them in the US on Monday and he told me it had shipped already Friday! In his email of yesterday he apologized and said he would ship it today (yesterday) and pay the freight himself (which was $250US). So, it may arrive on Monday or Tuesday of next week. Hopefully not Wednesday.

Right now we have decided to stay in Papeete for a few days more. Local weather forecasts are calling for a Maramu which is a period of very strong winds from the South or Southwest. The best place to be is right where we are. We had hoped to leave tomorrow for the Maeva Beach anchorage, stop in at the marina there for Diesel and Gasoline and then head for the South coast by Monday for the week. Now we will be stuck here - we are kind of getting satiated with city life, eating out, air pollution (trucks, busses and cars) and dirty water (can't swim in it, can't run the watermaker). But if its going to blow 30 for 3 days this is the better spot. The last Maramu found is just arrived in Tahanea. Our second day there we had 3 foot waves in the anchorage in 28+ knots of wind from the South. We crossed the lagoon in rain and 25+k wind to get the shelter behind a motu in the SE corner of the lagoon and man was it worth it! But we just don't know what conditions will be like in the lagoon on the South coast of Tahiti during the Maramu. One thing is for certain - the reef passes which all face South will be hell with breakers galore.

Hopefully the wind will come and go before Monday and we can get the generator on Tuesday and then go over the Maeva beach to get fuel. By Wednesday night next week we should be anchored someplace quiet and beautiful again and get back to living normally. That will give us only three days before we have to be in Moorea, but its better then nothing.