Well it's back to work aboard Astarte now that our excuse to play has gone (that would be Richard). On Sunday we got three loads of laundry washed and hung out aboard Astarte. We're sure the neighboring floating party tiki that had guests on board were "thrilled" with the laundry boat! We also reorganized a bit below taking back the attic (the V-berth) and the garage (the forward head). Starting on Friday it was "Fete de Autonomie" in Tahiti (their sort of Independence Day weekend). All the floating tikii huts and the tiki "barges" were in use and the music was blaring from them and from on shore. Sunday night ended it a lovely fireworks display – and we had front row seats as they were set off from shore right where we are moored.
On Monday, we got up early and went to town in search of a welder to fix a part from the boat. (For you technical types – it's the part that attaches to the quadrant for the autopilot which has some cracks in it as well as a loose screw hole). We had a general idea of where he is – but it was pretty broad. So we got off the bus and walked through town to the other side...it was the industrial section of town. We roamed around and sure enough after going up and down a few streets, we found it! Luckily the welder spoke good English and said he could do the job. It was very expensive so we opted to get a smaller repair done on it. It will be done Wednesday afternoon so we'll trek back there then. We also went to a few other shops for stainless hardware. One shop would tell us to try another and give us directions. It ended up being a lot of walking but we did manage to get a few things we needed. We still can't find "3M 4200" here that is reasonable. One store had a tube for more than $40. Another store had expired 5200 for $39. Ouch.
The bus fares in Tahiti went up on July 1 from 130 CFP (French Polynesian francs) to 200 CFP. That almost created a riot on the bus trip home as the riders were not at all happy with the large increase, The driver tried to explain that they should buy the newly offered round trip ticket as that was only 340 CFP so that would make the increase only 40 more each way rather than the 70 more. But people weren't happy. The bus system seems a bit weird here – because they don't run very late in the day. They seem to stop around 5 or 5:30 pm – so people who work can't get home if they bus into town. The taxi cab union must be big here!