March 10, 2003
It is raining. In fact, it has been raining for three days now. Torrential rains. Not like the wimpy showers we see back home in San Diego. Viti Levu is hostage to a weather pattern set up by the latest cyclone. Although it is far off to sea, the wind and rain remain. Gunter and I sit in here with our coffee, safe in our screened-in porch, our chairs moved away from the windows so that we do not get wet. Now we are joking about our scare when we first saw Pacific Bliss. Yesterday, it was not so funny.
We trudged along the walk lining the circular yacht basin, our umbrellas protecting us from the worst of the downpour. As we rounded the section where Pacific Bliss resided, Gunter yelled, “Pacific Bliss is listing. What could be wrong?”
Indeed, her bow was below the “water line” marker painted on her hull, but her stern was up where it should be. She was not level. Could she be taking on water? Dire thoughts ran through my mind.
I followed Gunter who was rushing onto the gangway. We climbed quickly over the tarp lines and to the bow. There we saw the problem. The tarp we had placed to protect the trampoline from ultraviolet rays was full of rainwater—gallons and gallons of it. Gunter tried to set up a momentum to slosh it off, but it wouldn’t budge. He went to the very front of the bow, slippery from the rain. He pulled out his pocket knife. “I’ll just cut a hole in the tarp,” he said.
Then, knife opened, he promptly slid into the center, right into the pool of water. (Oh for a camera at this moment!) Drenched as a drowned rat, he climbed out to safety near the mast. Knife still open, he managed to lift up a corner of the tarp, slit it, and the water all began to drain through.
“You could ‘uv stabbed yourself with that knife,” I tried not to laugh.
“I was worried that it would cut the trampoline as I fell,” he said, water running from his clothes. “Can you imagine having to replace that?”
Always thinking of Pacific Bliss first, I thought. But then, she is his mistress!
Fortunately, we were here to rescue her when the rains came. “I think that this is the rainy season we never had yet,” one of the Fijian workers volunteered.
We are happy now to be leaving for New Zealand for a few weeks.