Outboard week

At the beginning of this week we sailed to Rikitea in order to get some things done in the big city (post office, etc.). Our elderly outboard engine had been a nuisance for quite a while (first the choke rod ripped off, then the carburettor got clogged, then the drive pin broke, etc.) and on Monday the gear lever broke off (since the axis of the lever had got stuck in the corroded housing): rien ne va plus. As we rely heavily on our main means of local transport (rowing the bulky dinghy’s not very efficient) we were desperate–the repair exceeded our resources on board as well as the know-how of our board technician. Fortunately the neighbouring cruiser in the anchorage turned our to be a professional mechanic. He agreed to take on our problem despite of a full schedule (it seems there’s no mechanic in the Gambier so rows of broken cars and mopeds are queuing). Christian was able to look over his shoulder thus getting a much deeper understanding of the needs of our little 3.5-hp 4-stroke Mariner.

As the Mariner’s already quite old and nobody can predict what’s going to fall off next (it seems to us, 6 years are the design life expectancy), we used the chance to buy a barely-used outboard that cruiser friends had for sale. Of course we then needed another mounting on the railing for the 9,8 hp 2-stroke Tohatsu, which meant another day of work with basically all our power tools and required all the gear that lived already on the railing to swap places.

This morning we got back to Taravai and enjoyed a lazy day, just snorkelling and reading. Tomorrow we’ll get rested and energetically back to work between boat and house.

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