Mopelia, day 18, Kjell and I fix two more boats and......
30 October 2020
Mopelia, day 18, October 6.
Terai was on day four of his three day bender. We helped!
As previously promised, Kjell and I dinghied supplies ashore to help fix Mana and Terai's boats. We had previously hauled Mana's wood skiff ashore and turned it over. The keel had been eaten by termites and was leaking. We told Mana to remove all the old wood and clean the surface under.
Kjell and I arrived and found the boat all ready for us to work on. Albert, neighbor, was there with his diesel generator. Soon, Terai, Pierre and Kevin showed up to watch us work. Kjell and I work well together. We quickly sorted out some wood for the new keel. There was a stone bruise in the plywood bottom that we needed to fiberglass over. Using the generator, we ground away paint in that area.
I supplied four tubes of precious 5200 adhesive for the new keel and a rare piece of teak needed to bend for the bow. The 5200 was the usual, unholy mess. That stuff goes everywhere. Mana, Kjell and I were covered with it as well as our tools. The rest of the repair was unremarkable. We were pleased that we could make an effective repair with limited materials.
Later we learned that Mana's boat is essential to the community. They use it to transport copra to the cargo boat that comes once/year. The cargo boat can't get into the lagoon so Mana's boat transports 1 ½ tons of copra the two mile distance. It takes a dozen trips to load the season's production.
Next we dinghied to Terai's homestead to try to fix his aluminum skiff. Terai and Kevin had pulled it into the shade for our comfort. Kjell and I fashioned some aluminum pieces to simply glue with 5200 in place. This boat had numerous, welded repairs. We hope our patch job will work for awhile. Terai understood that we had done our best. Again, an unremarkable fix job. We worked a total of a few hours but it wasn't until three or four hours later that we returned to Uproar and 2K.
Terai offered us some Tahitian beer. We foolishly agreed. This is the local brew made from water, yeast and sugar. That's it! After a few days or a few weeks, it is drunk as is, warm. They claim it is 14% alcohol. We were thankfully served the few weeks old brew. Age helps....a little.
Terai was at the Saturday picnic at his big brother, Mana's. Terai and his wife, Rava didn't eat at all. They just drank “beer.” We had witnessed this before. Apparently, they don't want food to interfere with the drunken stupor. We saw Terai on Monday and he was still drunk. When we arrived just before noon today, Tuesday, he and Kevin were still at it. Kevin asked if we heard him howling in the jungle last night. We had heard him!
We spent the hours accepting more and more beer and chatting away like....well like guys do. They speak no English but even Kjell, who speaks little French, was able to engage in the conversation. We concluded hours of more beer, dirty jokes and general guy talk with the realization that we are all brothers. Terai gave Kjell and me necklaces of carved coral and shells. Rava had killed and cooked three coconut crabs for us to take back for dinner. With thanks all around, Kjell and I departed.
The girls knew well what kept us ashore so long. We quickly became heroes (in our own minds) for presenting the cooked crabs for dinner.
I awoke around midnight for my usual reading hour in the cockpit. Again, I heard a few faint howls from the jungle.