Moving on the Project 17-18 July
18 July 2019 | Marina Taina
William Ennis | Cool, very pleasant
17 July Gabriel, our Argentinian mechanic's helper, appeared at 0800 today. We had both batteries for the Makita saw fully charged but it took only 30 minutes to complete the task and the starboard stringer has been successfully cut down by 30mm. Adrian decided that the metal for the engine support needed another 10mm of clearance lower than the 20mm, so we had to reduce both sides a bit. The port side, we reduced from 20mm to 30mm, and we started at the 30mm depth on the starboard stringer: a much faster process.
Fiberglass particles get into your skin and itch like crazy. My hands and arms are almost gleaming with fiberglass threads so it's a bit irritating. Bathing helps but it'll take a few days to rid myself of them. Even Conni's hands are itching and she was just exposed to the stuff in the air!
The afternoon was dedicated to cleanup and bilge pump preparation.
18 July Adrain arrived at 0800 today and said that our work on the stringer was satisfactory. On our new Beta engine, the oil pan bolt has been replaced with an elbow fitting the allows the oil to be removed with a pump: very convenient. I had asked Adrain if a way existed for me to do that same for the transmission oil, and after a moment's consideration, he said that a similar fitting replacement for the transmission that connected to the oil-removal pump with a "T" fitting would allow both oils to be removed. I love it! He sent us on an errand to buy this fitting, providing some names of companies that might have the fitting. It was all to no avail. Everyplace we tried either didn't have it or was closed. We actually ran into Adrian as we walked in the area looking for a likely company to try, and he said that Polynesian companies did not respond to phone calls and that only way to determine if they had a part was to visit. Crazy!
Since there was nothing for us to do, we decided to use the trip into town for some sight-seeing. Since we've been in-country for so long, we have some favorite restaurants, and Conni pushed for La Oasis, a small, open-air place with fine food and great location. We visited the Cathedral of Papeete, the main Catholic church in town, started in the 1840 and owned by the government. I posted some photos of the inside.
The official government assembly building has been off-limits for us and we've only seen the outside, but we were fortunate to be near a local who told us that we could enter through a certain gate in the surrounding fence, so we did. There were labeled examples of rare plants from all over the country. In the back was the Queen's Garden and Pool, so named for Queen Pomare iV, who accepted the crown as a teen, then ended by being a good queen, protecting her country from French and English intrusion. Unfortunately, her son, Pomare V gave the country to France, preferring to drink than reign.
After walking what seemed miles, we finally found a bus stop for our direction of travel. Lo and behold, when we arrived at the marina, we ran into Adrian! Conni continued on to a store run and I went with Adrian to fetch the steel for motor mounts. Since he has no car, we took a taxi and had to wait for an hour while they laboriously cut the steel with a 5mm cutting wheel. Jeez, too much metal to remove with such a wide blade! The angle iron is 5mm thick and at least 4X4 inches on each side. It's big, heavy stuff and hard to manage. Still, when we epoxy and bolt it into place, the engine will be well-connected to the stringers. Tomorrow, we'll deal with epoxy and getting the angle iron ready to set into place. Closer and closer.
I also posted photos of the lovely but fragile coral communities growing on the vertical sides of the quay. Not on the more deeply submerged legs, but within a meter of the surface. Coral experts would quickly identify the species, I'm sure, but I can't. The same is true of the many fish species, too. Other than the presence of living, growing coral, a sad rarity these days, is that I shot the photos vertically downward along the side of the quay. The resulting photos look like they've been taken horizontally on a horizontal bottom since there are no visual clues that inform the viewer they're vertical. In a marine world, neither the fish nor the coral care that the surface isn't horizontal. It's the presence of these many communities along the quay that has prevented us from pumping overboard any of the gallons of oily bilge wash water. Every time we step between boat and quay, we notice and admire the great beauty so close, going about its business of survival, a world unto itself. Coral provides shelter and food to small fish, and they, in their turn, provide food for larger fish. And so the community grows.