The Parts Walk
24 July 2019 | Marina Taina
William Ennis | Hot
Today was Adrian's boat watch day so we were off the clock. Adrian and Gabriel did come by this morning on a scheduled stop to spread epoxy resin on the stringers in preparation to attaching the angle steel to the stringers. Unfortunately, both of the stringers were still wet from the thorough washing that I gave them, even though I had used a small hand torch to try and dry them and kept my fan on them all night. We had removed so much wood from the stringer tops that we exposed a void that I filled, inadvertently, with wash water. Realizing the possibility, I dropped our little pump feed line into the void and pumped out a full 2 cups of gross, brown water, but the wood was soaked.
Interestingly, when I told him about the void and water, Adrian simply drilled several holes in the stringer a bit below the voids and drained the water a bit from there, although little remained after my efforts. It did allow better drying, I think, Adrian then jammed his drilling bit into any dark wood on the stringer top and, if the wood were wet, he drilled more holes in it or simply removed the wood. If the wood were dry, he moved on. It was a clever and fast way to solve the drying problem. He knows the ease with which epoxy resin can not only repair holes large and small, but make the resulting structure even stronger than before. I'm learning.
Conni and I had a long list of items to buy and our making the parts run saved time for Adrian and money for us. We checked the list with Adrian and hopped on the bus for downtown Papeete.
We visited several shops, trying to explain our needs with Bill's crappy French. We always made ourselves understood and everyone got a laugh at his attempts: Bill as comic relief! As I've said, it's the technical terms. We carried a lag screw of the proper diameter so asking for a longer one was easy. Drill bits...I didn't know the word for drill bit (I do now) and had to find one in the shop and show the counter guy, then point to the sequence of bit sizes that I wanted.
We bought lag bolts and drill bits from one place, hot water fittings from another, and from one, we bought 4 meters (13 feet) of 50mm (2-inch) diameter exhaust hose. The counter guy spoke decent English, thankfully, and when he found that we were riding a bus, he taped the hose into a large but manageable circle that I could carry over a shoulder and control on the bus. Our list of stops included most of the recreational craft suppliers in town: SOPOM (Polynesian Society of Mechanics), VDP, Ace Hardware 1 and Ace Hardware 2, Michelle's here in the marina, NautiSport, and Ocean 2000.
We missed a street in directions and walked a mile or more past our last store, so decided to forgo that for a bit and had lunch at Patachoix, a local eatery that we've grown to enjoy through the years. It was unusually hot and particularly humid, and we were both exhausted, overheated, and very thirsty. A good lunch, a shared liter of water, and a good rest without that damned exhaust hose over my shoulder helped resuscitate us.
We received surprisingly few stares when we boarded the bus, although a couple that also got off the bus at Marina Taina, nodded appreciatively when we boarded. The bus driver looked aghast when I boarded, feigning surprise and trepidation, but we played along and took our seats after telling him the hose was a straw for our beer.
When we returned to the boat, the first layer of epoxy had been spread and the angle steel was in place. We don't want the angle to stick to the epoxy, so we taped the bottom of it and spread vaseline on the tape. We also bolted together the two pieces of angle steel to keep them in the same relative location, as well as to make the pair more easily handled.
We were both exhausted by the 3-4 mile walking day.