Maia is certain that it was the Barbie sacrifice that she made to Tommi our personal Tiki that made the difference—but after almost 4 weeks without; we once again have a rudder.
The process of getting the rudder was relatively straightforward; Evan sent the design out for bids and we chose based on what we could afford, who got back to us (most took well more than a week to respond), and how quickly it would arrive. We ended up going with Technimarine in Papeete—they gave us a bid of $3700. This was more than the 3k bids we had from Canadian shipyards (and almost 3k less than the competing FP bid…). But Techni could build it in seven days and ship it to us in one. The difference in shipping was $170 for the French rudder (thanks to our awesome ship’s agents, CMA-CGM) and >$2000 for the Canadian ones…
Once it arrived the next step was to have the new rudder shaft welded to the part of our old shaft where it attaches to the tiller. This could be done on Nuku Hiva but when the welder attempted it the first time he didn’t take into account that the shaft needed to stay straight.
This sounds so benign now. But when Evan, Maia and I hoofed it 30 minutes up the hill (Ev’s second visit that day) and arrived at the weld shop (after being consumed by bugs) only to find the rudder that we had taken almost a month to get was now all crooked, there was a bit of sadness. And when the welder suggested we just use a car jack to straighten it, our concern turned to alarm (well, mine did…)
It was late, and the next day was Sunday—so Ev asked to come back Monday at 7am and work with the welder then to get it right. This was the point that Maia started beheading her toys and making offerings to ancient gods… We were fairly worried (I’m not sure Ev slept much the night before) because everything was cut to size and we had no spare material. But the welder and Ev nailed it. And at 10:30am the welder drove Ev and the rudder back to the dock (total fee about $100).
So we installed the rudder, hit the bank, got some groceries, went to the fuel dock, checked out, said miscellaneous goodbyes and then pulled up anchor and sailed the 25 miles to Ua Pou (pronounced Wa Poo)—arriving just in time for sun downers (sunset here is just before 6pm) on Don Quixote along with our friends from Pico, Britannia and WGD.
We’re back in the groove.