I think we’ve committed a tapu, or taunted a Tiki, because in a scene straight out of the Brady Bunch (season 4 episodes 1-3), things aren’t going so well for us or our friends on Whatcha Gonna Do.
Good news first—we have a shipyard in Papeete which started construction on our replacement rudder today. The first French Polynesian quote we got was for over $6000, so the new quote of less than 4k seems almost reasonable, especially because a more affordable 3k rudder from Canada would cost over 2k to get shipped here. Unless we don’t mind waiting 6-8 weeks—in which case the shipping drops to $1200. Being rudderless in paradise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be—especially because we would like to move on at some point.
Which brings us to our next issue—the outboard. It’s been acting a bit moody since we arrived and the day after apparently offending Tiki in the jungle Evan pulled it apart and discovered the little fuel pump was shot. So he tried to fix it and now it doesn’t work at all. Do you know how hard it is to get a fuel pump for an outboard in Nuku Hiva?
Currently we’re sort of regretting just how far we are anchored from the dingy dock.
But we’re not regretting our choice of anchor spots nearly as much as WGD. Because it seems our run of bad luck jumped ship and landed first in their engine compartment (their engine and generator failed to start yesterday—the second day they planned to set out on a bit of an explore around the other islands…) And today its moved on to their ground tackle.
Michael (with a little help from Ev) managed to get his engine and generator running yesterday. But when they made their third attempt to leave today (attempt #1 was rained out, the same rain which fell heavily when we were at church and that we forgot to shut the hatches against…) their anchor wasn’t coming up very easily, then the rode sheered inside the windlass and they lost all their chain and their anchor.
So they set a stern anchor and arranged to have someone dive through the murk, muck and sharks(!) for it. But so far neither the diver, nor their efforts to grapple for it has yielded an anchor. And it now seems that the stern anchor is hooked up as well.
Which brings us to Tiki.
In the Marquesas Tiki is recognized as the wise and potent ancestor of the human race. He’s usually portrayed as a squat, heavy figure with a big head, large round eyes, a flat nose and a straight-line mouth. Some myths say he is the offspring of Papa-'una and Papa-'a'o and some say he is Papa, himself. But either way he’s a powerful deity who was the recipient of many a bloody sacrifice and it’s tapu (taboo) to mess with him (or touch him, or move him…).
Honestly—I really thought we were being respectful and if any of us bothered Tiki during our jungle meanderings it was accidental. But I’ll apologise anyway—I’m sorry, Tiki.
Now give the anchor back.