The Captain was covered from head to toe , lathered up in a layer of grease and oil. Finally the brand spanking new gear box was installed. The engine clicked into gear and a round of high five’s went up.
A very long and slow 3 week process had finally come to the end. Sleeping on what ever space I could find on the floor had worn me down, while the captain worked late into the wee hours of the mornings. The engine covers and an array of tools and spare parts, taking up the space on our bed. With no engine, we also lost the fridge, icy cold beers were no longer on tap and the smell of our fridge as the contents slowly rotted away was unbearable. To add to that smell was the fact the toilet had clogged. For days a bowl full of raw sewrage sat expelling its gas through the boat. The toilet job had been put on hold ,as getting the engine up and running before a few big blows hit us was the main priority. Low pressure systems were constantly circling around us.
Our boat was completely disabled and with some strong NW forecast we were in a bit of trouble. Not only did we not have an engine, the rudder had been dropped and was floundering along side the hull, so the prop and shaft could be aligned properly. The engine was also winched up and hung in the door way. This meant the girls and I had to make our entry and exit by lifting them up through the hatch, or dropping them down through the hole. This became a hassel for me, but the kids thought this was very exciting, being dropped down the hatch.
Once the engine was back in place, the rudder fixed up and the grease washed away from the captain, he soon found himself elbow deep in toilet contents. Pulling apart the plumbing, to find that AK had stuck pegs down the loo which had caused the toilet to back fill and jam. This is a job for a man in a gas mask and bomb suit. There is no way I was hanging around while this job was done. The glamourous life of cruising .
While the captain dealt with the worst job on a boat. I took the kids paddling down the creek ,after stopping for coffee and enjoying the air conditioning of the library. The girls had a friend who we played with most days.
Now the boat is back to ship shape condition and the hum of the brand new gear box fills our ears. The weather had been miserable, the boat stunk and was in sheer chaos, but the love of the locals and there generosity towards the girls and I, made everyday something to look forward to. Savusavu is a truly wonderful cruiser paradise. Everything is so easy. There is no carting of groceries on your back for kilometres at a time, there is no long dhingy rides, the anchorage is pretty well protected and the town has everything you need, including a well brewed coffee.