We’ve been doing a fair bit of rowing over the past few days. Not because we’ve been trying to be super quiet so not to disturb the animals as we meander down that gentle stream. Or because we’ve been so close to shore it only takes three strokes to get there. It is not because we have one of those hard pram dinghies that row so well… although now I wish we did.
No, we’ve been rowing because our trusty 6hp Mercury outboard, the one we’ve brag about starting on the second pull after 18 months of neglect under the cockpit when we had an old 15hp Johnson on the back of tender, suddenly just stopped working.
And no amount of pulling the start cord, or changing the spark plug or checking the oil or metering the electrical connections is going to make it start. Steve has deduced, much too technical for me to explain how, that the CDI unit has failed.
For those not in the know about outboards (that would include me up until recently) the CDI is the perfectly sealed little black box that is the brains of such a machine. And once it fails the only magic way to get the engine to start again is to replace it. Which in a boom town like Noumea with both a Mercury and a Tohatsu dealer (interchangeable parts) wouldn’t seem to be a problem. But so far Steve has struck out with numerous phone calls and broken English/French conversations. Nearest we can figure we could order one in and it will take 6 days to 6 weeks to arrive and cost three times what is should.
We are not however letting this recently turn of events stop us from our usual daily dinghy trips. And as it turns out our Takacat dinghy is a pretty good rower, which is good because it sounds like we’ll be doing a lot of it in the coming month or so.
In fact the other day Steve, the perpetual fisherman, merrily went for an afternoon row around the bay dragging a lure. He must have had a pretty good trolling speed up, he even caught a couple.
But I can hardly complain…This life is but a dream.
* Steve would like me to note the use of the royal “WE”, since he has been the one holding the oars.