We’re back in the duck pond in Tampa Garam, Sorong. It’s getting crowded in here – there are 7 boats already tied up so we squeeze in down the end, with plenty of helping hands to take our shore lines. What a delightful mix of boats, nationalities and ages – we love this about cruising. There are currently Danish, Norwegian, American, Canadian, New Zealand and Aussie boats here, and Wes and Steena are very happy to have some young company for a change!
The day after we arrive we get to work installing our new trampoline net. We have plenty of willing hands but even so it’s difficult and strenuous work in the hot equatorial sun. We’re so grateful to our friends, it takes 6 hours to complete – it would have taken us three times as long on our own. I’m not sure they really understood what they were letting themselves in for, but the finished result is fantastic.
Everyone’s invited for drinks on Toucan that night and we have a great time socialising, sharing information, telling stories short and tall and getting to know our new neighbours.
The next day is another party – it’s Wes’s birthday and a farewell to Gary and Kaiya on “Kaiyasong” so we enjoy some homemade margaritas on “Jams” followed by dinner at the marina restaurant. Now, those last two words are somewhat misleading – this is definitely not a marina by Aussie standards, and while the pool and restaurant complex is huge it’s unfinished and mostly unused. The food is simple fare that you need to order in advance, basically just variations of Mie Goreng or Nasi Goreng, but it’s tasty and cheap and it’s another fun night.
Our next important task is to get our mechanic, Rieman, to look at the clutch assemblies. Not being familiar with Yanmar motors or saildrives, he needs some instruction on how to pull them apart, which Bruce does with the aid of Youtube videos (what did we ever do without Youtube?!). It seems the thrust washers are worn, causing the slippage in the gears when the engines get hot, but trying to get genuine Yanmar parts here is impossible. Rieman thinks he may be able to get some machined locally, with the help of Wick. As a back-up, one of the other cruisers is heading to Singapore for a visa run and offers to bring back the genuine washers if he can find them. We’re very lucky to have such amazing help from people we hardly know.
After a couple of days Rieman returns with the clutch assemblies and locally made washers. We hold our breath as we test the gears. We have forward and reverse on both motors! But the real test will be to see if they still engage when the engines are hot. So we’re off for another sea-trial tomorrow, back to Batanta Island for the weekend.
Next week we’ll be back in Sorong ( I think we’re attached to Sorong on a bungee cord) to haul out and install the prop and new bottom seals, and at the same time we’ll do our first visa extension. Crikey, have we really been here almost two months already? And maybe, just maybe, after that we can go and do more adventuring of the good kind in Raja Ampat.