Aug 11 - A busy day in Lewoleba, Lembata

The morning started off by taking the Yamaha 15HP outboard motor off the stern rail and putting it in the dinghy. I hadn't started the motor for several years (!), and thought I had done the proper storage procedures, but when I went to finally use it, it wouldn't turn over and the starting cord didn't budge. I figured the piston was locked up in the cylinder, so was waiting for the proper time and place to find a mechanic to sort it out. Here in Lewoleba, Max is the "go-to" guy. He works for the Dept of Tourism, and his job this week is to help the yachties with any problems they may have. Yesterday, he took me by motorbike to a local welder who fixed our windless lever. The "shop" was primitive by most standards, but the results were perfect and the cost of repair ($2USD) most welcome. It turns out that the welder fellow is also the mechanic, so we arranged a bemo (no hauling that outboard on Max's motorbike) and took it to his place for him to work on. After taking a look at the pistons, he declared them in fine shape, but needed a 22mm socket to get off another engine part. I went back to Infini to get my socket for him, and by the time we returned to the shop the outboard was running smoothly! The 22mm socket wasn't needed after all, and Mr. Tomo (the mechanic/welder) had figured out the magneto was stuck. When Max asked him what he did to fix the engine, he replied "Magic..." I love a mechanic with a sense of humor. We then took the motor back to the dinghy, took off the 9.8 Tohatsu motor, put the Yamaha on, and did a test run with Max, Mr. Tomo, a dock hand and myself aboard. The motor purrs like a kitten and runs perfect! Again, cost of repair was most welcome, $15USD. I took a few jerry jugs in for diesel (7000 rupiah/liter-about $0.65USD/liter), and the local Government Tourism office has arranged for petrol, diesel, fresh water, laundry, tours and most anything else to be available to the yachties. During this whole time, Sue had gone on a tour with some friends of ours to see local traditional villages and meet some weavers, visit a leper hospital compound, and see a bit of the island. Her one hour tour took five hours, but everyone enjoyed the experience. In the afternoon, we ferried Max and three of his co-workers out to Infini; it was their first visit ever aboard a yacht, and we had a really nice visit and answered their many questions about our life and family. After a brief break in the action, we met up again with friends to go to dinner. The local Indonesian food is quite reasonably priced here, and Sue and I can both eat, with soft drinks, water, or a beer included, for about $3.50USD total.

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