Listen, I like a white sand beach as much as anyone else, but I was starting to worry that we were never going to leave this place. When Andrew and Leslie swam to shore to have a picnic on the beach with a group of new friends, I considered dragging my anchor to inspire migration. I had not yet hatched my plan when they returned, cleaned up ship and raised anchor. We headed out to sea for a full moon sail to the most populated island in the Marquesas: Nuku Hiva.
Andrew couldn’t sleep, and Leslie couldn’t stay awake. We arrived in Taihaoe Bay with the morning sun. Andrew and Leslie set to work building a number contraptions: the forward sun shade, the flopper stopper (a gadget designed to stop me from rolling back and forth in the waves), and of course, Grin. This time, they even installed the outboard motor. Maybe we can shake this ridiculous reputation as the “Rowersons.”
The sun breaks through the clouds and causes the sheer green cliffside to glow with a silver sheen. We can hear native drumming ashore, and the town looks promising. Andrew is fairly certain he can find a beer over there. Everything is set up and they are ready to go exploring. Andrew hops into Grin and tries to start the outboard. Andrew pulls and pulls and pulls on the cord, but each time, the outboard just spins and grinds to a halt. The humidity and sweat pouring from Andrew’s face begins to puddle in Grin’s bilge; Andew's shirt is soaked through. Grin rocks erratically in the swell, knocking Andrew to and fro. The engine has not been started for three months, and it has traveled over 6000 miles in salt water spray. I know how it is. Sometimes, you just need some love.
I settled into my post passage nap, figuring Andrew will have Grin fired up in no time. But three hours later, Grin had been renamed “The Boat of Punishment” and Andrew remained at work. Leslie stands in my cockpit with Andrew’s tool bag, and a look of concern. Grin bounces and heaves on his painter line about ten feet from my stern. “Pass me my carburetor spray,” Andrew demands. Leslie hunts down the carburetor spray, pulls Grin closer, and hands over the spray; “Pass me my hammer,” hunt, pull, hand over. This continues on for at least another hour.
All of us were beginning to lose hope; we are going to be the Rowersons again after all. Then, with a puff of exhaust and a stutter, the outboard motor fired up. Cheers of “Hazzahhh!” echoed across the bay, and everyone was instantly in a better mood. Leslie tossed two giant bags of garbage to Andrew, and jumped into Grin to head to shore. I watch as they zoom, then “sputter-sputter,” then zoom, then “sputter-sputter.” I don’t know about Grin. He seems a little eccentric.