Jaime does not need surgery. Basically, the new wisdom tooth is starting to form behind and under the last molar, but it's not ready to come up. The pain of the growth resulted in Jaime not cleaning properly which led to a small infection and then a bad loop of behavior and bacteria. The dentist cleaned it all up, shot it full of antibiotics, and handed us some drugs and a mouth wash. However, the dentist did say that starting her orthodonture in November is "obligitaire". This is the polite French way of saying, "Do it or else disaster will strike."
The outboard can be fixed with parts from Tahiti that might get here in a week or two. So we bought a new one. It's exactly like the old one except it's shiny and it works. I've tried for nearly five years to believe that the two conditions -- shiny and functional -- are not obligitaire. Yet ultimately, there was something incredibly liberating in the act of dumping the old motor in the bottom of the dinghy and strapping on the new one. It started. It ran. It thrummed powerfully. It got us out to the boat. This morning's spontaneous decision to drop several thousand dollars on a new motor was motivated in part by a rather apocryphal experience attempting to row upwind in 20 knots to get Jaime to her dentist. Someday I'll have enough emotional distance to write about it. Today, it just didn't seem funny.
Now before I see the comments in the blog, yes I am fully cognizant of the irony that we have spent enormous amounts of time, angst and energy thwarting dinghy outboard thieves. We could have saved ourselves a tremendous amount of misery had we simply allowed our old one to be stolen and submitted an insurance claim. In fact, arguably we would have done the cruising world a community service by diverting the thieves of Polynesia towards an investment of time and energy in stealing the horrible thing and then more time and money to get it to work. Maybe it would have put them off their feed. In any case, DrC is stripping our old motor of everything useful and old looking. The harness, cover, gas tank, and fins are all going to be put on the new motor. The shiny new cover and brand new tank will be hidden in the port bow. This effort both makes the new motor less appealing to the casual thief as well as improves the resale value down the road when we slap the shiny new back on.
On balance, the day cost less than we anticipated. The motor put us back a large sum, but the sum was only about 10% greater than the price in the United States and maybe 15% greater than New Zealand. It hurts but we're not resentful. The dentist cost less than $40USD which is amazing considering the time and materials, the fun with translation, and the X-rays he took. We spent another $15USD on pharmaceuticals, again a very reasonable price for the purchase. We extravagantly threw some money at a snack-bar-tiarea and had french fries, sausage dim sum, and fruit smoothies. It all could have been so much worse. There was a distinct possibility of returning to Tahiti, oral surgery, and dogz know what else. It's all good.
Tonight, we'll have dinner with Ceilydh. They are also here in the Raiatea Carenege area getting work done on their sails. Tomorrow, I think we'll try to put the entire F.U.D. of the past weeks behind us. There is a turtle sanctuary near by as well as a river to explore, excellent provisioning at the local market, and a reportedly excellent snorkel and dive spot. We need a vacation.