It turns out that Okinawa is the best place in the world to buy second-hand outboard motors. I go visit my old sidekick Chinen-san, from whom I bought my first boat. He does business from a broken down hangar place that is full of broken down engines and general boating detritus. Ah heaven!
We discuss various Dileas propulsion options with help from the graceful Arisa-san.
We plump upon a 4hp Tohatsu, which he swears has only been in the water for toilet purposes and is as good as new. We test it in his test tank that is sunk into the soil so we all have to squat. This is a desperately uncomfortable position for me to work on an engine but Chinen-san , who must be about my age, is clearly totally at ease. All this stuff about cancer and such, I feel western health would be much enhanced by making us maintain flexibility into old age by working on outboards while crouching.
Anyway we tune her up and talk about replacing a leaking tank and general outboard stuff. I wonder if, at the age of 62, I will finally acquire an outboard that will start, tick over and generally perform. All previous experience with the race predicts otherwise.
So all this made this a very good day – my truck, a new motor, outboard talk, graceful companions, witty Okinawan mechanic plus a mystery ingredient which I will now reveal.