Again no swim. Got up early but the prospect of walking to the sea, about 700m in total, was too daunting. The heat breeds lethargy and laziness. People will motorcycle a few hundred yards instead of walking. Pedometer-wearing Fatfighters be warned, this is not the place for you. I instead went for breakfast (fish curry again) at a café and bumped into Robo, who I eventually spent most of the day with. I abandoned Jane Eyre to talk about the gameplan for today. The rogue rigger was the priority we decided, we also needed to go to a hardware shop for some supplies.
Off we scooted and first to a different mechanic who we presented the bent rigger. Instead of hitting it with a piece of wood, he pulled it with his arms into shape using a clamp. It did the job! Next on the list were the supplies. It turned out that the bolts and other things with specific measurements didn’t fit at all, well done me. However what was useful was buying an adjustable spanner, as no spanner for rowing measurements has ever seemed to exist here, and WD40. Boy I love that stuff. Literally you can solve any problem with WD40. It loosened up the riggers, made the seats run, allowed me to fit the broken rigger onto the rusty bracket. I mean, it wasn’t strictly WD40, it was called “Lube 40”, but it’s clear the Maldivians know their stuff about lube.
So now that the fourth double is fixed, I have increased capacity by 33%, not bad for a morning’s ride around the island. We took full advantage of that today and I hopped into one of four doubles with a boy called Usam, who is very strong but lacks some finesse. He did very well and once specific terms were explained , he was able to progress a lot technically.
But the main event of the session happened about halfway through when two of the doubles pulled up to the shallow ground about 100 feet out from the bank and two boys got out of their boats. I sculled over anxious that they had grounded the boat I had just fixed, but it turns out they were rescuing a sizeable turtle from a fishing net. They took it back to shore to have a good look at it. In the picture you can see Robo pouring some of his non-alcoholic beer over its face, don’t ask me why… I had never seen a turtle in the wild before, and was astounded to see it swim off so bloody quickly, but I wasn’t amazed at its intelligence as it swam straight back to the shallow water where it got trapped before…
All in all, probably the most settled day I’ve had so far and I can slowly see a regular daily routine stretch out in front of me, which is a nice prospect as I will be able to fit in some more exploring in and around it