I am so fortunate to have aboard Kimbo & Sasha for a month to help with the boat repairs!! They are from West Australia, where I went to high school in Margaret River, and we share common friends. They flew out to Tuamotus to do work-trade on the boat; that is, to put in many hours of sweat equity in exchange for exploring a few atolls. They arrived with the most incredible keenness to help. Never have I seen people jump into boatwork so passionately from the get-go!
To pick them up, I managed to take a powerboat ride to the airport with a contingent of Tahitians. They were all young environmental professionals who were doing a “tour” of various atolls teaching about plastic pollution, recycling, and proper trash disposal to protect the lagoons & oceans. Along with them was the “Miss Tahiti” from two years before — for sure her presence kept even the most punk school boys interested in the topic! Very cool.
“Good’ay mate!” Hollered Kimbo over the din of the Air Tahiti twin prop airplane. “So good to be here!” Said Sasha with a huge smile. I gave them big hugs. I love Australians. Their down-to-earth approach to life really influenced me during my high school years. They work hard and play hard, taking loooong holidays on stretched out budgets. Especially the folks from country towns like Margaret River. Where others spend their money quickly on resorts and credit card fueled vacations, these folks don’t mind roughing it in a camper van for weeks… if it means they get to be in a beautiful, remote location. My infatuation with this “tiny living” approach led me to own two camper vans, and eventually three sailboats, our trimaran Aldebaran being the third.
A perfect example of this low-expense, great lifestyle ethos is Kimbo and Sasha themselves. They finished building their house, rented it, and are now traveling for a whole year (!). They are always looking for work-trade opportunities, which keeps their costs super low, and creates awesome connections with people they visit. Kimbo is a carpenter and search & rescue volunteer; while Sasha is a school teacher. Together they make a great team.
The beautiful sunset over coconut trees capped off our first day aboard together. It also marked the beginning of“Boatyard in the Water”. Just because the Apataki Carenage couldn’t haul us out, didn’t mean there’s not a ton to do! So began our three week push to do projects on the boat — above the waterline.
1. Sasha jumped onto the hotseat right off-the-bat, running the sewing machine with awesome persistence, and not a little humor (a necessary ingredient when dealing with our 50yr old Pfaff)
2. Captain K aboard the airport shuttle with the Tahitian environmental tour group… miss Tahiti is smiling in the middle!