Tonga ignominy

CR and KN Williams
Sat 12 Jun 2010 06:54
18.40S 173.59W
Saturday 12th June 16:21
Infamy, Infamy,  this boat's got it in fer me
After 809.5 miles most of which were motoring, the engine started misfiring about 5 miles out and although still going I thought it silly to risk it cutting out approaching an unknown berth. Clare duly checked the fuel sight glass and found it full of silt, she cleared it out and restarted but it shortly stopped again. Another clean out, but then it wouldn't even turn over. Turns out the starter motor wouldn't engage the flywheel despite the solenoid turning at 2000 rpm (courtesy of a very hot screwdriver across the terminals), A couple of gentle taps with a copper-faced mallet did not unjam it. Wind about 4.5 kts from all over the place, so no choice but to ask a nice chap in a dinghy to help us in (actually we sailed in but there was no way I'd have done that on my own). Note that I rather petulantly avoid the word 'towed' although he did have a line from my bow.
Formalities and ATM done and nice tapas nearby.
Tomorrow is a day of rest (fiercely observed in Tonga) but not perhaps for me; now for starter motor repair + fuel filters to be changed - nice.
I thought everything was going too smoothly! I thought the engine was going to start when K. bypassed all the electrics but I had forgotten about jammed starter motors. We are now on the best mooring buoy outside a very nice cafe with wifi reaching to the boat. The [N.Z. of course] guy who helped us in owns this mooring and rents it out in the tourist season so we have undeservedely landed on our feet.