(Mis)Adventures in #VanLife with Raw Paua. Stranded Twice in Two Days. Part II.

by Owen James Burke

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At this sight, in a moment of weak resolve, I mercilessly romanced about shoving my new hearth off a cliff, acquiring a sailboat at once, and heaving-to into the sunset, flames and fumes of my recent past life over my shoulder. Photo: Owen James Burke.

In the frosty early morning air, Raw Paua turned over just fine after our morning of mishaps the previous day. I went to pick up Mac and another friend, but getting up to speed on State Highway 1 (the main road running along the South Island’s north and east coasts), both of my carburetors cut out. Not what you want to have happen going 55 mph with a boat and trailer in tow.

I pulled off to the shoulder and restarted the engine without any trouble. It was just a little cold, I thought. I continued on.

I arrived at Mac’s, but he’d decided to spend the day at home with the family. It would just be the me and the kid, to whom we were introducing the wonderful world of salt. He’d just outfitted himself with a brand new Cressi diving suit, speargun and carbon fins. There was no mistaking his excitement, which couldn’t help but emanate my way. I wished there were people taking me on spearfishing adventures when I was 17.

Then, 10 minutes down the road, pulling off to pick up his snorkel and mask, the old truck gave out again. This time, she wouldn’t turn back over. We rang up roadside assistance and they put us through to a tow truck, which would be there in two hours.

Our day was through, but life is filled with these micro-tragedies, and while breaking down in a car can be a miserable and confining experience, breaking down in your home-on-wheels means it’s time to stroll into the living room and prepare a dish of sashimi.

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Poor, poor pitiful us. Ain’t life grand? Photo: Owen James Burke.

The tow truck took not two but four hours, and we barely got the kid off to work in time. He’ll have to wait till next week to douse his new gear.

A tow into town, a visit to the mechanic, a single, minute weak connection and $200 later, Raw Paua was up and running, again. I have a premonition that my dauntless little frankentruck has taken a liking, and therein a responsibility to identify with her new name. I guess maybe I’ll be learning more about mechanics, electronics, and live-aboard systems than I’d assumed I’d bargained for, but then, I suppose that’s not the worst thing for someone with my circumnavigational ambitions.  –OJB

Read Part I of (Mis)Adventures with Raw Paua.

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