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Anthem Adrift
Go Figure
12/12/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Small Hammer Method

December 12

Taking advantage of Vreugdenhil grocery bus to locate outhaul car wheels, visited Budget Marine, Napa and Dijtham hardware in near vicinity. Figured something, somewhere might work. Have now perceived need to update 'figuring' apparatus. Of course, since only Budget was open, conclusions were jumped to, which may have been unwarranted. Rigger, Gijs (previous guess at spelling his name (Tys) was woefully incorrect, although pronunciation is still not available in English) will also look. Trip was nevertheless fruitful as more panettone was acquired.

Wrote previous sentence this morning on spec. Updated version is thus: Napa was open, no help. Didn't make it to Dijtham, but found something at Budget that could work. Cut and finished donuts from a copper nipple (get your mind out of the gutter, Cal) that had sufficiently thick walls to work temporarily (copper doesn't acclimate well to life at sea) until permanent fix. To that end found it necessary to borrow 17/64th bit from Gary of Inspiration Lady for tapping casting to make next removal easier (in any case, couldn't find additional 1/4" aluminum rivets). He had scrap Starboard and a hole saw that, with additional drilling, cutting and sanding, resulted in permanent remedy... probably. 'Figuring apparatus' enjoying upsurge in respect. Found time to buy two panettones. Life is good.

Although Boomlock fitting is still a tad too thick (have considered 'bigger hammer' method to encourage compliance), Anthem is all dressed up with nowhere to go. Weather may cooperate Wednesday.

Jack

Trampling the Path of Righteousness
12/11/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Mounting New Boom

December 11

Boom was assembled and mounted with uncharacteristic ease creating great angst. Fortunately drilling out rivets for removal of aft casting to insert outhaul car if proper parts can be found because they bounced overboard while removing said item from old boom (deep breath) will now interject a more typical complication and supply welcome relief. In a related story, weather along Colombia coast excessively boisterous, ala Chris, the weather router, until middle of next week.

Maintaining tradition that at least one of us visit a Curacao grocery each day, Will & Chena thus had first brush with panettone bread and fresh papaya. Reactions were delightedly positive and bemusedly ambivalent, respectively. Will save johnny cake and cherimoya for next trip, then on to lobscouse and spotted dog.

Attempting to be virtuous, have told Satan to get behind from which vantage he has repeatedly propelled me into ice cream parlors. The focus of his attention today was something excessively decadent called Hokey Pokey (just repeating ingredients spikes cholesterol). Similarly traceable transgressions have involved sausages, hamburgers and all things greasy. Adipose tissue barely kept at bay, so far, by objectionable exercise levels.

"I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect." - George Carlin

Jack

Doing What Works
12/10/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Fish Watching Richena Watching Fish

December 10

Machine shop at Curacao Marina came through with a fine job at a fine price... for them. Can't complain as they are in throws of finishing three weeks business in half the time to close for holiday. Couldn't work on attaching renovated parts to boat as happy hour was near and one must maintain priorities. There is a high likelihood that tomorrow AM will return Anthem to its former glory.

Crew apparently had a terrific dive (after meticulous census, accounted for all hands returned in good order) and will share pictures and movie, plus possibly something for blog, at next available moment.

Venue for what turned into about three hours happiness was changed by someone or other to Roti Hut from Asiento in protest of perceived snooty attitude toward cruisers. Accompanying new policy to limit use of their dock and bar to members except on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, they began threatening to cut loose transgressing tenders (this seems unfair as dinghies are not very bright and should be given special consideration). Membership is 35 guilders per month for little more than privilege of buying higher priced drinks.

"Saying what we think gives us a wider conversational range than saying what we know." - Cullen Hightower

Interestingly Cullen seems to encourage making stuff up, which works best of all.

Jack

Quivering In Anticipation
12/09/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Removing Old Fitting

December 9

Used last few hours of car rental to buy additional hardware for boom, extract authoritative promise to finish gooseneck casting tomorrow and patronize a new breakfast restaurant. Spent afternoon in group effort attaching all riveted hardware, including aft end casting, to locations that may have a passing chance at being correct. Had reorganized tools, sometime in October, to successfully eliminate slightest possibility of finding taps to add last few bits. Assuming machine shop comes through, taps are found (borrowed?) and global warming doesn't make life as we know it untenable, should have complete cutter rig Friday.

Weather for next week or so makes transit of Colombia coast ill advised, but may hop to Aruba this weekend for shorter eventual shot. Will interface with others going same way to facilitate turning colored water of plan into jello.

Crew to dive a couple of tanks in afternoon while I hang out at Curacao Marina encouraging assurance fulfillment. Asiento's Thursday happy hour may be a touch cheerier.

Although death by common cold is unlikely and felt OK most of today (except for honking and sneezing), have now collapsed into blob of quivering protoplasm anticipating early night and fruitful tomorrow.

Jack

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
12/08/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

In Search of Welder

December 8

Good news. Boom was ready for pickup by 1300 Monday. Loaded 18' X 8" diameter, 90.2 Lb. packing tube through hatch and right window of rented van, then avoided jousting with every sign and tree beside road or sideswiping cars headed opposite direction. Rolled container onto dinghy then winched it aboard mother ship before removing contents. Everything was as ordered. Entire operation was easier than imagined.

Bad news. Even if shape of casting to be attached to it had a passing similarity to mast, rivet holes are off just enough to make it unusable at required location. Vang attachment is warped enough at 90 degree weldment to not slide into tighter track. Also, one of us has felt like warmed over dog squeeze all day. This unnamed person was not wise enough to pass out, as did one of guests, prior to last round.

Fixes. If machine shop can get to it this year (not a joke), old casting will be reworked to fit new gooseneck. Plan to borrow largest possible sledge to straighten slider or use non-optimum fitting from mast kit. And finally have eschewed Asiento happy hour or slightest thought of mind effecting drugs. Will never, ever do that again... maybe.

Will spend evening deciding whether pitiful whimpering and/or harassing welder until he finishes job to get rid of me is best strategy.

There is always a well-known solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong. - H. L. Mencken

Jack

They Made Me Do It
12/08/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Hard at Work

December 7

Crew met a couple from Canada and California, respectively, on 'Paramour' who came by at 1700 and forced, yes forced, us to drink an inappropriate amount of beer and rum while explaining their situation as we explained ours. They lost half a spreader while colliding with a large unlit ship at 0300 a few nights ago. Inebriation ensued. This is not alcohol abuse as none was spilled. Again, this activity is necessary occasionally as a reminder never to do it again.

A recounting of toings and froings yesterday and today will occur as time allows, perhaps tonight.

Jack

Positive Sensory Deprivation
12/06/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Cabo Rico 42

December 6

Thierry (pronounced Cherry), a man of extraordinary taste (he owns a Cabo Rico 42), has provided a correction to one of yesterday's translations. Having not yet been flung into the street from a Dutch drinking establishment, attempted to construct explanatory phrase with ala carte words. Should further endeavors correct this experiential deficiency, 'uit de kroeg gegooid' will become a most useful expression.

Abandoned Will and Richena aboard boat to catch free 0900 Albert Hein bus for resupply of artificial sweetener. Southern Caribbean is devoid of Sweet and Low, so purchased Splenda... plus another $75 worth, some of which, due healthy influence of crew, was fruit and vegetables. Dinner was sauted potatoes, squash and volcanic Indonesian curry with brown rice. Afterward, as sweating and pain eased, enjoyed a celebratory rum ball. In a selfish act of self-preservation, crew has expropriated cooking function after initial taste of regular ship cuisine.

Today was a Sunday sort of day, conserving energy for prospect of incisive activity tomorrow and Tuesday. As proof is lacking that a boom was delivered or, if so, that it is the right one or, if so, all necessary parts are accompanying or, if so, installation demands do not exceed available skills, (deep breath) accumulated vitality may be convenient for bashing head against hull until insensate.

Jack

Bent u het woord Nederlandse?
12/05/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Anthem Crew and Jacksters

December 5

No, I barely speak English.

Ship carrying spar from Miami arrived, but container is not to be unloaded until Monday morning. Kareen at Caribbean Cargo posited that delivery can be achieved that afternoon. If - repeat 5 times before continuing - all is as stated, departure from Curacao on Wednesday may be possible, but unlikely. Weather is forecast to (in layman's terms) suck until at least next weekend.

Inspiration Lady should launch from Curacao Marina and return to Spanish Waters on Tuesday in time for Asiento happy hour (happiness comes, presumably, because non-member's tenders, otherwise prohibited, are allowed onto their dock for purchase of full priced adult beverages from 1700 to 2000 on Tuesday and Thursday (should there be any confusion or concern, dinghies are not and have never been allowed to buy liquor).

As a public service, should one find himself in Curacao, Holland or, say, Pennsylvania and spy a triangular road sign with "Let Op! Drempels", slow down. It means "Beware! Speed Bump". Other random Dutch translations in no particular order: beer = bier, more beer = meer bier, too much beer = veel bier, way too much bier = veel te veel bier, bathroom = badkamer, puke = braaksel, thrown out of bar = grege uit de bar and sailor trash = matroos weigeren.

Jack

A Whale's Tale
12/04/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Sully the Pilot Whale

December 4

Crew made 1000 grocery bus run on their own without training wheels. John, the parts guy, came by shortly after their departure with new, over-pitched, aluminum propeller. Works even better than afflicted stainless steel unit with only one aboard, but strains to plane inflatable holding two. With three aboard, marine mollusks sneer arrogantly as they crawl past.

Local cruisers have organized a 24 hour watch on confused pilot whale that now, apparently, believes itself to be human. These Samaritans have lured it out to a nearby pod to reintegrate, but the dummy followed dinghy back to shore. Unable to determine if the rejection was due to differences in socio-economic status or a permanent lifestyle change, the latter must be assumed and watch continues until Sea World or other such organization can take him. Anthems and Jacksters plan walk over to Caracasbaai for viewing at 1330, then possibly riding into town to meet with Inspiration Ladys for a night of pillage and plunder.

- Later

Likelihood that "Sully" will re-acclimate into the wild is near zero. He gets all the dead herring he wants and probably heard about the two female pilots at Sea World. No stress foraging, no natural dangers and a chance to get lucky with couple of hotties. Suspicion runs high that he planned this whole 'beached whale' scam himself.

Good? News
12/03/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

New Prop

December 3

Showed admirable restraint in waiting until this morning to call about ship carrying boom due yesterday. "Bad news", Kareen said... visions immediately appear of a 17 foot tube sitting on a dock in Miami or located in the container that fell off in a storm. "The ship is expected possibly today." Bad news, but not BAD news. "We'll let you know you when we have some information. Thanks for calling." or, Don't call us, we'll call you. Third best news of day.

Second best is that Johnson outboard propeller is slipping in its hub. Dinghy still goes, but can't outrun a motivated jellyfish. Bombardier, which now owns OMC (Johnson and Evinrude), has a dealer on the island that has no Johnson parts or interest in getting them and, apparently, nobody repairs these things. Fellow named John has a higher pitched version for about double US price. He delivers for cash.

At least Budget Marine, celebrating their new catalog which does not have Johnson props either, is extending free drinks to cruisers at the Asiento happy hour tonight. This, plus the wonderful Sweet Sue (Suzy Barth is still my favorite Sweet Sue) chicken and dumplings, unavailable since leaving the mother country, but found at Vreugdenhil Supermarket, is the apogee of euphoria for this dispatch segment.

Jack

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