Inspiration Ladys, Jacksters and Crew in Willemstad
Preparatory to extricating this operation from Curacao tar baby on Wednesday, took stinky sheets and underwear to laundry for discovery that Tuesday's holiday (nobody could explain for what) prevents retrieval until past planned departure time. May try to leave later in day for Santa Cruz, north end of island, but feel like Michael Corleone, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in".
Seems that nearly all non-European natives here speak Dutch, English, Spanish and native Papiamento. Pretty impressive. Of these, my best and favorite language is English... Oh wait, it's my only one. That would probably explain the affinity.
Did my part for the planet today at Ben & Jerry's by buying scoop of Imagine Whirled Peace. Almost surely Al Qaeda and Somali pirates will take notice. Feel so much better about myself now, but frankly, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Next time will visualize Chunky Monkey or Turtle Soup (Oops, there went my greenie creds).
Car rental, at $6 a head, with Inspiration Ladys tomorrow noon will facilitate, most critically, all-you-can-eat ribs for dinner at Rodeo Restaurant near Curacao Marina (blame falls entirely on Gary). Ancillary activities will include clearing out with customs/immigration (open all day, every day), copying charts of Colombia/Panama and reclaiming clean, fresh skivvies from Het Washok Wednesday morning.
Remember previous complaints about insufficient rain to wash boat free of dust, dirt and salt? Remember? At some future time the message will state, "Remember when it wouldn't stop raining to allow playing outside? Remember?". That reference will be from today.
Ship's complement played three-way Mexican train (again Cal, this is not naughty) dominoes all afternoon, then indulged in gourmet (is there a phrase "defining excellence down?) cuisine: House salad, sliced potato and onion sauted with capers and over-ripe tomato and pepper steak served sur un assiette. Finally, the chef d-oeuvre, a succulent torte du repoussoir. Don't look anything up, you'll just be disappointed (apologies to Eveline, crew of Chocobo and French speaking friends everywhere).
Only productive activity occurred on wet trip to Albert Hein (strictly to keep the string alive (ref. Dec. 11)) for crew and neighboring hardware store (to replenish diminished screw collection) pour moi (sorry, got on a French roll (ba dump bump - can't shoot me unless you come for a visit)).
Also, fittingly, after some fits and starts, had a fit of enthusiasm for sanding Boomlock fitting until it fit (don't you just love English?). Did not see fit to confirm this as it was raining.
Small Hammer Method
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.
Mounting New Boom
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
Fish Watching Richena Watching Fish
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.
Removing Old Fitting
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.