15 September 2019, Aruba, Airport Anchorage, Sunday
Hurricane season seems to have started for real. There are quite a few disturbances on the Atlantic, crossing from the Cape Verdes to the West indies. Usually the ABC islands do not get hit by hurricanes but it has happened once or twice in the past. If a hurricane comes close the islands get rain, storm surge and southerly winds. But even this happens very seldom. Dorian destroyed parts of the Bahamas and now Humberto is of the Florida coast but turning east in the Atlantic.
Our anchorage is close to the airport, the beach and the waste incineration plant (is this really the right word?) so Bengt gets very dirty. The last days we have had lots of sunshine and lots of wind so the watermaker is running many hours every day since we have plenty of power. We can clean the outside of Bengt with fresh water, a real luxury. Even after swimming we wash ourselves with lots of fresh water. Since it is very hot here we have little laundry because we mostly walk around without clothes on.
The water in the lagoon is warm and clean so we swim a lot. The weather is hot and humid now because of a tropical wave passing us so we go ashore as little as possible. In the morning we often take a walk on the beach (with clothes) and swim from Bengt afterwards (without clothes). There are few other boats close to us but the ones that are anchored here are all American. When they go ashore they take a long detour around us and pretend that we are not there. They really don’t like nakedness. We do work on Bengt as well as reading, sewing, knitting, crochet, ponder about where to sail next and write. Elisabeth found out that she used the wrong stiches when crocheting (?) a sweater which she nearly had completed. She used solid stiches (?) instead of pole (?) stiches. She must take up everything again and start over with the right stiches this time.
The greywater tank’s bilge-switch stopped working and all washing-up water found its way to the ‘hole’ under the mast foot. I have stopped counting how many of these switches we have used since we left Sweden three years ago, but they last only a few months. The tank’s cover had lost its plastic locking bits, so we changed the switch for an electronic one from Whale (best but also most expensive) and dug out the spare lock for the tank.
The toilet was not working the way it should and that indicated a blocked toilet-hose. I could just write that we took out the hose, cleaned it and put It back. Easy! Not! We had to empty a few lockers and unscrew large parts of the toilet to be able to reach the hose and get it out. To do so we used a messenger-line so we could pull the hose back in place again after cleaning. It is quite long and lies under all our batteries. Elisabeth had to lie down in one of the lockers to pull out the hose and while doing so she damaged one of her ribs. A few years ago, in Les Saints, we worked on the engine and had the engine cover/steps of. We had a coffee break in the cockpit. Elisabeth forgot that we had no steps while going down below. She fell and broke a rib. Now she must take it easy a few days. Getting the hose out is one but getting the stuff out of the hose is another. We used all sorts of tools but most effective are banging with a hammer and bending the hose. We used lots of water (a whole ocean outside) and could finally get all the urinary stones and other ‘shit’ out. Getting the hose back in place was easy. We hope the toilet will function normal for at least one year or until we transited the Panama-Canal (sleeping guests/line handlers). Last time we did this ‘shit’ job was on Terceira in the Azores winter 2017/18.
The parcel with spare parts for the watermaker arrived at the FedEx-office on the airport. Our friends Neill and Heidi were so kind to pick it up for us. It’s a long way from the anchorage and they are in the marina and have bikes. Unfortunately for us Marine Warehouse in Miami had used the wrong address and had not written the name of the yacht and YACHT IN TRANSIT on the parcel, so we had to pay an import-duty of 50 USD. Since we had given them the right address we tried to get them to pay us the tax back. Marine Warehouse is a fairly large company which, in their advertisements write about ‘a global chandlery’ but … no answer. We are not going to use this firm again in the future. They are very slow in answering e-mail and sending invoices. To get these guys going we had to contact Spectra’s support (our watermaker is a Spectra) who gave them a kick in the ass. They got 24 hours to fix it. Needless to say, we like Ben on Spectra-support very much. Neill and Heidi also passed ‘Budget Marine’, the chandlery, and bought waterproof connectors for us there. Even here no answer to our e-mails (the boss was on holyday). Since Neill and Heidi had payed about 100 USD in advance for us Elisabeth baked a yummy chocolate cake and then we took the dinghy the 1,5 miles to the marina to drink coffee, thank them, pay and pick up our stuff.
Friday we had a tropical wave coming over which meant very moist hot air, so we did as little as possible. There is a lot of activity on the Atlantic with lots of disturbances being ‘born’ near the Cape Verdes. At least one of them will turn into a hurricane next week.
Saturday and Sunday were windy. Good for the wind generator. Elisabeth still feels pain from the damaged rib, so we take it easy with physical activities. She sewed a wind-scoop after drawings from ‘Mylady’. The advantage of this one is that it can be reefed and behaves better in strong winds. One can also have the hatch partially open and still get fresh air in the boat. Since the boat was so dirty we got the hose out and cleaned the whole boat with water and soap.
Until next week!