Let the Sun Shine
22 January 2013 | Buena Vista Bay, Rio Dulce
Beth / mix of sun and clouds 85 F
The sun shone in our forward hatch as it rose above the mountain this morning - first time in a week! Chris arrived at 10 to start installing the new solar panel, and the heavy cloud cover has parted from time to time to keep letting that golden sun peek through. The cold front has passed and the daytime temp is in the 90's again (darn close to 30C).
Liam took a ride to Livingston with Casey in his lancha yesterday. Along with a few bottles of white wine to restock the fridge, he bought a machete for Madcap! I've been thinking it would be a good thing to have aboard, and he had fun wielding Martin's machete as he slashed bushes and kept an eye out for snakes when we went walking the other day. Now if he only had a piece of leather, he could make a beautiful sheath for it ... hmm ... maybe he can find a snakeskin!
Chris, Liam and Jim are hard at work at the stern of the boat as I sit under the sun awning at the bow. Little mangrove swallows flit back and forth from our bow pulpit and I hear the fellows alternately exclaiming, "Great that fits!" and "Oh crap, I wish we had a drill bit this size," or ""I need a different u-bolt" or "Fire up the generator - I need to plug in the drill". They scavenged scraps of square aluminum from Jennifer, and borrowed drill bits from Casey, and pooled Jim's tools and Chris's tools, and they balanced between the lancha and the dinghy as they fastened it to the top of the dinghy davits, and Chris crawled in and out of the cockpit lockers to wire it up.
And now, 3 hours later, Chris has said goodbye and we are generating power. Hallelujah! And now we have another local businessman to recommend.
Part of our experience down here in these bays off EL Gofete, is dealing with many different tradespeople. Casey (riodulceboats.com) provides summer storage, varnishes our teak, keeps out the mildew, does any kind of carpentry we can imagine. Tom (cayoquemadosails.com) made our sun awning and rain catcher, and does rigging and sail repair. Jennifer made our courtesy flags, and found and painted a gorgeous 2 ft cayuga/fruit bowl, sold us Clementina's wonderful coconut oil (and also rents moorings). Chris (seakistservices.com) installed the solar panel (and also does refrigeration work and rents docks in Texan Bay). We buy pan de coco (coconut rolls) from Nancy in Cayo Quemado and Emmilinda in Buenavista Bay - they both come by in their cayugas (dugout canoes). Nicholas, who walks 4 km down from the mountain and then paddles another 2 km down the river, came by with lovely baskets made by his wife, Blanca, and his daughters. We bought a hand of those little bananas that are green now but will be wonderfully sweet in another day or two from one Cayuga and some plantains and an odd little green vegetable that is a kind of potato from another one. (Note to cruisers - keep lots of small bills and change handy. These vendors rarely have change, and the amounts we pay are small - pan de coco is Q2 per bun, bananas were Q20, a pretty little basket was Q30, my potato thingy and a couple of plantains cost Q3.)
We'll roll up the sun awning soon, pack everything back into the lockers and dinghy down to Texan Bay (Burnt Cay Marina) to see what Sandy has on the dinner menu. We're off up river at first light tomorrow, and then catching a Linea Dorada bus to the Petan for a visit to some Mayan sites.
And that lovely panel will generate enough power to keep our fridge going while we're gone.