Pleasure and Pain in the First Days of the Season
25 November 2015 | Tortugal Marina, Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Beth / dripping but warm
We have been reunited with Madcap at Tortugal Marina for 4 days now, and on each day, sighs of pleasure have fought for airtime against groans of frustration.
This post is not meant to be a litany of complaints - just a description of our transition experiences for those who want to hear the "real stories".
The bus ride seemed to take forever - with stops where mudslides were being cleared - and the usual huge number of trucks, buses, cars and motorbikes proceeding down the mountain to the lowland. Our seats and the temperature were comfortable, but the violent movie and loud sound were hard to bear. Reading was out of the question as was much sleep. Sometimes this ride is just tiresome, and sometimes I hate it. This was a hate it kind of day! It hasn't been fascinating past the first couple of times!
Fortunately, we caught the 9 am Litegua bus from Zona 1, meaning we arrived at Rio Dulce in daylight - always a good thing, and not always the case when we come on the 11 am bus.
Madcap looked in great shape, and we realized we could have slept onboard that first night. Since this was our first layover at Tortugal, we weren't sure how ready for habitation she would be and had booked a room in the lodge It was nice to have that night ashore, but not necessary - except for all the things that we discovered weren't working.
And that is the part that makes us sigh - in company with most of the rest of the boaters here. The heat and humidity are hard on boats, and it is no fault of those who are looking after them, it is just the way it is.
So - we discovered first that we were out of propane - our own fault because we had left the cans empty in the spring, not thinking that it would be nice to have fuel for cooking when we came back - and you don't just run them to Costco and get it done in an hour. Chiqui's is flooded and was not open for several days. When I went by El Dragon (our usual drop off spot where we get the can back 2 days later), it was also closed. But on Monday, Manuel loaded up the boat and took a half dozen cans off somewhere - returning the very same day with filled cans. 30 Q for a 10 lb tank.
Then we found that the fridge doesn't work - so Chris (Seakist) will be taking a look at that. We don't mess around with refrigeration.
Jim filled our water tanks, but the water wouldn't flow through to the taps. We managed to find and fix that issue without too much trouble - there must have been some grit in the line because when we opened both ends of the tubes, ran a wire through and flushed some more water through, it opened up.
One air valve on the dinghy won't close quickly when we disconnect the pump so we are travelling in a slightly soft dinghy all the time, but on the other hand, it is still usable - a good thing. I have sprayed corrosion block on it and cleaned it with a Q-tip but it still sticks.
On the plus side, Jim took our outboard motor and Honda generator across the river to Oscar's for servicing and got them back promptly - both purring nicely. He picked up our new anchor, a Manson Supreme, that was ready and waiting for us at RAM Marine - and now it is securely installed on the bow - I can't wait to try it out!
The waterproofing spray we brought with us has made the cockpit much more comfortable in the rain - it had become pretty much porous, but now we can sit there without rain jackets on!
To balance all the "issues" with systems, the moist heat that makes the sweat roll down our faces when we do the smallest amount of work, and the almost daily rain showers, we are enjoying the wonderful company of friends - from Canada and the US and Germany at the moment - mostly folks we met here in other years and who make us feel that this is our community. We chat about our plans for the winter, and realize that some folks we will see again, and others are our neighbours for a season until they (and we) move on to other locales. And we are all adjusting right now!