First few days of July
05 July 2020 | 12 02'N:61 45'W, Port Louis Marina, St George, Grenada
12 02 N
61 45 W
Weather; hot and humid, wind n/a, waves n/
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY TO ALL OUR FRIENDS FROM THE USA!
So here we are 4 days into the 7th month already, time flies when you are enjoying yourself! I've left it until today to write the blog as there hasn't been enough happening to write about each day. So to back track a little, we have settle into our spot in the marina, though we have no idea how long we will be occupying this space as the office seems to move boats around at will on a regular basis. Our friends on Texas Crewed have already been moved from their original berth and then just yesterday they were told that they will be moved back to the original berth early in the coming week. Why? Who knows as their original berth has been empty for the time they have been in their second spot - it makes no sense to us but what do we know! We are on the furthest dock out from the office and all of the amenities which is all very well but it means there is no way we are walking the dock to go to the toilet or use the marina showers, we will continue to use our own facilities on the boat and hopefully not have to wait for the holding tank to be emptied - we have been warned that the office sends someone out to empty the tank up to 3 days after you request it - that could be disastrous! Walking up the dock makes my knee ache like crazy so I try to limit the amount of times I have to walk it in a day. We are just across the bay from Island water world (the marine shop) and Foodland grocery store, both are within easy reach if you can walk on water, unfortunately to get to them we have to walk up to the office and then around the perimeter making it a very long walk. Gerry had used our dinghy to go across to Island water world with Dale, he had to row it across as we are unable to get our outboard off of the back end of the boat as there is no room to maneuver it between us and the big catamaran next to us that I wrote about when we docked here, he arrived back with aching arms so I guess he won't do that too often.
I decided to leave the laundry until Wednesday (1st July) to give everyone who had arrived at the same time as us a chance to do their laundry and leave me a clear run. I hadn't realized to begin with that it isn't DIY laundry, it's a service wash only! Once I had discovered that, I reduced the amount of stuff that I was going to have washed to a bare minimum and did the rest by hand on the boat. It might sound crazy but as they charge by the weight for the wash it was best to keep it to essential stuff like sheets and towels that I refuse to do by hand and there is no space to dry them anyway. I still ended up having to cart a garbage bag load to the launderette, I can't recall the weight but it cost 42 Eastern Caribbean dollars (US $15) for 2 sheets, 2 towels, 4 tee shirts and 2 tea towels, which is quite expensive by my reckoning! I am seriously regretting not agreeing to have a washing machine put in the boat when we discussed it. The plan was that Lorie and I were going to walk over to Foodland and check it out whilst Gerry and Dale did whatever it was that they do when we aren't around, so after dropping off the laundry I headed along the dock (Gypsy Palace are on the closest dock to the office and the furthest away from us) and joined Lorie on their boat. Lorie was in the middle of school work with Savannah so I joined in the home schooling, relieving Lorie of the task of supervising the English reading and comprehension (I see you rolling around the floor and hear you laughing Lee, but I can do it - with someone else's child!) next came the math, we got through that pretty quickly - I still remember how to add numbers together! By now it was lunch time and neither Lorie nor I had any inclination to go grocery shopping so I texted Gerry to come up to Gypsy Palace and we all went off to the restaurant for lunch. Gerry had been waiting on the rigging guy to come when I left him earlier, as he wanted our rigging tightened up and the port side lower spreader looking at - it has been creeping upwards under way and Gerry has had a couple of tries to get it back down in line with the starboard one but wanted an expert to have a go. The rigger had come, done his inspection and tightened the turnbuckles on the shrouds to tension them, he had also had a look at the spreader and, much to my amusement, had just bashed it back into place with a hammer - exactly what Gerry had done previously but maybe the rigger has a magic hammer and it will stay put this time! Gerry had filled in the waiting time with cleaning the solar panels off, some bird out in the anchorage had used them for target practice and there was a load of guano to clean off. He joined us for lunch and at the same time returned the cable and internet box to the office with the complaint that it didn't work, he was given a second box and cable to try. Following lunch I had enquired about the laundry being ready - it was, but they only take cash and neither of us had any cash on us - it was back on the boat, damn that meant a walk out to the furthest dock, back to the laundry and finally back to the boat with the washing. I was pretty well knackered by the time I hauled the laundry bag back onto the boat, it was as much as I could manage to unpack it and flop on to chair and cool off. Meanwhile Gerry was still struggling to get the internet box to connect with much sailor speak accompanying his efforts and to no avail - it just wouldn't work. Oh dear, the office was in for a further visit the next day! It was becoming a personal challenge to Gerry who can't manage a single day without an internet "fix" so the following morning the office got an early visit and an exchange of equipment, the cable was tested in the office for connectivity and the girl got the internet provider to " Ping" the box on the dock to make sure it was working. Back on the boat Gerry hooked it up again and finally managed to get it to connect, hallelujah, maybe I won't have to hear about it anymore!
There weren't too many jobs lined up for today but one essential job was the checking and cleaning out of the air conditioner water intake strainer. As we haven't used the air conditioner for a while this was meant to be a quick job, who am I kidding? Off went the water inlet valve and the strainer came out and was cleaned under fresh running water. It wasn't too bad just a bit gummed up, but when he tried to drop the strainer back in place it wouldn't fit back in. A quick look with the torch, out with the turkey baster, empty the casing for the filter of water and there at the bottom of the casing was an assortment of shellfish!. The casing is too long and thin to be able to get fingers into and remove them so we tried prising them out with an assortment of tools to no avail but we did manage to loosen their grip. Then Gerry had a thought - we could use the wet and dry vacuum to get them out if the suction hose fitted. Luckily it did and we managed to suck the shells out from the bottom. They looked to be oyster shells but there weren't any pearls - boo and hiss! I took photos just to make sure. At least now we could get the strainer back in the casing. We went to the pool in the afternoon to join in with the rest of the marina in standing in a warm bath and drinking cans of beer but we were surprised to find that there were only 5 other people at the pool, even Dale, Lorie and Savannah didn't make it. We forewent the drinks and did a few laps as there was space to actually swim for a change then we returned to our boat for dinner, a movie and bed.
On to the next day, Gerry had hired a car for the day as we decided that we all needed to go and find the bigger supermarket plus there was a marine "Treasure Trove" somewhere which might have second hand spare parts that the guys needed to fix stuff with. As it was Friday we had been told that there was also a farmers market at the Marina near the office from 10am so we divided the tasks in that the guys went to pick up the car which also involved having to go to the police station and getting a driving permit at a cost of US$25 for a period of just 3 months - a rip off! Only Gerry got a licence so he will be the one driving us anywhere. After picking up the car and getting the licence the guys headed off to find the marine treasure trove with somewhat limited directions. Meanwhile Lorie and I went to the farmers market, if you can call it that. There was just 3 vendors, one selling frozen meats, one selling ice cream and yoghurt and the last one had fruits and vegetables.
I did take my camera as I was going to get a photo however I couldn't bring myself to take a picture as it just wasn't worth it and I would have been very obvious doing it. I didn't need frozen meat so gave them a wide berth, I tried the yoghurt - it was OK but a bit on the expensive side and I hadn't intended to go all the way back down to the boat to put anything in the freezer so all I took much notice of was the fruit and veg, there wasn't a great deal of that but I did buy a lettuce, a cucumber, a star fruit, an unripe avocado and 5 under ripe tomatoes. Then I was accosted by a man who had some home made chocolate samples. I tried a bit and was instantly won over - it was delicious, dark and rich - you would love it Kay. Anyway he had 3 small truffle size pieces for US $2.50 so I gave in and bought 3 pieces thinking that Gerry wouldn't like it as he tends to prefer milk chocolate - this had my name written all over it! I had to be out of my mind when I later offered him a piece thinking he would say no, it's a good job that it was the last piece - as the saying goes, any port in a storm - well this was evidently the chocolate port as he scoffed it down, I won't make that mistake again!. So my farmers market purchases came to a grand total of EC$24 (about US$9) which is quite expensive given what I had bought. Lorie only bought some desert and had to return to her boat to get it in the freezer before it melted. By now the guys had come back to pick us up, they had been unsuccessful in finding the Treasure Trove and were going to try once more with all of us in the car. Off we went with just a mud map of the island and some vague directions but this time we managed to find the place down the back streets. The guys went in to see what they could waste money on and came back out with a big fat nothing - there weren't any of the bits they were looking for. Our next stop was Ace hardware store, it was just like the ones in the USA and both guys managed to find an assortment of things that we desperately needed so that was a good deal. By now it was lunch time so we drove a little further to True Blue and the restaurant there which is called Dodgy Dock. It was on the waters' edge close to a marina, we went through the mask wearing and temperature checking and all passed, wondering why we wouldn't as we had all had negative Covid 19 tests anyway we ordered and ate lunch overlooking the water and washed it down with a couple of cocktails - just to keep our fluids up, of course. So with lunch done and dusted it was time for the serious stuff - grocery shopping, AKA hell on wheels. We found the IGA and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was reasonably well stocked, we could certainly get enough to survive on here. I filled our trolley with an assortment of things that we were low on plus a couple of bottles of grog and a couple of bars of chocolate for the monster (milk of course), managed to break one of the eggs on the way back out to the car but otherwise did OK. Lorie did likewise. We will certainly be going there again in future when we run out of stuff, however we are told that another veggie van visits the marina on Monday so it will be interesting to see what he has on offer and how his prices compare as it is mostly the fresh stuff we get through really quickly. With our grocery shopping done it was time to top up the fuel in the car and return to the dock. We were all too tired to go to the pool so it was a quiet time on board for the two of us that night.
So here we are at Independence Day, a big day for us as Gerry decided that it was time to defrost the fridge (why wouldn't you do it after filling it with more groceries yesterday?) and fixing the lid which was showing signs of coming apart around the insulation. Everything was emptied out of the fridge and packed into an insulated bag, the fridge turned off and left to do its own thing - well with a little help from Gerry, a knife and chiseling at the ice buildup. While we waited for the defrost to complete he unscrewed the lid and it took pride of place on the dinning table along with an assortment of tools and every cupboard behind the seats open in case he needed more. We started with peeling the old sealing strips off carefully as they had only been replaced a short while ago and were in good condition still. Then Gerry carefully prised the inner fiberglass insulating cover off to reveal the foam interior and wooden surrounds. We cleaned all the glue and gunk away from the wood, cleaned the fiberglass cover and lined it back up. It was now ready to be re glued and secured, time to mix up some thickened epoxy resin. So here we are in the salon, air conditioning going and the acrid smell of epoxy resin choking us to death on the recycled air. Gerry filled in all the gaps in the foam and replaced the fiberglass cover over the existing nails but using epoxy to make sure that it was securely in place, all it needed now was time to cure and for the fridge to finish defrosting! Gerry found himself a job out in the cockpit to get away from the smell - he reinforced the railings around the cockpit enclosure by adding a small joining piece of pipe on each side which is then attached to the uprights of the arch which forms the overhead cockpit structure - see the photos in the gallery to get an idea of what I'm doing a bad job of explaining. Anyway it kept him out of the salon and away from the smell of epoxy! Meanwhile we had been invited to Gypsy Palace for 4th July burgers and I had offered to make a pasta salad and some chocolate chip cookies so I was stuck in the kitchen with the smell trying to get that sorted out. Eventually the fridge lid was cured enough to put back on the fridge, this required 2 sets of hands to achieve but we got there and it was back to a working fridge once more once we flipped the switch and reloaded everything back into it. The smell of epoxy permeated the whole boat for the rest of the night - horrible!
We had a great American style dinner with burgers and chocolate chip cookies plus a few adult beverages to wash it down, all that was missing was the fireworks!
On that note it's time for bed, happy 4th everyone, be safe!