A slow day in quarantine
13 April 2021 | 09 22.025'N:79 56.642'W, Shelter Bay Marina, Cristobel, Panama
09 22. 025 N
79 56.642 W
Weather; dull and overcast, wind n/a, waves n/a
Today's blog is going to be very short as not a great deal has happened. We have now been in quarantine for the prescribed 5 days, though I guess its officially up tomorrow morning, to say we are bored is the understatement of the week as we can't do the jobs that need attention due to the fact that we haven't got the parts and it's proving difficult to get them sent to here for some reason, not to worry we will persevere and I'm sure we will get there eventually.
Gerry couldn't keep still and thought that he would use today to change out the fuel filters on the main engine, it had been a while and although it wasn't really due we are probably better off doing it now before we set off in the pacific. I sat quietly out of the way whilst he pulled up the floor to replace the Raycor filter, this was done quickly and then it was on to removing the companionway steps to access the other filter. Of course as soon as the steps were removed and we had no easy way to get out of the boat there was a knock on the side of the boat and the dock master wanted to talk to us and have us fill out the paper contract for the marina. Gerry told him that the steps were out and could he just leave the paperwork on the deck and we would get it once he had finished changing the filter, a short conversation ensued and Gerry ended up putting the steps back in place, retrieving the paperwork and promising to call the dock master once it was filled out. The steps were once again removed and the engine accessed, again it didn't seem to be very long before the filter was changed out, it was time to turn the engine over and make sure that everything was running OK. The steps went back in place and Gerry vanished into the cockpit to start the engine up, it coughed and spluttered but just wouldn't turn over, there was an air lock in the line. Back down below and using the engine access point in the quarter berth Gerry started the air bleeding process, warning me that I needed to start the engine when he called out to me. I then retired to the cockpit to be ready for the moment. At the given instruction I cranked the engine which still didn't catch. A bit more bleeding of air followed then Gerry manually operated the accelerator from the engine bay and instructed me to turn the engine over again, this time it caught, the air lock was cleared. He let it run for a few minutes to make sure there was a decent flow of fuel and then it was time to shut it down, clear away the tools and dispose of the old filters along with a bit of fuel that had leaked out of them - thank goodness for sealable plastic bags and kitchen rolls, I don't know how Gerry would manage without either of them! With the jobs for the day done it was time to complete the paperwork for the dock master, I'm sure why they need some of the paperwork - it was just a repeat of all the stuff we had sent when we booked in before setting out for Panama, you don't argue about it though, you just print off more copies and hand them over. When Gerry called the dockmaster to hand them back he said that he hadn't signed the bit on the paperwork about the charges as no dockage rate was quoted- it had been left as a blank space, only to have the dock master say surely he had seen the rates on the site. That wasn't the point, Gerry could have signed and later been charged any amount that they chose to insert! By this point we had nothing left on the agenda for the day so we had lunch and spent the afternoon staring at electronic gadgets. Gerry was trying to be more productive by searching out replacement spares and putting in orders for them, this was proving to be more problematic that you can imagine. Having found the parts through Amazon he tried to put in an order only to get a message back saying that they don't / can't/ won't deliver to Panama - they could send it to our US address - no use what so ever, so he searched further and found another supplier and filled out the order, got as far as the payment details and had the frustrating message that he needed to put a code in to use his credit card- the code would be sent from the bank to his US phone number - totally useless as he is using a local sim card in the phone and can't put an overseas phone number on record at the bank so there was no way he was going to receive the code. The quickest way around this was to phone the bank which he duly did and as I am sure you all know the bank passed him from one person to the next to get through the goal posts eventually. We have told the bank time and time again that we are on a boat, not in the US and are using a different phone sim card in each country we visit but we are apparently the only idiots in the entire world that are this difficult! Surely there is a better or even an alternative way of doing banking checks than by sending a code to your phone in this day and age. I just hope that when the vendor checks out the address they don't have a hissy fit and decide that they can't send the part to Panama either, holding our breath on that one! Then to add to his frustration the brushes that we need for the Auto pilot pump don't seem to be the size that is quoted online so Gerry then went backwards and forwards with email to the vendor about that, sending photos of our brushes with the callipers attached to show the readings of the dimensions - watch this space for more on that as the emails fly backwards and forwards!
I answered and sent a few emails and then set about cutting up the pineapples we were gifted yesterday, they are sweet and delicious but I'm going to have to quickly find something to make with them before they start to ferment. I‘ve made a start by making some salsa to go with our pork for tonight's dinner - it's looking and tasting scrumptious! So that's about it for the moment, nothing much else going on just twiddling our thumbs and willing the quarantine hours away.