A slow start to the week
21 April 2021 | 09 22.025'N:79 56.642'W, Shelter Bay Marina, Cristobel, Panama
19th & 20th April
09 22. 025 N
79 56.642 W
Weather; hot and humid with occasional showers, wind n/a, waves n/a
Monday arrived along with more rain, not the sort that washes everything clean and leaves it all refreshed, more the sort that soaks everything through and then hangs around to cause the humidity to escalate.
How do you like my collage of the hibiscus flowers that I took on our weekend walk about - they are really pretty in reality. Needless to say it was going to be a very lazy sort of day, we had nothing urgent to do so we hung around the salon answering emails and reading for most of the morning. In checking his emails Gerry discovered that the new brushes he had ordered for the auto pilot pump were out for delivery today but we needed to pay the import duty on them before we could receive them, the bill was attached to this particular email. Now these brushes cost us the exorbitant price of US$10.95 plus freight of about US40 the import duty on them was a further US$19 of which duty was $5 and the cost of generating the bill was the remaining $14. Gerry nearly exploded when he saw the import bill and took off to the marina office to see if anything could be done about it. He arrived back grim faced and when I asked the obvious question I got told that the office had no idea why it was so much either but of course if he wanted the parts then he had to pay the bill which he did under protest. Now to add to his disgust over the unexpectedly high import cost I have to tell you that these brushes are a very generic size - they weren't an exact match to the old ones that needed replacing and Gerry was certain when he ordered them that when they arrived he was going to have to do some alterations to them to make them fit the old pump but as they were cheap to begin with he was prepared for this factor. The extra costing was making it more important that they actually are useable if the need arises. He had also ordered a complete new pump which was going to take a bit longer to arrive, the old pump and the MacGyvered brushes were going to be kept as our "oh crap" spare, I was dreading the import duty on the new pump which cost a good deal more than the two brushes but unfortunately it is what it is- we just have to wait and see and then bite the bullet B.O.A.T at its best!
To offset his dark mood Gerry went and delved in the aft toilet for a while as he had noticed a drop of water around the recently installed electric valve. He set about taking it off and resealing it with Teflon pipe sealer, after the first go it still had a leak so guess what, it was removed again and sealed once more which thankfully seems to have done the trick - must have been caused by those bricks he's passing!
Just before 5pm we had a knock on the side of the boat and the delivery guy was standing on the dock with our gold bars, whoops I mean a small envelope with 2 pump brushes in it, in his hands. Gerry had to show him the receipt on his phone before he got his sticky little hands on the envelope. At least we had the darn things in hand now, tomorrow would be the time to look and MacGyver them. For the rest of the evening we did the usual stuff of eating and watching TV. - we are leading every other person's dream, all I want is to wake up from it!
Gerry couldn't wait to get started today, he had a job to do! The salon table was covered in plastic sheeting, the box with the Dremel and attachments was dug out along with a soldering iron, solder, the tin snips, pliers, callipers and an assortment of other tools. Then the old brushes, pump and the new brushes were added to the table before Gerry sat himself down with head lamp in place, glasses on and magnifying glass to hand. I sat very quietly thinking that if he makes a single mark on the table it would be the last thing he would ever do! I did ask if there was anything I could help with and was very glad to get a negative answer - that way it couldn't ever be my fault if things went pear shaped! I took just one photo of the process (it's in the gallery), not wanting to get in the way or disturb the master at work, I didn't even take a lot of notice as he cut the end of the new brushes off, removed the spring and shortened it but wasn't happy with this so he changed the new spring out and replaced it with the old spring which was the right length and then he soldered the cap from the original brush onto the new brush as they had a slightly different end connection. Sounds like a waste of time buying a new brush as only half of it was used doesn't it? But you have to remember that these are only for the "oh crap" event - let's hope we never have to use them! At least at the end of the "fixing" of the brushes they did fit into the pump so there is hope.
Our afternoon was spent very quietly doing nothing at all until it was time to repair to the marina bar and top up our alcohol levels once more and have dinner cooked by someone else. It rained in earnest whilst we were in the bar so we had to stay longer than we intended, eventually leaving between showers, and we did only have 2 drinks each so we didn't fall in the dock on the way back to the boat. We had one last Incident that set Gerry up for a difficult day tomorrow - it was after the close of business and he checked on the tracking information for our new pump (again) and found that it said they had tried to deliver it but had been unable to collect the import duty and this was the final attempt to deliver the package. This was all news to us as no one had come anywhere near us (we had been on the boat all day) and Gerry hadn't received the electronic invoice for the duty, as he had for the brushes, so he was up in arms wondering how we were going to get the pump but there was nothing to be done about this until tomorrow so meanwhile he had to worry and stew on it.