Cave Painting, Camp Fire & Pot Lucks
18 April 2009 | Sand Dollar Beach, Exuma Cays, Bahamas
A nice brisk breeze blowing this morning....keeps the bugs down and a heat-sensitive wife happier. We are anchored (still) in the shelter of Stocking Island....just off the conch salad stand at Volleyball Beach (more-or-less in front of the Chat n' Chill).
Last night we all went to a pot-lock & bonfire off Sand Dollar Beach (next large beach/anchorage to the south....well, ESE). It was mostly, but not all, families with kids. Some of the kids had discovered a large cave, so the kids brought all kinds of paint for the kids to do aboriginal cave paintings (complete with "Kids Only" signs). It wasn't long, however, before the kids began to paint each other. I suspect the kids all had fun with the evening, but the squeals and yells & running up and down the beach, back and forth to the cave, and over the island to the ocean side and back. The last bon fire was a kids only affair. We dropped the kids, stayed for a while, then Sue and I went to Georgetown, as I was to preach at a Street Meeting that night (Good Friday). We arrived back much later, to find a happy group of kids with a large bon fire and no adults in attendance for the past couple hours or so.
Yesterday there was quite a bit more chop on the harbour. It was Saturday morning, I NEVER do this, but was tired, so after everyone was fed and all taken care of, I laid down for a nap in bed. Just nicely drifting off, when Ben comes charging in informing me that I need to go to town to get yeast for Mommy (she's baking awesome boat bread). The trip into town was bumpy, but the dingy is empty and I'm somewhat with the waves. The trip home, the waves seem a little bigger, I'm headed into them and I have groceries plus two-hundred pounds of water aboard (never go to town without bringing more fresh water home). The dingy was pounding into the waves, regularly taking sheets of warm salty water over the bow (& in my face). I ended up having to turn away from the wind and waves (& further away from home) and work my way across the harbour into more sheltered waters, before turning towards Seawing. (home). Even though I was wearing my foul-weather jacket, I was soaked when I arrived...though the groceries where dry, snug in the heavy black garbage bag and grocery cart.
Yesterday, I was able to get a replacement auxillary pump for our water-maker. I installed an additional filter-kit to filter out finer particulate in the water, to protect our water-maker membrane. When you do this, it takes too much suction to draw seawater through both the primary and secondary filter, for the water-maker to do it alone, so a secondary filter is installed to help. Our secondary pump failed, so were unable to use the secondary filter. It turns out, there is a Katadyne(sp?) Water Maker representative, anchored in the harbour here right now. Yesterday, we were finally able to get a copy of the proof of purchase for our system & he replaced the pump for us....VERY cool, as we are rather beyond normally having any sort of specialty replacement parts available here. I am planning to install the pump this afternoon....yes, I kow it's Sunday, but we need a reliable water supply.
We are planning to attend the local Baptist Church this morning (if the weather holds....see come clouds blowing in; might be squalls coming with). There is not church on the beach this morning. Someone asked at the potluck last night if we were having church this morning & mentioned they enjoyed last week (where I was able to preach a clear Law & Gospel message). It's making me think that maybe we should take the initiative to organize services in coming weeks....not sure.
It seems like there is a lull in the head problems. For the uninitiated, a marine 'head' is the toilet. Over the past couple weeks, we've had 'issues'. The forward head got plugged.....really plugged. The head empties into a holding tank, the contents of which are macerated and pumped overboard when appropriate (i.e. night time when no-one's swimming, or at sea). Well, the kid's head plugged....seems about where the pipe turns and dumps into the tank. I tried everything to unblock it. Remember, when I began to disassemble to work on it, the contents o the 1.5" X 5'-6' hose (several gallons) come running back to where I'm working....NASTY! I can't begin to describe just how nasty this is....had to do it TWICE (& in tropical heat)!!! It is one of the worst jobs I've ever had to do. I finally gave-up attempts to unblock, 'till we return to Florida. I plumbed the head directly overboard, so...don't swim on the port side when someone's sitting on the throne.
(rain squalls blowing in now...just had to run around and close up boat...not sure we're going to dingy the mile or so across the open harbour to church this morning, unless this blows over in the next 30-45 minutes.)
The generator began causing problems this week. One day it was REALLY hard to start, and for a Honda, this is VERY peculiar....usually the first cylinder over fires. One day, it just up and quit while running to charge the batteries; alarming, to say the least. We are able to run the main diesel and charge the house-bank off of the oversized alternator, but it is slower, way nosier and causes extra use (i.e. wear) for the far more expensive Perkins diesel. I began to go through the Honda generator and try to identify what the problem might be. I removed and cleaned the carburator float bowl, the sediment bowl, cleared the carboon out of the exhaust spark arrestor and checked the spark plug. I cleaned up and suspicious-looking spark plug & dried to get it to spark against the block (out of the engine)...no spark. We were able to dingy up the island the next day to the NaPa dealer and get a couple new plugs. Amazing...the silly thing fired right up; problem solved...yea!!! Well....problem solved....until it wouldn't start again the next morning. I did get it started with a little starting fluid, but added a liberal amount of fuel system cleaner to the gas tank & ran for a long time...now it seems to start right up and be in a rather good mood again....welcome to boat-life....fix, fix, fix, fix, rest, play, fix, fix fix....
Blue & Pink jobs. The other night, we were for dinner with several families on an Australian catamaran (the crew are originally from S. Africa). It was fun & the bbq meat awesome. Durring the evening, the discussiong of 'blue' & 'pink' jobs came up. Our host, was explaining that all boat jobs fall under either 'blue' (male) or 'pink' (female) and never should the two meet. That generated lots of enthusiastic discussion & laughs, as you can imagine. We're still joking about it....figuring that we have alot of purple jobs here....Sue thinks they should all be blue jobs....(in the words of Winnie-The-Pooh) O bother.
Every afternoon, around 2:30 or so, folks meet on the beach for vollyball, bridge and whatever other social activities. Jacquie had become sought-after as a volleyball player (thanks Gunnery Road Academy) & both her and Ben are often seen climbing trees and swinging wildly out of them on ropes....wearing the skin off their hands in the mean time. I (Glenn) have mostly been too tired to go hang-out. for some reason, I've been rather exhausted most of the time lately...not sure why.
Anyway...Ben's asking for pancakes for breakfast....gotta go cook. Later!