Saturday, 18 March 2017

Dealing with blood sucking locals

Lora, orange troupial, bananaquits
noisy but pretty, not blood-sucking!

Like some bad taste horror film, those minibeast draculas hover in hordes at our mesh covered ports, their shrill incessant whining reminding us it's only a matter of time.. our bodies will be theirs for the taking.  They will have no mercy.
They greedily devour more than their body weight, slowing them down so they're like fat, flying donkeys, leaving pin-cushioned zombie people in their wake.
This only fuels more of a blood killing rampage by the slow reacting humans, the taste of revenge driving them to destroy all.
..Bit dramatic I know. The joys of being woken over and over by these blood suckers get my tired, over-imaginative mind reeling!  (I'm talking about mosquitos, just in case my nonsensical musings still don't make any sense!!)

I've even resorted to naming our galley "Mozzies Hollow. " Due to the fact that every freakin' time I'm there preparing meals or refresments, those sneaky little buggers take the liberty of turning me into their personalised smorgasbord. No amount of repellant or spray seems to deter them. Grrr!
One of these days I will clean all the blood smudges off our walls and ceilings, but at the moment, they still remind me of many a small victory!!
Looking down to the ocean floor from the jetty,
looks a bit like a moose head to me!

On a lighter note, there is something quite wonderful about being able to turn on a tap and water flows!
We filled up our tanks with some extended hoses from the workshop. No more multiple trips carrying a backpack of 1 litre bottles up our companionway steps, crawling across the cockpit out from under the bimmini and mosquito net, and down the ladder to fill up, then return, in reverse order, obviously... More often than not, disappointingly, the precious water cargo is used within an hour or so - who's up for the next trip? Hmm, the silence is overwhelming!
Eli's turn

Hoisted Dave up the mast in our slightly dodgy bosuns' chair so he could inspect the state of our standing rigging.
On the return trip, muscles straining to lower him slowly and carefully down by rope, so he doesn't swing and smash against a stay, spreader or mast; as Murphy's law would have it, he was 3/4 of the way back down before he noticed a cracked strand had revealed itself. At least it made the decision easy: replace the lot.
The two elder boys (much to the disgust of Mr number 3 who really doesn't like to miss out) took turns being hoisted also, equipped with a measuring tape so we could measure each individual wire, to help us get an idea of quantity for ordering.

Salem chilling at the spreaders

We found stashed among some papers and files, a newspaper advertisement from 1998 with a picture of our boat for sale. It was on a trailer on the hard, but had the rigging in place. We know she was launched in 2000, so the ad would suggest the rigging is some 19 years old! Admittedly she's only had about 7 years in the water, but clearly has weathered a fair amount!
We are currently awaiting our rigging and hardware order to arrive from Sweden. Lelle has found a good deal from a very good quality company called Selden and has very kindly offered to do the labour for free, with Dave's help!
Any chance to make fire, even if it's already hot!

The boys had the opportunity to go watch their mate Luca take part in the local sailing regatta- a kid's race out to Klein Bonaire Island (Little Bonaire) and back. They were out for a full half day with Luca and Lelle and even got to be part of a rescue team, driving a pirogue!

Salem above, Eli below water

The day before, the four boys were out for most of the day doing cliff jumps off a rock ledge.                                

Eli and Luca have been working away fixing an old vespa, with some success,
Salem on push start duty

enough to get riding it, around the yard at least.

Eden always up for a race!

Oh the look of glee!

Tues 21st February, arose with suprise to find dew on deck. Apparently cooler mornings remind us summer is near! Peculiar contrast to NZ.
Speaking of peculiarities, I'm sure Kiwi's and Aussies can appreciate this observation: in spite of the heat, flies are rarely seen. We cook inside (sometimes meat), we have open large rubbish bags inside the boat, often containing lots of food scraps, yet we have had maybe 4 visiting flies in the last 5 weeks! The most annoying thing about summer back home is when you just want to relax in the sun, maybe with a cold beer, and you are confronted with the very necessary task of bashing a business of flies. (I had to look this one up, it's actually true, not a swarm, but a business!!- Not sure how business owners would appreciate this strange, oddity!)

The scenery along part of my
bike ride grocery run

Biking home from grocery run one day, there was a surprisingly pleasant road block...

kids' parade

One of many events during Carnival week is the kids' carnival.  All the businesses closed up (shops this time, not flies!) the shop owners and attendants milled around outside waiting for the kids to swagger through. The blasting music from massive speakers on the back of trucks driving between the kids groups, announcing the brightly apparelled kids are near.
Large, homemade grandstands are built on the properties of peoples' homes - specifically as viewing platforms - along the circuit that the carnival procession passes through; which is several city blocks, taking I would guess over an hour for the parade to walk around.
There are also judges' stands at various locations on that circuit and people make all sorts of food and drink to refresh the masses watching!
Not having cheap, public transportation here and time being of the essence, we decided to opt out this year for watching the events take place.

Dave has been doing a stellar job pouring himself into a rather large, time consuming project, that will make a significant difference to our cruising life. But I will leave that for next time when there will hopefully be a finished product to show, and the process that went into it..
Thanks for reading,
"Pasa bon dia!"
Papiamento for: have a good day!

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