Saturday, July 6, 2013

Christmas in July

Well, we are going to have a lot of Christmas celebrations in July. Dennis will have his birthday on Christmas - Tuesday US time. They will spend the whole week celebrating their independence here. The park is all set up with food stands etc. Supposedly gospel karaoke competition tonight. Can't hear it out here - bummer. (or not).

Spent several hours this morning trying to finish our check in. The customs lady never showed for our 1000 appt. Went by the police station and policeman Sam drove us around looking for her, but no luck. Maybe tomorrow. Sam is very nice and friendly - had the neighbor kids climb a coconut tree, kick us down 3 coconuts, husk them and bring them to us at the police station. A couple of bags of beef jerky (small) was a pretty good trade. Carla made cookies to bring to Sam tomorrow. He invited us to his house - if we can find it - Past the coil (fencing we think), left, past the primary school, second house. Sounds straightforward - I will let you know. Believe it or not - we saw men working on the telecommunications wiring - ON A SUNDAY! Phones are down as well as the internet, so I guess it is a big deal. we are hoping they got it all situated today so we can use the internet tomorrow. Cross your fingers for us. We were also surprised to see some of the stores open. Guess it is more like the real world than we expected. The dinghy ride to and from time was much drier than yesterday. Still not too fond of walking through the seaweed to get on and off the beach, but at least today I didn't squeal like a girl. Nasty though.

Had a couple of highs and lows on the boat front today. A high and low is that the dinghy engine is running. The low is that it only runs if you pump the bulb on the fuel line. Final diagnosis seems to be bad fuel pump. Dennis had a wishful thinking moment that it fixed itself and tried to go without pumping. We ended up flooding the engine - in the pass in an outgoing tide. Out came the oar - I paddled while Dennis cursed the engine. We did not float out to sea, and the engine eventually started. Lesson learned - carry the VHF. Not exactly sure what we are going to do about a fuel pump. Paul may be carrying boat parts to Fiji (be prepared buddy). The next high was a successful run of the generator - yay! hot water and power. So, remember the hot water heater pressure valve that broke and we capped off - well, the water pressure pump kept going off, so I went looking for where we could have a leak. Sure enough hot water flowing out of that connection. So, turned off the water pressure and waited for Dennis to get back from his excursion with Jim (from the catamaran HOOROO anchored next to us). He was able to fix it pretty easily, but gave me heartburn and used up a tank of water in the process. Boats - low maintenance, except when they are not.

Had happy hour on Hoo Roo this afternoon. Very Nice catamaran out of Australia. They are on their way to Vancouver. Tracy & Steve Dolling if you are reading this, would you email me (WDD7203@sailmail.com) the contact information for your marina? Their kids are in Alberta, so sounds like they will winter there (Brrrrrrr) and do the inside passage in the summer. Nice people. We shared books and software and they had lots of info about the cruising areas we are headed to. Now that is why we cruise - always nice interesting people to meet and share good times with.

Josh is back doing school- not too excited about that. He is reading sociology and psychology, has a biology course to do, does assigned writing and reading for me and geometry with Dennis. Is kind of tough getting into a pattern. He did learn though that he won't be doing schoolwork on the short passages - takes at least 3 days to get to the point where he is able to read without wanting to barf. Lots of different lessons to be learned in the cruising world.

So far, we are happy with our anchorage here south of the wharf (1 deg 59.468 N 157 deg 28.981 W), closer to the pass into the lagoon and subsequently town. We are able to dinghy into the lagoon, around the first red mark and then head into the beach to tie up. Puts you pretty much in the middle of town. Tomorrow when we go in we will (hopefully) finish our check in and then see about obtaining some fuel. We figure we need about 50 gal. (200l). So hopefully the government provider will be willing to sell to us during the holiday week. It is worth the 30 cent per liter difference to wait to get it from the main supplier. 1.30 per liter as opposed to 1.60 per liter. Pricey stuff. Not that we could leave here until we get out exit papers from immigration/customs. So I guess we will just have to be patient.

So ends another exciting day in the life of cruising.

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