In Paradise…Yeah Right!

It seems I put off writing for a day  and then another day and before I know it a week or two has passed.  I have a problem. No, not drinking, and some would say I have a little too much OCD, but my problem is when I put electrons to a screen I seem to just keep blurting out more words. I admire people like Mike and Sue (sv Infini) who seem to be able to write a paragraph or two and that keeps people updated. I, when I write, the words just keep bubbling out of me, not always lucid, not always pertinent, but always there. Then my post become chapters and not updates. Be that as it may…..

We’ve been working on the boat, enjoying life in paradise…some, and meeting new people. I gotta say I enjoyed working on the boat much more in the US where we had wheels and I knew where I could acquire needed supplies or I was able to order the supplies and have them to me lickitty split.

When we arrived at Shelter Bay we ordered some paint and varnish from Signature Finishes in Florida. We’ve still not received the supplies almost 6 weeks later.  We were shipping them through Airbox, a freight forwarder who we had shipped the last order of paint and varnish with but this time we hit a big, and I mean BIG snag. I’ll put all the details on our web page when we finally have it resolved, but right now Airbox has said they’ll release (finally) the shipment and we have an order in for FedEx to pick it up by Monday and return it to Fabula (the manufacture). Then we’ll have it re-shipped to Marine Warehouse.

Inventory of one Locker
Inventory of one Locker

While we have a great deal of tools and many, many spares we seem to only have the majority of stuff to Jury Rig a job but rarely all the stuff to finish a job perfectly. Off shore Jury Rigging is the best option, but when near a large city, when in a Marina, it ought to be worked correctly. One week,  3 times I went into Colon to acquire the correct supplies.  Part of this issue is knowing exactly what is on the boat. To this end we’ve been correcting and updating our inventory. We’re beginning to include much smaller items in it.

Our inventory consists of about 600 items now. That’s not all we carry but I’m finding that it is often the smaller stuff that I run out of. Certain screws, bolts or nuts, caulking, etc.  We can’t just have in the inventory “Caulking” we need to know if it’s, Silicone, Buytl Tape, 4200, 5200, or Polysulfide, and the approx size. That’s the gear that is sending me to the store. And while there is a Chandlery here in Shelter Bay Marina I only find what we need 1 out of 10 attempts.

Upon first entry to the chandlery you would think; good, I can get what I need at Pesqueras S.A.  . You would be wrong. And it’s not only me that finds this place lacking. One of the past yard managers for the Marina was saying the same thing. He even went so far as to ask Pesqueras to stock certain items and they implied it would be …. too much work. Yeah they were smallish items but they were items that would sell. The yard manager said to bag them in groups of 10 or 20 and the cruisers that needed them would still buy them. They haven’t yet! This reminds me of a story (told to me by another cruiser).

Cruisers often remind each other of this maxim: When you see it; buy it,  cause it may never be there again!  One cruiser said she found an item they wanted to carry on the boat. There were approximately 8 pieces left on  the shelf. She picked up all 8 and proceeded to the counter where the clerk told her she couldn’t have all 8. “Why” she asked?  The clerk replied “Cause if you buy all of these then I won’t have any to sell!”.  Perfectly deadpan and perfectly serious. The cruiser tried rationalizing with the clerk, explaining that yes, you want to sell it and I want to buy it, but that did no good. She walked out with 7 items.

I’ve actually thought of starting a page on the site for just cruising stories. There are so many. In the Virgin Islands years ago I walked into a hardware store and asked for a pair of Vice Grips.  The clerk said they didn’t have any. “When will you get more merchandise”  I asked?   “Tomorrow” she replied.  I indicated I’ll simply look around.  Not more then 3′ from her were the Vice Grips. People that know me will be surprised that I didn’t say anything. I didn’t. I just picked up the part and purchased my Vice Grips. Glad they weren’t the last pair!

And so it goes. Working on a boat in Paradise. But, we meet great people. People we would never come across living on the dirt. Take Bill and Laura and Isobel. Isobel is all of 4 and more smiles in a small package then I’ve ever seen. If one

Isobel Climbing
Isobel Climbing

could pick a kid out of a magazine she’d be a best seller. They were over chewing the fat with us and Isobel decided that our boat had a great many places to climb. Since she couldn’t touch the ceiling from the floor she decided to climb everything and then touch the ceiling and then do it again. She walks on the lifelines on their boat, climbs up on the top of the dodger and walked their boom. The circus would do well to groom her for high wire acts.  She loves swimming, riding her bike and talking to everybody. She’s every couples dream and as she is just so precocious every couples nightmare too. Isabel shows no fear!

Bill and Laura on sv Sunrise were making beer and brought us some.  Beer in the Pacific is very, very, expensive and they figure that making it will be fun and save money. Of course it wasn’t ready just yet but now we had a bottle of beer fermenting on our counter top for just one more week. The beer was good, a little stout and a little warm for us. Connoisseurs say that’s how beer ought to be drank; but for me I’m just too American and I like beer chillin!

And finally, I’m writing this today because I figure if God could rest on Sunday, so can I.  We say (I mostly say) we’re taking Sunday’s off.  I try but often W/ has other ideas. She wants to inventory our Pacific charts and a couple of other lockers. That’s not too labor intensive and so most likely I’ll acquiesce. Besides; one cruisers said “It is not a boat project unless the boat draws blood”!  I doubt we can then call this a boat project.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long