Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Steamy & Soggy in Shelter Bay, Panama ….. Nov 2012

24 Oct - PB06013406 Nov 2012

It’s the Rainy Season & We are Parked in a Rain Forest

Just because we are finally back in the water and floating doesn’t actually mean that we are able to go anywhere!  The weather certainly hasn’t inspired us to want to throw off the lines and venture back out to the San Blas.  We had been warned that October and November were the two wettest months, October wasn’t actually too bad, but November is off to a soggy start.  The lightening storms still come and go with almost daily regularity, although most of the time I can count “1alligator”  between the thunder and the lightening.  There was an exception while the riots were on in Colon,PA310114 one morning we had three consecutive booms and strikes within seconds and I actually considered that maybe we were under fire.  I thought briefly that living in the Gaza Strip must be like this, but luckily it wasn’t a rocket launched missile attack,  just another storm cell passing by.

 Back in the water ….. but

After we  “splashed” we needed to wait for a few days for Balvenie to settle back into her floating position before the shaft could be attached and the engine aligned.  PA310124This was still during our “gremlin” month of October so we were expecting there may be the odd hiccup.  We were not to be disappointed, trusty Olive our Volvo TMD31 engine is now waiting on a set of 4 shiny new engine mounts for her 21st birthday, isn’t she lucky.  Unfortunately they are coming from a company that was affected by Hurricane Sandy so nothing is happening at speed.  

We are not alone

Many cruisers here are undertaking some quite big boat projects ~ mini & major refits, repairs and replacements of canvas work, total repaints – yes in the rainy season – many are doing routine maintenance before the next cruising season, some are just waiting for the next thing to break.  So it’s stories like those below from our fellow marina dwellers told over $1 beers at happy hour that keep us all amused  PA300110

*Boat on our dock has new dinghy delivered from USA, it’s not the size he ordered, it’s too small – back it goes but when will the right one arrive?

*Neighbour has new chart plotter (for navigation) delivered.  He installs it and it’s all working however it will not read the boats position from the GPS, neither will the AIS (Ship Identifier) function work.  After much dialogue with the manufacturer he now finds out that this particular chart plotter is not compatible with his existing GPS and AIS systems. Whoops!

*Newly arrived Australian yacht has a new fridge delivered, all goes well and they install it and turn it on, but it won’t turn itself off.  They watch in dismay as it gobbles up precious amps from their batteries and starts freezing everything in sight.  Happily after many hours, a few repairs and some seriously cold beers that one as been solved . PA310115

*Our neighbours engine just won’t turn over.  Having eliminated nearly everything else they order new injectors from the USA.  Another few $100 goes to FedEx and the parts arrived and are fitted.  But their engine is still not starting – they’re not going anywhere just yet either! 

  • *A Superyachts top deck hot tub sprung a serious leak and it flooded right through the boat to the lower decks.  That’s what you get for having a hot tub, must admit none of us felt too sorry for them, but we did feel sorry for the crew who had to clean it all up.PA310113 

*But 1st prize goes to British cat Juffa  who we met back in the Canaries.  They arrived yesterday with a broken throttle cable and a few other “normal” hiccups plus what we have nicknamed their “well baked stuffed Apple”.  While at anchor a few nights ago they had a lightening storm so Caroline put their almost new Apple Computer into the oven (I have to add that their previous almost new Apple fell into Rabat marina in Morocco and drowned).  For those of you unfamiliar with this ‘oven’ practice, rumour has it that electronics have a far less chance of being affected by a lightening strike if in a metal box, so most of us cruisers, rightly or wrongly, tend to fill our ovens and microwaves with laptops, phones, handheld GPS’s, VHF radios – well all manor of things.  It is, however, a very good idea to remove these gadgets before you turn on the oven.  Sadly in this instance Caroline didn’t spot the computer and ended up with a melted, burnt and seriously stuffed Apple instead.  Not a good thing at all.

While never wanting to wish misfortune on anyone, it is very therapeutic listening to everyone else’s woes, this is just part of the cruising lifestyle, it’s the way it happens.  We have a fun bunch of people here to share all our ups and downs with.  Things might be a little soggy for now (but much cooler), but we know that Balvenie will soon be fixed and the sun will shine again.

Que sera sera – Whatever will be, will be

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