Feast or famine. One minute we’re guarding our fresh water as if our lives depended on it, the next we’re sloshing it all over the cockpit in a belated cleanup from our very salty passage.
The watermaker folks were gone by lunchtime leaving us with a working system cranking out the gallons. A few hours later, before the tank was even full, the heavens opened up with a gorgeous cooling rain. I was ready for it and deployed my various containers under the sun awnings hoping to supplement the watermaker’s production. In under an hour I had captured thirty gallons of water, turned off the watermaker, topped up the tank and I still have fifteen gallons in jerry jugs that I’ll add to the tank when I do laundry tomorrow. Woo-hoo! Thanks again to Ron for showing us the error of our ways and pointing us toward rain catchment.
I could feel the sweat dripping off of my shoulder blades, landing at the small of my back, soaking into my T-shirt. Like Marce, I’ve been on my own quest. Unlike Marce I don’t have to sit in a room full of books and lists, endlessly starring at microfilm with lists of names and birth dates. However, my quest demands that I wander the hills of St. Thomas in search of my past.
Forty years ago I lived and worked in Charlotte Amalie and I expected things would be different, but I can’t find anything even though I’m haunted by the feeling that I’m so close, like maybe just around the next bend. That kind of thinking has gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion in the past and it looks like my insatiable curiosity has done it again.
It’s a hot one all right. Mid eighties but the trade-winds are light today and that makes all the difference.
I took photos when the reality of our contract was nearing an end and we’d have to leave, but what became of them I’ll never know. I really thought that I’d never make it back here. There were four locations that I wanted to see once again, all with obvious physical landmarks.
-The Village Gate with second story entrance, huge old tree growing up through the roof and large masonry spiral staircase around it. One of the oldest buildings in Charlotte Amalie with a wrought iron gate opening up onto Main st. They wouldn’t tear that down would they?
-Admiral’s Dinghy at the base of the tramway to the top of the mountain. They moved the Tramway!
-The patio on top of the mountain. The new Tramway doesn’t even go to the top.
-The Carousel Bar at the harbor’s edge in town, built on a real carousel, all 29 flavors of frozen daiquiris gone without a trace.
Every morning I’d wake up, well afternoon, I was a musician after all, and start up the hill I knew as Mafali Hill and past Villa Santana on the way up the single lane which would get so steep that it would turn into stairs. I found that but no Village Gate, but like most quests I’ve found some amazing sights wandering these hills.
This, dear Escapees, leaves me wandering the mountains of St. Thomas in a quest for a faded old photo dream I once had a long time ago.
Today was chore day. First up was defrosting the freezer which had become so iced up I could barely find anything.
As you can see defrosting requires quite a bit of inversion work but at least it’s cool in there. With little breeze today it was pretty hot in the anchorage by 8:00am.
We were also expecting the watermaker repairman and to give him access to the system we had to clear out our third bedroom, commonly referred to as the garage.
I made space in the Presidential Suite and Jack schlepped all the heavy parts and supply bins from one end of the boat to the other, a job he does not like one bit.
Five minutes later the drama was over, Jack was resting in the cockpit and we were ready for the repairman.
Dave and Jamie from Reefco came much earlier than we expected and patched up our classic unit in no time. Dave thinks it stopped working because air got into the system and that the broken pressure gauge was from age and vibration and not related, or marginally related, to the air issue. He fixed most of the leaks, changed our carbon filter and gave me some much-appreciated tips on maintenance and troubleshooting. The membrane survived the weeks of sitting and our water quality is great, as usual. We’re now happily filling our tank and champing at the bit to take showers.
Meanwhile, the freezer is defrosted, the food is back in and the temp is gradually reaching its optimum operating level. We have the ingredients to make pain killers and a ripe mango aboard. Life is good.