I guess we must have needed a long break after what seems looking back like a long period of frantic activity. From the time we left Grenada for Trinidad last October until we reached Costa Rica we’ve barely had much down time. A month in Trinidad working on the boat, back to Grenada, to Carriacou, Tobago Cays, Bequia, St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Croix, Culebra; a month in Puerto Rico where we rerigged and fixed the autopilot and did a lot of other boat work and upgrades; then a long sail to Panama, setting up the canal transit and our visit to the Galapagos; my sister and brother-in-law onboard for the canal, then a couple of days in the Pearl Islands before another week-long passage to the Galapagos. During all of that we were provisioning for the Pacific crossing, researching routes and weather systems and getting our satellite phone working and all the other thousand and one things you do when you’re planning a long voyage. When we left the Galapagos for the Marquesas we were actually looking forward to the three week passage because we wouldn’t be able to do much except read, mind the boat and keep on course.
Of course that didn’t happen and May became as stressful a time as we’ve had in years. Now that we’ve been in Costa Rica for a month I look back and wonder what have we done all this time?
That’s not entirely true, of course. We’ve tackled some of those odious tasks we keep putting off. I’ve been spring cleaning, working my way through all the lockers, emptying, cleaning, sorting, organizing. Jack refinished the louvered teak door on the wet locker that took a beating when seawater came up the drain during our slamming four-day motor back to the Galapagos after the dismasting.
He also cleaned out the forward starboard sail locker and discovered a missing drain plug that might account for some seawater in the forward crash compartment. At least we hope that’s the cause.
Today he made a quick-disconnect for the cooling hose on the generator, which has bedeviled him since we bought the boat, because the hose has to be disconnected every time you open the sound blimp to do anything on the generator, and in the predictable logic of all boats the hose connects in the furthest corner of the locker, about as inaccessible as it gets. The new fitting should make it easier to service the generator.
And speaking of the generator, it’s rewound and working again. You’ll remember it stopped suddenly during our time in the Galapagos. We really didn’t worry about it then and assumed we could wait until Tahiti to address it. With so much solar power we never need it to charge batteries anyway, and the only thing we use it regularly for is the washer.
We engaged Robert the Hungarian mechanic to fix the problems that developed in our two diesel engines during the 1200 miles to Costa Rica and while he was here we asked him to take a look at the generator. He took it out, he schlepped it away, he brought it back rewound and repainted and now I’m happily doing our own laundry again. And with all the rain we’ve been having it’s good to have a way to charge batteries without running an engine if need be.
The engines, by the way, are ok we think. The port side is still leaking diesel out of the bleed screw, but we have new bleed screws winging their way here and that should fix that. The starboard engine needs a new alternator but after much searching, and a new one that didn’t fit, Robert the Hungarian mechanic took the old one apart, did a little laying on of hands, put it back and swears it’s working now. We are withholding judgement until we see if the new battery gets cooked like the old one did.
In between boat projects we’re enjoying watching the F1 races on the big TV at the marina next door, and the football matches in the cruisers’ lounge at our marina. We’ve spent a couple of long lunches getting to know my cousin Arturo. We shop for boat parts and groceries. We bail the dinghy after the daily thunderstorms. We collect rainwater. In short, we’re firmly in the Golfito groove.