We went back to the drawing board on the watermaker. The feed pump side has been completely disassembled and once we acquire some valves and a bit of new hose we can reassemble it outside the annoying enclosed manifold — in fact discarding the manifold completely — and we should be up and running again. Both feed pumps have been cleaned, inspected and tested and we fully expect a functioning watermaker in a few days.
Meanwhile, the few critical parts we need to install the new 500-series Racor fuel filters will be arriving by private mule in a couple of days and we’ll be able to scratch that one off the list too. And what that means is that we can drop the mooring and motor around the estuary for a couple of hours to test the port engine and see if we still have our diminishing RPM problem. The other cruisers here in Bahia del Sol have offered to accompany us so I think we will have a floating picnic some time next week. I’d better start tidying up.
On Wednesday, local expat Lou offered us a ride up to San Salvador where we tried (and failed) to get some hose and valves.
But we did make a stop at PriceSmart, the local version of Costco, and I put a dent in my provisioning list. Loading up the boat for a Pacific crossing is challenging no matter where you are, but I’m finding it especially difficult here. There are no cheeses to speak of except the ubiquitous Central American queso fresco. It’s possible to find small pieces of imported aged cheeses but they are prohibitively expensive. Other items that I like to have on hand — for example tofu, tahini, heavy cream for cooking, dried fruit beyond raisins, frozen vegetables — are hard to find and require store to store searches, tough to do without a car.
I’m resigning myself to buying just whatever happens to be here and making the best of it. We won’t starve, that’s for sure. We just may have some more creative meals. Central America will have its hooks in us long after we sail away because our diet will consist of variations on rice and beans for a couple of months, or at least until we arrive in Tahiti. And that’s not a bad thing; it’s just that we like a little more variety in our meals.
When our shopping was done, Lou stopped at his favorite pupuseria for lunch.
Not related to the delicious pupusas, but I’ve been fighting intestinal distress ever since we got to El Salvador. Whether it’s from water or food who knows, but the consensus among the cruisers and locals is that it’s parasites. In fact the complaint is so common here on the west coast of Central America that most people keep a stock of their favorite antiparasitic meds on board. Jeff and Judy from Island Mistress gave me a course of nitazoxanida and after three days I’m doing much better.
Note the cartoon parasites on the box. It’s the friendly complaint! What cracks us up is that in every other cruising ground the talk among boaters centers around electrical and plumbing projects, equipment repairs and weather. Here the conversation almost always gets around to nausea, cramping and diarrhea. Cruisers have no pride.