Friday, November 14, 2008

Better Days

It's been a busy week here. We have had a lot of things going on since our last post. Most of it good. For example, the weather improved from the day-to-day gray. We are seeing a lot of the right kind of blues for a change.



We did keep a steady eye on Hurricane Paloma, but thankfully it lost its punch over Cuba, and all we got was a day or so of wind and a little rain. Now if we can just coast through the next month or so without another storm it will be totally okay with us.

On the subject of storms, we still see evidence of Hanna and Ike from time to time, but what once was eye-catching is now just part of the background noise. We don't notice the jumble of wrecked trees outside the post office on our once a month visit to see if by some strange cosmic phenomena, we actually received any mail:



And for the most part, we don't get mail. Oh, let me be clearer on that..we DO get mail from time to time. For example, just last month (October) we received a nice post card from my oldest stepson's ex-girlfriend's parents. It was sent while they were all visiting Peru. Back in MAY. That should give you a pretty good idea of what happens to mail sent to this little place. In the time it took a single, clearly addressed post card to travel what should have taken maybe a week, elsewhere in the world regimes changed. The stepson's relationship with that now ex-girlfriend, and presumably her parents, changed before we got that post card. Continental Drift would deliver mail almost as fast...

But nevermind. We don't use the mail for anything important. It's just that simple. Oh, it's pretty convenient for bill collectors and organizations seeking money to have the mailing address. Keeps their stuff in a Devil's Triangle Limbo for months at a time.

This is probably our main life line when we need something the same week:



And judging by the number of boxes stacked inside, outside, and presumably out back,we are not the only ones. It's expensive, but it works.

Not all the companies we rely upon are equally as reliable as Fed Ex. For example, we arranged for a small company in Florida to shrink wrap our new boat before shipping it down. The shrink-wrapper (NO that is NOT a performer with his boxers showing) accepted my offer of wiring him the money for the job. As soon as I knew the boat was wrapped, I trotted on down to the Western Union office to send him his $ 300. Well, the WU office was out of commission. I emailed him that this was very unusual, and promised to send him the money the next day. This went on for a week. I could sense that he was starting to suspect a deadbeat runaround. I know that if someone told ME that they could not send me the money they owed me because Western Union was not working, I would be suspicious. So finally I managed to find another money wire business that was functional. And to prove that I honestly was not jerking him around, I took this photo on my last trip to Western Union, to prove it:



Whew. The camera got me off the hook this time.

Back on the subject of hurricane damage, we were in the Five Cays area last week and noticed that the Haitian boat that got washed all the way ashore is now floating again:



I don't know what's holding that boat together. It must be either good intentions or clean living. It's definitely not the paint.

Elsewhere we saw some of the local conch boats are still where Hurricane Ike left them. Like this one that made it across a marsh, a street, and into someone's yard:



That one must have a hole in it or something, otherwise I don't know why it has not been re-launched yet.

This one, on the other hand, is a little bit harder to get to. It won't float there, and trees block it from the road. And the mud is too soft to drive or even walk in. This one would be an interesting salvage to watch:



Okay, on to a subject very close to our hearts: boats. We finally decided what to do with our beloved panga, "Cay Lime". It had been sitting in (and blocking) our driveway since the short lull between Hanna and Ike. When we knew for sure that we were going to be the beneficiaries of Marlinsix's extreme generousity, it inspired us to pass the good karma along. We made the decision to give our boat to someone who would appreciate it, and who would most likely be able to get it repaired and back on the water a lot sooner than we would. So, with a heavy heart that was lightening by the minute, I loaded all the bits and pieces into the boat. It still causes me twitches and twinges when I look at what happened to a formerly pristine boat. The engine cowling, for example, is showing quite a bit of wear for an outboard with only two hundred hours on it:



Ouch. Four days underwater upside down on the rocks didn't do it any good at all.

I managed to get it all loaded up, and hooked up "Cay Lime" for it's journey to a new home:



Gosh, doesn't look too bad from that angle, and a little distance. The holes in the hull are on the other side. The console is now as flexible as the shell of a hardboiled egg that's been dropped, and the engine parts are in a cardboard box. The water in the background is a nice distraction, too. This is a clever photographer's technique. Never mind the boat....but gosh just LOOK at that water...

Here is "Cay Lime" being eased into her new home for a while, next to another boat that was sunk by Hanna.



You can see some of the hull damage in that one.

The catamaran is in even worse shape that the panga, with two flooded engines, and the entire starboard side coming apart. "Cay Lime's" new owner is repairing the catamaran for the owners, who live in New Orleans. He did not have a boat of his own. But he does now. Some assembly required.

After dropping off 'our baby' at its new home, we headed down to South Dock to pick up our new boat. We got the word yesterday morning that it was cleared through Customs and ready for pickup. La Gringa and I endured the new security precautions at the dock, and we were checked with a hand held metal detector to make sure we were not smuggling whatever one might smuggle onto a dock here. They took my swiss army knife away, which of course prevented me from opening any cans or turning any phillips head screws while I was inside the compound.

We did not point out that they did not search La Gringa's handbag, or bother to look inside the Land Rover. Which could have been chock full of whatever it was they thought we might hide under t-shirts and shorts...Come to think of it, nobody had bothered to look under the shrinkwrap on the boat either. There could have been enough C4 in there to turn Providenciales into an atoll...

I assume keeping the Swiss Army knife would pretty much prevent us from loading up our AK-47s or wiring detonators...they did not search Dooley, either. Lord knows what kind of damage a Jack Russell Terrieriest could get up to, given a head start on a wharf full of rats.

But never mind...we got the boat!!!

Towing the Contender through town was a new experience. The trailer is 35 feet long, and the boat makes the total package about 38 feet. It weighs considerably more than the panga. Pulling that up South Dock road, down Leeward Highway, around no less than seven rotaries (roundabouts) that all seem like they were designed by different people, and then down three miles of really bad dirt road in first gear was a white knuckle trip in itself. But finally, just before closing time we reached the boatyard with everything intact, including the shrink wrap.



Yes, that's Dooley the Dynamic riding shotgun in the Land Rover. All the boat moving around stuff yesterday got him pretty excited. He doesn't quite understand everything that's going on, but he for sure knows that it includes boats. And he knows about boats. He was so excited last night, he had a hard time getting calmed down.



"Lap top, Lap dog, what's the difference? Get off my case..."

We parked the boat inside the fenced compound at the boatyard for the night. This morning we plan to unwrap it, just in time for our mutual birthday!! We should have it launched this morning at slack tide, and moved to its new slip. We will be able to watch it from the patio, just 900 yards away as the flamingo flies. Or ten miles by road.

And the sunsets suddenly seem brighter again.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good luck folks.....I'm sure that ya'll will enjoy this new boat as much as you did Cay Lime and I'm hoping that we can too. Your sunset does look brighter than usual!

Wayne

Anonymous said...

WOW>....I'm so excited for you guys!! I can't wait to see the boat in that crystla clear water. Give us a mini update with some pics over the weekend so we cans we the boat.

Ya'll have fun!!!


Travis

ahmed said...

lots uf good wishes with the new boat what are u goinng to name her?
Ahmed
South Africa.

Anonymous said...

I am excited to see the boat got there! The Land Rover squats just a little bit more with the Contender back there. I would love to see some in water pics. Happy Birthday and Anniversary I believe to both of you!


Craig

Gringo said...

Thank you for all the good wishes. So far we have had a great birthday/anniversary today. We got the boat unwrapped and launched today, and spent a big part of the day on it. Took a bunch of photos, probably enough for another short post. Should I put them up now or wait until I have more variety? This post was only published this morning.

Anonymous said...

Post now please! :)

Anonymous said...

Happy -belated- birthdays and anniversary folks. Sounds like it was an absolutely wonderful day for y'all.


gw

Joe said...

Happy Annivers-err-Birthday to you guys! I am 'stupid' excited to see some pics of the new contender in the drink. Tight lines you lucky dawgs!!

Anonymous said...

Today's sunset is very striking! Your really should make a book, or even postcards of the sunrises and sunsets.

Happy Belated Birthday and Anniversary!!!

Kristin