Friday, September 30, 2011

Boat jobs

Time for boat jobs - repairs, installations, and cleaning. During our absence, poor Sea Turtle became coated with layers of grimy, dusty dirt all over her decks. Where did that come from? I think the winds and their dust accomplices know when we are away, and they (and the pelicans) take advantage of our absence by resting and  messing on our decks. It always seems so much cleaner while we are in and about the boat.

As we are moored, we had to use 20 L bottles of water, packed out in the dinghy, to clean her decks. The interior was a little dusty and had a small bit of mildew, but nothing like in Panama.

A neighbouring boat made arrangements to get anchor chain re-galvanized, but a minimum of 500 kilos was required, so Jordan included our chain as did 2 or 3 other boats to get the required weight for a discounted price. Of course, the arrangements fell through (common problem in Mexico and Central/South American countries) and new arrangements were made, with everyone's chain waiting on land. Still waiting but it looks promising!

So far, dinghy engine parts have been replaced and the motor now runs great. And the stainless steel has all been polished bright and shiny, new gaskets have been installed, and the water pump has been taken to a shop to be rebuilt. Still need to replace some port and hatch moldings, attach new sheets (sail lines), and attach new electronics to our depth sounder so the display will work properly. And finally, the repaired and installed autopilot needs to be tested.

A little early for Poinsettias back home, but apparently not here...

Time to go sailing - sitting still is so much work!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back to the equator

After a tiring trip back to Quito Ecuador, we decided to spend a couple of days resting and touring around on the iron pony some more. We rode up to the celebrated monument of Mitad del Mundo where the equator lies and has been marked with a vivid yellow line. On this day of the Equinox, September 23rd, Quito is the nearest possible community to the sun.

Jordan straddling 2 hemispheres at Mitad del Mundo

The setting around the monument represents a small indigenous village that identified the line over a hundred years ago, before the Global Positioning System (GPS). However in more recent years, with the advent of the satellite generated GPS, it was determined that the real equator lies 240 m away, a 10-minute walk. But no one pays much attention to the latter.

Fully restored, we then rode Ruby, our trusty motorcycle, back to Puerto Amistad.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Too many places

The Huasi Hotel that we were staying at in Old Town Quito (Ecuador) allowed us to store our motorcycle in their lower level garage for $0.50 per day during our trip back home to Canada. We caught our flight on September 1st and after a brief layover in Miami FL USA, we landed in Los Angeles USA where we disembarked (our original plan was to fly to Seattle WA). Change of plans was due to Jordan finding his dream car online, a 1965 Ranchero, close to Los Angeles. It's a real beauty! We bunked in with close friends for a few days as Jordan did the required paperwork.

Then we drove his new/old car to Seattle. Our reason for stopping in Seattle was to drop off our 1-year old autopilot to get repaired. We then continued to Victoria BC Canada where we visited with friends and family. While there, Jordan jumped on his son's motorcycle and cruised up to Penticton BC to visit his Mom and Dad. And I flew to Calgary AB and from there went to Strathmore, Drumheller, Pine Lake, and Sylvan Lake - making a very busy hectic week of visiting family. Upon my return to Victoria, it was non-stop running around doing errands and filling "things to get" list for our home afloat down south.

Time flew by, leaving us with errands not yet done and friends not yet visited. But unfortunately it was time to go. Once again, sad to leave loved ones behind, but happy to be returning to Sea Turtle.

After picking up our repaired autopilot in Seattle, we flew from Seattle to Dallas Fort Worth to Miami and finally Quito. We had boarded a "red eye" so it was a very long and tiring trip. Too many places!