Change in direction

The boat was finally fixed and we were expecting to have her back in the water the next day, when Dan and I had the discussion.  One of the great parts of the last three and a half years, besides being together, has been the travelling to new places.  That came to a standstill pretty much once we got to Aruba.  We had a wonderful time flying to Peru and Chile from Aruba, but we didn’t like waiting there for a weather window to head to Colombia.  In fact, that has been the hardest part of this trip, the waiting for weather, which up until Aruba was never an issure.  But in keeping with my personal motto of never trading time for money, I didn’t see that waiting for a weather window to head to Colombia was better than just flying there now and doing a land tour.  So with an hour to play with before our final committment on going into water the next day, Dan and I decided we would wait.  The boatyard, while not great for living on the boat, was perfect for storing the boat.  After talking to the kids, deciding where each person’s interest lied, we made plans.  A week or so later we had our tickets purchased to Ecuador, flying back through Colombia.  It was a tough call at first between South America and Central America, but the airfares were much better to South America from Aruba.  Then it was a tough call between Argentina and Ecuador, but eventually the fact that it would be much colder in Argentina, Ecuador and Colombia won out.  So our plan is to keep the boat on the hard until our return first of July, then head east instead of west, hoping to be back in Dominica in time for whale season…………… unless plans change!

Boatyard

I really cannot say enough bad things about living “on the hard” or for you nonsailors, living in the boatyard. The boatyard in Nanny Cay BVI, where we pulled out for our first bottom painting, wasn’t bad. It was hot, dirty, and we were smart enough not to sleep on the boat. We were only there about 3 days so it wasn’t bad.

The Curacao boatyard was cleaner, with paved areas instead of all dirt as in Nanny Cay. The bathrooms were within 15 feet of us but the mosquitoes were horrible, and the boat took on black dust from the refinery. We stayed on the boat and all in all, it wasn’t that bad.

The boatyard at Aruba, however, is horrible. Really, it’s not the place to live onboard. On the positive side, the people here are friendly. Jenny, (a he) the manager is nice, if not a bit distracted. The rates are great, and there is a small bar/restaurant here. That is about the end of the positives. The wind is constant, and our boat is forever buried in dust. No matter how diligent you are, and I’ll admit I’m not, you can’t keep it clean. But you pray for the wind, because when it dies, the mosquitoes are vicious. And if the mosquitoes don’t drive you mad, the constant inundation of flies absolutely will. And bathrooms? Well, you are on your own. There are no bathrooms or showers. If the bar is open, as it is most nights, you can use their bathrooms, discretely, as I think they frown on that. When we first were hauled, Tessa and I had to use a bucket. Then when Dan was coming back to Aruba from our visit to our parents, we went to Walmart and found a port a potty. Well, not actually a port a potty. They had one but it was too big and heavy for Dan to bring back on the plane. Instead, we purchased the Fold to Go, a unique product which is like a small lawn chair with a toilet seat. A replaceable bag attaches to the seat for the waste.

Who thought of this? Was someone sitting in a lawn chair at their kids soccer game, realizing they had to go to the bathroom, but where? Idea! “What if I could just go where I sit?” Ding! Ding! The Fold to Go was born!!!

The waste bags are expensive and of course sold separately, and knowing we would go broke buying enough bags for our stay, we opted to use garbage bags. Such is my life. Emptying the bags is our worse nightmare. I am responsible for removing the bag, but the carrying to the dumpster job falls to whoever has irritated me the most that day. Our boat motto is “Stay on Mom’s good side!”

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