Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tuesday 29th May


8 56.162 N
79 33.296 W

Not having to get up early doesn’t stop you from waking up at dark o’clock, luckily for me I can go back to sleep without too much problem, Gerry on the other hand has to get up. Those earlyish hours are his time for playing on the computer and the radio. Today was an exception for him; I had to wake him up at 06.55 hrs as he had arranged to try out the radio schedule with Y Not and JJ Moon at 07.00hrs. He got up and turned on the radio and I went back to sleep. When I surfaced again about an hour later he told me that the volume on the schedule from boats in Bequia hadn’t been particularly good, neither Gerry nor Barry could hear them but Ross could and we couldn’t work out why one boat could hear them when the other two couldn’t – it will be a bit of a concern if we are any great distance from one another during transit. Gerry was also bereft of friends to chat to on skype this morning – we assume Dale and Lorie must have taken off on their next hop northwards as they weren’t on line, we hope that they have a quick and safe passage. With breakfast out of the way it was only a short wait until the mechanic who is looking at our hydraulic cylinder installation / repair appeared in the water taxi. Gerry and he discussed the issue in the cockpit whilst I dealt with answering my emails. In the end the mechanic suggested to Gerry that it would be easier to get the leaking seals replaced on the old cylinder than it would to install the new one. Between them they took the old cylinder out and the mechanic took it away with him to try and get it fixed, we should hear from him in the morning. We waved goodbye to Y Not, they were heading out just before lunchtime; JJ Moon was apparently not going as they had broken something. Gerry and I had lunch on board and then I began to niggle about going ashore, I wanted to visit the Artisans market. We closed the boat up tightly (having learnt our lesson from yesterday) and caught the taxi into the dock. As I was walking down the pier our taxi driver, Alex, from yesterday waved at me – fortunately he was free and able to take us anywhere we needed to go. I explained that we needed a hardware store – I’d brought along my Spanish cheat sheet today so he could understand what I was asking for, and also that I wanted to go to the Artisan Market and the commemorative fountain for Arnulfo Arias Madrid – a past president who’s wife had commissioned this fountain to honour him. As you can see in the photo he is giving the V for victory sign to the people; according to my friend Lee (thanks for the trivia!), when the statue was erected some wit broke off the index finger giving the salute a whole new meaning - it was very quickly replaced. Where was I? Alex drove us first to the Artisan market which is located directly across from the memorial fountain; I hopped out of the taxi and suggested that Alex then take Gerry on to the hardware store whilst I browsed the market – good thinking huh? Off they went and I walked across the road to take photos of the memorial fountain then returned to the Artisan market and spent about half an hour wandering around admiring their work until Gerry found me and hurried me along. The prices of the work there were quite high and I found myself reluctant to buy anything without looking further a field first – I hope I don’t regret it later but there was nothing I just simply couldn’t live without. Gerry had been successful in purchasing the things we needed for a special little project we have in mind, he enthused about the shopping center that Alex had taken him too – it was a real mall and he suggested that we go back there to have a walk around and have some lunch in the food hall. So much for my plans to visit the Kuna Indian run Mola co – operative which we passed on the way back to this mall! It was 15.00hrs by the time we reached the Albrook mall and Gerry asked Alex to return for us at 18.00hrs – 3 hours to kill in a mall?! Well it was huge, bigger than the Avenues Mall or the Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville. Each of the corridors off of the main one were labeled with an animal species so you knew where you were at any time. Mum I know you won’t believe me but the food hall was H for – well you know! We walked the entire mall, we didn’t actually browse around many of the stores but those we did look at had brand name goods for less than we paid for the same thing in the States – it was dirt cheap to shop there, not that we bought anything. Oh I lie, we found the odd shaped batteries that we needed for the head lamps and again much cheaper than we bought them for in the States and Gerry brought a pair of ref walkers as his Crocs had just about died. Interestingly there were 3 souvenir shops in the mall, they all sold the same sort of things that were available at the Artisans market and the prices were pretty much the same, so even with the overheads of the mall they must still have been making a profit which made the prices at the Artisans market seem even more expensive. I will have to go to the Kuna Co operative to see what they are like there before I buy anything. The food court had all the usual food outlets – Micky D’s, Pizza hut, KFC, Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robins, Sharro, Panda Wok, Subway plus a few places with grill style food. We elected to try one of these, of course the menu was in Spanish and no one spoke English so we used our best “Spanglish” to order grilled chicken with salad and diet colas, it came with rice and fried banana and the cost – just $11 for the 2 of us; there was plenty of it and it tasted good! The other thing we indulged in was a coffee – I had a toffee frappe, the first since leaving the States and Gerry had an espresso, they were a treat and a half! After we had eaten our early dinner we made our way back to the exit where Alex was to pick us up, arriving just 2 minutes before he did. It was a quick trip back to the Yacht club where we picked up the water taxi and returned to our boat. On the way out to our boat we realized that JJ Moon was no longer on their mooring and we assumed that they had fixed their problem and left after we had gone ashore, we will find out for certain on the radio schedule call in the morning. The evening vanished in a blur of me loading the blog and Gerry reading his book.



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