Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wednesday 30th May


8 56.162 N
79 33.296 W

The day began overcast and for the second day in a row I had to shake Gerry out of bed for the radio scheduled roll call at 07.00hrs. The good news today was that we could hear Y Not very clearly, they were 90 miles away traveling in 5 knots of wind and having to motor sail. JJ Moon was just 5 miles behind them and all is well. Gerry crawled back into bed for another couple of hours and finally when we got up the sun was beginning to poke its way through the clouds. Contact was made with Alahandro – the mechanic who was getting our cylinder resealed; apparently the job was done and he arranged to meet Gerry at the yacht club bar at 11.30hrs. Sure enough at 11.30hrs we met Alahandro and he had the cylinder all ready to refit. Gerry paid up the money and then called for a taxi for me, our usual driver Alex arrived shortly after and took me to the Kuna Indian Mola co-operative. It was a group of about 30 stalls in one location where the Kuna Indians sold their craft work. Alex left me there for an hour and I had a wonderful time wandering around the stalls admiring the handiwork of these women and also a few men. I managed to chat with one lady who understood a small amount of English, she told me that the red head covers that the women wear are traditional and that the baby girls have their noses pierced shortly after they are born, she also explained the stories behind some of the embroidered pictures. I was quite horrified to realize that one of the pictures which seemed to be quite common to a lot of the stalls celebrated the Kuna Indian women mourning a dead man in a hammock! There were lots of themes and patterns of needlework; I could have spent a fortune. Two of the older ladies were actually working on pieces as I watched, they used incredibly small stitches and I wondered just how badly their eyes would be affected by the close work. As it was I bought a few pieces that I liked for the embroidery on the appliquéd animals, a couple more geometric pieces and ten small squares which weren’t the best quality work but had been done by a very young Kuna girl and I thought I would like to encourage her (they were also cheaper than the older women’s work). My hour there passed very quickly and before I knew it Alex was back searching for me amongst the stalls. I returned to the yacht club and took the water taxi back out to our boat where I found Gerry just finishing the installation of the hydraulic cylinder. Back in the salon I showed Gerry my purchases and he told the tale of installing the cylinder – not very exciting and not worth repeating, enough to say it’s back in place and hopefully we will have no further problem with it. Our next little project was to make some cold drink holders for the fridge. We had bought some plumbing pipe and a couple of end stops; we cut the pipe to the right length for the fridge, drilled holes at the top to attach some strapping on one side, cut the strapping so that it was double the length of the pipe and attached one side to the pipe. Then it was time to try out our invention by dropping soda cans down the tube on top of the strapping so that by pulling on one side of the strapping the cans could be pulled up the pipe. We found we had to make one minor adjustment and added a disk of starboard to the strapping to give it some stability and voila! We have tubes to store our soda cans in the fridge; no longer will we have to delve into the bottom of the fridge where they always seem to end up, just one pull on the strapping and a can will appear! We made 2 of these pipes, they each hold 5 cans – we were limited by the height available in our fridge but we are delighted with the result. It would also work for beer cans, not that we are going to use it for them! Of course the project required every tool that we possess and at the end of fabricating these new toys we had an incredible mess to clear up, the shavings from the pipe cutting and the hole drilling had managed to cover the floor of the salon as well as the counter tops and the chairs – I really don’t know how but it did so out came the vacuum cleaner. Once the mess was cleared up I gathered up the laundry and took the water taxi into the dock, found the launderette and did the last bit of laundry before we launch off on the first leg of our Pacific trip. The launderette was the cheapest we have found in our travels – 50 cents per load to wash and 75 cents per hour to dry. When I had finally got the last load dry I taxied back out to the boat where Gerry off loaded the laundry for me and then the two of us went back ashore for happy hour and dinner at TGIFriday’s before returning to the boat for the night.



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