May 5-14, 2017
The Renaissance Marina has Mediterranean style docks, meaning we tie up with the stern of the boat towards the dock. It makes sense in a small marina. One can fit more boats. However, this is a first for us. We have always tied up with the docks to the side. Mark did a great job at the helm, backing in Uno Mas in the 30 knot crosswind. However, it was difficult for Angie to understand what the marina people (Hans and Evan) were trying to explain, when dealing with the lines. We had two lines at the bows, criss-crossed to two mooring balls in front of the boat. We had two lines on both sides (one mid-ship, one aft) going to four different cleats at the dock. Angie had all of the fenders out to keep from touching boats on either side of us, and Evan was in a dinghy, pushing us around, acting as a huge fender between an already docked boat, and helping tie up to the forward mooring balls.
Thankfully, we tied up with no crashes. However, it is unnerving that our sugar scoops and dinghy off the back are close to the dock and pilings. The boat seems to move around a lot more being dockside this way. Waves or tidal changes could cause our scoops to be crunched underneath the dock. After relocating the dinghy from the davits on the back to up on deck, we then criss-crossed two more lines between the two hulls to cleats on the dock. This seems to help with the movement side to side. We will be adjusting all of the lines daily, until we feel comfortable with the set-up.
It is strange to Angie being tied to a dock that is in an open marina without security gates. She tends to hide from people, and Mark tends to say, “Hi” to everyone walking by. There is a lot of foot traffic due to the casino, Seaport shopping strip mall, and Renaissance hotels being part of the same property. There is also a helicopter tour that takes off and lands at the end of our marina dock. The cruise ship terminals are just across the harbor as well. (We counted 5 cruise ships at one time.)
What is really convenient about being dockside, is that we can easily use our bicycles or walk to grocery stores or through town. And we’re able to walk to Starbucks or the Renaissance pool/lobby to use their wifi. We also found a few little restaurants in the strip mall which are a nice change from the same boat menu. Aruba has a really great walking/bicycle/exercise path that ends near a hardware Do-It Center and PriceSmart (like a Sam’s Club) towards the airport, a few miles away. It feels good to be able to conveniently exercise our lower extremities.
It is time to get Uno Mas prepped for leaving her in Aruba for a few months while we travel back to the States. Everything gets cleaned out, bagged up, dehumidifier packets spread throughout, fridge and freezer emptied, defrosted, and cleaned out, everything outside the salon area is packed up and put inside, roach bait traps are set everywhere, anti-rodent and anti-roach cards are placed on the exterior lines, chafe guards are installed, the Genoa gets pulled down and stuffed inside the salon, the dinghy gets tied and locked down, the wind generator gets pulled down for us to take back to Colorado, the fuel tanks get topped off , and all of the through hulls get closed.
We do not leave the boat hooked up to shore power. Uno Mas also gets pulled away from the dock a bit, to make it harder for people to board. We also have the marina staff start the engines every 2 weeks, check the bilges for water, check the lines for chafe, and adjust as needed. Having someone check our boat while we are gone is a first for us, and Angie has made a schematic of all of the through hulls for them, in case there are any sudden leaks.
Hopefully, no hurricanes or tropical storms hit Aruba while we are gone. In the past, Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire were considered out of the hurricane belt, but now our insurance requires an additional rider to stay here. There is not much else we can do to make Uno Mas safe from a storm while we are gone.