Preparing to Depart Aruba

 Aug 24-Sept 4, 2017

Yep,  They are still sinking....
Yep, They are still sinking….

We took the dinghy to the Renaissance Marina dinghy dock, parked it, and then walked to Ling and Sons grocery store, about a half hour walk, with Eva and Mike from Tell Tales Again. We were all looking to pick up last minute fresh items. Along the way, we stopped at Sherwin Williams and found real, actual Minwax stain for Angie to finish up the shelving inside the once bombshelled cabinet. (Thank you to Marshall for fabricating the shelf!)

Interior Shelf Fix Aru LW

For some reason, the Do-It Center and Kooyman, both hardware stores with paint sections, only had 2 or 3 colors of stain (Pickled White and Natural were dominant).  We need Colonial Maple.  We thought we brought some but must have tossed it while in St. Augustine, trying to lighten the load and help our water line by eliminating rusty cans with questionable contents.  We tried a wiping stain/scratch cover from Do-It, but it didn’t “Do It”.  Sherwin Williams had Colonial Maple!  ( In one gallon cans.)  Knowing the rust would rot the can before we ever used that much, we opted for a quart of something similar.  Come much to our surprise, our property management vendor account at Sherwin Williams still worked, and we got some swag. Eva and Angie ended up with insulated coffee mugs, paint scrapers, and reusable shopping bags, besides our discount.  Score!

We also had to stop at a few of the nick-knack homeware and hardware type stores, looking for flexible dryer vent hose (We refuse to pay $38 for a $10 item) for us, and Tell Tales needed aluminum, old school style horizontal ice cube trays for their freezer.  After many trips (service calls ending with payment in adult beverages), Mark was able to get their freezer to work a bit better and not lock out on them every other day.

Note to Self:  Volunteering to “tweek” friends’ boat systems that were actually functioning, but could do better, needs to be written out of Mark’s job description. Angie was getting embarrassed with the “warranty” issues.  It started looking like all we really wanted to do was drink their beer, which we preferred chilled.  A frosted glass is even better.J

Mark noticed our overnight voltage usage had increased and started troubleshooting what was going on.  He wanted to make sure we did not have a bad battery in the bank.  One bad battery will draw down all of the others quickly.  Doing another full battery bank replacement is not something we look forward to.  We have done it twice now since buying Uno Mas and costs $$$$. After testing the draw of the items that run overnight, he narrowed it down to the fridg and freezer, and ended up adding some refrigerant  charge to the freezer system.  Problem solved!

Bug Screens
Bug Screens

Mark installed a track system around our bimini structure  and Angie made bugscreens that surround the entire cockpit . She sewed an insert rail onto two 16 ft “Garage Door” bug screen enclosures we picked up in the states.  With light to no winds, they work great. Otherwise, they tend to fly around.  However, we are thinking we would probably not need bugscreens if the winds were up, so it might be a moot point.  We shall see!

We had a caustic, chemical smell coming from our far forward port storage area.  It seems that the styrene solvent and lacquer thinner tins had rusted through and made a mess, besides having an interesting chemical reaction and melting through the plastic zip lock bags all the chemicals were in, but not the blue storage tub they were all contained in. We ended up throwing just about everything out.  Even though Uno Mas needs some fiberglass and gelcoat touch up, we will pick up new when we get to that point. So, of course, we checked our other metal can stores (ie: food).  Yep, some of those are looking pretty bad as well, despite our efforts.  AND, Angie found that half of a huge bottle of Dawn dishwashing soap got holed and leaked all over the inside and outside of her hiking boots.  They were heavy before, but now weigh a TON!  It seems that larger plastic containers like gallon oil and 2 quart cleaners  are prone to leaking once a crease happens.  At least we unloaded about 50 pounds (plus the “ton” attributed to the boots) to help with the water line. You still cannot tell a difference.

Fly Paper: 3 - Mark - 85  All in A Day's Work
Fly Paper: 3 – Mark – 85
All in A Day’s Work

Mark worked on installing a metal safety insert for the hatch above our bed to prevent someone from dropping down through our open hatch while we are sleeping at night.  The grate is small enough that a gun barrel or machete will not go through either.  There is some concern about being boarded while in Columbia.  Some of the outer islands have had problems in the past year.  We plan on sticking close to the marinas and not go to the outer islands, but you never know when things may escalate.  We feel pretty good about our security and safety measures, and hope we never have to use them. The only thing I think we are missing now is stainless steel chains for our dinghy.  The cable we use for locking it up at the docks looks pretty easy to cut with bolt cutters.  Angie thinks the ss chain, while also easy to cut with bolt cutters, visually looks more daunting.  Hopefully the thieves will move to another boat with a cable similar to what we currently use.  Mark is not convinced yet.

Unfortunately, we seem to be having problems with the fresh vegetables we have been purchasing lately.  Even the limes, potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots are not holding up in our non-refrigerated storage area.  We are talking about them going bad in less than a week. Tomatoes cannot be stored without refrigeration.  They go bad in a day.  Maybe it has something to do with 90+ temps and 80%+ humidity.  Right now, we have decided to buy less and refrigerate everything which really cuts into our refrigerator storage for other items.

Kid Fun Park off our Bow
Kid Fun Park off our Bow

Angie worked on getting the blog updated and making a new hatch cover(which was lost on our Caribbean Sea crossing), while fighting a massive sinus infection, besides the kidney stones.  We were hoping to do a couple of dives before leaving, but it just could not happen with all of the stuff going on in her head.  However, we did take the dink and ran the inner channel South between the Airport anchorage and Palm Island, checking out the other marinas, and looking for some snorkeling.  The waters were pretty gross and no one wanted to get in, but it made for a nice break from getting the boat ready for the next jaunt.

Gonna Miss  This!
Gonna Miss This!

We decided to treat ourselves and do a last seafood buffet at the Aquarius restaurant in the Renaissance Marina Hotel and Casino.  They had brought in some of the top DJ’s from around the world and had a HUGE party going at their upper pool.  We both sat there, dumbfounded that young adults (there was absolutely no one over the age of 25) would be running around in 90 degree temps wearing winter boots and some even had winter/fur hats on with their mostly non-existent swimwear.  We were sweltering just sitting and waiting for our reservation. There was no “gently glowing” on Angie’s part.  It was a full blown shower coming off the brow.  We could not help but stare at everyone!  It was complete sensory overload for us.  Besides visually, audibly, all you could do is hear the thump, thump, thump of the same beat, over and over again, pounding through your entire body.  It was LOUD, with little or no vocals. What little words that were “sung” were just a repetitive bunch of nonsense.  Give me Jimmy Buffett, Heart, Sean Paul, Metallica, Depeche Mode, Kenny Chesney or Journey any day. It was like observing a native ritual drum dance with the people getting caught up in the beat, gyrating to the music. I don’t think you could even call it “dancing.”  It was fascinating to watch. We felt REALLY OLD sitting there.

We were very thankful when we got seated in the a/c  climate of the restaurant. All of the staff in the place were hovering around the doors, staring at the scene outside.  Thankfully,  it was a buffet and we could help ourselves. Even the chefs came from the kitchen and were checking out what was going on, so there was no hope of getting something made to order.  We don’t really care to do that type of scene anymore. We would rather sit back, enjoy a sunset with a beverage and wait for a green flash.  We are both pushing 50, so maybe we are finally growing up!

Sunset Aru LW

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