Thursday, 13 December 2007


It has been a busy couple of days here on the boat. Yesterday I joined the weekly run to Puerto Barrios for the final time, I promise, before Christmas. I very much enjoy the long drive to the town and accompanying the driver on his round of errands along the way. It's a sort of rather different tourist bus trip with a little retail therapy thrown in!

Marco, the dockmaster, was in charge yesterday. He has lived here on the Rio all his life and is the most valuable resource in the marina! If you want something done Marco knows where to find it, if it is to be found!As a tour guide he is also ace, answering all my inane questions about the things we see as we drive along the highway.

He has a mobile telephone that croaks like one of the local frogs instead of ringing. This bothers me! I am concerned as to whether it is the call of a male or female frog. One of these dark nights Marco is going to find himself surrounded by a large number of excited froggy creatures expecting a bit of a fun night out - I really hope he is ready for that event!!!

Watch out Marco, they could have a message for you!

I managed to fit in a breakfast at MacDonald's(!) as well as a good trolley loading session at the 'Maxi-Bodega'. Then we also visited the passport office on the Honduran Border, a machine shop to unjam a part of a cruiser's watermaker, paid the phone and electricity bills for the marina. Collected the ice cream for the tienda, collected the post and bought special electrical fittings! Phew! And that was all before lunch...

Admittedly a late lunch but still a pretty full days work.

This morning began early as we needed to get the laundry done, it had got to the point where not a single thing was clean, seems to happen every 10 days or so. I was eager to get first dibs on the machines so marched up to the laundry before 7am only too find the door locked, damm. Still didn't take too long to track down the key and get everything loaded.

There was a terrible smell of fuel on the water as we emerged from below, obviously somebody has a bad leak. You always hope that it isn't you in that situation! It's a real social faux pas to be the one polluting the water. I opened up the bilge to make sure we didn't have gallons of diesel sloshing around - no that was just the melt water from the ice in the refrigerator. Checked the fuel gauge, relief that agrees with the last reading so we haven't lost any from the main tank. TBH checked the fuel cans that we carry on deck, 4x20 litres diesel, only 2 full at the moment and no leaks there. 2x30 litre petrol, no leaks there. What a relief!

The marina staff are still out looking for the source of the spill and trying to contain the pollution as well as they can. Fortunately we have seen very few bad cases of pollution since we have been cruising, the odd fuel spill but nothing too serious on that front. The worst thing is the ever present plastic crap that floats around the world's oceans and is found swept up on even the most remote of beaches. As cruisers we take garbage disposal very seriously. All extraneous packaging is removed before goods are brought on board (essential for cockroach control too), and we repack many goods into reusable plastic storage bins.

When out cruising we carry all the garbage with us until a suitable disposal venue is found. Food scraps go over the side and, on long passages, we sink tin cans and glass bottles in deep water.

I well remember our first long cruise when we (read I) had failed to rinse of the food from the plastics that we were carrying in the trash bag at the back of the boat. Mistake! Ten days into a hot and humid cruise the bags came alive with wriggling white maggots! Yuck, nasty! Haven't made that error again! I still shudder at the memory.

And now for the todays Christmas moment. The school nativity play! Oh how well I remember those agonizing moments as the sprogs made their acting debuts .....

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