Shrouds and mandarin oranges
We have been in Grenada for a couple of weeks now, so it is about time for a blog entry (overdue some would say). Once again the majority of our time has been spent fixing things during the day and then slumping in the evenings, although we did manage a daily cool down swim at the little Port Louis marina beach. In fact Andrea also went for a snorkel along the reef in the mornings and saw quite a few interesting things, the most notable being a swarm of baby lobsters crammed under a ridge, so numerous that they were spilling out into the open.
A major maintenance item was replacing the shrouds (the lines at each side of the yacht that hold up the mast). Anastasia has Kevlar shrouds which must be replaced every 5 years. The only problem was that the new shrouds were missing a connecting piece and so part had to be used from the old shrouds. This involved taking the old shrouds away to be worked on. Not a problem, they told us, the main halyard can hold up the mast just fine. Even so, we had an uneasy night anticipating tons of mast crashing through the cabin ceiling.
The new shroud is a thick piece of Kevlar attached to a stainless steel plate. The temporary shroud is the main halyard attached to a cleat with an old piece of blue rope.
We have had some interesting experiences with fruit. It is out of mango season, you cannot get them in the supermarket, yet one of the locals who hangs out outside the supermarket selling miscellaneous produce manages to acquire green “Julie” mangoes which ripen in a few days. I was very sceptical the first time I bought them, but we were pleased when they turned into sweet juicy mangoes, and we went back for more.
What is in season is the local mandarins. Tropical mandarins, like tropical oranges, are actually green, although the flesh is orange, unlike the oranges which have yellow flesh. The most remarkable thing about the mandarins is their pip producing capacity. On average about 3.5 pips per segment. Here is a photo of the pips from one mandarin, to put it in perspective.
We are currently at Grenada Marine having our old diesel pumped out. After two years of a daily hot/cold/damp cycle, the diesel bore little resemblance to what originally went into the tank and it was slowly destroying the engines.
Getting to Grenada marine was a bit fraught, since we could not use our engines and it was upwind/tide. Added to that, we first lost the external chart plotter due to a power supply failure and then the bouncing killed all our navigation systems (turns out we have a dodgy power cable to the master plotter). Andreas ipad could not get a GPS fix so we ended up navigating by eye with the landmarks from the cruising guide!
Hopefully with the new diesel, and a couple of new batteries, all our engine problems will be resolved...