Happy Birthday!

David & Valerie Allen
Wed 25 Nov 2009 14:48
12:30.56 N  70:01.99 W

Thursday, November 12, 2009.

Happy Birthday, Dave!

This was such a low-key day, Dave was rather disappointed.    In fact, it got to the point that we decided to celebrate tomorrow instead!

We went to the internet cafe where I managed to enter a long list of email addresses into my hotmail account so that I could send messages from shore to other boats, without using the sailmail account on board.  I took so long that Dave and Karen finished their letter writing and also went grocery shopping.  We then went directly to the dinghy and I did not have the opportunity to find a card for Dave and didn't get to the Belgian Chocolate shop for a gift.  Well, maybe later on!

Unfortunately, because of the choppy waters in the bay and the soaking we received going back to the boats, there was no later on.  Maybe tomorrow???  Being confined to quarters made the rest of the day a non-event.

Until evening!  KARA DREAM unable to join us and JO MAMA when we dinghied over to the other side of the airport to a special little restaurant, MARANDI'S.  Ralph was too ill with a cold, but Randy, Joedna and the two of us motored over through the miraculously calmed waters and tied up at the restaurant dock.  I enquired about a birthday cake, which somehow never materialized, but the staff presented us with free birthday cocktails, which set the tone of the evening.  Joedna even had a small gift for Dave- a spreader knife with a surfing Santa for future happy hours!  The food was tasty (if a bit pricey) and the sunset spectacular.  Even the path to the restrooms was special- a climb up stone stairs past a water treatment and lovely gardens.  It was a perfect birthday celebration.

On the homeward journey we led the way as we had a very bright flashlight.  JO MAMA's dinghy was unlit.  Suddenly we were aware that they were no longer beside or behind us.  Since they had had engine problems on the way to the restaurant, we were very concerned and decided to backtrack to find them.  There was no sign of them anywhere.  We concluded they must have passed us unnoticed and regained the homeward course.  Sure enough, they had stopped ahead, wondering if we were having problems!  The rest is history.  We all got back safely and savoured the memory of a very happy birthday indeed.


I didn't realize this was Friday the Thirteenth until now!  In any event, it turned out to be  our lucky day.  Our new cockpit control panel arrived!  This must be a record- arriving in just one week AND clearing customs as well.  Sanders' and Francis' names seem to have exerted some influence.  There is just one small problem.  The RPM meter is missing from the package; all the attachments are there for it, but no unit.  Well, we can just reuse the old one.

Saturday, November 14, 2009.


This is a noteworthy day all around.  ANGEL's interior is gleaming and Francis has installed the control panel.  The engine works beautifully.  We can now make plans for departure.

While feting Happy Hour aboard KARA DREAM, everyone in the anchorage watched one hapless boat, SERENDIPITY, try to anchor about a dozen times.  Finally, Dave and Ralph dinghied over and assisted them  Mission accomplished!


Monday, November 16, 2009.

This was a day for hustling, with the help of one of Budget's finest.  The normal grocery store and PriceMart runs were de rigeur, of course.  Since the freezer is now running, we stocked up on 30 lbs of chicken.  A trip to WINDIE's Dive Shop was unsuccessful in locating a copy of Pail Humann's REEF FISHES OF THE PACIFIC.  The entire Caribbean series was in stock, but not this particular fish identification book.  I actually have one in Victoria, but will be unable to obtain it before entering the Pacific.  Oh well, maybe Amazon delivers to Panama!

One thing we found remarkable in Aruba;  Monday seems to be the favourite day for grocery shopping here.  At the IGA there were more than a dozen taxis waiting to assist people with their grocery-laden homebound trips.

Transporting all our purchases back to ANGEL was a challenge, especially when Dave had to navigate around many teenagers enjoying a swim around the floating dock- on a school morning!!!???  Then I faced the daunting task of finding storage for everything.  This time I wisely decided to list the contents of each bin and display them at the end of each box.  Everything found a home and we can find everything.  A minor miracle!

Now jack lines and preventer lines are in place to keep us from falling overboard and for preventing accidental decapitating gybes (not good for the mast and boom either!).  Dinner was a quick bite at Taco Bell.  However, I think we are a bit too excited to sleep well before our planned 0530 departure tomorrow.