Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Wed 30 Jan 2013 23:51
Our Very Poorly Propeller and Exciting Things
Monday evening. A wonderful surprise when we came into the marina was that one of the people taking our lines was none other than Marlo. Larry was off in town but we arranged beer o’clock on the catamaran they are delivering to Fort Lauderdale, together with Eric and Dee at 17:30. Wonderful to catch up with them for this brief time as they are off in the morning.
Tuesday. Our turn to wave from the shore, no sooner had they gone than they were reversing back in - no power.... Just as they were returning we saw La Boheme coming in, we had last seen Anna and Greg in Guadeloupe four years ago. We welcomed them with huge hugs and joined them aboard for celebratory drinks later in the evening. I have so much to thank Greg for in getting me involved with SLR cameras. Anna presented us with three cards – small copies of just a few of her beautiful water colours due to be exhibited in Australia in October. Their crew: Ben and Margret made for a very jolly evening. We hope to chat up our respective advisors to allow us to make part of a three boat raft when we transit the Canal. Fingers crossed.
On our way home, we saw Larry and Marlo briefly to get an update. A diver went below, finding massive barnacles on their props, apparently a real problem here if you sit quietly for more than a couple of weeks
Meet the gorgeous Alan, our Admeasurer who came this afternoon, did his calculations, filled in the paperwork and later presented us with our all important ‘windscreen’ ID number - YeeHa. Soooooooo Exciting. Erick the agent popped round to ask for the date we wish to go through but I had to admit to our poorly prop. The current waiting period is seven days but with Carnival coming the level of alcohol consumed reduces the numbers of advisers significantly. A fleet of Oysters are beginning to arrive and are due to transit on the 18th, 19th and 20th, our pencil date was the 16th but its (like everything) written in sand at low tide. Back to the prop, the juddering has got to the point of serious questions about its life expectancy....
Wednesday. Barnacle clear Larry and Marlo were good to go once again. We hope to see this great couple next in South Africa and wish them Safe Seas and Following Winds.
The merest mention of crocodiles visiting the marina on a frequent basis put Big Bear into a flat wuss-out of diving to get the prop off. He got Jesus to do it for him. Well, he’s got a better name than me when it comes down to it and grew up with said creatures........ Yes skipper. Jesus was under Beez and up with said prop in twenty minutes.
This evening for one night only, we became honorary members of the Cruising Association. Five boats are going through on Saturday - Eric and Dee as line handlers, guess who’s going to be quizzed on Sunday ??? We wish this lovely group all the very best for a safe transit and onward Pacific adventure.
The table next door but one – no other than Gregory and Anna (right), Ben and Margret (left). What a community we have here.
Thursday. Our poorly prop. I hit an enormous fishing rope on the journey to Providencia, immediately went into neutral, no forward thrust at all. Oh. After a while I tried pulsing and eventually the big rope swam off. I reported a little judder and Bear snorkeled below and waggled the blades. He thought it would get us here and had hoped that it was a case of slippage and a good service would do the trick. Coming here the judder was clearly getting worse but as it happened we had a cracking sail and ‘rested’ the prop for most of the journey. The picture on the left shows its injuries and the picture on the right shows Bear holding up one blade, the others are supposed to move in tandem, they don’t and just lay there lifeless.
What the teeth look like on a new one......
A few emails and a quick response from Daniel at Bruntons in Clacton on Sea will hopefully see our brand new Autoprop arrive next Friday. Our visa card has gone into a flat spin with this shock purchase. Ouch, but going through the canal is the one time we will have to depend on our prop to be effective and efficient. Needs must and all that.
ALL IN ALL MOVING ON