W/E 25 January 2009 - Cartegena

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Mon 26 Jan 2009 00:22


This morning, before doing anything else I started repairs.  The only thing that had broken on the trip was my 5 drawer cabinet.  I was not only going to glue this back together, I was going to stain and varnish it.  I made an enormous mess before 9.30 and abandoned it.  I went into the big market with some others.  I have no idea how they can possibly sell that much fresh fish, meat, fruit and veg before it goes off in this heat.  There was too much blood and gore for my liking and I managed not to look when such phrases as ‘eyeballs coming up’ were uttered.  We stopped at the mall for lunch and I had finished my ice cream before Bob showed me the photo he had taken of a truck full of cows heads – wonderful..  Just remember when the menu or label boasts 100% beef, it may well be beef, but not beef as you  are expecting it.

At 5 I went in to Happy Hour, the boatyard managers were supposed to turn up for consultation, but none did.   I did get my paperwork back.  The port captain here will not deal with cruisers, you have to use an agent.  I am now checked in for 60 days. 

Most of the boats that I know were heading West have now arrived, taking advantage of the good weather window and some earlier boats have or are heading further West to San Blas or Panama.  So, the gang’s all here, that are going to be and there are some boats that are not coming this time and they are sorely missed.



Ray caught a 4’ wahoo on the way and this morning, (8am!) he brought me a huge 3” chunk .  I had half for lunch and it was good.  Shop bought, even market fish, is nothing like that we catch ourselves.  That should have been ‘myself’, but I have had to employ the royal ‘we’ because I seem to be the only person that did not catch a fish on this trip.

It has been very windy yesterday and today.  I did not feel like leaving the boat for long, so was going in for some water this afternoon, but I didn’t actually get the dinghy off the deck - manyana.  The water here in the anchorage has too many organic nutrients to run the water maker.

Instead I removed the duck tape and re-sealed the binnacle.  This has been done so many times I think it may require a permanent sealing layer on the outside.

Here is not a place for boat work in any technical sense, but on the basis of ‘a fridge is a fridge is a fridge’ I should be able to get the fridge working with general domestic principles.  There are two problems, one is that I have to do this in Spanish and two being that I have to get the person over to the boat in my little dinghy.  It is fine for me, but I think it is a perceived problem by others as I had no problem with Jim, Raymarine guy, in Trinidad; although the fridge guy in Bonaire had water coming in over the back before I had got his toolbox in, let alone me.

I have had the gas checked twice and I have checked the wiring; I was convinced there is something wrong with the thermostat.

So all I had to do was take the thermostat wires out of the circuit and connect the power cable, instead of the thermostat wire, to the compressor.  This did mean that I had to do a little ‘cut and paste’ on the power cable to connect it to the compressor.  How long have I been without this fridge; is this all I had to do?  It seems to work, I have ice forming on the condenser plate. 



The fridge is still working.

I launched the dinghy and put the outboard on.  I was going into the dock to get water and then into town to do the touristy thing.  I popped over to Southern Cross and after chatting to them I decided to come back and re-anchor while there was a space.  That went well, but I had now warmed up the engine, so it was the time to change the oil and filters.   I took the nut off the bottom of the engine and dumped the oil in the bilge.  I changed the oil filter, using my new hatch in the bathroom.  I should change the reverse gear oil,  but did it really need it.  I remember this was what I had said last time, and I am fairly sure that I did not do it.   That I just sucked out with a piece of tube, yuk.  The oil change was messy, but ok.  I should also do the fuel filters while the engine is on the water.  I have the pre-fuel filter from somewhere far hotter than the Caribbean.  I replaced both filters, all I had to do was vent the fuel.  The new hatch made this bearable, but still it went on and on and on.  I know this takes ages, so I kept at it.  Eventually I checked the pre-fuel filter, it was empty.  I took it off and refilled it from the can outside, how much fuel could one filter take.  It was coming out the bottom as quickly as I was pouring it in the top.  The little screw up vent was open and not closed.  Now perhaps I could get somewhere.  The boat behind radioed to check I was ok as there was fuel in the water.  It was only about a litre, but it spreads well on the water.   I soon had fuel coming out the vent screw.  I started the engine and had fuel  leaking out the screw.  Everything was so slippery I had not tightened the nut up enough.  I ran the engine to check it was operational and then I cleaned up the boat and then I cleaned up me.

Then I went to the dock to get water and into town to find an ice cream.



The fridge is back to its old tricks and does not work, which is rather more than a little disappointing.

I took Southern Cross into the hardware store and supermarket.  Dee was happy because we found some horses, right there on the side of the main road, available for riding.  They vary from skinny to bags of bones, but I think Dee may be seriously thinking about going riding.  I will obviously be busy that day.

In the evening a large hoard were going into Old Cartegena for shrimp cocktails, I just went along to see the town.  It was good to be out after dark.  We split up when some chose a bar that was too noisy for some of us to contemplate entering.  Three of us went to a much nicer bar and an hour or so later we were joined by some of the others.  I was still waiting for the rest, but too late I realized that some had gone straight back to the dock.  I left the bar at 10.30, there did not seem to be any problem being alone at that time.  The security guard let me through the gate, but the first wave of dinghies had left, without me.  I waited for the others, but did not know how long they would be.  11.30 some people got back from the cinema and I hitched a lift back to my boat with them.  That will teach me not to bring my own dinghy. 



We had a fleamarket on the dock.  I sold a couple of bits and a string hammock for 20,000 Pesos.  I then bought a woven hammock for 20,000 Pesos.

This one takes up more room than the other one, but I hope it will be more comfortable.  Now I have to collect the water to wash the hammock.

I went with Ray to the supermarket for a quick lunch in the café and then it was back for dominoes at 1.  It has been ages since I played and it was good fun.  This evening there is a BBQ on the dock, but I am ducking out of that one.


Quite a good first few days in Cartegena.