Friday to Tuesday 17 April

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Wed 18 Apr 2012 01:17
Friday – I had 4 gallons of diesel in tank 2, but my 12v transfer pump had died, so I used the hand squeezer that is used to prime outboards from an external tank. It took a lot of squeezes, but I bottled the diesel and cleaned out the tank. It did have the same plasticized goo that had caused major problems back at the beginning of 2010. I needed to get the 16 gallons in tank 1 over to tank 2, without running it through the engine. I took off the fuel pipe before the pre-filter and hand pumped it through a filter and into tank 1. This was quite a messy procedure, because I seem to be a messy person and I was going to leave it at that. I might as well continue and service the engine. I took out the pre-filter and stripped it down to get any goo out of it and then changed the filter and the main fuel filter. I was such a mess now there was no point stopping. I changed the oil and the filter and even the reverse gear oil, which quite often I leave as how often do I use reverse gear. The raw water filter was easy, but up there was also the coolant. I had access to running water, so I drained the coolant, flushed the heat exchanger and put in fresh coolant. By the time I had finished and disposed of the waste oil, coolant, paper towels, rags and clothes it was definitely time for the pool.
In the evening we went over to Bruno’s, Songbird and Cordelia were playing and singing for one last time, which had previously been the last time in Utila.
Saturday – took an easy day, cleaning lockers and tidying.
Sunday – I got a lift on the boat with Kevin who owns the marina, he was going to church, I was going to the swap meet at Bruno’s. I got a lift back when the boat brought an employee over. I was a little confused as they have 3 boats and this was a different one, but the driver recognised me, which is more than I can say I did him. After an easy day I decided it was time to book a flight back to UK.
The choice of sites and the variables makes choosing a flight quite an exercise in endurance. Finally I decided to give up trying to find a different route or a better price. The taxes are more than the flight costs and I could not find a route that did not take me through the US, which meant applying for a new US visa online as mine had run out. You cannot renew, you have to make out a new application. I started the application and then went back to get the flight details. I had to redo the search for the flight as the information changes after so long, but I did that and booked the flight. The cost of the flight, and maybe because I am in Guatamala, set off fraud bells at the bank and so the credit card would not go through. It was now about 9pm on Sunday in UK, but I have telephone banking, so I Skyped the bank and told them it was ok. I had to wait a few minutes for them to reset the system and then go back and rebook the flight. I went back to complete the US application and at the end it told me it had timed out and I had to start again. 2 1/2 hours later I had a flight and a US Visa, both paid for.
Monday – I stacked sails and ropes into the back cabin, now I really can’t get to the engine again. Took down the wind generator, tied down the dinghy and finished the outside of the boat. In the evening I went to the TV bar for the first time. Dancing with the Stars, US version, but there are adverts between every dance, so it took 2 hours. Tomorrow they have the dance off to see who goes out, I expect it to be Gladys Knight, but who knows. Castle followed it, which I do like, but it was 8pm and well past my bedtime.
Tuesday – 7.15 I went with Rose and Tom to town and then caught a minibus to Morales. A crown had come off a few days before and I was going to superglue it back, but thought I would try and see if I could get it fixed properly. The dentist fitted me in and charged Q200, about £20. It was ok except for when two people seemed to be climbing into my mouth one to hold the crown in place and to one floss behind it. I thought my lip was going to split, it was not very pliable.
Then we got some fried chicken, about the only fast food considered safe to eat here. I am not a street food person, but others are and have been ok in Trinidad and Venezuela, but have come unstuck here and been really ill. Then we bought a fan, it is 110v, but only 45w, so will run off my inverter. It is square and should be reasonably easy to stow, because it’s not that big. Well, it didn’t look that big in the shop, back on the boat is another matter, but it will be very hot in the summer. It is hot now and I don’t get a breeze on this side of the island.
We caught a minibus back and paid our Q12. We got to the outskirts of town and had to get off. We didn’t get a refund, we just started walking, following everyone else. We were going to walk to the junction where the road turns off for Rio Dulce, a good half mile or more, which seems much further in the midday sun. We got in a tuk-tuk, but he was told he wouldn’t get through, so we got out and walked again. It was a military checkpoint, which backed up the traffic for several kilometres and they didn’t care. We got to the junction and expected some minibuses to drop their passengers and turn round, but no. We would have been there a long time, so we jumped in the back of a pickup truck, 9 of us, and had a airy trip with a good view back to Fronteras, about 28Km. We gave the man Q10 each and he was going to give us change, how nice is that, but we didn’t want change, he had done us a favour he deserved the money. We are pretty sure the bus man knew about the block and ripped us off.
Rose wanted a few bits in town, so we left Tom at the bar and went back. I had never been to town and so I went to see what there was. Anyone who knows Rose will know that Tom had the right idea, but I survived the walk and as soon as we got back it was pool time.
I seem to have lost my camera. I have tidied everything up, so either it is somewhere tidy, but I don’t know where, or it fell off the boat after I came up the river, maybe when I had to get ropes and fenders ready for the dock.