New Crew and Spares Arrive - A Bit of a Disappointment
Date: 28 November 2010
Position: Paraty (for the last time)
Lawrence, Tom and Richard had to take a five hour taxi ride from Sao Paulo up to Paraty to join the stricken Mina2. To make their life more simple Maria had booked the taxi to meet them. They poured themselves off the plane out into the terminal building and – no one. Frantic text messages and phone calls ensued and eventually the taxi driver was tracked down with a completely wrong name on the card he was holding up. On arrival at the marina at midday, I embraced the three reprobates with tears in my eyes, mainly because buried in their overweight luggage were all the new spares necessary to get Mina2 back on the high seas again.
We had booked the technician to come onboard at 1500 to install the new kit – no more than a two-hour job, he had assured us. After two hours he was still buried deep in the bowels of the boat with bits of heavy engineering and complex boxes of circuitry strewn around him. After three hours he hit me with the truly devastating news that the brand new, indescribably expensive course computer – the only one available in the world - that had taken so much trouble to find, have delivered to Lawrence and then brought half way round the globe – well, it didn’t work. The technician couldn’t understand why I was crying with a Stanley knife in my hands and trying to slit my wrists.
However the suspect competence of the technician did yield one small reward and that was that the old course computer which he had a couple of weeks before declared dead was in fact still workable, so he cobbled it all back together with some of the other spares that had been brought out and at least we don’t (until something else goes wrong) have to hand-steer 1200 miles down the coast. After four hours, having actually achieved what I could have done in ten minutes, the technician left with all that remained of the large amount of emergency cash I once carried. The DS couldn’t understand why I was so depressed.
Meanwhile, the boys had decided on their accommodation (Lawrence and Richard sharing the large for’ard cabin and Tom in the small bunk cabin) stowed their bags and had headed off to see the delights of Paraty. The DS and I joined them much, much later for a splendid last / first night celebration.
Throughout the night someone on a nearby boat seemed to be using a pneumatic drill intermittently the entire time. None of us slept well. In the morning, Lawrence staggered bleary-eyed out of the for’ard cabin, dragging his luggage with him. “It’s impossible” he said “It’s like trying to sleep with an amorous walrus”. He de-camped to the already cramped bunk cabin to share with Tom. Richard, of course, woke totally refreshed after a comfortable night’s snoring.
After breakfast I bade a tearful farewell to the DS as she left for the long journey to Buenos Aires to see her mother, whilst I was left with a bunch of drunks to negotiate the long and dangerous passages south to Uruguay. It was going to be tough and probably quite unpleasant.
Richard, Lawrence & Tom … it can only get worse