Well, rumour has it that we're going sailing today. I hope so. Yesterday had it's high points but, in the end, I got frustrated and tired, hence no blog-writing last night.
Friday started very well as I received an email from an old, lost friend called Ashley who's about to be 50. That set Andrea and I to reminiscing over our usual French breakfast. Over breakfast, we got chatting to the guy on the next table, Elias, who owns a huge sailboat which has been in our marina since we arrived. He's looking for new crew and Kali gave him a few recommendations. From there we went back to Saxon Blue where Kali and I set to fixing the spring on the companionway hatch. It's a strange design and we debated the relative genius and insanity of the designer. Anyway, after using mole-grips to wrestle the new spring into submission, we got it all fixed and felt very pleased with ourselves.
Andrea wanted to do some different Janeway shots from Fort Louis so we walked up there in the heat of the late morning. She has to put on her costume so it was hot work. After getting the shots, Andrea was feeling a bit faint so we headed back down to Saxon Blue just in time for her to have a lukewarm shower and an emergency smoothie which Kali soon rustled up. We were expecting the air-conditioning guys to arrive at any point so Andrea and I went over the the French cafe for a delicious lunch while Kali stayed onboard waiting.
In the end, we'd finished lunch and relieved Kali to go shopping for supplies when the air-con guys turned up. They set to fitting a new pump having determined that the 60 hertz compressors that we have would run find on 50 hertz. I think they were surprised how much work was involved and were still there beavering away hours later. We left them to it and all three of us headed over to Elias' yacht, Miniskirt, to have a look around. He was really welcoming and we had a grand tour of an amazing boat.
Miniskirt is a 105 ft long sloop designed by Ron Holland who also designed Saxon blue. The size of everything onboard was amazing - it made an Oyster 82 look like a toy. Elias' master suite was incredible with a full-sized shower/bath with marble tiles on the walls. The best bit was the engineroom with the twin Caterpillar main engines and two monster generators, all with access all around. Everything was immaculate in white, like an operating theatre. Forward of that was an entire compartment given over to electricity supply and distribution, again everything looked spotless. The boat itself is about 20 years old but Elias had completed a massive overhaul, replacing all the working gear and even remodelling the deck and superstructure. He's planning to go to the Med and then onwards through the Suez Canal to Asia. We told him how wonderful the Arctic is but I think the cold may test his Venezualan blood.
After a grand tour, we headed back over to Saxon Blue to discover that the air-con guys had managed to break the pump which they'd had imported from the USA for us. To make matters worse, they'd also broken our original one and then compounded it by breaking part of our salt-water supply which has nothing to do with the air-con but is used to flush our forward toilet. Hmmm..... They were clearly at the end of their tether with the whole thing and I must admit that I was having a bit of a sense-of-humour failure although I hope I managed to remain polite. They planned to return in the morning and refix our old pump but I decided that was a waste of time as we weren't going to be on shore power again for a while and it wouldn't work with our generator anyway so we were actually no worse off without it. They still needed to return to fix the salt-water system but that was a quick job. They've now ordered another pump from the USA which should arrive Tuesday next week so they can get it all set up in their workshop and we'll arrange to meet them in the anchorage off the Dutch side of St Maarten and get it fitted.
Having sorted all that out, Andrea and I went out to a lovely French restaurant in the other Marina for dinner. I had a pizza which was probably a bad idea as I didn't sleep too well afterwards and woke up a bit nervous this morning. I think the idea of actually getting underway after so long docked was disconcerting, especially given the nightmare I'd had docking Saxon Blue over a week before.
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