Dear Friends and Family,
Life goes on here at RAM marina in our shared apartment. Unfortunately, work on the boat doesn’t go on here! They were supposed to start work on the boat yesterday as soon as we agreed to the scope and dollar amount. This we did at 1PM, with assurances work would commence immediately. At 2 PM they realized that the boat next to us was to be painted that day and the dust raised by the work on our boat would ruin the paint job. They got a primer coat on before the sun set, with plans to do the final paint coat Saturday. The solution for us was to wait for the paint job to be done and then get double the number of people working on our boat on Sunday.
Unfortunately today (Saturday) is overcast and drizzly so the boat next door didn’t get painted. This afternoon they were going to move our boat to where a very large Hatteras fishing boat was. The plan was to launch the Hatteras, then move us into its place. Well, they put the Hatteras in the water, and it leaked unacceptably around the stabilizers. The Hatteras came back out and took its old spot. Rob asked the yard manager what happens now. She said she had to look for some space. She and Rob walked around the yard and decided on a new spot. It will be a tight fit. The idea was to find a spot where nobody is living aboard their boat, so they won’t complain about our dust. So, tomorrow, Sunday, they “plan” to move the boat and start work. Yes, Sunday. Actually, the normal days off are mid-week.
So we will see. We certainly know that things happen. We have never made our own estimates for getting work done so why should we anticipate they will. It looks like the work will take up to 3 weeks to complete including time for the fiberglass to dry. Originally we thought that it might be a good time to do our language classes but have been encouraged by other cruisers to stay here and be sure the work progresses. We can be putting the inside of the boat together and do those things needed before we would be put in the water. We may just leave the boat on the hard once the work is done and do our classes and then have it splashed. We had thought we might be in Guatemala until about the end of January but we had figured it being in someplace other than the boat yard.
At least we are comfortable in our apartment and we can stay as long as we need to for only about $20 per day. The other couple will be here at least a week of that time but we are getting along just fine so it is nice to have company.
Our dinghy still needs some work done on it but, for security reasons, Rob feels uncomfortable having it in the water by the dock when we and our boat aren’t nearby, so he doesn’t want to put it in and use it as our taxi. Most things are accessible by boat. Without a car or dinghy, we feel a little like we are in house arrest and confined to the property. There are no water taxis here either. Chris has given us a ride a couple of times and tomorrow we will go to a nearby marina for a flea market with another cruiser couple (Queen Mary) that came for dinner the first night we were here. Their boat is in the water and they have a large dinghy. We may also try to walk in to town. We hear it is about 20 minutes and if we were carrying heavy things,, we could get a taxi back. The taxis here are three wheel “tuc-tuc” vehicles like you see in India. I saw a place that gives 45 minute massages for $15 U.S. We’ll see if it is worth it but if you know me at all, you know it is a big draw to get a massage! I guess that we have ways around our isolation! We just have to stop and rethink!
The apartment is good, especially compared to local standards. The bathrooms work and the shower is nice. It is clean. It has a large flat screen TV with cable and there are several stations that have English programing. The trouble is that the sound is so bad. The music is very loud and the voices very soft. It is hard to listen to. Tonight, Tom, our other person in the apartment, wants to watch the Big 10 play off game. The commentary will be in Spanish! I think I will go in my room and watch a movie on the computer!
The kitchen here is a little iffy too. They don’t really expect people to cook I guess. There is a four burner stove and oven. They even have a combo microwave/convection oven but today I saw flames inside when we were using it so we won’t be doing that again. The refrigerator door won’t stay closed so Rob fixed a bungee around it. Thankfully the freezer stays closed on its own. I have already started to transfer a lot of the food I prepared to the boat freezer. On the other hand, I take a load of food to the boat and bring back a load of things that I need to cook with. I will have half the boat unloaded in to the apartment before we are done here.
All this brings a smile to my face though. Sometimes you just have to laugh at how ridiculous things can get and by standards in areas like this, we are still 5 star!
Of yes, the snake and spider story! We visited with the people (Queen Mary) who stayed here before we did. They also shared the space with other boaters. The other woman saw a snake crawl under the outside door on the side of the kitchen. It went all the way across the apartment in to the bathroom at the end of the hall. The woman slammed the door shut to keep the snake in until her husband could be called but the snake crawled right back out under that door and continued back through where it came in. The couples staying here took a carpet and pushed it up against the crack in the door where the snake came in. They reported that they saw a lot fewer spiders after that too though Rob found one the first day right under the toilet lid. The real lesson of the story though has to do with the bathroom door that was slammed. When it was pushed open, the handle went against the wall and pushed the lock button. When the woman closed the door from the outside, she locked herself out of the bathroom. I am not sure how they got it opened but eventually someone came to do it. Now we keep something behind the door so it cannot open that far and accidently lock.
I may not write too often as I think our lives here will take on a simple routine, hopefully with steady progress. We have seen Chris twice now but not Kelli yet. We hope they have time for a visit soon but Chris is very busy and of course things seem to always take longer than you think at first. Like with our boat, you find a problem and that throws everything off.
It will be interesting to see how this all works out and what opportunities we can make for ourselves around what actually takes place. Maybe we’ll start studying the Spanish CDs we never quite got around to back home. This will be good preparation for our Spanish classes later on. Life is an adventure. Even when you plan, you have no idea what will come around that corner. I intend to meet it with a smiling face. I have an abundance of everything I could ever wish for, right now, right here, this moment and if that doesn’t make you smile, nothing will.
An abundance of people I love and who love me is the best and connecting with all of you and hearing from you back is really a blessing.
Sue and Rob