Back and front of a donkey

This morning I read the information about the Covid-19 situation again and found that there were five confirmed transmissions in Aruba. The virus is finally back. The first measures were announced by the government, the bars, restaurants and nightclubs have to move the tables further apart and can occupy a maximum of four people. Masks are recommended if the safety distance cannot be maintained. A maximum of four people may have flu together outdoors. I've heard this song before.

In my opinion, air conditioning madness should be abolished. You can find it unreasonable to spend your vacation on a tropical island at 35 ° C in the shade outside. In any case, I avoid the well-cooled interiors and sometimes I drive a bus when the windows are not open.

In any case, many tourists from the USA behave here as the Germans or British are said to do on Mallorca. Last week was a big headline over an outrageous article in the local newspaper. A tourist from the USA was tested on entry. The test result should have lasted 24 hours. Instead, he moved through restaurants and bars. Of course, the test result was positive. I don't want to call it donkey. They're not that stupid.

What's this?

When I wrote about the job with the donkeys so far, I showed the donkeys mainly from the front. Today I want to write mostly on the back. The photo above shows a large heap of donkey manure.

Every morning we clean the area of the donkey's remains, which can drop the manure on the floor in any situation. When walking, standing, eating, running or drinking.

source

A few wheelbarrows come together every day. Their content ends up in a big pile. Once I saw a few locals come and take a few pounds of donkey crap home for the garden. There is still room for improvement. Maybe you should offer that as fertilizer in the local hardware store.

Bert is at work

In the afternoon it is too hot for this job, it has to be done right after the morning feeding. If you share the work, it is done in less than an hour.

And again, a wheelbarrow is full of poop

Of course, these pictures are not really attractive. Watching the front is a lot more fun. I cut a little video showing the donkey feeding in the afternoon. How the donkeys wait nervously until the hay is finally served. How they fight over the food. And how feeding weak and old donkeys works. And it will lay the foundation for a lot of new poop this morning.

I personally have good news. I hope to receive a package of cider in the next few days. I also had an appointment with the Immigration Service last week. I have been illegally in the country for months, since last Thursday my residence status has been in order again.

Good wood - part 2

Again I start with a jigsaw and extension cord in the Donkey Sanctuary. Instead of several chairs should I build a round table this time. A table base is still available and the old round table also has a round table top, which is rather ailing. The new plate should be the same size. So I use the ailing table top to take measurements. However, the heavy rain of the past few days has not passed the table top. It has now moved and I am looking for a reasonably usable section.

Almost round

A donkey watches me as I prepare the table top. He doesn't really care about the noise of the saw, he wants some food or a petting. Ideally both, but I don't have the time for that at the moment.

The rusty bracket for the table base and the metal frame are also from the previous table. So that I can screw it on exactly in the middle, I first have to determine the center point using my navigation triangle.

The center of the circle was determined with the means of geometry

Then it hits me ice cold. The table base should of course be straight. I spend a few useless minutes looking for a spirit level. Of course I don't find any. Does that really have to be that straight in Aruba? Where did my pride in “Made in Germany” or my work quality go?

Improvised spirit level

If nothing works, you can build a great spirit level from a water glass. If you can stack a hill on it, the table leg is straight. I'm just getting the quality curve. I am happy about my idea.

Finished. A round table

Desiree will now apply a layer of concrete to the wood to get a robust surface. I am curious. My work on this table has ended.

Weather forecast

We're currently celebrating the opening of the season in Aruba. This is not about the tourist season, but about the hurricane season. We have weathered the first tropical storms or are in the process of surviving. I sweat at 35 ° C in the shade below deck, the fan gives me at least some relief. The neighbors on the American boats are either diving or sitting in the air-conditioned interior. The fact is that the storms do not come to Aruba, but they have a massive impact on the weather here.

Train tracks of the hurricanes, the red dot is Aruba

They usually stay above the open water and only turn northeast just before Florida. Sometimes they hit the coast. If they move across the country for a longer time, they will quickly run out of breath. But they don't turn on the turn signal and turn to Aruba.

There was a bit of excitement among my American neighbors these days, but I also received news from Germany about an emerging cyclone. Since then, I update the weather data on my smartphone regularly.

Weather forecast for July 25-27. The storm runs through the north.

The consequences for us in Aruba were somewhat dramatic. Shortly after this really small tropical storm passed us, Aruba was flooded by hours of heavy rains. I hadn't counted on the hatch over my mattress being open. I spent the afternoon drying my mattress.

To this day, I wasn't even aware that there were rain jackets in Aruba. Despite the rain, the boats to Flamingo Island were busy. However, there were not many passengers.

I think the donkeys in the Donkey Sanctuary look sad when it rains. Perhaps it is also because of the sadness that arises when the floods pour over the bare floor.

Rain with the donkeys

With so much rain it can happen that a cactus is washed down and falls over. My first thought was that this cactus is exactly on the path that visitors always take. I didn't like to put it away either.

Lying cactus

In the end it didn't turn out to be a really big problem, because the donkeys like to eat cacti for their life and do everything to overturn one of them. Then gently remove the spines and enjoy the meat afterwards. That already amazed me.

Connoisseurs

After a few hours it was easy to push the leftovers aside. The following day the cactus was eaten.

Today I'm sitting in the doldrums because of the following tropical storm. This did not bring rain, it moved much further north. The doldrums started sometime tonight, I woke up in the middle of sweating.

I listen to Hessian radio on the Internet and they talk about 37 ° C at the weekend. That would even exceed the temperatures in Aruba.

High-rise construction in Oranjestad

The places of the big hummers were redistributed yesterday. The Freewinds has returned to its former berth. For this, the Carnival Pride is moored at the crusader terminal. Aruba may have had higher cruise ship mooring fees than in the pre-Corona period. There is probably a big discount.

High-rise building in front of my nose

For me personally, that changes everything. So far I have been able to sit in my cockpit and watch the sun sink into the sea. This is no longer possible, now it falls into the water behind the Carnival Pride. If you look closely you can see the black soot flags from the chimneys. Luckily I lie in windward wind, the dirt blows out onto the sea.

A few days ago I got one Article on Spiegel-Online jumped in the eye. As part of the Black Lives Matter movement, Twitter and other companies want to remove terms such as “master”, “slave”, “blacklist”, “whitelist” and more from their development departments because they are racist. That made me think. After all, I've used these terms myself for decades.

I then fought these thoughts down and went back to my luxury life in the hotel resort. The shower on the flamingo island is still the best shower and so the flamingos get visitors from time to time. It is always strange when there are only a few dozen people on the island, which is suitable for several hundred visitors.

Flamingos

A few days after the article in the mirror, Caren Miosga used the words “undeclared work” and “dark figure” in the daily topics. A quote from Bertolt Brecht "you can't see them in the dark". Somehow it clicked in my head again. Undeclared work, undeclared driver, black money, black painting, black eyes, unreported income, shadow economy, black cash, blackening, black market, black Peter.

Due to a question in a quiz that I play on my phone against a few friends in Germany, I am in the black Popelmann encountered. At that time Martin Luther himself advised parents to scare their children with the black pop man if they are not well behaved. As if a few multi-headed aliens didn't. The assignment of light and dark in the Bible is pretty clearly regulated.

I love salsify, black coffee, black beer, black chocolate and the delicious meat of the Spanish black pigs. Not everything has a negative connotation and it was only here in the Caribbean that I largely weaned myself off the beloved black T-shirts.

Street art from Oranjestad

There are also some graffiti in Oranjestad. This copy happened to be in front of the camera. They do exist, but they are scattered all over the city. Not as focused as in San Nicolas.

I've been working on this post for several days now. The cruise ships have disappeared and nothing more disturbs the enjoyment of the sunset. Aruba again has no income from cruise operations. I am drawing a few consequences and will pay more attention to my choice of words in the future. But I would not want to call a clandestine carrier a black driver. That is too bulky for me. Maybe a fraud.

As of today, 13 active Covid-19 cases are known on the island. I'm allowed to make a table in the Donkey Sanctuary. I've already brought the jigsaw. I almost stumbled across shrimp in a completely relaxed pose.

Only cats can relax

It's back ...

A few weeks ago I was able to report that the last active Covid-19 case in Aruba is healthy again and that there are no more active cases. Since July 1st the borders are open again for air travelers and we have it again eight active cases on the island.

The newly imported cases have been found on flights from the USA or neighboring countries. After all, there is a lot of testing at the airport. I am excited to see when the first new infections occur within Aruba. It is only a matter of time.

There has been an innovation in my blog since yesterday: At the bottom right is a small flag. The language can now be switched to English there. I introduced this out of courtesy to my new neighbors, who are not used to the fact that they have to take care of the translation of foreign language texts. So I take care of it myself using the Google API. I am amazed at what automatic translation can now do.

We are complete

In the Donkey Sanctuary there are several donkeys that are separated from the others in a kind of “old people's home” and are given special food. These donkeys are over 30 years old. Pressed straw cubes are mixed with water and then fed to these donkeys. Because there is also bird food at the donkey feed storage area, there is always an intrusive peacock hanging around.

Peacock from behind

He usually shows me his back when I want to take a picture of him. This time, however, I thwarted the calculation. Hoping that he won't fold his plumage back together, I'll shoo him through the enclosure and away from the food. The trick worked. As soon as I leave him alone, he turns and wants to run to the feed again. Very nice, this time I'm the winner.

Peacock from the front

As beautiful as these peacocks are, their shouting is annoying. You make a hell of a noise. Now I come to something completely different. Until yesterday there was still a free space for a sailboat in the marina. I had known for a few days who would get this place. That's why I was very happy when the Iguana told me that a sailboat was heading for the port entrance.

Iguana looks after a sailboat

Every sailor is happy about pictures of their own boat. You can hardly take such pictures yourself. So I grab the camera and fire a few shots at it Lady Charlyette from.

Ricarda

That will of course not do good to the increasing Babylon in my head. For a few days I have noticed that in my head the German words are being replaced by English, even my dreams are in English. Watching German TV on the side is no longer possible, I have to concentrate on it. With Ricarda and Stefan it can happen to me that it tilts back. I will notice.

Lady Charlyette arrives in Oranjestad

Marine boss Hans himself helps with the mooring maneuver, after which I can finally greet them. Now our small community is complete.

Finally, I have to announce a serious theft. Who says that only the Chinese copy our good German engineering skills? The Americans do it too. The CIA was probably out at night and spying on my boat. A bad copy of my doorbell is now on the aria.

American copy of my engineering skills

Hello, goodbye

Sometimes there is even news in Oranjestad. A few days ago I mentioned the arrival of three new sailing boats, now I want to introduce their residents.

The reason for this round of introductions is the farewell party for Vanita, which has the opportunity to fly home for a few months with the opening of the border to the USA on July 11th. She plans to return to Aruba in early September.

Left to right: Island Lady, Aria, Toes in the Water and Sissi

Vanita and her skipper Johnny are out on the Island Lady, Shelly, Brian and Moses (giant schnauzers) live on the Aria, Karen and Dennis live on the Toes in the Water. For reasons of space, the farewell party takes place on the catamaran. Wow! My first visit to a catamaran. An incredible amount of space.

All three boats came from the US Virgin Islands, where they spent the time of the border closings. Now they stay in Aruba for the hurricane season.

Shelly, Vanita and Johnny behind Moses

An Italian evening was the order of the day. Brian brought an incredible amount of pasta with him, there were various sauces from Dennis and real Parmesan in any amount, previously appetizer. I baked our bread on board. Moses does the classic begging dog look very well. But he has to be content with some ice water.

Karen, Brian and Johnny, including Moses

It was a great pleasure for me that most of the group visited the Donkey Sanctuary. There Johnny fell in love with a three-legged donkey. Johnny lost the usability of his right arm in a car accident, Kamino lost his right front leg in a car accident. Then Johnny Kamino adopted immediately. That should also be visible on the website in a few days.

Kamino

I digress. After dinner, the music comes to this group of sailors. Brian mostly plays banjo, vanita guitar and from time to time they are accompanied by Johnny on the harmonica.

Brian and Johnny

If you don't play an instrument, you still have your voice at your disposal. I also like to participate. At home I am an enthusiastic singer in the 51500 throats of the Frankfurt Waldstadion Choir. By the way, singing out loud is better than singing beautifully.

Vanita, Shelly and Dennis are sitting next to me

In the past few days we have been singing a few times. Most of the events ended early, these people tend to go to bed earlier and get up earlier. This time it takes longer, nobody wants to break up yet.

Vanita, Shelly and Dennis

It was the last appearance in this line-up until September, but I don't think it was the last appearance at all. It's too much fun for all of us. A real alternative evening arrangement. Of course, the throat can also be moistened well.

Brian said sometime in the evening that this is the smallest cruiser community he has ever seen in Aruba. I personally feel that the community is already very large, after all, in a short time the number of boats inhabited by long-distance sailors tripled from two to six. I also expect the Lady Charlyette we met in Martinique in the pre-Corona period.

Moses relaxes

We say goodbye to each other with multiple hugs. Vanita has a tear or two in her eyes. The main thing is that she doesn't lose her sense of humor. Have a safe trip home!

Vanita on the swing

For the sake of completeness, I would like to mention that two cruise ships have been off Oranjestad for a long time. The Freewinds just relocated, the Seven Seas Splendor arrived from Los Angeles. Without passengers, of course.

Freewinds and Seven Seas Splendor

I am extremely happy that new faces can be seen here, new stories can be heard and that we really get on well. We'll have a good time together.

Donkeys don't like rain

There is always something new to learn on a small island like Aruba. For example, that it sometimes rains quite heavily. The dry island, on which I experienced maybe half an hour of rain between March and June, has been fairly watered in the past few days.

Donkey in the rain

Donkeys, for example, don't like rain. They are no different than most people. When the rain is over, they love rolling in the mud.

Rain is stupid

From the sight, it looks like these donkeys are very, very sad. In any case, I have never seen them hanging around with these hanging heads.

Wet and kind of sad

Unfortunately, on this rainy day I was unable to photograph the donkeys rolling in the mud. The rain only stopped at feeding time. At feeding time, donkeys have no interest in rolling around in the mud. You have to fight to get your share.

With the people on the three new sailing boats I have a new problem. Sissi is relatively far away from the jetty and nobody can knock if he wants to speak to me. So I had to come up with a solution. First of all, I just wanted to buy a battery-operated, radio-controlled doorbell at the hardware store. Then I came up with a better idea.

Ship's bell

Sissi has no door, so I don't need a doorbell. Now my completely useless ship's bell has been given a real task. A ship just needs a ship's bell.

New life

I still enjoy going to the donkeys. Sometimes there are funny scenes. When the donkeys see that tourists are in the visitor center, they go through the gastric juices. Most visitors buy a bucket or two of donkey food. This one leaves his tongue hanging out of his mouth for several minutes and observes exactly what is going on in the visitor center.

Has forgotten the tongue

Then the feed is finally distributed and the crowds are big. Now everyone wants to get some pellets. The delicious pellets are usually only available for breakfast.

In addition to the donkeys, there are also the peacocks, the cats and the chickens. This post is primarily dedicated to chickens. A few days ago I saw this specimen in the hay. She built a fine nest there and all the helpers left her alone.

Brooding chicken

Yesterday it was time. Four squeaky chicks have hatched and are now constantly following their mother. Or does the mother follow her chicks? Jutta found a rejected chick, which unfortunately could not be fed. In any case, the others are beeping incessantly.

offspring

Now the mother has a lot to do to protect her offspring from the other animals. In any case, the peacocks chase the chicks completely unabashedly and I can also imagine a certain interest in the cats. Fresh chicken, directly from the producer.

Danger to the chickens

Let us hope that interest remains so low. The place was well chosen by the hen, because the cats usually don't stay there.

A fun sea voyage - with consequences

The last time I was with Sissi was on March 11th. At that time Jens and I came from Bonaire and anchored and moored Sissi in the port of Oranjestad. On July 1st I was outside for a few hours and it was good for me. Sailing is good for the soul, but it's also fun.

A few weeks ago, I asked Edward and Shelley if they didn't want to go sailing. I wanted to go on a sailing trip and needed my hands.

My nervousness before the start is great. I have the boat full of people who have never been on a sailboat before. No wrong. People have never ridden a boat, even though they live on an island. We want to have some fun and test whether they are all seaworthy.

I worked on board for two days to get Sissi ready for the sea again. It's hard to believe how many things are no longer in place when the boat has only been in port for a quarter of a year. And why did I actually moor the boat with six lines on the dock?

Since the wind always comes from starboard aft and mostly blows quite decently, I want to use an anchor line to hold the boat in position while pulling up the anchor chain. It works quite well at the beginning, but the maneuver ends in the mooring line of the neighbor. Unfavorable. I am amazed at how relaxed I am. The harbor master drags us back on the rubber dinghy and we can start our adventure.

My luck is huge when the sails finally stand and the engine stops. Only the soft whir of the electric autopilot can be heard next to the wind. The passengers are thrilled.

Left to right: Micheline, Shelley and Edward

Micheline is the wife of Edward and Shelley his sister. Two children were supposed to go as well, but had to go to school. The next time we do it at the weekend or during the summer vacation, then they can go with you.

Dickie and son

Dickie, on the other hand, is friends with Edward and brought his 12-year-old son with him. Unfortunately I forgot his name. He probably should have gone to school too, but was on board.

Accompanying gull

After a short time a seagull accompanies us. She gets really clingy when Shelley starts feeding her potato chips. Seagulls really eat everything.

Edward wants to try out how a boat sails. This is of course not a problem, after a push of a button the autopilot stops.

Edward at the helm

The autopilot starts operating five minutes later. We went into an unwanted turn twice. Edward realizes that a sailboat drives differently than a car.

Shelley goes below deck to tap a glass of water from the tap. Then she screeches, because a smelly, brown broth comes out of the tap. Um After only three and a half months, a biological sediment has apparently formed in the water tank, which has now been shaken by sailing. Lekker.

At this point, everything is still good. If we had sailed a few more hours, nothing would have happened. Nothing at all. But the ladies ask me if it is possible to jump into the ocean. Of course that is possible. We take the sails down and unfold the bathing ladder. One of my easiest exercises.

Micheline and Edward in the water

Shelley and Micheline go below deck to change. This is a mistake, because without a sail Sissi tumbles in all directions in the waves. It is a false claim that Micheline would have turned white as a sheet. The bare truth, however, is that they both come back on deck with the expression "I'm terribly miserable."

Micheline and Edward

Nevertheless, bathing is fun. Since Sissi is still driven by the wind at a speed of 1.5 kn, everyone has to swim properly. However, I put a long line in the water so that it could hold on and rest. At a depth of 300 meters, things are not going so well.

Bathing fun

While the men are still raging in the water, the women have looked for a new job. They take turns posing together for their WhatsApp and Instagram profiles. Of course, they want to make their friends and acquaintances tense.

Ebony and ivory.

We continue sailing, but it is no longer a pleasure. We both need buckets, the cockpit is thrown up synchronously. Too bad, but there is no other way. We turn around and drive back to the port. The harbor master helps anchor with his rubber boat and the adventure is over.

Maybe we'll do it again, but then we'll stop swimming.

Bulk baking powder

The following day, I go to the marina shop for sailing equipment and ask about cleaning agents for the drinking water tank. I'm even so stupid that I let Charly take me to another store because the product you want isn't available here in the marina. The next shop owner asks me why I'm not using baking soda. I smack my forehead with the palm of my hand - of course!

While we were sailing, a few new boats even came into the harbor. Now I have new, totally nice neighbors on the jetty.

Sissi is no longer alone

Last but not least, I pass the 5 o'clock bar yesterday, the baking soda is working in my water tank. The new neighbors are at the counter together with Jutta and Charly. Five minutes later I'm standing by too, I'm also invited to a birthday party.

The evening was nice, my drinking water tasted good and looked great. The visual inspection of the tanks from the inside presents me with shiny stainless steel.

happy Birthday