Heartbreaking

Now I'm with the cats twice a week. On the one hand, it's wonderful, it's a lot of fun and a change from the boring everyday life on board. On the other hand, it tears my heart apart and I wonder how long I can hold out.

New arrival, a handful of kittens

At the end of a morning at the Animal Shelter, a woman comes in with a closed box. The box is filled with a litter of cats that the woman found in her garden. You thank the woman, she is happy to have done a good deed. The box then moves to the so-called CCC, virtually unopened, and then to the state facility the following day, which kills excess animals. It is already clear to me that not all animals can be saved. But it still hurts.

Six puppies

A litter with six cute puppies reaches the Animal Shelter. You keep three, three go to the CCC. Only three of the puppies are now alive.

“Mama” is freshly shampooed

A group of cats have a fungal infection Dermatophytosis. These cats must be kept separate so that they do not infect the others. They also get their treatment every day. Either an ointment is applied to the affected areas, or they are washed with a special shampoo. Both types of treatment are very popular with those affected. But it can't be changed and I'm happy that everyone looks much better now. You have to be careful and work very cleanly, wash your hands well, better still disinfect them, because the disease can also spread to humans.

These two cute kittens have the mushrooms too

Every time I finish with the kittens I think about what life on board would be like with a cat. And every time I have to remember my resolutions, the commandment of reason. My neighbor in the harbor has just shown it to me. Paul's hangover usually comes to visit me every day and he gets some goodies in return.

Paul's hangover

In the meantime he makes himself a little comfortable on Sissi and stays for a few minutes. His radius of action is large, I see him walking around all over the jetty. Sissi is certainly not the only boat he visits. In addition to this magnificent specimen of tomcat, there was also a little red cat. It disappeared a week ago. I never saw her run across the pier, she was very shy. She probably got frightened and fell into the water. Of course, you can never say it exactly, maybe she'll come back next week and just take a break. But I don't believe in it anymore.

Cats are masters of relaxation

Of course there are also heartbreaking, beautiful stories. A few days ago a mother came to the shelter with her daughter. The two have adopted two kittens. That also hurt me so incredibly, because cute little Jip now has a new home. I should be happy for him, but it hurts. It was clear that he wouldn't have to wait long because he is a cheeky, bright guy.

Jip about to be adopted

Break something

There are little things in life that remind me of my German origins over and over again. I hold the German virtue of punctuality very high. That makes me one of the few in Aruba. I can make an appointment with Anneke at a certain time. With her, I know for sure that she will be on time, most of the time she is even at the meeting point before the agreed time. So I stand in front of the Animal Shelter at eight o'clock in the morning and am once again the first.

One of the cats that live in front of the shelter

In addition to the cats that live in the shelter, there are also a few outside the door. A particularly beautiful lady is waiting with me for the key to the front door. Little by little the other helpers arrive, and at some point the lady with the key appears. So far so good. Then the cats can get their food and water in front of the door.

Elvis

This is Elvis. He is five years old and has lived in the Animal Shelter his entire life. The beautiful tomcat is somewhat shy of people. That's probably why no one adopted him.

Wooden ceiling with water damage

I am continuing my renovation work on board. The wooden ceiling in the salon has to go down. It is no longer beautiful anyway. You can clearly see different places where it has suffered severe water damage. In addition, power cables that are routed under the ceiling must be replaced.

Break it - first part. It starts above the navigation corner.

Screw by screw, board by board. Gradually, the wooden ceiling moves into the cockpit. Little by little I find the construction sites for the coming weeks. I expected most of them.

Break it up - part two. Now all the boards are down.

Four years ago I messed around with the electrics in a few places. That fell on my feet after the water ingress. Instead of just reconnecting the existing cables, I would have better swapped them for tinned cables. Then I would have more than 7V voltage on the lamps on the port side. I'm doing it right this time.

The wooden ceiling is history

All you have to do is drive the boards to the dumpster, then another important step has been taken. My construction is going slowly but it is going on. I have some work to do on deck that I have to do before 9am in the morning - after that the sun is too hot. I can do the work below deck at any time of the day, I always work up a sweat.

Three new donkeys in the Donkey Sanctuary

Three new donkeys have arrived at the Donkey Sanctuary. They are very beautiful, not too fat and still a little shy of people. They like my carrots. When they are neutered, they can join the other donkeys in the large group.

Kerstin also arrived at the Donkey Sanctuary this week. This is important to me in that Kerstin is very nice, she was here once before last year. Because she's so kind, she put some things in my suitcase for me that I can't buy in Aruba. No, no cider, it would have been way too heavy. I now have a new phone.

Almost burst

The old phone has almost stripped its back and grown to double its thickness. I'm glad the battery didn't burn out while charging. So I'm sitting in the inhospitable salon and transferring the data from the old to the new device when it starts to rain heavily outside. Hurricane Elsa has moved on, we have wind again and the typical heavy rain events. It drips onto the coffee table. It's dripping where I would have last expected it to be.

Leak

I think the previous owner tried it before. Unfortunately, water comes through here and that already during a commercial Aruban heavy rain. A construction site that I did not expect. Of course, again in an extremely accessible place.

This is what it looks like from above. The water does not get into the boat through this hole, the leak is almost exactly below the tip of the green arrow. Inside the base for the fan.

One day later, my right elbow answers. It reminds me that the constant use of the computer mouse gave me a golfer's elbow years ago. Oh how fine, even lifting a full coffee cup causes me pain. Now I have to keep him calm too.

Cool apple

At the end of May my sister asked me for Soraida's address. She wanted to send me a package. It was still in May when I received a message from Christine. The package had arrived in Aruba. She saw it in tracking. Then nothing happened.

Post from Germany

Last weekend, Soraida spoke to me. She received a notification that a package is to be picked up. It's in the post office in Oranjestad, where I've spent a few short hours in the waiting area. The post office is only open Monday through Friday, so I'll have to wait a few more days. I like to do that, after all, I know the contents of the package.

Vacation kittens

I can't go to the post office on Monday morning because I have an appointment with three dozen pointed-eared animals. The cats and kittens go first. First I go about my duties at the animal shelter. After feeding and cleaning, there is usually petting and cuddling. I'll leave that out this time, I want to be at the post office before lunch. Next time I will stroke the cute kittens again and again. The little guy in the photo was actually adopted by a tourist family. Apparently they wanted to take him home. Instead, they gave him and his brother back at the end of their vacation. I'm not even trying to understand.

24 cans of apple cider

With the collection slip in hand, I enter the post office. Here the emphasis is definitely on the word “office”. The security guard at the entrance sends me to the first counter. There my identity and the authorization to collect the package will be checked meticulously. My ID will be copied, as will Soraida's driver's license. I had to take that with me too. Then I can move up to the next switch. There I have to pay the fees and customs for the package. Then I continue in the queue in front of counter three, where I can finally receive the package. I leave the post office happily.

Cool apple cider

Now it's time to wait again. My fridge works fine, but it's not very fast. I put one of the 24 cans directly under the cooling unit. This time the wait is very, very easy for me, because the thought of a packet of cider turned into real cider. There is no other flavor in Aruba.

The evening sun casts long shadows

As the evening sun begins to cast ever longer shadows, I decide that the cider is now at drinking temperature. The can opens with a soft hiss. The ribbed finally gets a proper filling again. I reverently enjoy the moment, I take a picture of the golden potion in the sun.

It hisses like apple cider

How incredibly good it tastes. The local so-called cider is basically sugar water with an apple flavor. I can almost taste the individual apples from the cider. When I close my eyes, I can see the Main flowing through Frankfurt. The noise of the planes taking off next door would also be typical for Frankfurt. The can is emptied far too quickly. In any case, I'll save cans for my birthday.

Empty…

A fantastic summer drink. I will bring sparkling water with me the next time I visit Superfood. When the outside temperature is 34 ° C, you can also try a shot. Thank you, Christine !!!

Freedom for jip

I sit at the saloon table and look at all the objects that are usually stored in the bow bunk and in the sail load. It's late afternoon and unbearably hot. Hurricane Elsa stole the Passat from us in Aruba for a few days. I'm trying to make a post for the blog. Suddenly my fan stops. The Internet is also cut off from Aruba, or at least from my boat.

I'm going to troubleshoot. On the jetty I meet Paul, the owner of the marina. He is checking the power supply to his boat. Okay, we have a power outage on the entire pier. The Fish House marina restaurant also has no electricity. So the blackout even affects the whole marina. After half an hour it becomes too colorful for me. I'm going to my favorite bar in Oranjestad. I expect to meet friends there and get more information.

At night in Oranjestad

I meet Paul (whom I met at the donkey's, not the one from the marina), his girlfriend Sanne (who owns the bar's 50%) and Germille (the pizza maker in the bar). They are just carrying in the furniture, because the bar has no electricity either. The band announced for the evening cannot play. Germille's father is an important man in the local power company. Germille says they would only call him from the end of the day in very bad situations. So we get exclusive information pretty quickly, because Paul makes the Internet available to us via his mobile hotspot. Allegedly a turbine in the power plant has been destroyed. The blackout affects the whole island and is said to last all night. Germille hopes his food will survive the night in the refrigerator. I don't have the worries. The bar closes shortly after dark.

Eh, we have a generator

On the way back I notice that the streets are full. I remember Anneke's words that when there is a power failure, people get in their cars and drive around because the air conditioning in the house is no longer working. Big blackout, lots of cars. It accumulates in all corners. The marina shines in festive lighting, because a diesel generator is now buzzing right next to the entrance gate. Back on Sissi, I still perceive it as a faint noise. Isn't that bad, that's how electricity sounds. The fan works again and so does the internet.

The last time I visited my cat, I had a wonderful job. Little Jip, who has been separated from the others in a cage for weeks, has cured his diarrhea. He's allowed to go to the other kittens now. He's really pleased. The photos were taken shortly before and after the cage door was opened. I would love to take the little one.

Don't panic, I won't take it. Cats, in my opinion, haven't lost too much on sailboats. Now I just mustn't get weak in the near future. I don't want the formalities of crossing the border with a cat alone.

In any case, the generator has gone silent today, but the electricity is still on again. Nice. I still have to buy carrots then I'll be ready to visit the donkey this afternoon.

Life on the construction site

I notice again that I haven't published anything for a few days. It is not as if nothing would happen here. Except last Friday, because it was election day in Aruba. Thanks to a ban on selling and serving alcohol, the bars were closed. Alcohol consumption in public was also fined.

Closed on election day

Of course, that doesn't stop the Arubans from getting drunk anyway. The waiting time is long until the votes are all counted. At half past two in the night the result is clear and the MEP has won. This is the party that led the government before. The government that had to resign because of a corruption scandal.

However, there are also voices that claim that the competition (AVP) is quite happy about the election victory of the opponent. In the not too distant future, residents will have to accept cuts or pay higher taxes, as the state budget has got into serious difficulties due to Covid-19. If the name of your own party is linked to it, it will reduce the chances of electoral victories in the distant future.

Decorate for the parade

First of all, the winners are very happy. On Saturday I don't get that much of it, but on Sunday it becomes very clear. The supporters of the MEP everywhere decorate their properties in the colors of the party. Soraida's neighbors are also involved. Traditionally, there is always a parade on the Sunday after the election, a car parade of the winners across the island. Traffic jam on the streets one last time. The parade even comes through the really remote corner where Soraida's house is.

Waiting for the parade

I don't need to do that to myself. I flee to the donkeys, there Sunday is rather quiet due to the high volume of traffic, because the tourists do not know the secret routes. The locals don't come to visit either. One reason is certainly that the Netherlands are losing a football game. Another reason is probably that the MEP fans are waiting on the roadside for the parade.

Sunchi cleans the shrimp

I no longer have to worry about a sufficient number of cats around me. On Monday morning I am at the shelter and take care of the cats. When the work is done (feeding and cleaning) I can stroke the pointed ears as I like. They should get used to people. I'd love to do that. The only thing I don't know about the names is that luckily most of them wear collars with their name and a number.

Who would like to adopt me?

Dutch is spoken, the shelter is a Dutch place. In the meantime I've come to the point where I can certainly follow a conversation in this language, but I can't speak a word yet.

Calico cat

The cats don't care a lot, all they need is food and a few pats. In contrast to some other institutions of this type, there is no maximum length of time that the animals can wait for a placement. I couldn't - feed cats that will be euthanized next week for waiting too long. Elvis, for example, is five years old and will probably never be adopted.

Sleeping tiger

After eating, it's time to take a nap. After the nap comes a nap and then the cat would like to doze off a bit. I have a little video of the predator feeding. The cage must be cleared of cats so that it can be cleaned. For this you put the food in front of the door for the cats.

When I'm not having fun with cats or visiting donkeys, I have the work on board. It won't get boring and won't end anytime soon. In order to find the cause of the water dripping into the forward berth, I first clear the room. Only - what to do with all the things that usually romp around on the bunks and in the sail load. First in the salon. It's really cozy now.

The salon as a storage room

Then the ceiling panel comes down. I glue a strip of crepe to each individual piece of wood. Then the parts are numbered consecutively. Then I take a picture of it. That has to be enough to put it back together later.

The ceiling panel is down

After the ceiling cladding, a piece of the wall cladding still has to come down. I start where it always dripped first. It pays off, I'll get there quickly. The opening in the deck for one of the chucks is leaking. You can clearly see where the water has always run down.

This is where the water comes in

Of course, you can't see anything from above. Such damage does not happen overnight, the seal deteriorates over the years. I assume that I can reseal all six openings, after all they are all the same age.

Not very tight.

And once again I am faced with the question of how best to approach the repair. I have to consult and meet another sailor who gives me good tips. Of course, that is not the end of the work. I need an overcast day if I want to work on deck - unless I do it very early in the morning.

Heavy metal

A few days ago I wrote about the destruction of the closet and the removal of the fittings. I then took the broken fitting to a specialist and discussed what the replacement part should look like. Then a week went by, I haven't heard from the good man. This is unusual even for Aruba. So I call the following week and lo and behold, the part is promised to me for Thursday or Friday. On Friday morning I received the message that the hardware can now be picked up. Very nice.

Old and new side by side in comparison

However, Saturday is first dedicated to the game of the German team. Soraida and I are looking forward to the result. This time we benefit from the own goals and in the end it doesn't matter who scores them for us. I fondly remember a game of our Eintracht against Mainz, in which Eintracht didn't score a single goal in a 2-2 final score. Why not also at the EM?

On Sunday I noticed that I didn't have a reasonable sealant for the fittings, on Monday I went to the animal shelter and then bought the sealant, so it would take until Tuesday before I could start installing.

Morning visitor to Sissi

I get up with the sun. I want to finish the work on deck as early as possible. While I am still enjoying my morning coffee, I notice a four-legged visitor on board. How sweet! I'll give him some treats. Then I get to work and after just under an hour the fitting on the starboard side is in place. This is real heavy metal.

Starboard side

Now I can put the closet back together. Before doing this, the autopilot control is screwed on properly. Of course, the longest screws available on board are a few centimeters too short. That means - of course - a detour to the nearest hardware store. I also lay a power line, then I can finally let the lamp on my pillow shine again.

The giver it autopilot and the new light pipe

The cabinet puzzle does not return to its original state entirely correctly. A couple of boards, which I have freed from their glueing with too rough force, unfortunately refuse to work with me. Sooner or later, however, it is me and not the closet that will win. It almost looks like nothing happened again. If I want to get to those bolts again, I can get to them in five minutes. Maybe 10 minutes, because the autopilot transmitter has to be removed non-destructively beforehand.

Almost finished, all that's missing is a strip on the ceiling

It is printed on the tube of the sealant that it must be used within 24 hours of opening. Actually, I wanted to give myself a day to put the clothes back in the closet and dismantle the closet on the port side. Then I would have to buy a new tube of the stuff, it would have been another 30 florins away. I'd rather do my job and do everything in one day. I got up early, it's not even ten o'clock.

At 10:30 am my things are all back in their closets. Then I make a plan because if I fiddle with the closet for two days, the sealant dries up too. All I have to do is break a single board out of the cabinet structure and then I can reach the two bolts that I need to get to.

New fittings on the port side. Heavy metal.

First remove the old sealant from the area, clean the surface thoroughly and then apply the new sealant. The two bolts slide into place without grumbling. Then I can tighten the nuts from below. With a few drops of wood glue and a screw clamp, I bring the cabinet back into shape. What I would not have dared to believe is that I can replace the fittings on both sides within a day.

The port closet. I marked the board with a screw clamp and an arrow.

What is left? After the project is before the project. The backstay is back in place. For the fine tuning and the correct shroud tension, I'll have the rigger come again. He can then immediately check whether the rig survived the breakage of the fitting. The next project is the ingress of water in the forward cabin, which is particularly noticeable on the starboard bow. The cause needs to be found and remedied.

So I clear out the front cabin and put everything on Jens’s mattress. Genoa, mainsail, dozens of pillows and blankets. What you don't have lying around on your ship. Jens' bunk is full before I can even empty half the front. I can also accommodate the steel part of the cake stand here.

Sail and ceiling storage

The work goes into the next section. But I can't have fun on board all day, I want to do something with animals. Starting again with the donkeys is unfortunately an impossibility. Desiree will probably hate me all her life. So I check out one of the local animal shelters that Aruba Animal Shelter. The donkeys are pretty cute, but so are the cats. Not only little Jip will make it into the blog.

Oh yes, there is still a choice. Parliamentary elections will take place in Aruba on Friday. The election campaign is still very loud and is present on the streets. Today there was a report on the radio on the topic, because alcohol is not allowed to be sold on Thursday and Friday because of the elections on the island. Neither in supermarkets nor in the bars and restaurants that are frequented by the locals. Only the hotels are allowed to serve foreign tourists, because after all, their vacation should not be spoiled.

The football rolls - EM in Aruba

In Aruba, too, people are talking about the European Football Championship. Aruba is not a big football nation, its own kickers are just about to fail to qualify for the World Cup. However, football has a few fans in Aruba, one of them being Soraida. Before we tried to leave Aruba, Jens and I made some fan articles available to her so that she could decorate the bus and house, because she is a declared fan of the German national team. Since we have enough German flags on board, one of them went to Soraida's house. Likewise a scarf in black, red and gold.

German flag at Soraida, the MEP canvassing for the neighbors.

The Teuton looks much more decorative than the neighbour's election advertisement. This is also a greeting to the neighbors across the street who support the Dutch team. Note the palm tree in the lower right corner of the picture. The television is switched on, we don't see anything of the Greenpeace stunt. The game begins ... you know how it turned out.

I'd rather write about traffic lights now. It's a lot more fun. In Oranjestad there are at least five or six exciting crossings with traffic lights. As you can see, you can't see anything. The lights are off.

Traffic light intersection with switched off traffic lights

Depending on the direction, this intersection is very difficult to see and deserves its traffic lights. It is a mystery to me why it is turned off. This is not only the case at this intersection, it is the case at almost all traffic light intersections in Aruba.

Also switched off - the traffic lights at this intersection

This intersection is also difficult to see, the traffic lights are also switched off. I saw traffic lights in Noord that only glow black, also in San Nicolas. Wherever there is a traffic light on this island - it is off.

Really? No! There is only one intersection in Oranjestad where black is not the dominant traffic light color. Why? Nor is it worse or more dangerous than the other hybrids. Not every puzzle on earth can be solved.

Only working traffic light intersection in Aruba. At the top right the logo of the largest petrol station chain.

There is a gas station just a few steps away from this intersection. No comparison with our petrol stations, where you get your hands dirty and the vehicle has to fill the tank with the fuel itself. Here you have a choice. A job that has long since died out here makes it possible, the gas station attendant.

Few of them drive to the self-service petrol pumps here, because that is a very cumbersome solution. You go to the cash register, pay for the gas, then you go to the gas pump and fill up. If you want to fill up, the treasurer would like to have a deposit. Then he activates the gas pump. Then a second course to the cash register and pay. No thanks.

Gas station attendant at work

The gas attendants fill the tank and collect the money. You don't have to leave the vehicle. Very practical, comfortable and it creates jobs that are not or only slightly dependent on tourism. Such jobs are rather the exception in Aruba, the largest part of the economy here is tourism.

Back to football for a moment. On Saturday the kick-off is here at 12 noon. Some passengers will feel that, because there is one less bus on the route.

Decoration on the garden gate and in the bus. Sad the result.

The day after the first soccer game, we work a little in the garden. It urgently needs a makeover. In particular, the two palm trees on the left and right of the entrance stairs are extremely annoying. They block access to the stairs and spread more and more. I shorten the palm trees, thin out the palm fronds a little, and use them to fill the trunk of my car.

Donkey with delicacies

The green waste is recycled. So then everyone becomes a winner after all. Soraida wins nicely trimmed palms and the donkeys win a delicious additional meal. At least the ones standing at the entrance fence. It's not that much green waste either.

This is what winners look like!

Hardware stores

I was a little confused last year. When I was helping with the donkeys, the manager explained to me how often she goes to the hardware store - usually four times a week. That seemed very common to me. I now understand why that is the case. I now visit one of the hardware stores almost every other day myself. For example today I was at Kooyman's.

Kooyman. Open on sundays.

The story is quickly told. A few weeks ago, the battery of one of the two multimeters on board was empty. That's not a problem at all, because I have a second multimeter whose battery I replaced last year. These batteries usually last for many years, and humans don't have to measure that much. The second device isn't quite as good as the first, but that's usually why it's second choice. So the battery (a 9V block) comes on my eternal spiritual shopping list and joins various kinds of screws and other things that I would have to get at the hardware store. Should. Could. Things that I don't need right away.

This multimeter was initially measured empty. Now with a fresh battery again

All of Aruba is packed with hardware stores. There are Kooyman, Doit Centers and the countless Chinese hardware stores - the Chinese specialize in selling small quantities. Whenever I need a slice of sandpaper, I always have to buy a whole pack at the big hardware stores. The Chinese also sells them to me individually.

Yong Chang

It takes almost nowhere on the island more than five minutes to get to one of the many hardware stores. So the storage at home is replaced by storage in the hardware store and the three required screws are bought individually. Storage in the hardware store is also much cheaper because I only have to pay for the parts that I actually need. Since most of the shops are also open on Sundays, there are never any supply problems. Almost never, because sometimes a certain product is sold out. Then it is usually sold out everywhere because a container is delayed again.

Doit Center. Closed on sundays.

At the checkout, I am always in good company with my mini-purchases. The other customers don't buy anymore either. The actual demand is bought. No more. The waiting time at the checkout is always very limited, the time required for such a purchase is minimal. The reader in Germany may find this method extremely inefficient. However, it is only half as bad if you bundle shopping with other purchases, such as groceries. The only thing that I couldn't concentrate on was today's visit.

Soraida's bus doesn't really want to start on some days. A few weeks ago I had already measured the starter battery, at the time it was inconspicuous and seemed in good shape.

The second multimeter. Fewer functions, now with a fresh battery

This morning I get a message from Soraida that her bus has starting problems again. Of course, I immediately offer her to measure the battery again. Of course, I use the remaining multimeter for this. That doesn't look good at all. The rotatable switch was accidentally moved during the last transport. The switch is in a different position from “Off” and the not-so-old battery is definitely empty. So I go to Kooyman's and get three 9V blocks. It has to be Kooyman because I've definitely seen those things there before. I've looked for them in vain elsewhere.

All four cats on one counter

The street election campaign is in an annoying top form. Anneke was too late with the donkeys because she got stuck twice on her route in a traffic jam caused by election campaigners. In the meantime I've got used to not following the main roads, but instead driving across them and using smaller side roads. This gives me new insights into Aruba and usually I'm not stuck in traffic. In any case, not many visitors found their way to the Donkey Sanctuary yesterday, in my opinion it is due to the election campaign.

In addition, I still had to think about Klaus today, who wrote to me a while ago that I have probably adapted to local habits a lot more than I might even realize. That may be.

On the boat and on the road

The new corona rules have been in effect with us since today. The new rules mean that there are actually no more rules. For example, the obligation to wear masks has been lifted, the masks are only recommended. Soraida, for example, immediately said that with her no passengers could get on the bus without a mask. I would keep it that way if I were you. The number of active Covid-19 cases is 35 today, and there have only been two to three new infections per day in the last few days. The vaccination program pays off. Even the beaches can now be re-entered in the evening, you can sit at the bar and when artists perform, it can even be a full symphony orchestra again. Up to now, a maximum of one artist inside or three outside was allowed. So much for that, but now I have to get to work.

I'm still waiting for the new fitting for the backstay, but that doesn't mean I'll run out of work on board.

The lost screw

I have to climb. Not on the very big mast, only on the second highest mast. He carries the wind generator, which always blows our batteries so nicely on the way. Unfortunately on the last trip we lost the screws that hold the generator in place. That didn't harm the position or the output of the power plant, but it has to be done.

Before I can climb up there, all fenders have to be cleared out of the way. The lines of the wind vane are also in the way. I dismantle them before my way up. This is difficult at first, all the blocks are screwed very, very tight - we don't want to lose them. After a good hour I have stowed all the lines below deck, I don't have to grill them in the sun for a whole year. The way up is finally free.

Freed from all unnecessary lines

Has the mast always been that high? Did I really go up in the middle of the Atlantic to replace these screws? And why do we no longer have screws of the right length (M6 with 10mm length). The screws go on the shopping list.

I won't be using the watermaker for the next few months. So I have to winter him. No life should develop in the tubes.

The cleaning solution for the watermaker is mixed.

I have never done that. The company where I had the watermaker installed has integrated two hoses into the system that can be used to create a circuit. Exactly for this purpose. I read through the relevant section of the operating instructions again, then off we go. The device starts its work with a sonorous humming and after a few seconds the bucket with the cleaning solution is empty. I beg your pardon?

Hmmm. I forgot to close the valve on the outlet. Instead of circulating, the liquid found the path of least resistance. In the Atlantic. I mix up another portion of the solution, set the valves correctly and it's all over the place. After the end of the process, I take out the filters and then it's done. Now I don't have to worry about the device anymore, the last official act is to turn off the power.

Deep inside Sissi - the Watermaker is wintered.

Then I want to do a little something on the car - I don't like the tires. In addition, the car does not drive particularly well with the four different slippers. On the way to the hardware store, I pass the tire dealer. Not just at one tire dealer, I visit several. First, I'll go to Jay's. Edward recommended it to me, and Soraida also has Jay's adverts on her bus. A specialist in used tires. I am offered four tires for my car for 200 florins including assembly. Of course, the tires are in stock.

I am even allowed to look at the tires and even choose the ones myself that will be put on my car later. That was a misunderstanding on my part. My association with used tires was that they were retreaded tires. No, you thought wrong. These things are really used and have been sorted out by their previous owners. I can't find four identical tires. I wouldn't improve.

Get ready to change tires

At Jay's, they send me to Napa. There they would have the tires in new, but would not assemble them. I could come back with the Napa tires and have them fitted here. A quick detour to Napa makes me realize that I have to pay 62 florins for a new tire, but that there are currently no tires in stock. Good to know. No, you can't tell me when the next delivery is coming. It will come at some point.

Soraida thinks I'm stupid. I should ask her. For new tires you go to JR. There is an offer there, four new tires for 200 Florin including balancing and assembly. That's the price of four used Jay's tires.

Now the transformation of the car is taking place. From a junk truck to a good car.

At JR you have the tires in stock. The assembly will be done immediately, I am announced a waiting time of one hour. That’s okay. I keep an eye out for Soraida's bus, the route of which passes by JR. After just five minutes, an employee comes and tells me that the car can now be driven into the hall. That was fast. People get to work right away.

It's very convenient. I can take a good look at the brakes. When braking, I always had the impression that something was wrong with the brake discs. Or the brake pads. I can rule that out after a good visual inspection. At this point I haven't bought a construction site.

Installation of the new tires

Fantastic. I drive from the yard and realize that I just have a brand new car. The car now drives straight ahead without my intervention and stays in the lane even when braking. I think the vehicle's value has just doubled. So off to the hardware store. The first hardware store doesn't have metric screws. The next one not made of stainless steel. The third hardware store can offer me the M6 with a length of 10mm.

I think it is like the bolts for the wind vane control. I'll buy a whole dozen. Since we have had so many replacement bolts for the wind vane, none have been lost. And a new tube of screw glue, the old one has been open for two years. But it's too hot for me now for a new climbing tour. I do that the next cloudy day or early in the morning.

Night mood in Varadero

Destruction of the closet

In the last few days I have made the next step in Jens and me’s plan. I destroyed the closet in my bunk to get the hardware that kept us from traveling to the Azores. It wasn't that easy, because the furniture is solidly built and not particularly easy to repair. It feels more like a smartphone to me, the manufacturer of which is careful to ensure that no one can open it or even repair it.

Reason for the permanent stay in Aruba

A hundred miles after we left, that fog broke and made us turn back. Fortunately, the mast stayed up, so I couldn't imagine what would have happened if both sides had been torn off. I need new fittings. But in Aruba you can't buy it in stores, a specialist has to make it for me. To do this, however, I have to expand it first. If I look with my fingers, I can find the anchor in the GRP laminate. But I can't find any nuts that I could loosen. Did the manufacturer really build it that way?

This is what the closet should look like when I put it back together.

The first step is to establish the ability to work. This includes moving to the Marina Varadero as well as buying a car. I am mobile and can drive to the hardware store. Or to the dealer for boat supplies. And of course Soraida. The second step is also done, Jens flew home and left an empty bunk for me. So I can move everything from my side to his side. I am not wondering how much fits in these cabinets. What can be seen in the picture is just half of it. The other half is in the forward berth.

Cabinet content

Why are the books in the closet? I don't have a bookcase in my bunk, the books are all stored in the forward bunk. Except for the wedge books. On the way from Cuba to Aruba (or was it the other way around?) The electric autopilot setpoint device fell from its position on top of the closet. That didn't improve its functionality. Sissi behaved strangely, the troubleshooting has brought the setpoint generator to light. But it couldn't be screwed properly at sea, so I wedged it in place with books. With the wedge books. Now I'm going to screw it tight.

Setpoint adjuster of the autopilot

After clearing out the closet and distributing its contents across the boat, I get down to disassembling it. It's easy to do at first. It is clear which bar I have to dismantle in order to get to the next bar. Screw by screw work my way to the goal.

Emptied. The aim is to make the area behind the panel in the upper row of shelves accessible. To the right of the window.

The workflow comes to a standstill. I can no longer find a way to unscrew the boards. At this point I start ranting about the ease of repair. The individual parts are glued and dismantling is not intended. I have to use brute force. It is getting loud. With the hammer and a narrow wedge I can separate board by board. At some point I succeed with the last board, the lower end of the broken fitting is accessible.

Finished!

This is the end of my first day at work. I need a shower and shower time ends at 5pm. Then the gate of the area of the marina where the boats are dry and where the shower is located will be locked.

Arrived at the goal

There is not much to do on the next working day. First of all, the backstay has to be detached from the fitting. I temporarily tie it to the tail cleat with a rope. The mast stands fine even without a backstay, as long as it doesn't have to carry sails. Then I can loosen the nuts.

This is what it looks like under the fitting.

The nuts are surprisingly easy to loosen. As if they weren't really tight. This is probably not necessary as long as the train is on the backstay. After assembling the spare part, however, I make it a little stronger. They will certainly loosen up again on their own. I think about the accessibility from the inside and plan to convert the closet.

He lost. The culprit.

I will order two of these fittings and also destroy the closet on Jens' side. I get a visitor in the evening. More precisely, I lure the visitor to my boat with a few treats. The sweet cat from Paul, the owner of the marina, runs his evening round on the jetty. I can't resist that. I've already fed it a couple of times, and now I can touch it too. But that's not why I'm unfaithful to Shrimp, Sunchi, Socks and Swa.

Sweet boat hangover

After work is done, dusk feels particularly good. An important item on my repair checklist is ticked off. Now there are only 99 more points. The open points are the ongoing flow of water in the forward berth, which no longer takes place through the windows, but is still too much. The likely location of the action is a leaky stanchion. The electric bilge pump with the gooseneck at the outlet. Or I'll put in a check valve if I can get one. I don't even want to think about what else needs to be done here. I have enough time.

evening atmosphere