Down and up

It's March 1st, it's a Monday. In the late morning we still have no news from the Marina Varadero where we want to lay the mast. So we plan to visit the donkeys. I exchange some text messages with my favorite bus driver, Shoraia. Of course I want her to drive me to the Donkey Sanctuary.

As soon as I know your next departure time, my phone makes the sound of an incoming message again. Judith from Marina Varadero answers and announces the crane appointment for 8 a.m. the following morning. I don't like that at all. Either we have to leave at 7 a.m. so that we can get there in time, or we drive to Varadero today, spend the night in the wilderness and be there in good time. With a heavy heart I cancel the bus trip.

That was completely blind activism. A short time later, the final crane deadline comes at 1.30 p.m. That gives us time to visit the donkeys, remove the tree and take a leisurely crossing on Tuesday lunchtime. Shoraia does another lap with her bus, then we sit with her and let us drive.

A photo on the wall. That remains from Sweety.

Sweety is no longer there. I miss the sweet, plush, soft, cuddly sweety. He now lives in a stable in Holland.

To do this, Swa and Socks come down from their roof. The two could never come to terms with Sweety.

Swa is back on the counter

Socks has a huge petting deficit. Jens and I take turns for an hour. We caress the also cuddly soft tomcat professionally until he runs out of breath at the end and he has to go to sleep.

Socks feels good.

The little tiger just keeps getting bigger. She is now losing her baby fur and the short hair of a large donkey is revealed. In addition, she has become very trusting. You can stroke them like a cat.


We spend a totally relaxed afternoon with the donkeys and know that we have to work like animals the following day. The agreement with the marina stipulates that we have the crane twice for up to four hours. He comes once to take the mast off and once to put it back in place.

Sissi - again in Varadero

We leave Oranjestad around 11 a.m. and after just under half an hour we are in the slipway in Varadero. There my credit card is allowed to bleed first, half of the estimated amount is due immediately. By Aruban standards, the crane arrives at the boat at 1:35 p.m. The crane driver is relaxed and is not doing this job for the first time.

The crane is set up

When I'm working I can't take photos. When I take photos, I don't work. So there are no photos of us taking the mast down. There are no photos of the mast hanging on the hook. Why? Because during that time I had the mast foot in my hands and Jens carried the forestay. That's why he couldn't take pictures either.

The pulleys

After a good half an hour the mast is on the ground and the crane driver starts to dismantle his crane again. But since I have to pay for the crane for up to four hours and this price does not change, I ask the driver to stay with us for a few more minutes. We need to determine if it will fix the problem in 10 minutes or in 10 days. Do we need a spare part? Does a spare part have to be flown in from Europe?


It turns out, however, that the axis on which the two pulleys sit has only shifted in position. There are safety cotter pins at both ends, one of which is broken. This allowed the axis to shift and slip out of position. I replace the two split pins with stronger ones. Then we put everything back in place, close the top of the mast again and are glad that the crane is still there.

The crane driver mumbles something in his non-existent beard that it is the first time for him to put the mast and raise it again on the same day, but he still has enough time reserves on his watch. All in all, we need three and a half hours for the fun. Lose weight, repair, adjust. Yess. That saves us about $ 800.

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