I live my routine and make the same mistakes. I am too nice. The catamaran came to the marina in early August. At first, that didn't have any particular impact on me. Until then, towards the end of August, the owner approached me and asked if I could get my shore power from another socket. My answer then was the same as I would give today - of course. He should go to the Marina office, ask for a different socket for me, take a picture of the meter and then he could switch me. When he asked if I could do it for him, I answered no. I had shore power and there was no need for me to act. On August 25th, he finally knocked me over.
One day later, in the morning at the shelter, I received a message from the Marina office that I was using a socket that belongs to someone else. I can't leave right now, but minutes later Judith answers with the words “I was just kidding”. Okay, then she was kidding me a little. That's okay, she's a woman with a lot of humor and can take a joke herself.
We are happy about the response in the press at the animal shelter. Our videos from the surveillance cameras have received a lot of approval on Facebook and the local print medium also has a half-page report. That's great. Since then, no animals have been released outside of opening hours. I still get the alarms from the cameras on my phone, but they only happen very, very rarely. Usually a car and a person can be seen in the picture. The person reads the opening times, then gets back in the car and drives away. If that's because of our campaign, I'm proud to have done my part.
The mother cat with three kittens was abandoned in front of the shelter. One of the last animals before the report appeared in the paper. The middle kitten is one of theirs. The other two have also been abandoned in front of the shelter and need breast milk. It is a stroke of luck for them that they are accepted by the mother cat and are allowed to drink with them. You are better off than the four kitties I had on board a few weeks ago. Humans can only replace cat mothers to a limited extent.
After feeding the predators and cleaning the cat cages, I go shopping. A column of police motorcycles comes towards me, blocking the side streets and blocking the only traffic light crossing in Aruba. The governor is on his way to the parliament building. It can be clearly identified by the flag.
Back on board, I want to push my electrical project over the last few meters. Of course I'm still missing cables, something is always missing. So I have to go to Budget Marine, good tin-plated cables are not available in hardware stores. But I also have to go to the hardware store because I lack terminals that cannot be bought at Budget. If I was a little quicker in my head in the morning, I would have picked up the stuff before going to the supermarket. My wallet shows me the big emptiness, so the visit to the ATM is also on my inner todo list. My things are packed quickly when there is a knock on my boat. Someone is rumbling at my anchor, it is the owner of the catamaran. The sun is beating down from the sky, he engages me in a conversation and wants to say goodbye. He had to leave the marina the next day because the only catamaran space was reserved. I don't feel like small talk and I feel too warm in the sun. I pretend to be in a certain hurry and the comment slips out that I have to go to the hardware store. Silly me.
An hour later I am standing in front of a row of washbasins in the hardware store, which I can take a quiet look at. Also the toilets and the cisterns and bathroom tiles. My manageable purchases are in the shopping cart. In addition, we have already completed the long tour of the hardware store. Paint for the catamaran's gas cylinders to prevent rust. Toilet cleaner. Miscellaneous. Now all that's missing is a toilet seat for the cat. My passenger is faced with a manageable task. In terms of dimensions, around five of the 36 toilet seats are suitable. I am asked for my opinion. Why? I don't have to like it. I point to the seat that comes first. Then the man discovers two more rows above the three rows of 12 toilet seats each, which are over two meters above the ground and cannot be examined directly. The search for an employee at the hardware store takes a little longer, and here in Aruba it is no different than it is here. He then explains that up there is only decoration, it is the same seats that are hanging below. The employee can then also express his or her opinion on the products. He points to the most expensive seat. It's that simple. Another product is then bought. I don't care, the main thing is that we finally get out of the store. After all, I want to continue my electrical project. We drive quickly to Budget Marine, my companion knows the store inside out. This purchase is done quickly. Without an escort, I would have been back on board an hour earlier. Why can't I say no
The remaining work on board is manageable. The refrigerator gets a completely new power supply in a different way than before, because the old cable is buried deep inside and successfully eludes my access. I would have to take the aft bunk completely apart, especially remove the two mattresses. I'd rather cut off the two accessible ends of the cable and leave the rest of the line in place until an opportunity arises. The kitchen lighting also has a new power supply and better lamps. The work surface is now pleasantly bright, and the ceiling lights can be switched to red light when driving at night. Now only the navigation lighting and individual devices need to be wired. Then I'm done. The lamps for the salon are made by von Sönke, the owner of the Pamina. The family will soon be flying to Germany for a week and they will bring me the lamps. Then I can also close the ceiling of the salon. I turn off the shore power battery charger and test the batteries. As expected, the port does not produce enough electricity for consumption, but it is nice to see how evenly the batteries are now discharging. The negative cable of the refrigerator must have been connected very far away from the central ground. I replace the antenna cable with a new one. The old cable had a DC resistance of 100,000 ohms. With the new cable it's still 3 ohms. I also connect the outside speaker to the radio.
How do I test this now? It's simple: I put a phone next to the radio set to an innocuous channel and turn up the volume. Then I pick up the second phone and call the first phone. I have a connection on board. In addition to the telephone, the handheld radio is also included in the car. Then I slowly drive away from the boat and keep calling over the radio. The loudspeaker of the phone squeaks and I hear my call from the phone with the usual WhatsApp telephony delay. That goes well over 500 meters, one kilometer and two kilometers, the language is understandable. Then it loses itself in a noise. Receiving a hand spark from a nautical mile away is pretty much in the range of the optimum. I like it. A radio check with Arubaport is answered with “loud and clear”. I like that too. The AIS screen even shows ships more than 30 miles away. I'm proud, because with the antenna cable plugs, I had a soldering iron in my hand for the first time since my internship during my studies.
The radar test is also successful. The light check for the navigation lights as well as for the lamps in the mast. I feel really good plugging in the autopilot controller. I hit the power button and nothing happens. Have I put in a fuse for this circuit? Unfortunately yes. Now I have to look under my mattress because that's where the autopilot is mounted. The sweat is dripping from my body all over the place. In a hidden place, the previous owner of Sissi or even his predecessor removed the insulation from the refrigerator's supply line and fiddled with the minus cable of the autopilot on the minus cable of the refrigerator. I am frustrated. I put myself back on work for two days. On the other hand, the old construction was an amateurish tinkering, I should be glad that I'm rid of it. But I'm not happy because I didn't want to have a new construction site at all. A short time later, I share my frustration with the owner of the catamaran, who happens to meet me on the jetty.
The sharing of my frustration brought me the toilet seat tour to the hardware store a certain opening of this somewhat compulsive person to me. He starts to spread his frustration in front of me. It makes a huge difference whether you plan to get stuck in one place or whether it is an unplanned stay of unknown duration. The family with two children (5 and 12 years old) is grappling with their stay in Aruba. They have been stuck since the beginning of August, there is still work to be done on the boat and the chart plotter in particular is not doing it. The expected larger expenses seem to cause physical pain for the man. The children get bored, even if the little one can play with Lea from Pamina and the big one can walk the dog Charly from Pamina. Homesickness comes up. The peace on board is on the brink. As a good tourism uncle, I recommend doing a certain cultural program with the children. There are endless ways to entertain kids in Aruba. The only requirement is a rental car or the willingness to pay a taxi to the respective attraction. My neighbor is not yet ready for this, he would have to open his wallet for that. I'm curious, even if you leave the marina shortly, I'll definitely hear from you.
I'm at the shelter and finish off little Olga. She has been adopted and her new can openers will pick her up shortly. Suddenly I got a message from Judith in the Marina office. The owner of the Watashee has complained that I was stealing power from him. When I get back to the port, Sissi is disconnected from the electricity. I ask where I should get my electricity from, two sockets on the same column are given to me. Unfortunately, both of them are dead. A look at the battery monitor shows me that I never needed shore power more than today. The batteries are now a little more than 50 percent discharged. If the fill level is below 40 percent, they could be seriously damaged. That is how far we would be after the next night. Unfortunately Judith has no idea where else I could get the power.
Why didn't I actually say no back then? When I was plugged in at the time, I thought that the owner of the catamaran asked Judith which socket my plug should be plugged into. But obviously he doesn't. Harbor master Paul promises me the installation of an additional 220V socket, but that doesn't help me in the current situation. I go to the catamaran and thank you for letting me run my engine for a few hours. The man says he plugged me into the exact socket that Judith told him. In my opinion that cannot be, because Judith knows exactly which ones are free and which are not. But I am allowed to draw the electricity from my old socket again, because it has to leave the following day anyway.