Over and over again

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.

Joy in the shelter about the press coverage

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.

Mother and nurse at the same time

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.

The governor on his way to the parliament building

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.

Sink, another Corona product from everyday life

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

Kitchen lighting. The ceiling lighting can be switched to red light.

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.

New antenna cable and the external loudspeaker are connected

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 power distribution is already wired and labeled. Three circuits are free.

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.

Cables that I removed from Sissi

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.

Olga was adopted

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.

heat

Far to the north, out on the ocean, one tropical disturbance after another pervades. Some of them even find their way into the news when they wreak havoc on the Caribbean islands or in the USA. Fortunately, they cannot find their way to Aruba, but like gigantic vacuum cleaners they suck away the trade winds and ensure that the usual temperatures are unbearable here. With five winds you can sit comfortably in the shade even at 35 ° C; with only three winds, sweat drips onto the floor.

It is hot

But I slowly see the end of my electrical construction site approaching. In addition to the forward berth and the saloon, the cockpit has now also been rewired. At first it was very exhausting and sweaty to pull the corpses of the many cables from the previous owner's instruments, which had been decommissioned years ago, out of the narrow canals. When I was finally able to create a little space, it was easy to pull the new cables through. I was proud of the new cable duct, which is much more handsome than the old cable harness wrapped with insulating tape. There were still some corpses packed in there, too. I lay all the cables cleanly, connect them up and check that they are working properly. After passing the tests, I put the fairing and the instrument panel back in place and screw them together.

cockpit

Then I want to enjoy the result, but five minutes later in the salon I still find the small external loudspeaker that I want to connect to the radio. The external loudspeaker should make it possible to understand the radio even when the engine is running. Up until now, I always had to go down to the salon whenever I thought Sissi was being called. In the future I will know that Sissi has been called and can then go to the radio and answer. Only this stupid loudspeaker is lying on the coffee table between all sorts of other installation material and is not in its intended installation location. So I have to take off all the panels again and put the loudspeaker in place.

First measurements show that the solar cells on the cockpit roof with the new cables deliver approx. 15% more power.

What is still to be done? The refrigerator's power supply will be renewed and then I did all the electrical jobs. Almost all. A new antenna cable for the radio antenna still needs to be bought and laid. The antenna is still good, when measured it provides a short circuit for the direct current of the measuring device. The old cable was interrupted and soldered several times, so the send and receive quality was fine.

Animal Shelter opening times

It's actually not difficult at all. From Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. you can hand in pets you no longer want. The video surveillance cameras also offer an alarm function. In the meantime I am alerted when an animal is dropped. Okay, the cameras will sound an alarm if something happens in the parking lot. The number of false positives is manageable. Once I went there to find out what was in the box in front of the door.

Three kittens in a box

While I was thinking and talking to Eva on the phone what we should do with the kittens, a car suddenly drove into the parking lot. A young woman with two small children is sitting in it. She gets out and goes to the kittens, collects them. I ask her why she first released the animals and then collected them again. Your mother disposed of the kittens with us without asking. It's sad the kitten season has only just begun. The next morning we find four puppies in front of the door.

Also unloved by their owners.

In the harbor everything goes as normal. Three German inhabited boats lie on the jetty. In addition to Sissi and Pamina, there is also a German catamaran. The Kat is so close to my boat that I can see what is going on there. The owner family bought the boat in Aruba and is now making it suitable for long journeys. Marina workers come and go every day, the boat needs to be perfect. The owner is a former Lufthansa pilot. If they're all like that, I'll never get on a Lufthansa jet again. That probably won't happen anyway.

At first I thought the people were really nice. The owner has no experience with long-distance sailing and had a lot of questions for me. However, he did not want to hear my answers to any of the questions or, if he did, he did not listen. Okay, everyone has to gain their own experience. I haven't found the stone of wisdom either, but there are plenty of stones in Aruba.

Swa doing his favorite thing

He asked me earlier this week if I would let me know when I went to the grocery store again. He would like to go with you. The time had come yesterday, Friday. I see him walking along the jetty and announce the trip to the supermarket for around 4 p.m. This is only possible verbally with this person, because the catamaran is the only boat with which I have been in the same port for a longer period and from which I have never received a telephone number.

I get to the catamaran pretty punctually. Now it doesn't suit them, they have something else in mind. They treat me as if I were disturbing them in important activities. So I go again, grab my wallet and car keys and want to go.

Suddenly the older daughter is standing in front of my boat and wants to know whether she and her mother can come along. That's not a problem for me, it was planned anyway. In the parking lot we meet Rebecca, who is walking the dog Charly. The two of them stop for a long chat. I feel like the last buffoon. I don't have any shares with the dog. I don't have to teach children on my boat either. I just want to go to the supermarket. Barely fifteen minutes later we are sitting in the car together. The two start a conversation in Czech. Nice, you speak one language more than I do. I find that very rude. I have to learn to say no more often. The owner would like me to judge his Parasailor and give him a briefing. That will not do. There is no catamaran that is big enough that we can both ride on it at the same time.

Music bingo

On Wednesday I won first prize at Music Bingo, a bottle of rum from Venezuela. Like most of the winners, I had Sanne bring me a load of glasses and handed out a local round. It doesn't depend on the rum, but on the fact that you had a nice evening.

Gustav

I have a regular life. Working on the boat, occasionally at the shelter or with the donkeys. Every Wednesday I go to the Jazz Café in Oranjestad, then there is music bingo and I meet a few different people than in the marina. One of the rare changes to the routine happened last Wednesday. I am waiting for the first round of bingo to start when my phone rings and the name Gustav is displayed. Gustav was part of a Danish crew who sailed back and forth on a boat between Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire with 16 people when they were not in Covid quarantine. Gustav is in Curacao and wants to fly to the USA via Aruba. He wants to sleep on board with me. That's okay with me, but he has to make do with the bench in the cockpit. My guest room is uninhabitable.

Guest room

He doesn't mind. He is looking forward to seeing you again and says that he will look in the marina to see if he can get a more comfortable bed. That's perfectly fine with me. When I come back to Sissi after music bingo, I meet Gustav in the parking lot and he actually found another boat to spend the night. Very nice. It looks bad enough for me that I really don't need a guest.

Power distribution cored

My power distribution has now been gutted. The cables hang in an orderly and labeled manner from the ceiling of the salon or a little disorganized in the corners. Most of them want to be replaced in the coming weeks. My now installed and fully functional new automatic electric bilge pump is an unparalleled gain in comfort. I can shower to my heart's content and while the shower is still in progress, I can enjoy the sound of the pump in the cellar below.

Halfway orderly but labeled throughout

All I have to do is give the refrigerator a thicker power line, replace the supply lines in the aft bunk, connect the overhead lights in the saloon and don't forget to rewire everything that is necessary for the operation of the ship. During the last major power campaign more than three years ago, I actually forgot to plug the refrigerator back in.

Its a lot to do

On Thursday, as always, I'll be at the shelter and take care of the cats. There I got a rather frustrated message from Gustav. You're not letting him enter the US because he has the wrong visa. That's why he has to stay in Aruba, where they don't want to let him in again if he can't show a plane ticket for the return flight. He buys a ticket to Curacao and asks me if he can sleep in my cockpit that night. May he. In the evening we talk, I want to know more about his plans. He actually wants to go to the USA to work on a tall ship in New York and to earn money. But he can now forget that after trying to enter the country with the wrong visa. Now he is looking for a cheap way to spend his time in Aruba and catch a passage to Colombia or Panama on a sailing boat.

Donkey in heavy rain

In such cases I always think “donkey”. I check to see if there is space in one of the two apartments. You are both free. I explain to Gustav the deal that he can get an apartment and a car with the donkeys for 20 hours a week. He really likes this idea, I'll send him Desree's phone number. I'll drive him to the Donkey Sanctuary on Friday. He gets the job, the apartment and the car, now he's a very happy person. Now he can continue to apply for a new visa for the USA, look for a passage and no longer have a problem with the threat of homelessness.

Kamino in the large group

There's good news at the Donkey Sanctuary too. Kamino's stump is okay enough that it was allowed into the large group. Now he has to fight the big donkeys for the food. At feeding time I find that it is no problem for him to get enough hay. He has perfected the technique of rotating his body on the front leg and then kicking it with his rear hooves. Nobody likes to stand next to him by the hay. I like it very much.

Slim and very beautiful - Kamino

Other outbreaks of my routine are the often very frequent visits to the Animal Shelter to secure videos from the surveillance cameras. The recordings are overwritten after four days, more does not fit on the hard drive. Interestingly, the animals are mainly exposed on days with a lot of rain. I have already shown the five animals that were released in one day. Now it's a little more compact. First three kittens are brought. Then comes the first dog. An hour later a man finds out about the opening times, drives away again and ties a dog to the tree half an hour later. The couple in the next snippet also finds out about the opening times, then a heavily pregnant bitch and a very young bitch are dragged out of the car. When the car leaves, it is easy to see how the mother-to-be runs behind and wants to see her people. We managed to save the two dogs by accident, they are still in the neighborhood the next day. When I look through the videos, I later find the only reasonably responsible pet owner who takes his puppies back with him. A little slapstick, how the puppies want to get out of their box again and again. The last dog was tied up at a quarter to eight in the morning. The shelter opens at eight o'clock.

In most cases we have the license plate. These cases are brought to an animal-loving police officer, who in turn produces the report, which leads to a fine. Incidentally, the policeman works for the dog squad. After backing up the videos, I drive back to Sissi's and take care of the stripping.

23 August 2021

It's raining. It's been raining all night. Somewhere north of us there is another tropical disturbance. Because of this, there is almost no wind and the water falls out of the sky. For hours.

Heavy rain in Aruba

It does not matter. I need to get out. Soraida just called me, a package for me was delivered to her. It's the package that's been in Aruba for seven weeks. My father went to my favorite butcher in Frankfurt and put a few tinned sausages, some beef jerk and a can of apple cider in a package. The customs officers in Aruba didn't find that funny and so a lively exchange of messages developed between the parcel shop and customs in Oranjestad. Only the package did not reach me. Ultimately, the question arose whether I would be willing to pay just under $ 50 for customs and another $ 50 for a veterinary check-up. Plus the usual fees. It was not me. The package landed at Soraida three working days later. It wasn't even opened by customs. The fees are 125 florins, about $ 70. I am still happy, even if the content is nowhere near as valuable. The ideal value always makes up for it.

Wet crusaders

I want to go to the supermarket quickly, but get stuck in a heavy traffic jam pretty quickly. One of the rare cruise ships (Carnival Cruises) is at the terminal. Of course, this means that tourists are constantly stumbling from one side of the street to the other on the quayside. So it's traffic jam, we're not going to knock these people over.

Exposed in front of the shelter on August 23

A day later I get a message from the shelter. Whether I can look on the video surveillance to see who put the dogs and kittens in front of the door. Of course I can. It is my joy. Two dogs and three kittens were abandoned within one day. When we have good pictures, we give them to the police. More precisely, it is given to a certain police officer from the dog squadron. He then ensures that the animal lover has to pay a fine.

Unfortunately, I switched off the most important camera the day before during a similar action. That's why we don't have the license plate of the man who put the cats in front of our door around 1 p.m. The cats had to stay in their box for the whole afternoon and the following night without food or water. The kittens are a few days older than the four who lived on board with me. They can already eat on their own and fulfill their needs.

However, we have the license plates of the two now former dog owners. In particular, the second guy who chained our dog to the tree is particularly cheeky. On his first visit (here we can see the license plate) he walks around and finds out about the opening times. Then he pees against the wall to the neighboring property and drives away again. Three quarters of an hour later he is back and takes the dog out of the trunk, which is then left on the tree. He also has to pee against the wall a second time. Phew

Captain Sparrow and his table manners

My four babies are doing very well. In the meantime, they no longer have to be washed off, they clean themselves like a little hangover has to do. Only Captain Sparrow has to work on his table manners a little more.

Goodbye kittens

It's hard to believe. The last two weeks have passed incredibly quickly. I'm sweating in the drawing room and I'm writing these lines down. I realize that two weeks ago I took the four kittens on the boat with me. And that I took her back to the shelter three days ago.

Cat lumps in front of the companionway

In the end it is only Admiral Nelson who stands out because of his shyness at the food bowl. I know that he can eat. He always eats when his brothers have finished their meal. That is unfair, because the others are getting bigger and bigger. Nelson is lagging behind. So I grab him during the next two predator feedings and let him eat alone in the cockpit. The others make a great din in the salon and try to climb up the companionway, as they can hear their brother smacking their lips with relish. When Nelson is full, the others get the “leftovers”, still most of the portion. You can see it very well in the video. I cut recordings of eating on different days in a row. Nelson is getting more and more cheeky at the food bowl. I decide that the guys have to go back to the shelter on Monday. After just a week and a half.

Ready to go

They leave their transport box with hesitant steps when I put them on the floor in their new home. I leave them alone for now, they should get used to their new roommates, they can use the box as a familiar retreat for a few more hours. Very quickly they come out and start exploring the new surroundings.

The toy is found quickly

After taking care of the cats, I leave the shelter very quickly. I'm a little sad and my boat is empty and quiet when I step back into the salon. I get to work immediately. The carpet tiles all have to go. Two kittens have already been able to use the toilet, but that also means that two have not yet been able to use the toilet. Accordingly, it looks and smell is not all good.

Carpet or toilet?

Then I get a new member on board, Michael brings me the freezer box that he sold me a few days ago. Now I can also buy ice cream. At 34 ° C, a can of ice on board doesn't do any harm. However, the outside temperature also means that the freezer box does not reach less than -8 ° C. But I don't want to keep the groceries for months. The temperature should be enough to freeze them for a few days or weeks. How I want to supply the voracious part with electricity on the next sailing trip remains a mystery to me. I was hoping that the compressor would occasionally be quiet. However, it runs through permanently.

Freezer

The tropical storms that pass through here a few hundred kilometers to the north always bring bad weather with them. For me, bad weather is calm in blazing sunshine. Then there is heavy rain on the back. Then it can happen that the bar I'm sitting in is flushed empty within a few seconds. Rather, the guests are washed from the outside into the inside. Fortunately, a rain shower like this only lasts a few minutes.

Heavy rain falls over the Jazz Cafe

My next visit to the shelter is three days later. I didn't hear or see anything from the cats for three days. They didn't see me for three days. As soon as I step into the cage and speak to the tigers, they come running immediately and want to climb my legs again.

They all come running, even if you only see three in the picture.

Unfortunately, not everything is as it should be. All four of them are not yet very thorough at cleaning their fur, their mother has not been able to teach them that. That's why they all have a pile of dried shit on their asses. They still need to be cleaned once a day. I do the job amid great shouting from the respective candidate.

Magellan

I put the collar with name and number on each of them myself. Not that the tomcats are called by the wrong name. They will only have their names for a short time, as most adoptive parents give them a new one. I will report until they are all adopted. I'm very proud that I got through all four of them. It looked very different at the beginning.

As a reward, I'll get another ice cream right away. The new luxury is great. Now I just have to be careful not to eat too many sweet things.

Litter box

Every time I hit the brakes on my car, I make a pathetic noise. As if the brake pads were completely worn out on one side. I have to approach the problem somehow. So I get a set of new brake pads at the nearest auto parts store and drive to Edward's, who has set up a miniature auto repair shop in his yard. There you can see that the brake discs have ridden down quite a bit and need to be replaced. None of that is a thing, after all, I drive a very popular model. There should be the panes on every corner, but first I have to go back on board because the kittens need to be fed again.

The preferred method of preparation is steaming

You can't even get something like kitten rearing milk here in pet shops. The cat milk in the supermarket costs 3.50 florin per 200ml, which almost borders on fraud. Because if I see on the list of ingredients that it contains lactose-free cow's milk, I can go straight to the shelves for people and buy a liter of low-fat lactose-free cow's milk for 1.99 florin. The little rascals drink up three quarters of a liter a day. I hope that I will soon get them to eat normal cat food, because they always have to fight hard over their milk portion. I can only give one of the kittens his portion at a time, the other 12 paws then fight for pole position.

This is what my hand looks like, they are fighting over the food. They fight.

At first I had a lot of trouble getting her to pee and poop. Now I don't need it anymore, you can do it by yourself. Whether I'm home or not. Sometimes they go to the litter box. But mostly not. Occasionally I see a tomcat in a corner who is in a suspicious position and suddenly makes suspicious noises. Then I grab the guy and carry him by the neck to the litter box. It works, that's where they start pawing and digging. When I'm not on board, the waste ends up somewhere on the carpet.

Under the toilet

Exactly on the carpet that Jens and I cleared of the oil spill months ago. On the carpet that was lovingly fitted into the salon by the previous owners. On the carpet, which has not been beautiful for a long time and is only supposed to hide the ugly floorboards. I want to make them beautiful in the course of this year and completely dispense with the difficult-to-clean floor covering. When the kittens are back at the shelter, cleaning will consist of throwing the carpet tiles in the trash.

That's right!

A decision has been made regarding the names for the males. I got a nice proposal from Germany, Mary Read. I would have liked to, really. I had the name for the girl Anne Bonny select.

I drive the kittens to the shelter for dewormer and examination on Tuesday and we discover that we cannot find the girl. There are four boys. This also means that the thought of referring the girl to the harbor master Paul, who is looking for company for his Mikey, is over. Mikey doesn't accept men around him.

Since the name must somehow match the person who wears it, the two most curious tomcats have been given the names Columbus and Magellan. They are both explorers and have to shove their little noses everywhere. Then we have Admiral Nelson, who is calm itself. He takes little part in the battle for milk, but waits somewhat patiently for his portion. The last one in the bunch is a fantasy character - Captain Sparrow. He's a little bastard and especially mean to his little brothers.

Like the cat that sneaks around the bush

After all, the day comes when everyone eats from the food bowl. At first they are unsure of the food source. It actually smells delicious, but it has nothing to do with what was previously on the menu. So it is viewed from all sides. In my expectation, either Columbus or Magellan would take the first step. I will not be disappointed. Magellan immediately puts his paws in the bowl. The others watch, fascinated, but the noises make it sound like food. A rather rhythmic smacking sounds in the salon, the pointed ears wiggle in time. The tomcat gets more and more into eating ecstasy and ends up on its stomach in the food. No grip in the bowl.

No grip for the feet in the shell. He has yet to learn that he doesn't have to go into the bowl to eat.

Meanwhile, Captain Sparrow sneaks up to the bowl. At first he tries rather hesitantly, then I notice that he also likes the new food. The other two tend to stay away and with me instead of taking care of their food. I'm just mom and mom has to give milk. As they explained to me at the animal shelter, the cat mom decides at some point that there is no more milk. Then there are mice. Captain Sparrow thinks it is so delicious that after just a few minutes he is smacking his stomach next to Magellan.

Two are already convinced

The other two initially have problems with the size of the chunks. They soak up the food rather than chew it. They still have to learn that. They are great at biting their toes, but not yet biting their food. The food makes a huge mess in the fur of the tigers, so after the meal I also wash the cats with them. With the chopped up food, I can now motivate the other two to fill their stomachs in the bowl.

We learn how to use the food bowl

This is the first meal the kittens decide how much to eat. Columbus is lying in the corner with a ball belly. Captain Sparrow also seems to have taken on a little too much. The other two look normal. I'm curious how long this meal lasts compared to the usual milk meal.

I can use the time to get the brake discs from the auto parts dealer. I didn't get any hits in the first four stores, and finally I found the discs in the fifth and most expensive store. I could have gone to Toyota right away. I agree with Edward that we change the brake discs the following day.

Columbus

Said and done. My car is in the makeshift workshop and Edward is taking off the starboard bow tire. I already have the new disc ready to hand. A minute later the old pane is dismantled. She's crying out to be replaced.

23 centimeters in diameter

Edward takes the new disk and wants to put it on the axle. He curses. I see the disaster and swear with it. The new disc is two centimeters more in diameter. I beg your pardon? When shopping I made sure that I bought the windows for the correct year of manufacture. The receipt for the purchase has already ended up in the trash somewhere. I drive back to the parts dealer and complain. After talking to the manager, it is possible to return the panes and a replacement receipt will be printed out for me. Of course, I can't take the matching discs with me because they're not in stock. They are ordered and have a delivery time of one week. Okay, I can live with that.

Four centimeters

How did this problem come about? Quite simply, I would call the cause "Aruba". When asked about the year of construction, I replied with 2002, as it is in the vehicle documents. The problem is that the registration papers were made in Aruba. After entering the vehicle number in the car parts dealer's computer, the year of construction suddenly appears in 1999. Nobody can really explain to me why that was three years younger. It probably took the vehicle three years to get to Aruba from Japan and to be registered for the first time. Incidentally, there are different window sizes for the year of construction 1999 - with and without ABS.

Blogging delays

And once again I finished writing a post despite tiger-related disruptions. I am proud. Now I can wash the tigers again. With the washcloth. Bathing in the food is not good for the coat.

And now everyone can sing along. Cat loo, cat loo ...

Cuteness alert

The shelter just before eight in the morning

It's Thursday, one of my two cat days. As always, I drive to the shelter in the morning, my shift to take care of the cats. This Thursday I am introduced to a nice lady who wants to help with the cats. Gladly, because the work that is shared is half the work. There are four newcomers in the “quarantine cage”. My helper was at the shelter the day before and was there when she arrived. Actually, she doesn't want to help me at all, but rather to take care of the newcomers.

Four new additions from Wednesday

The new kittens are really small. They didn't get anything to eat all night because nobody fed them. They cannot eat from the bowl yet. They are also too young to go to the toilet alone. Someone left it in a box in front of the Animal Shelter door on Wednesday morning, didn't let us know and drove away. I am the only volunteer at the shelter who is still being cared for without an animal. Or so it seems to me. Before it is decided that these kittens are too small to survive, I volunteer to raise them. I will take the little ones with me for a few weeks, feed them and encourage them to pee and poop. They usually learn that from their mommy.

The kittens take their first steps on Sissi

As soon as they arrive, my four guests take their first steps. There are three boys and a girl if I find that correctly. Everything is still very, very small. From now on, they will get their food every few hours. They are also given a stomach massage to learn how to use the bathroom. I feed them with a syringe, which is difficult for the kittens to understand at first. The second feeding is better than the first. At the third feeding they start fighting each other for space on the syringe.

Sissi accepts the guests

Sissi is a very sweet cat who unfortunately has no milk. Otherwise she could help me look after the little ones. But she is kind to my guests. Nobody is scratched or hissed at. A good stuffed cat.

Friday goes by. The kittens pee, but they don't poop. I'm slowly starting to worry. I have to feed them, after all, they need a lot of food. I'm changing my massage technique. I am unsuccessful. Saturday also goes by. They all eat a lot, but nothing may come out of the back. But when I get up on Sunday, I step in cat poop in front of my cabin. The first time in my life that I'm excited about kicking the shit barefoot.

After the meal comes the nap

Meanwhile, my Sissi is the most attractive ship in the whole port. Every day the harbor master Paul comes by with his wife. The two lost a cat a few weeks ago, now they have fallen in love with the girl. Lea (7 years) and Tami (5 years) from the two neighboring German boats would like to move in with me. They also come by once a day. That's not enough for them, but I can't do it more than once a day. Today Lea grabs a kitten that has just been on the toilet and is therefore not yet completely clean again. I found it funny.

Kitten on foot

I really need cat toys. As I write this, two kittens are playing with my toes. Ouch! that hurts! Now that they can all go to the bathroom, I have good hope of getting them all through, too. So far I have refused to name them. Now I have to think of four names that should have something to do with seafaring. At least that is the unanimous opinion in the animal shelter, after all, the kittens are raised on a boat. I am very open to ideas.

Lea and Tami have already named the kittens Flocke, Weißpfote, Braunie and Blauauge. Unfortunately, they are not suitable for Aruba. In between, I even manage to do something on the boat. The forward berth is completely equipped with new power lines. The power connection for my new used freezer is also prepared. I am no longer surprised that my position light on the bow occasionally had a loose contact. The feed line was patched in five places. Now it is completely new. Tomorrow I'll put the ceiling paneling on the front again, then I can rearrange things from the back to the front. If the kittens don't eat my toes first. Oh, that still hurts.

Bitch Ellie has found a new home. The best (and only) rigger in Aruba and his wife fell in love with the friendly bitch. Now she lives with them under the tyranny of two cats.

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 !!!