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.

12V and the third birthday

I've been working on Sissi's electrics for months. On the way back from Cuba we had quite a lot of salt water in the boat and a large part of the cables and their connectors are corroded. My goal was actually to have that completed by my birthday. The goal is missed, the four little kittens also played their part. I don't really care, but I'm not in a hurry. My new goal is to give me a functional new switch panel for my birthday. Moving the power supply from the old to the new fuse box is a big deal. In the past I always worked on the electrics in winter camp. The boat didn't have to work then. But now Sissi is inhabited. I need at least a fridge, freezer, water pump, light, radio, WiFi and charging options for my phone, otherwise life is too spartan for me.

Admiral Nelson, Magellan, Captain Sparrow and Columbus

First I have to build the new switch panel. A few weeks ago I exchanged the carrier plate for two Heinecken in a carpenter's workshop. It has already been sawn to the correct dimensions for me. I only have to take care of the cutouts for the two instruments and the switches. I stole the counters and their carriers in several shops across the island.

Carrier plate after sawing

The cutouts for the switch strips have turned out very nicely. The holes for the round instruments are less beautiful. I was missing the right attachment for the drill, so I sawed it with a jigsaw. If the instruments are in their place, you can hardly see the uncleanliness. It is enough for me.

After the first coat

In the drawing room, I want to paint the dark walls white towards the end of the renovations. This will brighten up the salon a lot. That's why I start with the switch panel. Even the first coat turned out very nice. Now I have to let the paint dry overnight. The time until my birthday is running out, but the appointment still has to be kept. I use the time to bring the two new fuse boxes on small wooden plinths to their new place of residence. The cabling is all 3 mm², so I can use a fuse of almost any thickness later. In any case, there are only four consumers that are connected here and draw more than 5A (refrigerator, freezer, autopilot, radar).

The new fuse boxes are in place, but they are not yet connected.

Unfortunately, the paint doesn't do me the favor of drying within four hours. The fuse boxes are clear for the wiring. I can't continue here until the new panel is in place. So there is nothing left to do on board.

Since I've had the freezer, there have been packets of puff pastry in it. I still remember Jens' reasoning why we had to buy a rolling pin in Wales. He wanted to make puff pastry for delicious croissants himself. This madness never happened, but the rolling pin was always useful over time. We baked one or two pizzas on board. Now my parchment paper has run out, so I go to the supermarket. Homemade croissants are pretty tasty. When I walk through the shelves, I can't find the parchment paper at first. Instead, I find a previously unknown corona product.

Corona soap

I have to think of the local government's anti-corona measures and I feel like I'm in a déjà vu. How should I celebrate my birthday? How can I bend the measures so far that we can all come together? Last year I partied at the Donkey Sanctuary. At that time it was not allowed to party or consume alcohol on the beach. This has been banned again for a week. The four-person-at-one-table rule applies in restaurants and bars. That was also the case last year. And we have a tough curfew from 10 p.m. Anyone who is found on the street by the police afterwards pays a fine of 5000 florins (if I remember correctly) and spends the night in jail. It was the same last year. Only last year we had a good 100 corona cases, now we are almost 1000. The intensive care unit is full, sick people are being flown to Colombia. This time it is not the old, this time the young unvaccinated are the most affected. As I get it from Germany.

Corona cocoa

On Friday, the new control panel gets its second coat of paint at eight o'clock in the morning. I like the result very much. I hope to be able to install the switches and instruments on the same day. The paint just needs to dry quickly enough. Meanwhile I unscrew the old panel and put it next to the cupboard. I disconnect the batteries from the on-board network. The wind generator and solar panels are switched off. Still nothing happens. Of course, I didn't switch off the shore power charger. One click, the red control lamp goes out. All other lamps continue to shine, the refrigerator and freezer are buzzing. Where does the electricity still come from? After thinking for a moment, I realize that the power comes from the starter battery. Due to the long idle time, it is connected to the rest of the network via a switch so that it does not discharge itself. In addition, I can start the engine from the consumer batteries if there is no other way. One click and it's dark in the boat.

The old fuse box is out.

Now all absolutely necessary consumers are put on a single fuse. I have a nice little power rail for the light distribution that still has some space. Therefore, all cables are temporarily attached and secured to a single fuse in the new fuse box. So I can get through the night. Later it is still possible to equip and wire the new fuse box.

The new switch panel

In the photo it is easy to see that I have installed five different switches. They are built by two different manufacturers and bought in three marine shops in Aruba. Either you take what you can get here or you have to order. However, an order does not always have something to do with the fact that there is also a delivery. I'm still waiting for a call from one of the marine shops where I actually ordered 24 switches a month and a half ago.

The new panel is in place

My goal is almost there. Since I haven't invited the guests to my birthday party in the Jazz Cafe until 5 p.m., I have a few hours left. Of course, it all starts with a drive to the hardware store, because I can no longer use the old hinges for the new panel. The mounting screws are over and I am missing corresponding small screws. I either need screws or new hinges. The old ones suffered a little from the salt water, so I'm replacing them with new ones. Now the panel can be installed and wired in the cabinet. In particular, the lines from the fuse box must all be carefully put in place. Not that the numbers get mixed up.

Old (left) and new (right)

Now the fridge, freezer and cabin lighting are moving to their new switches. Then I am satisfied and consider the milestone to have been reached. At least part of the electrical system runs on the new fuse box and panel, the rest can now simply be reconnected or clipped on. A nice hard task for the coming week. Some of the old cables still need to be replaced, that's the Herculean part of the job.

A bucket of beer

I invited about a dozen people. As expected, the Dutch and the Germans come first. The Arubans are a little later. I ordered a single table, but landlady Sanne distributed the reservation labels over three neighboring tables. As a result, a Franco-German, a Dutch and an Aruban table emerged. We order pizza and have a good time, and we are now complying with all corona rules. The police do not come by for a check. It's the third birthday I'm not celebrating in Frankfurt.

Eva from the shelter is also among the guests. Unfortunately she has the sad news that little Magellan didn't make it. Two days before I filmed the four again. I don't think the big guys snatched the food from him. With kittens this small, it's hard to get them all through.

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.

tiger

Today is one of those days. Anneke sent me a message yesterday that she would not be at the Donkey Sanctuary in the afternoon but in the morning. I haven't been there in the morning for a long time, so I was happy.

Just before nine in the morning at the Donkey Sanctuary

The morning hour has its own magic. Before the visitors come, the donkeys all stand there in an expectant position and greet the people. They know that feeding will start shortly. It's downright eerily quiet. The morning sun gently caresses the landscape. Everything is set up punctually at 9 a.m. and we are ready to receive visitors. Anneke wants to prepare the special food for the old people when she suddenly becomes aware that Tiger is strangely lying on the floor.

No more signs of life detectable, the body is still warm.

The body of the baby donkey is still alive, but Anneke can no longer detect any signs of life. Tiger has recently received treatment for iron deficiency. That's why she still wears the halter. Without it, it is difficult to give an injection to a donkey. Because of her bad blood values, Anneke suspects that Tiger had a heart attack.

Tiger fell asleep

There are no traces around the baby that she fidgeted or tortured herself for a long time in agony. Anneke lets her husband Dirk view the video recordings because this stable is monitored by a camera. The time of death was determined to be 6:10 a.m., Tiger simply lay down, fell asleep and never woke up again.

The donkeys say goodbye

The question is, what do we do with the corpse? She can't stay lying there for long, because the carcass will quickly start to stink in the heat. However, none of the three of us has a suitable car to transport a dead donkey, no matter how small the donkey. We have to wait for one of the two pickup trucks that belong to the Donkey Sanctuary.

It's strange. I still remember the day Tiger and their mother Woods were caught in the parking lot of the golf course in San Nicolas. At the time, I happened to be at the Donkey Sanctuary, it wouldn't have been my shift at all. I also remember very well the day on which tiger was allowed to leave the small stable for the first time and romp around with other donkeys. I dug up the video again.

We all know that the little donkeys in Aruba don't stand a great chance. Since all donkeys currently living on the island are descended from only 20 donkeys, the gene pool is poor. If they are not born dead, the little donkeys often do not grow old. Even the good medical care in the Donkey Sanctuary cannot help much. We let the donkeys say goodbye.

When I leave the Donkey Sanctuary around noon, you can already smell something. It is time for Tiger to be evacuated. I drive back to Sissi sadly. Today is one of those days.

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.

Ellie

I've been to the cats a few times since I wrote the last post. I could also relax with the donkeys on Sunday afternoons. Life goes on at a leisurely pace here and not much usually happens. The big events in the world do not take place in Aruba. I can tell little anecdotes, of course, and the story of Ellie, for example, has what it takes to become a very big drama.

Ellie, one of many stray bitches in Aruba

The sailing yacht was almost two weeks ago Pamina arrived here in Varadero. The German flag is waving at the stern and Lea, Rebecca, Sönke and Charly are on board. A completely normal family who treats themselves to a break on the barefoot route. While I'm drinking my morning coffee, Paul calls me over. A German boat would come in and I could help out with language problems. Of course, I like to do that, and I welcome any variety in everyday life. Not only is the size of the boat impressive, the size of Charly, the dog on board, is also impressive. He is now 12 years old.

The Pamina

A huge program is planned for the Pamina in Aruba. The boat is to be taken out of the water and painted from below. Sönke has also ordered new batteries to be installed here. Air conditioning for the Pamina is also on the to-do list. So we're going to spend some time here together. Sönke is of the opinion that everything will be ready by the end of August, but he still believes in successful project management in Aruba. The first disappointment was that of the 24 battery cells ordered, only 12 were delivered. I'm curious how long the subsequent delivery will take, the first load was on the way for six weeks.

Callas, Caruso and Pavarotti. Three kittens, who are distinguished by their extraordinary vocal power, moved into the shelter last week. We are curious whether the white male is deaf. We haven't been able to find out yet.

To make it easier for me to say goodbye to these cute pointed ears, I try not to take the fate of the others to heart. I don't usually learn the names either. The opera singers, however, grew on my dung, I had the task of finding a name.

And then there would be Ellie. Lea (7) met her in the fish restaurant, the two played a lot together. Ellie is a several month old stray who lives in the harbor area with a few other dogs. This is not unusual, the marina employees, fishermen, sailors and the people from the restaurant provide water and the occasional food. You can't let the dog go to waste. Ellie distinguishes itself from other street dogs by wearing a collar. And Rebecca thinks Ellie is cute too, she gave her her name. She rid them of dozens of ticks and treated them with flea medicine. I now always raise the family with the fact that they now need a second dog basket below deck. Charly is also enthusiastic about Ellie, because she has been hot in the last few days and he had his second spring. Hopefully nothing burned there ...

Wiring one of two of the new fuse boxes

My elbow is still preventing me from working. Fortunately, there has been a steady improvement in the last few days, so I can hope to be able to tackle things properly again in a week or two. Meanwhile, I'm slowly crawling towards my goal in terms of work. The old fuse box is equipped with automatic circuit breakers that are probably as old as Sissi. These are now so low that they trigger, among other things, at different currents.

The old fuse box

Some of the machines are no longer usable. The stuff is completely thrown out. I replace it with two fuse boxes with fuses and simple switches. These also want to be wired, fuses, switches, cables and the base plate have to be obtained.

I get the fuse box and the power cables from Budget Marine. Dreadfully expensive, but designed for use on boats. In this respect, it is certainly a good investment. But I can't find anything with the counters, Budget Marine can't meet my needs here. There is also a shortage of fuses here. So then I go to Boat & Fishing Aruba. They have 10 of the switches I need, of which I need 24. I order the other 14, they should arrive in the first week of August. The mounting brackets are not available for this, and they cannot be ordered. Huh? But I saw these brackets at Budget Marine. However, Budget only has one in store, so I'll order the rest. They should also come in the first week of August.

In the meantime I can wire up the two fuse boxes. Fuses and cable lugs are available in hardware stores. But the hardware store doesn't have any wood that I can use as a carrier plate. The boards available are all 2.4 m long and 1.2 m wide and therefore do not fit in my car. In addition, they don't want to sell me the small 36 cm by 40 cm board, I would have to take the whole board. This can be done better.

I ask Soraida. She gives me the tip to try a carpenter's shop. A quarter of an hour and two corners later I have a piece of wood sawn to size. A nice sense of achievement.

Fully wired fuse box

Meanwhile, I keep seeing Ellie on board the Pamina. After she fell into the water on one of the first days and was rescued by Rebecca, she can now get on and off board independently. Charly is certainly very happy when the family goes on a trip and he has to guard the boat by himself. Only Sönke has been steadfast so far and proclaims his opinion that he doesn't need a second dog on board. He regularly scares Ellie away. A real street dog doesn't mind. Besides, everyone else loves Ellie.

Aren’t they cute? You have to adopt them.

In any case, I won't let my relationship with the cats and kittens at the animal shelter get so deep. Only Elvis is regularly petted and petted by me. I can do that because he will probably never leave the shelter in his life. He had been placed with a family a year or two ago and was becoming utterly unhappy. He stopped eating and hid in corners. When he got back to the shelter, he blossomed again and was happy.

Shrimp is chilling

So I think of the solid relationships with Shrimp, Sunchi, Swa and Socks in the Donkey Sanctuary and Mikey in the harbor. The beautiful guy is currently under curfew. He has injured his hind paw, has to wear a ruff and is no longer allowed to walk in the marina. I look forward to when he comes back to me for breakfast.

Establishing a relationship with the donkeys is also completely risk-free. Donkeys do not fit on sailboats. In addition, these donkeys are doing very well, and there is no better environment for them.

Relax

I am curious to see how the story with Ellie continues and whether she will remain a street dog in Aruba. Rebecca is currently trying to find someone on Facebook who will take the admittedly cute dog into their home. Lea tries to cuddle and hug the dog as often as possible. Charly tries what nature tells him to do. Sönke tries not to lose control. I'm trying to get my stupid elbow fit again. Anyway, Ellie has an appointment with Charly tomorrow at the vet. Escaped, dewormed, vaccinated (?). It will be exciting.

Ellie relaxes in front of Pamina

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