Thursday, 18 June 2015

17 Jun - Rain! Water! Showers!

Greetings :)

Today started out like a pretty typical day - a little grey and overcast, but not unpleasant. The tide was too high for yoga, so Max took the opportunity to take his paddle board out for a long tour of the lagoon, while I stayed on Fluenta with the kids. This normalcy lasted for about an hour, and then Jesus noticed a heavy, dark, cloud a short distance up wind of us. We closed the hatches, and waited for what would typically be a 15-min shower ... we were a little off in our estimation, and when the heavens opened, it carried on raining (bucketing) for well over an hour. At one point, it was raining so hard that we could hardly see the other boats in the anchorage. Of course, at this moment, Max was at the farthest point of his circuit, so he had a good workout as he paddled about a mile against the wind (20+kts) to come home!

We already had some buckets on deck, so at first we just took advantage of the unlimited-water shower. Everyone quickly changed into a swimsuit, grabbed some shampoo, and headed onto the upper decks. It was cold! Somehow, I think we had imagined that tropical rainshowers would be a warm, pleasant temperature, but we were so wrong. That being said, we all knew that the resulting feeling of being clean for the first time in ages would be worth some shivering, so we persevered. It did strike my funny bone that I was under the original "rain shower" showerhead, but it wasn't exactly the spa experience that one might picture.

Not knowing how long the rain would last, we quickly turned our attention to collecting precious water. Both Victoria and Johnathan got right in on the act, and every pot, bowl, and bucket they could find was soon set out on the deck. Some of the water came directly into their containers, and they proudly collected it as drinking water; some was tipped in from the structures on the boat (bimini, mast, boom) and we have set it aside for washing. Setting up the tarp that came with the boat (and was already fitted with hose outlets) has always been a little too far down the daily chore list, so we improvised. Our best results came from tipping the water that pooled in the bimini into my big 8Gal washing tubs. In the end, we probably had 15-20 gal in total. At the rate we have been making water this week (2-3 Gal/hour) this equates to a lot of watermaker time!

It was such fun to see how the kids took on the water collection, ignoring their shivering as they ran to the foredeck to check their pots and fill their bottles, and keeping their eyes open for vessels that were about to overflow. Even Benjamin was running around naked, pouring water into buckets. They were proud and excited when Max emerged from the storm to show him what they had accomplished. They were rightfully proud of how much we collected. They were also grateful for hot chocolate and soup when we all came downstairs :)

After the rain eased slightly, our friend Gary (Nirvana), who is a boatbuilder by trade, came by to look at the bulkhead/shroud arrangement that has been under scrutiny since Mexico (it has done about 10000 nm without issue since the last work was done on it, but we always like to get another professional opinion). The best part of his visit (for me) was watching his conversation with Victoria after he had finished discussing the bulkhead with us. She showed him the design for her 27 foot boat that she has been working on, and he gave her some ideas about construction materials and processes. As they chatted, it seemed that her whole being just glowed. It struck me that he gave her the ultimate gift that a grownup can give a child - he took her and her plans seriously, and gave her some real possibilities to consider. He described some highly technical processes in ways that she could visualize, and she has drawn a schematic in her design sketch book of what she learned. Delightful!

Our intention was to move to the village anchorage today, but with the rain and wind (oh, and the alternator that didn't cooperate ... we had a funny smell when we started the engine, so now we will be running on our backup alternator - thankfully we have two already mounted) we decided to stay put tonight. We may move tomorrow, or we may go to the village (for some festivities) with our Dinghy (RHIB). (Aside - Trickle is snuggly tied up to Fluenta, and we will wait for the next anchorage (and calmer days) to sail her. She doesn't like much over 10-15 kts, and Victoria's favourite wind is 7 kts).)

On the more mundane side, I managed to bake the last of our bananas into some more muffins this afternoon. We had two full stalks two weeks ago, and now we have used them all, with not too much wastage. It's always a race against time when we have a stalk of bananas on the aft deck! I figured that everyone would appreciate the hot oven taking the chill off the air. Dinner was fresh fish cooked in butter (Sweet Lips) and made into ceviche (Parrot Fish), served with rice and carrot sticks. Gary had caught some fish when he and Max went out yesterday, and he was kind enough to share with us. Delicious!

The winds have stayed strong all afternoon and evening (25-30 kts). We watched a video together and now the boat is quiet (well except for the wind humming in the rigging and rattling things on deck.) Max is sleeping in the cockpit in case he has to respond to anything, and Benjamin is fast asleep on our bunk. Time to call it a night!

Love to all,
Elizabeth
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At 6/15/2015 8:43 PM (utc) SV Fluenta was 19°09.03'S 178°32.51'W
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At 6/15/2015 8:43 PM (utc) SV Fluenta was 19°09.03'S 178°32.51'W

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