This morning Danny was like a little kid with a present on Christmas morning that he just had to unwrap. We all gathered outside and carried the new family car to an open area to release it from its cardboard and plastic coverings.
As things progressed, more and more cruisers gathered to watch, and shared in the excitement. Several offered to help, and then a young bald guy named Jordan stepped in and began supervising. It cracked me up.
Finally we had her all unpacked and inflated, then Danny, Jonathan, Jude and Mycah transferred the heavy outboard engine from the old dinghy to the new one, and we took it for a spin around the neighborhood.
We saw a catamaran being lifted out of the water and enjoyed having the wind in our hair as we planed out beautifully and sped across the water.
This dinghy is from Australia and has an aluminum bottom, which makes it lighter for it’s size. That’s important because when we are underway, we hang the dinghy from our dinghy davits at the stern. Given the size of our tribe, we have upgraded from a 9ft to a 12ft. Having a dependable dinghy is crucial when cruising, because it is what we use for transportation to town for groceries, or from anchorage to beaches etc.
Not too long after that, Tanda Malaika got mail…
Our water maker arrived in two heavy wooden boxes. Danny immediately got busy with his drill and opened the boxes so we could remove the contents and give the delivery man the empty boxes to use again.
Mycah, with her strength and energy, came and helped us get all the parts onto Tanda Malaika. We got some strange looking things I tell ya!
Danny researched the various water makers, and after much contemplation, decided on EcoTech. Parts are readily available, they are easy to install and run, and reviews showed that customers have been very pleased. This water maker will make 30 gallons of fresh water an hour, by drawing seawater in through a through-hull, running it through its many membranes and strainers, and Bobs your uncle! Fresh water! Just one more way to live off the grid. Our friend, Dennis, back at Red Frog Marina, has installed a couple of these already and said he would help Danny put it in.
After that I became a crazy woman on a mission, to scrub off some of the mold that has come to live with us out on deck. When we purchased Tanda Malaika, it was really bad on the molding around the stern edges, and it has been so difficult to remove.
I started out by using a powder called ‘Bar keepers friend’, and that didn’t work, then our neighbor gave me some degreaser he swore by, but it didn’t work either. Another sweet lady saw me scrubbing and brought me 409 which didn’t work, so I finally filled a spray bottle with straight bleach and blasted it. Finally after 3 hours of scrubbing I had success. Whenever someone is working on their vessel, when people walk passed they always stop to offer help. I love the helpful and happy mentality of cruisers.
Our topping lift line (red one) has begun to fray, so we decided that today was as good as any to replace it. I had purchased new line that can hold 3000 lbs and has metal in it, at a marine store in California . Good line is so crucial, and living on a boat has taught me that not all line is created equal, and good line is expensive.. This 150 ft line cost $600.
We used duct tape to attach the new line to the old one, then pulled it up inside our 75 ft mast, out the top and all the way out to the end of the boom. The new line obviously followed the old, and after a beautiful bowline was tied, our job was done. Watching Danny tie the bowline, (which is a very important knot to know as a sailor), reminded me that I needed to make sure all the creatures knew how to tie one. So I called all hands on deck and Jude gave them a lesson. Everyone did splendidly.
Afterward we taught them a stopper knot and then how to coil lines correctly.
As I left to go inside from being on deck, Mycah grabbed my leg, so I kept walking, dragging her body along across the starboard hull. Silly goose.
This evening Danny and I were busy outside working on some things, and to our wonderful surprise, Skyler and Jude made dinner. It was Skyler’s idea, and they both jumped on it. They made coconut rice, black beans and spam, and cut up fresh pineapple and served it on tortillas. Top that with a little ‘Bocas Bitchin hot sauce’ and it was absolutely delicious.
When darkness fell, I took Danny and all the creatures to a field of grass where fire flies sparkled all over. It looked so magical and the creatures loved them.
It’s been a busy, long day for this crazy group of hooligans, and we are all tired and ready for bed. Who knows what tomorrow will bring!