Sunday, March 16, 2014

Here's to Friends, Handy Husbands, and Moving on

So far Puerto Galera has treated us pretty well.  A poem a friend of ours wrote kind of sums it up so far… 

Crossing Paths
It’s a great big world
With so many faces
People cross oru path
In so many places.

Some will walk with us
For many a mile
Others just a moment
Maybe just a smile.

Some people never meet
Never have the chance
I’m glad you crossed my path
Our eyes shared a glance.

As you journey thorugh life
I wish you the best
Know what you want
And don’t settle for less.

We have a picture almost exactly like this from
four years ago.  Vic hasn't changed one bit.
That was written by our friend Vic Desautels.  We met Vic on the docks in La Paz almost four years ago.  He followed us out of Banderas Bay on his own boat wishing us farewell when we left for the Marquesas.  Well, guess who was here to meet us when we arrived in Puerto Galera?  Yep, our good friend Vic.

We spent our first few days hanging out with Vic and getting to know the town.  Where to eat, where to shop, where to have some of those really cheap beers we’ve come to appreciate.  After a few days it was time for Vic to move on and we continued our explorations.

She was absolutely enamored with Jake and I
have to say, the feeling was mutual.  I've
never seen him let someone boss him
around like that :).  Very sweet.
Within the first few days of being here we met another couple traveling with their two kids.  We’ve spent the last week hanging out with them and thoroughly enjoying being with some younger folks with similar likes and wants and no real need to talk about anchors and watermakers!  And Jake has been beside himself having someone else to play with.

We went out for a sail and anchored for lunch on Verde Island.
Nice snorkel for adults and playtime for the kids.

We might have a new captain on board??

Watching "Wreck It Ralph" in our cabin while waiting for dinner.

We’ve hit some beaches, gone diving, snorkeling, sailing and even splurged on a night in a swanky hotel (by Puerto Galera standards, at least).

Jake, enjoying his hotel bed all to himself.  You would have
thought we were taking him to Disney World - he got
so excited.
Jake, cold in the 85 degree weather...the wind was blowing.
Not the greatest picture of the pool, but it was the best I
could do without getting out of my chair!

This is a decent town, but not one we want to hang out in too long…it’s very touristy, filled with a lot of ex-pats (not necessarily the ones we have anything in common with), and well, just not necessarily our style.  Given all that, it’s very disappointing that we’ve had nothing but issues since we got here…mostly self-inflicted.

First, we ran out of water.  I know.  How do you do that?  Well, 2 years of torrential downpours every few days kind of makes you complacent about keeping up with what’s in the tanks.  Our water maker has been pickled (for those non boaters, it’s treated with a solution and basically unusable until you decide to “un-pickle” it) since Pohnpei.  We’ve been weary (down right chicken) about un-pickling it because we’re afraid we’re going to find that our membrane has gone bad and well, that would be bad AND expensive.  So, Andy bought some water jugs (yep, we didn’t even have them…have never hauled water in our four years of cruising) and filled them up a couple of times so we had at least 20 gallons.  It only took three days and some extra people on board to dwindle it down so today we fired the old Spectra up.  You know what happened?  We made water!  Nothing broke (yet) and we’re making 8 gallons an hour (for once the noisy drone of the damn thing is music to our ears).

Next, our dinghy engine died.  It’s had some issues (that’s what happens when you hit a few too many rocks) and we tried to find the parts when I was in the states.  It turns out it’s a European model and no one can look up the part number (the Yamaha shop in Palau couldn’t look it up either).  We were planning on trying to find it here in the Philippines, but had not yet started the search as it still worked, just didn’t go very fast.  Anyone that has cruised with us in the last few years is probably laughing right now because they’ve seen our oars.  They’re not really oars, they’re sticks.  Through the years they’ve broken here and there and well, like everything else, we put that off too.  So to give you a bigger giggle, we moved anchor closer to the beach and we’re using our paddles from the paddle board to row, Andy with one, me with the other…it’s quite a show.  To get to the beach won’t be that bad, it’s getting back that will be comical (against the consistent 20 knot wind blowing here in the anchorage).  We received an email back today from a supplier in Boracay and apparently they can get the part but it will take two to three weeks…ouch.  But Boracay is not such a bad place to wait it out (did I mention our new friends are there now?).  In the meantime, my super Handy Andy got our old Tuhatsu engine up and running AND we moved back on a mooring so we can use the yacht club service boat.  It’s not as private as the anchorage and much noisier but it’s much more convenient and a shorter paddle in case this one goes out on us.

Do you see the shrimp?

Tiny pigmy seahorse less than a cm. long.

There are some other small things giving us fits (cabinet doors breaking, running out of stuff we can’t replace here, and generators acting up) but they’re all workable.  I think we’re going to provision up and depending on the info we get from Borocay, head on out soon.  In the meantime, we’re keeping our head up and are thankful that these are the only problems…in the whole scheme of things, they’re quite small.   We’re thankful to still be unemployed with the risk of sunburn every day.  Not a bad way to work through our issues.

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