Boat jobs coming along nicely in Guatemala

Friday afternoon we headed off in dink to The Shack.    Great little bar and although it was empty we enjoyed meeting Marvin the owner and listening to his plans for the future.   At the minute he has two beds upstairs so he’s looking to put in another couple and make it a small backpackers’ hostel.   He has lots of energy and enthusiasm so hope this works well for him.

The Shack 1 The Shack

While having some very cold beers we enjoyed watching the locals in the water – using a winch from the bow of a moored yacht to bring up these huge cages.   Not sure what they could hold – is this crabbing Guatemalan style?  

Crabbing maybe

We tried a local snack which was basically crispy tortillas topped with loads of vegetables, ground refried beans, ground beef and cheese all piled up high on top at Q10 for two – that’s only a pound – we certainly didn’t need any dinner later.   Heading back to Morphie the sun was just going down behind us – had been a lovely day.

Heading back before dark

Saturday and the guys are back on board early.   The weather is holding for us so far – fingers crossed.   As they need access to the companionway we are pretty restricted as to what we can do so carried on planning our road trip and chilling out down below with the fans on full blast.

By around 3pm the next coat of varnish was on….and it’s looking good……   

Another coat Another coat 2

We chatted to Charlie on the VHF and he came by so we took ourselves off to the pool for a bobbing session.   Great fun had by all.

Bobbing friends

Back to Morphie and the heavens opened…..and it rained….and it poured…..

Down comes the rain

Sunday morning and the guys are taking the day off so we luxuriated in a bit of a lay in.    While the work is going on we are up before 7.30 each day…..    Later on we get our food ready as we’re heading to the BBQ area for a pot luck this evening and we’ve invited Charlie along too just in case the others don’t show up again!

Well….actually…..quite a few people turned up and we had a lovely time.    Poppy, the four-year old Australian boat kid, has definitely taken a shine to us both – she makes everyone shuffle up every time so that she can sit next to us.   Amazing vocabulary for her age too…..and she loved the dauphinoise potatoes that I’d done as my ‘sharing’ dish.

BBQ night Poppy

Monday and back to the grindstone…..  Freddie and Matthew turned up on time and started rubbing down.  They have moved up to 400 grade wet and dry paper now and the wood just looks better and better.    Interestingly they wash all the wood down with pure alcohol before applying the next varnish coat which we’ve not seen before – but definitely on the list for us to try in the future.   Richard popped over to the town to collect our new pads from the canvas shop – these keep dink from getting damaged by rubbing on the arch when in a big sea.   Very happy with the end result and, although they look strange, they are an exact, albeit fatter, replica of those that had worked well for us over the last few years.

Dink pads

While the guys were working hard we got on with some laying up jobs – today it was the turn of all the sunscreens and the cockpit cushions to get a good scrubbing.   Although not sunny and humid here most of the time stuff does dry out pretty quickly….so that got all stored down below.     Another job ticked off the list.  Yay!

Later on we went to the pool and surprised Ulla and Joe with some champagne – they have just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.   Amazing inspirational couple – German by birth – but have lived all over the world including time in South Africa / Swaziland running an adventure tour company.   They moved on board their boat in 1988 and have done a couple of circumnavigations since.   It was lovely to give them a treat in return for all the good advice we’ve been getting….   Had a great up-market bobbing time!

Golden wedding anniversary The Happy Couple

Tuesday we purchased our paint from the West Marine store here at RAM Marina and got a large discount as we are having the work done here on our return… ended up paying pretty much US catalogue price.  So that was a result.   Richard is still working on his list of other things we need….    We also went into see Karen to confirm that we would like to take one of their apartments – on an exclusive basis.   Only $50 a night so worth the extra money not to have to share the fridge / freezer / cooker or lounge area….  Not the best but we’ll manage!

Tuesday afternoon we were going to go bobbing but the thunder started at around 4pm so cancelled that idea.    Had another rainy night in the cockpit worrying about the new varnish getting damaged!

Fingers crossed for no rain damage Fingers crossed for no rain damage 2

Wednesday morning we went into town for some provisions……and it was busy and crazy as usual…..but I think we are getting used to it now……  I chilled out when we got back but Richard worked really hard doing the oil and oil filter and the primary and secondary fuel filter changes.   It all went swimmingly.  

The guys are doing well and finished early.   So we treated them to a couple of beers and I practised my Spanish on them….before having a quiet night on board.   The rain came down again but the varnish was pretty dry so we dodged the bullet again!

Thursday we were on board most of the day trapped by the work going on around us.  Was pretty fed up that Raul – the fixer – didn’t show and is now scheduled for Tuesday next week.    Want to get our hands on our nine month customs extension as we need to make copies and I want to get our documents ready for leaving Morphie on the hard.    Arnie bought the drawer back with solid wood sides rather than plywood that had suffered in the damp conditions under the fridge.    A few more tweaks before it’s finished, but definitely an improvement.  

Thursday afternoon we went to the pool again and had a great time playing with the kids and bobbing by ourselves more serenely once they had all departed LOL.   Morphie has had eight coats of varnish now and looking sooooo shiny……   

Shiny shiny Shiny shiny 2

We’re quite excited to see the finished result with all the stainless back on too.   Oh yes…and talking of stainless…..the second guy came, spent ages doing measurements, gave us a (very reasonable) quote and then failed to show up or get in touch.  Looks like saying ‘no’ to a job isn’t the way it is done here in Guatemala they prefer to say yes, look interested, and then walk away.  Think we might give up on this and Richard is looking at other ways we can modify our helm seat ourselves….   So watch this space.

This morning, Friday, and we are both in the marina restaurant.   Richard is continuing with his West Marine list of things to get and I’m blogging…..  Later on there is an organised Happy Hour in the Cruiser’s palapa so we’re looking forward to that.

Bye for now