12 April 2014 - Bonaire
Wow, it has been a whole month since I last blogged. We’re still in Bonaire, still diving and doing other things. I’m still collecting underwater photos and identifying fish. In addition, it seems that once or twice a year, I pull the video clips together and make a short movie or video. This project, diving in Bonaire, drew from hundreds of short video clips that I made, nearly all underwater. Please have a look at my Bonaire diving movie on YouTube.
We also went on our first “geo-cache” with two other boat couples, Paul and Andy Atkinson on Talulah Ruby III (UK flagged) and Brian and Paula Cullinan on Magique (Canadian flagged). We were first informed about geo-cache by Andy and Nichole Scheidl in Ottawa about five years ago. It seems that there is a world-wide following of people that hunt for and maintain geo-cache sites, for the purpose of fun, exploration and exercise. Paul, armed with a portable GPS and the precise geo-cache coordinates, led us on a 2.5 mile hike to find the “treasure” up in the hills. One challenge is actually getting to the site without knowing which roads to take (it can be illegal, dangerous and downright difficult to go across country), and the second is actually finding the little container and the “treasure”. Without too much effort, we did find the cache, a plastic thermos, with some little trinkets inside. It was a fun outing, and we definitely got our exercise.
Doesn't look like there is much grass to cut .....
While hunting for this geo-cache, we came across some of the local wildlife, one of the many lizards on the ground and a nice parrot in a tree.
I also had at least one “boat repair” project. Our ONAN generator would mysteriously shut-off after a few minutes of operation. I checked fuel levels, changed fuel filters, checked oil levels and pressure, checked coolant levels, changed fuel tanks and even cleaned out the tank air vents — but the problem wasn’t fuel (it usually is with a diesel), it was with sea water. It seems that the raw-water pump impeller broke up so the pump wasn’t effective enough. The motor would start, but wouldn’t stay running. Most of the time, it would make sense to just change the impeller (a spare is about $ 20) but with this generator, I have to remove the pump to change the impeller, so I just swapped out the water pump for my spare —— problem solved. Why the impeller failed, is another story. I noticed the shaft was leaking seawater (these Johnson pumps only seem to last about 300 hours before they start leaking), so I “reconditioned” the pump with new seals a week earlier. At that time, I noticed the wear plate that the impeller rubs against while turning was getting a bit thin. That thin wear plate broke up, and that’s what tore up the impeller blades. However, I don’t have any of these wear plates, and Johnson doesn’t include them in their pump rebuild kit. After swapping the pump out for a new one, I then bought 5 wear plates on the Internet, and will have these available for “next time”. While troubleshooting this problem, I found a sea-water hose that had no hose clamp on it (that is risky). It seems that the previous clamp, after being sprinkled with salt water at an unknown time in the past, completely disintegrated. I cleaned it up and put on a new clamp. I’ve got to keep an eye on these things!
When we’re not diving, sometimes we find time to play dominoes. Here, we’re playing mexican train dominoes on the UK flagged S/Y Talulah Ruby III. Its windy and sunny, and a great venue for dominoes for 6 people in the expansive cockpit of a Jeanneau 57.
Every since we arrived in Bonaire, we’ve noticed the regular arrival at dusk of a clever crane. He (or she) flies in a dusk and sits on our neighbour’s surfboard / windsurfer. It seems like a great place for him to eat his dinner and observe what’s going on, at low risk. This time, he arrived just a little early, early enough so I could catch a photo of him.
We’ve seen advertisements for eZone throughout the Caribbean but never looked deeper. Here in Bonaire, I was having difficulty finding the right diving camera (only 17,000 inhabitants so the shopping choices are limited), so I went into the DHL office to inquire about shipping — and it happened to be co-located with the eZone office. I signed up for an eZone account (free) and then “went Internet shopping”. I bought my camera on eBay and had it shipped from New York to the Miami “freight-forwarding” address. From there, eZone shipped it to Bonaire by plane. The flights from Miami leave Mondays and Fridays to Bonaire. My costs were $ 279.99 (for the GoPro camera), $ 10 (eZone shipping charge, Miami to Bonaire), $ 7.50 (insurance), $ 23.80 (8% sales tax for Bonaire). There were no other charges, particularly none for duty. By the way, the Bonaire Customs Officer told me that Bonaire does indeed respect “yacht in transit”, but if there are any duties applicable, the agent pays them up front and then recovers the money after the yacht leaves the island. Sales tax is another issue, and apparently unavoidable.
To see previous log entries, just use the tab at the top.
SV Joana is listed for sale at this site (in case you're wondering why, we're not planning to give up the cruising lifestyle or our home, but most things are for sale and since we've met many cruisers who have listed their boat, we figured we'd do it too).
Departed Canada: May 2009
Bermuda: June - August 2009
Bonaire: February 2014
USA: August - November 2009, June - November 2010
Bahamas: December 2009 - March 2010, December 2010 - February 2011
Cuba: March - May 2010
Dominican Republic: March - April 2011
Puerto Rico: April 2011
US Virgin Islands: May 2011
British Virgin Islands: May 2011
St Martin /Netherlands Antilles: May 2011
Antigua: May 2011
Dominica: May 2011
St Lucia: May-June 2011, December 2011 - February 2012, December 2012 - February 2013
St Vincent and the Grenadines: June 2011, February 2012, December 2012, April-May 2013
Grenada: June-November 2011
Martinique: March 2012, March 2013
Barbados: March 2012
Guadeloupe: March 2013
Tobago: March-May 2012
Trinidad: May - December 2012, June - November 2013
Venezuela: November 2013 - February 2014