Last Update: June 2014 - Curaçao - Seru Boca Marina
We are now safely berthed a Seru Boca Marina, for the next three months. The marina is isolated, quiet and very secure. Its good value for money if you stay for at least three months ($ 11US per foot, plus 6% tax, plus metered water and electricity). Curaçao uses 50 cycle 110V and 220V power. We’ve never plugged in the boat to 50 cycle power before..… Our Magnum battery charger / inverter is tolerant of 110V power in the 50-70 cycle range. Unfortunately, the actual power at the dockside is 49.2 Hz and my inverter/charger won’t connect. Therefore, I’ve gone to Plan B, bringing in power to a separate panel (I’ve got a spare reserved for just this kind of scenario) where I’ve wired in just the hot water tank heater and a separate medium sized battery charger, special equipment just for Li batteries. I run the inverter for the A/C loads during the daytime and put the battery charger and hot water tank heater on at night. I can even run the battery charger and the inverter at the same time which can by handy if the microwave is running since it draws about 170A DC from the battery bank. In fact, the load from the kettle, toaster, blender, or TV/stereo is just fine, but its the microwave that is the big one. If we have to cook more than about 90 seconds with the microwave, it would be better to just turn the generator on rather than use the inverter to supply the microwave.
Seru Boca Marina is quite a nice place to stay, but they don’t really cater to live aboard cruisers. The marina wifi doesn’t work and the showers (one for men and one for women) has no “hot” tap, so you get room temperature water - which is fine, during the day. I haven’t been impressed with the skill of the Captains driving in or out of here either. Almost, no scratch that, 3 of 3 sailboats that I’ve observed coming in or out have bumped/grinded their way along. Is it too much wind, too narrow, or too little skill? I hope we’re tied up out of the danger zone!
Here is one of the “long-term” tenants, a trimaran with a wing sail. These are very rare to see. There is nobody on the boat and it looks like it has been here for several years based on the barnacle growth.
Before I forget, I have to write about the Spaniard on SV Sabir, or at least about how he drives his dinghy through the Spanish Waters anchorage. He has an inflatable, with a hard bottom - a Rigid hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) with a 5 or 6 HP outboard. What is interesting, is how skilled he is at driving this dinghy through the anchorage by simply shifting his weight from side to side. He doesn’t need to have his hand on the tiller or even use one of those annoying cables with a kill switch. Please don’t try this at home!
Our ONAN generator failed again, the alternator - again. There was a bit of smoke and a burning smell for about 5 days. I opened up all the cases and had a look and could see no reason for the smell. I even took apart the raw water pump and heat exchanger, no evidence of any problems. So, I called in Joe’s Boat Worx and he found the problem. Well, he was sitting right beside the generator when we fired it up and his head was about a foot from the alternator. Joe told us to immediately shut it down.
The alternator was coloured caramel, instead its normal white. It was way too hot to touch, after only about 30 seconds of operation. When I took it apart later on, the wiring on the rotor was all melted.
Joe said that not only was the alternator burned out, but also the regulator. Since replacements were going to cost me over $ 1,000 I opted for a simpler solution. Joe installed an idler wheel ($ 220) to replace the alternator (so that the engine coolant water circulation pump would turn) and I installed an external, economical 110V A/C powered battery charger, for about $ 60.
On Wednesday, we had “one of those days”. In addition to the long list of tasks that need to be completed at dockside, where the wind is light - we had the shore water inlet and pressure transducer break (suddenly spraying valuable metered fresh water), and then I discovered that our outboard motor has a “spun” propellor (and subsequently discovered that the spare I’ve been carrying around for the past year doesn’t fit) and the coup-de-grace was that a small pepper-spray container that I’ve had tucked away in my backpack for the past two years (bought in Martinique) has been slowly leaking over the past few days. The pepper spray was the worst issue, by far. Just taking the canister out of my bag, I got a few drops on my hands, and this stuff eventually (over the period of a few hours) migrated up my arms and to my face. I was burning up for most of the day, and it only dissipated after several long showers and an overnight sleep. The backpack, of course, is going to be very difficult to clean. I’ve even found a brown spot on the chair at the nav station and on the carpet, as it has been my habit to hang the backpack on the back of my chair when not in use. To make matters worse, Diane was pressure washing my backpack and our neighbours (who were completely unaware of the pepper spray leak) started to complain that their eyes were watering - they were downwind about 30 feet away.
We’ve discovered “The Pier” restaurant and bar, and they have a nice special on Thursdays with half price drinks and a Captain’s special meal (for 20 Guilders). This seems to be our “haunt” on Thursday evenings.
During my boat building phase (1992-2002), I became friends with Allan and Kirsten Skjodt in Caledon East. Sadly, they were forced to sell their boat “SV Great Dane” due to personal circumstances. At Curaçao Marine, I discovered their boat laying up on the hard - and for sale. Unfortunately, I’ve lost touch with the Skjodts over the years. Too many moves ……..
This will probably be my last post for “a while” since we’ll be flying back to Calgary on 4 July. We’ll be visiting with our relatives John and Joy Ceelen in Rocky Mountain House, picking up car and then driving back East to Ontario.
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).
Countries Visited: (Departed Canada: May 2009)
Antigua: May 2011
Bermuda: June - August 2009
Bonaire: February - April 2014
Bahamas: December 2009 - March 2010, December 2010 - February 2011
Barbados: March 2012
British Virgin Islands: May 2011
Cuba: March - May 2010
Curaçao: May 2014 -
Dominica: May 2011, April 2013
Dominican Republic: March - April 2011
Grenada: June-November 2011
Guadeloupe: March 2013
Martinique: March 2012, March 2013
Puerto Rico: April 2011
St Lucia: May-June 2011, December 2011 - February 2012, December 2012 - February 2013
St Martin /Netherlands Antilles: May 2011
St Vincent and the Grenadines: June 2011, February 2012, December 2012, April-May 2013
Tobago: March-May 2012
Trinidad: May - December 2012, June - November 2013
USA: August - November 2009, June - November 2010
US Virgin Islands: May 2011
Venezuela: November 2013 - February 2014