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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Beaching Batwing

Friday, June 6

John and a few of the other guys got up before dawn this morning to move Batwing over to "the wall" during the slack before ebb. This is a spot north of the ferry landing where the Bahia Yacht Club property juts out into the bay creating a solid east/west "wall" where a boat can be tied off and beached at low tide. Batwing was towed here to Bahia by Sarana on their passage to Ecuador from Panama after they lost the use of their engine due to a problem with their shaft which made the propeller literally fall off. The new part finally arrived and the tides are big enough this week for "hauling out" to replace it. Several of the locals had the same idea and we saw boats up on one of the small beach areas being repaired and getting new bottom paint applied. Two catamarans, Archie's Way and La Nave, beached across the river from PA to do their bottom paint as well. All went smoothly with Batwing's repair and she was re-floated under her own power on the high tide late in the afternoon (with a little push from John in our dinghy).


In other news Ziggy has twice jumped into the dinghy while it was trailing behind the stern, which is a new trick for him. The first time John thinks he did it because there was a cricket in the dink (there are tons of crickets here which is fine once you realize they're not roaches!). It was just close enough to Nakia for him to jump in from the pushpit which hangs over the stern. John pulled the dinghy up close to Nakia so Ziggy could jump back up with some help from the kitty rescue rope now hanging from the pushpit - and he promptly jumped back in again. This morning during slack tide the dinghy was gently bobbing back and forth in the waves behind Nakia, and I watched Ziggy sizing up the gap. After my repeated "Be careful"s and "No!"s in an effort to make him think twice about doing it, he jumped and landed in the dink (not in the drink!). This time John told me to let him stay there to learn his lesson. Ziggy prowled around while I finished my morning exercises in the cockpit and I kept an eye on him when he started sizing up the gap again. When I heard the approach of a panga engine I knew he wouldn't want to stay in the dinghy and sure enough, he made a leap for safety as my heart jumped out of my chest. Good boat cat that he is he caught the top of the rescue rope and pulled himself up onto the pushpit - not an easy feat considering all the junk that's stored back there!

I don't think I mentioned that our trip to Canoa cost a whopping 35/pp one way for the panga ferry (complete with life jacket) and another .35/pp one way for the bus ride from San Vincente to Canoa. The local bus is only .18, pedi-cabs for two passengers are .50 for travel around the city of Bahia, and regular taxi cabs are around $1-1.50. The reason for this must be that gasoline is about $1.50/gallon and diesel isn't much more than that. This was a nice surprise after what we thought were the high prices of fuel in Central America - until we were shocked to learn that those same high prices were the norm now for the States. We feel for all of you, and hope that Obama will be able to turn things around for the country next year.

I'll close by stealing something from my friend, Cheryl on Fortuitous (sorry Cheryl!). We were in the woman's shower which is adjacent to the men's, both of which have open air ceilings. She was talking over the noise of the shower water to a male friend off of another boat when she said, "I think this is the first time I've spoken to a man in the shower who wasn't my husband!"