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Friday, August 01, 2008

Musical Boats

31 July 2008

We received news during our "vacation" that another cruising couple has been banned from PA for posting libelous comments about TM on their blog, and that Ecuador is suddenly no longer issuing 90 day visa extensions. We had only been back for a few days when another cruiser (now a CLOD - Cruiser Living On Dirt) was also banned from PA. John has spent hours talking to the individual parties involved, trying to mediate for them, but it appears to be a lost cause. The cruisers refuse to budge and are more interested in their personal grievances than in what is good for the community as a whole. While John and I feel that TM has mishandled several difficult situations, we're tired of the continual political infighting and are ready to fight for peace so we can enjoy the rest of our time here. We appreciate the comraderie of the cruising community and hate to see it divided like this.

Friends of ours made it back from Columbia with another 90 day stamp in their passports, circumventing the renewal process which has been discontinued. They really enjoyed their short visit there but we don't want to have to connect north via Quito having just come from there. So we're leaving for Peru on Sunday to try to get another 90 day stamp ourselves. We're only going as far as Tumbes, unless it really sucks. I'm hoping to do a couple of day tours of the natural preserve areas north of there to get something out of the trip. Otherwise Tumbes sounds like a pretty awful border town. Oh well, if we don't like it, we can continue on to somewhere else. We plan to be back by Friday or Saturday at the latest.

It's been crazy here the past few days because ten boats had to be moved around to make room for a bridge construction barge with a big crane on it. We went off our mooring so Drifter could be moved there. Alaya and Djadara were moved to the close quarters bow and stern moorings behind Archie's Way. Hello World moved to Alaya's mooring. Claire de Lune reanchored just outside of Che Bella. Fortuitous and Leonidis were moved off their moorings and anchored right in front of PA. We're north of them behind Nine of Cups, who also had to reposition a little. Vilisar was moved from way south of the bridge to out in the eastern flats outside of the rest of the fleet. We actually anchored three times before John found a spot he could be happy with. Now we have our Fortress and Delta anchor in tandem on 25 ft of chain followed by 75' of chain and a kellet to help weigh everything down.

Today John helped TM move Sarana to a mooring. John suggested that they could leave a buoy on Sarana's anchor so they wouldn't have to pull it up. That move should only be for a few days, but the rest of us might have to stay put for a couple of weeks. And I just noticed Mahayana has been moved out to the eastern flats as well. Most of the boats are unoccupied at the moment so needless to say it was a bit of a nightmare for TM. He was given short notice (like two hours), but he and his crew came through and did a good job of getting everyone resettled. I haven't mentioned it before but the idea of requiring boats to anchor bow and stern was given up soon after a few of them dragged. It's a tight fit at the moment, but no worse than Tenacatita in high season.

We are much happier here since John's gotten involved in the peace process. Since we've started working with PA and the cruising community towards an accord, life is much more enjoyable for us.

Linda and John