Shopping day

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - Jan 2012

After Helen had left we anticipated being in Las Brises for a couple of weeks to get the boat prepared and the provisioning done. The best laid plans……….it started well with the making of our massive drogue – we had tried to buy one but couldn't get one locally and not enough time to have one imported from elsewhere. We wanted one mainly to use as emergency steering if anything happens to the rudder. Not to worry says Matt we can make one! We had a look at the one on Malarkey and Matt drew, measured and with a bit of calculus worked out how much material we needed. Got the cloth and webbing and a few days later we had our drogue – I tell you that little sewing machine of mine has been fantastic! So far so good. Now it was my turn to do the calculations – this time of how much food/drinks/loo paper etc we would need to see us through to New Zealand! We know that we should be able to get supplies in the pacific islands but probably not what we want and expensive. So with a list as long as my arm, I started to hit the supermarkets. Now we're not talking about jumping in a car and driving to Tesco – no siree! It's in the dinghy, getting dropped off at some concrete steps at the dock (which, depending on the state of the tide) are a hurdle to get on even if there's no working dinghy in the way – if there is then it's a bit of scrambling to do. A short walk to the road to hail a taxi then off to the supermarket. Fill the trolly/trollies and then the return journey. Now just imagine the reverse – going down the concrete steps and trying to load all the bags into the dinghy – Matt standing with one foot in the dinghy and one foot on the steps trying to keep the dinghy off the sharp edges of the concrete whilst loading the shopping! A few days and several visits to the supermarkets later we have approx 3/4 ton of food and drink etc. (See flotsam).  The storage boxes, drawers. under bunks and bilges are all cleaned and packed with all those packages and cans. All packages are in Ziploc bags with a few bay leaves to ward off any beastie invasion, all cans labelled with indelible ink. Job done! We had ordered meat from to be vacuum packed and frozen and were due to pick it up on the Thursday before we were setting off for Las Perlas. On Wednesday the freezer thermostat stopped working………To cut a long story short, a day spent chasing around Panama city and we had a new thermostat – installed it that night and we were on target again. Matt finally got the engine/generator servicing done. Then the propellor on the dinghy outboard packed in - so another day spent chasing aroound Panama City.........Finally got the meat collected and freezer packed we headed into the marina for a day to get cleaned up – you wouldn't believe the state of the boat with all the dirt and dust from the road works and construction in Panama city. We worked like dervishes for the day and got everything cleaned and washed, diesel and water tanks filled and set out late afternoon for Toboga.  The next morning we realised the freezer wasn't behaving as it should so back to Las Brises …………to cut another long story short, we had the ‘experts' out who made things worse and the meat then started to defrost. To save the meat, we managed to deposit the bulk of it with a friendly local, and the rest we put into the ice machine of the local Chinese supermarket! Meanwhile after much very helpful discussion with Frigoboat in the UK and the States and a bit of help from Brian on Daramy, we evacuated and regasssed the system, then went in search of a digital controller and sheets of polystyrene to try to improve the insulation. (We had previously put more insulation in the freezer and made it smaller). The only way we could add even more insulation was to cut a hole in the bottom of the cupboard above the freezer and put the insulation in a completely inaccessable space between the hull and the freezer. Two days later…….we had grated (on a cheese grater) 3 polystyrene sheets of 2ft x 4ft, put plastic bags into the hole, filled the bags with shredded polystyrene, tied and stuffed them down between the hull and the freezer! Digital controller dutifully installed and 3 days later and we were back on course - freezer has never worked so well (knock on wood)! Popped into the marina on the way out to wash down the boat (again) and fill with water - had a great sail down to Las Perlas and finished off the jobs in Contadora.  Finally ready to go…………..

                     Lat and Long January 31st:      

                                                08.37.33N    79.02.09W