We’ve had a comparatively quiet time since the beginning of the month. We have been to Brian’s  Granja again and met a French man who runs a farm some 200 miles inland which has a herd of European  cross milking cows and produces French style cheese. Unfortunately he didn’t bring any with him …… the cheese here is pretty rubbery and tasteless. Marcus still reigns victorious on the pool table and I enjoy a few swift lengths in the swimming pool!

Jobs on the boat are constant, but with the exception of the fridge breaking down, there’s nothing too urgent! Refrigeration is a ‘dark art’, but luckily there is a French guy called Patrick……….

Patrick, Fridge Man extraordinaire!

Patrick, Fridge Man extraordinaire!

………who is a retired naval refrigeration engineer, so he kindly came and helped us to get it going again. We had already cleared our very clogged filter of the tiny mussels that love this river environment, checked the water flow as far as the compressor intake and removed and replaced every hose going, but there was still a blockage in the cooling  coil and it all looked very tricky with copper gas piping with warning signs on. At this point we called in Patrick, who brought his expertise (and more!). It took  him about 10 minutes to locate and solve the problem…….a disintegrated anode that had dissolved and blocked the coil. Two lessons learned……a) how to clear a blockage…… just pucker up and blow!…. b) all water cooled fridges have anodes somewhere, so look for them and replace regularly!

We now have our fridge working better than it has ever done and we can make ice cubes, which is a must for the G&Ts and the Caiparinhas.

As I said, Patrick brought more than just his expertise aboard….. he brought the flu! Poor Marcus was knocked out by it for a week and is still taking it easy. We have decided it is about time we left for the north and have just had our bottom scraped to rid us of the garden that has attached itself over the last 3 months. We have made a To Do list that gets longer the longer we stay and with no big jobs to tackle during Flu Week, I have been busy with my sewing machine and have made a replacement mosquito net for around our bed……a must in these river anchorages if you don’t want to suffocate and sleep with all the hatches closed!

Mozzie net mark II

Mozzie net mark II

I’ve also made a couple of hatch covers to help cut the direct sunlight in the saloon

New hatch covers.......very proud!

New hatch covers…….very proud!

and a pirate hat for little Arthur’s  7th birthday.

Arthur's Pirate hat.

Arthur’s Pirate hat.

In a sea of synthetics, I have finally found a material shop that sells cotton material to make some dresses, so I am about to venture into cutting patterns and trying my hand at creative couture!

Haute couture chez Island Kea!

Haute couture chez Island Kea!

 

On Thursday 19th, my Mum celebrated her 95th Birthday!!

One of the down sides of this sailing life is that I couldn’t be there to celebrate it with her. On the bright side, she had a wonderful time with my sisters, Libby, Liney and Jackie and the dog Mable and with the wonders of the internet I was able to send her a card by email….

Mummy's 95th birthday.

Mummy’s 95th birthday.

….and got photos of the day sent via facebook. It’s only when you’re out here that you realise how important a good wifi booster is on the boat…….we haven’t got one yet, so skype calls are sporadic and frustratingly unreliable. A Bullet booster is top of the shopping list for Trinidad!!

We went to Sabadinho on Saturday to say our farewells to our friends there.

Dancing in the square at Sabadinho

Dancing in the square at Sabadinho

Vane's World Cup themed manicure.

Vane’s World Cup themed manicure.

Marcus wasn’t really up to it …. we came back early and he refused a beer!!!!

On Tuesday I had a baking lesson with Michael. He is a German graphic designer, but initially trained as a baker. Unfortunately he discovered that he was allergic to flour and had to give it up, but he still has the skills and makes amazing cakes! He gave me several recipes and I made an orange and lemon drizzle cake that was delicious…..I shall have to ration cake baking to once a month, or I’ll have to buy a new wardrobe!

Tuesday was also the festival of St John. Great piles of wood were delivered and dumped in the street outside houses in the village and built into tall bonfire towers right outside the front doors. It’s a shame that it rained all day, but most of the fires were lit and the village was a mixture of fire steam and smoke.

The marina's bonfire waiting to be lit n São Paulo's day. Too wet and windy on São Joao's

The marina’s bonfire waiting to be lit n São Paulo’s day. Too wet and windy on São Joao’s

Nicholas and Camilla worked all day to lay on a special Sao Joao buffet for us Yotties.

Nicholas and Camilla after the successful feast.

Nicholas and Camilla after the successful feast.

They made traditional Sao Joao food with goat, beans, pumpkin and several maize based dishes and they decorated the buffet table with palm leaves.

São Joao's decorations.

São Joao’s decorations.

The feast ready to be devoured

The feast ready to be devoured

Goat stew mmmmmm!

Goat stew mmmmmm!

Gathered for the feast.

Gathered for the feast.

It was a real feast and we left very slim pickings!

The children had mini bangers to throw on the floor.

Arthur and Gabriel had mini bangers to throw on the floor.

A calm (ish) moment with Gabriel.

A calm (ish) moment with Gabriel.

On Wednesday we woke to more rain. It comes as quite a shock, even though we know this is the rainy season! We decided to borrow the car and go into Joao Pessoa to get all the bits we need to finish the sun canopy and do a ‘bulky stores’ shop at the super market ready for our departure next week. We also arranged for Rambo and his mate to come and scrub off the ever growing garden that has attached itself to our bottom.

Things were going well………too well!

When we were in the first shop, Marcus realised he didn’t have his wallet. We hadn’t been anywhere else, except the petrol station, where he had paid and put his wallet on his lap. We realised he must have dropped it as he got out of the car. Of course it wasn’t there when I went outside to look! The CCTV camera showed a customer going out of the shop, picking it up and walking up the street with it in his pocket…….. R$300, 2 credit cards and a British driving license better off.

The shopping trip was abandoned and we returned to the marina to cancel the cards ……. a very frustrating task, given the skype connection that breaks up and drops in and out. Luckily Claire and Allan asked us on board for a beer and a cup of tea, which helped clear the air and settle Marcus’ annoyance at himself.

With credit cards stopped and in a much happier mood, we spent Thursday with Allan and Claire doing our ‘preparing to leave’ shopping. Hopefully we will not be leaving too long after them, but we will have to see how long we have to wait for the new cards to arrive. We rounded off a much more successful day with a four course meal on board for Allan and Claire and Claudia and Michael.

Dinner on board with Michael, Claudia, Allan and Claire

Dinner on board with Michael, Claudia, Allan and Claire

1 Comment

  1. Dear Marcus and Margie
    Hey! sounds like you’re about to move on! Well done, and enjoy! Margaret

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