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Chagaramus is not the idyll of tropical islands, but it is an amazing place for getting repairs done. There are all the tradesmen and artisans you could possibly need and with a favourable exchange rate we are tempted to get solar panels fitted here……we’ll see if the budget can handle it.
We have decided to stay at anchor until Tuesday 19th when we are due to be lifted out at Power Boats. The people there are very friendly and in our time here we have met several people who are on the hard there too.

We had a good night’s sleep on Monday and were awakened at 0900 by a knock on the hull. Craig, a friend we met in Mindelo, had seen us arrive the night before and came over to say hello…..a little early, but very welcome. The day was spent with laundry, internet access and finding out which yard to be lifted out. We met up with Craig and Wendy for a late lunch and caught up with all their news. They sailed at the same time as us, but went to Guadeloupe and then cruised down the island chain to Trinnie.

We seem to have been so busy since arriving with two major jobs and a lot of ‘social networking’. The two major jobs were removing all the oil from the little outboard that decided to leap off the back of the dinghy! Luckily it was moored at the time and chained to the dinghy and didn’t completely submerge. After washing the salt water off under the deck shower Marcus spent most of the day flushing the oil out of the gear box until it ran clear. Luckily there was no water in the fuel so the engine was not damaged.

The other major job was the generator starter battery. When the generator refused to start, even with the assistance of the main engine, we thought the battery must have died and needed replacing. With out the generator we cannot run the water maker and have to run the far less fuel efficient main engine to charge the batteries that run all our pumps, fridges, water pressure system and navigation instruments, so not starting was a BIG problem.

On Saturday morning we took the seats up I the saloon and opened the locker with the battery in. Needless to say I had used every square inch of space and so the sleeping bags, sailing bags, headlining repair kit, a fan heater and a box of J M Auel and Harry Potter tomes had to come out first.
As I started to lift stuff out, I realised that it was all soaking wet. When I eventually got to the battery box, it was full of water and the battery completely submerged with one of its terminals corroded away. How it had managed to start the generator the night before is a mystery!
After much effort and unscrewing another seat panel it was clear that the battery could not be lifted out with the handle. I looked long and hard at the hole and space in the locker and decided to try to squeeze into the space and lift the battery out. I eased my way in backwards and with a bit of contortionism and a lot of breathing out, I was in and in no time the battery was out!
Marcus then tested the battery’s voltage…..amazingly it was still fully charged, non the worse for it’s dunking…..then he replaced and rewired the damaged wires and terminal and we repeated the exercise to put the battery back in its box.

Battery securely back in place and working. I'm coming out!

Battery securely back in place and working. I’m coming out!

One.....

One…..

Two....

Two….

Three! And Hey Presto!

Three! And Hey Presto!

Looking at the hole now, I don’t know how I managed to get in there!!

Since arriving we have met a lot of friendly and helpful people, who have welcomed us into the sailing community and already steered us in the right direction. There is a great deal of knowledge around and they are keen to make sure no new comers are ripped off.
We have taken our socialising seriously and have been to a Swordfish supper, a Boaters Pot Luck barbecue and a Shark ‘n Bake meal at a local bar.

We have met up again with Claire and Allan on ‘Moonstone’ who we spent a lot of time with in Jacaré. They woke us on Thursday morning (and probably all the neighbouring boats!) as they came into the bay, with a load hailer announcement saying…. ‘Island Kea, Island Kea, this is the Brazilian customs’.
We shot out of bed, still nervous about customs officials and were relieved and delighted to see them anchoring next to us. They came aboard for breakfast and a good chat before they made their way to check out and sail over to Tobago. We will no doubt meet up again further along the way.

We are getting ready to be lifted tomorrow and get the boat safely chocked and cleaned on dry land.
We fly back to England on Thursday, so I’ll not be posting another blog until the end of September. Love to you all and hopefully we shall be able to catch up with friends and family while we’re home.

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