Cruising has often wryly been defined as 'fixing you boat in interesting places'. This is no frustration for us as it's what we expect and enjoy. What's threatening our sanity at the moment is not being able to do our fixing and therefore delays in moving on. What's the problem in your beautiful tropical paradise? I hear you wonder; 'Demassiado lluvia' – Too Much Rain!
We've been here almost four weeks now and apart from a couple of delightful exceptions it's rained every single night. Before yesterday, the last five daytimes have been rainy too and plenty before that. It's not that we 'can't stand the rain'; we are British after all; it's just that our work is largely outside and perpetually damp or drying. Also, it's so warm that you need your doors and windows open trying to tempt in a little breeze.
Tuesday afternoon just when we thought we might have chosen something to do in the moisture, the power went.
The weeks of rain had dampened our spirits and it suddenly got to us just how little we'd managed to get done in this short and finite time we'd have the 'luxury' of power and nearby land. The reality is that we'd prefer to be at anchor in any case but we have several jobs that are massively aided by the use of power tools and a little more space.
Frustration hit and some words were flung. The problems have been only partly rain. It also has not been as easy as Duncan had hoped to get into the swing of things. I can't help feeling a bit like I'm on holiday so wasn't going for it hammer and tongs.
All of our first week was spent going through lockers; throwing out some things, cleaning and trying to irradicate our bugs. There was a fair bit of mould wiping and rearranging to be done before the boat felt homely again. Then there was going up town to provision and celebrate Duncan's birthday together with the inevitable hangovers. A few days were lost and our provisioning would have been much more appropriate if I hadn't felt so nauseus and weak. We consequently predictably ran low on fresh foods only one week later and eaked out our last few onions tomatoes and chillis for the next week. Repeatedly we put off a restocking trip due to the time it would take and how much we wanted to get done before our friend visits – when we had to go to town anyhow.
In any case Tuesday afternoon was a low spot, perhaps exacerbated by perfectly adequate, but below usual par food. We weren't alone, Mauritz who owns our space in the jungle ( I hesitate to call it a marina as it would do it a disservice) with his girlfriend Mavis slammed down his chisel on the workbench as rain dripped down his neck despite being under the roof , 'this is starting to 'shall we say' really piss me off now'; he wouldn't be glueing up his bowsprit that day. Mavis got back from dropping someone off in town in their lancha totally drenched through. 'I'm so glad we moved to the sun, baby'.
So, Tuesday night it continued to pour, we continued to grump at one another and 'no hay electricidad' persisted. We'd heard from our friend and we wanted to meet her soon. We started hatching a plan and went to bed waking up with regularity to squash some bloody mosquitos or lament on the thunderous hammering of precipitation on our roof.
Wednesday bloomed a whole new day. The sun poked through the remaining spots of drizzle, we had a plan and Duncan had laid it down; no more laziness. Mauritz was laughing over his music as he glued up his bowsprit. The whip had been cracked and we sprung into action, lockers were rearranged, cutting lists were organised, stuff was packed away; focus reigned.
In the afternoon I heard Mauritzs' compressor running, I knew he was already up in the bar area 'having a business meeting' with his builders and a beer. I looked across the water; no flow of exhaust out the side of his boat; he wasn't running his generator. 'Dunc, we've got power!'
I routed the edge on the piece of wood for the table; just one pass that I'd been trying to do for 48 hours. Duncan went to strip up a whole load of wood to prepare it to make trim in the future. I fibreglassed the edges of the dinghy way past sundown and we went up to discuss travel plans for the next day with Mavis and Mauritz over a beer for me and a 'Tom especiale' for Duncan; rum, tonic and lime over ice.
Mario could pick us up in his outboard powered cayuco at 06.30. This took a moment to get used to as we'd hoped to go around 2pm having cleared away and scrubbed up the boat a bit and painted the dinghy in the morning in expectation of our first visitor. Once we assimilated the new plan it all seemed grand again and we resolved to go to bed soon; it was already almost 11pm and we still hadn't eaten...
Mario zipped us up to Fronterras in just under two hours picking up various people and fish along the way. We had just enough time for huevos revueltos y frijoles negras; scrambled eggs and refried beans before getting on the bus for Flores. Rachel is there already having made the trip from Cancun airport in record time, however, at this present moment, we aint goin' nowhere.
Our bus stopped in a huge traffic jam just outside Poptun about 4 hours ago and I'm sitting on the side of the road thinking about frustration. We're told it's a teachers' strike blocking the road; apparently they've not been paid sufficiently and are letting people know by stopping the traffic. We're told that either the situation or individuals are 'locos', its hard to tell which, but no-one seems overly worried by this. I'm sure the 70 or so people who have poured out of our bus all have places to be and things to do but at the moment there's nothing anyone can do about it; for now we'll just have to wait.