Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Power To The People

At approximately 6:30 AM this morning our power came back on and stayed on all day! At first we thought it was just our 2 hours on because the schedule was all messed up yesterday. Then we read on the BPL Facebook page that the generator pump was fixed and power had been restored. We also learned that there are actually 4 generators and they all cool from the same source and pump, so when the pump has issues, the whole system goes down. They did have 4 pumps at one point as spares, but they weren't lasting as long as expected because of the brackish water they use (a mix of salt and fresh water), and they went through the spares fast. It takes several months to make these custom parts and luckily two were ready to be shipped when this failure happened. That's when they transported them from Arizona, where they were made, to Texas and then flown to Marsh Harbour last night. Below is the C131 plane that flew the 3000 lbs. worth of parts in. This plane was built in the 1950's (but obviously reconditioned) and replaced the old DC 3 planes. Conquest Air has adapted their 4 planes for heavy payloads up to 7500 lbs. They even specialize in transporting horses throughout the Caribbean.

However they got the parts to Abaco, it worked, and it has been so nice and quiet around the settlement today without generators!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Powerless

Last Friday at 8 AM, the power went off. That happens periodically here in Abaco, and our apartment runs off the marina's generator. However, that day the power never went back on! There was a cooling pump failure at the main power plant which caused a complete system shut down of all power, and of course there is no back up pump! All the islands have been running on the other 12 MW generating plant since then, but it can't handle the load, so we have been dealing with load sharing and shedding. This means 2 hours with power, and 4 hours without.

A similar 12MW Generator

Thank goodness we can rely on our back up generator here during the off times, although we do leave it off during the night. We figure the 2 hours on will keep our fridge and the marina's ice maker and coolers cold enough to cover the other 4 hours.

Bahamas Power and Light has been giving updates on their Facebook page, but most of their schedules have not been accurate. It also gave the information that the part (along with a spare) that weighs 3000 lbs., had to be transported from Arizona to Texas and a special plane was to bring it to Abaco last night. Today they said it didn't arrive because of weather issues in Texas (which some readers looked up and found there was no bad weather). Now they say tomorrow it will arrive. One rumor is that the parts need to come from Germany!

Meanwhile, today's power outage was longer than normal and we only had one hour on before it was off again. This is causing havoc with all those people that don't have back up generators, and the island is packed with tourists right now with spring break. A friend of ours who just arrived the day before this all began, has no generator, and everything in her fridge has spoiled including medications. We are so lucky not to have to worry about that, and Dave has been making sure the oil, fuel, and coolant is full on 'our' generator, so it continues to run flawlessly. You can imagine how thankful the managers are here, since it's one less thing they have to worry about. The fuel dock has been extra busy with business, resort, and home owners bringing in jerry cans for diesel and gas for their generators. In fact we are the only place to buy diesel on the island and everyone has to come across the harbor to fuel up! In fact, as I am writing this, the fuel tanker is pulling into the dock to fill up the marina's tanks.

To add insult to injury everyone who has BTC cellphones say that they don't work because there is no back up generator on island that runs the cell tower! Luckily we have a new ALIV phone and have service including internet.

For now we are keeping our fingers crossed that this dilemma doesn't last too long, but we keep our flashlights close at hand, since we never know when the lights will go off. When they do go off, we listen to all the individual generators in the settlement drone on...and I'm glad I don't mind the smell of diesel exhaust fumes! It reminds me of being back on board New Horizon, sitting in the harbor and laughing at the landlubbers that have to worry about dealing with all the outages. 😉



Friday, February 16, 2018

Bo Peep

Little Bo Peep has lost her cheeps, and doesn’t know where to find them.

There’s only a few on the ground so I look all around, and discover they’re up above me.

Up towards the sky the hen is flying so high, as the chicks climb the branches behind her.

I exclaim “what the heck” as they approach our deck, what are they doing up there?

So I head to the top to make them all stop, but they know this is where the food comes from.

Mom makes it to the ledge giving her the edge, to get the bread before her kids do.

The peeps sit in the trees flapping tiny wings in the breeze, waiting to get their morsels.

It’s time to get these chickens back down and to the hen I say with a frown, “Off my porch you mother clucker!”


Footnotes:
Blame that last phrase on Dave.
Yes, we have too much time on our hands. 😉
No, I am not using a cane anymore. We just used it for the photo shoot as Bo Peep's staff!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Helper?

During all our excitement with the sunken boat yesterday morning, right in the midst of all the action, in swims Randy the manatee. He loves to be around people and activity. Too bad we couldn't get him to help right the boat. Look at the size of the remora on his back!


While I was watching him, he flipped over to allow the remoras (he ended up having four of them)and sargent major fish to clean the parasites off his belly.

It still amazes me that we have this resident manatee here in Abaco. I have no idea how he stays away from getting hit with props from all the boats that are in the harbor, but he seems to manage just fine, although he does have one scar now. He really likes hanging around our marina, especially when they are cleaning the boats and fresh water goes into the harbor. Then he becomes a tourist attraction too. He certainly has a friendly personality and sometimes too friendly. I was told that an acquaintance with kids were swimming in the cove behind the marina and Randy came in and wanted to play and blocked the way back to shore so the kids couldn't leave. That must have been scary and a good reason not to be in the water with these animals. Fun to watch his antics at though.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Morning Excitement

I am an early riser and this gives me alone time to check emails and weather on my computer before all the marina workers arrive at 7:30 AM. This morning I received an email from a friend who is renting a house directly across the mouth of the harbor from us. He said it looked like a boat in our marina was sunk and on its side. I jumped up, flew out on the porch and sure enough, the managers' Bluewater 23 was on its side next to the dock. I yelled for Dave to get up and call them and we ran down to the dock.

It hasn't been determined what caused it to sink and roll, although the boat does have a very low transom where the motor is attached, so maybe a large wake reflected off the seawall and filled it up. Either that or an underwater thru hull fitting may have been faulty, but we do know that it wasn't caught under the dock. As soon as the owners and workers arrived and got their game plan together, it was a lot of fun to watch. They pulled on the dock lines getting it to roll back a little.

Then the boatyard workers all got on the high side in hopes that their weight would roll it back over enough to start bailing it out. You've heard of a Chinese fire drill? This was a Bahamian fire drill.

At first they used an electric bilge pump hooked to a battery, but it wasn't making much headway.

Then they had three guys using 5 gallon buckets which was faster, but the added weight made the boat start sinking in the stern again, so one of them had to run to the front.

This made the bow too heavy and almost sank it.

Eventually it was pumped out, towed to the forklift well, hauled out, and flushed with fresh water. Late this afternoon we actually heard the engine run. Definitely a miracle, and an exciting way to start the day!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Swelling Up

Thankfully, I am not talking about myself this time! Instead I am writing about our Abaco Dinghy Dandy that is now back in the water and sitting proudly out front of our marina for all to admire.


Dave had her launched this morning and her wooden planks are swelling up nicely after being out of the water since last April. There was so little water coming in that he only had to bail out about 20 sponges full of seawater after a couple of hours. Now that's literally running a tight ship!

Later this afternoon the wind eased enough for him to take a perfect sail around the harbor. His mast extension that he made to lift the mainsail higher, so we can see and maneuver under the boom easier, is a huge success.


What an honor to own one of these iconic wooden boats made by the late Winer Malone!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Pool Therapy

We have discovered that the Hope Town Inn and Marina's pool that is next door, is heated. It is a very comfortable 80 degrees and we can walk right in. What a great way to get some water therapy for my ankle. I can even swim some short laps.
Of course hiding under the waterfall from the hot tub is fun too!

"It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it!"