Return to Bahía de Caráquez

Because of a thunderstorm in Houston, our plane from Portland did not leave until late in the afternoon.  We therefore missed our connection to Guayaquil and spent the night and much of the next day at the Houston airport.  We did not arrive into Guayaquil until very early in the morning on Thursday May 24, but the receptionist at the desk of Hotel California was ready for us with a nice room.  We stayed in Guayaquil two days before returning to Bahía de Caráquez on the late morning bus.  Upon arrival in Bahía, Carlos helped us to get all our heavy bags out to Lanikai.  Bill and I got the boat opened up and returned to Puerto de Amistad for dinner.

The first week back was busy and somewhat exciting at times.  We got the bags unloaded in the first two days and Bill even got our stereo system set up to work with the iPod that we had brought south with us.  Then, Monday night we were awoken about midnight by the aft bilge alarm.  Finding no leaks in the aft bilge, Bill lifted the floor boards to the forward bilge to discover that it was full of salt water!  We spent the next 1 ½ hours pumping it dry and removing the items that we had stored there.  After it was dry, exploration showed that the sea strainer on the house salt water system was leaking.  We shut off the sea water inlet and returned to bed.  The next morning Bill filled 6 five gallon jug of fresh water for me.  I rinsed off the items removed from the bilge and the upper area of the bilge where the water had drained aft from the forward to the aft bilge.  In the process I discovered that the copper foil radio ground in that area needed replacing.  The sea strainer turned out to be broken and unrepairable so the two hose ends were just joined together.   With the bilge emptied out, I got new copper ground foil run and Bill replaced a broken valve on the house saltwater manifold.  The board that held the manifold was discovered to be delaminating so it was removed and epoxied back together and then protected with a coat of paint. 

Wednesday night when we attempted to go ashore the outboard would not run.  No showers that night and it took Bill three tries and three mornings, before he finally got the motor running ok.  The real problem was crud in the carburator, but there were also problems with the fuel pump.  We had just brought back a repair kit for the carburator, so all was well in the end.

The weather has been rainy the entire week that we have been back, which is very unusual for here and is blamed on a weak El Nino.   This has givien us lots of time below deck, which Bill has used to work on his computer, making additions to his FotoAlbum program.  I have already read two of the books we carried south with us.