Some Days You Are the Windshield, Some Days You Are the Bug…

It’s been a busy few days around Marionette and, full disclosure, the only reason I am settled in to write now is because I was going to go for a run, but I am out of bras (#laundryday, #sorrynotsorry).

We decided to extend our stay in the condo for a few days. Coronovirus has proved to make travelling most difficult and boat projects, while never ending, were taking more than the time allotted. Since the whole island pretty much shuts down on Sundays (our initial check out day) I emailed the reservation center and requested the condo through Thursday/Friday. Monday morning husband and I were trying to install solar panels, but it was getting late in the morning and I still hadn’t heard anything from the reservations center, so I headed back to the condo to try to sort it out. When I found out that due to Coronavirus, the whole resort had shut down THE DAY BEFORE. Whoops. They agreed to give us until 5:00 to get cleared out. And just like that, we are on Marionette full time!

While unplanned, at least for that particular timeline, that day, we were most definitely the windshield. Our first night aboard was filled with ramen noodles, Shawn Mullins, and endless conversations about all of her potential glory. Her classic lines give her a timeless beauty that is unmatched by modern boats. We were overflowing with optimism.

The next day, after a less than stellar night’s sleep, we spent (no exaggeration) 10 hours rebuilding winches. Not a difficult task, but time consuming and, well, gross. One winch had our number. First of all, it has about a million pieces and after cleaning CHUNKS of gunk out of it, it STILL wouldn’t turn. It was a long, hot, exhausting and frustrating day. This day, we were the bug.

Marionette and all of her new systems and new wiring and new to us everything, is taking a little getting used to. The solar panels are working well and I feel like a very green and very responsible citizen of the universe for having them…. At least I did. We couldn’t get the engine to start – brand new engine, but it sounded like the batteries weren’t strong enough. That just didn’t make sense, the solar panels had been going all day, we must have something drawing battery power running somewhere. After a frustrating hour or two, we reached out to our contractor, Chris (read: Godsend) who spent some time trouble shooting with me over WhatsApp. Turns out, it was not the battery or battery power at all! One of our previous contractors, or a combination of previous contractors, had installed our engine exhaust so low and close to the water line that it was sucking water INTO OUR BRAND NEW DIESEL ENGINE (read: potential catastrophe). Chris came by and ultimately fixed the problem by installing a big loop stopping the water, which should have been done in the first place, but our entire day yesterday was spent changing the oil. About 5 gallons of oil, 10 hours, 2 filters, and 40,000,000 cuss words – oh, and at one point, the oil syphon blew up in my face. Literally in my face. Quote of the day? “Babe, could you hand me a paper towel so I can get the oil out of my tits?” (Sorry, Dad). Day 2 for the bug.

On the upside, I did make a big, delicious dinner for hubby and Chris- my first of MANY nights entertaining on Marionette. Sint Maarten weather has not disappointed. I went to a new market for some veggies and, covered in oil and grease and bug spray and sunscreen and smelling like who knows what, I got a little misty at the sight of the first legit grocery store that I have seen in over a week. Fresh apples and tomatoes nearly made me weep. It’s the little things, guys.

4 thoughts on “Some Days You Are the Windshield, Some Days You Are the Bug…

  1. Wow, sounds like a rough start , but I can’t wait to see and hear more. Yes going to the store anywhere right now is just saddening and mad!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! You both have had huge challenges! Hopefully it will be smooth sailing from here. Thank you for the blog….it’s been fun seeing you on your journey! May you have nice weather, avoid the virus, have non clunking gears, a water free engine and a good nights rest! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

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