Day 22, Year 6 Boat Work and More Shopping
Date: Monday, November 15, 2010
Weather: Mostly Sunny Day; No Wind in AM, Winds NE 10-15
Location: Tuzi Gazi Marina, Richards Bay, South Africa
Mark and Ed went to town to this morning to check on boat projects that are being done. Mark picked up our Magma grill from the shop that was doing a little modification. We have had this grill since Tahiti and but it has never really worked right. If there is any wind at all, it just doesn’t heat up. So Mark had someone here tack weld a wind deflector on the back and now it heats up beautifully. Why didn’t we do this five years ago?!! He also took in a piece of our anchor chain to the shop that is going to try and braise our bronze gypsy so that it better catches the chain as we raise and lower the anchor. The teeth of the gypsy have just worn down over the years and don’t work well anymore. If the braising doesn’t work, we’ll have to order a new one from Australia and the shipping is almost as much as the piece. So we are hoping the braising works. He also took in our 200 amp Amptech alternator to see if it could be repaired, but the shop he went to said they can’t work on an alternator that big and they are not sure anyone in this area can do the work. We have a lead on another place about twenty miles from here, so he’ll check that out in the next day or so. If no one can repair this one, we are going to have to buy a new one.
In the afternoon, Mark and I drove into Richards Bay to do some food shopping. The cases of chunk tuna that I ordered last week were in, so we picked that up and bought all of the diced canned tomatoes that were on sale as well as a few other things. When we leave here we hope to have all the provisions we will need for six months. Brazil and the Caribbean are more expensive than here, so we are back to the same situation we had in Thailand when we were provisioning for the Indian Ocean Crossing. Buying so much food is an exhausting proposition, especially when you don’t know where to go to buy things. The supermarkets here don’t have spices like cinnamon and they don’t have nuts in any quantity. They don’t even have chocolate chips in anything bigger than a cupcake tin. I had to order rolled oats from a pharmacy and found out today that the warehouse is out of stock. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, the warehouse will restock. You can’t even buy vitamins here in any quantity-only thirty capsules in a container. And they are super expensive. Finding de-caffeinated tea is like an Easter egg hunt, and there are just not the brands that we have been able to depend on all around the world. In the US we would only buy whole wheat crackers, but while cruising we have learned to make do with Ritz crackers. But they don’t even have those here. We’ve actually been able to buy Paul Newman’s balsamic vinaigrette dressing everywhere, but not here. Things like Jiff and Skippy’s peanut butter have always been available, but here we can only find local brands and they all have lots of sugar and taste very sweet. There are just so many things that we are used to buying that just aren’t here. So the shopping process is exhausting. If I never had to shop for groceries ever again in my life, I would be a happy person. But I’m sure many of you feel the same way. When I was a little girl I used to dream of just taking a pill every day and never having to cook. The little girl that lived next door, Patti O’Dell, used to dream of never washing dishes. She said she was just going to be rich enough to throw dishes away every day. Right now these seem like great ideas!