We have been languishing at the marina for ten odd days. Although Al and I have been busy every day, with shopping, laundry and general maintenance of the boat, I started to get bored. We are counting the days while waiting for Deniz and Zeynep to come on the 21 st of December.
Actually this place is quite entertaining; stating at 6:30 in the morning, every fifteen minutes the small ferry to mainland passes by us, and we exchange hellos with the captain, who is almost level with our heads sitting at the cock-pit. In the afternoon, the other ferry takes over, and follows a different route, so it is not so annoying.
Last week one day, when we returned from shopping, we saw at the ferry dock on the mainland that multiple police cars and ambulances were waiting for the boat to arrive. When it came, a group of paramedics, rescue operators, HAZMAT people etc., came to the Isleta with us. Their equipment filled all the space in the ferry. We asked the dock master at the marina, and learned that a man in his fifties, who was living on his boat at the marina, and doing some odd jobs for the marina administration had died in the afternoon, while working on the engine of one of the ferries. Apparently he was suffocated in the unventilated engine room, because of a gas leakage. We felt awful when we saw the poor man being taken away on the stretcher. Although it is the fault of the marina administration, they do not seem to have any responsibilities for a contractor. Hard to believe! Today we learned from the man’s friend, who wanted to buy his boat that, he did not have a wife or children, except a mother and some siblings. What a waste of life, which could have been avoided!
Anyway, sad story aside, this marina is in the worst possible location for the “Christmas Winds” that constantly blow from north and northeast. First of all it is at the east end of Puerto Rico, on a very small island with absolutely no protection. The wind howls all day and more so, at night. The way we are tied at the dock is also wrong for the wind; it is constantly blowing on the stern. As a result, we are stuck inside the boat every evening and early in the morning. If the gusts come from north, they push the boat towards the dock, and gets Al concerned for the fenders. We blew one of them the other day, and were forced to buy a ball shaped one instead, which was recommended by our friend Ricardo. Al really liked the ball, and intends to buy another one.
Well, if the wind is easterly, the boat is pushed away from the dock, but then the lines get tightened at intervals, and jerk the boat. If one is not careful, it is easy to fall down in the boat. Of course Al is concerned about the lines giving way, so he checks each one of the four every now and again. There is no winning in this game! Of course, there is no shortage of noises coming from all sides as well. The constant knocking of the waves from underneath, whining of the halyard etc, clicking of other boats in the neighborhood; it is a miracle that anyone can sleep in a boat tied at the marina, but one eventually gets used to it I guess.
Al decided to move into Sunbay Marina, after our guests arrive, which is across the small channel from Isleta, a dingy ride away, but much more protected, and a little bit more expensive. Did I mention that we are paying $100.00 dollars for a week? I think it hardly pays for the water and electricity that we are using every day, so we had a very good deal.