Thursday (December 20th) morning Al tried to fire up the engines, but the port side did not budge. Unfortunately windlass motor is also powered by that engine, so we had no luck of weighing the anchor without it. Al thought that it was the battery, listening to the noise that the starter was making. We lowered the dinghy, and headed to the Water Island World chandlery, five minutes away. Al was a little apprehensive about carrying the battery back, it weighed almost 60 pounds.
We found our friend store manager Ron at the chandlery, who helped us find a suitable starter battery. You know, Al knew about that particular battery should be replaced last winter. When we were in BVI, we even had gone to a chandlery to buy one, but the guy there changed Al’s mind, suggested adding water to the old one, instead of replacing it. Well, it worked until this day, but no amount of water revived it. Anyway, it was time to buy the new one. I guess its timing to decide to die could be worse, since we were not late for anything yet, but I was not sure if the problem was just the battery, but Ron thought so, otherwise he had mechanics at hand, who could help. He also sent one of his attendants to carry and help install the battery. So three of us returned to Ruyam II and dealt with the issue. It was such a relief to hear the engine purr. Al brought the guy back, but took his time returning because he also had to fill the gas tank for the dinghy on the way.
We were ready and immediately headed to the marina. We got tied down, and started the clean-up with shore water. Every time we dock at the marina, we pay for thousand litres of water, after also filling the two tanks. Oh well, we need to use water!
At 7:00 pm we were dead tired but ready to welcome our friends. We asked the marina taxi stand for a taxi, and a driver, Richard, who had been eating at the bar there came out, to take us to the airport. Al asked if he would wait with us to bring us back, and he readily accepted. He apparently did not have a licence to operate out of the airport, so he did not miss the opportunity to double his fare. We had a nice chat with Richard while waiting, and learned that he had six children, the last of whom was born that morning. I was surprised to hear that his oldest was attending university, he looked younger than that. He must have been married early.
We heard the plane landing, but it took some time for our friends to clear customs, apparently Deniz was so tired that he had a hard time understanding what the customs officer was asking (their accent and way of talking need some getting used to, although they speak English). Same story, they always want to know the name of the boat and the marina. After five tries, Deniz could answer one of the questions, since he knows our boat, but for the marina he just said St George’s. I guess the officer lost hope of getting a straight answer and let them go.
Since we had seen that happen with our former guests, Al was supposed to write Deniz all the information required. Al claimed he wrote, Deniz claims he didn’t. Anything is possible; Al’s email could have been missed among all the others.
Anyway, we reached Ruyam II, but while we were trying to lift the luggage up, it started to rain, quite heavily. Poor Deniz got soaked, but we quickly pulled ourselves to safety and had our drinks to warm up.
There were so many things to talk about but not enough patience; all of us were beat after a long day. We had to wait until the morning. I had made an order to the Merry Bakers at the marina to get fresh croissants and bread at 7:30 am for their first breakfast.