16 June 2017

Fixing Things In Exotic Places | The Never-Ending Dinghy Davit Saga

There’s a saying that fixing things in exotic places is what cruising on a sailboat is all about. Being in exotic places is somehow supposed to make up for the fact that stuff on your boat always breaks.

Remember how our dinghy davit broke while we were cruising in the Bahamas? Remember how we were stuck in Marsh Harbour waiting to see if we could get it repaired?

No? Can't say that I blame you. I've been trying to forget about our never-ending dinghy davit saga too.

Here’s a little picture to remind you. This is the thing we needed welded.

So, here’s what I want to know – is Marsh Harbour considered an exotic place?
After hanging about there for a week, it sure didn't feel exotic. Just another town that happens to be in the Bahamas.

The roads weren't all that exotic. Sure, they drive on the left-hand side of the road, but we're used to that having lived in Scotland and New Zealand. It seemed normal.

The ice cream bars were delicious, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The local boatyard and marina looked like...well, like a boatyard and marina you might find in Florida.

Upcoming elections meant that there were signs everywhere. Similar to the political signs you might find in during election season back in the States.

Trying to get a quote on the welding work we needed done took forever. That definitely didn't feel exotic. Just like back home, trying to chase up people and have them get back to you.

It kind of reminded me of our expat days. When we first moved to Scotland and then to New Zealand, we'd be in awe of everything. It was all so exotic, different, fascinating, new etc. at the beginning. Then after a while, it all became routine.

That's what sitting and waiting in Marsh Harbour for a week started to become - nothing exciting, just routine. Get up, send some emails, binge watch some shows, eat some food and go snorkeling. Okay, that last part's pretty cool - being able to snorkel off of a beach at Marsh Habour. You might even say exotic.

For those of you on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happened with the dinghy davit, we did find a welder in the end, but then the base sheared off, more damage was found on the davit and it didn't make sense to repair it. More details below in the Cruising Log.

Cruising Log | Wednesday, 26 April 2017 – Friday, 28 April 2017

More emails about the davit situation. Went snorkeling at Mermaid Reef. Made bread. Had Carl from Northern Star over for sundowners. Nautical miles = Nil. Engine hours = Nil. Spending = Nil.

Walked up to the welder’s. Finally managed to get a quote. Higher than expected, plus can’t fit us in right away. Got ice cream sandwiches at Maxwell’s to console ourselves. Only 81 cents each! Full of chemicals, but oh so delicious. Went to the hardware store, got tip about another welder, the Prop Shop. Got quote on the spot and they’re able to start right away. Things are looking up! More snorkeling at Mermaid Reef. Nautical miles = Nil. Engine hours = Nil. Spending = $5.12

Took solar panel off. Tried to get davit off, then pin on base sheared off. Discovered more damage on davit. Welding it now out of the question, given the extent of repair of required. Now, not only do we need a new davit, but we also need a new base. Shipping cost prohibitive to the Bahamas, not to mention a pain to get through customs. Made decision to head back to the States and replace davit and base there. Jerry-rigged the davit back on. Put solar panel back up. Stowed outboard in lazarette. Anchor up at 2:00 PM. Sailed through Whale Cay Cut and anchored at No Name Cay at 6:00 PM. Nautical miles = 21. Engine hours = .75. Spending = Nil.

What do you consider to be exotic? Have you ever become jaded and blase about your surroundings? What's the most exotic place you've been to or would like to go to?

Internet connection has been really scarce lately while we've been cruising in the Bahamas, so apologies if it takes a while before we're able to respond to your comments and/or visit your blog.
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  1. I guess it's only exotic if you've never seen it.
    Sorry one repair just led to another.

    1. It's always the way - fix one thing and another breaks.

  2. Well, now you have me stumped. Exotic? Well, nothing comes to mind. I've been to places that were beautiful, but not exotic. Most places it's business as usual once you get past the beautiful.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. "Business as usual" is a good way to put it in terms of when the "exotic" feeling starts to disappear.

  3. Yes, absolutely. When we first arrived in New Zealand, everything was new and quaint (like you mentioned). By the time we'd lived there for a couple of years, that had worn off. It's the same thing here. I may never get tired of cruising in the mountains or encountering bears in the wild, but the seaside communities are all alike now.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    1. Good point - just because a place isn't exotic anymore doesn't mean it still isn't a wonderful place to be and explore.

  4. Oh yes. When we lived in Fairbanks, AK. Bill would always get up in the middle of the night to watch the northern lights, (aurora). He would try to wake me up to come too. Northern lights in Fairbanks are very frequent, so I would always wave him off, "hey buddy, I'm trying to sleep here, are they big, do they have more than one color? No? I'm going back to sleep." Blase.... I know some people pay huge amounts of money to see them.

  5. Snorkeling beats just sitting out in the backyard roasting.

  6. Once it's familiar it's not exotic anymore, by definition. So that's why I'm not too torn up about our plans to cruise the inside passage up here being put off for awhile. If we do it, great. If not, oh well. One Pacific Northwest anchorage is as good as another for the most part. I'm ready for something more exotic! Like warm water. Now we are in 'exotic' Gig Harbor, WA at anchor. I am surprised by all the tourists here. Really surprised. This is exotic to some people.

    1. I wonder if being from the PNW if you'll start to miss the cooler weather once you're down south and sweltering.

  7. Most exotic place I've ever been to has to be Zimbabwe and Zambia. I think I'd still consider the Bahamas exotic, but it would become familiar if I'd been there a long time.

    1. Zimbabwe and Zambia sound very exotic. I bet you had some interesting adventures there.

  8. We feel your pain. Our gearbox went belly up while in the Abacos. We felt we would avoid the pain you're suffering and sail to Florida and effect repairs there with less hassle. Ha! 6 weeks later, lost bearings via UPS etc we are still moored here. Frustration levels are just shy of inducing a stroke to yours truly. Good luck to the both of us:)

    1. Oh no, what a nightmare! It's always something, isn't it? And people think owning a boat is so glamorous :-)


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