Friday, May 9, 2014

We arrived in Ponce

The flags of Macao and Portugal are hoisted in the bay of the second biggest city in Puerto Rico. For the first time Macao reached these coasts, five centuries after the first Portuguese arrived here. There’s even a river here called the Portuguese River! Ponce is a nice city but fell short on our expectations since we thought that would be easy to do some boat work here. It’s not easy if you short in budget like us, everything is expensive and everything needs to be ordered from abroad. Labor is as expensive as in United States!
Our stay was planned for one week but we won’t be able to do all the work in such a short time. The major problems we need to solve includes a new autopilot which needs to be ordered from US, parts to make the watermaker work and a set of bolts that need to be shipped from Germany for the windvane. All of that should be arriving in the second week and then we need to figure out a way to install it by ourselves because, unfortunately, the budget without any official support from Macau government or private companies, don’t stretch to enable us to hire someone more skillful to do it. Fortunately we were already able to solve the problem with the power plant, installing a new diesel pump, which enable us to use DC power on board for the electric stove and oven, as well as the microwave.

After we make the watermaker work, which will save us countless dinghy rides to shore to carry potable water by jerrican, and after we install a working autopilot, to help the crew and prevent the necessity of a set of hand on the helm all the time, we will follow the route to Fajardo where we will prepare to cross to the Spanish Virgin Islands.


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