Electrical Troubleshooting in Puerto Lindo

see here).  During this time though, I managed to meet up with the only real mechanic in town – purely by chance.  His name is Guido (Goo – E – Doe), he’s German, and he runs a hostel here:  Hostel Wunderbar…  At first he just gave me some vague advice, but as he’s gotten to know me – he’s dedicated some time teaching me about the electrical system onboard and came out to the boat for a bit and helped me troubleshoot.  He destroyed my nice, clean boat,  – but he put me many hours ahead in troubleshooting.

It’s kinda like having a mentor.  Who is German, a sailor, a father, an ex-biker (like biker-gang) and a little nuts.  I like him.  Smart, methodical, and thinks/talks very quickly.  He speaks French, German, English, and Spanish.  The English part is huge for me.

The Charm is Gone

So, I’ve been pretty frustrated the last few days.  The remoteness of Puerto Lindo makes it very difficult to provision and refit my boat.  In addition it’s the rainy season, so I’m dodging torrential downpours to get this problem fixed.  And I’m running out of liquor and beer.  They should just call it “wet season.”  The entire time you’ll be wet.  It will be sweat or rain, probably both.  I d0n’t think I’ve actually been dry more than a few minutes.  Why would someone call this home?

And the diving here is shit.  Complete shit.  For three reasons:  a)  it’s the rainy season so the visibility is bad (on a good day) b)  I found that they’re gill-netting right next to my boat  c)  I’m not very comfortable heading out of here to freedive alone (it’s a little risky).  On the gill-netting:  they’re killing everything larger than a minnow less than 30 meters from my deck.  I hate it.  Gill-netting is a horrible, non-selective way to catch dinner (or feed your family).

It’s similar to the carnage the commercial fisherman and shrimpers wreak in the Gulf of Mexico – but of course, I’m on a cruise around the world onboard a 38′ catamaran.  The guy doing the gill-netting is trying to feed his family.  Hardly fair for me to condemn.

Anyways, I’m ready to get this engine fixed and sail away.  San Blas? Cartagena?  Anywhere but here.

I’m Learning

I’m now done complaining.  The silver lining is:  I’m learning a ton about the boat.  I feel more confident troubleshooting, installing, and wiring things.  I understand (somewhat) how my diesels  work.  Generally, I’m getting to know my boat.  Which is actually a good thing to know before one takes off.  So – the charm of Puerto Lindo may be gone, but I’m glad that it forced me to learn.  I’m also glad that I didn’t just fork over $5K to have the “mechanic” from Panama City rewire both engines.

So I may be here for a while, but there are things worse than working on a boat in Puerto Lindo (like being stuck in an office, or fighting traffic everyday).  And however long it takes, I’ll have learned quite a bit about the boat and have saved some money.  Both of which are super-important right now.  It’s not all bad, I’m just being forced to learn something new at an inconvenient time/place – which I reserve the right to gripe (a little) about.

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