27th June to 27th July 2019
Did lots of things and we’re way behind on blogging (I’m writing this six weeks later) so this will be short! Nana B visited, and we had a lovely time with her doing lots of family things and generally chilling.
There’s a lovely walk behind the south end of the beach. Beautiful spot, straight into the forest with hundreds of butterflies and other wildlife. There are a few tracks to follow, and guided walks available.
As we were in a marina with an excellent customs broker (80USD per shipment, brought to the marina from customs in Castries), we decided to get hold of a few things that had been on our “get hold of” list since we decided to make this a longer-term lifestyle. For instance, an electric engine for the dinghy 😊.
Installed new batteries, a 500Ah lithium ion bank made of Sinoply cells with an Orion BMS to protect it. Spent a while balancing the cells while we had shore power, so it should now be fairly easy to manage and give us oodles of usable capacity.
After a lot of to-and-fro with MyUS, a freight-forwarder we use, we also took delivery of some other batteries which should increase our storage substantially. They’re a test – used Nissan Leaf batteries. In theory we have bought 3.4kwh for about $1000, but doubtless they’ll have lost some of their capacity in the three years they were used in a car. We’ll see how they work when I get around to wiring them in. If they’re good, we’ll get a few more and switch over to electric engines at some point (probably retaining one of the diesels so that we can motor for longer periods of time if needed for safety or comfort reasons).
Charlotte made a lovely sailbag – taking advantage of a villa floor – and our sail can now be covered – the previous cover was TIGHT and could only be closed if the sail was flaked perfectly! The new bag also looks pretty, she’s done an awesome job 😊.
Replacement power socket and USB and SD-card reader for our laptop (total about $40). The USB reader now works, and the laptop charges again! Most useful, and rather cheaper than a replacement laptop!
Serviced the engines. Did many other little things that have not been done for too long (cleaning the bilges, for instance). Removed a peg which had blocked the pump from the toilet – what a lovely job that was, thanks kids.
On not-teaching our children:
Now that we are not going back to the UK, the kids are not going to school any time soon, and we no longer care whether they are “keeping up” with what ‘school kids’ are doing. They all love learning, so we’ll just let them learn in their own time, do our best to answer questions or look up answers, and generally encourage a love of learning rather than programming the learning itself.
Arthur is teaching himself maths. Basic fractions are now easy, he can work out 800+400, multiply some things if the mood suits. It’s cool, and he hasn’t seen a workbook or sat down for a “maths lesson” in a year or so. But he does watch us cook.
Hector is toilet training himself – he hates using his nappy (he doesn’t wear one all day), so doesn’t wee in the night. Generally, he makes it to the potty for poos or at least shouts and points at his bum, so we know we need to get it for him. His brief time of having a “wee spot” on the sofa thankfully didn’t last.
Theo, every time we get into the pool, shouts “training” where we dangle a noodle in front of him while he swims, telling him about the sea monster that’s chasing him while he valiantly tries to both stay above water and move forward. He can just about manage a width (5m or so), and evidently “not drowning” isn’t enough pressure.