Bad day in paradise

 Thursday – 7th June
The head is not supposed to be on deck.

As we headed to bed the previous night, I heard, “Oh no”, shouted from the head. That’s always a bad sign. Our main toilet had jammed and would not flush. Lucky for us, we have a second head on board.

Alex was eager to get to work on specifying what bits he needed Jorge to order so Alex could do what he needed at the mast.  But the mast would have to wait. The head took precedence. Poor Alex. At least the last time he had to do this job was about 10 years ago. Fortunately for me, I am unable to lift the Wilcox Crittenden Skipper II marine toilet, nor can I loosen the fittings. So I am off the hook on this job.

We knew we had a rebuild kit aboard for the toilet. I had seen it last year and remember remarking to Alex that it was going to come in handy as the toilet was getting to be harder to flush and the non-return valve wasn’t shutting properly. So we got to work searching the boat for kit. Alex tore through everything first. Then I, thoroughly investigated every nook and cranny, every box and bag, every place I could think of something like this hiding from me. No joy. Then Alex tried again. Then I again. Could we find this kit? No. I found spare parts and kits for everything else but not for the one thing we really needed it for.
Meanwhile, I was feeling steadily worse. My cold had turned into a sinus infection. Not nice. I didn’t have the proper medications on board because in the year we spent cruising we never got sick. We forgot we needed to board airplanes to get to the boat these days.

So Thursday was a bit of a slow day. Bits of this and that got done on my part. At least the weather was still lousy. Wet and misty and overcast and cold. We didn’t feel bad about working indoors. But I realised we needed food supplies – bread, milk, eggs, cold cuts, & booze. So I decided to hoof it to the Jumbo supermarket behand the rail station. I had Mrs. Google guiding me there. It wasn’t as bad a walk as people had warned. The last bit was a bit hairy crossing a major and very busy road. People drive very fast here. I was going to have them deliver the order to the boat.

When I got there, I was completely overwhelmed. It was the biggest supermarket I had ever seen other than Costco in Virginia which I avoided. The first thing you see is a book store, then hardware, linens, housewares, outdoor and patio, next to salt cod or bacalao and fresh fish, fresh meat, packaged meats, prepared foods, etc. Then start the aisles. There was one whole aisle with just milk another with just other dairy like yogurt and kefir.  One whole aisle with just water, one with juices, one whole aisle with lunchmeat, one with cheese. There were aisles with canned goods, paper products, cleaning products, and personal products. Aisles with men’s clothing, women’s clothing and children’s clothing. A huge fruit and veg department, computerised so you entered a number for your selection onto the scale and it spit out a sticker to apply to your baggie. A huge bakery with lovely breads for which you had to take a number. The only thing that wasn’t an aisle onto itself was the liquor department which was a cul de sac. That may have been the smallest section of the store.

I hardly put anything in the basket and I could not figure out how to get them to deliver. So I opted to carry my stuff down the hill. Bless Alex for texting to ask how I was doing as it was not 6 pm. He walked to meet me half way and carried the heaviest bags the rest of the way.

I had bought a lovely fresh sausage which I thought would make a nice dinner. I cooked it up with fried potatoes, onions, apples and garlic. Yum.

Sleep came easily but didn’t last. At 5 am, as I had done every night since we arrived, I awoke to choking. My sinuses were fully blocked, my lungs were full of fluid and my throat ached. I could not stop hacking. So I got up and made tea, ate a spoonful of honey, blew my nose to high heaven, took a blast of inhaler, and waited for the hacking to subside. It did not. By 930 am, when Alex was finally awake, I was reading my book and annoyed with the world, especially Alex, whatever he had done. How could he have slept when I had been so miserable?
The Jumbo supermarket beyond the train station


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