Non-Essential Projects That Make Life Better (in Bahia del Sol, El Salvador)

Our time in El Salvador is coming to an end… too quickly!

El Salvador - Jonathan Tetro and Leah Kruger

I was trying to think of a way to sum up what we’ve been doing for the last week (since dad and Jess left), and I decided that “working on non-essential projects” was about as close as I could get 🙂

The “non-essential” part of this is really the key — we spent so.darn.much of last year working on projects that *had* to be done (like engine mounts — hard to go anywhere when your engine is trying to jump out… or rudder repairs — hard to go anywhere when you can’t trust your rudder to steer you there :P) that it’s been SUPER exciting to work on projects that technically didn’t have to be done, but have been on the “nice to have” list for a long time.

Just for the sake of sharing, here’s a sample of the list:

  • New starter battery. We’ve wanted a separate starter battery pretty much since the first week that we bought the boat when we discovered that the one little car battery the boat came with wouldn’t actually power lights through the night, and we had to hand-crank a flashlight to read. I don’t remember how we managed to start the engine the next morning, but I do remember that it took 60 cranks to get 5 minutes of reading 😉 Now we’ve got our new(er) golf cart batteries on one bank, and an awesome starting battery on the other. Let the fridge rip!
  • Varnishing. Jon loves varnishing (I married well) but almost never has enough down time to do any. He decided to re-do the paneling in the vberth, and it looks so awesome. Amazing what some new varnish can do to the feel of a space!! What’s sad is that I don’t have any pictures to share. Somehow I took pictures of yogurt but missed the new varnish… :S
  • New bimini, sun shades, solar panel attachments on bimini, and canvas line pockets. Really all you need to know is that we bought new canvas for a bimini (thank you so much Shamaness for your old canvas that made the original, but oh-my was it fun to sew with new fabric for once!!!), found some awesome shade material in San Salvador, got given new flat solar panels and decided the bimini was a great place to install them, and needed new pockets. That, and I spent a lot of hours on the Sailrite. It’s a love/hate relationship 🙂New bimini with sun shades that zip on
  • Yogurt. Okay, this one’s a little weird but a great cruiser on another boat here has been tutoring me in the fine art of yogurt making. Turns out — it’s really not that hard! All you need is powdered milk and a little yogurt from someone to get started. Also turns out — Jon and I have very different yogurt tastes 🙂 I like the tangy ‘plain’ taste, he wants more of the Faje Greek Strawberry taste… we’re still working on a compromise. IMG_1549
  • Shelves. Latches. Backing plates. We installed new shelves in the dishes cupboard (yay organization!), new latches on the lazarettes (with 3 latches and new seals the darn lazarette is now finally solidly watertight!), and a new backing plate for the depth sounder (the $76 depth sounder that’s installed in the ‘shoot through the hull’ way and has been going strong for 3 years)(well, at least until now when I’ve probably jinxed it)(*knocking on wood*)(but also fellow thrifty cruisers you should buy this depth sounder because honestly? $76!).

I know, I know, these don’t sound like life-changing projects, but here’s the thing: they are! Every time I look around and see some little project nicely done, I feel so happy to my core that I can’t even explain it. It’s satisfying to care about something and make it better and then get to live in that betterness.

Especially when at the end of a long day you can go cool down in the pool and float around looking at the stars while your husband tries to convince you to race him around the pool ‘just one more time’ 🙂

2-15-2014 IMG_1540

Anyways, enough of my rambles and yogurt pics 😉 We’re outta here tomorrow and will report from our next stop.. wherever that may be! 😀



Non-Essential Projects That Make Life Better (in Bahia del Sol, El Salvador) — 2 Comments

  1. Yogurt is super essential. I was really into it until we stopped using our refrigerator and I had more “science” experiments than I care to admit. If I ate it every day I think I could probably keep the culture going without it turning into some mutant creature on me. Nice that you have a functional fridge now! We did a fridge re-insulation project in Bahia Del Sol and that project found me curled in the v-berth crying my head off while Jeff finished it up. Anyway, I actually decided to write a comment because I LOVE that lost shot of Bahia Del Sol. Is it yours? That pic belongs on/in some publication, it’s delicious. So good to chat with you guys on the net!

    • Haha Harmony I might need some tutorials — so far I’ve either made super strong (acidic?) thick yogurt, or good tasting liquid 🙂 And I was SO thankful that my dad was around to help Jon install the fridge… I relate way too well to you crying at the end of projects haha 😉 And yep, I took that picture from Mar y Sol restaurant… we just happened to be having dinner when the moon popped up looking SO awesome, and miraculously the camera did a pretty good job of capturing it!! Hoping to be in your neighbourhood soon 😀

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