Arrival in Corinto always worries me. And that is due to the long swell that can run into the port entrance. The closer we come the shallower the water gets and the more swell can build up. If the swell is in line with the approach course of 077o then it will catch the ship under the stern, making it very difficult to steer. If the swell it too high, then there might not be enough water under the keel and the ship could touch bottom. So it is always with a certain trepidation that I go here. This morning there was a considerable swell running, but it was under an angle to the course line. That meant that the ship would be swaying to either side of the course line a bit but not to the extent that it would endanger a safe entry. And so we sailed in, swinging on arrival and were happily docked at 0900 hrs in the cargo port of Corinto. Swinging on arrival was preferred today, as we were coming in with the following flood and it makes life a lot easier to dock with the nose into the current than with the stern. Plus the flood helped with pushing the stern around during the swing and some free thruster power is always appreciated. There was a gentle breeze blowing today and that meant that it was not so hot as it can be.
The Ruben Dario Elementary school. It now has been completely painted. The curtains need some attention, as the ones we delivered were a bit short.
My interest today was in our school of course. The one we have been sponsoring for the last two calls, and to which a lot of my dear blog readers have contributed to in the past period. Last time we painted and left a lot of material behind, including corrugated roof paneling for the parents to follow up upon. So I decided that before we would continue to offer help, lets first see if they did something themselves, and if so what is needed next.
Also all the inner walls have been given a white coat of paint.
In Willemstad, Curacao, I had spent $ 800 on school supplies (I still had $ 1200 in the kitty from previous donations, so I am down to $ 400, — now) and those supplies were taken off by the 40 school children that came on board for lunch. So while they came on board, I went the other away, to the school.
It looked good. They had painted the whole school, and had installed the roof, also hung the curtains and they have been repairing their own basketball hoops.
We had donated two ourselves (movable ones) and now they are using those for training and the original ones for the games. Enough reason to continue the project. What is needed now most is some more hardware for the buildings. So that is the challenge to work on during this summer season as we will be back in Corinto in October.
The wish list of the school’s Principal:
1. Volley ball poles and net. (Steel pole 3 inches wide with eyes) Will be made on board.
2. Inside roof covering – $ 3.50 a sheet sqm’s to be advised.
3. 10 big ceiling fans
4. More curtains and 6 inches longer.
5. One – 8 feet long dry eraser board
6. Small chairs. (As reported before, I have a sample on board, still trying to find a supplier)
7. 1 x filing cabinet with 4 drawers (filing records is also a challenge)
The school class escorted on board by the Club Hal Ladies.
Back on board the children of level 4 of the Ruben Dario Elementary school had the time of their lives. First play time in Club HAL then followed by a lunch in the Canaletto Restaurant. The high light was the serving of the ice cream and to my utter amazement a visit to the toilets.
What makes every child happy; French fries and ketchup.
We do not think about it but these kids have never seen a vacuum toilet in their whole life; so pushing the button and seeing the water being sucked away was of great interest. It was amazing to see how many kids fitted in one toilet cubicle and getting all excited about pressing the button. The vacuum pumps in the engine room must have been running on top capacity to keep up with the demand. They left the ship at 1 pm. happily wearing their CLUB HAL backpacks and carrying the school supplies back to school.
I will be back on the Statendam in August, so then I can set the gears fully in motion. In the meantime the search is on for the little chairs that they want in the class rooms. I will need a lot of support to pull this step off and I am not looking forward to the battle with customs. But I might be able to circumvent that by buying most items locally.
We sailed just before 5 pm. and it was slack tide that meant whatever we had to face going out was not “enhanced” by the tides. The inner harbor was nice and quiet but the moment we passed the end of the island on our portside (with the statue of the national Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario on its pedestal) the ocean swell came rolling in. However now we had the bow into the waves and that made the ship sway much less around the intended course line. There was more swell than in the morning and that was a reason to be grateful, because if we would have had this swell in the morning (approx. 15 feet) then the children of Corinto might have missed their lunch.