Thursday, 21 August 2014

A Few Curiosities

I Colour of the water offshore in the tropics: Blue
Colour of the water offshore in temperate and cold waters: Emerald green
Reason: water in the higher latitudes is filled with krill and other microscopic organisms

II Colour of filters on our water maker in Antarctica: Pink
Colour of filters on our water maker up here: Green
Reason: The .5C degree waters of Antarctica contain a lot of krill - they're like tiny pink shrimp and form the main food of baleen (non-carnivorous) whales; Water here contains both animal and plant nutrients

III Usual colour of bird droppings needing to be cleaned off the deck: white
Colour of bird droppings in September-October in Blaine USA: purple
Reason: blackbirds and crows eat wild berries and make special trips over the marina looking for clean white decks to splatter

IV Safest place for engine flooding: Buenos Aires
Reason: This (fortunately) has only happened to us once. As the water is fresh river water (and not salty sea water) it did no permanent damage.

V Best countries for doctors: Canada (we are citizens here), Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Chile
Reasons (Canada): in Canada we have really cheap medicare; excellent doctors and open walk-in clinics
(Australia) in 2006 the cost per visit was about $50 US. I was worried about one blackhead; the doctor also examined every inch of me under magnification looking for skin cancer problems. (NZ) I needed foot surgery (2x) and this was done in a private clinic for the same cost that my friend (with her 80% Healthcare) paid in Hawaii for her 20% share
(Norway) I needed minor surgery and paid cash. The doctor cost less than the taxis to and from the Hospital
(Chile) Our sailor friend Felipe is also an orthopaedic surgeon. He treated my sore hands - injecting hyaluronic acid weekly 5x - and I had no problems for over 2 years. The cost in London for 1 treatment of cortisone was £300. Hyaluronic acid has not been approved as a treatment in North America or Mexico so my lovely doctor in Victoria injects cortisone (free).

VI Cheapest mobile phone service: Argentina; most expensive for residents: Canada; in the US: horrendously expensive for visitors

VII Where is internet easily available? Dongle worked everywhere in Norway & the UK - even in what we considered to be wilderness; wifi in marinas in Australia & UK; In the wilderness we usually have to connect with the very $$$$Satphone.

VIII Laundry facilities: Best: Argentina, Chile, Mauritius where it is cheap to get it washed for you
Most expensive: Norway; There don't seem to be any public coin laundromats - everyone has their own machines. We found the campground in Tromso that has a washer/dryer and got there by taxi. It took us 9 hours to wash 4 loads … there was no outflow valve for water distilled from the dryer
and the clothes stayed wet until we discovered the secret! In Alta our friend Rune let us use the Somby washer/dryer.

Pet Peeves: 1) Being 500nm from land and reading "Downloads are ready for your computer" When you click "Sure, go ahead" it then informs you the obvious: that it can't do it because there is no internet out there.
2) Tinned veggies and bottled hot peppers that say either: Best Before or Refrigerate after Opening
3) Frozen kumera (sweet potato) chips which say: Product must be cooked thoroughly - internal temperature needs to reach 165F as measured by a food thermometer in several spots.
Best hitchhiker: This little yellow bird (either an Arctic or a Yellow Warbler)

At 8/22/2014 02:00 (utc) our position was 54°37.45'N 133°19.52'W

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