One huge encouragement and a major piece of the puzzle was put in when Dan found his "right-hand man", Roberto Cash. What a gem of a man. He has proven himself on many occasions to be indispensible. He not only is a brother who loves the Lord with all his heart, he is a sea captain, a great translator, takes initiative, keeps Dan on track, and knows or is related to just about everyone in Bluefields. He and his wife, Carla, have 7 children who are also wonderful. (One of his daughters has become our Spanish teacher.)
Roberto and Carla
The boat is really almost finished. We are looking at weeks instead of months to the launch. Dan has set several launch dates that he likes to say, "God has ignored." Like any new project, there are so many unknowns. And once the outside of the boat was finished, it was hard to see the progress that was being made on the inside. Here are some recent photos of the work...
The hand rails have been put in and a cockpit roof has been added. This will make it so much more pleasant when going up river in the hot sun. It will also make the cockpit useable as a clinic station, eating and meeting area and there are 6 hooks for hammocks.
The view from the cockpit...
Part of the galley and the galley gas stove. There were only two of these beauties in Bluefields.
Inside shot of the main cabin and the new windows. They still have the protective film on them so you can't see out yet, but the view will be great! As you can see, there is a lot going on.
And the view of the windows from the front. The boat looks rough because they have sanded it down for its final coat of paint...which they are painting now between the rain storms.
So much has been done that can't be seen just yet...mattresses were made to fit each sleeping bunk and Donna has been busy making the sheets. So many things that you don't think about until you picture a night on the boat: pillows, towels, dishes, silverware, pots and pans, dish towels, tables, and chairs. And then all the nautical devices that are needed: GPS, VHS radio, depth finder, compass, safety equipment like life jackets and rescue rings. And ropes...all the ropes that are needed. And fenders and flares and fire extinguishers.
One last thing...some of you may have heard that one of our 85 HP engines was stolen. On a stormy night (when most robberies occur in Bluefields), several guys broke into the boat cabin and stole the engine. Our precious boat builder, Santiago, took it personally and was determined to get it back. He hired a whole group of guys to canvas the city and he found it! The thieves haven't been aprehanded as yet, but we are just so thankful that we don't have to buy a third engine.
Thank you so much for your prayers, your giving, and your encouragement. By the end of the summer you are more than welcome to come to Bluefields and take a ride on "Caribbean Grace".