Day 540 of retirement

Hi All

Saturday 30th July:

Power back on at 8:00am and lasted till 4:00pm (8-hours).

Guy off to Mahjong for the early game starting at 10:00am. As it is a beautiful day I washed and waxed the Thunder Monster as she has been neglected these last few weeks with the Typhoon and stormy weather.

After lunch I headed for Boac for some Wi-Fi, as we have power today. Got the blog posted and after stuff all done and cruised the 20km back along the coast enjoying the ride.

Stopped in at the Gasan bakery for some goodies and then home for a nice hot cup of tea and some Pandecoco buns.

Sunday 31st July:

Power back on at 12:30am and lasted till 8:00am (7.5-hours).

I got up at 12:30am and topped up the water containers, made sure all electronic devices were charging and had a shower as it was very still and humid. Felt much better after my shower so back to bed.

It is the Thunder Monsters first birthday today. She has travelled some 7,300km and served us extremely well. She got her present yesterday, as we had power, which was a nice soapy wash and wax (no power during the day today). She needed it after the last couple of weeks of riding in the storms.

Guy off to Mahjong at 9:30am for an early start. I ran her in on the Thunder Monster and back home till midday and the expat gathering at Barbarossa. Good gathering today with nine attendees. Six of these being Aussies (almost a cricket team) with two being Poms and one Swiss. So as you can imagine the Poms copped a bit of stick.

John (a new aussie) joined us today. He is building a house just up the road from us. He has only been here for three months but is retiring here for good.

Home and the power came back on at 5:15pm and lasted till 10:00pm (4 ¾ -hours). Got short changed tonight with our power allocation……

Monday 1st August:

Up and off to Gerald’s at 6:00am for our early morning walk. We were going to walk up to Butterfly Falls along the river but as the weather was looking stormy (didn’t want to get caught in a flash flood) we decided to just go up the track to the boondocks and back.

Back home 8:30am ish and the power came back on at 9:00am (off for 11-hours last night) then died at 1:30pm (4.5-hours).

After breakfast Guy and I caught the Jeepney (raining at this stage) into the market for some supplies for the next couple of days. Guy is cooking up a pot of Chicken Adobo with veggies (spuds, carrots & peas).

With the 1:30pm brownout we adjourned to the Nipa hut for some reading and a bit of a siesta. I checked at 3:00pm and the power was back on once again.

Late in the afternoon the fishermen and their families were back on the beach with their net trying to catch their supper. The whole family are there from old to babies and everybody gets involved pulling the net. We haven’t seen them here for about 6-months or so.

They ran their net out twice and caught next to nothing. They did catch a small Stingray and I watched as one guy used a rock to carefully remove the barb from its tail to render it safe.

Power off at 4:00pm so all up today we only received 5-hours of supply.

The best news today is that my Filipino Residency has been approved. We head for Manila next week to finalize and get my ACR Card. Wwoooo hhooooo.

Tuesday 2nd August:

Power back on at 12:30am so I got up and did my usual ritual of filling, charging and washing then back to bed. Off again at 8:00am sharp (7.5-hours power).

Market day in Gasan so we cruised in for some fresh fruit and a few other supplies. We dropped them home and then went looking for John (the aussie whom I met Sunday). Turns out he is currently living about 1.5km up the road from us.

John was away so we meet his wife, Nerisa and teenage son Josh. Had a good chat to them and then went for a cruise to have a look at the house they are building which is about 1.5km from where they are now off the main road.

Guy off to Mahjong at Midday and Geoff called in for a chat. He had been working on John’s small generator all morning and had finally got it working. Turns out it was the spark plug lead (got spark once replaced) and the carbie was all gummed up from lack of use (over a year since John last used it).

As it is a still humid day, time for a siesta after all the activity.

Spent the afternoon cleaning all my camera gear, which included 3 cameras (Canon G9, Leica M8.2 & Fuji X100) and 3 lens (15mm, 35mm & 90mm). The sensor on my Leica M8.2 was rather dirty but after a few goes I got it nice and clean.

When I left AUS I bought a heap of sensor cleaners (Sensor Swab (Type 1 pre-moistened with E2)) with me for the M8.2 sensor cleaning. Also got Jason (my son) to bring a few more when he visited us at Easter time so got enough for a year or two. They are the best cleaners I have ever used and highly recommend them.

I have a little bit of fungi growing on the 90mm lens so in the process of trying to eradicate it. It doesn’t affect the photos at all so just got to keep the lens in a ventilated spot and expose them to direct sunlight frequently.

Also hung out a belt, shoes and jeans that are starting to go moldy once again. A day in the sun fixes them for a while.

Wednesday 3rd August:

Power back on at 8:30am till 4:00pm (7.5-hours).

Guy off to the market and I meet up with John (The Pom) and he escorted me to see Ivan (aussie) the chicken farmer. Ivan lives by Boac and has a chicken farm where he raises them for eating only (no eggs).

I have not been to his farm before so was interested to see his operation. He has a very efficient process there and he is very meticulous how he runs things. When you enter the property you have to rinse your shoes/thongs in a disinfectant wash to help prevent disease. He recycles all the waste from the chickens into compost. It is used for fertilizer on rice paddies and gardens.

He also has a Tilapia (freshwater fish) pond which is teaming with fish.

We had a coffee, juice and a chat with him before John headed off to Boac and I came home to a nice big fresh pot of beef Sinigang that Guy had cooked.

Thursday 4th August:

Power back on at 1:30am so once again I got up and did my usual ritual then back to bed. Went off at 8:00am on the dot (6.5-hours).

Guy off to an early Mahjong game (10:00am) at a new den of iniquity today. So on the way of dropping her off we detoured via the market for some supplies. I dropped the supplies at the cottage and headed down to our block to see how the Japanese house (next to us) is progressing.

They have cleared the block, got the well (water well) sorted and are building a couple of Nipa Huts for storage of building materials. I cruised down to Buenavista for a look-see on the way home, as it is a beautiful day for cruising.

Our neighbors are having a big wedding reception today. The neighbors are an old couple whose son is a priest in the Vatican. He has built them a very nice house and visits in August each year for about 4 weeks. They have lots of other family here on the island that regularly drop in also.

It is one of their sons (the priests brother) who is getting married so it is a large family affair.

I joined them for lunch at the invite of the priest and had a great lunch. They were all very friendly even though I knew practically nobody. The bride’s mother looked after me and before I left I had to have my pic taken with the bride and groom.

I spent a leisurely afternoon being serenaded by all the Dean Martin love songs from next door as they had a generator running for the festivities.

Power back on at 5:00pm for the evening and off at midnight (7-hours).

Friday 5th August:

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. As it hasn’t rained for a few days and things have dried a little we headed back into the boondocks to explore a track we found previously.

As it turned out it led to a peak and then back around to the track we came up on. So we have named this one “Circle Peak” (Gerald named this one). So we now have Meadows, Jungle and Circle Peaks that we have explored.

Still much more to explore up there as each time we explore one track, we find two more.

Our aim is to find a way through the ridge line (a short cut) to the river beyond and Butterfly Falls. At the moment you have to go down the main road to the river and then follow it into the falls, which is quite a way.

Back home and the power came back on at 8:00am. All good as Zieyrish was here for the washing and cleaning.

After lunch we headed into Boac for some Wi-Fi as we have power until 4:00pm today.

Then a leisurely cruise home to a romantic candle lit evening (well LCD headlight lit evening…).

Life is still good.

Trevor & Guy

Other Stuff:

The Brownouts:

At present we are getting 8-hours of power then 8-hours of no power, day in day out. In times of a Tropical Storm or Typhoon the power is cut automatically for the duration of the bad weather. This can last from 24-31 hours (31 being the longest brownout we have had so far).

All this is due to a fuel shortage for the generators that supply the island power.

It works like this:

  • There is a cooperative that supplies the power to the island. They put up and maintain the lines, read the power meters and charge the end users for the power they use.
  • There is another company who runs the generators and sells the power to the cooperative.
  • There is another company who sells the fuel to the company who operate the generators.

What is currently happening is that:

  • The cooperative are not getting all the money in for the power they are selling to the end user. For various reasons.
  • The generator company is not being paid for all the power they are supplying to the cooperative.
  • The fuel supplier is not being paid for all the fuel that has been supplied and has limited the fuel supply so the generators are switched off for 8-hours at a time because of no fuel.

This has been happening for many years but it is at one of its worst times now. We can only hope that somehow it gets sorted out and we get a reasonable power supply back.

Now that we know when the power will be on and off we work around it and live quite comfortably. Ooohhhh well at least it keeps the power bill down.

The only way round the power cuts is to have your own generator and run it as required. But this is an expensive option due to fuel costs. A litre of fuel here is currently running at about $1.50 AUS per litre and these generators can use between 1 & 2 litres per hour.

Most of the expats have a generator but only run it for short periods, mainly to keep the fridges and freezers cold.

I am still looking at options.

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