14 February, 2010

Done For A Coupla Months

Friday saw the last of the work on the canal for a bit. Now we sit and wait for about two months for the bulkhead to settle.

Speaking of waiting, I remember when we first came to Belize, some one mentioned (or, I may have read) that 'waiting' in Belize was as much an activity as actually doing something. How true. That learned skill for Gringos, is probably one of the best traits to learn. It will definitely go a long way to helping you acclimatize. If you find that you can't learn this skill, then, I would guess, chances are, that you will continually be very frustrated and likely to shorten your stay measurably - as in moving back where you came from.... But, I digress. See? You've learned a bit of patience already - waiting for me to get to the point.

Anyway, the bulkhead. I took a few pictures of the project in its current state.
Our Side of the Bulkhead From Across the Canal
Our Side of the Bulkhead From Across the Canal
As you can see, this is a different view of the bulkhead than what I've usually shown. I figured it was time to take a few shots from the other side of the canal so you get a better perspective on the project. Besides I had to stop over at the Almond Tree Resort Hotel and let Robert know I had found an almost limitless supply of tee-nuts at that miracle of shopping convenience - Cinty's.

If you read Winjama Blog regularly, or even if you don't, the other day I finished building a PVC bicycle repair stand that fit on top of my workbench. Since bike repair isn't my major (or even minor) thing in life, I didn't want to leave it mounted to the workbench permanently. I had fastened it to the bench with wood screws, using a couple 1.5" conduit clamps to hold it all down.

I realized the wood screws, over a period of time, would, sooner or later, strip out the threading and I would have to find another way to fasten the stand to the workbench. I knew I had seen some things with prongs in various pieces of furniture I had assembled over the years. I had no idea what they were called.

After some emailed conversations with folks about the stand, I remembered a good friend of mine had a favorite woodworking web site - Rockler's ( After fumbling around for a bit on their website, since I didn't know what they were called, I found what I was looking for. Of course you had to buy a pack of 18 or so. Then there was shipping and the question of if they would even ship to Belize. I gave up on the Intertubes for that item, since I only need four of them.

Denis, my neighbor across the street, knew what I was talking about and said he had some back at his place in Canada. He'd be heading back soon and would send me some if I wasn't in a hurry (see note above about waiting).

The next day, I had to go into Corozal to get some groceries. I took along a piece of paper with the technical specs on tee-nuts to see if Villa's Imports or maybe National Hardware had them or knew where I could get some.

On the way in, I cruised by the main-stay of anyone who's lived in Corozal for any length of time at all. They have everything. So, I stopped and showed my paper to Junior, fully expecting to hear "No, mon. We don't carry those." Instead, Junior (as usual, he was really busy), said over his shoulder "Yeah, mon, they be in the back. See the lady."

You could'a knocked me over with a feather. I really had no, I mean - N O - expectation of finding them anywhere in Corozal. Maybe Belize City or Spanish Lookout, but Corozal? No way!

I saw the lady, she knew exactly what I was looking for and went right to it. They had a whole carton of the things - probably a couple hundred or so. "Two shillings (fifty cents BZD) apiece." I took 10 and was happy as could be.
Tee-Nuts In All Their Glory
Mine are black anodized and are 5/16" internal thread. Perfect for what I needed.

After shooting the photos of the bulkhead, I stopped at the Almond Tree to see Robert as he had mentioned he was looking for something similar. He too was thinking that the only way to get the tee-nuts was to import them from the States. He too was very pleasantly surprised that Cinty's had them - and in quantity.

But, again, I digress.

So, back with the story. I jumped on my bike, camera and tee-nuts in hand and went for a ride. I took several shots of both our side and Elsie's, since it's really all one project.
Heading Into the Boat Slip Area
Heading Into the Boat Slip Area
Mostly, the project is looking pretty good. The bags have formed a good looking wall, nice and level with one exception. That is at the end of Elsie's section on the south part.
Moving On Over To Elsie's Side
Moving On Over To Elsie's Side
You can see the slumping begin in the photo above, right. That originally was as level as all the rest.
Wait A Minute - Why Does That Slope Down?
Wait A Minute - Why Does That Slope Down?
Here's a couple better views. It slumped about two feet down. Well, I guess that's why we're waiting about two months before putting in the concrete beam and cap. Obviously, there was a cave-in. It appears to have stabilized, but now, we'll just have to wait and see.

If that's all that happens, it'll be an easy fix - a few more bags of dry mix, put in a bit more fill and tamp it - we should be good then to cast the beam and pour the cap. The cap is really just a concrete sidewalk around the whole project, but it should provide a good deal of protection to the structure overall.

Keeping our fingers crossed, till next time, then.


Julian in SC said...

I was reading this post and getting ready to comment on the slumping wall and then, darned if you didn't notice it! Boy, you guys haven't completely retired -- you picked up on that right away. I'm proud of you.

On the tee-nuts, I was wondering if they would ship then down to you. That must be a real problem... and there is no way to anticipate all your needs when moving down - I am sure.

Did you ever get your parts for the pump motor?


Dave Rider said...


You'd have to get up pretty early ...

Tee-nuts. I don't know about Rockler's. I'm sure some outfit would. But, once I found them at Cinty's, hey - no need to worry.

Getting stuff down here really isn't as much of a problem as you'd think, as long as you don't mind the delays and occasionally paying duty. There's several companies that do ship down here. Some, of course advertise themselves as being 'world-wide leaders' and, oh by the way, we don't ship outside of the US. Hmmm.

I just today inquired of Roy and Sons Shipping when their container will reach Belize City as yesterday, my old pump motor gave up the ghost. It was close.


JRinSC said...

I just noticed my picture that appears when I post a comment. Hmmmm... I don't know that guy any more. It has been a good two or three years since I shaved off the ole stash for the last time. Karol, my lovely wife, said that it would make me look younger with it off. I said I would wait until I needed to look younger... and then the time came when she said, "it's time!" damnnnnn...

Now what was my comment?... can't remember! That is the new disease around here... CRS (stands for "can't remember something" or something like that.) *grin*

Anonymous said...

Nice view of the canal from the other side. Question is, "How did you get there?" Did you ride your bike all the way north and then back south by Copa Banana. I do see a trail south of you but do not know how you get across the canal. My point, Is there plans for a bridge across the canal. Maybe the canal association could build one. Ha!

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, It seems as if Google Earth has updated you site again. I can see the work you have done on the canal. Only it is very blurry so I can't tell when this was taken?

Dave Rider said...

Hi Anonymous, The only way to get to the other side is to ride north to the cross street then down to across from our place. it looks long on the map/satellite, but only takes about 5 minutes or so. There's no other way across. We joke about a swing bridge sometimes.
Cheers, Dave

Hi Anonymous - again, Naw Google hasn't updated the map. It's still dated April 15, 2008. They have changed the copyright to read 2010. But, last year when they put the map up, it was already a year out of date. That's what happens when you live in a back-water. We don't get weekly updates like some places up north. Oh well. We're used to it and we kinda like it like that. Keeps everybody outside guessing...
Cheers, Dave

Unknown said...


You guys are so lucky there with the bulkhead. I know it took a while to get the concrete and the labor together but look at it this way....If you were still here in the states you would probably still be waiting for the environmental impact study to be done! LOL

That is providing you could afford the engineering groups that would need to study the impact on the wildlife, soil studies, etc, etc. And then of course you would find out that there is this extremely rare fish that only lives on your side of the canal that no one ever discovered before.

My turn to digress...

Any luck with the wireless BTW?

Best Regards,

Bob Moldashel

Dave Rider said...

Hi Bob,

Well yes and no... By that, I mean the original antenna is working very well. The folks across the street are able to use it with no problems. So is a near-by neighbor across the canal, so that way, it's perfect.

I'm still working on the two other antennas. I need to 'find the time' to install it for the across the street neighbors. I just kind of keep getting distracted by other projects, like the bulkhead.

Oh, I know we would still be in the throes of environmental review in the States. In fact, in Washington State, just the fact you're losing shoreline doesn't mean a thing - that's Mother Nature at work - you can't impede her.

So, when are you coming down?