Thursday, February 11, 2021

Goodbye to our cargo boat...

 And thank you for all the journeys for which you carried us safely!

Sadly, our 12-meter cargo boat rotted after three and a half years of use on the river.  Wooden boats, even when painted, almost never last past three years.  It had made over 100 trips up and down the river carrying our students, villagers, and supplies for our work in La Libertad.  We also loaned it to other people for cargo work to help the people of Zaragosa and our neighbors across the river in Peru.

The boat was
The boat was made by Israel in the village of Puerto Alegia.  It took about
two weeks to construct.  The boat was first painted with a polyurethane-based 
paint to slow the rot.

We installed a roof on the boat to offer protection against the sun
and rain.  This was a welcome addition but did add a significant amount of
weight and wind resistance to the boat.

Trips in the boat were very comfortable.  We had plastic sheets
that were lowered on the sides during heavy storms.  This protected
our passengers and cargo.  Because of the boat's size and weight, 
it was very stable in the water, even during storms and high waves.

This is the back entrance to La Libertad.  Sometimes, when the
water was high, it was difficult to navigate the smaller jungle
tributaries.  We would often get stuck on underwater wood or 
on overhanging branches.

After two years we resealed and painted the boat.  Six months
before this a tree fell and destroyed the roof on a trip through a
tributary.  Luckily, the roof protected the passengers but was destroyed.

Our last big school shopping trip to Leticia.

The final resting place of our boat, in the back of the village
in the river tributary.

The Future
We have not decided if we will build another cargo boat of wood, upgrade to one of fiberglass, or rent larger boats when we need them for transport.  We still have our smaller, seven-meter wooden boat for transport and light duty.  

Please enjoy this video of one of the trips upriver from the fall of 2019.

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