The Shamrock was fixed within 2 days by the nice Suzuki chaps, headed by Isaias, for free – a rare thing indeed in Manaus. The culprit was indeed the water pump – or rather the rubber rotor which drives the water up from the river to the thermostat (pic).

Impellor with broken/stressed blades

And to test it, we took a break on Sunday and headed over to Ilha do Cameleão, just the other side of the Rio Negro from our marina. We took our home help Celia and her son, daughter and grandson, and a nice time was had in spite of the silly weather (very hot and unseasonably windy) (pics).

The river levels are once again a cause for concern, dropping as they are at a rate of 25cm per day. They’re already at 19m, nearly 5m below last year’s level and looking like heading towards sub-17m levels by November. Unlike the record high of 2009 (29.77m), when my sympathy for many people was limited because of their own stupidity (building below the high water level is simply not a sensible thing to do), a severe fall in the level can cause real hardship to people as well as to wildlife in general, which I have a genuine sympathy for. Communities become totally isolated and food stocks (mainly fish and their predators) become hopelessly depleted. Whilst there’s a part of me that would be interested to see a major level fall, I have to hope it doesn’t happen. Anyway, to spare you all the details, this year I’m posting the levels up on the website ( – see the Updates pages if you want the details) and henceforth will only comment here on any extremes or genuine stories.

No particular news ready for the Friday update, so I may skip it this week. All is reasonably well, although we still have no car and Naice is suffering from the effects of working in an un-airconditioned, gasoline-smelling office. We must do something about this urgently. Today Aaron decided to replay a scene from the Exorcist and give me my first experience of projectile vomiting – really very impressive indeed. The little bugger seems fine though, so hopefully it was just his way of telling me he doesn’t like to be bounced around too much just after his morning milk. Okay mate – got it.

‘sall for now.

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