Here in La Paz, it’s lovely. The days the norther doesn’t blow shows warm, sunny skies and usually pleasant sailing conditions. I’ve heard the northers should diminish in 3-4 weeks. Yay! In fact, it’s been so calm for the past few days, I was able to paddle my SUP across the bay to look for whale sharks, but no luck. It seems I may have just missed them. Norther-less finds the cats and me doing our daily chores (them, sleeping) while trying to find shade and a touch of breeze. I don’t resent this heat, it’s getting me ready for summer in the Sea!
Shortly after my arrival here, the winds were strong and steady. My slip is just inside a sidetie of about 85′. The first couple of days I had a large luxury motor yacht displaced from her slip as there was maintenance being done there. She soon moved back to her home, and I had an astounding view of the bay. The winds were blowing, and the Capitania del Puerto closed the port. This means that boats cannot leave, but boats can come in to seek safe harbor. Saturday just before noon, I heard a commotion outside of Willow and looked up to see the bow of a 98′ maxi sailing yacht bearing down on her, with a piling and dock in between us. I yelled out, “Reverse!”, and the boat finally moved back. But then came right at us, once again. “Reverse!” was all I could yell, and the message soon made its way back to the operator. The owner of the boat threw down a bow line and I took a bight around a cleat. There was a dock worker with a line from the stern, and he was trying to pull the boat in. We both were being pulled around as we tried to help the operator get control. Neither line was cleated off. The operator kept putting the boat in forward, putting the bow on top of the piling at the stern of my boat. That piling was tilting with the weight. Willow was not in a good place, and there was nothing I could do about it. Mike, who’s on the neighboring boat with his wife, Kelly, came over to help. He kept calling out suggestions, and then downright orders, to the operator. This went on for about 15-20 minutes, until someone on the boat finally dropped down a spring line, and the operator worked off that until he was secured. I was ordered to cleat off the bow line, which I did, but noted the line wasn’t run through the hawse-hole or chocks. The operator backed down on that, and promptly ripped two stanchions out of the deck and destroyed a foot or two of the wood caprail with the stress on the line. I must admit, I was a bit of a wreck, as I was securely moored, enjoying the morning, when this thing comes in. Then I over-hear snippets of conversation like the hydraulic tank ran dry, so there was no steering, winches or lifts; there was smoke in the engine room; the watermaker’s broken; they can’t plug into shorepower because the cord is on a hydraulic reel; oh, and my favorite: “it was the girl’s fault on the bow. She pulled the bow in and got me all messed up. After that, I couldn’t recover.” Huh? I know I are strong, or at least used to be, but wow! Paddling that SUP has given me super-human strength! I pulled in a 98′ sailboat, against the wind! Niiiiicce. I don’t think the operator knew I could hear everything he was saying, as he was pretty darn deaf. I also get needing to find a scapegoat, but I pretty much kinda resented the blame. I figured I wasn’t going to be here long, or maybe the other boat would leave, so it’s just something to let go. And seriously question whether I’ll help other boats tie up… Isn’t that a shame?
Yesterday this boat was re-located within the marina. Now yesterday, there was no wind, the port was open, the hydraulic situation had been remedied, so no problems should be anticipated. Nope, the bow came right back down, right on top of Willow again, and my neighbor Mike was yelling, “Reverse!” After five minutes of manuevering, they were gone to their new location. Soon after, a beautiful motoryacht with a hailing port of Newport Beach tied up, quietly, calmly, with just the captain and his deckhand.
And we are back to La Paz again…