Updates, updates, updates!
First Update: Merry Christmas and a Most Blessed Holiday Season to You All!
Second Update: It’s pretty blowy out here on the hook. We’ve had a good solid week-plus of north winds, and the nexxus should be this afternoon when it climbs up in the 30 knot range. Every inch of anchor chain I have is out, and it’s not the wind so much as the wind-wave causing fetch that makes it questionable. I’m holding well, but some of my neighbors are wandering about. Hopefully, the owners return to their boats soon and fix things, or it will be a not fun night out here.
Third Update: 98% of the work I set out to complete has been completed! Bottom work, done. Refrigeration, done. Manual bilge pump re-build, done. Battery ongoing maintenance, done (and doing…). Engine maintenance, done. Rigging maintenance, done. Left to do: saltwater in the galley. I have the equipment and supplies to do this, but I’m trying to decide which thru-hull to T off of. The easiest would be the raw water intake for the engine, but I learned that could cause warranty issues, and possibly affect cooling water for the engine. So, I’m trying to suss that one out. The other project left is to get a downwind sail, and the rigging upgrades to go with it. I can get the sail, but if I don’t have a halyard to raise it with, it won’t do me much good. So, that’s the last of the costly items. The sail/halyard would be a nice-to-have and not a need-to-have before Hawaii. Willow’s in good shape, floating nicely on her new, straight lines, and hanging through the blow.
Fourth Update: The sunrises and sunsets out here have been epic of late. I think there should be a meteor shower coming through the area soon, so that’ll be fun to see.
Fifth Update: Temporarily movin’ on! Looks like Tuesday or Wednesday I’m heading across the Sea to the Mexican mainland for a few weeks. I truly loved the time I spent down in Punta de Mita and La Cruz earlier this year, so I’m heading back. I plan on bypassing Mazatlan this time and just make a straight shot on down to Banderas Bay. It’s about 335 nm as the crow flies, and it’ll be good to make a nice, couple-three day passage. It’ll be really good to get some water moving under Willow’s keel.
Update No. 6: There was a lot of excitement here in the anchorage yesterday. When I was in Marina Palmira, there was a decrepit, 100′ wooden sailboat, theoretically built as a traditional Turkish gullet. It had already ‘fallen over’ at the dock due to it constantly taking on water. When the powers-that-be righted her, they did it in a very creative way and drastically bent one of her masts. Imagine a too-tall mast going under a bridge sideways, and that’s what her rig looked like. She was being pumped out twice a day for over an hour, using 3 high capacity pumps, and in less than 12 hours, she was lying very low and bow down again. Late in the morning yesterday, the unknown powers-that-be decided to tow her to one of the yards adjacent to the anchorage. Winds were out of the north in the high teens, and the outgoing tide was running at 180 degrees to the wind. A dive charter boat, about 50′, was loosely tied to the gullet amidships, and was towing her down the channel. There were a few pangas attending the parade, and they were pushing the bow or stern around at the direction of the dive boat. They made one pass to go through the very crowded anchorage to the end tie of Marina Palmar, changed their mind, and backed out. Then they decided to do it again, but this time with more power. They crossed over a mooring pennant, in the process picking up a 32′ unattended sailboat. They dragged her, and the mooring about 50-75 yards. Trying to figure a way out of that mess, the tow boat decided to untie the tow, leaving the sinking 100′ gullet in the command of a panga(!). As they untied from the gullet, the dive boat gave some power to her starboard engine, kicking the gullet into the port quarter and stern of another sailboat, a 36′ ketch. When this occurred, the ketch’s self-steering vane crumbled and a large solar panel bent in half and shattered. At this point, Gravel off S/V True Companion came on by Willow, and we went off to see if we could help. We would up taking the 32′ sailboat off the side of the gullet and directed another panga to pull us all away. They tried, but we were still secured to the now sunken mooring that had been dragged all over. After releasing that line, the panga pulled us away, and we dropped the anchor in a better, safer location. This boat was being watched by someone whose boat was in drydock, and they soon came out with a key to the cabin. This allowed us to open the seacock for the engine raw water. Soon, we weighed the anchor and motored to an even better, safer-er spot and dropped the hook and ALOT of chain. This boat’s now off my port beam, and I can monitor her position easily. What a mess. Some of the good things were Erik from Arial IV had the whole thing on video. There were some statements made from other powers-that-be that weren’t quite correct, and after viewing the video, they quickly piped down. No one was hurt, no boats were sunk, but what a mess. It’s a shame they didn’t wait for Tuesday when the breeze is supposed to be absent or in the single digits.
I’ll post again once I arrive down south. Until then, have a most blessed season, take good care of each other, and know I love and miss all of you. Merry Christmas!!