Green Water and Wind Don't Mix

Trip Start Dec 01, 2010
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Trip End Ongoing


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On the Hook

Flag of Mexico  , Baja California Sur,
Friday, April 13, 2012

As I sit on the back deck, (technically the poop deck) in my folding deck chair with a spiked pineapple drink in a plastic cup watching Dois barbeque burgers while a light wind blows accross the turquois waters of San Evaristo, I can't help but be amazed at how far away we are from last night. It's almost funny the way life can throw so much trouble your way that you think you just can't handle one more problem, then it serves you burgers and beer and a cool breeze to smooth your furrowed brow just a few hours later.

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We had left Puerto Escondido early Tueday morning April 10 2012 and arrived in Agua Verde early in the afternoon after a lovely southwesterly breeze blew us in to the bay. And indeed, true to it's name, it was a gorgeous “Green Water” bay. Our arrival found both anchorages fairly full, but we managed to get the anchor to stick in the northern bay and dropped the kayaks over the side for a run to the beach with the girls as hood ornaments.

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We played with the dogs on the beach for awhile before heading back to the boat and that was when we got the first clue of the evening to come. A gust came across the bay from the southwest that not only stopped our brisk pace, but turned the kayaks completely around. As we straightened out to continue, another and another gust challenged our course. But the real fun was yet to come. When we reached Ashika we saw the power boat anchored ahead of us periously close to ramming our pulpit. We went into disaster abatement mode immediately: Dois tied up the kayaks and put the girls on deck. I started the motor and put her in gear. Dois went forward to give anchor directions and I flew below to turn on the anchor windlass. Back in the cockpit (bridge) we managed to get out of the cove to circle around and drop the hook again and again, but the bay was deep in the center and the anchor kept slipping down the underwater hill. There was very little room to manuever our ship, the wind was picking up and other boats were dragging their anchors and the entire bay was in motion looking for a spot to anchor.

That's about when Daisy suddenly got sick. She started running around deck projectile pooping everywhere. I'm chasing her around with a bucket to keep the stuff from soaking into the sheets
and other lines and Dois is steering us around the bay looking for anchorage. When Daisy seemed all pooped out (sorry, but true) I gathered her up is a big fluffy towel and took her below where she curled up in her bed. She looked pitiful and I was worried sick but had to leave her, Dois needed me topside.

We decided to go across the bay to the southern anchorage and found it full as well; two other sailboats and three power boats, but managed to squeeze our way in. We dropped the anchor in about 30ft of water on a sand bottom and let out almost 150 ft of chain. We were uncomfortably close to another boat but we backed down on the anchor to ensure it bit hard in the sandy bottom.
 
Sensing it may be a long night (not hard considering the gusts pushing us around) and we needed
nourishment, I started dinner. About halfway through cooking this meal, the fuel lift pump (from the “need to do list”) decided this was where he wanted to end his life. This pump pushes fuel up to the generator and without it, no gen gen. At the very least this meant we would struggle with our power requirements from here on and would certainly be doing more barbequeing, but it could be more serious if we found ourselves draining our starting batteries or destroying my refrigerated medicine. We ate a half baked scallop dinner in the cockpit keeping an eye on the reef forward, the rocks to our stern and the sailboat to our port while the best light available sunk behind the Sierra Gigante Mountains.

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Being so close to another boat and having wind gusts pushing fifty knots, and being only about fifty yards from rocks kept Dois on his feet. The gusts came down the mountains like a freight train, roaring as they came. After one such blast Ashika healed over and her bow swung hard to port. Dois popped up on deck to find the largest power boat dragging his anchor and coming at us broadside. With just about ten yards from impact Dois flashed his light and began yelling for the crew to wake up. All we could hear from their boat was “OH F**K” and then their big engines roared to life and the boat backed away passing by us so close we could see the fear in the helmsman's eyes.

Worried his anchor would catch our chain, Dois waited on the bow, ready to pick up our anchor, until the boat was well behind us. Just as he was starting to breath again another power boat came sideways out of the darkness. This time it threatened the boat just ahead of us. Everyones lights came on and the roar of engines again backed it away as it drifted by still going sideways.

The third power boat soon joined the parade and we were left with just us sailboats. Dois decided that he wasn't going to be able to sleep for awhile anyway and took the first anchor watch. The sailboat that was so close to us was worrisome but in the end its exact presence gave us reassurance that we were not dragging our anchor. He watched search lights scour the coast line all over the rocky bay as unattached boats sought a safe place to re-anchor. None of us got much sleep but our rusty old anchor held throughout the night (thank you Gordon W.).

In the morning we struggled to pry out the anchor from its dug-in placement. Once we got it up we welcomed an uneventful 47 mile motor-sail to San Everisto where we are all currently recovering under sunny skies on the back deck. We will be BBQing from here on in, and watching our amp usage which mean my computer will go dark soon, but we'll be in La Paz in a couple of days and will be able to install the new pump at harbor. Daisy has fully recovered and we will probably never know what was wrong.  She's our 16 year old wonder dog and a trooper through and through. She can't hear a thing, can only see from one eye and only complains when it's time for bed. If she'd just learn to point her rear end overboard she would be the perfect boat dog.

Wish you were here. Send us your comments and or emails. We miss you all and would love to hear from you.
Dois and Lauri

doisbrock@yahoo.com

lauri.hamilton@ymail.com

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Comments

Gordon W on

Re: " rusty old anchor ", Here I was thinking that you were out there wishing you had that "shiny small anchor" back on your bow.

Thanks for keeping us on the edge of our seats. GW

Paul Frattone on

Same old Sea of Cortez, it's never easy !! Some day's you just have to battle ! P.F.

ashika
ashika on

Yep, thats what we were thinking while dragging the big one around the bay trying to get it to bite... "we sure miss the little shiny one!"

ashika
ashika on

So true! The spoils are sweet too, and losing the battle is just not acceptable. Dois

Carol P on

Well, can't believe you don't have photos of that night to post also!! Hahahaha. Didn't have a spare hand? What excitement. Good thing you guys are good at what you do. :) Looking forward to sharing the excitement some day, with you!

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