Sunday, February 7, 2010

News from the drifters

Hello Again!

We finally left Acapulco, but I have to tell all of you that this is no vacation. When I pulled up the anchor chain a bit, I realized that our second anchor rope had twisted itself around the chain several times. After untangling the mess, we were able to bring up the primary anchor only to realize that our extended time in Acapulco furthered the corrosion on our chain. The chain will have to be replaced ASAP as we are down to 50% of the original 3/8 in spots. The good news was we were leaving. I spent three hours cleaning the barnacles off of our anchor bridle (the rope used to take the tension off of the anchor windlass while at anchor). The barnacles on the chain went into the locker and has started to produce a nice rotten fish smell...sweet! After several hours of motoring, we were able to sail awhile. The guide book showed an anchorage about 80 miles down the coast, but after checking the chart, they missed the mileage by 60 miles! The trip to the anchorage was now going to require two overnights to cover the 140 miles. Brady and I opted to shorten the shifts to three hours and start them at 8 PM. This seemed to help with the drowsiness and we opted to skip the anchorage and head straight to Puerto Escondido (approx. 40 more miles). We caught two fish en route (little tunny according to the fish ID book), which Brady beer battered and pan seared for some awesome fish tacos. The trip took 52 hours and we motored for 44 of them (not exactly the sailing adventure we planned), but we saw lots of dolphins, sea snakes, sea turtles, and a humpback whale w/ baby 50 feet from the boat and every bit as big. As we arrived in Puerto Escondido, the famed guide book showed two possible anchorages. The first was completely crowded with local pangas and the second was an anchorable shelf in the middle of the bay. There was another sailboat there, so we moved in along side in 35 feet of water. As the anchor hit bottom we heard the telltale sound of a rocky bottom, but the anchor caught and we settled in for some much needed rest. I sat down for all of 5 minutes when I heard the anchor slip on the rocks, so time to move. This proved easier said than done. As we raised the (dwindling) chain, the anchor was clearly stuck...@#$% After 20-30 minutes of maneuvering and breaking and attachment point on the crossbeam (bridle pulled on the bowsprit cables-oops my fault...@#$%) we were loose. Good news except the freshly clean bridle rope was knotted beyond removability from the stuck anchor. I had to cut it loose...#%&$ I checked the depth over the whole shelf but lost faith in the bottom, so time to move closer to the beach. Unfortunately, we were in 60 feet of water which means all of the crappy anchor chain plus some additional rope had to go into the water. Too tired to really care at this point, we were finally anchored and Brady and I slept like teenagers. Yesterday, we had A.M. homeschool and then finally off to the beach for some R & R. The kids tore up the waves with a boogie board and later we headed off to the town proper for some street tacos and groceries. The store was very well appointed and we headed back to the boat before dark. I wish we could have spent more time in Puerto Escondido. The town was a perfect size with many services, friendly locals, lots of expats, and an awesome beach. I did not get a chance to check the property values, but there is an airport and we could definitely live here. Unfortunately, after spending three long weeks in Acapulco, we need to continue South at a quicker pace. So, as I write this, we are motorsailing to Puerto Angel (someone please tell bloater about this and give him our email as this was a recommendation of his several years ago) which is about 40 miles down the coast. With any luck we can shut off the engines and still get there before dark. Hasta luego for now