Arrival at San Blas
14 December 2008 | Matenchen Bay
Departing from Isla Isabella, we made the passage to San Blas in the afternoon. We saw the most amazing display of two humpback whales, who were cavorting together just a hundred yards from our boat.
We arrived at San Blas at about 6 PM this evening as the sun was setting.
As we hauled up the anchor at Isla Isabella this afternoon, we found that the anchor windlass was broken. The anchor chain winds around a drum, and there's an aluminum stripper that is supposed to peel the chain off the drum. The stripper had cracked and broke off right where it was attached to the windlass with two bolts. We'll have to try to fix the windlass in San Blas.
With the windlass inoperative, we had to raise the anchor by hand. We did this by tying a rope to the anchor chain, and running the rope back to the primary winches. This way we could drag about 20 feet of chain onto the deck, then reattach the rope to the chain at the bow and raise another 20 feet until it was all in. Using our electric winch handle, this was surprisingly easy.
Anyway, we arrived in San Blas at sunset and got on the radio with Captain Norm, a.k.a. "Jama", on VHF channel 22. Jama is a longtime (40 years) resident of San Blas and the self appointed ambassador to cruisers coming into San Blas. He advised us to not try to enter the channel at night, but to anchor out at nearby Matenchen Bay, and to rendezvous with him outside the channel at 8 a.m. the next morning.
With the anchor down, Pascale made a delicious arrachera steak dinner.