I AM NOT COMPLAINING!!!!
05 March 2009 | La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
I know you like to hear that the weather is nice(which it is) and the food is terrific(which it is) and it is a tropical paradise(which it is) but, I would not do justice to this blog or the info I put out if I didn't tell you everything(almost) that goes on down here. This is a blow by blow description of the trip down from Barra to La Cruz. As you know, I take great pains in travelling north in the best weather windows I can find because I'm in no hurry. I left Barra with nice southerly winds up to 12 knots..perfect, right? As I was approaching Chamela, I had a decision to make about stopping for the night or doing a all nighter to La Cruz. I decided to stop because the winds for the next day were out of the southwest up to 12 knots and that would be good enough to do a beam reach to Cabo Corrientes and into Banderas Bay. Had a nice night at anchor in Chamela and did a lazy late morning departure for La Cruz be cause it would have to be an overnighter anyway. Well, the wind was more west than I wanted and I was tacking out to sea then trying to point up the coast without running into land. The head sail I was using was my loose luff drifter and I can't point into the wind high enough with that sail so I doused it and was motor-sailing north to make better time. When I took down the drifter I tucked it under my dinghy I had on the foredeck and tied a line around it so it wouldn't blow away. I checked on it about 30 minutes later and it looked fine, so I thought nothing more about it. About an hour later I was making good time motor-sailing with just the main up in real junky seas(6 to 8 feet) when all of a sudden my engine went clunk and stopped dead. I glanced over to my left and saw my new white drifter in the water. What happened was the drifter broke loose from it's not so secure tie down and washed overboard and sucked into my prop. Now there is only about 45 minutes of daylight left and I have no propulsion. So I go forward to release the drifter and find out that it is so tight that I have to break out my dremel tool and start my generator and cut it loose. Then I go back to put on my shorty and fins and grab a big knife to cut it off with. Just as I was going to get in the water a whale blew about 10 feet off my stern quarter and I thought he would never clear the drifting sail or my boat..but he did. SOMEBODY IS TRYING TO TELL ME SOMETHING. So I go into the tossing sea with the knife in hand and ropes dangling off the stern for me to grab so I won't get pushed away from the boat. I was hoping I could save the sail and just unwrap it...no luck there. So I started to cut..cut..cut away at my new sail as the boat was sliding sideways and forward and the sail was drifting away from me..thank God. Finally, just as the sun was setting, I cut the last piece off and climb back aboard the boat. Started the engine and put it in gear and everything was fine. I know Karen is biting her nails and cussing me for taking on these dangerous tasks, but there were no other options. I told this story to the sailmaker here in La Cruz (who is mending my other headsails) and he told me how dangerous it was with a drifter because the material is so light and could easily wrap around me and that would be that....Karen, I was being careful... I made sure the sail stayed down-current from me. So you see.....sailing in Paradise isn't always just guacamole and chips and sipping double coca lights. The photo is all that's left of my new drifter................