15 December 2010 | Barra de Navida
View of the Grand Bay Hotel in Barra de Navidad, Mexico
December 15, 2010
Stuck in Paradise
Yes, we are still here, anchored in the lagoon of Barra de Navidad. As they say in the boating world, all plans are set in jello. They are jiggly, wiggly, and can fall apart or melt in a minute. Because, a minute can be all it takes for something to break...sigh....Santosha, our buddy boat family of Tammy, Patrick, and Jack, moved on a day early to Manzanillo to anchor in front of the lovely Las Hadas hotel. Tammy was feeling like she needed the extra day to finish her Christmas shopping in a larger city that would offer more. "No problem." we said, "We'll catch up to you on Saturday." Well, as we pulled up our anchor Larry quickly realized that our windless (the motor that pulls up our 75lb anchor and many feet of heavy chain) decided it was time to die. Now you might think, no big deal, just pull it up by hand and move on. But, it can only be pulled up at about six inches at a time, and at least we're only anchored in about 9 ft. of water here, therefore much less chain to pull in, only 50 feet. Could you imagine if we were in 30 - 60 ft of water, therefore having much more chain out? Besides, your anchor is kind of like your brake in an emergency. You wouldn't drive anywhere in your car if your brakes didn't work, would you? If our engine died as we were moving, our anchor could be the only thing that will keep us off the rocks. So, Ben and I patiently wait for days as poor Larry works on it, eventually hiring someone with expertise in these things. This person initially diagnosed it wrong as well, then sent the part to a shop in another town who eventually decided that they couldn't fix it! (Days slowly go by.) Next thing we know...it has been shipped off to Guadalajara. Again...sigh.... So much is out of your control on a boat that it is overwhelming at times. We've been at anchor now for three weeks and it is somewhat challenging. Water is an issue for example. We hold about 250 gallons. We can go about six days on this. That is three of us drinking, showering, washing dishes, flushing the toilet etc...you can't make water in a lagoon, the water is kind of a brown, muddy color and I'm sure full of sediment that would instantly clog the membranes of a water maker. However, our water maker has finally made up its' mind to die anyway. It needed to. It was probably original with the boat, so for a water makers life span it was old. So what do we do? We drive the boat to the fuel dock, that has one water spicket for a hose with non-potable water and we run it through our fancy dancy water filter machine which takes about an hour and a half or so to fill our tanks. Mind you, Larry has had to pull up the anchor, six inches at a time, by hand, which as I said before, it is a long, hard, painful process. Then we drive three miles out to sea to macerate and discharge our holding tank (because you definitely don't do that at anchor either), and so our day goes. But you see...the days are ticking down to Christmas...and Ben and I are getting antsy...and we don't want to be stuck in this lagoon any longer. And we feel pressured, because we are now with a "buddy boat", and you don't want to hold them up because you have a problem. So, there are definitely pros and cons to this situation. We decide to leave, (after I have a mini breakdown!) and rather than stopping in Manzanillo to enjoy the Las Hadas resort, we will just travel 35 hours straight to Ixtapa, and yes, once again, Larry raises the anchor by hand.