Not a good day
11 May 2011 | Puerto Escondido, B.C.S.
We are currently in Puerto Escondido. Bob and I left La Paz one week ago today. We anchored overnight at the now very familar Balandra and left early the following morning for San Evaristo, a 40 NM trip which took us about 8 hours. We were dropping the hook in about 30 feet of water and 15 knots of wind when the fun started. With about 75 feet of chain out the windless (winch) that raises and lowers the anchor slipped a foot or so then held. I made a decision (not a very good one as it turns out) to use my ratchet to tighten it up, I accidently pulled the winch the wrong way and Bob and myself looked on in horror as 125 feet of chain came flying off the windless, I tried to tighten the drum but the ratchet was rusted and I couldn´t change the ratchet direction. Things were not looking very good as the 15 knot wind was blowing us back and the chain was reeling off the windless uncontrolled. Once my 200 foot chain reached it's end and we started in to my 200 feet of rode (rope), the rode became snarled in the windless, thus bring us to a very quick stop. This turned out to be good news and bad news. The good news was we were now stopped, the bad news was that we now had a MAJOR rode jam in the windless. I was able to pull the rode enough to wrap it around my bow cleat and Bob and I started working on untangling the mess. Once we untangled the snarled rode it became apparent that when the rode jammed it also snapped off a small plastic piece that keeps the chain/rode from wrapping all the way around the windless. This means that when we are raising the anchor one of us now has to hand feed the chain through the windless while the other one works the control, this is a slow, and some times painful process....oh well, no one ever said cruising was going to be easy.
We ended up staying in San Evaristo for two nights. San Evaristo is a very busy fishing village where the panga fisherman come in from all around the area to drop off their catches and restock their fuel and ice before heading back out. One of my cruising books calls it a charming mexican fishing village...one mans definition of charming isn´t the same as another mans. I would call it more like a dusty, dry, kinda dumpy Mexican fishing village...just my opinion.
Tomorrow I will blog about our next stop which was Bahia Agua Verde, and our first encounter with the Mexican Navy.