17 January 2008 | Barre de Navidad, Mexico
We left La Cruz on January 11th for an overnight passage (18 hours) to Bahia Chamela. Chamela Bay is a large, pretty bay with a several palapa restaurants and a long sandy beach. We spent 3 nights there doing school in the morning and getting the girls some beach time.
We were preparing to leave Monday morning when disaster struck! As we were hoisting the dinghy's outboard motor to secure it on the mounting bracket, the harness snapped- sending the motor straight to the bottom of the sea. Okay, so it was only 20 feet to the bottom in that particular spot, but these things aren't meant to be submerged AT ALL.
Oh! We were SO ticked off with ourselves that we quite seriously considered just leaving it there. After all, once an outboard takes a swim the corrosion process begins immediately. We had serious doubts that even if we could retrieve it we would just have a useless 95 lb. paperweight hanging off our stern.
After a few moments we decided it might be easier to have it repaired rather than source a new one (these things are amazingly hard to come by down here) so after several attempts John cleverly managed to hook the outboard with the dinghy anchor (!) and we were able to rig a rope harness and lift it to it's proper resting place on the stern mounting bracket. He gave it a good rinse with our precious freshwater, hoping to drive out the evil corrosive salt water that had worked it's way into every minute crevice. Then we upped anchor and headed out as planned for Tenacatita Bay.
We arrived in Tenacatita a few hours later and were immediately greeted by Rich from Oasis who came by in a kayak to give us the lay of the land (and offer condolences of course). John busied himself by attempting to breathe life into the motor. Plugs were pulled, sea-water was evacuated from the cylinder, oil was changed, electrical connections were dried. Ultimately, though, there was no joy getting the beast started (the motor, not John).
Unfortunately as beautiful as Tenacatita is, there are almost no services there. And what is there is at least a 30 minute dinghy ride across the bay. That's 30 minutes with a motor of course, it doesn't bear thinking about how long it would be to row! So we knew we couldn't stay long as the priority had to be getting the outboard issue resolved. When you're living on a cruising boat, your dinghy is your car. Without an outboard it's like having a car you have to push. So after a fun beach day (the girls are really getting into their boogie boards... so am I!) we decided to head for Barre de Navidad where we hope a mechanic will be able to resuscitate our outboard.