Our trusty little 2hp Suzuki outboard conked out on me a few weeks ago. With our folding Porta-Bote we found this outboard provides adequate performance due to the efficient hull shape and light weight of the boat. Most cruisers rely on 6-15hp with others going up to as much as 25hp to power their RIB's (rigid bottom inflatable boats). Those higher output engines weigh over 100 pounds and are a target for thieves. This season in Barra De Navidad ten outboards were stolen. I am guessing that most of those were 10 or 15hp engines. I can lift our little Suzuki with one hand and hang it on our rail so it is disappointing to have it out of service. A local shop confirmed my diagnosis of a an ignition problem. Unfortunately it took over a week to get that diagnosis confirmed and I was unable to procure the part we need before Jean flies back from the bay area tomorrow. Having anything shipped directly to Mexico is impractical. The part we need is a sealed module that houses the coil. A new one is $94.30. If we ship it directly down here the landed cost would be close to double. We have a larger outboard, an 8hp two stroke that we will use until the smaller one is fixed. I am still by myself on the boat and I don't have a good way of getting the 8hp off and on the boat. Our good friends, the Morrisons, loaned me their dinghy when they realized I was rowing back and forth to the marina. Their boat was in the marina so they did not require the dinghy. They left a few days ago so I am back to rowing. The rowing is not all bad since it is good exercise however I am limited as to when I can transit between the boat and shore. In the afternoon it is not uncommon for us to have 20 plus knots of wind and three to four foot wind waves. Those conditions are not conducive to rowing. So I go to shore in the morning and row back after dark when the conditions are calm.
Rowing at night is a special experience. The gentle swells are more noticeable and rowing really puts me in tune with the environment. Last night was special on account of somewhat greater than normal phosphorescence. And of course the starry nighttime sky is a pleasing backdrop. Phosphorescence occurs when light absorbed during the day by marine critters is emitted at night. Bookrags.com provided the following information:
Many aquatic organisms exhibit marine phosphorescence, from bacteria to phytoplankton to jellyfish and deep-sea organisms. Most emit a blue-green phosphorescence in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum which is highly visible in deep and dark waters. Marine phosphorescence is an almost ubiquitous phenomenon in the oceans, it helps marine organisms survive by providing them with a means to search for nutrients and defend themselves against predators. The study of marine luminescent organisms is a very active field of research, providing valuable insights on marine ecology, since it can be used as a tool to determine how these organisms live and how they are affected by factors such as light, pollution and salinity of the ocean.
Watching phosphorescence occur with every dip of the oar is a special experience that makes rowing the mile or so back to the boat quite rewarding.