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Archive for February, 2013

Wet Caesar dog

Caesar in the Drink
January 29th 2013
It had to happen sooner or later, I knew that, he had learned to swim while we were still in La Paz, thank God. It all happened after we had returned from a few days in Manzanillo. We were returning a friend to their sailboat, I was following on the dock, he didn’t wait for any help just took a big jump at the same time the boat moved a little. It was too far & too high, into the water he went below the boat. I dropped everything in my hands & dropped down, he was swimming to the surface, still 1-2 feet down when I grabbed him, the look on his face said it all & he wasn’t a happy camper, although glad I had a hold of him. Up he came sputtering & scowling, then he tried to blame me! This is not the first time he has jumped to get aboard, but I am betting he will take more care the next time. I managed tear the skin off one knee in several places, he got to have a quick fresh water bath, after the salt water one. Once he had dried we then got into the dinghy & headed out to our boat in the anchorage. In the morning he is no worse for wear, but I have a burn on one knee from the slide on the concrete dock.
My friends from Winnipeg, Donn & Carol had spent the previous week with me on the boat, so we had a good visit, got to spend some pool time, catch up on some reading. Then they headed to Manzanillo to a condo they were sharing with some other friends from Winnipeg. Last Friday, decided to take the boat down & pay them all a visit there. We decided we would eat out at a restaurant that we had eaten at last year, they were having Friday night all you can eat fish & chips. We anchored the boat in Santiago Bay, put the wheels on the dinghy, mounted the engine, got life jackets & headed ashore, the surf was not supposed to be bad, & we would leave early. There was friend with me, so we had 2 people & 2 dogs. In we went, pulled the dinghy up on shore & set it to drain, as it has been taking on water between the floors. We had an excellent fish dinner & all had seconds. It was a full moon shining so there would be lots of light for the departure. The dinghy had drained by this time so it was easy to turn & head to the water , but now the surf was huge & breaking. After studying it for awhile to determine the best time to enter, in we went the dogs were aboard, all life jackets donned. At the appropriate moment we went for it. The engine running, all looked well we would clear the first breaker & be away. NOT! The engine died! We turned sideways while I was trying a restart, we almost rolled over, then the engine caught, should have started from scratch again but we didn’t. Turned back towards the surf, but now a wave came over the bow, half filling the dinghy, the next one we ran up but it was so steep no one could get forward, I thought we were going over backwards. Once we had cleared that one we were under way. Everybody from the restaurant had been watching, now cheering, although we couldn’t hear them. It was a cold ride back to Toloache with 2 shivering dogs, & water up our calves. Bailed all the way, but still had water on board by the time we reached the boat 20 minutes later. Then it was time for dog baths & people baths, fortunately there was lots of hot water. The next day re anchored the boat in the anchorage outside of the Las Hadas resort, they have a dinghy dock & allow you to use of the pool & showers for 200 pesos per day, which is a lot but thought it might be kind nice. In any case the restrooms turned out to be terrible, they weren’t clean, there were no lights, there was no hot water you really didn’t even want to remove your shoes to get in the shower. Oh well TIM.
Spent a couple of days there, then back to Barra. My brother Jack & his wife Myra met me in Barra for some some sailing & ship time. They were to crew for me back to PV. They arrived, we met had drinks at our favorite watering hole, the Sands Hotel, then out to the boat on a water taxi. We spent time, traveled by bus to Manzanillo, met with friends of theirs, back to Barra, walked the beach to Melaque, which is a nice little town of 10-12 thousand on the coast, with many Canadians & Americans. It also has the only bank. I was somewhat familiar with the town as this was where I had spent New Year’s eve, from Caustecomate, also know as the secret anchorage. This was where I broke my stern anchor line with the winds.
We had a great time exploring, eating drinking in Barra, then it was time to get their fishing licenses before we left. We went to a store that sold tackle, he sent us to the authorized place, but when we got there it was after 2, they were closed. Oh well, walk again tomorrow, which we did, arrived to find a silent office with 2 people working there, very few words. She took the application for a weeks license for each of them, then in order to pay for it we needed to take the bus to Melaque and the only bank in the area to pay for them, well spend only 5 or so pesos each(Caesar free) on the bus then go to the bank. It was across the street from Rooster’s, the bar & restaurant where I had spent New Year’s eve. They stood in line paid the fee, then we headed back to Barra, to the quiet office to get the licenses. After 20 minutes or so there they were issued. TIM(If you don’t have, & and get boarded by the Navy, they like to take all your tackle plus fine etc. of the boat owner, fishing or not). The next morning we were to get underway as there was a front we needed to beat at Corrientes to get around. That means cape of currents. We had an excellent dinner out at Loco Loco, a pizza restaurant on the ocean, where they cook the pizzas in a wood fired oven, then to the water taxi & back to the boat. In the morning in preparation to hauling anchor, when we went to start the engine, it would barely turn over, after 10 days at anchor the batteries were drained, & there was a separation issue. So onto the radio, (enough power for that) another Winnipeger responded who had just arrived the day before & had a little alternator on a little engine. He brought that over which we hooked up & ran while we had a beer to let things charge, after 20 minutes I gave it a try & she fired right up. Sent him away with some coconuts,($) beer & thanks, upped the anchor & then headed to the fuel dock for water & fuel, but not before realizing the salt water wash down pump had quit. (Cruising, repairing boats in exotic ports) So then we needed to wash the chain with a bucket (very muddy anchorage). After fueling we headed to the secret anchorage for some snorkeling. We anchored there with another power boat(70 foot range) & swam to the reef to snorkel with Caesar glad to guard the boat. After an hour or so of seeing wildlife, including stingrays & many fish we came back & hauled anchor. We then headed out to the next anchorage which was close by, Bahia Tenacatita, this is very popular with cruisers, but I went to Barra this year. Maybe next year.
We anchored, ate & watched dolphin & many fish swim under & around us. We planned an early departure. We anchored in sand bottom so we didn’t need to spend time washing the chain in the morning. Upping anchor early we headed for the tiny little anchorage of Paraiso. Just as we were about to turn in I hooked up with a big Ahi tuna. That was about a 20 minute adventure to get him aboard, & then fillete him. The filleting part took the rest of the hour, (I need some training & a sharper knife). The ahi was delicious but we between the 3 of us we were barely able to eat half, the rest went in the cooler. We were the only boat in there, & needed ice in the morning, (reefer wasn’t working on 12 volts) so we left early & made a quick run to Chamela, I had stopped there on the way down, sharing fish with folks on Rebecca. We anchored close to shore, launched the kayak, & I headed ashore, I could see nasty surf. Arriving I made it through the first one, but the second breaker caught me, flipped me twisted the oar around me & just generally showed me who was in charge. In any case early Sunday morning I found a block & a bag of ice. I hauled it back to the kayak on the beach & realized that there was no way that I could manage to get back to the boat without losing the ice, I would never get through the surf. I then made the decision to load the ice lose my shirt in the kayak & swim the ice & kayak back to the boat. It turned out to be a wise decision, as I found out when I got back, I had bent the peddles for the kayak coming ashore & it would not work (I have a pedal kayak). In any case we needed to get going, heading for Punta Ipala, our last anchorage before rounding Corrientes. Every day we saw a lot of whales, dolphin, flying sting rays & turtles. After a nice night in Ipala we headed for Corrientes. Leaving we had flat calm seas, looked like it would be a nice day. 2 hours later, reality hit, we pounded into swells, of the 10-14 foot variety, working our way around. I said things would be better when we got to Banderas Bay in a couple of hours, NOT. We rounded in and it got worse because we were taking them on the beam. We angled to take as much as we could off, but to no avail. I was sure we would get protection from Tres Marietas & the north side, I even bet Jack that in an hour the seas would flatten. (I was buying the beer if it didn’t in an hour) Guess who bought. Fortunately we were not threatened, only uncomfortable, we couldn’t leave the cabin for fear of going overboard, Caesar even got scared at one point for about 30 seconds, but nobody got sea sick & we just continued on. We arrived around 1630 in Puerto Vallarta & had secured a slip way in the back of the marina. After arriving Jack opened one of the doors & informed me we had lost a stanchion & kayak. It had been ripped away with the high seas, had been fastened with 4 screws above, & 4 below. Thank God this is a sea worthy boat, & we had no safety issues.
The next day after a nice dinner out, courtesy of my crew, Jack & Myra headed off for some time on the beach. 2 days later I got the email, Jack was in the hospital. He had been having trouble with a toe & foot. I warned him not to mess with it & thought that to be the issue. I headed to the hospital in Nuevo Vallarta by bus, walked into his hospital suite, only to discover it had been a terrible body surfing accident. He had been thrown head first into the bottom, barely managing to get ashore. When the doctor saw him he got them both in his own car & drove them to the hospital in Nuevo, apx 40-50 miles away. This was valentines day & the doctors fiancé was very upset that he was transporting Jack for emergency ct scan & xrays while they had dinner reservations. (There was concern of broken neck or back)TIM Can you think that a doctor might think of doing that in Canada or the USA, but it was urgent. In any case all turned out well they kept him overnight, drugged with antibiotics & pain medication. His room was nicer than many hotels I have stayed in over the years, & free drugs (well not really).
Well this is rather lengthy, next I will head north to Mazatlan as soon as I can find crew, then on to La Paz miss you all.

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