Wow, it's been a long time since posting. I have a lot of back-tracking to do; from the Panama Canal to Puerto Madero, Chiapas, Mexico. I will start with the here and now. We are in a small, fairly new marina in Puerto Madero. The manager, Enrique Laclette, who built and ran the Hualtulco marina for years creates a friendly and helpful environment. His reputation as a great guy and competent manager proceeds him and we heard many good things about this marina before arriving. Puerto Madero used to have a very bad name with cruisers and Enrique has turned that around.
The leg here from Puesta Del Sol, Nicaragua was uneventful and slow. We had light winds on the nose but even in light winds we were making less than 3 knots per hour most of the time, a few times I saw a .5 flash on the knot-o-meter. There was obviously a current against us, even though we were expecting to have a favourable current. We were able to fly the jib a few times. Once, we were doing well on a close reach, making 4.5 knots, when the webbing at the head of the jib tore; down came the jib! I had just gone to sleep on my off watch when I heard it. When I got on deck, Gene was trying to pull it up and over the life lines. Together, we were able to bring it up without it getting a massive submersion. We tried to flake it on deck and got it somewhat rolled up. Gene was going to lash it down, but I was afraid the winds would freshen at night and we would have a nightime fire drill, so we stuffed it down the v-berth hatch and slept in the main salon and aft cabin. Muy hot-o.
Well, as me pappy used to say (and still does), “All’s well that ends well.”
This is a nice marina and some very laid back cruisers helped with our lines as we pulled in.
Memo, the assistant manager met us at the dock and got the Navy lined up to board us with the drug dog. Both Memo and the Navy guys were very nice and made things easy and comfortable. We got a hint that we may have problems with our out-dated boat document here, so it may be we have to hang out here until we get them. The ideal thing would be that they give us an national zarpe rather than an international one. The zarpe is the official paper to allow departure. If we got a national, we could leave Chiapas for Ixtapa, but might not be able to leave Mexico without the international zarpe. Our track to Ixtapa is 619 nautical miles and it would be nice to do that now. I’m tired and I don’t really look forward to the trip, but it would really be nice to get it done and we are in the notorius Gulf of Tehuanapec at the perfect time of year to cross it. Memo is driving Gene to town today to do the customs/immigration and aduana stuff and we will find out what’s happening. Maybe nothing will be a problem and all will be stamped as usual.
After the Navy and gorgeous Lab left, Gene and I when up for a nice dinner. Enrique, the marina manager personally came to greet us. He is a charming, handsome guy who seems to care about the marina and the people in it. He has a sail program going for the local kids and seems passionate about getting them into sailing.
The drawbacks are that it is a bit isolated. There is only one restaurant within walking distance, no big grocery shopping is close, and the internet doesn’t reach the boat. I will have to sit on a bench outside to office to get on the net. There are showers with HOT water though.
Gene wants me to haul him up the mast today to retrieve the halyard that is still hanging after the jib came down, but my back is sore and I would like to put it off until manana. We will have to get the jib out of the v-berth and properly flaked so Gene has a comfortable place to sleep. I’m OK in the aft-cabin. We have another jib we can put on the roller-snarler so we don’t have to wait for sail repair.
We are going up for shrimp again tonight. Last night I had a Mexican classic; camerones mojo de ajo (shrimp with garlic). Tonight I’m going to have the diablo shrimp. Yumm.
I’m going to check out possible walks for birding and will talk to you all later.