Monday, February 8, 2010

The Adventures of Rachael and Stitch...

A cool breeze and rain started our morning off this morning. In the darkness we ran around the boat trying to keep sails dry and closing hatches. Eric and I looked skeptically up at the sky. This couldn't be the next trough of weather that Don's been predicting, could it?

Since the last weather scare a few day ago, people along the coast have been quick to point out menacing clouds or an unfamiliar stir of the (usually) predictable winds.

For those of you who weren't holding on for dear life last Tuesday, here's a quick recap of what happened here at Las Hadas.

I had been typing up an article to submit to Latitude about the fantastic healthcare Eric recieved during his stay at Echauri health clinic that night. At around 10pm, the wind began to blow and rain started coming down the front hatch. Bummer. I was curled up in bed with the laptop.

Taking down the windscoop, I noticed that lightning was lighting up the mountains along the coastline time after time again...

By 11pm, both Eric and I were wide awake. Wind was whipping through the anchorage and rain was driving down so hard that the jumbled seas at times appeared to flatten. Anxious and concerned radio conversations flooded the VHF radio as fellow cruiseres checked in on each other. Frantic flashlights lit up the anchorage as we compared distances with others around us to see if we had dragged. The wind and rain continued until around 3am, when finally the heavens decided to give us a break.

Three boats dragged that night in Las Hadas. The Fatty Knees was filled up with enough freshwater that when I went to bail it out, I was up to my knees in water. I took advantage of it and managed to have a bath, but it rained the whole of the next day and I found the same amount of water in the dinghy the next morning as well.

Havoc had struck up and down the coast. Caught offguard, boats dragged in anchorages from La Cruz (near Puerto Vallarta) that 88 knot winds were reported, to Tenecatita where aluminum biminy's were twisted into irrepairable pieces of material and metal, to Barra where the muddy bottom served as a nightmare holding spot for any boat wanting to stay in one place.

Despite the dragging boats up the coast, very few casualties were reported. A woman reportedly broke her arm when flying deck furniture hit her in La Cruz... but all in all, the cruising community was fortunate.

This is Latitude's recap of the storm:

Nothing exceptionally exciting has happened since.

Eric and I are regulars around the Las Hadas hotel, where the security guards and staff go out of their way to come and say hello and have a chat with us.

During the really warm days before the storm I was taking a daily swim in the cold, freshwater pool, but since the storm the temperature has dropped dramatically.

We've gone to just about every provisioning superstore we know of to compare prices and have found that we prefer Soriana's for the prices- and for their bakery that's a delight to walk through, but very difficult to leave without a handful of tasty cookies and pastries.

Our ice cream dates have been going fantastically well. Often I skip the ice cream and get a litre of fresh-squeezed orange juice from one of the stores. I never get tired of it!
On one of the rainy days I made cheesecake and Eric, Kevin (S/V Tashee) and I gobbled it down over an afternoon coffee.

One day I sailed the Fatty Knees clear past 3/4 of the way across the bay to go and see another tanker ship, called "Prometheus Leader." My sailing skills have been on the rise, but when I called Eric from the handheld VHF to check in, I
realized how far I had gone and after heading to the big tanker's stern to find out that they were from Singapore, I did a quick tack and sailed directly home.

After getting a little tired of the usual Soriana's, WalMart, Commercial walk, we took a bus down to the Manzanillo malecon and enjoyed a good walk along there. There were tons of nautical-oriented statues, but nothing of genuine interest...

Lou and and Marge from S/V Seabird came into the anchorage a few days ago on their Swan 51. Lou has been an invaluable source of company and knowledge for us for the past couple of days. A couple of nights ago Lou came over for dinner and we talked about everything from sailing to history to books- a refreshing change from sails and repair work. He dazzled us with a tour of his boat and Eric told me not to get too comfortable on Seabird.

I had never seen a Swan before going onto Seabird. The sleek design of her gave her sailing capabilities away. With no dodger and easy access to all of her three-speed self-tailing winches (that were bigger than our anchor!), she is a piece of work. Looking up to the top of her mast just about broke your neck, and comparing the thickness of Nanu's lines to Seabird's would make anybody chuckle. Everything was SO big!

Last night Lou, Kevin, Eric, me and Kris and Joel (S/V 40 Love) went for a nice dinner at the little restaurant where Eric and I go for ice cream. Good times were had by all!

We're getting excited about leaving this anchorage. We're slowly filling up water tanks and provisioning so that we can hopefully leave in the next few days to the secluded anchoarge of Carrizol, where we got the coconuts last time we were there!

From there our plans are to go 180 miles south to Zijutenejo and then do a u-turn and head back up the coast. From there, we're not sure what we're doing or where we're going.

But we promise, we'll keep everyone in the loop when the time comes!

1 comment:

Lou said...

You should be down in Z-town by now. Anxious to hear about passage. Dinner and company was great. The left-overs made a great dinner later in the week.
After a week in California I am anxious to get back to life. I trust you have not died from the wine.
The freshwater bath shot in the Fatty Knees is a winner.
You two have a neat boat and set-up.