Whitecap’s Cruising Log
Tuesday, January 9, 2001. Bill picks me up at 03:30 for the drive to Halifax, he for a doctor’s appointment, me for the airport. Have a bit of a hassle with my senior travelpak coupons, because there are no United airlines personnel there just Air Canada, but the nice supervisor, helps me out and gives me boarding passes all the way to Houston. Only problem, should have got on the 06:30 flight to Toronto, then I could have made all the connections on time, to Veracruz. This way, I had to spend 7 hours at Toronto airport, and overnight and all day in Houston, because the only flight to Veracruz leaves each evening at 20:30. Ah well. Get a car from Avis, a room at the Best Western and crash. Houston was a cold 45 F,
Wednesday January 10, 2001 Drive down to Kemah and Clear Lake, find Pippa Passes the red J-36. Sales person says the owner wants too much for her, but I take a look anyway. She is cleaner than Cajun Spirit inside, but the deck gear is old, only 2 self taillers, old Barients, not many sails she surveyed at US$20,000. but the owner still wants $36. If she goes for the survey someone has a bargain.
Got the credit card fixed up, tried to put US$7 gas in the rental car and it was refused, Called the 1-800 # and finally got a supervisor, they had put a hold on it, couldn't figure who had the card!!! because it moved around so much... Once I explained, they fixed it up, just hope they understand that Mexico is next to Belize, next to Guatemala, next to Honduras, next to Nicaragua and so on... and Mary has a copy at home too...
Thursday January 11, 2001 Arrived in Veracruz at 00:30, major rain storm in Houston delayed every flight, then they had to stand in line!!! Now why did that not happen last night!!! Got a room at the "Mar y Tierra" and crashed.
Whitecap is still floating out there, hope to move aboard this AM. There is a "norde" blowing now, 40 kt NE winds, so the harbour is closed to small craft, from the hotel, I can see the waves crashing on Isla Sacrificios outside the harbour. Cannot leave anyway, have to get the new batteries, and install them. Will also probably have to try and unwind the anchor chains from the mooring we are on, 3 weeks of going in circles must have resulted in quite a mess!!!
Veracruz is 75F and overcast today. Jose, (Hose-aa) my "boat-sitter" took me out to Whitecap this afternoon. Took half hour to paddle out in the wind. She is bouncing around pretty good out there, cannot stay aboard. In 3 weeks, the water line is already got growth, Jose says when we take her to the dock, he will dive and clean her off. Engine batteries (automatic pump hooked to it), and house bank are dead set up the Honda, she does charge both banks at the same time, the house ones through the external battery charger (but they will not take a full charge) and the engine ones through the Honda DC plug, filled the Honda with gas, she is good for 6 hours. AS anticipated, the two anchor chains are wrapped around the mooring, will take a diver to extricate the mess. Boat nice and dry, but the deck is covered in sand, blown in from God knows where, going to need a good hosing, at the dock when I get the engine started. New batteries have not arrived yet. Back to the hotel rent another room for the night.
A Mexican couple, from Veracruz, I met in Houston airport, Juan and Rosa, invited me to accompany them to Coatzcoalos, about a 3 hour drive, leaving tomorrow Friday and coming back Saturday, might as well go since we will not be sailing down there and this is the only chance to see that city and also Alvarado, and our new batteries have not arrived. People are very friendly, they wish to practice their English, and I am about the only teacher around....
Another problem, the wind speed propeller is no longer part of our equipment list, so the real problem with the display was obviously a broken shaft. The SYC burgee is also half gone, we have 2 of those left. Our before Christmas new CDN flag is looking pretty ratty, have 2 left.
21:30 spent the last 3 hours at an internet cafe, cost me 26 pesos, (about 15 cents US) I gave him 30 pesos, e-mail did not work, but at least my Netscape is on line using the PCMCIA card and wire. but the e-mail keeps trying to dial up from the modem. and I have all that part shut off.
Friday, January 12, 2001 turned out to be a beautiful day, winds down, canceled my trip to Coatzacoalos, early breakfast in the hotel restaurant, I am learning fast, "Omellete Naturel uno huevos", easy eh!! But I get re-fried beans with cheese on top also, will have to figure out how to cancel the beans!!!
08:00 Jose and I go out to the boat , Mercedes starts on first crack, the Honda did the trick , the ammeter goes up to 30,. Jose finds a diver with gear on another boat, by 11:00 we finally have the 2 anchors, each with 150 ft of chain all up and on the deck! what a mess. Everything was wrapped around and around and around the mooring we were on, and the barnacles!!. Tried to pay the diver, but he would not take anything.
Get Whitecap back to the dock, and start the cleaning process... Jose's father tells me while I was gone they had a "el norde grande" with 140 km winds!!! That is hurricane caliber stuff. There was sand everywhere, must have blown all the way from Tecolutla, all the sheets & halyards, dodger, masts everything is black on the windward side and white on the back side. The skirts look really dirty, will have to take them off for laundry. By late afternoon we finally have her presentable, but too late to dive today. I asked Jose if he would like to come to Progresso or Cancun with me. He seems interested, tells me he has a 9 month old bambino (if it ends with an "a" it’s a girl) at home. I will get Julio to talk to him. Had a visitor from British Columbia this afternoon, he is retired and spends 3 months each winter here, says he spotted the Canadian flag while she was at anchor, and now at the dock, he had to find out if it was real, says he used to holiday on PEI... Spent 3 hours looking for the handheld VHF and binoculars, forgot where I hid them, (had a senior moment??) finally found the radio, but be dammed if I could remember where I hid the binoculars. Went out to the Supermercado for groceries, + 24 cans Coke and 12 NA beer, asked for ½ kilo of bacon, when I returned to the boat I had 2 kilos of bacon, so I froze 3/4 of it... guess my sign language is not so good... back to the dictionary. The freezer is working better and faster now since I placed a grate on the bottom to let air circulate. Later in the evening Jose, came down with the binoculars in a bag, he was using them to watch the boat from shore during the big storm. Now I only have to figure out why the 110V plugs do not work. We sit, talk, each learn English and Spanish, and drink rum until 21:45 He says Julio has returned from the US, will see him tomorrow.
Saturday January 13, 2001 06:30. don't get to sleep in around here, one of the boats came into the dock for cleaning at 03:00!! Left his engines running and the fumes triggered our propane alarm... So I went for a walk. By 06:30 the dock was full, everyone hosing down the sand. Every fresh water tap is in use on the dock. Jose is cleaning the boat next door, says he will be cleaning our bottom around noon. The water here is very salty, all the SS gets surface rust, has to be cleaned with abrasive cloth and hosed with fresh water. Many of the boats seem to be loading with people going out fishing today. Walked over to the hotel for breakfast, another attempt to cancel out the re-fried beans, a gentleman from the next table helps me out, Gilles Tanguay, a language consultant, from Montreal. Voila!! I get a one egg omelet and nothing else in a big plate!!!, and 3 cups of coffee, 26 pesos (about US 2.60) Next, I will try my luck for a slice of tomato or something...
Called Felix on his cell phone, he is in Pueblo and will be home tonight, says to call his wife Karla at the office about the batteries, but I will wait until Monday, I have enough to do today and tomorrow. My right digit finger has been numb since yesterday, when I carried the groceries + 12 NA beer and 24 cans Coke back, plastic bags must have cut off circulation too long, should have got a cab!!! another lesson learned.
12:00 Changed the gypsy on the windlass, eureka!!, it works, even deposits the chain down the hole like it was planned 2 years ago. Out in the sun it is 100F, I was burning up, Jose was in the water cleaning the waterline, where it is cooler, and he is getting paid!!! trivia for the day: now figure which one is the smarter one. With most of the chain back onboard, at 1 lb per foot, the bow went down and the stern came up.
14:00 rigged up one of Richard’s wind scoope’ s in the front hatch, wow, the wind is blowing through like a tornado, have to modify it. But at least I can lay down read and have a nap in the afternoon. They are cleaning and scrubbing "Pelicano" next door, getting ready for fishing tomorrow Sunday, I am told another "norde" is scheduled for Monday nite, so we may get out of here on Tuesday...
16:20 head out for the ATM, take the laptop, 1st one will not work!!! is it the card?? Try another bank this one a "red" machine, it works!!! will soon have to pay Jose for boat keeping and cleaning and the YC for mooring. Back to the Internet café, will try sending message to the guest book, which I know works... now everyone will know our secrets. Pick up 2 really nice tomatoes, not quite ripe yet, should slice like steak. Looks like toasted BLT’s without the L for supper as we now have a surplus of bacon....
17:30 stop at the internet café, for another try, got the receive working, there are 23 e-mails out there. Get 9 before I get kicked off, reboot and then there are 15 more ??? figure that out... In the meantime I can send messages to Bill on the guest book. Finally, someone comes along, makes a suggestion, and it works!!! now we can send too... I am so exited. A lady comes in with two young girls between 10 and 12, she pays for 2 hours internet, and leaves them, talk about cheap babysitting!!! I walk back to the boat, open all this stuff, install all the new charts and forget to eat.
My right digit is still numb from yesterday’s long walk back with beer, pop and groceries, punishment for buying too much?? hope we do not have to amputate, it must hurt more than pulling teeth... Reading the mail, guess everyone has been looking for me, I have been trying to call home, but the stupid pay phone at the YC would not take my credit card, I keep getting an "inserto" message, then a "re-inserto" message, I thought it was my card, tonight, Leo at the bar tells me that that phone takes a special card, which you buy at the yacht club bar!!! Tonight I ask him why there is an avenue named "Victimos de 25 Junio" and I now know American ships raided Veracruz on that date, tomorrow I will find out the year (I later find out it was 1914). Another trivia, but I am getting better at the language...
23:30 Let off some stern line from the YC wharf and wind up some chain, ever nice!!! now we are 10 ft from the dock for the night, have a good rhum and sack out, hope the first boat does not come in at 03:00 again.
Sunday, January 14, 2001.
06:00 "Pelicano’s" crew arrives, I get to enjoy lively Mexican music as this morning’s eye opener, when they leave, back to bed. 10:30 Head out to the Internet café stopped at the hotel for breakfast, ordered exactly the same as yesterday but with "campiones", and got mushrooms and the beans anyway. Figure...
The Internet café does not open until 14:00 so I walk all the way to "Centro", all kinds of activity up there, able to access an ATM, so I am solvent for awhile, don’t want to change my US$, may need them along the way. Went to the cathedral for mass, as did thousands of others!!!, got my worst pair of boat shoes polished, Mexican people are very fussy about footwear, and went to "Sanborn’s" for coffee, whew!!!. Called home to report in, it appears everyone was wondering where I was, well I am safe and sound. Did my e-mail thing at the café on my way back and spent the afternoon messing about the boat.
In the evening, I walked all the way to the Aquarium, about 3 miles, and taxied back to the YC, Forgot to eat, walk to the hotel, but their dining room closed at 22:00, back to the boat for toasted BLT minus the L, and read until lights out.
Monday, January 15, 2001.
Gather up all the laundry and deliver to the "Launderia", 4.7 lbs 70.5 pesos she says pick up at 18:00. Call Felix, he is sending Alberto to collect me to pick up the new batteries. Guess what, the ones that came in are not the right size, Felix will contact the Battery Master guy and call me later. I appreciate his help, very difficult when you cannot communicate!!!.
Back to the boat, now it is noon, worst comes to worst, I can head out with these batteries and run the Honda at night, I empty the 3 deck cans into the fuel tank, Jose comes in from cleaning Julio’s cruiser, he takes 2 x 5 empty gal cans on his scooter to get filled, 50.01 L comes to 219.54 pesos, we dump those in the main tank to fill it, and Jose goes back with 3 x 5 empty cans, and a 2 gallon can for the Honda, this time I insist he take a cab, too dangerous on a bike in traffic. The cost for 75.17 L diesel came to 330.00 pesos, which calculates to 4.390 pesos /litre. Now we are all fueled up and have 3 full deck cans again, so my calculation was right 125 litres filled us up. My friend Ernie from Vancouver came by, and we spent the afternoon talking sailing and boats, and trying to convince Jose he should come along to Progresso, I hope the airplane ride back will do the trick.... In the evening I went over to the Internet café again, but was only able to download 2 out of 33 files out there, try again tomorrow. Tonight, the winds are 8 - 10 at 62M and Triangulo is at 58M from here!!! we need a "Norte"... Arrange with the club office, to make up my mooring bill for the last 3 weeks, and will have to fix up with Jose for "boat sitting" while I was gone.
Tuesday, Jan 16, 2001 Spent the morning with Jose in a taxi trying to locate the elusive batteries, we went to every place in Veracruz that sold batteries, finally unable to find the proper size "deep cycle" we opted for 2 larger in size ones instead of 3 so we are now down to 1300 Amp hours instead of the 1950 Amp Hr.
Jose's wife would not let him come to Progresso, they have a 9 month old bambino, but Jose has been a great help around the boat, we spent all day Tuesday in a taxi rounding up batteries and then he helped me install them, also he has 7 cruisers which he looks after for the owners, opens them up daily and then cleans each one twice a week. He does not want to jeopardize that income.. He only charged me US$120 to boat sit for almost 4 weeks, and he paddled out every day to check her, except for the "grande norte" day, after the batteries died he pumped her by hand, and he has been working every day for a few hours when I need something done. I fixed up with the Y club 1500 pesos for the month Dec 15 to Jan 15, including electric while I am here, I am not unhappy, plus I found out tonight, the club put in a special cement mooring for us where we were anchored, which cost them 300 pesos, just in case.
Ernie Ferry from Victoria came by to chat
Wednesday, Jan 17, 2001
Got all the new chart files downloaded last night, all 38 files, it took 3 hours cost me 480 pesos (US$4.80) at the internet cafe, I am their best customer!!! Now I have the electronic charts and the paper ones all the way to Honduras. Have a young volunteer to come along with me, his name is Ulises Wolfango Posadas Prieto, he is the young boat boy, about 19 or so from the club here who dove for my rope and Danforth before Christmas, he is some excited. The "boat-boys here run errands, clean boats and generally help out for tips. I agreed to pay him for what he will be loosing from work here, 400 pesos/day + food etc..., and a bus trip back to Veracruz, from either Progresso or Isla Mujeres depending how we get along. Anyway nice to have company, and I will teach him English along the way...
Got feeling in my finger again, but still numb at the tip, I guess amputation will no longer be necessary. Had to move the boat last night, around the corner of the wharf, and while the engine was running the alternator put 14.45V in the new batteries, that is a good sign... We are all fueled up, and only have to put the dinghy back on board and we can leave.
Thursday, January 18, 2001
Slept in until 10:00 today, read during the night, Ernie Ferry must have come by, there was a bag full of newspapers on the deck, Arreclife Triangulo is getting more interesting every day, they tell us you cannot anchor there, the depth is over 100 ft in the lagoon... it is about the size of SYC basin, they have a chain strung across underwater, with a couple of mooring buoys attached. I was told to bring Coke, books and newspapers for the lighthouse keepers, they have no daily delivery out there. The reef is 240 miles from Veracruz at 058M and then another 140 miles to Yucalpeten/Progresso at 068M, I wish to spend at least a day in Merida "the white city" 20 miles inland, before heading out for Legartos, Holbox and Isla Mujeres another 150 miles or so.
Inga from Calgary stopped by the boat today, came all the way from a resort at Lake Chapala, a 16 hour all night bus ride. We had a great chat, she lives on her houseboat in the Okanogan in summer. She envied my lifestyle...
14:00 Walked all the way to the port captain’s office, he was gone to lunch until 16:30, walked over to Sanborn’s for "cocktail Camerone" don’t bother, only 8 shrimp for 48 pesos, everywhere else there are all you can eat for 38 pesos.... oh my aching feet!!! but taking off the pounds!!!
The red flag is up, harbour closed to all small boat traffic. Another "el norte grande" is prognosticated for tonight, (the "el" means a real big one), winds up to 100 km, everyone that comes by tells me not to stay at the wharf, I already know, I tell them the boat is going to a mooring and I am going the hotel to watch from the balcony!!! This is the one we have been waiting for, we want the backside north winds to take us to Triangulo.
17:00 Jose comes back, we cast off the wharf and motor out to the mooring, attach the two 1 ½ inch lines and put out the 35 lb CQR and the 33 lb Bruce each with 90 ft 5/16 BBB chain in 20 ft .... At least now I can wind the anchors in with the windlass, so I do not care if they each have 250 ft out there. Let her blow.... I will watch from the balcony. From the 4th floor I have a great view, looking down, just now, two dogs just went by exercising a lady. There are many street vendors all along the malecon, they tap into the bottom of the street lights and get free electric for their booths!!! wires run everywhere.
Friday, January 19, 2001
01:00 Woke up to the winds, looks like the norte has started, the balcony door was left open, there is a fine sand all over the floor. Read my book.
07:30 Now she is blowing really hard, the old yellow boat that is tied to the malecon only has one line left holding. In the December storm, she broke loose and ended up under the YC dock, taking the mast and house off. Poor old gentleman that owns her was distraught. The temperature is down to 58 F, it is cold.... I just brought in a golf shirt!!! no sweater or jacket. Back to bed.
10:30 Breakfast, sit with the dive instructor from across the street from the YC, he is worried about his boat and outboard motor, bouncing in the surf. He says the winds are over 100 km and it has not peaked yet, eh calls it "El Norte Grande" so it is a big one. Whitecap is bouncing around out there, but everything appears OK through the binoculars.
12:30 walk up to the Internet café, it is a chore against the wind, for the first time I am the only person there. Send and receive, check the page, Bill purged all our in house messages, go to the weather channel, finished in 30 minutes. 8 pesos. Back to the hotel, the harbour looks like a maelstrom, some shrimpers are caught in the windward corner, not a nice place to be. Wolfango and his brother spent the night on "Beluga" a large cruiser tied to the malecon, bet they had a fine night. Decide to spend another night in the hotel, nowhere else to go.
18:30 Had a nice siesta, Winds have gone down a bit, surf still rolling in, the waves seem to be going in a different direction than the winds, When the front has passed, it should start to warm up.
Saturday, Jan 20, 2001
07:15 The winds are down to about 30 - 35 kts, but the surf is still rolling, there appears to be only one casualty on the beach, a skiff and outboard are upside down at the breaker line, boat should be OK but the poor motor!. Cloudy and overcast have not seen today's prognostication as yet; everyone is still wearing winter jackets down there on the street, and all I brought ashore are 1 tee and 2 golf shirts, guess I will have to wear one on top of the other!!
Sunday Jan 21, 2001, Lazy day called home, walked up to Centro to bank want extra pesos on hand, there was no service at the Basilica walked back, stopped at Internet café, said good bye to the guys, do boat maintenance and clean up
Whitecap’s Cruising Log
Date: Monday, January 22, 2001
Average Speed :
Departure point: Veracruz
Start Time: 09:00
Arrival Point: Celestun, Yucatan
End Time: Jan 28, 14:30
Weather: Sunny clear, one overcast morning, clear starry nights
Wind: everything from flat calm to 55kts
Visibility: 10 - 15
Engine Hour meter:
Notes and Remarks:09:00 left port after fresh groceries. SOG 5.2 COG 58 TTG to Triangulo 44.2Hr 238.1M. Only other vessel out is navy patrol.
12:00 13.47 m from Veracruz, SOG 4.8 at 1500 RPM and full main and jib , 226 M to go. Temp 85F winds SW 5kts. Wolfango is reading the dictionary...
12:45 large loaded container ship AliancaI Penema, registered Rio de Janiero, coming fast on our stern, out of Veracruz, will pass on our stbd about 500 ft away at 13:00 must be doing 25 kts we wave. we can see another one heading in off to stbd Our SOG 6.2 motor at 1000RPM 18 miles from Veracruz, SOG 5.76 Close hauled, 3 ft swells TTG 39.5 hr
14:35 wind backing easterly picking up to about 12 - 15 on the nose 090M what else, we fall off to 047M, SOG 6.50, Triangulo 211.5 miles TTG 35.38hr at this speed we are booked into Triangulo at 01:00 tomorrow.
16:40 SPD 6.45 air temp dropped to 73F from 80, starting to cool off , 197 miles TTG 30 hr. Another ship crossed our stern about 5 miles off. Sky clear, no clouds, had speed up to 7.45 for a while, whoopie!!. Water depth 1080 fathoms. Sounder not registering any more.
17:30 suppertime tonight the menu is grilled cheese, and to go with it we also have coke... SOG 6.63 we are now 48.66 miles from VC. After 50 miles we are 2.7 miles XTE north of our intended track.
19:00 already dark. Dropped main, speed down to 5.56K, sky full of stars, no moon, we are steering at 051M, north of our course, best we can do...
20:20 rolled in jib motor only, SOG 4.2 Triangulo 178.2 miles away TTG 52 hr 2ft swell, lots of phosphorescence.
22:25 let out half jib, changed course to 147M, speed picked up to 3.95 and more comfortable. TTG infinite!!!
23:00 switched to 36M speed 6.1 waves 3 ft back to bed set the timer for 40 minutes, Wolfango sleeps a lot.
23:55 everything OK speed 6+, 167 miles to go.
03:15 SOG 6.4 winds about 20+, see a vessel at 2 o’clock about 3 miles off, and a flashing light reflection in the sky at about direction 1:30 oil rig??? batteries down to 11.5v, 148.5 miles to go.
04:10 SOG 5.8 sea 5+ ft winds 20 - 25 just passed a vessel on stbd with anchor light on, nothing else out there. 143 miles to go
06:30 daylight, looks like a good day, now if the wind would only shift to south or west. Batteries down to 9.5V had to start the generator, they immediately went up to 11.5. SOG 4.8 but we are 17 miles north of our track!!! and still 130 miles to go.
08:30 going to be a warm day, heading 20M and we are 20.2 miles north of our track, SOG 6.3 we will tack in a few hours when our bearing to Triangulo gets closer to 090M, then we can make our approach from the north where there are no obstructions. and this should be a good course for Triangulo 121.8 miles away. A dozen flying fish came aboard during the night, Wolfango threw them over.
10:50 Tacked to 135M, winds down, only a slop, started engine, motor sailing at 5.6 114 miles to go except we have to tack to get there...
Wolfango not hungry,
12:55 course up to 115M doing 6.5 kts, beautiful sail full main and jib, 20 degrees of heel, Rain clouds to the west. Will stay on this tack for 2 more hours, when we will be on our original track line and then go to starboard tack. We will still be north of Triangulo, but closer.
14:00 Rolled in jib, changed course to 63M 104 miles to go, SOG 5.8k got sprinkles of rain but the clouds have passed by. Wind gone down, just a slop 2 ft seas
17:42 we are still 92 miles from Triangulo, have to tack, winds building to 25+ dropped main, half jib doing 5.9 and more comfortable. Checked engine just in case, added 1 qt oil. Running Honda to keep up batteries. We will be crossing our original intended track in half hour or so, but will go for another hour to get a good angle. Wolfango is not feeling well.
20:00 COG 021, brg to Triangulo 060M, distance 85 miles, speed 4.4. Winds are 20 + and we have 4 -5 ft swells, making for a bouncy ride. Only half a jib out and motor at 1400rpm. No other vessels.
22:15 Position 20 30N 93 36W heading 21M Triangulo 79.2 m getting closer but the tacks are slowing us down. Sky clear full of stars but no moon at all. Wolfango sleeping in cockpit, I sleep on dinette back bench behind lee cloth, set the clock for 45 minutes.
23:55 see lights from a fishing vessel at 3 o’clock, seas higher, speed 3.9 up to 4.5. 73 miles to go slowly clawing our way up.
January 22, 2001 Day 2
03:30 tacked to 100M after going 021M for 39 miles. Triangulo is at 078M guess if I had a full jib I could go higher, which I will do when the dawn comes, but I am not racing. This should put us about 12 miles south of Triangulo, another tack will fix that. Filled the Honda spilled a few ounces of gas in the bouncing, the propane sniffer went off!!! that’s good sign. Back to bed.
07:00 Overslept, looks like a nice day, we are 57 miles from Triangulo and closing at 5.79 with full jib. We will have one more tack there is a 3 ft chop out there. We are heading directly into the rising sun... Air temp 75F and water temp 72F Winds 15 from NE. The new chart came up, we will be on it in about 6 hrs whoopie!!!
09:10 we are 48 hrs out, are on 122M a course directly to Arcas, 64 miles away. Triangulo is 52 but we have to tack back up, 6 kts, jib only.25 degree heel.
10:15 large tanker at 3 o’clock heading Tampico?? Triangulo is 42 miles, flying fish everywhere, Wolfango keeps throwing them over.
11:00 tacked to 28M SOG 5.9
15:45 winds piping up to 25+ rolled in half jib, filled the Honda tank from the outboard gas can, and will dump 5 gal diesel in main tank just in case.. We are still 30 miles from Triangulo tacking back and forth clawing our way up wind, if we could just get a break.... or wind shift.
18:00 topped up the Honda, should be good until midnight. Hdg 002M Triangulo 19 miles, one more big tack around 20:00 hrs should get us close enough to motor over. Speed 5.6
23:14 Tacked again in 1 hr 30 minutes this should put us about 6+ miles off Triangulo,, blowing about 30kts. 5 -6 ft swell, rolled in more jib only about 1/4 out now. SOG 5.7 motor at 1500rpm.
January 23, 2001 Day 3
01:00 Triangulo light at 3 o’clock, 8.01 miles away!!! will continue this course for another hour, and the next tack should bring us there.
02:10 See some other lights, must be fishing boats, guess we will go far enough north when we tack back it will be daylight.
07:30 daylight we head directly into rising sun for the lagoon, mistake #1, never into the rising sun.... Enter the "harbour" see rocks sticking up here and there, where are the mooring buoys??? Lighthouse seems abandoned, no answer on radio, no one about, place consists of damaged lighthouse, answer one, a "residence" and some sheds on about a 3 ft high sand bar about 300 ft square, surf breaking all around. Where is this 100 ft deep lagoon?? With the Spanish galleon on the bottom?? We show 6 - 9 ft on the depth sounder, it is as rough in here as it is outside, decide it is not a safe place to be, head out, bump coral head cannot back off, swivel her around, roll out jib she heels and eventually lifts off only to hit a larger one!!!. This one we heel over and I can hear the scrunch on the belly under the coffee table, oh what a sound!! Thought we were holed for sure, my concern was that this would be Whitecap’s grave yard. Several waves picked us up and with the heel from the jib we bumped off, only when we straightened up we hit another, bumped several times and were off... Oh my poor bottom!!! Next check for water in the bilge, there is some but where from?? We head south Mistake #2 wondering where to go next. Then we have to tack back and forth to try and stay away from Triangulo Sur and Este, if we had gone north there would not have been any more dangers and we would have had a better tack for Progresso, Ah well!!! We are lucky, we got out with only the damage we got. What a disappointment, and we brought then stacks of newspapers, coke and a bottle of rum.
11:30 lower aft main stay came loose got doused fixing it. Heading for Progresso, but having trouble getting around Triangulo Este reef. Beans for lunch.
14:15 jib and reefed main, slow way to china!!! or Progresso, had to tack several times to getting away from that east reef.
18:00 wind backed more northerly we are making 097M and Progresso is 073M!!! 136 miles away full jib and reefed main.
18:40 Oh Oh, just tore the clew out of the Hood jib, have to put on the North #2. And just after dark too. Saved the pieces, will repair.
19:20 all changed over and sailing again, we can make 074M now, closer to our track but speed down to 3.9. Loud squealing sound from the engine room, shut her down. This is definitely not our day
23:00 winds really blowing, decided to hove to, and drift (we actually drifted 24+ miles off course). Try rolling in the jib, no way, she takes a few rolls and jambs, something wrong. Lots of cracking and banging on deck and the wind was howling (we find out later 55 kts), Lay down, sleep set the clock for 45 minutes at a time. There is nothing else out here but a few shrimpers, also hove to.
January 24, 2001 Day 4
0600 start sailing again, think the problem with motor may be transmission fluid, will fix that today if it calms down,
09:10 looks like the best we can do for a harbour is Lerma which is 109M and 65 miles from here we are presently headed at164M. Eventually the wind will have to shift or let up!!! Wolfango still sleeping since 21:00 last night.
11:15 It is definitely the transmission, we have a spare, but it means installing it!! Lerma would be a good place it is 65 miles east of here, it means a bit if uphill slog but the alternative is Citudad del Carmen 75 miles due south, there is not much between, and then it means the trip back up to Lerma when the repair is over. If this wind would only shift and we could make Progresso we would save all those miles.... We are presently pointed closer to Lerma which is a fishing harbour 4 miles from Campeche, winds are down but seas still sloppy at about 5 - 6 ft
13:03 winds down, raise reefed main, course now 125M and speed picked up to 5.7k making the 54 miles to Lerma and 085M easier to reach, only one tack up wind . An even better alternative in this wind is Celestun, 95 miles away at 045M at the NW turn of the peninsula. We will leave that tack to the last hoping the winds will go northerly. With no engine, the only thing holding us back is gasoline for the Honda, we have 1.5 gallons left, which we will use to keep the batteries up for the bilge pump. Taking some water, but not near as much as in Lake Ontario. The boat is drying up finally, Air temp 80+F. Wolfango is starting to talk, his parents live in Tabasco, father is a jewellery repair man, mother is a hairdresser, and he has 2 sisters, one 18 and the other 24 years old.
14:50 wind is going more northerly decided to tack, we are steering 356M by GPS. Celestun is at 040M, 92 miles, decide to head for there, our fall back will be Lerma, 52 miles at 085M. From Celestun , Progresso will only be 50 more miles and we can change the transmission there a lot easier.
17;15 Had "chicken a la king" for supper, only meal of the day except for coke this noon, Beautiful sail, 4.95 kt, just wish the wind was from another direction. Run the Honda only to get the batteries up to 12.25 and shut down. This course takes us strait to Lerma.
18:08 We were just treated to a beautiful red sundown. The nightly blow has started, dropped main for the night, jib only, may have to fall off a few degrees.
22:00winds 3 -5 no motor!!! sitting 30 miles off shore Lerma/Campeche. Just sitting here, raised main, nothing after all the wind we had last night...
23:30 Wow, winds go right around to SE, and pick up, we are now barreling along at 5.6k relatively in the direction we want to go, and it is so hazy we cannot see anything, but stars above and the glow of Campeche in the sky, ah well. With this SE wind we can make Celestun at the tip of the peninsula 79 miles away, tomorrow sometime
January 25, 2001 Day 5
04:45 Alls well, Celestun is 56 miles strait ahead, SOG 5.7kts COG 014M boat self steering with the wheel locked. Hope this breeze keeps up.
07:15 Overslept again, this AM batteries down to 7.5V, start Honda, reboot everything, still on course, winds picked up to about 20K SOG 4.9 Celestun 39.75 miles almost directly ahead.
08:00 just passed 2 small fishing skiffs, heading towards shore, must be going to near Isla Piedra, they waved I waved back.
10:00 Wolfango just got up, I was in bunk reading, sun is out finally, adjusted heading to 023M, SOG 6.3 RNG (range) 24.9 miles to Celestun. We are 6.5 miles offshore, cannot see anything, low land, mangrove swamps and the water depth is only 19 ft with white sandy bottom, which we can see. Going to be a hot day, already 80F. TTG 3h 55m, we may finally get into a harbour before dark...
12:00 just finished breakfast, Wolfango had 2 eggs, burnt toast and bacon, I had toasted BLT without the L again, got to use up that bacon...
We are 4 miles from shore 11 ft depth white sand. Just passing Isla Arena lighthouse, there is a pueblo along the shore looks like a condo type development. Wolfango spotted dolphins about 500 ft off, but they were not interested in us, he tells me the Yucatan people speak differently than other Mexicans, "buenos dias" becomes "buaa nos di aaa s", Local hillbilly folklore no doubt... Found the problem with the roller furling, the spinnaker halyard is between the jib halyard and the roller forestay, and it wants to roll also, will have to drop jib to fix. Consider it done, just exactly what was wrong, dropped the jib moved the halyard, raised the jib again and Eureka it worked.
14:30 what a wild ride this last 9 miles, broad reach in 25 knots wind, 10 ft water, offshore breeze, no waves, we topped 7Kts, with single reefed main and #2. Anchored off the breakwaters and called the puerto Capitania, he is coming out. Les Marinas arrive for a search, this time 7 all with Uzi’s, they have a great time, especially with the container of West system white cotton fibres, they tasted, smelled, and passed it around before giving it back and then went through the same process again!!! They would not let me take a picture. We require a tow to the basin inside. Water too low at the entrance, for the afternoon, we pull anchor and sail to a hurricane broken down wharf, drop anchor and drift back, we are the centre of attention, port Captain comes down, Dick goes to his office he stamps and copies our papers, everything ok. Wolfango is the main attraction the local folks are all lined up on the wharf asking questions, stories about the trip, lots of young girls....and he is from Veracruz. There is a RV with Quebec plates on the wharf, will leave a note on the windscreen.
14:45 the army came, they also want to inspect the boat, Wolfango would not let them on until I came back from calling home. They were quick, and they only had rifles. The port Captain came back to tell us, a fishing boat is coming to tow us into the basin. We met an American lady, Cheryl and her husband Dudley who have a home here, loaned us extension cords so we could plug in at the ice plant across the road. Also a Gaspe couple and their son in an RV, who today did the "Flamingo Tour". This is a flamingo breeding ground and national reserve, the pictures we see on TV with the thousands of flamingos was filmed here. At the restaurant tonight (camerone cocktail) we met a young man from Montreal, doing a solo tour of the Yucatan. Wolfango thinks I know everyone in Canada.
Jan 29. Went to Cheryl and Dudley's for breakfast, and Denis and Michelle Riviere from Gaspe showed up also. Wow, beautiful home on the waterfront, it had been abandoned for 13 years, it had no doors or windows, they are doing a bang up job fixing it up, all Mexican tiles and stone, with a 7 ft stone wall all around except for the water side, they have 3 turkeys in the yard which act as guard dogs... They were able to locate the original doors and windows which were in storage, Cheryl took us to the market for fruit and stuff, and we left our laundry at a hotel for cleaning, lady says to come back at 17:00. Then we went to the beach tourist centre for showers (10 pesos) , the first shampoo in a week!!! This afternoon we will fill the outboard and Honda gasoline cans, the Pemex is just alongside the dock, no need to top up the diesel just now. Port Captain says, "norte" tomorrow, harbour will be closed, we had planed to head for Yucalpeten/Progresso 50 miles away early morning, now it will be on first opportunity, likely "manana manana", my Mexican version for the day after tomorrow. The real term is "pasado manana". There I will replace the transmission.
Tonight I did not feel like cooking, so when Wolfango went to pick up the laundry, (30 pesos) I told him to pick up his supper, he came back with a "moriscada", which was shrimp, snail and octopus in a tossed salad and a spicy sauce for US$3.50, I had the doggie bag shrimp cocktail, I refuse to eat out of Styrofoam, so we dug out real plates, we dined by candlelight. Wolfango does the dishes. The port Captain came for a visit with 2 teenage sons, and we showed pictures of the trip and PEI in the snow with Paint Shop, they especially all got a great laugh at Michael and Marc with dyed red hair, I called them my Rojo grandsons!!!. They stayed for a couple of hours, very nice gentleman, he warns us to close up the boat when we leave , he does not want anything to go missing in his town.
05:30 The fishers start early, everyone going out for the day comes to our dock for ice, everyone coming in stops here to unload their nets and sell their catch, the others just go back and forth at full speed, everyone just bounces around.
Breakfast today is bacon and eggs, and burnt toast. Two young girls (sisters?) come by on a bike, about 12 and 10, I give one a hair clip we found, they took off behind a small cement block building, and came back in a few minutes, the older one had done up the others hair with the clip, and they came back to show me... I took their picture.
Went to Sherrill and Dudley’s to send e-mail, could not send but did receive 6. Spent the afternoon at the Flamingo National Preserve, we went by taxi, a moped with two back wheels and a seat for two passengers. There are an estimated 25,000 birds there, protected species, and are the worlds largest inland waterway fowl, their color comes from lagoon water, rich in carotene and which is red in colour, and is also a shrimp breeding ground only 16 inches deep. The males are much larger and necks longer than the females and they travel in separate packs, the young ones are whiter than pink, the male reacts to danger be lengthening and shortening their long necks and moving their heads back and forth sideways, akin to a human scratching his head and belly at the same time... Our boatman also went into the mangroves, there are many underground rivers which just bubble to the surface, and mix with the salt water; the entire coastline all the way to Cabo Catouche is like this. Stopped by the peuorto Captainia, weather looks good, decide to get towed out of the basin at high tide, around 17:00. Plan is to anchor off the beach until dawn, but with the weather, half moon, clear sky, we decided to sail all night and keep going...
Whitecap’s Cruising Log
Date: January 30, 2001
Average Speed :
Departure point: Celustun, Yucatan, MX
Start Time: 18:30
Arrival Point: Yucalpeten, MX
End Time: 17:00 next day
Weather: clear sky, half moon (luna), stars and a satellite
Wind: North at about 10, down to 5 and up to 20
Day’s Run: 76.08 miles
Engine Hour meter:
Highlights: Left Celestun, sailed all night and day to not friendly reception from port Capt. Sailed in anyway, will have a chat with him tomorrow about leaving sailors out in impending storm conditions.
Notes and Remarks:
17:30 A skiff fisherman towed us out of the lagoon for 100 pesos, while the tide was high, lowest spot was 4.8 ft, mostly 6 - 7 ft in the entrance; once outside we had planned to anchor by the town wharf for the night, but the weather was just too tempting. We have a beat for the first 11 miles, but once we can make it around Punta Buxcohuo, ( the north west corner of Yucatan) we will have a close reach, getting better ending in a broad reach all the way to Progresso/Yucalpeten.. Lots of skiff fishermen out here. SOG 3.8 we still have the single reef in, trying to make up my mind to shake it.
21:00 We tack, lots of room to make the cape 7 miles away, and a good line on the next one Punta de Piedra at 23 miles. Did not work, we tack back out again, to get more sea room, Dick goes to bed for an hour shuteye
22:50 Wind shift, able to adjust course to 036M, good, SOG 3.8 depth 45 ft. We are 9.8 miles out and still heading offshore, but if we go far enough we can make one tack to Yucalpeten 46.3 miles away. And I can get more rest away from shore. No nappy today.... If the wind backs around more, we will be parallel with the coastline.
01:30 Winds died to zero, just drifting but at least it is north. Range to Yucalpeten 42 miles, we are 12 miles offshore, depth is 56 ft
02:30 winds picked up to about 10 from SE, we are doing 5.1 towards our destination, hurrah, after going in circles for awhile.
04:00 SOG 5.4, range 37m at 085M we are steering 054M as high as we can go and 13.5 miles off shore. Hazy, no other vessels.
06;30 Daylight came ½ hr ago, looks like another hot day, not a cloud in sight, everything outside is wet from last night’s dew. There is a buoyed shoal, Arreclife Sisal, just up ahead about 5 miles, we want to stay away from this. Tacked to 159M heading towards shore 13.6 miles away. SOG 3.8 will do this for 1 ½ hour then tack back over.
08:00 Did our tack over to 069M, SOG 4.9, winds picked up, now shows our ETA for 15:36 winds up to 15 - 18k
10:20 Dick had a sleep, woke up to SOG of 6.21k winds have picked up to 25+ we have 30 deg of heel, steering COG 072M Yucalpeten is at 090M.. And 18 miles away. ETA now is 13:47 about 3 hours away. Wolfango tells me that we passed a "Yate", like Julio’s cruiser about an hour ago. We have bananas for breakfast. We are going through a fleet of 10 small 8 ft dories each with 1 man, they are fishing with nets, there is an outboard skiff out here also, must be the mother boat!!!
11:30 we are 13 miles from Yucalpeten COG 086M which will take us just outside the jetties . SOG varies from 4.8 to 5.06kts, choppy confused waves, VHF Radio just said there is a norther behind us, and listed the harbours that were closed, we will be safe in port when it gets here. We are about 5 miles from shore, which is sand beach backed up with mangeoves, for several miles or so back, the land is only .4 to .6 meter above sea level... and full of fresh water springs.
13:30 abeam of Chorotun, which appears to consist of beach homes all along the shoreline west of Yucalpeten. Yucalpeten is split in two by the entrance to the harbour, from the east side , you have to go all away around the lagoon to get to the west side. We are 5.3 miles from the harbour, and 2.6 miles offshore, water depth is 31 ft and water temp is 72F and air temp is 86F. We can see the Progresso wharf, it sticks out into the Gulf for 5 miles and ends in a man made dredge spoil island, with has a roadway on top, just to get enough depth for ships.
15:00 arrive off Yucalpeten jetties, Wolfango calls Peurto Capitania, I did not get all the conversation, but the jest was for us to continue on our way, I heard the word "vamose" ..., the next call he said he would send out a "piloto" which would cost us big bucks, well no piloto showed after two hours, and the wind shifted, after we had sailed back and forth across the entrance a total of 10 times, it was soon going to be dark, so we rolled in jib, and sailed straight in under main only. Wolfango figured we would end up in jail, he was wandering around the deck with his hands behind his back as though they were tied there.... We missed the first marina, because it came up too fast but were able to drop the CQR off Las Tortugas Marina, launched the dinghy. The result there was they had space, but would only rent for three months at a time!!! Mario the manager was not there, so I guess they can be excused. By this time I cannot believe this, They sent me in the dinghy to the next marina further down, where the owners were much more hospitable and accommodating, but no electric plug in, Mike Dutton the owner of Marina Laguna Mar, even came with an outboard to make sure we were able to sail down OK. Tomorrow I will go see the port Captain, and we will have a chat about leaving sailors outside with an impending storm on the way...
17:00 Talk to Mike, he is sending down a come-a-long tomorrow from his shop in Merida, so we can lift the engine.
19:00 Wolfango is hungry, I tell him to make sandwiches, 2 for him and 2 for me. I give him a can of chicken and the can opener, and have to demonstrate the opener, then I mixed up the chicken, with mayonnaise, onion, salt and pepper spread it on a slice of bread, cover it, cut it in two, and tell him to do the same with the rest, the resulting sandwiches were delicious, and exactly as I demonstrated. Only have to show him once... And then he learned about the fly swatter, it was fun watching. We watched video on the VCR until bedtime.
February 1, 2001. Yucalpeten,. Well, we had a busy day today, this morning, visitors from Toronto, Harry and Gail Haslet, who sail a 35 ft sailboat in Toronto, and who have sailed their boat to Belize and the Rio Dulce and back to Canada, invited us to supper at the beachfront home they are considering about 5 miles west of here, the same homes we passed sailing in along the beach yesterday, they saw the Canadian flag when we sailed by yesterday. I asked them if they knew Jack and Marge Mansell, they did not, for some reason I have been thinking of Jack Mansell for the past week or so, do not know why, will e-mail karen larsen to check on him. Spent the day unhooking the engine, by 15:00 we had her in the cabin and the transmission off. Dick has a bedmate for the night in the quarter berth, just roll over and Mercedes is there, only she don’t smell rosy... Harry and Gail came at 16:00, Wolfango would not come, says he did not have dress up clothes... first home cooked meal since home a month ago, thanks Gail and Harry, by the way, I think the house is worth the asking price. It poured rain for about half hour tonight, they say first in three months. Tomorrow, we will go to Merida for the day with Felix, the marina manager/night watchman, who goes to visit his mother every Friday. Felix used to run a schooner from Cancun to Isla Mujeres for tourists, until he was severely injured in a motorcycle accident and was left with severe impediments, which his attitude about life make up for; he also has a brother here, Mauricio, who has a Grampian 34 ketch, and another brother Juan Manuel who has a CS 36 at Marina Parisio on Isla Mujeres with his wife Judy Abbott. If we get back mid-afternoon as planned, we will remove the clutch plate for inspection, if not there is Saturday..... what the hell this is Mexico....
February 2, 2001 Merida for the day, Felix was going to visit his mother, so at 05:30 he woke us and we walked 1 mile to the local bus which took us to the terminal for the next "Merida directo" bus. We were given a personal guided tour of the city’s interesting points, beautiful city. Did our e-mail thing at an internet café, lunched, showered and bussed back to Progreso, picked up groceries and were back at the boat by 17:00, tired and hungry, but not cranky.... Tonight, we planned shrimp "a la Frank Boudreau" but fell asleep instead. Ah tomorrow...
February 3, 2001, Well good job yesterday was a good day, because today ain’t so good... First off it rained all night, had to get up bear arse climb out of the quarter berth over the engine, close all the windows and hatches, raise the dodger, shut down the Honda and put it back in the cockpit, then climb back in the quarter berth, all wet, then try to read for awhile before going back to sleep. Dawn brought us a cloudy day. First thing to check after shaking off the cobwebs, is the clutch plate and get it off, yep!! The sucker’s spline is almost completely chewed up, just what we do not need. And... this is the spare part Mary was to bring down.... yesterday when we called, she told us now she is not coming until Feb 19th. I suspect part of the problem has been we have never had a matched pair, the clutch plate goes, we replace the plate, the transmission goes we replace the transmission, never both at once. And now we are putting a brand new transmission in!!! The dilemma, do we put the engine back in the hole and not hook her up, sail to Isla Mujeres and wait??? Or do we sit here??? There are about 1000 fishing boats in this harbour, do we suppose we may find just be the right part here??? Jeff Dutton the marina owner’s brother is coming to check our electrical this afternoon, I will ask, but of course today is Saturday and tomorrow is Sunday..... and Monday is "Constitution day" a national holiday everything closed. Ah well Mexican time...
14:30 Jeff comes, looks around, checks everything, reads the manuals for the Powermaster, and determines maybe we are missing a wire from the alternator to a + lead, says we can go from the alternator to the starter + post, about 15 inches, WOW if this solves the problem!!!???!!!. But in order to check it out we have to get the engine up and running in her hole. We will also install the spare alternator while the engine compartment is open.
Supper tonight is "Shrimp a la Frank Boudreau". Wolfango approves, and has two... Tonight we have a congenial visit from Gabriel, who has just purchased a Dufour 27 down the dock, her home port is Hampton, NH, the original owner sailed down here, got into a big storm, found and limped into Yucalpeten and flew home... Gabriel bought the boat; maybe Mary is right, there may be pirates here after all.
February 4, 2001 Slept in until 09:30, Bright sunny hot 90F day, did a walk-about but cannot seem to get motivated. All kinds of small and large powerboats moving around the harbour, even saw two Sea-Doo’s. This afternoon about 10 sailboats were sailing around, Think we will put the outboard on the dink and do some touring this afternoon...
15:00 broke the outboard gas tank fitting, rigged up a temp patch, and motored down the back cove towards town, all kinds of sailboats down there, looks like a lot of US vessels left for winter storage, it is much cheaper here than Isla Mujeres.
February 5, 2001 Monday. Cloudy day, winds blew hard last night from the north, every ripple hit under the stern quarter, will have to turn the boat around!!!. This is the "norte" they talked about last night. This morning I will tour the boatyards with my clutch plate, if not successful, Jeff says he will take me to Merida and look there. If no luck there, I guess I will call Jim at Federal Transmissions in Michigan, he got me out of this same dilemma in November 1999, and we can get one Fed Ex’d to here in 3 to 5 days... (I hope).
To top everything, our refrigeration has quit, maybe because of the low batteries, or hopefully a fuse somewhere... Jeff says he will check it out when he does the electrical. now with the engine out, I think I will move the compressor aft to the other side of the bulkhead, it is too difficult to work at behind the hot water tank it was a stupid place to put it in the first place, but then we decided to install the water heater.
13:00 Went to Progreso to the Internet café, most things closed, met up with Gail doing her e-mails, hitched a ride back to the boat. Roast chicken for supper, and watched "GI Jane" on video before bed. I am re-reading Farley Mowatt’s "People of the Deer" for the 3rd time.
February 6, 2001. Tuesday clear sunny day, going to be hot hot.
09:30 Packed up my backpack, computer, wires, mouse, broken clutch plate, put it all in a garbage bag, and get Wolfango to dinghy me to the small ferry dock about 2 miles away. Walk to Pepe’s workshop to see if he ever saw a clutch plate like ours, he is not there, will be back at 13:00. Stand on the corner, with a lady who looks like she is dressed up and going somewhere. After a few minutes she hails a passing "Combi" (a Volkswagon van, used as a peoples taxi); I say "Centro", she says "Si", so I hop in too. Eventually I get to downtown Progresso and head for the internet café. No luck sending again but could receive, so I was able to send messages via the home page guestbook. Then off to a telephone; first call to Mark at Velvet Drive (508)979-4800, to see if he had any idea why this should be happening, no he cannot figure it out. Next call Jim at Federal Transmissions in Michigan (708)349-3556, they are closed for the week, but Jim is there, we talk about the problem, give him the measurements, diameter (8"), bolt hole spacing, # of teeth in the spline (26), thickness (1 x 1/16 at hub), 10 springs etc... Jim says to call back at 14:30. When I call back, Jim gives me a phone # (978)887-1145 for Chris at Atlantic Marine Gear in the Boston area, they are his competition, but since he will be closed it would be impossible to ship for 10 days. I call Chris, Jim has already given him all the info, he says our problem is because we are idling the motor causing more wear, and not abusing it as we thought. He recommends a different clutch plate, with three different spring compression stages. We give him our credit card # and he will ship Fed Ex, soonest, Feb 7th to Mike Dutton’s machine shop in Merida addressed to Whitecap, "YACHT IN TRANSIT" for customs purposes. At the end of the day chasing down the rogue part cost us: US$ 150.30 + shipping and about US$ 70 for phone calls, and we will have to have an adaptor plate made here at Mike’s shop so it will fit the flywheel. Satisfied, I go off down the street to the coffee shop where the Canadian tourists gather, for a beer and type up a fax to Chris confirming the address etc. A couple at the next table, asked me if I knew how to figure out Mexican coins, I explained and asked them where they were from, "Prince Edward Island, Canada" was the answer. Turns out they are from Charlottetown and were quite surprised when I told them where I was from.... I did not get their names, darn.
Back to the internet café to print my fax, then off to the phone place to send it. No answer, by this time in Boston it is 18:00 so I will have to do the dinghy and combi thing again tomorrow morning. Picked up chicken nuggets at the "San Fransico de Asis" (the main grocery outlet here) and taxi back to the boat. Felix came to visit, and we showed the videos of Whitecap’s trip from Chicago to Aberdeen, cooked and ate all the chicken nuggets, they were made from ground up chicken.
February 7, 2001. Wednesday Went to Progreso early, Felix came along; this time, we dinghy’d down the lagoon to a canal all the way to downtown Progresso, found a new outboard fuel tank at the Johnson dealer, filled it and sent Wolfango back to the boat. I want to check that Chris received our fax, he did, but the shipping address at Mike Dutton’s shop in Merida was incomplete, no CP#, FedEx would not accept!!! Felix goes and gets the address of his cousin Carlos, a shipping agent, a few doors down the street. Write up another fax and send it, this will delay us by another day, and then we are into the weekend... so maybe, we will finally get the part by next Tuesday. One benefit we have, sitting here in the mud at low tide the leak has stopped!!
Had lunch at "The Shark" a waterfront restaurant along the beach, it was designed by one of Felix’s brothers. Progreso has a wharf, which stretches 5 miles out into the Gulf and ends at a man made island, the water is very shallow, creating a beautiful white sandy beach which extends 25 miles eastward and almost as far to the west, little wonder it is a popular destination for snowbirds, and the beachfront houses go for under 1400 CDN / month, with maid service.
Two movies tonight, "Notting Hill" and "Snow Falling on Cedars". Winds up, ran a line over to the wall to keep us off the dock.
February 8, 2001. Thursday. Computer suddenly developed a virus, "Spirale" when we boot up a 6" black circle appears centre screen and a white spiral starts turning trying to disappear down the centre, like the mythical "fug-gaw-wi" bird, who traveled in ever decreasing circles until he disappeared up his own ass-hole... Damm cannot do anything, will have to go to Merida tomorrow. Jeff comes and does a fix on the fridge, the neg wire is burnt off the circuit board; he solders a new wire and the fridge works. Shower tonight, there is no hot water here, only ambient temperature, warmest at night. Leaving for Merida at 06:30 have to walk 1 mile to the bus to catch the "directo" with Felix.
February 9, 2001. Friday We are in Merida by 08:30, big things happening in Centro today, bands, speeches loud music, it is "Unite Yucatan day", there must be 100 thousand people in the park by the Cathedral. We have to wait until 15:00 for the computer guy so we spend the day walking around, churches, museums and tourist stuff. Wolfango meets an old schoolmate from Tabasco state, he is some excited, I have a fruit plate while they talk. Later in the afternoon while we are waiting for the computer tech guy, a young lady runs by, Wolfango says she is also from Tabasco, I pressured him to go talk to her at her job in a fast food place down the hall, when she sees him she jumps over the counter and plants him a big kiss, while they talk I order up a pizza. Later he asks me if it is OK if she comes to visit the boat , I say "Si, Si", so he runs and invites her. He is to call her.
17:00 Back in Progresso, stop at the "Aduanal Mier Y Tierra" office to see if our part has appeared, yes it is in Merida, and will be here tomorrow. Good, except we still have to have a ring machined to adapt it to the Mercedes flywheel on Monday. Get groceries and taxi to the Marina. Felix comes to visit, we smell smoke, sure enough the temp fix on the fridge circuit board is arcing, so we shut off the breaker. No more fridge until Cancun when Mary brings the new part.
The big catamaran behind us is leaving for Isla Mujeres tomorrow early, they use her to take tourists out for rides, yesterday they found the aft aluminum beam was almost completely fractured, they had it repaired last night. Good job they noticed it, if they got into heavy weather, they could have been statistics.
February 10, 2001. Saturday. Went to the Port Captains office, he tells me we have to come the day we wish to leave and he will give us a paper which we take to a bank in Progresso, pay US$14 and take it back, then he will stamp our "Dispacho", that will waste a half day!!! Went to Progreso to see about our part, not there yet. Next delivery is Monday at 15:00, and the darn thing is only 20 miles away!!. Got back to the boat after walking 10 miles around Progreso, thinking there would be a roaming taxi when I got tired, but no such luck, had to walk back to the taxi stand. Had a banana and rum, in that order, and was in bed at 18:00.
February 11, 2001. Sunday, Must have caught something, woke up in a cold sweat during the night, covered the bottom sheet with a towel and crawled back in, only woke at 08:30. Bright sunny day, winds light, but it blew hard during the night, wonder where the McGregor cat is, bet they had a fun night, the winds were on the nose and their only shelter was inside the small hulls, the rest of the boat is all deck.
Went up the mast twice today, first time to determine what was wrong, and free the jib so we lowered her down, the wire jib hallyard has somehow gotten turned around the forestay and is jammed down inside the harken foil about 4 turns, it tore a 3" slot into the side of the foil, how it got there is anyone's guess, must have got tangled when we were changing jibs in the storm. On the second trip up, Jeff came over and I was able to unwrap 2 turns by using a winch on the mast, but could not get the last two, so we cut the halyard and left them in there acting as a "bearing" and taped the whole thing to cover any sharpies. Harken should have a cast or turned piece up there to prevent this from happening. We will nicopress a new fitting on the shortened by 6" halyard tomorrow.
Felix is coming over tonight, we will watch a movie, Wolfango has gone off to call (the nearest phone over 1 mile away) his lady friend from Merida, he was expecting her to visit today but she was working. Wolfango suddenly decided during the movie, that he wished to make "te", I figured out it was tea, so I dug out Bill’s old teapot, and he came back with some long grass from somewhere , boiled it up and he and Felix had their "te"
February 12, 2001. Monday. Morning started off cloudy but soon turned sunny and hot, the has wind shifted to the SE, bad for the catamaran if she is anywhere near Cabo Catoche (Cato-shee), for that last 35 miles to Isla Mujeres. Spent the morning in the bilge, getting the #2 bilge pump back up, picking nuts and bolts etc... out of the bowels, and cleaned up the engine oil pressure sensors from the salt spray from the now fixed rubber boot leak, had to replace wire ends, they were corroded off.
13:00 shower and head to town by dinghy. Hope I can send my e-mails, there are 22 of them in there now with the latest pictures. Well no luck again today, no e-mails out, and none in, and the purpose of the trip is the elusive part we are waiting for... now the Mexican customs have it, and they want US$100 to release it!!! We are a "yacht in transit", should be no duty, what happened to free trade??? Now the story is manana at 15:00 that is Tuesday. We are just spinning our wheels!!!
Met up with a couple, at the coffee shop, retired teachers from Shediac, Edward and Denise Vautour, we know a lot of the same people!! Pick up some groceries and more Bacardi Anejo, looks like roast chicken and baked potato for supper, if you want good fresh product you have to be at the market before noon. Wolfango attempted to take off the bell housing on the engine this afternoon, we need to get some welding done, fill in the holes and re-thread, two of the bolts just turn in the threads and these hold the transmission on, at least this is an easy job; he also had the boat all spic and span. Roasted the ½ chicken and watched a movie "Last Dance" with Sharon Stone, and then "Spitfire Café". Little did I know the chicken was already spiced, and I added Jalapênos juice from a 100 gm tin over it for flavor, and used the sliced peppers over the sliced tomato, well we were both trying to get out breath half hour later!!! During dinner, Wolfango, told me about an iguana he saw over at the ramp, he demonstrated that he had been trying to catch it and wants to cook it for dinner. I have seen the same fella every day on the way to the showers & washrooms, hope he does not catch him, am not into eating iguanas, at least not yet!!!
February 13, 2001. Tuesday Back to town again, this time up the lagoon and canal, at full speed in the dink we can get to Progreso in 7 minutes, that is one third the time it takes to go by bus. Wolfango has the 3 x 5 gal diesel deck tanks filled $300 pesos at the Pemex and goes back to the boat; I walk the 5 blocks to Centro. I am determined to get this part today, went to the Mir Y Teran office and left the $1083 pesos for Fed Ex to cover the "duty", spent the day wandering around, walked the beach bare feet, the water temp feels like the ambient temp, nice. Part finally arrives at 17:30 Invoice #14009 US$150.30 + 39.50 shipping, total US$199.80. Atlantis Marine Gear, Topsfield Mass. (978)887-0001 att: Chris. Part # is HP 288238 6.19" od, 26 teeth, the number stamped on the part is 1866061002, "SACHS" made in Germany, and "Gelriebe Siefe" in case we ever need to find it again. Nice part, there are three different pairs of springs, to damper the transmission differently, looks like it will work, although it is much lighter than the old one which was rated for 400 ft lbs, Mercedes at only 42 HP generates only 110 ft lbs. Tomorrow we will send it to Mike Dutton’s machine shop in Merida to have a "donut" adapter made to fit, and we will get the engine room ready. Had a chat with Mercedes tonight, she knows she is going back in her hole again hopefully for the last time in the next few years!!! We may get out of here by Saturday...
Booted the computer tonight, and the virus is back again, each time it comes back it has a different name, so I have to go into the Win.INI file and rem out the line, somehow I will have to find the master file and zap it. Tonight’s movie "The Chamber".
February 14, 2001. Wednesday, 08:00 Mike Dutton comes to marina to instruct a new contractor who will be finishing the front wall sidewalk, and I give him the new and old parts, and show him where the critical measurements are, he will be making a donut to mount this part on out flywheel. I send Wolfango off in the dinghy, to the Pemex by the bridge to fill up the 3 diesel deck containers again, $300 pesos, and the outboard and Honda generator gasoline tanks $100 pesos, so all this will be ready when we are. I will go to the port Captain for the papers so I can go to the bank in Progresso, pay the $140 pesos, get a receipt and take it back to him so we can get our dispacho. Stupido eh!!
Virus came back again, it seems to write itself a new file each time and adds a line to the Win.ini file so when I boot up it runs. So far it has called itself: Aakaaaka, Aogaaoga, Dehedehe , all exe’s and I found two more which look like they are next in line called Akcaakca and Acnnacnn. I renamed them all by adding two A’s in front and rem’d out the lines in Win.ini each time but it is a nuisance to have to go through this process... Have to find the master file that is writing these things. Had a visit this morning from Juan Manuel Mier Y Teran, He and his wife Judy Abbott de Mier y Teran, own "Grumpy’ a CS-2 in Isla Mujeres, They are the publishers of the magazine " Yucatan Today" which is the tourist bible around here. They are headed to their boat on Friday, and will watch out for Mary. We discussed "buddy boating" Belize and Rio Dulce a trip which they have been considering for some time. I just have to get to Isla Mujeres first.
Worked on the wiring in the engine room and fixed up the 7 amp Honda wire to the engine battery bank. Decided to head out to the port captain’s for the bank receipt thing, he tells me I have to do this both for "in" and "out". OK as long as I know, but I told him I did not want to have to go to the bank in Progreso twice because I was walking, and after a bit of discussion, he instructed his assistant to give me the second set of papers. Great. Dinghy across the channel to catch the bus, and there were Mary and Anna, two Canadian sisters from Sudbury I met in Progreso yesterday, down here in Yucalpeten looking for me, with them was Ed Winchester, formally from Summerside (born in Belmont, Lot 16, lived on Duke St. between Notre Dame and North Market, sister is Mrs. Harry Crossman, on East St.). We dinghyed to the boat 2 at a time, and spent a delightful cocktail hour or two. It was fun, imagine someone from Summerside here in Yucalpeten, even though he has been living is Ontario for 50 years.... the port Capitan thing can wait until tomorrow... I am on Mexican time now... Felix came for dinner, we had spaghetti to which I added 1 can of each of the following: sliced black olives, mushrooms, and bar clams, + garlic, salt +++, well we ate it all and they (Felix and Wolfango) said it was delicious. Tonight’s movie is "Something about Mary" hard life eh???
February 15, 2001. Thursday. Took off in dinghy to Progreso early today, did the coffee thing with Ed and Denise Vautour, and their friends Rachael and Laurent Fougere from Shediac who are visiting for two weeks. Called home, Mary is scheduled for flight 4291 Monday, Feb 19, arriving Cancun at 20:54, Guess she will be there before me after all!!!
Did the bank thing for the port fees, had to wait in line for an hour, had a beer with a couple from Vernon BC, picked up groceries and more rum at the San Fransisco de ASIS store, and taxied back. Mike Dutton came with the parts, but it was dark, tomorrow we will see if everything lines up, if we are not using the full length spline teeth, we will go back to the machine shop, we are not putting her back together unless it is perfect.
Tonight’s menu is oven roasted ½ chicken, barbeque sauce and rice. I spiced the rice up with OXO cube, mushrooms, garlic and jalapeneo slices, hot hot. Wolfango says "Kentucky Fried (points thumbs down) Whitecap, Pollo (poy-yo = chicken) mucho grande" (points thumbs up). chef grande See ... we can communicate!!!
February 16, 2001. Friday. Went to the port captain, to finish our clearance papers, took 3 hours... they drove me to Progresso to get the final stamp, just where I went a week ago and they said they could not help me... Got everything ready to drop Mercedes back in, had to modify some of the bolts to the bell housing and get new ones made, only two were holding the old transmission in place , should have been 6. The new clutch plate fits well, it has longer spline than the old one so we have more room to slide it in and out for fitting. The new automatic bilge pump is all wired and ready to put in the bilge, this time with an "off/on/auto" switch, just have to wait for the 5200 to dry. Getting low on groceries, the canned goods are almost depleted, had canned ham tonight, UG! UG! Never thought I would get that hungry.
February 17, 2001. Saturday, Up and at it early this morning, got the upper bilge pump all installed and wired, it works... With the engine out, I took a good look at the refrigeration compressor, definitely in the wrong place, decided to take it out and move it behind the same bulkhead, it did get wet in the old location. Just took it out for now, and will reinstall when I get to Isla Mujeres, should be a simple job, that is if anything is simple!!! Took a good look at the flywheel and starter, they also got salt water, removed the starter, cleaned the bendix and shaft, while it was easily accessible By 15:00 we are ready to bolt on the transmission, which we thought we would be doing early this morning.... We lowered the transmission down the hole and lined it up, but just could not get it in the last 1" so we could bolt it down, I think the problem is we are lining up 6 pilot bolts instead of just two like before and they are jamming; by 17:30 we were just getting more frustrated. Jeff was working on another boat he said he would be here tomorrow to take a look. Decided to shower and try again the morning. Walked to the bus stop, headed to Centro, picked up some groceries and fresh rum, then got a taxi to Chicxulub, the next community east of Progreso, Ed Whichester’s friends said they lived near a large sign I would recognize, and if I passed the sign, I would have gone too far. Well eventually, I found a large sign that said "orange crush", and figured this must be it, sure enough, about 3 beach houses back there they were having cocktails in the yard!!! They invited me to dinner and conversation, I caught the "combi" back to Centro at 21:30. Chicxulub, it turns out is the exact location the large meteor struck earth and made the dinosaurs extinct, It rained and blew hard all night, the predicted "norte" is here, this one on schedule.
February 18, 2001. Sunday. Tide extremely low this morning, lowest we have seen it yet, the boats at the other dock are actually sitting in the mud. 11:00 waiting for Jeff to arrive, to see if he may have a solution to our problem transmission. all Jeff had to do was just jiggle her transmission a little more while I turned the crankshaft and on she went, so we bolted her on tight.
14:30, Mercedes is back in her hole, Within 20 minutes we had her lined up and ready to bolt on the drive shaft and motor mounts. And we have all the re-wiring done, just have to check it out after we change the alternator to the new spare one...
Have another crew member, Orlando, who has a sailboat here came and asked if he could accompany us to Cancun, I said certainly, as long as he was not a pirate.... we all got a good laugh, when I told the story about how Mary had gotten spooked about pirates.
Monday Feb 19
Orlando had to go back to Merida, so we will now leave tomorrow.
Whitecap’s Cruising Log
Date: Tuesday Feb 20 to Feb 21
Travel time: 47 hours
Average Speed :
Departure point: Yucalpeten
Start Time: 18:00
Arrival Point: Isla Mujeres
End Time: 17:01
Weather: Clear moonless skies, bright sunny days hot
Visibility: 10 - 15 miles
Day’s Run: 170 miles
Engine Hour meter:
Fuel Level: 15 gallons
Notes and Remarks: Tuesday Feb 20
left dock at Laguna Mar, after tide came in ½ way at 13:00 and headed to port captain to report out, says we have to do a new dispacho because we now have 3 crew, so we print up a new one and had to go to Progreso to get it stamped. 3 people from Dipper Harbour, NB, saw our flag and came to say hello, could not believe a Summerside PEI boat here. Finally got away at 18:15, just getting dark,
19:30 arrived at end of 5 mile long wharf, blowing 25 on the nose, of course where else!!!
20:18 set 1/3 jib and engine at 1500 rpm, SOG 3.1, waves about 5 ft winds NE at 25/ 30 km course 103M
21:47 depth 10 ft, we are just off Chexlub can clearly see house lights time to tack back out...
00:41 Cog 038M speed 3.4 let out more jib, changed course to 115M we are 9.2 miles offshore and 14.1 miles from Progreso light.
04:23 we are off Tetuloc a condo dev , harbour and small town SOG 5.8 to 5.1 we have full jib winds have gone down considerably to about 15 but seas are confused, the waves are not coming from where the wind is... each time we tack out and back we are making about 20 miles of shoreline.
06:05 we are 37 miles from Punta Yalkubul light. There are many small fishing boats out here, we just passed the end of one net, don’t think we hurt it. Got good news and bad news this AM, the good news is that the alternator has the house batteries up to 13.60V which is a first!!! Hurrah. The bad news is the temp gauge does not work anymore and we have an exhaust leak somewhere, which the propane sensor detected. The expected wind shift did not occur, so this time we will sail about 30 miles offshore and make one long tack towards Largotos
10:14 we are 24.9 miles off winds died, fixed the exhaust leak, just what we thought forgot to tighten the bolts on the riser... under main and motor, fried egg sands for breakfast. Doing 5.4kts everyone sleeping.
14:00 winds picked up still motor sailing 3.9kts, put chicken in oven for supper tonight. Punta Yalkubul is 15 miles on our stb at about 2 o’clock. Batteries up to 13.75v Hurrah.
16:48 Just had our roasted chicken dinner, enough left for fricot tomorrow. We are abeam punta Yukubul, and parallel to shore 6.5 miles off. Catoche is 88 miles strait ahead but we will probably have to tack offshore there are some obstructions, like a sunken ship and a rock in another place!!!
17:05 tacked out again only 15 ft water, went for 1 hour, until fleet of fishing boats, tacked again but only doing 125M, we have a wind shift.
Will tack again when we pass the pescadores.
21:22 tacked again, doing 085M, good wind shift, we are now sailing parallel to the shore, and 6.4 miles off in 38 ft, Catoche is at 089M and 73 miles away.
24:00 5 kts, stbd tack parallel to shore in 38 ft 5.6 miles offshore. Must be 100 fishing boats out here. Wind is still SE at about 15+
01:19 Abeam Punta Holchit, the town of Lagartos is at 2 o’clock off the stbd bow. Cabo Catoche is now 55.9 miles dead ahead and no more obstructions, ETA in Isla Mujeres says 11:42 today so unless something goes wrong we will at least be in Isla Mujeres before dark,. Winds shifted to NE again, perfect, SOG now 5.1.
06:30 Cabo Catoche 25 miles away, then we turn South to Isla Majeres. Seas swell about 1 ft, wind 5 -10kts, checked fuel, down to just under 5 gallons, have to dump in 3 deck cans, wow we burnt almost 35 gal in 40 hours fighting the slop.
08:45 Mushroom omelette for breakfast today, we are 2 hours from Catoche, Isla Holbox is coming out to meet us, we can see beach houses along the shore. Winds light, refueled main tank, we now have 20 gallons.
10:28 Catoche is clearly visible in the distance 7.3 miles and we can now see Isla Holbox shoreline. The water colour is now green and clear.
11:30 abeam Cabo Catoche light, water depth 14 ft, tack out we want 20 ft. Water colour turns to blue with dark patches.
13:25 we are 10 miles from the south end of Isla Contoy,#2 Jenoa, #1 reefed main and Mizzen, engine idling in case it gets too shallow, we had least water of 6.5 ft awhile back. Now 13 ft SOG 6.05k Tried VHF to call Marina Paraiso, no luck too far.
15:39 we are now southwest of Isla Contoy approaching the reef. Can see sailboats up ahead but no one answers the radio calls
16:20 Sail along just inside the Contoy reefs, about 100 ft away on our port side, this computer chart is right on. Still no answer on the radio at Marina Paraiso. What looked like sailboat masts turns out to be a mast on the reef with a light, there are two along the whole length of the reef. A sandbar comes out from Isla Blanca almost to the reef at the first one. We can see sport fishers heading home on the outside. Kind of eerie sailing along and rocks just breaking the surface 50 to 100 ft away for 13 miles, glad it is not night time!!!
Juan Manuel calls from "Grumpy", wondering where we are, says he will come out in the dinghy to meet us off North Beach
16:55 We just passed a large hotel complex at the north end of the Island, it is abandoned but serves as a good landmark. Enter the bay, Juan Manuel comes out, he has arranged for a berth at the shallow end of South Dock, perfect. After a drink, (or two) Dick catches the ferry to Puerto Juarez and the Holiday Inn Centro.
February 22 Thursday. 07:30 Gather up all Mary’s gear and the new boat parts, check out and head to the ferry. Agriculture and Customs officials come aboard to check our papers, we are lacking the "temporary import" document, which has to be stamped by Mexican customs, they cannot understand how come we have been in Mexico for 3 months and do not have one yet, so we are here illegally!!! We get a lift to the Port Captain’s office, then head off across the ferry again, US$8.00, taxi to the airport US$20. Spend 3 hours looking for the Customs office, finally find it 500 yds from the airport building!!! give the lady our application and passport, which I have now found again!!! in 5 minutes we have the proper stamped documents and head to the shuttle bus back to the city, another US$24. Finally after an hour wait, he has a full load and off we go, this time by way of the Hotel zone. Ah well, guess we were to see that part of Cancun sooner or later... Driver drops us off at the high speed ferry, another US$8. Total spent $US 60. For a document we really do not need, we are only transiting through Mexico on our way to Belize...
February 23, Friday Stock up on groceries in the new town centro San Fransisco de Asis store, beautiful town, all kinds of shops and streets with no vehicles. Take the torn jib to be repaired just a few doors away. Check out the new location for the compressor, looks like it will fit and work in there. Meet the other yachters at "Happy Hour" bar. Two Canadian couples from Windsor Ont. in an Airstream Motor Home, are parked in the yard by the office.
February 24, Saturday, Big fish fry at the bar tonight, $60 pesos each, this is a regular Saturday night event here, the staff do the cooking for the sailors. Wolfango gets his fill of fish finally, he sits by the barbeque and cleans up all the leftovers. We arrange for a golf cart rental for tomorrow, Sunday 1/3 off the rates. Chick off the yellow 36' Piver trimaran from Key West brings over some pipe strapping to hang the compressor, Juan Manual donates his jig saw and a piece of wood which I can drill for the threaded rods for adjustment, looks like it will work.
February 25, Sunday, Take the day off, and tour the Island, our golf cart comes at 09:00 and we are off to the turtle races!!! even peddle bikes pass us, but it beats walking... We have breakfast at an exclusive beach resort on the Cancun side of the lagoon, large 130' Canadian motor yacht in there, out of Montreal, wow. Toured the whole Island in one day!!! imagine. From Punta Sur’s Mayan ruins at the south end, up to the unfinished hotel at the north end, dinner on North Beach and even looked at a property for sale, damaged by the 1988 hurricane, would be a real fixer upper.
February 26 Monday Finally have all the parts together to move the compressor and hang it up in the new location, Completed job by 13:00, that is enough for today, go to town to see the dancers and have dinner at Renaldo’s in centro square. Meet two couples from BC, said they met someone from PEI on the island today, wonder who???
February 27 "Shrove Tuesday". Fitted the "African Queen" this AM, looks good and it does shade the deck, cooling off the boat, but we have to modify it next summer. The "Bugeye" Hannibal just behind us has a "Shadetree" covering his cockpit, would look good on Hawnalee. Siesta in the afternoon, Wolfango borrowed a spear gun, got three fish for supper. Entertainment tonight is a group of 10 to 14 year olds carnival dancers at the "Happy Hour" bar, we went up, but the dancers did not show up, Jill, the bartender, said their speaker system broke down. Going to try hooking to the internet line in the office today to see if I can get this mail out, most of it is outdated now...
February 28 "Ash Wednesday" 07:30 there is a radio "net" each morning, we get the new arrivals, items for sale or give away, weather, news etc... we are known as the Canadian boat at south dock, there is another Canadian boat in the anchorage, but no home port on the stern, have not met them yet.