Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Sh!t Show that is Terrapin

If you know us, you know we don't take ourselves seriously. We never have and for the foreseeable future, we never will. Some may claim we wrote the book on self deprecation..and why not, we bring so much entertainment to the table..and we're not even trying.

Our cruising friends were sad to hear that after talking to a representative for a reality shown about sailing it  didn't come to fruition. Matt and Coco from YOLO, "These people don't know what they're missing! It's the Terrapin shit show!" For the most part our blog tends to showcase all the fun, awesome adventures and great times we have while sailing... which for 95% of our lives is factual.  It seems like the last 2 weeks we've been repeatedly punched in the face. Honestly, it was bound to happen. We've sailed almost 15 months and over 5000 miles without issue... no drama. Well, no drama minus the 12 guys that approached us in a panga in Acapulco in the dark. There's that.
Starting two weeks  ago, we were having our mixing elbow rewelded, which left us without a working engine. No worries...we were anchored in about 10 feet of water in the Barra Navidad lagoon with 20 other friends. On a day where the wind was blowing 20+ knots in the anchorage, Phil and I were off getting laundry and fetching propane when our friends dinghied over.

          "Have you guys heard? 
Our response, " heard what?"
"You're dragging all over the anchorage!"

There's a first time for everything. We flew out towards the anchorage in a fat hurry. I couldn't locate our boat. The 40,000 pound beast was missing! As we got closer I located Ole Terrapin and could see about 5 dinghies swarming our boat. 

"Holy crap Phil, there's people on our boat! Dinghies everywhere."

Phil had a mild heart attack thinking about the missing mixing elbow. "Shit, I hope no one has tried to start the engine." Suddenly I was going deaf in both ears as Phil was screaming over my shoulder


We approached the boat to see that friends had thrown out another anchor which was helping secure our boat. Another friend was letting out more chain. A man was attempting to tell us all the details as we were trying to get on our boat and figure out what was going on. We had zero idea of the whole debacle as we didn't have a hand held VHF with us and no one could reach us. We were later told that one friend who had thrown out her extra anchor had given the "blow by blow" details of what was happening over channel 22....including when we first broke loose and how we were headed straight towards our friends' boat, they were going to T-bone us. Luckly, Bob, a fellow sailor, got between our boats with his dinghy and fended our boat off theirs. Nothing like having your boat "kiss" your friends' new Island Packet. Twenty minutes later we were thanking the entire fleet for their help and offering to buy beers for everyone. 

Two days later were ready to leave the lagoon when we figured out our transmission took a dump! Engine on, ready to go, all our friends on their boats also ready...bummer. With the help of Coastal Drifter we motored into a slip where we stayed the next six days while our transmission was rebuilt. Coastal Drifter stayed with us in the marina ALL 6 days! How's that for awesome friends?

Broken transmission

With the transmission fixed  we we're ready to blow this popciscle stand. We sailed with Coastal Drifter to Chamela, dropped anchor for the night and the shit show started up again. 

"Phil! I hear water. Like coming in the boat."

Yup. We were taking on water from a crack in the shaft log behind the stuffing box. We hailed Coastal Drifter to let them know of our situation and that we felt the need to go somewhere. Our options were to either sail back 38 miles to Barra Navidad where there's no haul out or to head 100 miles to La Cruz (original destination) where we could haul out and have our issue fixed. Thinking we would need to haul out to fix our issue we started north towards La Cruz, trying not to use the engine, with Coastal Drifter by our side. 

After about 90 minutes of head wind and our bilge going off every 15 minutes we decided to turn back towards Barra Navidad.  Once again we hailed Coastal Drifter and told them of our latest plans and once again they followed suit....turning around and sailing with us to ensure we'd all be safe.  So here it is, Easter, and we're still stuck in Barra Navidad and our dear friends aboard Coastal Drifter are by our side. We're ready to exit stage right from the shit show and get going. Please someone, just use the cane and get us off the stage. 

Still wondering who would be so kind as to forgo their own sailing itinerary to stick around with us? 

Meet Deb from Coastal Drifter. The same lady who rebirthed our 16 year old blind cat out of our bilge while we were on vacation in Guatemala.

This is the picture she sent us to let us know she had rescued him, he was safe and had just had a bath. The picture came as Phil was waiting for his taxi to take him to the airport after changing his flight to leave Guatemala. The girls and I were going to stay by ourselves and finish the trip. Just another one of our shit show episodes. Phil from Coastal Drifter is just as awesome...we just don't have a picture of him posing with a wet cat. 

Moral to the story? Real life does happen while cruising in paradise. You will have set backs, bad days, itinerary's shot to shit, things break, etc. Most likely, you'll also have awesome friends by your side to help you laugh it off, stay safe and lend a hand when in need. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cost to Cruise February 2015

Here it is again, what it costs our family of four to Cruise Mexico. This would have been a real inexpensive month had we decided not to buy the kids their own sailing dinghy...but hey, the really wanted it and actually love sailing it.

Our boat insurance renewal was at the end of January and we had every intention of renewing. Unfortunately our broker wasn't willing to work with us. We explained that we were no longer sailing through Central America and into the Caribbean and somehow they had decided to charge us more. When we asked the broker to go to bat for us, their response was,  "just pay the premium".  No thanks...we're good. Our original policy was $1200 ish for the first year we had insurance.  When we splash back into the water after the upcoming hurricane season, we'll be looking for insurance again, just not with IMIS. If you're looking at our budget, don't get confused...Mexican liability insurance is outside of one's hull insurance.

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Saint Patrick's party like no other.

Last year, we had heard that the Saint Patrick's Day celebration near Melaque was one of the wildest times to be had in Mexico. Complete with a ridiculous amount of fireworks, music, food, and of course adult beverages. Unfortunately we found ourselves stuck in La Cruz, and missed it. This year, we promised  ourselves to be at the celebration with bells on. Just about every major town in Mexico has a patron saint which has its own special day of celebration. In San Patricio, their patron saint is none other than Saint Patrick (hence the name) and you better believe they whoop it up on March 17th.

It was a fun filled night of carnival rides, street food, mariachis, carnival games, laughs, and life threatening fireworks. No joke...we've lived in Mexico for over a year, we thought we'd seen crazy, over the top fireworks...till last night. People run through the Centro with bulls made out of barbedwire shooting fireworks into the crowds. Sweet Jesus, it's completely insane....see the video at the end of this blog's too hard to properly explain. Minus obtaining hearing loss, and a firework scortch mark on a pair of pants, we all had an awesome time. 

All the kids decided to hang back and enjoy one last night together as our friends aboard SV Pesto left this morning for French Polynesia, good thing too. While the Saint Patrick's Day celebration was a blast for adults, it may have been a little too much for the kids. 

This guy! While working his carnival booth, he'd rest his beer  amoung the stuffed animals. I thought that was funny till I took a closer look at the white bear behind him! Holy Smokes!

Garbanzo beans

Gringos wearing green

Just in case you haven't seen enough chickens running wild through Mexico, you can win a picture of one. 

What little kid doesn't want to win a giant Teddy bear with a joint? Seriously Mexico, you crack me up.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Zihuatanejo walkabout

Yesterday while the anchorage did its finest impression of a washing machine we got off the boat and explored. Zihuatanejo sits in a bowl with inviting hills to climb. Without any real trail we made our way over streets, dirt, rubble and stairs in search of the perfect view. 

This boy was screaming Hello and waiting for me to take his picture.

Flying a homemade kite.

Cold beer after hours of exploring

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Zihuatanejo's International Guitar Fest

"Zihuatanejo??? You're going alllllll the way down there before heading back into the Sea of Cortez? That's really far."

Then we explain to people that we have already been to Zihuatanejo this season. Twice. Why not a third time with great friends for an awesome festival?

The opening night of the International festival gave us more than we had bargained for and drew artistits from the States, and far off places such as India and Brazil. The kids quickly went from griping about having to "sit here for 5 hours" to wanting to hunt down more live music after it was all done. Sneaking into the VIP section for a better view probably helped their appreciation.

The hardest task of this upcoming week will be to plan which artist to see what nights. 

An artist playing alongside his shadow.

Every festival night should end at the street meat cart!