Early morning Dennis
had turned up with our table and deck box.
We had a million and
one jobs to do in order to be ready to sail and it wasn’t helped by the fact
that it took most of the morning to fit them, though I have to say they look
But it was time we couldn’t afford as we
had to get to Texan bay before 3pm so that Roger could take the lancha to
Livingston and check out. Hence all the rush!
Well, we followed
Memory Rose out of Fronteras, bound for Texan Bay after a very, all too quick
glass of champagne with Mia and Clyde (sorry guys!!)
We followed Memory
Rose into the anchorage and proceeded to drop anchor.
bottom is thick mud and it took us 2 attempts to get a firm
It was only then that
Roger said ‘I don’t remember Texan bay looking like this!’ So we called Ron on
Memory Rose and asked if it was indeed Texan Bay, he said
However, after having
dropped the dinghy, we got a call from Ron, ‘we’re upping anchor, this isn’t
Eventually we pulled
Bay, just before sunset and
proceeded to drop anchor, once again in thick Mud.
By the 8th
attempt we got a call on the VHF from Trevor on Common Crossing (remember they
left for Fronteras way before us?) advising us that if we come further in
there’s plenty of room and although it’s still a muddy bottom, it is only 8 ft
so we can just let out a load of chain and hold on that as it
I now know why it is thick mud, because according to our
chart plotter not only had we sailed over land, but we were parked, sorry,
anchored on dry land!!!
It turns out that
everyone who was sitting at the bar had been watching us, and debating on what
score to give us when we went ashore!!!!
You can imagine the
comments when we arrived!
But those of you who
know me, know I am used to doing silly things and have learned to deal with them
without shame, so I simply said ‘ I was having a master class in how NOT to
Texan bay is not only
famous for its lovely anchorage, but also infamous for its fried food.
EVERYTHING on the menu is fried (ok, almost everything), they should rename it
Bay. But you can imagine
the surprise Roger and I got having ordered Fried Chicken steak to be served
with a deep fried pork chop cooked in fried chicken coating!! Neither chicken
nor steak!!!. Anyway, it turned out to be rather good.
9am the next morning the lancha set off for Livingston to clear out.
I had a lovely
peaceful morning, watching the fishermen, birds and just generally
I took some photos of
our beautiful, tidy boat as I enjoyed my breakfast in the cockpit.
I was happily sitting reading my book when
the scouting party returned after a successful mission.
However, the news was
we wouldn’t be leaving today as the wind is too high and the water too rough.
We were scheduled to
go out the following day. We had decided to pay ‘Hector’ to guide us across the
bar and pull us off if we got stuck.
It is quite touch and
go regarding getting out, for, if the weather changes and we can’t get out, we
would be stuck here for at least 3 more weeks.
So much for planning
and all the angst of deciding which day to go out, ultimately Mother Nature
decides when and where we go.
Roger and I took the
dinghy up the river to the hot
springs and the caves, for a bit of a
We got back just before the rain started,
The day of departure arrived and
after a morning of exchanging waypoints with Trevor and Sandy, we were due to
take a nice leisurely sail down the river at about 3pm.
The weather was
grizzly, cold and miserable.
That fine rain is
really wet. It’s too light to form big droplets and run off the windscreen,
instead sitting there in fine droplets that obscure your views, making it
difficult to see.
As we sailed down the
river towards Livingston the weather cleared and our little convoy of ‘Ouf’,
‘Common Crossing’ and ourselves, headed for our departure
There was a lot of
angst about crossing the bar, most of us were deep draft and the tide was only
Most of us had come
into the river on a much higher tide and still had touched
The revised plan was
that ‘Ouf’ would be taken out
first, then ‘Helen Louise’, then us.
We watched with great
interest as ‘Ouf’ and Hector hooked up and proceeded out to the
It wasn’t long before
Ouf was aground and being leaned over by Hector. This involved a halyard from
the Mast to Hector’s boat and basically he pulls the boat over to reduce her
We watched and waited
for our turn. Memory Rose was going it alone and Ron headed
Trevor and Sandy on
Common crossing headed out on their own too.
Memory Rose got stuck
just about the same place as Helen Louise was, Ouf having been taken off and got
Trevor called us to
say he was through and we should use the way points he had given us.
It is a bit like the
armarda leaving port, because of the bar, the boats with the deep draft have to
wait for the highest tides. So there is this mad rush to get out at high
We were still waiting
for Hector, when he went over to Memory Rose, in the hope, I suspect, of earning
an extra $75 for getting them off.
Roger was getting
rather annoyed as not only was the high tide approaching and it is always best
to leave on a rising tide, but also the light was fading.
You can imagine his
reaction when Hector came back and then went to another boat that was
It was at this point
I said, let’s go it alone. That is what we did, we checked our back bearings,
spotted the distant buoy on the outside of the bar and headed out. Hector and
the other boat had gone aground again and we were doing ok, then the depth
started to drop, and drop and drop.
We touched bottom,
Roger gave her some more throttle and we ploughed a new furrow as we hit 6’1” on
the depth gauge and we draw 6’9” unloaded and 7’ loaded!!!! But there was no way
either Roger, myself or Beaujolais were going
to call Hector to pull us off.
So we powered
through, once again blessing the day we forked out all that money to have the
new Yanmar engine fitted. Our old Perkins wouldn’t have got us through.
So once again we have
left the Trinidad antifouling paint behind. Why
we pay to paint the bottom of the keel I just don’t know!