Static on Isla Mujeres
Wednesday the 6th of June: We did laundry, chores, paid our marina fees and had our Passports stamped (thirty five pounds).
Thursday the 7th of June: We were up, washed, breakfasted, stowed and engine on at 09:30. All ropes not up to much Bear had pulled in. My last job is to put VHF radio and chart plotter on. When the chart plotter springs to life it automatically comes on at the 1200 nautical mile scale. I slowly press the downward button and go through 600 nm, 300 nm, 150 nm, 75 nm, 48 nm, 24 nm, 12 nm, 6 nm and finally 3 nautical miles (detailed enough for finding our way out to deep water). The scale will go in, in steps down to a quarter of a mile - we have needed that level of detail, but only now and again. From three miles we have A-1 eyeball, local buoys and markers at the end of a journey, plus any local knowledge other cruisers have told us and our pilot books that very often have photographs or at least drawings.
Back to departure. 1200 nm, 600 nm, 300 nm and 150 nm – then nudder. The “thingy” in the machine looks like a memory card from a camera. On the journey from Cuba the chart plotter played up a little but each time we switched it off and rebooting put all well. This time no difference. Bear wiped it, stroked it, talked to it nicely, nothing.
Engine off. Unsafe for us to head out, it would be like trying to find the A38 on a world atlas. Also this particular chip holds our onward map to Panama.
Bear trotted up to the office, one: to get the process started for us to log back in (twenty five pounds) and two: with the help of Chepo to ring the three marine shops in Cancun.
Axel at one of them was hopeful and spoke perfect English. Bear gave him the details of the chip we needed, Axel said he would hunt around and email what he came up with. Sadly, later in the day, he could get the correct map but for a different machine to ours. Too late to telephone Bluewater Books, Fort Lauderdale (where we bought the chip) as they are an hour in front of us so the shop was closed. Bear looked on their website, standard mail is eighty three dollars, mmmmm we have heard other cruisers saying it is cheaper to fly to Miami, shop, fly back and still have change, another thing to investigate. Nothing for it but to go for a swim and regroup. Perhaps a little happy hour visit to the bar. Since our supermarket shop I have a Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce so my slides now have mud, perfect. Usually have at least two to make sure Todd keeps a good average......................
Friday the 8th of June: I have put on the map of Plymouth to better explain what happened to our gizmo and why we couldn’t move. At 150 nautical miles you can see where Plymouth is but it’s not until you reduce the scale to 12 nautical miles that the breakwater shows up a little, with detail on the three miles. On the one and a half mile scale we can now see the ‘white road’ in and also Sutton Harbour (where we used to park Beez) in the top right corner. On the three quarter of a mile scale Sutton Harbour is very clear and also Sutton Lock is just visible again very clear on the quarter mile scale. At this scale and on the eighth of a mile we can actually see our pontoon (second one in on the far side) D5.
Much progress today. Bluewater Books said they would replace free of charge but we would have to take it in or post it (seven days) and return post (seven days) not guaranteed.
Bear phoned C-Map in Massachusetts. He left a message and gave them until midday to get back to us. Nothing for it but to play backgammon. Derek from technical rang, immediately said replacement was the answer and bear was passed to Marianne in Customer Services.
What a STAR LADY. Yes, she would promise to get our new chip parceled up and ready to ship before the day was out. It would come DHL by Tuesday-ish, we could track it. If we get our old defunct one back to her within forty days – no charge.
Marvelous. With that a swift swim and Oh, it’s happy hour by then.
Our view across the bay.
This is an entry copied from the ARC (Atlantic Rally Cruising) website: