Beez Neez
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sun 10 Jun 2012 14:36
Static on Isla Mujeres
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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.
BB C Map Plymouth 006  BB C Map Plymouth 007
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.
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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......................
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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.
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Our view across the bay.
This is an entry copied from the ARC (Atlantic Rally Cruising) website:
ARC Europe Entry – 19th May 2012 - Yacht Outer Limits - abandoned after whale strike. All crew OK

At around 22:30 UT on Friday 18 May, approximately 330NM northeast of Bermuda, the yacht Outer Limits struck a submerged object, believed to be a whale, and sustained damage to the hull causing significant water ingress. Whilst the yacht’s emergency pumps were able to contain the leaks, skipper Joost Gehrels doubted that the boat could safety return to Bermuda and issued a MayDay to request immediate assistance. Using the yacht’s satellite telephone he also contacted RCC Bermuda.

The Netherlands-flagged Hanse 370e was taking part in the ARC Europe rally and on route from Bermuda to Horta, Azores when the incident occurred.


Er Melbourne

RCC Bermuda contacted vessels in the area and diverted the merchant ship E R Melbourne, and the ARC Europe rally yacht Halo, which was 15nm away to assist. The E R Melbourne, a 36,000 tonne container ship, reached Outer Limits’ position at approximately 00:10UT 19 May, and commenced evacuation of the crew. Within an hour, the 4 crew members of Outer Limits were safety aboard the merchant ship and the yacht Halo was then asked to stand down. Outer Limits was abandoned, at approximate position 34 19N 59 04W.

The German flagged E R Melbourne has now resumed course for Cagliari, Italy. Outer Limits’ skipper Joost Gehrels (Netherlands), speaking via satellite phone said that he and all his crew, Marta Cappiello (Italian), Diane Ferrero (America) and Andrew Siess (American), are safe and well although understandably shaken. They have been able to contact their friends and family ashore and inform them that they are OK.

Rally manager Lyall Burgess, commented on the incident, expressing his thanks to the Master and crew of the E R Melbourne; to RCC Bermuda; and to the double-handed crew of Halo (Mike & Alexandra Bailey) for their professionalism and swift response to the incident.


Blog from Joost on the 3rd of June:

Thanks to everybody for all the support and messages.
We preciate it !
For all my sailing friends : Safe Sailing :-) & Carpe Diem !
Joost Marta Andrew Diane
To read about any incident is bad, but when you know skipper and the boat, it is heartbreaking. To sail away and see your boat stranded and fading into the distance must be unbearable.
We first met Joost is Nazare, Portugal. We tied alongside him, he was heading out early the next morning so we swapped places and laughed at the ropes and knitting with them. He told us he was on Mailasail and we followed his progress. We met him again last year in Beaufort NC, he told us of his ARC Europe plans and getting crew for his return journey. To get a yacht alongside a container ship and vice versa to hold steady, to ‘pluck’ people up on to these massive ladies takes incredible skill. To be the one ‘plucked’ takes bravery, a head for heights and sheer guts. We can only humbly wish you “Good Luck” for the future.
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Our view ahead right
Sunday the 10th of June: 08:30 I did the Cruisers Net (radio information, weather and things of interest for the boats in the marinas and at anchor). More backgammon, Bear delving in to my I-Tunes (always a worry). Me doing this blog. A wander in to town later to the ATM, a swim and happy hour. Not such a bad way to spend a lazy Sunday, or to be “stuck” anywhere. We have had 11,500 miles with very little in the way of hitches or worries.
I checked DHL this morning, our parcel is ready, on the computer system with tracking number, still sitting in Marianne’s Office but hey all we have to think about is Joost.