It is only Mud: Livingston, Guatemala. 15:49:291N 88:44:848W
The day began at 0445hrs. hoisting the anchor at 0500hrs in dimness. Got the anchor up but the fender that was attached to the anchor was missing. We use this fender to point out where the anchor is on the sea bed.. Not to worry we have another one. Off we go. The engine is shuddering, on investigation I see that the propeller shaft is wobbling violently. A bent shaft I thought. But then I think how could that be, it was ok when we stopped the other day. So in the water I go to have a look and there is the fender with a length of rope twisted around the anchor. I tried to unwind the rope but it is so tight between the ‘rope cutter’ and the hub of the prop it was impracticable to get out unless I had diving equipment. So I cut the fender free and the excess rope and off we go, I will get the remainder of the rope when we pull the boat out of the water in a couple of week’s time.
The trip over to Livingston was a slow one as the seas were heavy and the wind is on the bow. We arrived at the sand bar just before high tide and in we go..Within minutes we hit bottom. The motor is doing 3000 rpm. We are doing just one tenth of a knot. We keep on going.. Just plough thru it they say, It’s only mud.
Not long after a boat arrives. “Give us $75 and we will help you” they say..”No, go away we will be ok.” “What is your draft” they ask. “Seven feet” a roar of laughter from the three men. We carry on revving the motor and as each wave came we got a lift and crept forward wave by wave. Got a mile to go, it’s only mud they say..
About an hour later one of the German boats pass us by, being helped by one of the boats. They were being towed. I radioed through. “What is your draft?” I ask. “Seven feet” “How much are you paying those guys?” “60 bucks” They go by but then not too far in front they come to a halt.. Then the tow vessel came to their side and using one of the halyards up the mast they tied that to their boat and pulled the boat on its side so as to lift the keel. Away they went.
I do not want to do that. Too much strain on the mast. So we keep on creeping through the mud. About an hour later I gave up and offered $50 to the original guys who were hanging around all morning. They did not hesitate, over comes a line for me to tie to a halyard. They pull us over on an angle and we push the accelerator hard. We are now moving along at point four of a knot, point 5, one knot then three knots. Thirty minutes later we are over the bar. Whew!
What we have learnt from that is that we will in future have one of these people help from the start. Much less stain on the motor, and less diesel.
One of the German boats (Yellowman) had to sail over as he had lost power to his motor. He has a finally arrived. One of the other German boats is going to tow him up the river tomorrow.
We have decided to go up river tomorrow as well because it is raining quite heavily. The visibility is not too good. We have been warned that to anchor here at Livingston can be dangerous. We will lock ourselves in, anyhow the Germans are here, and therefore we have company for security.