Green Island - and a broken portlight
Saturday 22nd December 2012
Distance run: 10 nmiles
After a peaceful night at Isla Tigre, we lifted the anchor around 0930, once the shoals and reefs were visible, and picked our way carefully out of the anchorage. We had learnt a valuable lesson the day before - don't leave the forward-looking sonar on automatic! In this mode the distance ahead that it is displaying reduces automatically as the depth decreases. The upshot of this on the way in was that it showed that we would go aground about five seconds before we did! So we took it off auto and had it set to see well ahead as we left which seemed to work much better as we changed course twice to avoid shallow water.
We motorsailed with the yankee up and arrived at the Green Island anchorage before noon. There were already seven boats here, but still plenty of room for us. There is deep water all the way in, except for the sand bar at the entrance, and we are anchored in 10 metres of water. It is a lovely anchorage off an uninhabited island, and we had planned to spend a couple of days here, swimming, snorkelling and exploring the island, but we are still here four days later. It is a very calm and sheltered anchorage, which is just as well because the weather has been horrid for the last two days. Normally it is overcast in the morning and clears by lunchtime, but the dark clouds, wind and rain have been constant. So we have been chilling out on the boat, which is nice, but no swimming, snorkelling etc.
Yesterday a Kuna boat came around selling fruit and veg, and as we are getting short of fresh stuff we waved them over. Big mistake. This dugout was enormous and had an outboard engine on it - and the guy driving was incompetent. As he approached us he lost control of it in the wind and ended up T-boning us at speed. The prow of the dugout smashed into our port forward saloon portlight and broke it.
The broken portlight from outside. And from the inside - see how the Perspex has been pushed inwards.
The prow of the Kuna boat that hit the portlight.
This was definitely not good news as the portlight is in the hull of the boat and was now not watertight. To their credit, the Kuna guys accepted responsibilty and agreed that they should pay towards the repair, but we are in the middle of nowhere and now need to make the boat safe for sea. We suggested a nominal $100, which they agreed to, but only had £20 with them and will bring the rest on Tuesday. We will see. We may have moved on by then. In any case the cost of repair is likely to be five times that much if we have to replace the whole portlight. We are hoping once we get to Shelter Bay Marina we might be able to get a piece of perspex cut and just replace that. Fingers crossed....
Rod came over to take a look, and we decided we needed to cover it with a wooden blank on the outside of the boat to stop water pushing against the glass. He took a template and as he has a jigsaw was able to cut a piece of thick plywood to shape to cover the glass. He bevelled the edges so that the blank cannot be pushed through into the boat. This was then stuck in place with silicone adhesive and has been left for 24-48 hours to cure, before testing it to see if further fixing will be necessary.
As they say in the cruising world - another shit day in paradise.....