Let it blow, let it blow, let it blow...
Thursday 1st March 2012
The wind that picked up as we arrived here has not let up ever since. Although in an almost completely enclosed bay and therefore protected from the seas, we are exposed to the wind and we have had between 20 and 30 knots blowing fairly consistently, apart from an hour or two in the evening as the sun sets and the katabatics stall the trade winds for a while. Last night was the first when the wind died down for most of the night and we woke to calm and quiet – until 0830 that is, when it started blowing again. Today, though, it doesn’t seem as strong, and the forecast for tonight is looking the best it has since we arrived. We have 60 nmiles to go to Boca Chica, and plan to set off around 1700-1800 this evening as the wind drops.
We have been busy about the boat, getting jobs done when possible, and catching up with admin. For the first couple of days we went ashore to use the wifi at the hotel, but then the owner kindly gave us the password so that we could access it from the boat. The trip ashore in the rib was wet and somewhat hairy given the size of the wavelets being whipped up by the strong wind, and lugging the laptop over there was not ideal. Getting back on the boat with the transom bucking up and down can also be quite dangerous. Of course, when we used the wifi in the hotel we felt obliged to eat lunch there, and enjoyed two very nice meals on the patio overlooking the boat.
Scott-Free, centre, from the bar patio of Las Salinas Hotel. Las Salinas Hotel from the boat.
We wandered into the town to get some supplies, but had difficulty finding any fresh fruit or veg. There was one little greengrocer’s which had a very sorry looking array of aged produce, and three grocer shops all selling the same things, mainly in tins. We bought some bread rolls and a piece of ham and gave the fruit & veg a miss. We asked for the ham to be sliced, but when we saw the state of the slicing machine we hastily changed our minds!
We did think a couple of days ago that we might leave and went through the whole rigmarole of getting a new Despacho, only to change our minds at the last minute when the echo sounder decided to go on strike and the wind had not dropped as much as hoped. The problem with the echo sounder was a poor contact at the switch so fortunately that has been sorted. The Despacho, however, is a different matter altogether, and we now need to call Mendez again and try to get him to understand that we will be leaving later today...