Isla San Jose ...Hydraulic problems

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Thu 15 Mar 2012 18:33
8:15.394N 079:05.162W  Isla San Jose, Las Perlas Islands
On Wednesday we moved to the southern Las Perlas islands... very remote, mostly uninhabited.  As luck would have it, the first time we are out of cell phone range since arriving in Panama last year, we have a problem.
As we were putting down our anchor, the hydraulic alarm went off and the windlass stopped.. On investigation Mike found a gauge had blown and spewed about 40 litres of oil all over the bilges. We did not have enough spare hydraulic oil to replace that which was lost but Mike thought we could use some engine oil as a solution. Before trying that out, we had to set the anchor, as we only has put out about half the scope needed, and the wind was picking up.  This we had to do manually, whilst dreading the idea of picking up that heavy chain and anchor by hand if needed.
We then hauled out the Sat phone and managed to get a call through to James at Yachttech who concurred with Mike on his idea to fix things....and it worked!   Once again I am reminded how lucky we are to have James to consult and also that Mike is so adept at fixing things.  It was now getting late but we had to stay overnight in this rather uncomfortable anchorage on the south east end of Isla La Rey. Not much sleep at all!
This morning we headed over to Isla San Jose and found a beautiful anchorage. We are close to a small white beach on the edge of a lush cliff, with thousands of pelicans and frigate birds. I can't help think of Willy Learmonth every time one dives in the water ....dooooosh!
We are taking it easy today, as tomorrow we intend a 24 hour run to Bahia Honda on the north west side of Panama, heading to Costa Rica.