08:13.25N 79:06.25W San Jose a beaulieu with sharp teeth

Thu 24 Mar 2016 16:48

08:13.25N 79:06.25W San Jose a beaulieu with sharp teeth

21st March 2016 Batman to the Rescue

I had mixed feelings about anchoring in the SE area of San Jose. As we motored across from Isla del Rey I remembered Andrew’s rock, now marked on our Bauhaus chartlet. The bottom was rock with sandy patches and no knowing how deep the sand was. Just up the coast was Ensenada Playa Grande, a long beach with good sandy holding, but no WiFi, which was our main reason for visiting.

The Americans had carried out chemical weapons testing on the west side of this island, leaving many cases of leukaemia in the human residents and malformed lizards. Also they had dumped two containers of the deadly stuff in the not very deep water between the two islands.

On the other hand the resort Sadie had described sounded well worth a visit. Made of wood, we could see as we motored in past Smoked Monkey rock that it blended in perfectly with the scenery. There was apparently a lovely infinity pool looking over the bay and a strong wifi signal we could do with for sending you all some photo files and check on our destination, Puerto Amistad, Ecuador.

We gingerly followed our waypoints in and searched for patches of sand. Down went the anchor but as I reversed Zoonie gently to bury it the anchor appeared to drag.

Rob then dived down to see where the anchor was, in rock or sand. On his return I motored gently ahead to lift the anchor away from the rock. When this didn’t work Rob dived again to attach the tripping line to the anchor but as it was in 6 metres of water it was too far.

The engine was then in neutral and Rob was trying to retrieve it using the windlass. Suddenly a 20 knot gust of wind came hard at us and pushed Zoonie backwards. Her bow dipped alarmingly and there was a loud graunch. “Windlass has broken off its base Barb.”

Rob returned to the cockpit so we could have a joint ‘think’. Of course he would have to retrieve it by hand. Fortunately just as it happened Rob was able to wrap the snubbing line around a cleat so no more chain could go out.

On went his ‘bat’ gloves, (well ok it was a tenuous link, Batman to the Rescue, but not half as tenous as the connection between the windlass and its base, as I will tell later.)

This time Zoonie had to creep forward as Rob hauled the chain in. A mistake on my part could cost him fingers. Gradually the chain came home and as soon as Rob felt the anchor weight he knew we were clear and I could backtrack along our safe route into the bay using the IPad with its Raymarine app, while Rob wedged the windlass on top of the chain in the locker with a fender at either side so it couldn’t harm the hull.

“So it’s off the Ecuador two days early then my love!” I wasn’t sorry.