We left Chiapas on Friday, the 11th of December around 10:00. There were several other boats waiting for the Tehuantepec to give the window of opportunity for a safe crossing. There had been a couple of week wait for the opportunity for boats going north and south. Friday was the day.
The starter battery on the boat was low or something because the boat wouldn’t start, so we plugged back in to shore power and charged it. The Velvet Sky started up, we unplugged, untied, and shoved off the dock at 10:45. Other than the batter being low there were no other issues. There was not enough wind to start out sailing so we motored for several hours. Secretly I was hoping to motor the entire passage. If the Tehuantepec could (and has been known to) act up without warning, I did not want to be caught with the sails up and the battery dead. We did motor the entire way. We were half way across around 07:30 on the 12th, still nothing happening out there. I had really been hoping for a grand experience of glass-like seas and loads of sea life. We had none of it. The passage was pretty dull other than a brief showing of dolphins at dawn and dusk.
Marshall took shift after me. He had the 23:00-02:00 shift which means I had just fallen asleep when ***BOOM!*** something hit the ship! All the sleeping crew was up and out in the cockpit within seconds. “What the heck was THAT?” We didn’t see anything in our wake and Marshall had spotted nothing before hand. We checked the bilge (all clear) then heard this growling sound coming from the front of he boat outside. This was not good. Captain Scott called it out right off, “Sounds like our bobstay is broken.” He and Marshall took flashlights out to the bow, it was 00:24 and a moonless night. Sure enough. It was the bobstay and we still had 6-7 hours to go before we reached our destination. The boat, she was not happy, she sounded like a momma lion disciplining her toddler cub. She growled steady for the remainder of the tour. This made it near impossible for any of us to sleep. So, we kept each other company in the cockpit until 07:45 when we arrived at Marina Chahue (Chaw-way) in Huatulco (Who-aw-tool-co) Mexico. We tied up, washed the boat off, covered the main, put up the shade covers, looked at the broken bobstay, then fell asleep until lunch time.
There are not any rigging companies in this area, so, Mastermind, Captain Scott devised a temporary fix to the bobstay until we get to Nueva Vallarta where we can have the proper stay replaced.
We thought we might be heading out and north from Huatulco on Wednesday the 16th, however when we went to start the boat….you guessed it…..the battery was dead. We had an electrical issue. It turned out to be corrosion……. easy fix. Well, it was an easy fix after Scott hauled the battery to a local Auto zone and had it tested then brought it someplace else and had it fully charged then back to the boat and found the corrosion before reinstalling. The Velvet Sky fires right up, just like new.
Oh! Before that…..while out in the middle of the Tehuantepec we realized we had no radar. An electrical gremlin. Marshall took a look at the connections and discovered the radar connector was not plugged in all the way, another easy fix. Next issue, the lights were flickering and the voltage meters were not in sync, all three had different readings. Oh shit! I love having electricity, I love using electricity, I bow to the inventors and the scientist who give us the gift of electricity. If I had to create electricity from scratch, I would be back living completely primitive because it is so so far over my head. Thank goodness for the men on this boat…..they had the panel to the switches opened up, all the battery compartments exposed, the multi meter going from one connection to the next. While down in the lazarette they noticed the wiring to the icebox had corrosion and some bad connections. Marshall had that all repaired and ship shape in less than two hours.
Scott and Marshall made the whole exorcism of the electrical gremlin look like a simple game of shoots and ladders….up the ladder to the cockpit back down into the living area….in just a few hours they had all electrical systems up and running. All three meters read the same 12.8 v.
Last night we went to the cinema and watched the new Star Wars. It was interesting because it was opening day and I would say there were maybe 30 people in the theater. We were the only Gringos. We decided that the rest of the attendees were there by school assignment. Maybe they were taking an english class and it was required to watch a movie spoken in english with spanish subtitles. It was a great time!
We fueled up this morning (December 18, 2015) using 82 liters to top off the tank and plan on leaving Huatulco Monday morning. It is likely we spend the remainder of our time here across the street at a hotel that charges us 50 pesos to use the pool and internet.