Thursday, December 2, 2010

Leaving Mantanchen…a lot lighter 12.2.2010

Mantanchen strikes again. Apparently it’s just not our spot – it’s such a lovely place and I really do love coming here….but it doesn’t like us. Our dinghy motor was stolen off of the boat while we were sleeping on the first night we were here.

We had anchored and took it easy all day and went to bed early. At some point in the night (I didn’t look at the clock) I heard what sounded like a bird hitting the rig. It woke me out of a dead sleep and I laid there listening, thinking that still something wasn’t right. I climbed over Michael and stumbled into the door (stupid sprained ankle!) and came into the main salon where I stood and watched/listened. Something still wasn’t right so I grabbed the flashlight and came into the cockpit and flashed it all around, looking for the source of the noise. Not finding anything I convinced myself it was probably nothing and went back down to bed.

Later in the morning, Michael woke with a start when he heard a noise on the stern rail of the boat and raced out of bed and up into the cockpit only to see the dinghy engine being lowered into a panga. He yelled out to the guys who at the same time fired up their engine and roared away….with our dinghy motor.

Now we always, always lock everything up. In fact, Michael had locked everything else earlier that day in preparation of going in town the following day but because we were planning to go in the following day, the dinghy was just secured with lines, not with a lock or cable. Who would have thought that someone would stealthily unscrew it and remove it while we were sleeping? We’re pretty convinced that they didn’t come onboard, but more than likely stood on the toe rail and definitely held on to the stern rail as there were plenty of handprints.

To put it mildly, it fucking sucks. I know it happens everywhere and accept that it’s ‘part of it’ but it still is a huge bummer. And yes, I know – lock everything up – every time! It has taken the fun out of it the past couple days as we have had to report it, which was no easy task, to the Port Captain and the District Attorney’s office.

Reporting it to the District Attorney’s office was frustrating. We had to report it in 100% Spanish and thank goodness we had a patient gal who worked with us to get the facts. The frustrating part was that she didn’t understand living and cruising on a boat. For instance, she asked where we lived when we weren’t on the boat. We explained we lived on the boat full-time and she was insistent that we couldn’t possibly do that. Also, she didn’t understand what the dinghy was….even though we explained that it was the small boat that was used to get us to land. She kept insinuating that now we couldn’t leave because we had our motor stolen. No, this was an auxiliary motor, for a smaller boat that lived on the big boat. You can see the confusion. We probably spent 2 hours talking to her, and most of the day dealing with it. Thankfully, we are cruising with good friends – Joe & Deb on Pacific Jade, Bill & MJ on Grey Max, and Mike & Julie on Slacker who have been shuttling us to and from the beach so we can deal with it and hanging with us while we report to the authorities.

After doing the official report, we met with everyone at the San Blas Social Club, a must stop, and visited with Laura & Augustine. And had the requisite ½ pound burger and a couple ‘Martin & Lewis’ specials – a beer & shot of tequila. In fact, as we left the San Blas Social Club I had forgotten all about the damn dinghy engine.

The next morning Julie from Slacker and I went for a long beach walk while Mike from Slacker came to the boat to help Michael try to identify the hiccup in the generator. Michael met me back on the beach and we went in town to report the theft to the Port Captain. Funny enough we hitched a ride into town and an old man stopped and picked us up in an old beat up pickup truck. I climbed in front and Michael jumped in the bed of the truck. The old guy and I had quite a conversation, all in Spanish, and I told him about the theft. I don’t know many swear words but I know for a fact that they were flying as I described what happened. He was so incredibly pissed and apologetic and then he told me he was not only a farmer (growing yaka & mangoes) but also a fisherman and before we left the vehicle he said he’d keep his ear to the ground and would keep an eye out and would report anything to the authorities if he heard anything. It was so nice – what a kind, kind man.

We met with the Port Captain who also expressed his embarrassment and frustration and said he would alert all of the other Port Captains in the area and would be on the lookout for it. We thanked him but know that the engine is long gone and we doubt we’ll see it again. Sigh…

But life goes on. We will figure out getting to shore until we can rummage up another one, hopefully we can find one in Puerta Vallarta/La Cruz area. Until then we’ll be rowing into shore when we can, hitching a ride by our amazing friends, or just swimming! :-) It’s not going to ruin the entire season. We’ve made our $2K donation and hopefully that’s all it will cost us this season. We’re counting our lucky stars that no one was hurt and that the generator is treating us good right now!

Oh, and one ‘nice’ thing that happened the day after the motor was stolen we were up on deck getting things organized for the trip into town when a pod of dolphins, maybe 8 of them, came right to our boat, swam around it, under it, talking away, and then swam away. Now logically I know they must have only come to our boat because we had the tastiest food underneath but I have to also believe in my heart they were coming over to remind us to appreciate the beauty and to make us feel better. That not everyone is bad. I choose to believe that anyway, and it did make me feel better to see them.

We’re heading out tomorrow, next stop Chacala! Hopefully it will be better to us there…

More to follow!


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home