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Monday, June 11, 2012

Bleep Troubles, Bleep Headaches and Good Deeds

I'm writing from Marina Ixtapa, 5 miles from Zihuatenejo. It is perhaps the most expensive marina we have ever stayed in and has the fewest amenities of any marina we have ever stayed in. We're paying $42 a night, electricity and water not included... during low season. There is no internet - unless you pay extra... a lot extra. There is no pool. The are no laundry facilities. So why in the bleep are we here?

We have a fuel leak. We noticed a bit of diesel in our bilge in Chiapas, but couldn't find the source. We checked the tank and confirmed that it wasn't there - a huge relief. Once we left Chiapas though, we noticed a huge surge in our fuel consumption - an unhappy expense. In Huatulco, we stopped for the night and jerry canned extra diesel to the boat. Searching again was futile - we couldn't find the problem. Then, it became clear as we continued on towards Acapulco. Jim saw the fuel lift pump start spraying diesel out of the gasket.

We needed to repair our fuel leak. We ascertained we could make it to Zihuatenejo at midnight. It's a wide open anchorage and we've been there before, so entering at night wasn't an issue for us - although we typically don't enter anchorages in the dark. On the way, our auto pilot began acting psycho. The starboard button refused to move the rudder. Then, the unit refused to turn off.

With Marina Ixtapa so close, we agreed that it would be smartest to go in regardless of the cost. It's a beautiful setting, but it's not worth the money in our opinion. Once we got into a slip, Jim fiddled with the motor and then gave me a parts list to get in town. I caught a bus back into ZTown only to find once I arrived that Auto Zone is closed on Sunday. Closed! On Sunday!!! So, Jim tinkered with Sybil, our auto pilot, for 6 hours before it began working again? The problem? It's a piece of bleep. We have no idea what is wrong.

The idea of spending another $42 plus dollars in Marina Ixtapa has given me a case of hives - or perhaps it's the 92* temps that have me itchy and scratchy. I am very grateful, at least, for the cold showers here. Monday, Carolyne and I visited 7 stores - SEVEN! - before we found the parts we needed to fix the fuel leak.

On a happier note, while motoring along a couple days ago Carolyne saw a floating bag - a large, plastic woven bag - the type that 50 lbs. of pinto beans come in. As she watched it, she noticed a flipper waving out from underneath the bag. It was a sea turtle stuck in it. We turned Hotspur around and put  her in neutral. As we sidled up near the turtle, Carolyne took a boat hook and wrangled the bag off the animal's back before the turtle dove down under the boat. We waited - and waited. The turtle then popped up on Hotspur's other side - completely bagless! It was clearly tired and stressed, but it waved its little flipper in thanks before it dove back down into beautiful blue water. That is such a good feeling! Then, Jim fired up the engine and the bag promptly sucked into the prop. Oh well, a good excuse to dive into the water and take a lovely, cool swim.

With the fuel leak mostly repaired and Sybil seemingly sedated, we're out of Marina Ixtapa. But before we left, we did see a crocodile - a very large crocodile! - slide past us on the top of the water. We didn't stop to look if it had any trash stuck to him.


  1. Meri, the cruisers that survive out here are the ones like you that can take such a Bleeped-up set of events and bring a smile to people's faces in recounting the bleeping story!

    We will have a COLD Beer waiting for you here in La Paz, on second thought, maybe a whole CASE! As we cry in our Beers and laugh at the same time.

  2. Are you sure it was a turtle?

  3. I would love to be paying $42 a night. It seems like there is some kind of price collusion in the Ventura and Channel Islands harbors and it seems the going rate for guest slips is $1.50 a foot. Can't wait to get back to Mexico. Best wishes, Michael