Friday, December 3, 2010

San Blas, Mexico

The trip to San Blas was more of a pain than anything.  It had potential to be a really nice day sail.  We set off from Isla Isabel about 7:00 am and were doing a nice, comfortable 4 1/2 knots when I heard a certain explicative come from Andy in the cockpit.  We had just sailed over a fishing net and it got hooked on our rudder.  These nets go for miles and are marked by coke bottles.  If you're lucky, you may see a flag instead of a coke bottle, but those are few and far between.  You don't want to hook these things with your engines on as it could seriously foul your prop.  We took the sails down and after several unsuccessful attempts at using the gaff to get loose, Andy jumped in and dove down to free it.  Back up the sails went and we were on our way.  A few minutes later we saw some more so we turned to follow them parallel hoping to find an opening.  Eventually a panga with some fisherman came and offered us a path over them (by putting an anchor on the net for us), but not before our jib shackle busted and the jib came tumbling down.  Down went the main, on went the motor.

This is not where the jib is supposed to be.
We were up front trying to decipher what happened and how to fix it when I looked up and said "What's that!?"  We were 50 feet away from a black flag.  I ran back and eased up on the throttle while turning to our port side.  We followed this net for well over a mile until finally deciding to go over it on purpose.  I turned off the motor, we drifted over the net, we snagged it, Andy jumped in and unhooked it.  He got back on the boat, I turned the motors on again, back on course.  For now.  We did this two more times before finally being clear of all the nets.  They had me so paranoid that I was putting the boat into neutral everytime we saw a piece of trash.  We finally arrived at the entrance to the San Blas Estuary about 2:00.

After calling the port captain and conversing in really bad spanish, we got permission to enter the estuary.  This was a tight squeeze.  At the lowest point we had 6 feet under our rudders.  We planned on anchoring in the area right in front of the marina.  After looking further and talking to the marina on the radio, we determined that the anchorage was deep enough, but there was a sand bar between the channel and the anchorage, therefore no way to enter.  So that meant we either had to go back out and anchor in the bay or stay at the marina.  After seeing the prices, we opted to stay in the marina.  This is the cheapest marina in Mexico and the one is here to mess it up!  We're staying here for about $100 for the week and it's within walking distance of everything.

Andy at the top of the mast
Yesterday morning Andy went up the mast to begin the repairs on the jib.  I won't get into all of the details (mainly because I would have to call him in here to ask him the name of everything), but basically he reattached the jib with a new shackle to the thingy on the front and we pulled it back up and wa-la, good as new.  That left us free to explore town after lunch.

San Blas is a sleepy little mexican town unlike most we've been to.  It's pretty much famous for it's bugs so we really didn't know what to expect other than that (although they haven't been as bad as we expected..yet).  We walked through the town and went up to an old fort and the ruins of an old church.  It was a very cool walk and we saw lots of things we wanted to come back and do (and will today, like eat smoked fish!).
The ruins of the Templo de la Virgen del Rosario
Inside the church, looking up.

Super cool with the cannon at the old fort (La Contaduria)

We ended our night in the town plaza and a nice dinner under the shade.  We've decided the food on the mainland side is hands down better than the baja, and the people are nicer too (just my opinion).  The lady serving us didn't have any change and she spent 30 minutes walking all over the plaza (even after I told her to just keep it) trying to find me change.  I finally introduced myself and got her name as it looked like we were going to be spending a lot of time together!   After dinner Jake played foosball with the local kids right there in the plaza.  He had a blast and we promised to bring him back another night.
Jake with his new friends playing foosball in the plaza.
The kids were more than pleased to have their picture taken with Jake.

Today we're off to the market and back for some of that yummy looking and smelling smoked fish!


Ivelene said...

Wow! You guys are really getting around! and Jake is grown he learning any more spanish to help his parents yet? He seems to be opening up even more to strangers...this is good for him! Keep the pictures and stories coming...I love hearing everything!

Nicole said...

I love the ruins, they are so pretty in the photos.
That is so funny, Jake is the American Celebrity Kid. Lol.

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