Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Enroute to Bahia Santa Elena: Catch Up

2 April 2019
13.5N 90.7W

We motored last night through very calm, almost mirror-smooth seas. The motoring continued until just after noon, when the wind piped up quickly. We're now bounding along on a close reach in a Force 4 southerly wind, making over six bouncy knots towards our destination. Beautiful sailing conditions! Although Roy says his bunk in the forward port cabin is like a carnival ride; he graciously gave up his larger aft cabin to John and Kim.

I didn't write any blog posts prior to us leaving Puerto Chiapas yesterday afternoon. Here's a catch up on the few days leading up to our departure.

I left San Francisco on a redeye flight to Mexico City on Wednesday night, March 27. After a long-ish layover, I boarded my flight to Tapachula late Thursday morning, scoring an exit row seat. Shortly after taking my seat, guess who I see walking down the aisle with a big smile on his face? Roy! I knew he was traveling to the boat, but didn't expect him on my flight as he had told me he was going to Guatemala first. That bit of luck saved us on taxi fares to the marina when we landed.

After a brief rest, we washed the boat, rinsing off the coffee dust that is endemic to Marina Chiapas. Next door to the marina is an instant coffee factory. Getting re-accustomed to the heat and humidity was a bit tough for both of us.

On Friday, we had did a few light boat projects and got things ready for John and Kim who arrived just before midnight.

Saturday we hired a car and drive and went grocery shopping for provisions. We ended up with three shopping carts of stuff, one cart reserved for an ample but not obscene supply of wine, beer and spirits. Sunday we visited the fuel dock to top up our tanks and then took the dinghy to a beach restaurant in the port's estuary for a rustic seafood meal.

Monday morning I spent clearing us out of Mexico, which involves the following steps to get your zarpe (permission to leave document) stamped and signed:
1. Visit customs
2. Visit immigration
3. Visit the Port Administration Authority, pay a little fee.
4. Visit the Port Captain, pay a slightly higher fee.
5. Pay the marina bill
6. Get inspected by the Port Captain, Navy, and customs, including a drug-sniffing dog.

The above took about five hours from start to finish, and the crew seemed more than ready to leave after sitting around in the heat until two in the afternoon. We didn't waste any time casting off our lines and heading out to sea.

That catches the blog up to where we are now. Although in the time it took me to write this, though the wind has decreased, we now have a steep chop on the nose and we're pounding as we motorsail into it. Not so comfortable. Especially since we have to close all the hatches. It's hot inside!