Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lazing about in San Blas

At anchor in San Blas

2200, 13 January 2011, at anchor, San Blas estuary
If it wasn’t for the midges (really tiny black flies that sting like hell) that come out at dusk this place would be an ideal place to hang around for some time. The village is rather small and quiet but has most of the services that a cruiser needs to be comfortable. It has no big grocery stores or movie theatres, but you can find most things if you know where to look. There are lots of cheap restaurants and the Singlar facilities adjacent to the anchorage have the laundry, showers and other services that we have come to get used to.
We have been here 5 days now and have enjoyed the slower pace. We are in company with Tanque de Tiburon who arrived 2 days after we did. Third Day is here as well and has been the brunt of more attacks by Norm Goldie, the local self appointed head Gringo. I have mentioned him in previous posts. It has been disturbing to hear the not so veiled verbal attacks he has made on them. Today he even called the Port captain on the VHF and accused them of hassling him. Later they were visited by a team of immigration people who came down from Tepic to verify if they were conducting a business onboard. What a waste of time for the officials who admitted it was in response to a complaint by Norm. Who needs a movie theatre when we have Norm for entertainment?
Today I split the solar panel banks using the spare 20 amp controller. This one actually has a readout that will tell me how many amps I am drawing through the bank. For the past 2 days I have been watching the fuse holder on the solar system melt away. Today it fell apart. It was made up of 12 gauge wire connected to 10 gauge leads so there was a lot of heat generated at the fuse base. I managed to make up 2 new fuse holders with 10 gauge wire. Hopefully that will fix the problem. The splitting of the banks will also help.
1500, 15 Jan, 2011.
Looks like the solar panel modification worked. I am now getting a good flow of power to the batteries and I am able to make up what we are using during the period where the panels are not producing. One of the fuse holders is still hot but the one I made up is OK. Kudos to me...
We woke up to thick fog yesterday. It took a while to burn off but it sure was a pretty sight. Today the fog was higher producing an overcast sky until about mid-morning. It is also breezy and cooler.
Another project is done! Yesterday I managed to install the springs on the doors of the aft cabin. It was a difficult task and blood was shed but now the doors will no longer be able to crash down to the deck. The doors to the main salon were done 2 years ago. We had so much trouble doing them that we put off this job until we were more motivated. Fran’s dropping the door and ripping off the latch provided that motivation.
Norm’s tirades have led to a new round of concern among the locals. There is a movement afoot to make representation to higher government officials about his visceral attacks on cruisers and the resulting loss of business from the fewer visiting boats. He claims to have been here helping boats for the past 41 years. Boaters who were here 10-15 years ago still find him as irritating as they did then. Can’t understand why he hasn’t been run out of town before now.
Looks like, we will be heading south on Monday morning. The weather gurus are predicting calm conditions all the way to the gulf of Tehuantepec. We’ve decided to take advantage of that and get all the way to Barra de Navidad in one hop. Many of our friends are still in La Cruz and Nuevo Vallarta enjoying the big city environment. Many will be heading down soon. Optical Illusion is already in Manzanillo at our favourite anchorage off Las Hadas.

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