Lost a GoPro, Found a Reef

You are looking at the keel in the foreground. It was removed to access the hull it was bolted to. Possible damage from collision with reef? We will see.

As the sun comes up, an offshore wind builds. Not quite enough to sail on so motorsailing is the path. I expect winds to die about noon. Good time to swim! Later in the afternoon I expect a onshore wind to fill in.

The eggs have been in the bilge for 3 weeks. They are a bit on edge but scramble well. Bread, coffee, water, pineapple, cactus/orange/celery juice. I’m south of Isla Isabela now. It’s 0830 and 43 miles to La Cruz.

0915: The dolphins are back. They are playing by the bow.


I thought it would be fun to put GoPro under the water to film them. Now GoPro has two cases. One is waterproof and has rather poor sound reproduction. The other is open and sound is better. But it is not in the least bit water tight.

What did I learn today? Something I hope. GoPro is drying in the sun. Not having high hopes for future functionality but you never know.

The dolphins are still with me. Maybe they feel sorry for me. I take a shower on the swim step so we can all be wet together.

The wind has died per pattern. Stow the sails and Time to Swim. I take my mask and fins in and check the condition of the bottom. Got some barnacles hey. Not a lot but some. Zincs are getting tired but still have some life left. Surprising as they went on a year ago. So in the tropics your zincs last longer, but your bottom grows way more stuff. Net zero. And there is a bunch of plastic sheeting wrapped around the prop shaft. Odd. It was not vibrating or exhibiting any other strange behavior. Maybe it was those delinquent Dolphins! Anyway chop chop flick flick with Mr. knife and all is well. Motoring on waiting for the onshore wind pattern to take hold.

Well it never did. Humph! Very light winds and motoring into Banderas Bay.

And the sun went down. And I turned a corner at Punta Mita. And I turned it poorly. There is a reef. And I found it. BAM! The only time I wished I had a seat belt on in my boat. AyYiYi!.

The eggs in the bilge broke. So I backed away from the reef. Boat seemed to perform normally. And I did a better job of turning the corner having failed so badly on my first go. Jesus when will I learn that looking at the chart is ok. Just don’t trust that bastard! Dark does not help either.

It is good to be smart and it is good to be lucky. Being stupid and unlucky on the same day does not go well.

Anyway I checked the bilge and there were no leaks. A good sign.

The day after, supermoon came up and the rest of the trip was not so dark. But no less interesting…

I entered the marina. No clue where slip 10B – 9 was. I thought I would take the first open slip and just stroll about and see if I could find said slip.

Getting tied up at the slip was hard. Boat did not want to get very close to the pier. I thought it was current. Anyway tied up with the help of one of my neighbors. Nice fellow named John. Found my slip and John offered to help me tie up there.

So I started the motor and untied from the dock. I took a minute to move some lines from one side of the boat to the other to be ready for the new slip. Current must have gone away. Boat just sat where it was. Miracle!

Time to go so into reverse. Funny noise. Then the motor stopped. Prop chewed a line somehow.

It becomes clear that moving to my assigned slip that night was off the menu. John and I get to looking around. Some fisher bastard put a net across the slip opening for this and four other slips! No wonder the boat did not want to move! He caught a bigger fish than he had planned.

Marina security guy comes along and he is very annoyed about the poor behavior of said fisher bastard.

Ok so here I am for the night. Kind of a crappy week. President Trump, dead GoPro, Reef, fishing net… what next??

Hopefully good stuff next. I mean the VOSH trip was cool! C’mon lets keep the positives rolling!!

Seriously my spirit is damaged. All of the above have taken a toll. The boat can be repaired. The camera can be replaced, the fishing net was untangled from my prop while I slept.

President Trump. That is still broken. The Klan’s man is still the president elect. And non white males of every stripe will feel the wrath of the angry white males. I wonder if he’ll get a Nobel Peace Prize? I don’t really.

Anyway I need to focus on the broken bits that are within my power to put right. Working on getting the boat fixed is next order of business. And on from there.

Strolled into town tonight and had a shrimp taco and an octopus taco. And they were great. The beers were so cold that one of them was quite frozen. Kinda chewy.

Super Moon for Company Tonight

Dawn of the sparrows! Guess it’s boat wash time again…

I met a couple of guys in a catamaran here at the dock… a friend of theirs had purchased the boat as it was retired in the charter Fleet in the British Virgin Islands. They are in the process of moving the boat from Costa Rica to San Diego. Lots of interesting mechanical issues are keeping them busy… the boats charter career took a toll.

Checked out of Marina Mazatlan at 0900. Ran into Steve and Marilyn from Tocatta. Good to see them again. They’d just arrived and were bending their sails back on just this morning. I remember that feeling. A good one!

Left the dock at 0930 and motored out into the estuary. I remembered to put on the rudder for the windvane pilot. There might be enough wind for that later, who knows. And putting that rudder on in a seaway is tricky. Best done in still water.

Motored along until 1100. Then an onshore breeze filled in and sailing I am. Making about 4 kts in the morning.


Wind piped up in the afternoon for 6 kts. Not going to break any records but it is a very nice day sailing along and riding the swells.

Later in the evening the wind fades and it is time to motor. Good timing really and I make a salad and light the Big Green Egg. New York is on the menu. I found some smoking chips in Mazatlan. Ran out of those awhile back and it was tastier than it had been in awhile.

Sea state gets lumpier and the ride is not having such a predictable rhythm. Too bad but the dishes are done and it is not a problem.

Spending the entire night in the cockpit was unfortunate. I am still looking for a posture that can be comfortable for such a duration.

Super moon for company. Only the brightest stars can be seen due to the serious moonlight. And visibility was excellent! No boats sighted all night.


VOSH – Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity in Mazatlán


From November 5 through 9, 2016, Nancy and I participated in another VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) mission… this time in Torres Mazatlán.


VOSH’s goal is to provide vision care to people who can neither afford nor obtain such care in their local communities.


This is my friend Erika. She interpreted for me in 2011 when we were here for another eyecare mission. And she was back again for another mission! Thanks Erika! (All those little boxes behind us are donated glasses we brought with us.)


Above is our Seattle friend and co-worker Willow, doing intake screening.



After various tests and eye exams, we identified what each patient needed to restore their vision as best as possible.


Prescription in hand, they came to our room full of donated glasses (above), where staff located a matching pair…


And fitted them with their new glasses!


Which resulted in a lot of very big smiles.


Our success would not have been possible without the volunteer help of the Torres Mazatlán staff. Our 5 day mission resulted in vision screenings for more than 2,287 patients, and the gift of 5,000 donated eye glasses.