Tuesday, 9 December 2008

November 28th to December 10th, 2008 - BARILLAS MARINA CLUB, EL SALVADOR

Our trip across the T'pec from Mexico to El Salvador was a true adventure. The T'pec weather window was an unusually long 5 days, so we cut across the gulf, rather then hug the shore. We had great winds 10 to 15 kts most of the way. At the end of the third day the wind died down and we went to start the "Iron Jenny". Smoke in the cabin, loud noise and little raw water coming out of the exhaust, not good signs. We shut down and opened the engine compartment. The exhaust elbow had sprung another leak. This time the break was next to the engine, so I was worried about water having flowed back into the engine.

We sailed the last day, through a gale on the nose, tacking for 60 miles, gaining 20 toward our destination. Then the wind went down to 20 knots and shifted so we advanced close hauled to within 4 knts of the enterance way point to Barillas Marina Club. The wind died. It took us 8 hours to go the lst 4 knts.

We radioed the marina and they went into action. They arranged for a tow, via a returning fishing boat FV "Santa Fe". We were picked up at 19:00 hours and towed the 9 knts up the estuary to the fish processing plant, next to the marina. We arrived about 22:30 and were tied up to the dock. We played a game of crib to unwind then hit the bunks. We awoke to find we had been moved along side a fishing boat during the night. The move did not wake us. The next day the marina's panga towed us to our mooring ball.

Our heroes. Heriberto (General Manager) and Emerita. They arranged for our tow and Emerita stayed late to assist with interpretation with the fishing boat captain and arranged for a mechanic. They were very hospitable and we highly recommend Barillas Marina Club.

Sister ship to the FV "Santa Fe" tied up to the fishing dock. The fishing fleet at rest.

The local Spider Monkey colony is just a 20 minute walk from the marina.

Bird of Paradise, Sugar Cane and unknown fruit covered in red bugs.

Bird life in adjacent marsh.

Cold blooded neighbours. Dragon lizard and Alligator. Alligator picture courtesy of Tim on SV "Hooligan", as my camera battery died.

SV "Passat II" on it's mooring and the club dinghy dock.

Party animals at the pool and on SV "Hooligan".

Beast on the boat. On our way accross the T'pec we had a visitor. Of all our visitors, fish, squid, moths and birds this has been the most welcome. This little guy/gal came on board while we were underway and entertained me for over an hour, posing for the camera. I later learned that the same bird (or it's twin) came aboard SV "Hooligan" for a visit when they passed this area 12 hours before.

Mechanic Martin at work on our engine. The faulty part turns out to be a flange that connects the exhaust manifold to the "plumbing" that injects the raw water into the exhaust pipe. The weld failed completely. This is the second (and hopefully last) repair to this assembly in two months.

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