Recollections.... and moving on through Nereida s 11th birthday

Wed 2nd July 08
Problems never come singly!!...  I'm writing this from Las Hadas Marina, Manzanillo, where "Annamarina" is berthed now.  We got going yesterday morning, as planned, after my overnight bus ride to Manzanillo from Acapulco...but her prop suddenly lost a blade (we now know it was badly cracked due to electrolysis) and we had  to come limping back after two hrs headed north to Puerto Vallarta (a 'hurricane hole') where we'd hoped to leave her while we both flew back to San Francisco, the original plan being to come back down to sail north again fairly soon after 12th July.

Trying to find a replacement propellor (or someone to repair it) is a problem here - it's likely only to be available from the US - so we're flying to San Francisco very soon and Skip will get a prop whilst there - he needs to be in SF at the same time as I want to be, so that works well.

I'm still half with "Nereida" - and remembering so many good people who helped me:

...Javier and Isaiah, the two local fishermen on the beach after daybreak, who went to such efforts to help with my anchors, digging holes to bed them in the sand to try to prevent them from being dragged as "Nereida" was flipped over from one side to the other by the surge on the surf-ridden beach, while we tried to stop her from moving so she could be saved with a tow off the beach - an outside hope in that remote location but I refused to give up hope too soon ....

...The two students, Esteban & Miguel, from Mexico City, who spent many hours during the first day with me, trying to help me as much as they could and translating to everyone I needed to communicate with, despite this being part of only a very short camping holiday for them.  They had excellent English and were a great support at a difficult time for me....

...The Captain of the Marines who tried his best to help  - taking me to the town via his base camp to make phone calls and posting guards over "Nereida" for several days in an attempt to stop stealing from her while I was away from her overnight.....

...The family of Jose Maria Marquez in Acapulco who cared for me and tried to find people to help me in different ways... and their neighbours who also welcomed me and tried to cheer me up when one of them celebrated his birthday with a big party on the Saturday night....

...Several families who would come over during the daytime from the nearest village of Tenexpa to serve food and drinks from the beach 'palapas' (shelters) and insisted on giving me food and drink in between my frantic efforts to save what possessions I could as poor "Nereida" got more damaged, took on more and more sand and water and sank lower and lower into the beach just below the high water mark... so very sad for me ... 

The photo shows the lovely lagoon (Laguna Tenexpa) full of birds and waterlife behind Nereida's beach (on Playa Michigan) with the 'palapas' catering for occasional campers and day visitors to the reserve area where she lies - her mast is visible above the palapas.

Lagoon behind Nereida's beach

Then there were the opposite happenings.... I would find strangers turning over my possessions which had ended up in the sand with seemingly no thought for my feelings ....  I tried to explain that she was "mi casita, mi vida" (my home, my life)... which for some of them finally got through... but there were also 'vultures' who descended and took advantage of my situation, cutting so many lines and taking things which they had no right to take .... painful....

I didn't mind so much giving whatever food and anything else of use to them to the local families - they were clearly quite poor and I felt it was the least I could do for them in return for all their help.

Today in Las Hadas, Manzanillo, was a good example of the summer weather hereabouts.... very strong winds and heavy rain caused by a tropical storm passing close by.... we were assured Manzanillo is safe to leave 'Annamarina' for the time being - but we're not convinced of that - there's always the chance, however remote, of a hurricane hitting over the next few months.  So we hope she'll be safe here until she can be moved to somewhere further north and finally to San Francisco - at which point I'll be able to sort out what I've salvaged.

Difficult times.... but I've had so many emails of support and kind offers of help from so many people - both good friends, acquaintances and total strangers - thank you all so very much for that.. I've very much appreciated those emails from you all...

Written by : Mike

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