Archive for June, 2009

Playing Tourist Near Bahía

Saturday we, along with Shirley and Frank, made use of a local taxi.  After making several quick stops in Puerto Viejo for various “needs” we took off to play tourist.  We visited the Panama Hat  town of Montecristi, not far from Puerto Viejo.  This is one of the small towns where the Panama Hats are still made by hand.  The taxi driver first drove us up the hill to visit a new museum and tomb to past Presidente Eloy Alfaro (1842-1912) .  He was the president of Ecuador that instigated all the railway lines and rail service in this country in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

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There was a great view over the city of Montecristi from the museum site.

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Down the hill into the town we visited the church on the central plaza.  Like most Latin American cities the plaza and church is the focal point of the town.

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We spent some time shopping before we realized that we were all hungry.  Since it was already after 2:00 PM, we hunted for – or should I say the taxi driver found – us a nice restaurant with tables just off the sidewalk.  There we enjoyed roast chicken, rice and patacones.  The food for all 5 of us came to just over $12, not a bad deal.

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Sunday we took the ferry across Rio Chone to the farming town of San Vicente just across the river from Bahía.  We took the car ferry over and walked down the beach to the center of San Vicente where we found the bus to take us the rest of the way.

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There we caught a bus to the surfing town of Canoa,  where we stopped off to visit boating friends who have now settled and built a real nice home there – we call it ‘the castle’.

Wayne and Cher have built, over the last three years, a very nice home on the beach.  Cher has some very pretty gardens and plans for more flowers.  She fixed us a nice lunch before we continued, walking along the beach, to visit Scott and his new home (still under construction) and then on to the beach town of Canoa.  We arrived in Canoa in time to catch the last bus back to San Vicente and the people ferry back across the river and then home.

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Bahia de Caraquéz, Ecuador

P6120002Bill tightening up the stern line for bow-and-stern anchoring.

P6130002Tripp has set up a nice area at Puerto Amistad for computer use with wifi service.

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Judy and Dave’s (s/v Revenir) land home, where Bill and I were invited to dinner on Tuesday night.

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Bill enjoying the wonderful shrimp ceviche at the small waterfront eatery.

Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador

After spending three days anchored behind Cabo Pasado we moved the 20 miles south west to cross the bar at high tide into Bahia de Caraquez.  We arrived only to discover that the anchorage was full.  The bridge construction across the Rio Chone eats up about a third of the anchorage area.  Today Saturday June 13, we moved our anchor again for the forth time trying to find a spot where we will not bump into other boats as we move about in the current and the wind.  We are in an an area that is decreed to be for bow and stern anchors, which makes for interesting anchoring.  A boat, bow and stern anchored, moves a lot further than you would think and it is hard to determine exactly where she will go.  Well for today we are here in a slightly different spot than yesterday.

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Here is Bill on the stern dealing with the stern anchor line.

While anchored at Cabo Pasado Bill spent two days working on our engine problems. One day was spent flushing out the transmission fluid to remove the sea water that had gotten into that system.  Then, having discovered that the antifreeze we replaced while anchored at the Perlas Islands was again brown, we realized that the main heat exchanger was leaking sea water into the fresh water system.  A second bad heat exchanger on this trip.  Bill replaced the heat exchanger with our spare and we spent several hours flushing the system with fresh water before refilling it with new antifreeze.  After we got anchored here in Bahia Bill replaced the antifreeze again.  He also changed the engine oil and changed the transmission fluid again.  All looks good now!! 

Bahia is a very friendly town and we are enjoying ourselves ashore.  We have been to several of our favorite restaurants with friends and enjoy our evening beer at Puerto de Amistad visiting with our friends. 

Many Breakages Off Shore

We made the passage from the Perlas Islands of Panama to Bahia de Caraquez in Ecuador.  The passage was an eight day trip with little to no wind the first few days.  Then the wind picked up from the south and blew up to 20 knots much of the rest of the passage.  The second day out the autopilot pump started making funny noises so Bill replaced it with our spare before it died completely.  The brushes had just about worn out.

Two days later the transmission refused to turn the prop and was out of transmission fluid.  Upon tracking down the problem we discovered that sea water had also gotten into the remaining fluid.  The transmission cooler had sprung a leak to the cooling sea water.  We happened to have the old one one board as a spare and with some effort the cooler was changed.  Several changes of transmission fluid and we were back in business.  The next morning the engine died for lack of fuel.  Changing the first fuel filter and installing a replacement lift pump seemed to solve the problem for awhile.  By then we had good wind so could sail as Bill made the repairs. 

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Seems that the seas were too much for our Fleming self-steering rudder hinge and it sheered off leaving the rudder dangling behind Lanikai.  Three hours of work got the unit onboard and tied down securely so that we continue on our  way. 

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Thirty six hours after “fixing” the fuel problem it seemed to reappear but the engine never actually died.  We will need to make sure that the tank has clean fuel and biocide added when we fill her again here.

We did have some beautiful sunrises and sunsets as well as passing rain squalls.  Some gave Lanikai a shower and others just passed in the distance.

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It was a rather tough passage with all the repairs that we had to make underway.  Also the wind, which usually is SW allowing us to tack to the south and our goal, came out of the south so we needed to make some rather long tacks with the boat, well heeled, to reach our goal.

Cabo Pasado, Ecuador

We dropped the anchor just after 5:30 yesterday afternoon, (Friday, June 5) behind Cabo Pasado in Ecuador after an 8 day passage from Panama. The first four days of the passage we had little to no wind so we used the motor. The wind then picked up and we sailed most of the rest of the rest of the way. The seas were quite large and choppy but there usually was enough wind to keep the sails full even in the rolls. Of Course, the wind was from the south just the direction we wanted to go so sailing entailed many long tacks and Lanikai was well healed over much of the time. The passage was made rougher by the many breakdowns that needed to be repaired underway. Today Bill is still tracking down and fixing engine problems as we rest here for a few days waiting for Windsong and Blue Bottle to join us. Iwa arrived the day before and was waiting for us when we arrived. All four of us plan on heading into Bahia de Caraquez on Monday with the afternoon high tide.