Back to Huatulco, Mexico

We arrived back in Huatulco late Friday afternoon after an interesting full day of travel.  We drove into Portland leaving Tillamook about 5PM.  Bill and I treated Ginger to dinner at the Olive Garden since we did not have Mauricio with us.  Gretchen had been nice enough to take him home for the night with the promise to drop him off at school the next morning.  It was about 8 when Ginger dropped us off at the airport and returned to Tillamook with our car.  Bill and I got checked in and wandered out to the gate, knowing that we would have a long wait for the 12:20AM flight.  But the wait became much longer as the plane had been delayed in New York and did not arrive until 2AM.  We were finally in the air sometime before 3AM and did not arrive in Houston until 8:30 missing our connection to Mexico City.  Bill had luckily talked to the agent as soon as we discovered the delay, so we had standby tickets in hand for the 9AM flight to Mexico City and discovered that gate just across hallway from our arrival gate!  They were just calling the standby passengers, and we were first on their list!  We were in the Houston airport all of 15 minutes and onboard the plane for the next leg of our journey…  Of course – we only had to walk a short distance, but our bags did not make it to the flight.  We got to Mexico City, went thru immigration and customs – but had no bags to clear, except the computer cases that we were carrying.  They told us the bags would follow us to Huatulco – and they did! – as we were able to pick them up Saturday afternoon.

We arrived at Lanikai to find 5 completely dead batteries and a cool, but clearly not frozen, freezer.  I emptied all the meats and such from the freezer into the trash.  Luckily the freezer was still at 32F so the meat had not started to smell.  I got the rest of the items out of the freezer and dried it out as best I could.  We got the shore power cord attached and attempted to charge the batteries – only to discover that three of them were getting very hot (dangerously very hot) so we shut down the charger.

Bill got the salt water valve turned on and two of the drain outlets opened also.  But the valve for the galley sink proved to be cantankerous and the handle broke away from the innards. So Friday night found us under the galley sink removing the valve and prying it opened and replacing it so that the galley sink would drain properly.

No electricity means no fans, but we slept soundly anyway.

On Saturday Bill took the three overheating batteries offline, leaving us with two that we applied shore power to.  They do not take a charge but at least the do not get hot and they serve as a buffer for the battery charger to provide us with 12V electricity.  I left the freezer empty until today so that it could warm up and dry out completely before starting it up again this afternoon. We have been needing to do this for a long time.

The inside of Lanikai was quite free of mildew, but little birds had been sitting on the triadic rigging each morning for months and had left quite a mess on the deck below.  Saturday morning I got the hose out and a bucket of soapy water and mopped down the deck (the parts that I could get to) getting rid of much of the bird gifts.  Today we pumped up the dinghy and swung it overboard and I could finish the deck clean-up job.  Of course, the birds will still be back each morning but at least they are tiny shore birds and not the larger fish eating ones that are also around.

Saturday afternoon Chris from M/V Misty Michael took us out to the airport in his car to retrieve our bags.  Then we stopped off at a vegetable store and a super market.  Bill and I picked up fresh fruit and vegetables as well as some bread.  Not having a working freezer at the time, I was limited as what would keep on the counters in the galley.

Getting the dinghy overboard today (Sunday) allowed us to open the forward hatch and use the wind scoop.  We also got the cockpit cushions out and the cockpit shade curtains attached, so the boat is becoming quite livable again.

Tomorrow we are off hunting for new batteries to replace the 5 dead ones.