10/19/2011 – Back where we started

Yesterday we got up and headed to town with a whole list of chores. First up was to check back in at Marina Del Palmar and Marina Don Jose to see if they really don’t have space. Our first stop was Palmar. We were hoping that one of the young ladies that was there when we were last here would be working. Sure enough, the one that I assume is the office manager was in the office. We asked if they had space available for a sailboat of about 30 feet until the end of November. She looked at the chart on the wall, the same one that the owner had looked at yesterday, and said, yes, they had a space. But it was way down at the end next to the huge derelict Novia Mia. We said that would be just fine. We asked the cost and she said $360 USD for a month. That’s great and less than we paid last time we were here. It’s amazing that they charge by the foot since the slip we’re in could easily handle a 50′ boat. But that’s okay with us. Since we want to be here until the end of November, there are 12 days to account for beyond the month. However, the daily charge is $25 USD, so those 12 days would cost us another $300. Instead, we opted for another month at $360. We paid for one month now with the option to renew for another month on November 18 if we want (we will). When we were here yesterday and talked to one of the owners who told us nothing was available, he was probably really saying, “It’s late in the day and I don’t really want to do the paperwork.” or “I don’t have a clue how to check a boat in but I don’t want to tell you that.” or “If I rent out a space I’ll probably screw it up and when the office manager gets here tomorrow she’ll be pissed off at me.” Instead, it was easier and saved face to just say nothing was available. I guess it pays to skip the owner and just talk to the office manager (who, in this case, I think is the owner’s wife).

Anyway, we scurried back to the dinghy, putted out to the boat and got underway. Docking was a piece of cake but I can’t get too proud since the slip is big enough, both in length and width, to accommodate a 50 footer.


Once settled, we had to deal with the shore power issue. The slip we were in only had 50 amp outlets. Since we have a 30 amp shore power cord, we were going to need an adapter. I called Lopez Marine on the VHF and asked if they had such a beast. After a little searching, Hamish called back and said, yes, they did have one in stock. We closed up the boat, donned our packs and headed to Lopez.

Once we got there, I was a bit taken aback to find that the adapter cost $168 USD! I mean, I knew it was going to be expensive but geez! Oh well, I’ve got to have it if I want shore power (I do!) so I parted with the dough. Along with a couple other items we bought, my pack was now full and heavy so we headed back to the boat to unload. I figured we might as well hook up to shore power to start charging the batteries while we were running the rest of our errands. Not wanting to find my new $168 adapter gone when we returned, I figured I’d at least make it a little less attractive by putting the boat’s name on it with a Sharpie. Then I went to plug it in. No matter how I tried, I could NOT get that adapter into the outlet. I was about ready to modify it with my Dremel tool when I saw this on the box:

“Notice: There are two types of 50 amp outlets. One is for 50A-125V and the other is for 50A-125/250V. The two types are not interchangeable. Be sure to check which type you have before purchasing this product.”

Huh? Two types? Well, judging from the drawings on the box, we bought the former type but needed the latter. Oh crap! The obvious thing to do was to take the adapter back to Lopez for a refund. BUT, I had defaced it by putting our boat name on it. DOUBLE CRAP! Lulu tried unsuccessfully to remove the name but no joy. I called Lopez to see if they had the other type. He said they did but it went from one 50A to two 30A outlets. More than we need but… I asked how much that was. “$272.00 and some change.” Ye gods! There was no way I’d pay that. Hamish did say that we could bring the other one back since it didn’t fit.

We loaded the adapter back in the pack and started walking to Lopez Marine. Along the way we stopped at the other marine stores to see if they had the adapters. None did although they had the separate components. We continued on to Lopez. All the way I’m wondering what kind of soaking I’m going to get for writing on the adapter.

We reached Lopez and walked into the welcome air-conditioning. Did I mention that it was really freakin’ HOT out? As I pulled the adapter out of my pack I told Hamish what I had done. He didn’t even miss a beat when he said, “Oh, we can probably get that off.” Wow! He then refunded the full price. We went on about our business but ultimately returned to Lopez once more to buy the components to make up our own adapter. BTW, I checked the prices of the pieces at the other stores and, even though the cruisers around here often bad-mouth Hamish for being too high-priced, his prices were considerably lower than anyone else’s for the component pieces.


We went downtown to the Modatela to buy some fabric for making a new cover for our bed since the previous one was ripping. On the way, we bought a blanket that I’ve wanted for a long time.


Also had a couple of shrimp tacos to give us strength. Then, on to the Aramburro store for more Topo Chico (seltzer) and Sangria (really good grape soda).

It was a long hot walk back to the boat and the pack was heavy. So, we needed occasional breaks. The first one was when we reached the ice cream store. A little frozen yogurt and we were good to go again. It felt really good to get back to the boat and know we didn’t need to go anywhere else.

Lulu made pizza for dinner and then we both had showers which felt REALLY good.

The big boat next to us that you can see in the photo above is all wood. Poor thing would sink if they have a power failure. The bilge pump runs about 45 seconds out of every 90. And the stream is pretty good:


Just guessing, I’d estimate that it must pump about 10 gpm. That means that it pumps 7.5 gals every 45 seconds. So the boat is taking on water at 7.5 gallons every minute and a half. That’s 7200 gallons per day. That’s over 60,000 lbs. Wouldn’t take long to sink a boat even this large with that kind of leakage. If we have a power failure and she starts to go down, I believe we’ll untie our lines as I’m pretty sure she’d take the dock down with her.

Ah, marina life. It’s definitely a mixed bag.

Oh yeah, I also renewed my Banda Ancha card yesterday so we now have cell phone internet access for the next 30 days. Ah, civilization!


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About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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