After I wrote the last blog entry, the bees started coming out to visit us for real. Fortunately we got the mosquito net draped over the dodger before too many got down below. But, now we were pretty much trapped below. I ventured out once to quiet a slapping halyard or something and the bees were very annoying. I suspect they probably were looking for fresh water. Don’t know what else would bring them out unless it was just plain orneriness. Fortunately, they apparently all had a curfew because, as the sun set, they split and stayed gone all night. Yesterday morning, when I got up a little before 6:00, they were already busy out in the cockpit. While I did my engine fluid checks, I even managed to get stung. Felt something on my foot and looked down. Sure enough, a bee. I shook him off and then killed him as he staggered around. I used the edge of the flyswatter to flick the venom sac away from the stinger and then removed the stinger with my fingers. Upshot: I must have gotten to it quickly as I had absolutely no effects from the sting. An hour later, I couldn’t even locate the exact location that I was stung.
However, these guys were pissing me off and I decided to hasten our departure. I fired up the engine and, while it was warming up, hollered down at Lulu that we were outa here, and pulled the anchor up. Put the engine in gear and headed out. No big deal as we weren’t all that enamored with Refugio. Of course, we didn’t go ashore or do any snorkeling except right around the boat so we didn’t really give it a chance. But the water visibility was poor and it was very hot. We both slept with our fans on all night after also having our fans blowing on us while we were watching “Big Bang Theory” and “Heroes”. And still it was hot. I got up once during the night to go outside and take care of some business and there was a HOT wind blowing across the bay. HOT! At 2:00 in the morning! I didn’t note the direction of the wind but I remember that in Bahia de Los Angeles, whenever they got a west wind in the summer, it blew hot.
The trip down to Isla Estanque off the southern tip of Isla Angel de La Guarda is about 40 nautical miles. So it would take us anywhere from 8 to 12 hours and, what with the strong tidal currents, 8 hours was pretty unlikely. The sea was dead flat when we headed out and there wasn’t even a breath of wind. We motored along at 2000 RPM making about 4 knots, occasionally higher and often lower. We would be going against the tide until about 3:00 in the afternoon. We had a brief period of about 2 hours in the early afternoon when we actually got to sail in 7-10 knot winds. Unfortunately, they were almost on our nose so we didn’t make a lot of progress as we tacked back and forth across our rhumb line. About the time that I decided to say “screw this”, the wind died off anyway. We arrived at our anchorage and were anchored in 30′ of water at 1830 making this a 12 hour trip. Let’s see, 40 miles in 12 hours equals an average speed of 3.3 knots. Man! That’s flying!
Along the way, I noticed that the alternator didn’t seem to be putting out any juice. I’ve noticed this occasionally before but it usually corrects itself eventually making me think that maybe the regulator is sensing voltage from the solar panels or something but this time it never did correct itself. Fortunately, I have a spare alternator on board.
In the Heather and Shawn book, this anchorage is called Isla Estanque even though it’s not actually on the Isla but rather on the mainland. That said, Isla Estanque is, so far, a vast improvement over the conditions we experienced at Refugio. I can’t speak to the water clarity yet although I suspect it’s the same level of murkiness. But we had a sweet, cool breeze out of the south all evening and all night long. And so far, no bees. Lots and lots of birds, mostly pelicans and seagulls, but no bees (so far – fingers crossed).
Our next leg, to Isla Partida, is only 15 miles. Our plan was to have a slow, sleep-late morning, change the alternator, and then head out this afternoon. But, looking at the weather, it looks like we may get a few days of moderate southerlies starting tomorrow. That means we could be stuck in Isla Partida a few days waiting for them to blow out. And, just looking at the charts, Isla Partida is tiny. And there might be bees. So, if we’re going to get stuck somewhere, we choose here. Works out well because it’s already 10:00 and I haven’t even started making my breakfast yet. I chose to write to you all first. No, no, that’s okay. Please hold your applause. It’s just the kind of guy I am.
So, the plan now is that we’ll stay here a day or two or three, but today for sure. After breakfast, I’ll change alternators. We ran the generator when we got here last night to make up for what the alternator didn’t do yesterday. We had planned to charge the computers and make water while the engine was running but the un-alternating alternator changed that. So we did it all last night with the Honda 2000. So today I have to change oil in the Honda and restow it. Then I’ll check my engine fluids so we’re ready to head out whenever the time is right.
Looking forward to a lazy-ish day with a nice cool breeze blowing.