They say that cruising is just fixing things in exotic locations. Lately it seems we have been proving it to be true. We spent three days anchored in Tenacatita and noticed our solar panels weren’t charging like they normally do. Upon further inspection, we discovered one of the four panels had a big crack in it. Oh crap! It must have happened on our sail down from Banderas Bay. The topping lift must not have been tight enough with a reefed main sail and the end of the boom came down on the solar panel. Shattered glass obstructs solar rays and thus reduces output.
We went into Barra de Navidad a day early and we were able to find a place in Manzanillo that would deliver new panels right to the marina. Of course, they did not have the exact same size. The new panels are six inches longer and two inches wider, so decided that 2 new panels would look better. That meant hiring a local welder to make us some extensions to attach to the existing frame. We also had him make a crash bar to attach to the leading edge of the panels so hopefully that won’t happen again! The upside, this bumps up our solar capacity from 1280 watts to 1550 watts. You can never have too much solar!
The other night our freshwater pump was kicking on more than it should. Upon inspection we discovered a pin hole in the hot water line just off the tank. The fix involved cutting the hose and re attaching so that was an easy fix, except that the tank is located under the port side bed so all that had to come apart to get at the tank.
For some reason our phones and iPad were not charging at the helm USB plugs so I changed the USB outlet. It worked for a week and failed so we just installed another new one. Its bad enough fixing things but when the new ones don’t work either it can be a bit frustrating. Ah but it is an exotic location.
December 1 – 4 was the get together for the Panama Posse. The Posse is not like the Baja Haha Rally where all boats travel together from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. The Posse is more about gathering information to less travelled destinations through Central America and Panama, forming a good support network and meeting other boats planning the same. The seminars covered topics like weather, interesting stops along the way, best stops for provisioning, open CPN charting, dangers & safety and communications options. We had a “meet and greet” one evening and a potluck dinner with a roasted pig another evening. Met a bunch of great people who we hope to meet up with again along the way.
Its not all serious learning. It was 30 deg C and 80 % humidity every day, those pools were just what we needed to cool down and discuss the topics of the day with a cold drink and a swim. With all these folks in one area, we enjoyed lots of dinners out and met new and old friends.
Chris and Rob flew down from Ladysmith to Barra and will be with us for a couple of weeks as we sail to Zihuatanejo. We had a couple of days to show them around Barra and they were a great help installing the new solar panels and fixing the water leak. Nothing like putting the crew to work right away. A couple of days spent in Manzanillo and then it will be 188 nm overnight run to Zihua.
Update sent via Starlink. I think I’m going to like this satellite thing!