The last few days have been a combination of some pretty big highs and a couple of big lows. A ton of firsts, some wins, and some losses. As far as the trip goes â things are great, besides being pretty low on freshwater. Nothing insurmountable, but my watermaker isn’t putting out nearly as much as it should. On the other hand – personally, there were some things that blew up back home that took a toll on me. Â One thing in particular literally laid me up for a couple of days. Â There’s are all kinds of entry fees to this kind of thing, many of them are personal.
Chilling In San Blas
We were going to leave Chichime early the next morning, but we decided to tackle some boat maintenance. So we did, for a couple hours. But that left us drenched in sweat â so we jumped in. That led to a little freediving. Which led to us finding a lobster hole (our first in San Blas).
Hereâs Damien and I trying to get the lobster out. We were successful in getting two, but let one go as it was tiny.
We made it out to another nearby island and found a decent spot to anchor, right next to the island. Weâre lucky – as we could pull right up, havingÂ a shallow draft. We headed to the island to burn our trash and met a South African guy named Mike. His first words were to Damien: âDo you shave your tits?â I was dying inside, but held it together. Long story short â Mike became a friend as we learned he was a spearfisherman.
That night we had a pork feast on my new BBQ grill. Epic. Weâve used that grill almost every night now.
The next day I was battling a failing house battery bank, a watermaker that wasnât producing enough water, and to compound things â my generator was overheating and there wasnât enough sun for my solar power to kick in. Eventually I decided not to stress, and did something Iâd been threatening to do for a week: mount my new Yamaha 15HP outboard on my dinghy. I was so, so happy to be rid of that damned Mercury.
Well, I went out for a little test run, and I can tell you â I love the Yamaha 15HP. Mike (our new South African friend) has his from 1998 – still in perfect condition. Â The problem is that everyone elseÂ loves the Yamaha,Â too. On a scale of 1 to âyou better lock your dinghy up every nightâ â the Yamaha 15 is one that will be locked up. The old Mercury would have almost been a blessing to have stolen. Hell, I might just use it as an anchor. Though it would be more satisfying to shoot it first, then sink it.
Later that day Mike gave up one of his fishing holes. And though we didnât do anything remarkable, we did manage to get dinner. Mixed bag, and thereâs no ciguatera here â so we can eat anything we shoot. Lionfish have become a fairly consistent part of our (gourmet) meals (thanks to Damien, who’s a trained chef). Â We took a Nassau Grouper, a Barracuda, a Grey Snapper, and two Lionfish.
You’ve gotta be damned careful carving up those Lionfish. Â They’re delicious, easy to shoot, and invasive (so you’re doing the reef a favor by killing them) – but if you get stung, you’re in for a painful ride. Â I found that out. Â Luckily the fish had taken some stainless steel through the brain about 30 minutes before – so the poison wasn’t full-bore. Â It stung like Hell, but was gone in less than an hour.
Since we were in Mikeâs fishing hole â we invited him and his wife over. Great company, good food, good conversation. Â If you read this Mike – we’ll see you again buddy, great making your acquaintance and sorry it seems like we keep running in and out of your awesome little spot.
That same night I had a friend ask me if I would take over a small charter for him, as he was indisposed. Originally I wasnât very excited about it. But I could use the money, so after talking with my crew I decided it was possible. That night it was confirmed â Iâd have a German couple onboard in two days and theyâd stay 5.
Which meant we needed to resupply. Which meant we needed to head to port. Which also meant my water supply issue became more relevant.
We went to sleep that night, planning to leave early the next morning.
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