S/V Stolen Child Sailing Log

Logbook for the sailing vessel Stolen Child and her crew, Patrick and Nancy.

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Name: Patrick

Friday, May 9, 2008

Hola de Mexico

We finally made it! Much later than we anticipated, but we're here at last. To catch you up, we left the Marquesas Keys and sailed to Dry Tortugas. We stayed at Dry Tortugas a day and toured Fort Jefferson, which was quite interesting. Did you know that the doctor who treated John Wilkes Booth after he shot President Lincoln was imprisoned there for several years because he aided the assassin, even though he didn't know Booth was an assassin? The fort is quite large and the Park Service has
a lot of interesting information available, so we spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon there. When we got back to the boat, I spent the rest of the afternoon scrubbing the hull and Nancy polished some of the stainless steel on deck. The hull was very bad. It was clean when we left Key Largo, so there must be something in the water at Key West that promotes extraordinary growth. I scrubbed until I was worn out and I didn't get all the way to the bottom of the keel. It is hard
work scrubbing the hull with just snorkel gear. Not only do you have to keep swimming toward the boat, because as you scrub against it you push yourself away, but you also have to keep swimming against your own buoyancy since you don't have weights on to keep you submerged. I managed to get probably 70 percent of it clean from the waterline down before I ran out of steam.

We got underway for Isla Mujeres about 07:30 on Monday, May 5 and arrived in Isla Mujeres Harbor last night (Wednesday, May 7) about 21:30. While we were en route, I spoke with a tanker on the VHF radio to make sure he saw us and wouldn't run us over. Another sailboat heard us talking and guessed that we were going to Isla Mujeres, so they called us on the radio and we buddied up for the rest of the trip. We would check in with each other on either the VHF or the SSB radio twice each day and exchange
position and weather info. The other boat is an Island Packet named Jupiter's Smile and is crewed by Jay and Barb from Colorado Springs. They had left Dry Tortugas the same morning we did. We were never in visual sight of each other, but never more than about 40 miles distant. We were trying like hell to make it here before dark, but the wind was just too light for much of the trip, and the Gulf Stream slowed us down too much when we hit it. I don't like to make night approaches to unfamiliar
harbors (or even familiar ones for that matter), but neither of us wanted to sail around in circles all night long and the approach looked pretty easy on the charts. It turned out that it was a pretty easy approach and was made even easier because Jay and another cruiser named Jack, on the trawler Bodacious, got on the radio as soon as they could see us and helped talk us in. Jupiter's Smile had arrived about an hour before we did and he and Jack were watching for us to arrive. The harbor here
is very nice and well protected and the holding seems to be very good. The water is incredibly clear. We anchored in about 17 feet of water and it was pitch black (no moon last night when we anchored) so I had an LED headlamp on to see what I was doing while anchoring and I could see the anchor almost all the way to the bottom just with the light from my headlamp.

This morning Jack and Jo invited us and Jay and Barb over to Bodacious for coffee and to give us tips on clearing into Mexico. Jo had also made some delicious banana apple nut bread. After coffee, we headed ashore with Jay and Barb to officially clear into Mexico. I had heard stories about how difficult the process can be, but it went pretty smoothly for us. The guy at the immigration office recommended a restaurant, La Lomita, for lunch, so after finishing clearing in, we went there and had
lunch. The food was excellent and our tab was about $15. That is so much better than the Bahamas where lunch for two costs about $30. Next we went to a bar for happy hour and drank a couple of $1 beers. Man, I like this place.

We'll spend the next few days learning our way around and getting ready for Jamie and Heddy's visit. They arrive next Wednesday and we're really looking forward to seeing them. I'll probably post another update just before they arrive.


Blogger Jim said...


My email is jlossing43@gmail.com. Was Jupiter's Smile named after a dog?

Have fun!


May 10, 2008 8:58:00 PM GMT  

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