Patrick and Rudy returned from La Paz on Wednesday, loaded down with medicine for Rudy and tons of food for us. While in La Paz, Patrick had gone on an epic provisioning run since the prices are so much cheaper there. Our first day together was a great reunion. It was so wonderful to have the two of them back on JaM. Rudy was still subdued, but you could tell that he was happy to be home.
Thursday (yesterday) was looking like it should be a wonderful day. It was beautiful and sunny like it usually is. Our only chores to complete were putting away the food and fueling the boat, and then we were heading out into the islands for a little quality time. As we were working through the chores, Rudy had a seizure. Anaplasma has varying degrees of severity, and Rudy has the worst kind, with brain involvement. He quickly came out of his seizure, after stumbling around the cabin for a bit. Then he had another one while lying down. Seizures are always a startling event to witness, though the patient is not in pain. It's very upsetting to watch since there is nothing you can do to help. So that event took a lot of fun out of day quickly. We knew that Rudy had a severe case of Anaplasma, but now we know it is the worst kind.
But we decided to push on, and get out into the islands. Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante is stunning and just 3 miles away from Puerto Escondido and so we decided to head there. There were several boats already anchored there, so we headed to a tiny little cove at the south end that was open. The cove had a beautiful little stretch of white sand that was surrounded by rock cliffs. There was just enough room for us to anchor in 20 feet. The wind was coming down the cliffs and pushing our boat around, so it was going to be a tricky hook drop, but nothing we hadn't done before.
Then, as we were getting ready to drop the anchor, disaster struck. Patrick was at the helm, positioning our boat in the tiny cove. Suddenly the boat was not under his control. And it was moving quickly toward a rock cliff in 14 feet of water. Patrick put the boat into reverse, but we continued forward at a fast pace. Patrick at first thought that the wind had caught us, and the boat was just taking a little while to respond to the engines. Then he realized that the port engine was stuck in forward and had not shifted to reverse. He floored the starboard engine in reverse and JaM quickly pivoted on the spot and was heading back out into the open water. Nothing like a few seconds of terror and confusion to get your heart going. Floating safely out in the open water, Patrick got into the port engine compartment and found that the throttle cable and shift cables had severed, leaving our port engine useless.
Since a catamaran is basically a big floating square, it needs two engines to maneuver. One engine on one side can push the boat forward, but it cannot maneuver enough to safely navigate tight areas, or counteract strong currents or winds. We knew we couldn't set the anchor is such a tiny little cove with one engine, so we turned around and headed back to Escondido. Even getting the boat up to the mooring ball in the 10 knots of wind was tricky, but with all of us working together, we got JaM re-attached to a mooring ball. Here we sit, back at square one, searching the Internet for info about replacing cables and hoping we don't need to make another trip to La Paz for parts.
All in all, a pretty bad day. Even in paradise.
12 hours ago