Friday, May 6, 2016

April 27, 2016 - Agua Verde

We pulled into Agua Verde in the afternoon knowing that we would be among friends again.  S/v Namaste and s/v Terrapin were both in the north anchorage.  We squeezed ourselves into it, a little closer to shore than we wanted but with enough room to swing and not too close to the other vessels.  We spent 4 days here and very much enjoyed staying in one place for a number of days.   Our first evening we met on the beach with a few other vessels and enjoyed conversations, stories, a beach fire, and hearing the plans of the other cruisers.

Cindy and Kevin creating parachutes and items to fly up from an electric fan
Walking into the "town" at Agua Verde
The tienda in town
The anchorage, looking southeast
Cruisers bonfire
the bonfire.  Kids with their own little fire

The following day, Jack and Alice on s/v Puffin came in, friends from back home in La Conner and the couple who we stayed with in Arizona.  We had happy hour with along with Patrick and Alaina from s/v Swift Ranger that afternoon onboard Puffin.  The following evening they all came over to Adagio to play a card game.  We learned Gitcha-Ginza (sp?) from Jack and Alice and it is a fun card game and one where 8 people can play.

Patrick and Alaina are in a successful band that has toured the US and have played gigs on multiple continents.  They often write and record their music onboard their sailboat.  They had a lot of interesting stories to share about travelling the world performing music, and the often strange world of entertainment.  They are an extremely nice young couple and it was wonderful to get to know them, and share some fun times together.  Their band's name is "Tennis".   Click here for info about Tennis

Playing the card game Gitcha-Ginzy with s/v Puffin and s/v Swift Ranger.
Right at this moment, one of Patrick and Alaina's songs was playing on our
XM satellite radio.  They were so happy to find out that they are still being played 
on the radio, since they are very out of contact while living on their sailboat here in Mexico.

on the beach again, going to burn some of our paper garbage
This cute bird spent hours swimming around our boat one afternoon.

We took the hike to the petroglyphs with Jack and Alice, their dog Cruiser and the local beach dog.
Going up the goat trail from the beach.
A very long beach is on the other side of hill from our anchorage.  Not many
people wander over here.
the last of the hike up to the caves
the caves
the petroglyphs, handprints

You can see the hand-print petroglyphs on the right side.
View from inside the caves
This bigger crab carrying a dead smaller crab.  Pointed it out and then Cindy was
trying to save it while the local dog kept going after it to play or eat it.  
Cindy with the local dog, Cindy trying to save the crab.  In the end the dog won
and the crab did not survive.

On our last day in Agua Verde, a sailboat came into the anchorage and dropped their anchor very close to us.  It made us nervous to have a neighboring boat SO close.  At first the distance between the boats was acceptable though, and we decide to go to shore to explore the town and have lunch with friends at the one very tiny restaurant here.  While we were departing our boat another sailboat came in and asked us how much anchor chain we had out.  We told them and thanked them for checking, figuring they would anchor an appropriate distance away.  A few hours later when  we were returning from lunch we could see that the wind had shifted and we were now quite close to that first boat.  About this time Cindy got on the walkie-talkie and called us to tell us the first boat was very close to us, perhaps 20 feet away.  We left Cindy and Kevin on the boat because they don't like fish tacos, and that was the only menu item for lunch today.  Cindy reported that the people on the other boat were onboard and monitoring the situation.  We hopped in our dinghy and returned ASAP.  When we arrived we told the people on the other boat that we were not comfortable with the distance between our boats.  They moved a bit by partially raising their anchor and dragging it further from our boat.  Still not far away enough for total comfort however.

An hour or two later the wind shifted again and now we were getting quite close to the second boat, but the first boat was thankfully far away.  The people on the second boat were on shore hiking around.  We watched and worried as our boats got closer and closer.  At one point we were perhaps 40 feet away.  The owners were on the beach observing all of this and eventually returned to give it a closer look from their dinghy.  As they surveyed the situation, we came out and said we really thought this was a bad situation.  They did not agree and said it would all be fine, and that they poke their heads out every two hours all night, so there would be nothing to worry about.  We reluctantly accepted their position and left it at that.  They returned to their boat and watched the close proximity of our boats for about 30 minutes and then decided to pull their anchor and move.  Unfortunately, the wind was quite strong now, and when they pulled the anchor it was clear that their anchor was actually under our boat.  They abandoned their anchor retrieval but did not let out any chain.  In the strong wind our boats drifted together and we had to fend off a 40+ foot sailboat with our hands and feet to prevent a collision.  It was a close call as our 14' flopper stopper pole almost got caught up in their mast rigging, which could have ripped the pole's mount right out of our deck, and done some damage to our railings.    We were lucky though and managed to get the boats away from each other at which point they finally let out some chain to increase the distance between our boats.  I started our motors and moved forward so we were not above their anchor.  They retrieved their anchor and yelled some apologies for "stuffing themselves to tight into the anchorage".  Just about everybody else in the anchorage we on deck watching this fiasco.  They left and crossed the bay to another anchorage.  In 20 years of boating, this is the closest we have come to an "incident".  It could have been bad, but fortunately, no harm was done.  Next time we will not back down when we are concerned about how closely a boat has dropped their anchor to us!  We almost certainly would have collided at some point had they not moved.

The next morning we departed at 6:30AM.  Unfortunately that first sailboat from the day before had not moved far enough away when they dragged their anchor along the bottom to increase the distance between our boats.  As we retrieved our anchor it was clear that their boat was now on top of our anchor after an overnight wind shift.  So, they had to start their motor and move forward so we could leave.

It was definitely one of the craziest 24 hours at anchor we have experienced.  Two boats within a few hours anchored much to close to us, and despite the concerns we expressed to each of them, the situation was not resolved in a timely manner.  If a fellow boater expresses concern to me (Steve) about where I have anchored, I would never shrug it off and ignore the situation.  If they are concerned, and may not sleep well because of where I've anchored my boat, I'm going to move (even if I think their concern is not valid).  If my anchoring is causing anxiety for my neighbor, I'm going to fix the situation.  I really don't understand the nonchalant attitude of these two vessels.  Thankfully, in our 15 months since we left home, this has been the only occurrence of an issue.  Although there is plenty of anchoring in this bay, the location we were in is considered ideal since it remains out of sea swell or wind waves - these boats were trying to get tucked in out of it as well.

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