Saturday, October 31, 2009

Escape from San Carlos

We have managed to escape the clutches of San Carlos. At times, we had our doubts if we would ever get out of there. We had planned to leave a couple of weeks ago so we drove our car to Tucson, put it in storage and took the night bus back to Guaymas. Then hurricane Rick started to make threatening moves down south so we waited for it to move inland and dissipate. Then it continued to blow in the sea so we waited some more days and then we finally left on a beautiful afternoon when the engine overheated and we decided to play it safe and return to the marina. Two days of fussing with thermostats and water pumps and we were ready to leave again for a beautiful overnighter to Santa Rosalia only to have the winds pick up when we were 3/4 of the way across, the winds started off Isla Tortuga, building to seas of 4-6 feet and winds over 20 kts. We docked in Marina Singular with 25 kts winds blowing us off the dock but there were plenty of helpful hands on the dock to tie us off and keep us out of harms ways.

We enjoy Santa Rosalia, it's a friendly Mexican town with few tourist and the town is only a block or two from the marina so it's an easy walk to shops and restaurants. There is a Northerly cold front moving through for a few days that is bringing winds and cool weather. What a nice change from the stifling heat of San Carlos. We have turned the air conditioner off and opened the windows for the first time in 4 months. We're going to stay here for a few days to let the front pass and then head south to anchor out and do some swimming and play with our new dive hookah.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Surviving San Carlos

The summer heat in San Carlos is overwhelming. From sun rise to sun set the heat and humidity prevents any outdoor activity let alone working. We run 2 of our 3 air conditioning units 24 hours a day. They do an excellent job of keep the boat temperature around 80 and just as importantly keeping the humidity down to around 50%. The outside temp and humidity daily is in mid 90's, for both.

The weather is so crippling here that we feel we've lost a summer because we've been holed up inside the boat all the time. When we do try some outside activity we quickly become exhausted from the heat. We will not spend another summer here, next year we're looking at staying in Ensenada.

I managed to contract an E.Coli infection. When Jimena hit a lot of the sewer lines were broken and pump stations lost electricity with the results raw sewage was spread around the ground which then dried and turned to dust. I somehow ingested some of this which gave me the infection. The results are diarrhea and a high fever, the remedy is drink plenty of fluids and take antibiotics. Thankfully I recovered in a few days after I went on the meds.

Marina Real seems to be struggling just to keep the basic services working. They will patch a problem but not spend the time or money to fix the root cause resulting in problems reoccurring over and over. We have not had a reliable source of water on the dock since Jimena. Part of the problem is the rebuilding of the city water supply and part is due to problems in the marina. On our side of the dock we have not had water for more than a few hours at a time. The marina blames it on the city but there is no reason why part of the dock will have water while other parts do not. Our electricity has also been out most of the time. Again the other side of the dock has electricity while ours does not. They've had people working on the electricity but it would work for half a day and then stop and all the workers would be gone for a few days. Out of frustration we finally plugged into an unused plug on the other side of the dock. There are electrical wires routed through the sewer drains because that is the quickest way to patch a problem. This is not a place that you want to spend a long time at. If another storm hits more docks are likely to break apart and sink. And this is not just a 'typical Mexican' marina. Other marinas we've been in in Mexico have all been well maintained.

The heat might be starting to break, the last week was almost comfortable with highs in the 80's and lows in the high 60's overnight! The forecast is for it to turn hot again but we're hoping that the heat will soon cool down.