Monday, March 8, 2010

Just in case you think the Morrison's have given up adventures, or how to really use Charlie's Charts

We are using Charlie's charts as our cruising guide, and have had no real issues with the info in it. I guess there is another slightly more current guide, but we don't have it.  Anyway, we left Z town and Josh didn't want to do a "get up before the buttcrack of dawn" overnighter.  So we decided to head to Lazaro Cardenas. It would give us one medium day and a short overnighter into Manzanillo.  Figured even though it looked icky, the anchorage would be well protected for an overnight stay. We arrived about 3:30p, had to move out of the way of a container ship, the port control called asking what we intended, I told them we were headed to the first northeast anchorage for the night. Seemed a little weird, as nowhere else has cared one way or the other. Then the very nice gentleman asked if it was an emergency? Getting weirder, but I replied no, we were not having an emergency. All this is going on as we are taking down the main (in the only wind we had all day I might add), with very long pauses in betweeen. Then we went on to anchor in this small lagoon - with the nastiest water we have seen to date. The port control guy comes back and asks all the usual port captain questions, hailing port, number of people on the boat, last and next port etc.. again with many pauses. We finally had the anchor set, I had heard nothing from the port guy for the last 15 minutes or so, so we got on with relaxing, making dinner etc....About 5:30 a harbor patrol type boat arrives and the fun truly began. After much back and forth, we finally understood that he wanted us to move, and that we would have to go to the harbor master the next day to get "the paper stamped". At one point we asked if we could just leave - but oh no, once you are there you have to get "the paper stamped". We were getting nervous about running out of daylight, so we pulled up anchor and headed up the river to the place they wanted us to anchor. Unfortunately the drawbridge was down, and when I called to have them open it, it was broken (you could see sparks from the welder they were using on it)....I was starting to freak out and again asked if we could just leave... but our little friend was adamant that "the papers had to be filled out". So there we were anchored in the channel, barely enough room to swing with the current. Definitely a bad scene, hard to see too, cuz it got dark. We had decided to make the best of it  I had resigned myself to a sleepless night on deck to make sure nothing hit us.  Next thing you know, our little paper stamping cog in the  bureacratic wheel came back and said the Navy would come inspect us, then we could leave and not deal with the papers the next day. So, the Navy came - very nice man with a big gun, black soled boots and no english to speak of...Took copies of the papers I had, and took pictures of the boat. We're thinking cool, let's eat and blow this joint....Not so quick missy. Senor Navy returns and wants to take pictures inside the boat. Well what are we to say but "sure come on in".... He took a picture of each room, the fuel tanks, the TV, the electrical panel, no rhyme or reason really. Finally about 8:15 we were set to go - which we did. No letting the proverbial door hit us in the stern as they say. Dodged a container ship on its way out, 2 tugs and a container ship coming in.  I really have never been so happy to leave a safe anchorage in my life!  Sailed thru the night to Maruata. Met up with another boat there that said - Yeah boats aren't allowed to go there unless there is an emergency....Now we find out. Guess that's the downside of old guidebooks.....But, I guess any Morrison adventure you walk away from unscathed is a good adventure.. Right?????

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