The things that make a story more interesting are usually not pleasant to live through. We were supposed to leave almost a week ago, but I became ill with the common traveler’s curse the day before we planned to go, possibly because of something that I ate, but more likely from the local water source. The effect on my system was bad enough to make me seek medical attention for the first time that I can remember in my adult life (outside of problems that required stitches or repairing broken bones). After two injections, a course of 2 different medications, choking down 3 days of a re-hydrating mineral solution, and several days on a strong probiotic prescribed by the hospital, I feel much better now. A follow-up visit has pronounced me still a little dehydrated, but fit enough to sail. Fantastic. We’ll be leaving as soon as we get our new clearance papers.
We’re all ready to be underway again. This has been a wonderful stop, but we’ve explored the area to our content. Also, the anchorage here can be uncomfortable when the wind kicks up from the southeast, which is the direction it has blown from every day since we arrived. Any swell rolls right into the harbor from relatively deep water, keeping things lively for those of us on monohulls. When the wind kicks up and a chop gets added to the mix, things get even worse. Most of the time that we’ve been here Starlight rolls and bounces around enough to make it feel like we’re still at sea. You can see that we have been rolling a lot because we’ve accumulated bottom growth at least a foot above the waterline on the topsides of the hull.
On the very bad days, the swell will kick up and break in the harbor. At the top of this post is a picture of the boat that is moored next to us. When the swell is large, the waves break awfully close to this boat, and on one rough day the biggest waves were breaking where the boat was moored. Where we are anchored with Starlight, the waves were standing up and getting steep, but not quite enough to threaten breaking. Several boats have ended up on the rocks in this port in the past 6 months, including at least one of the supply ships, according to the owner of the mast-less boat. I never forget that we’re not far from a lee shore when the wind kicks up here.
At least getting back and forth to the boat is pretty easy, thanks to the excellent water taxi service in the harbor. The taxis run 24/7 and the price is fixed at $.80/per person per trip during the day and $1 per person at night. This can still add up, but when I think about some yacht clubs I’ve been to that charge $3-4 per person per trip plus expect a tip on top of that, it seems downright cheap. I also don’t think that we’ve ever really waited more than about 5 minutes for a taxi, which is a nice contrast to days that I remember baking in the sun for a half an hour or more on a moored boat in harbors in New England in the summer waiting for the launch driver to finally decide that I was going to be lucky enough to get a ride to shore.
Before getting sick, Idoia and I got out to explore a few more of the surrounding sights, including the rock formations and Las Grietas, Tortuga Bay, a private ranch in the interior of the island, and some lava tunnels left over from when the island was formed 5 million years ago.