Sunday, 24 September 2017

June/July, 2017 - POTO COLOM, SPAIN

We wanted a more protected anchorage so moved on to Porto Colom.  It is a great anchorage in a large protected bay, with a fair sized town.  Yet it is not overly touristy.  The buoys were only 19 Euro per night, including showers and access to potable water to fill our tanks.  We also topped up our fuel tanks at the nearly dock. 

No noticeable swell, but significant surging, that was felt when tied to the fuel or water docks.  We broke two fair-leads, a teak platform, a spring line and popped a fender as we refueled and filled our water tank.  Sigh!!!

Our buoy was the closest to the dingy dock, so it was easy for us to catch up on laundry and shopping.

Experienced biblical rain storm while out shopping.  Within minutes there was at least 6 inches of water in the gutters.  Stopped for coffee at outdoor cafe.  Sat under awning, with our feet in water overflowing from gutter onto the sidewalk.  We just made it back to the boat when a hail storm hit!

While we were doing our laundry one of the washing machines exploded it's glass front all over the place.   Luckily, we and the only other patron in the facility were out of the direct line of fire.  Later, a young man came in and emptied 11 adult sized life jackets from the machine, that was designed to hold about 5 at most.  One life jacket was damaged.  The young man was joined by his boss from the boat rental outlet across the alley. They removed all but the damaged life-jacket and called the laundry owner. It seemed like they were trying to get the laundry owner to pay for the damaged life-jacket.   I took the laundry owner aside and advised him that there had been 11 jackets in the machine when it exploded. As we left the police were arriving to sort it out.

Went to leave after a couple of days.  Got a half hour out of the harbor and the prop stopped turning.  Motor was running and we were in gear, but no thrust.  Did we loose the prop?  Did the transmission fail?  We put up the sails and let the tiny breeze drift us back to our buoy.  Our first attempt failed and we anchored to allow the yacht club dingy to tow us back into position. 

The mechanic arrived the next day.  He quickly diagnosed the problem as a failed "dampener plate".  It is between the motor and transmission.  He would require us to have the boat next to the dock so that he could lift the motor with a crane to remove and replace the part.  This was going to be expensive.  While the mechanic was looking for the part we talked to Mike and Cate.  Cate's very mechanically inclined, having helped her father rebuild classic cars.  She felt we could do it without moving the boat to the dock.  The mechanic could not find the part.  Mike and Cate arrived.  Together we removed the old part.  I found a new part online and had it shipped express from the UK.  I installed the new part.  We paid the mechanic for the diagnosis, advising him we had fixed the problem.  I do not think he believed us until he saw us motor out of the harbor.  He was in his boat coming in as we were going out.  He stopped his boat and stared at us with a funny expression on his face.

In spite of all our challenges here we would return.

Serge damage.

Biblical rain.

Porto Colom old - interesting part of town.


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