Punta Gorda


June 27th

We leave the anchorage to be greeted by a nasty squall, then another, and then another. Luckily we'd left the anchorage reefed, but I must admit after spending the night in such a protected place the first squall was a bit of rude awakening. It poured, and hid cays in the blink of an eye.

Punta Gorda is really quite exposed, the anchorage is open to any wind but westerlies. The wind is slight and out of the north so we tie off at peer mentioned in the cruising guide. Its obviously not been maintained in years. Its missing planks, and the pier is too high for the boat. Still the wind is light and we head in. I have to clear out and Patrick wants a room for the night. He has to leave early in the morning.

Clearing out was a piece of cake. Its was easy once you found out to use the guy sitting across the road on the patio of a closed cafe. He took my papers, typed out all the forms, then I took them back across the road and immigration, customs and Harbor Master are right in the same place. Easy! I meet back up with Patrick and we go for dinner. It was rainy, but nice paced day.

We walked a mile or so for a dinner that was perfect. First time I've ever eaten lion fish. We catch a taxi back to Patrick's room but stop off because he's forgotten a gift on the boat. We get there and I can hear the boat banging from the shore. The wind has picked up and rounded to the east so the boat is being pushed up against the pier. I rush across the pier to se my poor boat being banged up against this rundown pier. Wood is being ground off the pier, it looks like a bumper has been broken by a nail. I try to hold the boat off but slip hard on my bum (that hurt!). The lifelines are being pushed up against the deck of the pier. Damn! The only thing to do was to get that boat off the pier. Patrick fetches his forgotten gift then throws the lines off and I back the boat out quickly. The wind is pretty stiff now and there's nowhere to hide.

I move the boat, drop anchor, check for slip. Move the boat, drop anchor and this time it holds but the anchor chain pays out, as the bow falls the chain slips, until the stopper is hit. Trouble is now that I can't pull the chain in at all because the stopper is jammed in the feeder. I spend an hour to try free it and give up as the boat bounces wildly. No way I can go ashore so my farewells to Patrick are said over the phone. I wake at about 1:30am and the wind has dropped, so I try to free the stopper on the chain. It takes me an hour to free it, and involved rather a lot of swearing and going up and down the companion way steps. This now means I can secure the chain, and put in the bridle to secure the anchor.

Now I can sleep.



The skipper at work

Nasty clouds

More rain

Punta Gorda

Restaraunt view

Outside seating

With the rain

Good place to eat

Patrick at the wheel

Styling and profiling

Patrick's Journey Back