Here’s a short story in a copy of an email we sent to family a few days ago:
We’re still in Fajardo PR, but at anchor now as it’s $84 US a night just to tie up to a dock, no electricity or other services included in that price. Not worth it at all, but it was necessary for the past 2 days while we had a mechanic do some much needed work on our diesel engines.
We have a little more to get done on the diesels but have left the dock for the weekend.
There isn’t any swimming or clear blue water in marinas (it’s usually quite dirty) so we’re back anchored at Palomino Island near a beach and we had a swim last night.
It’s quite windy, rolly, cloudy and cool here today as a storm forecast for tonight begins to rolls in.
While at the marina our Cat was banging against the dock. They gave us a lousy outside slip almost outside of the protection of the break water and the wind and waves come right at us. We had to put out an extra anchor off the Starboard side of the Cat in attempt to try and keep us off and from banging against the dock. The anchor actually had to be put partially out in the boat traffic channel, not even in the marina. Not cool.
When it came time to untie the dock lines and leave I still had to pull up the side anchor before we could go.
It was STUCK so hard in the muddy bottom, I pulled and pulled and I couldn’t get it out no matter how hard I tried or what we did!
I thought I was going to have to leave it there for good on the bottom of the ocean, and that’s a $400 anchor!
So one last try.
I got my swim shorts on and a mask with snorkel and Cole and I went out in the dinghy to where the anchor approximately was. I dove down into the murky green water.
Huge Tarpon fish were swimming very close bye. (not sure if they are dangerous or not but it didn’t calm me down any) These fish are 4 feet long with big mouths!
Cole was in the dinghy about 100 feet out from the Cat where it was at the dock. The water was 14 feet deep where the anchor was.
Krista was on deck videoing the whole thing to share with you all later : )
Out of the dinghy I dove down into the murky depths of the marina water and found the anchor only by feel, the mask and snorkel helped very little.
While floating there swimming under the water I tried to pull up on the anchor, but I still couldn’t budge it, so I put my feet, which were wearing flippers, down onto the bottom of the sea and found that the mud there was soooooo deep that my feet went down into it almost 18 inches! A Very Gross feeling! But the flippers kept my feet from going any further into the muck, kind of like wearing snow shoes, but not, Lol.
I pulled and I pulled! I felt like Tom Cruise in a Mission Impossible movie down there holding my breath while trying to rescue that anchor up out of the muck! Cole was brilliant all the while pulling on the bitter end of the anchor rode up in the dinghy.
I couldn't get it, and I soon lost all my breath, so up to the surface as quickly as I could to get AIR! Gasp!!!
Krista was still filming.
Cole and I talked a minute about what was happening and our plan, and then back down I went.
This time I didn’t waste any time putting my flipper clad feet into the mucky bottom and pulling up hard on the anchor! I also was digging around it trying to free it as quickly as possible before my breath ran out yet again...
Finally the anchor budged, but I was losing my breath. I quickly dug some more and pulled with all my remaining might!
It was moving. It was almost free!
I pushed up from the muck for the surface as hard as I could dieing to get some AIR!
As I burst though the surface of the water I yelled out "PULLLLLL!!!!!!! “
Cole was already pulling!
Up the anchor came, free from the suction of the muck on the bottom! We had done it!
Cole told me later what a cool movie kind of moment it was as I burst up from the murky water, flipped off my mask, and yelled out... “PULLLLLLL!”
Crazy the things you have to do when Sailing the oceans and living on a Sailboat.
Cole did a great job as my first mate pulling that heavy anchor and chain all the way up from the mucky bottom as fast as he could as soon as I had freed it! That anchor with 50 feet of chain, was heavy too!
We left the dock shortly after a fresh water shower on the transom of the boat and Cole and I got all the muck off of my body, the anchor, the dinghy and the deck of the Catamaran. Mud everywhere!
Sure hope we don’t have to do that kind of anchoring again.
We toured the only Rain Forest in the US Forestry Service the day before called the "El Yunque National Rain Forest.”
We all hiked up a long trail to a big water fall and had a fresh water swim at the base of that waterfall!
Water Pounding down on our heads pushing us underwater! Crazy!
It wasn’t super awesome though, because there were 75 other tourists there too, all trying to do the same thing we were doing, but it was fun and the Rain Forest hike was very beautiful and informative. The Ranger said that it rains everyday up there in the Rain Forest, but it didn’t rain on us until we were driving out back to the Cat. Good timing! We were lucky enough to share a car rental with another cruising couple.”
Check out the video that goes with this story on our YouTube Channel and don't forget to subscribe.