August 2011 - Welcome to Puerto Escondido

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Back to Home ... s/v Stella Blue Home ... What's New

Puerto Escondido isn't nearly as friendly as it used to be. It's too bad.
In 2009 a very unpleasant guy arrived in a big steel motor cruiser, and created a lot of trouble. Eventually the Fonatur management in Mexico City got involved. The trouble maker is out of the country, but the management team for the mooring field, marina and boat yard was replaced. All rules, no matter how small,
are now strictly enforced.

And they raised the rates for everything. Bummer, as I'm here to haul out for bottom work.

This seems to be my year for getting hit by other boats.

I pulled into Puerto Escondido, and paid my 1170 pesos for a week
on a mooring. At 4:30 p.m. I was jolted from my book by an enormous BANG, and rushed on deck to find a 100 foot motor cruiser T-Boned across my pulpit. That's a big wall of white fiberglass.

I'm assuming that I pushed *my* boat off of *it* but was slightly pumped with adrenaline so it's possible that I moved the mountain. <G> I pushed and pounded on the hull, but no one was aboard. Unbelievable.

It was blowing a light 5 knots.

When I thought all was clear I hailed the PE office on 16, didn't hear
anything back, and also took this pic:

Note that the offending mooring line is under my hull and on the forward
edge of my keel. Shortly after taking this picture I realized it, and
fired up the engine and used some fore/aft/propwalk stuff to maneuver.
It took some thought, because I still didn't know if the offending
mooring was on the proper side of *my* mooring, and I made sure that I
had a really sharp knife handy, because if things got truly screwed I
was more than willing to cut this boat loose to save my own.

I thought I was successful, but then realized that the outboard from the
dink was hung up on the offending mooring line and that the whole mass
was pulling my dink down and basically hanging on my starboard amidships cleat. So I jumped over and cleared that up, got back on board and did a quick "pan pan" in case anybody was listening on 16. Didn't hear anything back.

The hulk moved my boat aside by the rudder, and slipped on towards the next boat. I got back on the radio, and kept up until the office answered.

Fortunately, the light breeze shifted and the boat missed the unattended
catamaran.

What I find disconcerting is the fact that two boats, with 75hp or less
outboards, actually pulled the megasquat, *and the mooring,* back into
deeper water.

It turns out that the mooring didn't drag, but the steel loop in the
mooring rusted out. I saw the ball and chain in the yard.
Apparently the moorings were constructed with the chain set into the
concrete block, and while the chains themselves are inspected and
replaced, they are just shackled onto the existing loop that's set in
concrete. It doesn't take too many years, apparently, for the
galvanized steel loop to rust out. That doesn't bode well for the other
moorings here, but I'm glad that the boat didn't drag the actual
concrete.

I'm glod I was aboard, because if I hadn't been there to push myself off the boat would have just scraped it's way down my starboard side. And if I hadn't seen this, that boat would have ended up on the rocks.

Puerto Escondido is indeed a classic hurricane hole. But if a storm
kicks up I don't know if I'd trust the moorings any more.

Click on pictures to see them full size