Boat on the Beach!

Many of the puddle jumpers were leaving this week to cross the Pacific so we held one more “good bye and good luck” potluck at the palapa. It was fun to see everyone so excited. The puddle jumpers presented Mike and me with a 2013 puddle jump tee shirt for our help in the seminars. It was quite touching.
Monday, Flying Dragon (an old Chinese Junk) had engine troubles and ended up on the beach at Paradise Village. They had been sailing toward Nuevo Vallarta and lowered their sails as they got close. Their engine died and after a quick assessment they realized the fuel filter had clogged. They threw out an anchor and went to work replacing the fuel filter. Unfortunately their anchor parted and they ended up in the surf. A local panga came out as well as the Mexican Navy. It seemed that the navy sat off watching. The panga tried to pull them free but was unsuccessful.
Mike and I had just showered and dressed for an appointment downtown and a dinner after but we walked out to see if there was anything we could do. There were quite a few people and the Mexican Navy was there so we thought they would get them floating and off the beach. We went into town and had a lovely evening walking around the old part of downtown. We came in late and went to bed.
Early the next morning we heard that the boat was still on the beach and needed help so we headed out to the beach. Flying Dragon was high and dry on the beach- not how you want to ever see a sailboat. The owners seemed to think the boat was a loss and had moved into salvage mode. We removed just about everything from the boat even the ballast. The ballast in this boat was big, heavy rocks and we piled them all on the beach. We first removed everything heavy then started moving their personal belongings. I was inside the boat helping pack and remove “things of value” which is harder than I thought. Some valuables you just can’t put a price on. A piece of paper that a child has drawn on and glued feathers to may not seem of value but to a child could be priceless. It became much easier when the word was give to get everything off the boat. They even got the diesel and oil out of the engine so it wouldn’t harm the ocean if she went down. This family was clearly stressed and Mike and I kept saying how we just couldn’t imagine being in there flip flops.
It was truly amazing to see how the cruising community pulled together to help this young family. Their young son spent the night on Huck (friends of ours) and was entertained all through the next day. Dick Markie (our marina manager) managed to get a backhoe out to dig a hole around the boat to help her float when the tide came in. A welder came out and removed the rudder as the boat was bow in and there would be no way to pull her off the beach with the rudder buried in the sand. Cruisers made a “bucket brigade” and removed everything off the boat onto the beach. A sailboat, large powerboat and dinghies had lines on Flying Dragon and managed to pull her off the beach with the help of the people pushing.
Flying Dragon was towed to a slip in Nuevo Vallarta where she is still floating. She is still taking on quite a bit of water but the pumps are managing to keep up with the flow. They have no refrigeration or means to cook so some of the cruisers and I took food and supplies (even my Trader Joe’s special chocolate that I have been hoarding) over to them.

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