Close Call!

Saturday morning we took the dink around the reef and along El Magote looking for the whale sharks. We beached and found some amazing shells. After a bit of beachcombing we went back out and found the whale sharks… The only problem was the tourists had shown up in pangas and too many people were in the water with the creatures. So, we watched for a while then headed back to Mermaid. The tide was amazing coming out as we were coming in and we were very happy to have a big outboard to plow through it.
Sunday we caught the shuttle in to the Bravo Market where we picked up sea bass, shrimp, frijoles, tortillas and veges. As we were leaving the market we saw a line of locals getting pozole (my favorite) but we had already gotten enough food for the day so we decided to wait for another Sunday to get the pozole.
We returned to Mermaid and cooked the sea bass in butter, white wine and garlic. It was yummy and PeeWee loved it! Later we joined other cruisers in the hotel bar and watched the football game. 49ers let us down…
Monday morning we had to turn the boat around for the varnish work to continue on the other side. Mike took Mermaid out as I went in the dink to be the bow thruster. When it was time to switch to the other side, I put the dink in reverse, reved it up and unfortunately threw it in forward without throttling down… the result was the dink went up on its transom and threw me in the water, I surfaced and managed to get away from the prop… then the dink stayed on its transom doing what looked like pirouettes as I watched making sure to stay well away from the propeller… Finally it flipped upside down and died. I had to swim to the dink, grab it and swim it back to the dock – and believe me this is not an easy feat fully clothed and wearing a big hoodie sweatshirt! The marina all came up to watch (I really wondered why no one got in their dinks to help??) Mike on the catamaran Orion started to jump in the water then decided to splash his dink to help but I had gotten almost to the dock by then (we later learned that Mike was a lifeguard and we guess his lifeguard instincts had him about to jump in then reconsider as two would have been at risk). Poor Mike was helpless as he had to tend to getting Mermaid in the slip and tied up. Fortunately our friends Jeff & Anne were on hand to help with that task, David had also joined in on the fun and took the painter from me as I neared the dock. Jeff and Mike each took an arm and lifted me right out of the water then righted the dink. The Honda outboard mechanic was called and he quickly came and took the engine… what a way to start the morning! Two major lessons learned – the outboard is too heavy for one person to open the throttle quickly… it will flip over backwards!! Also we need to always wear the kill switch lanyard when operating the dink… The outboard did not receive damage but had to be overhauled and cleaned….

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