Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Curse of Fonatur

There is an evil spirit hiding amongst the docks of Fonatur Guaymas.  Prudent mariners are advised to stay away from this place as bad luck and ill winds preside over all vessels mooring near here.  Two weeks ago our friends Lee and Cynthia on the sturdy vessel Goldenheart pulled into the Fonatur docks after refitting alongside us on the hard in Guaymas Seca. (btw, "Seca" in spanish means "Dry") A few days later Lee noticed oil in the bilge and called in Omar to confirm his suspicion that Goldenheart had acquired a bad rear seal, this on an engine recently rebuilt.  The cruising plans of Goldenheart are now on hold.
Lee on Goldenheart - Blown rear seal

Also in the dry yard with us was the sailing vessel Gosling with JeanGuy and Fran aboard.  They too moved over to Marina Fonatur after splashing.  Upon making preparations for a run south their Perkins engine started having trouble starting.  They remain at the dock trying to determine if it is a compression problem or a leaking injector pump.  The cruising plans of Gosling are also on hold.
Gosling - Mystery fuel/compression problem

Mike and Judy on Pura Vida (Pure-Life) splashed successfully, as did we all.  They came to the Fonatur docks, provisioned, celebrated Christmas and left just before New Years.  Two hours after leaving, they returned with an overheated engine.  Their cruising plans are on hold.
Mike on Pura Vida - Overheating engine

Stumbling into this den of evil came Traveler.  We'd done our brief shake down cruise, anchored out a hundred yards from Fonatur and spent a few days there.  I made the mistake of taking the dinghy into Fonatur and after a couple of trips the evil that lurks in the docks must have crept into my pockets because when we headed out of the bay on our way across the Sea of Cortez we heard our slight vibration turn into a louder knocking noise.  Clearly we had a more serious problem then we thought.  On return we pulled into a slip at Fonatur and succumbed to the dreaded dock disease. 
Traveler - Strange vibrations around the cutlass bearing

And now, sitting here at the Fonatur docks in the wind and cold are four crippled boats, each struck by different but similar maladies.  Two more boats sit at anchor.  We hailed them on the radio to warn them off these docks.  Stay away all, for even the fit and hardy will fall prey to the Curse of Fonatur.
Two boats in the offing.  Come no nearer!

Goldenheart is gathering the parts necessary to replace their rear seal.  Gosling is researching an injector pump rebuild.  Pura Vida is trying a different weight of oil,  Traveler has an appointment tomorrow at the Guaymas Seca to haul out once again to have the shaft trued, the cutlass bearing replaced, and the propeller reduced and balanced.
Fishing boats and the Mexican Navy

I forgot to mention that there is one, and only one boat here without problems.  Gitana, a Cheoy Lee,  with Greg and Janis aboard were here when we arrived, here when everyone arrived, here through it all and they have escaped without a hitch.  Suspicious no?  I passed by their boat the other night and swear I heard chanting and caught a whiff of a strange exotic smoke.  We dropped by on New Years Eve and even with copious amounts of Pusser's rum we couldn't pry any secrets out of them.
Where many of us end up, rusted and sinking.

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