High and Dry in Sao Luis

We are now on our third tide cycle in the strangest marina I have ever been in. Whenever the 6m tide goes out Anjea is left stuck in the fine sandy mud, completely aground, until the tide returns several hours later. She stays upright and just settles her keel and rudder into the soft sand, dropping down into it beside the pontoon. It’s a very strange feeling!

Yesterday, while we were still anchored in the bay, Merel went ashore in the rowboat and asked around. We knew of the marina but not that it was possible for monohulls to stay here. They have just one spare berth where a mono drawing 2.0 can settle into the sand at low tide. Merel returned, pretty sure that there was no way Dave would want to enter such a crazy marina and was surprised when I enthusiastically agreed. The only catch was that Merel had to helm. She had followed the channel in the rowboat, seen it from onshore, and is better on the helm than I am (but don’t tell her that).

It was a cinch, although there were a few tense moments as we passed over shallow spots, and as we approached the pontoon there was a flurry of activity as a number of small boats were removed from our berth.

The first low tide was nerve wracking. As the tide receded all possibility of escape went with it and we were committed. All we could do was watch the lines. At the last minute I decided to put an anchor out to one side so we could put some tension on it to help keep the boat level if necessary. By late morning it was all over. Anjea was rock-solid stuck in the mud, just 5 degrees heel and going absolutely nowhere till the tide came in. So we went off to the restaurant and ordered a couple of cerveza (beers) and a spread of good simple food from big mama.

This is a spring tide and Anjea can only make it in or out at springs, so we are committed to staying here a few weeks, till the next spring.

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