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Mexico to the Marshall’s Voyage Days 1-2-3.

Total miles sailed so Far= 407nm.
Miles left to go 4,593 nm.
Top speed =9.1 kts.
Day-1
  24hr.run=130 nm.
Pos. Lat. N 18*49′ Long. W 106*98′
  Weather: Wind 0-25kts. NW. Sea State-NW-5-8ft. Barometer 1008mb. Cabin Temp=76*
The Rest of the Story:
  Departed Barra De Navidad for the Marshall Islands at 8:30 am and with the good blessings of the wind God’s We will hopefully arrive in 33-days. Please remember when I refer to “We” it is the Jefe’ and Sailors Run. So it appears to me that we should arrive on the 33rd or 34th of March. Now as you well know strange things happen on these adventures.
  Getting underway on any sail boat takes lots of preparation and there are always those last minute things like taking all anchors off the bow and stowing them below. This helps the bow to ride up better when heading into head winds and steep seas, something that I truly hope not to see much of on this adventure.
  I motor sailed out onto the turbid green waters off the coast of Mexico and was not to surprised to see a very large “Green Sea Turtle”.
  It was a long 7.5 hrs before I was able to turn the motor off and turn the steering over to the very efficient Monitor wind vane. Soon Our 4-kt speeds were up over 6kts and my world had some all come together once again.
  I have decided that one drink a day should serve me well and there shall be no exceptions to that rule unless the “Captain” should deem it necessary and the remainder of the crew were also in agreement.
  Good news from the editing department on my up coming book “Patches” the story of the around the world solo via the five great capes. It is totally edited by the first and second editors whom I owe a great deal of gratitude and the book should be available to all by mid summer. I will get out a special email at that time or just check on my blog site at www.sailorsrun.com.
Day-2
  24 hr. run=138 nm.
Pos. Lat. 18*23′ N Long. 109*08′ W
  Weather: Wind NNW at 7-15kts. Seas-3 ft.NW. Barometer 1011 mb. Cabin  Temp-76*
The Rest of the Story.
  The winds stay light much of the day then increased over night and all our miles on this day were sailing miles. The conditions are wonderful and the shipping traffic is disappearing thankfully as this weary sailors is thinking about catching a few “winks”.
  The seas are now a light blue as we venture deeper into the Pacific. This all brings to mind a wonderful dream I had some 40 -years ago about having a magic carpet and all I had to do was stand on it and it took me where my mind willed it to go. It seems to me that sailing off to foreign lands aboard the Sailors Run is not so very much different.
  I had pre-cooked three chicken breasts before putting to sea, just to help keeping me nourished those first three days a little bit easier. I had a chicken salad the first night out then cubed one up and threw it in a pot with some Top Ramon soup and a can of peas that caused it to become so much food it will last for two meals.
  I did see one ship on that first night out that came within 3-miles of me and was transmitting no AIS signal and that seemed a little strange. AIS is a collision avoidance system that all ships are to use and many yachts also have the same system, for me it is very comforting.
  I awoke at 5-am this morning after 1.5 hrs of sleep and glanced up at the A.I.S. unit and felt comforted to see no ships on the screen. Reluctantly I crawled from my berth and on the way to check the radar screen I was “shocked” to see lights out a port hole on my port side. Sure enough on the radar screen there was a vessel 1.5 miles away and headed towards me. I jumped out into the cockpit and determined that the vessel was a large commercial fishing boat headed at my port beam. I also determined that our courses would take us clear of each other as I was sailing at 6-knots and he was soon to pass astern of me.
  Oh heck, I should have just stayed in my berth[wrong] next time it will be much easier to crawl out after that close call.
  The only other thing that happened noteworthy on this day was the steering drum for the wind vane broke free of the wheel spokes when two of the three hose clamps that hold it on failed. Soon I had the electronic below decks auto pilot steering and took the wheel below to replace the hose clamps. It wasn’t but twenty minutes later the monitor was back effortlessly steering Sailors Run along her course line using the wind and drawing no energy from the battery banks.
                                            Sleep or not to sleep the Jefe’
Day-3
  24hr. Run=139nm.
  Pos. Lat. N 17*50′ Long. W 111*25′
  Weather: Wind N at 7-15kts. Seas N. at 4 ft. Bar.1010mb. Cabin temp=78*
The Rest of the Story.
  The close encounter with the fishing boat last night gave me the perfect opportunity to site in my new radar that thus far has not been done. The 1-5 mile range of the boat made it a perfect target and after about 15-minutes I felt much better about the accuracy of the position of objects that show up on the screen.
  This afternoon I started to not feel my energetic self and soon my eyes were watering and I was sneezing with a nose that started leaking like a faucet with a bad seal in it. Normally at sea you will never get sick unless you bring something with you. Oh well, I just have to remember to put an extra wrap on the winch so the lines don’t slip from the stuff leaking from my nose.
  My fingers are crossed that by tomorrow Sailors Run will be “hauling ass” and pounding out some serious miles, but for now I’m content just to rest and get well again.
  Last night I sailed below the Socorro Islands and had four Boobie Birds take up residence on the bow pulpit for the night. I thought about shooing them off but was afraid then they would land on the top of one of the two masts breaking my wind-x and using me for target practice.
                                            One snotty sailor just hanging in there.

Sailors Run and the Jefe’ ready to sail out onto the “Big Blue”

   Wow! Can you believe it?  Once again the time has come to embark on yet another great adventure. I must admit the last one nearly killed me, but somehow I think this new one will be a piece of “cake” hmmmmmm.
  The plan is to sail to Kauai, Hawaii one of my most favorite Hawaiian Islands. I will depart on the first of March and barring any unforeseen disasters I should arrive within about 23-days as the distance is about 3,200nm from Barra De Navidad, Mexico.
  Sailors Run is in top shape once again after much work and money with all things operational with the exception of the water maker who’s transmission recently give it up and I have elected to be more aggressive at collecting rain water off of my new Bimini that has a rain gutter on each side.
  The combined area of the mizzen sail and the Bimini should end up producing lots of water where I plan to be sailing in the near future. I think Kauai is one of the wettest places on earth.
  After a short stay in Kauai Sailors Run and I will next venture out to the Marshall Islands to Majuro another 2,000nm to the SW where I hope to spend a year or two exploring the outer atolls.
  I had a wonderful month with my wife Debbie here in Mexico and she is thinking of doing something similar in the Marshall Islands.
  I will keep you all updated with reports each three days while on passage. If anyone wants to be removed from the list of Amigos or added please let me know.
  Also remember when responding to an email please do not HIT REPLY as it sends the whole adventure back to me via a slow email connection
.
  I must admit it’s always the last few days before jumping off that my adrenalin starts to flow and the excitement builds within me. I can still say there is nothing else I would sooner be doing than venturing far out to sea once again.
  Whoops-awe -shit!! Can you believe it?  I just talked to several of my friends that cruised out of the Hawaiian Islands and they informed me that Kauai does not have a complete immigration service.
  Wow, this spells trouble for the Jefe’. Trouble many times can be avoided by compromise, sometimes small sometimes large.
  The problem here being I must clear in at a different island before Kauai, that in itself’s not to bad but when I eventually want to leave Kauai I must now sail 100 nm into the trades to get a Zarpa in Oahu for the Marshall Islands.
  Now having been a lineman working with electricity much of my life I have found that electricity follows the path of least resistance as I have decided to do and will give Hawaii a pass. I will miss not seeing my friends, but the Marshall Islands are  after all my ultimate goal and what is 2,000 extra miles when you are sailing downwind in the trades anyway?
   Standby and possibly we might all learn something from the Jefe’s next great adventure.
                      Love you Amigo’s- The Jefe’

SAILORS RUN CHECKING IN FROM CHAMELA,MEXICO

 Hola Amigo’s,
   Wow it is truly great to be out swinging on the hook once again in a beautiful anchorage like Chamela.  Here the skies are sunny and blue and the temperature between 83-89*.
   Now you know last Saint Patrick’s Day I almost met my Waterloo here. It is like getting back on the horse that through you, or returning to the underground vault where you were electrocuted it just has to be done to move on.
  Recently I spent three days hauled out at Opequimar in Puerto Vallarta where I gave Sailors Run a much needed paint job on the bottom. I used the Comex paint that is 4-liters to the gallon and you are adding 12-ozs. of thinner to the paint so it not only goes a long ways but at 150-dollars a gallon with the thinner thrown in it is a real bargain these days. I believe it will serve me well over the next 2-3 years.
  Like most haul outs it was a lot of work and many things were accomplished all for the betterment of Sailors Run. My friends Dan and Debbie Orlando were there for me and made this a most enjoyable haul out with great after hours rewards.
  Here in Chamela there will be a pig roast on Thursday at Monica’s Palapa. You might remember that I stayed with this family to recover after my ordeal here in Chamela. Here the vibes are good and I know I have great friends here.
  Now my mind turns to the ocean once again and in March I will be off to Kauai  in the Hawaiian Islands and this give me great motivation to make all thing right aboard Sailors Run and her return to the trade wind sailing that we both love so much.
                                Always in my heart and mind my Amigos, the Jefe’

THE JEFE IS BACK ABOARD SAILORS RUN

   Hey Mates’,
    Be sure and check out my blog WWW.sailorsrun.com for what has been going on over the summer and also the article about the “Miracle in Chamela. The amazing thing right now is I’m able to write on my old computer that normally has a non-working key board.
  I’m now sailing to La Cruz in Banderas Bay from Mazatlan where I plan to haul the boat and paint it at Opeckimar. then on to Chamela, Barra where Debbie will join me for a month the middle of January.
  In March I plan to set sail for Kuaii in the Hawaiian Islands where I plan to spend a month be for heading back to the Marshall Islands. I’m pretty sure that will get the old Sailors Run and crew all sharpened up on our sailing skills.
                      Missing all of you your Amigo the Jefe’.

THE Jefe’ CHECKING IN AFTER MIRACLE IN CHAMELA

 

Debbie & I on our New Bike

Debbie & I on our New Bike

I must admit my cruising lifestyle has taken a turn towards new adventures, like trying to live back on the land in Albuquerque,New Mexico with Debbie in a house for approximately 6-months out of the year.

Sounds simple right? Well not exactly as Debbie baby sits 3 of our grand children,2 when they are out of school,and the baby is all day & this all happens in the 3 bdrm home we rent from our son Chris & there is virtually nowhere to sail to. I was soon to realize this would be one of my greatest challenges forcing me once again to reach way down deep inside to try and pull this off.

It was less than a month & my mind was searching frantically for an escape & it came in the form of a 2008 Suzuki Boulevard 800 cc V-twin red Motorcycle.

Our new bike in our driveway

Our new bike in our driveway

Debbie understood my situation & was quick to say “Yes” to the purchase & was quick to hop on the back and become a “Biker Babe”, she’s also finding some escape in cruising the back roads of New Mexico.

Now to make things even better our son Daniel was passing through on his BMW bike he had purchased in Pennsylvania & knowing I planned on to visit Washington state later in the summer,he said “hey,dad how about I ride back here in July & we can cruise up there (WA) on our bikes. Now that seemed like a terrific idea to me & Debbie was quick once again to agree even tho she must remain behind to baby sit.

Just a little about the bike: when I purchased it had only 3600 miles on it & the seller was anxious to upgrade to a Harley & let me have the bike for $3,ooo,a truly great deal.

Daniel rode back from San Francisco,arriving on July 16th & we spent 8- days traveling to 11 different states camping along the way,visiting old friends that showed up along the route. By the time I returned to Debbie I had racked up over 5,000 miles & Debbie & I have put on another 2,000 miles together exploring New Mexico.

Dan & Myself leaving to head out on 5,000 mile road trip

Dan & Myself leaving to head out on 5,000 mile road trip

Motorcyle parked in Utah

Motorcyle parked in Utah

Dan & Jeff at Sturgis, South Dakota

Dan & Jeff at Sturgis, South Dakota

Deb & I at Carlsbad caverns wearing our bike gear

Deb & I at Carlsbad caverns wearing our bike gear

I will return to Mazatlan,Mexico mid-October,getting back to Sailors Run & prepare her the up-coming adventures at sea.

Your Amigos, Jeff & Debbie

Sailors Run’s Miracle in Chamela Bay, Mexico.

PUNTA PERULA ,MEX. Where I was anchored

PUNTA PERULA ,MEX. Where I was anchored

I’m writing this adventure not just because the order of events that took place were truly a miracle that saved my life, but also to give credit to everyone involved that helped to make it possible.

It was Saint Patricks Day March-17th 2017 and the day that I hoped my good friends on the Sv Pazzo would arrive here at Chamela, on what was to be another beautiful sunny day on the Gold Coast of Mexico.

I always anchor in the NW corner of the bay near the tiny community of Perula.  I have been coming here off and on since the year 2000. The palapa restaurants here are one of the most beautiful places you will ever find to sit, drink a beer and watch your boat bob at anchor on a most beautiful bay with small islands in the back ground. The anchorage is less than a hundred miles south of Puerta Vallarta.

Janusz Family: wife Monica,daughter’s Amy,Samantha & Jeff

Janusz Family:
wife Monica,daughter’s Amy,Samantha & Jeff

I had become very fond of a family here that owned a Palapa by the name of Manuelita’s and Manuelita’s daughter Monica had married a “Polish” named Janusz and together they were now operating a palapa restaurant right next door to Manuelitas’ called Monicas’. This Palapa is somewhat different than most as it has wooden tables and bench seating where they serve some great “Polish dishes” that Janusz takes great pride in preparing such as “Pierogi and Gelabki” and I have to admit I’m a repeat offender of both these dishes.

Janusz is also a great wealth of information when it comes to dealing with a medical emergencies in the Chamela area, and it will become obvious as this adventure unfolds.

It was about 10:30 AM when I heard voices calling from outside my boat. I stopped the writings of my next book and went topside to see my good friends circling Sailors Run, letting me know they had just arrived. Willy, Cindy and their 3 children aboard the Sv Pazzo and they all looked great, the kids now young adults had grown up so much since our first meeting in the Loyalty islands off New Caledonia back in 2005. They had invited me over for coffee once the anchor was down, and I was all too happy to join them.

Willy’s family: (standing L-R) wife cindy, daughter,kyra(med student),son Zach (in front: daughter, chloe & Willy

Willy’s family:
(standing L-R) wife cindy,
daughter,kyra(med student),son Zach
(in front: daughter, chloe & Willy

Once aboard Sv Pazzo we shared many stories about both our travels and soon had agreed upon cocktails at 5  pm aboard Sv Pazzo and planned later to head to the beach and the palapa restaurant for dinner at 6-PM.

Once back aboard Sailors Run I noticed that my left leg had become swollen and seemed to have some pain in the upper area by the hip. I figured I had somehow strained it dragging my dinghy up the beach, after all at almost 71-years of age that thing isn’t getting any lighter. I decided to elevate it and just rest until the cocktail hour so I would be fresh.

At 5-pm I was climbing aboard Sv Pazzo with rum in hand and some chips and salsa that I had brought along with me. Once again we set about the cockpit telling stories and having lots of laughs. We had but one drink my first of the day and soon it was 6-pm and time to head to shore.

I had commandeered their son to help me pull the dinghy up the beach, and was truly amazed by the confusion that had overcome me as I tried to board my dinghy and get through the tangle of lines off the stern of Sv Pazzo where two kayaks were tied. Once in the dinghy I started to try and put on my sandals and was dumb founded when I couldn’t do it?

The next thing I knew I looked up and we were in tow headed for the beach and Willy’s daughter whom is a medical student was in the dinghy asking me questions about what is going on. I said “I don’t know, but should go back to my boat”. She was having none of that and insisted that we need to go ashore to find you some help.

The last thing I remember is getting close to shore and then nothing ,when I passed out & I awoke on the beach surrounded by many onlookers and amazingly there was a doctor off the boat  “Dream Catcher” named Bruce whom I had previously met in Ecuador two years ago and my friend Janusz saying to me “don’t leave me ,just don’t you leave me ”.  I was doing all I could do to just take very shallow breaths and trying to remain conscious, as I knew I was in big trouble. I found out sometime later that I had been unconscious for 5-10 minutes and had turned a not so good looking blue-gray color. The doctor got someone to come up with aspirin and I chewed them up and tried the best I could to swallow them with a sip of water and it was all I could barely manage to do.

(L-R) A 76 yr old cruising couple,Jeff, Gina & Dr Bruce of Dream Catcher

(L-R) A 76 yr old cruising couple,Jeff, Gina & Dr Bruce of Dream Catcher

It was when they sat me up to drink the water that I became aware of the fact that my bowels had released when I was out or near death and Janusz later explained that “twice” my skin color had changed while I was out, having gone from white to purple then back again and I had regained conscious once, only to pass out again going through some kind of spastic movements.

The Jefe laying down on the beach being helped in Chamela, Mexico

The Jefe laying down on the beach being helped in Chamela, Mexico

The ambulance arrived in about 15-minutes and all I could hear was Janusz shouting at the driver where to take me for help, as he knew that if they took me to the local clinic I would die there, he explained I had to go to the Centro Medico De Manzanillo where they had the capacity to do MRI scans for proper diagnosis.

I was still struggling to breathe once in the ambulance and it seemed we only went a short distance and then stopped and they put me on oxygen and let me stabilize before heading down the rough roads to Manzanillo some 2+hours away, even with sirens screaming and gunning it all the way.

My friend Willy from the yacht Pazzo rode with me and I must admit it was a very smelly ride in the back of that ambulance and there were no straps to keep me on the gurney. I gradually regained strength and was now hanging on trying not to slide off the gurney.

Once at the hospital they gave me an EKG that seemed to be ok, but there just wasn’t enough oxygen in my blood and the blood clot that doctor Bruce had diagnosed on the beach seemed to becoming a serious reality.

I was amazed that they had me in my hospital bed, and although they had me monitored like crazy and did an EKG they seemed not to notice that I was a mess covered from head to toe with sand and had a load in my shorts. I finally asked if I could take a shower and get out of these soiled cloths where upon I got my not so private little hospital gown.

In the meantime Willy called debbie telling her to get to Mexico as fast as she could as I might not make it,but knew even if she came it would be a day or two before she got there -to see me alive or deal with our boat,she called my family to let them know of my situation,calling our son Daniel to get ready to sail our boat to Mazatlan just in case the out come was not good.

Willy had had the foresight to get back to his boat from the beach and get a credit card that would become essential in keeping things moving along smoothly. My Spanish is very poor and thank God Willy was there to keep me informed of what was going on. The doctors could speak pretty good English when they were around.

It was the beginning of a three day weekend and things possibly moved a little slower as it was Saturday morning the 18th before they took me in for the MRI and loaded my blood up with a dye to determine what the problem was. The MRI operator upon pulling me out from the machine said” there appears to be a very serious problem” and he believed we needed a cardiologist and wanted my permission to call one and I said “let’s do it”. Amazingly once again the angels were watching over me as the best Cardiologist in the area for what my problem was, arrived there in less than 10-minutes. He put me back in the machine and took a few more pictures then pulled me back out.

Dr. Erick Davila is a very tall Mexican at over 6-ft tall and when he explained that I had two blood clots, one in each lung and that death could come very quickly to me at any time, and that time was golden at this point, I asked him what he could do and how much would it cost as this was all out of pocket expense with no insurance coverage.

Dr. Davila explained ,that he would go in through my Femoral Artery , go up inside my lungs and remove both clots and place a screen in my artery to catch future clots should they occur.

The cost would be approximately $7,000 for the hospital and his services in yet another hospital in Colima which is called Centro Medico De Colima. This involved another hour long ambulance ride in a special ambulance with life support capability. I had to ask him what were the odds of success of this operation, and he said about 70%. Now 70% is pretty good odds, but let me tell you when it is your life you are talking about that 30% is frightening and somehow seems very large.

I was whisked away to the new hospital and Janusz had brought me my credit cards  and reluctantly Willy who had stayed the night sleeping in my room was taken back to his family in Chamela Bay by Janusz.

The special ambulance was plush and of the highest quality, and I now found my self-strapped down and on a monitor and as always with oxygen an IV drip going.

Just 4-hrs after meeting the Cardiologist ,I was being wheeled into the operating room where I was met by a 6-man team and the procedure began. I was surprised that the only anesthesia was a shot of Novocaine in the pelvic area, where the Doctor was to enter the vain. The doctor explained that it is much safer if I’m conscious during the procedure.

Of course, now I’m alone at the hospital but I have my phone and was able to call Debbie that it was a success & I had made it,she cried and thanked God,I also called Willy,Janusz & my family

After just less than Two days in the hospital, my dear friend Janusz drove the three hours to the hospital and then took me back to his family for recuperation, where they nurtured me for seven days in their home while I became strong enough to get back aboard Sailors Run.

The miracle to this story is that as a solo sailor and one that just completed a solo non-stop, unassisted circumnavigation of the globe in May of 2016 of 203-days, on this day that I embarked on an incredible un-planned Medical Emergency I was surrounded by friends in the medical profession. Having had a doctor friend on the beach as I arrived unconscious, and Janusz who called the shots on where I needed to go for a quick and correct diagnosis, not to mention my great friend Willy and his family that offered great support all the way through this event. The great fortune to be able to have the best Cardiologist in Mexico at my side in 10-minutes of calling him, and the procedure necessary to remove the two clots conducted within four hours, and all of this In Mexico happening on a three day weekend.

Not only were the facilities and personal all first class but the price tag came in at under $10,000 US dollars. Remember, there were 3 hours of Ambulance rides, an EKG, 3-nights in the hospital one of which was under intensive care meaning a nurse for 24-hrs. There were 2 MRI’s, Three doctors, one whom was a cardiologist and a specialist in removing blood clots by going into your femoral artery and placing a screen to trap any future clotting that might occur from the procedure.

Oh! yea how did this all happen in the first place? Several months before the main event I was walking along the deck of Sailors Run and the boat rolled and I collided with a piece of teak wood that is part of my belaying pins and stabbing my femoral vein from my leg running to my heart up against my pelvis there by damaging the vein, unbeknownst to me, and the clots that would release over a period of time jeopardizing my ability to breath and nearly taking my life.

Thanks to all of these wonderful people,my family, the Jefe’ gets to continue on his grand adventure aboard Sailors Run.

You’re most fortunate Amigo, The Jefe’

ECUADOR TO BARRA DE NAVIDAD,MEX=DAYS 16,17,18

Ecuador to Barra De Navidad,Mex-Days 13-14-15-2016

Ecuador to Barra De Navidad Days 10-11-12. 2016.

Ecuador to Barra De Navidad, Mexico-Days 7,8,9