This morning Eric checked with Victor. No paperwork yet on us. He said heâ€™d check again in a few hours and get in touch with us when he knew something.
We pulled out of our slip and ventured over to the edge of the fairway that leads into Bahia Limon. As promised, a big tug boat was waiting for us amongst the bushes just inside the fairway, along the peninsula that separates the marina from the bay.
We didnâ€™t need any fuel at the moment, but the other day when Eric was mapping out potential places to stop along the Pacific, he realized there wasnâ€™t a good place to get fuel between here and Cabo San Lucas (the tip of Baja California). In theory we can make it to Cabo without another fuel stop, but given that we will be in head seas the whole time, chances are we will have a higher than normal fuel burn ratio, so we decided it was wise to fuel up here. And, the price is good at $2.60 per gallon
We pulled up alongside the tug boat and rafted up to it. We were expecting the pump to be slow, and we were pleasantly surprised that it was an average speed pump. We were chatting with the staff and found out that the tug holds 65,000 gallons and they can also control the speed of the pump to make it go faster or slower. They speed it up big time when they fuel up tankers. We also found out that this little breakwater peninsula used to actually be the baseâ€™s air strip. All in all it was easy and painless. We took 738 gallons and fueling took 45 minutes.
We went back to our slip. As soon as we were tied up, Eric immediately went to work changing the main fuel filter, the polishing fuel filter, and the main engine oil. When he finished those projects, we cleaned all the sea strainers and he started polishing the fuel.
We had lunch at the marina restaurant with the Nordhavn 57 crew. Right after lunch they would begin their canal transit, so it was a bon voyage of sorts. Christi ordered a hamburger. It was pink, but she didnâ€™t think anything of it. In most of the world, hamburgers are served pink. Most cultures we have encountered usually donâ€™t cook their beef as thoroughly as Americans tend to (and think Americans ruin the meat by overcooking). Weâ€™ve eaten dozens of pink hamburgers throughout our journey.
In the afternoon, Christi went for a walk with Tom and Susan again. Eric passed, wanting to give his toe some more time to heal. This time Tom and Susan took Christi to some different places. We followed one of the roads near the marina a short way, then turned off onto a side street. The entrance to the side street was blocked by a line of yellow tape. There were two guards who waved us through. The road ended shortly thereafter at a fenced enclosure. The fence was open and we walked right in. Inside the enclosure were a series of empty cages. This used to be the zoo, and the cages were once filled with local animals so the service men could study and learn about each species habits before bumping into them in the jungle during training exercises. It was also a popular place for the servicemen to take their families. Christi was again overcome with the feeling we were in â€œLostâ€ and had found the cages where â€œthe othersâ€ had kept Kate and Sawyer.
Next to the zoo is another fenced enclosure. This one is a series of buildings that are partially underground, probably used up until the base was abandoned in 1999. This compound also has an overwhelming Lost aura to it. The â€œhatchâ€ in the middle probably has something to do with it.
The buildings are open and you can go right inside. They look like they are all networked together. Some of the corridors are big, others are narrow and scary looking. The corridors go back much farther than you would expect, meaning they are deeper underground than you initially realize. The bleak concrete facility reminded Christi of the hospitals in the TV show â€œLostâ€ (where Claire was taken when she was pregnant and where Jack operated on Henry).
A portion of the compound was used as a prison, and we saw some of the old prison cells. Were these really military prisons, or was this really where â€œthe othersâ€ kept their human research subjects?
We saw another Coti running around in the compound. They are cute.
We went back out to the main road and turned down another side street. This street was the entrance to what used to be a residential neighborhood. All the houses on this street have been torn down. Like the rest of the developed land on the base, someone is maintaining the landscape. All that is left of the former community are curbs, sidewalks, the footprints of the foundations where the house used to be, and stairs from the sidewalk to what would have been the front doors of each house. You can easily imagine big houses with big yards lining the road on both sides. It must have been officer housing. It is kind of sad that all those houses were demolished.
The road is a large loop, and as we walked forward, there was an eerie animal noise that got progressively louder. It was almost like a massive groan from someone in torrential pain. Christi thought it was kind of scary sounding, but Tom and Susan didnâ€™t seem to be bothered by it. Eventually, we got to an area where the clearing was only on one side of the road and the other side was jungle. At the edge of the jungle, the noise got really loud and we knew we were very, very close to whatever was making the noise. Susan spotted the culprits, Howler Monkeys, in the trees. We saw at least 7 of them and watched them for a while. They are not as active as the Capuchin monkeys, but they did do some jumping around from branch to branch. They are all black and have a completely different body shape from the more spindly Capuchin monkeys. Christi couldnâ€™t believe that such small monkeys could possibly make such voluminous roars. We watched for a while before moving on.
We passed a short side street off the loop with some apartments that are still standing. They are probably exactly what the stripped down ones near the entrance used to look like. After stopping for a quick peek at the apartments, we continued on the loop. Susan saw some cool birds in the trees. Susan has great eyes, and Christi couldnâ€™t see them. We also saw a pod of Capuchin monkeys. Most went about their business, but two sat quietly in a tree and watched us watching them, which was funny. We all watched each other for a while before we finally moved on. At this point, we were close to the end of the loop. We finished the loop up and headed back to marina. It was a nice walk. It is so neat to be in the jungle and see such different wildlife.
Victor got in touch with us later in the afternoon and said we are tentatively on for the day after tomorrow. We got a sense that he was telling us what we wanted to hear and that there was no appointment scheduled. If we got the story right, Carlos still hasnâ€™t filed our paperwork, but Victorâ€™s friend in the scheduling office has penciled us in on the assumption the paperwork will arrive tomorrow. Weâ€™ll see. Oh, and Tom and Susan volunteered to be line handlers for our transit, so we are all set on crew now.