Friday, May 31, 2013

A rescue in the Lagoon!

Municipal Wharf - Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua
This morning started out like a typical end of the month with a trip into Bluefields to grab some cash, pay our rent and pick up some stuff from the Snider Mini Mart.  We were grateful to see that it was a clear day with no rain on the horizon - it should be smooth sailing!

Everything went according to plan - we had reserved a spot on the 6:30 a.m. panga and since everyone arrived on time we were off to Bluefields without delay. Our Captain cruised at a nice speed all the way to town so it was possible to enjoy the scenery.

We were finished with our errands about 11:30 a.m. There was a panga that was leaving right away and was heading past Pearl Lagoon so we didn't have to wait 3 hours for the next one. We anticipated that we should be home by 1:00 p.m. - just in time for lunch. Unfortunately, things didn't turn out that way. About 40 minutes into the ride the panga came to a slow stop. Surprisingly, nobody got upset or asked what was going on, the Captain didn't say anything to the passengers - we all just looked at him and each other trying to figure out why he had stopped in the middle of nowhere. Finally, we all realized that he had run out of gas...... Imagine - a dead boat filled with 20 passengers in crocodile infested waters.... Ok, I didn't actually see any crocodiles in the water but I hear they are in the waterways - I didn't dare dabble my fingers... With the sun beating down on our heads we were glad to have our trusty umbrellas. Our Captain made a quick call - presumably to his boss - to inform him that we were stranded somewhere before Kukra Hill - Could someone please bring us some gas??? Well, we don't know what he was told, but he took out the oar and started paddling so we figured there wasn't any help nearby.

After some time we heard the sound of a boat engine and sure enough there was a boat coming to our rescue. But, wait a minute - why did it pass us by? Didn't they wonder why a boat, filled to the brim with passengers, was just sitting there? With a huge, collective sigh of relief we watched as the boat turned around and asked the Captain what was the problem. Generously he poured out about a gallon of gas from his tank and gave it to our Captain. In no time at all we were back on our way. We were surprised to find out that we had only been about 3 minutes short of the gas station in Kukra Hill! It took about 15 minutes to have the gas tanks filled and to our delight we did finally make it home - a little later than expected, but safe and sound!

 Today reminded us that when you are traveling in Nicaragua you should always expect the unexpected!

Filling the tanks in Kukra Hill