The Cat’s Meow Sinking and Rescue  ~ Pt. 4

We Have Much to be Thankful For!


Dave and Carolyn Shearlock of Que Tal? had been working non-stop since our first call for help the night of the 19th.  Likewise Pamela and Royce of RDreamz and Joe and Vicki of Cat House, Elvin and Connie with the panga Sea Lover, Dennis and Susan of Two Can Play, Lynn and Deloris of Endless Summer, the folks on Manana and on Francis Ray, and so many others that I cannot list here were so very central in the raising and saving of The Cat's Meow.

I rode back to the harbor at Puerto Escondido on RDreamz with Royce and Pam while Martin was on TCM along with Elvin and a few others. By the time RDreamz arrived, TCM was tied securely to the big cement dock, and another team of people had already been unloading all of our belongings onto the dock. TCM is a 52’ trawler, and there was a lot of stuff on that boat!



Getting to the dock                                                                   Triage on the dock


Elizabeth from Cambria became the “jefe” – the coordinator – and had a regular triage going. (I started calling her the Energizer Bunny, because she was always there, always working, and just did not stop.) De of Flutterby had already taken all clothes and other things made of material to the little laundry at Willie’s Tienda (market) up the street, along with special detergents and degreasers to wash it all. For three days, another entire team of people helped to sort and to clean all items big and small from our boat. Some special items, such as our wedding photos, were saved with the care of very special people. The freezer, the vacuum system, the refrigerator, all pumps and electronics, all of Martin’s tools were rinsed or soaked in fresh water and sprayed with WD40. Dick from Corazon de Acero, Lance of Milagro, and Dave of Equity worked together to save the huge International Harvester marine engine, and when she was turned over and ran with a purr, a big cheer went up from the workers on the dock. Dave also worked hard and long on our generator. The plywood patches were reinforced, generators and pumps made ready, fuel stored in barrels, temporary hookups for the engine and anchor windlass were installed.  For three days, cruisers and other folks who had just heard about The Cat’s Meow showed up and worked in the hot sun. Many of our things were lost, many things were not able to be salvaged. Furniture we had in our lanai room – a living room style addition we constructed over the aft deck – suffered greatly, the six-foot couch having to be discarded. All the carpet had to be removed, all books were lost, including all of our chart books and charts. Many things were saved, however, and after all, “things” can be replaced.

On Wednesday evening we had a “Hardy Party”, Hardy being our last name and the entire project a “hardy” one. It was a potluck affair, held in the dilapidated old Moorings building the Hidden Port YC calls home. Although the trappings were not fancy, the spirits and emotions of the people in attendance were very high! We were there to celebrate an extraordinary event: the coming together of so many people from so many walks of life to help save one cruising boat, The Cat’s Meow. It was nothing short of wonderful to have the chance to celebrate this victory with so many friends.





It felt sooo good to relax!                                       The original gang at San Cosme cove


After most of the cruising fleet left the area, Martin and I and a few hard-core others living in the Pto. Escondido area continued to clean up and stow away our belongings. Each night we paid the guard at the parking lot to watch our things, and even the guards had begun helping us with the moving of the items to the trash or to a little storage area. De offered us her palapa home AND her car to use while she was in the States. Dario and Erin of Ballena arrived from Mazatlan loaded with items donated by cruisers there, including another envelope of monetary donations. SVTranquility in Mazatlan gave us a laptop! Total Yacht Services sent us lots of wire, filters and other important supplies. Cruisers from Mazatlan sent offers to help, to gather items we might need, and more. Again, the caring from other boaters was just overwhelming. As cruisers who had been working with us for days began leaving to continue their summer plans, others were arriving and offering to assist us, adding “new blood” and energy to our cause.

We continued working and getting TCM ready to be towed to La Paz. The very large power vessel Ozark Lady, out of La Paz, offered to tow us, but we could not be ready in time for their needs. Then Captain Ron of Argo, a 42’ trawler, and his crew Jerry, offered to do the job. Two weeks after the night we went up on the rocks, Argo left Pto. Escondido with The Cat’s Meow in tow to La Paz, and Captain Ron would not take one penny or the offer of diesel in payment.



Argo tows TCM to La Paz                                                                       Erin comforts Robin watching her go


Martin, Dario, Royce, and Dave Shearlock went along to be sure the patches would stay in place, to assist with anchoring, etc. They made it safely into the La Paz bay and to the Abaroas boat yard, where TCM now sat high and dry for five months, getting her hull and the stablizer fin repaired. The Abaroas boat yard did one fine job, re-planking the bottom with more mahogany, and taking great care with all aspects of their work. We found the yard and the employees to be quite friendly, helpful, and good workers.


Dario on TCM going to La Paz                                                  She comes in under her own power


We want to offer our huge appreciation to ALL of the people who have assisted us, who have given us a piece of their time and lives, money, clothes, household items, boat parts, physical help, and lots of emotional support. We would not have our boat to work on, had it not been for the amazing tenacity, caring and help shown by so many people, here in Mexico and in the States. We can only hope that our THANK YOUs will suffice for now. We love you back.


(Note: The photos included here were taken by some of the cruisers at the rescue site, including but probably not limited to: Que Tal?, Gusto, Manana, and Wild Flower. We offer our deep appreciation for ALL of the photogs who kept a visual log of the rescue. A special thanks goes to Carolyn of Que Tal?, who, after working hard all day each day, wrote emails to many cruisers to give them information about the work and the progress. Bless you all.)


Please continue checking Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style for more stories about bringing our beloved boat back to life. The next edition: the repair and re-make of The Cat’s Meow in La Paz, Mexico.