Various rumors about the fuel situation in Turtle Bay had been floating around the air waves for months including that there was no functioning fuel dock, so we were interested in seeing firsthand what was going on.
The good news is that the rickety old fuel dock is still in operational, as well as the panga-type fuel barge with a 1,000-liter capacity of diesel that can bring it alongside boats at anchor near the town. Taking from at anchor from the fuel barge is usually much more convenient than having to Med moor off the tall pier. But reports were that sometimes the power source for the fuel barge’s pump hasn’t been working. Some boaters have managed to supply their own power to run the fuel-barge pump – just to get the job done. If not, they’d have had to up anchor and med-moor off the tall fuel pier. Enrique runs both operations with a few attendants. They monitor VHF 16, and they accept cash only. We didn’t need fuel as we carried 3,000 gallons. Just updating.
The only place to tie up a dinghy and go ashore is off a rickety metal ladder hanging off on the SW end of the tall fuel pier. It’s still a dangerous situation: barnacles and sharp metal on the ladder can puncture an inflatable dinghy, and many boaters have come away wet and bleeding. Unlike at various times in the past, the fuel pier had no floating dock section tied loosely to the end. We’d seen that chunk of dock turn over in chop, because it had no pilings to keep it right-side up or to keep it safely in place for fueling or landing a dinghy. It wasn’t there this time. Landing a dinghy on the beach is the only other option.
The last time we were in Turtle Bay it was the eve of the Virgin of Guadalupe Day. We walked all over town looking for a any restaurant that was open. Everything was closed, because all the residents were at the church celebrating. Finally we found an open restaurant, El Morocco, which is near the little hotel of the same name. Turtle Bay is not known for its haute cuisine, but hey it was open.
We did see a new grocery store right on the main drag. It’s small, but has most of the basics. We ran into a couple of cruisers who said they looked all over town for internet and couldn’t find a connection. We didn’t verify that, because we took off southbound early the next morning.