Up-Date on our fuel issues.
As you read this it may be a bit of a shock that we were stranded 390 miles deep in the jungle with no fuel and needing 190 gallons to get back to the beginning of the only road that leads to an airport and our ticket home…..
We had planned on having a canoe with a peci-peci bring fuel to withing 40 miles of our destination, but once we discovered that we were in trouble we had to get a hold of the crew in that boat and have them bring the fuel all the way to our location. If not for the fact that the shortwave radio was working in Dos de May we wouldn’t have been able to do so… With the Sat-phone we may have called out for help but it would have been 3 days before anyone could come…We wouldn’t have starved but we would have missed our flight possibly.
The whole issue was caused by the boat owner who had never been to Dos de Mayo, even though this guy is the director of tourism in the area and has many boats taking people all over the river. Needless to say when I went into rescue mode I was up-set. Using my best Spanish, I let those guys know what huge idiots they were and they only had to tell me the truth about how much fuel they had and let me give my input. Never again will I hire a boat and let the control of our logistic get out of my hands.
Our ability to mobilize our team in Santa Rita to transport fuel is what ended up saving our butts. When we radioed Santa Rita they purchased every gallon of fuel in town and loaded up a borrowed canoe and peci-peci and headed off for a difficult journey. They ran the fuel up river for two days to meet the fuel boat that we turned around from Dos de Mayo to intercept them and then turn around to meet us at check point 4, about 100 miles round trip. These guys busted their humps to get us fuel to get out of the jungle.
So we loaded fuel in Dos de Mayo, intercepted the second canoe 150 miles down river with the first canoe, had it turn back around to meet us at the 100 mile point. We then transferred that fuel on the river, ran down to San Jose to pick another 80 gallons that we had arranged to have dropped off by the ferry,.