Archive for November, 2007

La Paz

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Some pretty amazing sunrises with all the clouds in the Sea:

Ahhh back in La Paz. It’s good to be South, but it’s (comparatively) cold and cloudy here and it was a bit of a trial to get down here. I left San Carlos last Saturday morning with a forecast of 20-30 knots out of the north diminishing to 10-15 for the next few days. A fine forecast for crossing the Sea. So I set out and had a little too spirited of a sail with 7-10 foot short period waves often soaking Bodhran’s cockpit. I still wasn’t 100% comfortable with sailing Bodhran again and decided that I might as well duck back into Bahia Catalina near Guaymas after an exhilarating 4 hour sail. I anchored with a bunch of shrimp boats and found that the packing nut on my stuffing box had backed off letting a steady stream of water into the boat. So I pulled the companionway stairs and tightened the packing nut back down and made sure that I put plenty of tension on the lock nut, which I’m sure was why it had backed off after I had replaced the stuffing the day before. The wind was still howling and my halyards were slapping the mast, so I jumped up and tied them off to my pin rails. After taking care of the halyards, I jumped back down the companionway and oops, that’s right I forgot that I had taken the stairs off to get to the stuffing box. I stepped down into the saloon and promptly plummeted 5 feet down to the cabin sole below. Owwww! It almost knocked the wind out of me even though I caught myself from falling all the way by grabbing the edge of the companionway. Still one foot slamed down on the nav desk step and the other on the engine. I sliced one of my toes open, I think broke at least one toe and bruised the other foot so deeply that I couldn’t put any weight on it for half a day.

Saying goodbye to Kris and Adam on Estrella in Bahia San Carlos:

The next morning found the wind down to 10 knots out of the NE. I couldn’t really walk, I hobbled around with limping on both feet. I ran out the jacklines and put on my harness even in the smooth anchorage. I didn’t really feel like waiting around Bahia Catalina until I could walk properly and moving around seemed to loosen up my foot without the hurt toe and I figured that I could at least make it out to the Sea and see how things go from there. Thank god for my new roller furling yankee. I rolled out the jib without having to go forward and was making a nice 4 knots. I eventually hobbled my way out to the mast and was able to raise my mainsail as well. Again with thanks to the my new battenless main that is able to be raised without having to turn to windward. The sea was pretty lumpy, but my windvane did all the steering and I was able to put my feet up for a good 6 hours until the wind died and I fired up the motor until a little after midnight when the wind picked back up. All in all it was a fast passage and the windvane and the autopilot did all the work and I made the 150 miles to due south across the Sea to Bahia Agua Verde in 25 hours.

Ron sailing Theopolis off the hook past Bodhran in Agua Verde:

I spent the day in Agua Verde, anchored for the first few hours with Ron from Theopolis, another Bellinghamster that I’d met a few times last year as well as earlier in the yard in Guaymas, but he and his brood left around noon to take off for Punta Evaristo. I really wanted to go swimming or take a hike up on the beach, but I acquiesced to reason and just stayed off my feet for the day. I left early the next morning with another 10 knot northerly and made it another 50 miles south to Isla San Francisco before dark. Then it was a quick day to Isla Partida where I had to stop to do a little wiring work when my starter wouldn’t work. I spent the night in Ensenada Grande and then made my way down to a cloudy rainy La Paz today.

Hmm…Looks like dockwise is in the container crane moving business as well:

Looks like the Mogote in La Paz is finally getting developed:

Coming into La Paz on a cloudy day:

My pops flew down to La Paz a few days ago to meet me. He and I will be making our way down to Barra de Navidad to meet up with my Mom, Alex and Trevor for Christmas. Sounds like it’s going to be blowing like hell out in the sea for the next few days, so we’ll probably be here for a little bit.

Turkey Day

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

The Thanksgiving crew: Shannon, Kris, Adam and Tony

I hope everyone’s Thanksgivings came off well, Thanksgiving on Sweetie was incredible and sported the best array of boat made food I’ve ever seen. Shannon used her solar oven on Sweetie’s deck to cook the turkey. It was her first ever turkey and it came out beautiful, fully cooked and moist. Kris’ sweet potato casserole might possible be the least healthy way in the world to cook vegetables, but was amazing. To round off the rest of the meal was corn bread stuffing, wild rice stuffing, honey mustard glazed broccoli, fresh sourdough roles, garlic mashed potatoes and of course pumpkin pie for desert. Not bad for a bunch of boat ovens down in Mexico.

Adam taking a picture of me taking a picture of Shannon taking a picture of Thanksgiving Dinner.

And here’s the actual spread itself, the turkey and gravy was in the galley

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving all! I’m still here in San Carlos. There’s been fog and no wind since I sailed up here from Guaymas 5 days ago, so I’ve just been working on Bodhran and hanging out with Adam and Kristina off Estrella. By Saturday the winds are supposed to fill in from the north again and I’ll be off, but today it’s time to gorge ourselves. Tony and Shannon will be hosting Adam, Kristina, Scott and Cheryl off Raven and myself on their Hunter 45 Sweetie. I had to take out my surf board and do some paddling this morning in anticipation of the food coma I’m going to be working myself into later. Oh yea, that and even though there’s no surf within 400 miles of here, I really need to get into shape, so I’m trying to paddle every morning so I can at least make it out to the line up when I do get south.

May everyone’s Turkeys turn out moist and may all your sweet potatoes not have those little marshmallows in them!


Shakedown Cruise

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Yesterday morning found me sitting out at anchor with tools strewn throughout the boat and the deck in a general state of disarray. I had had things generally put away, but then the we had the little furler accident and I had to tear the boat apart to get everything I needed to fix it. So I woke up early, made some coffee and listened to weather from Don on Summer Passage. It was nice to be back in the normal routine. I then spent the morning getting things into shape and then took off for the 20 mile trip up to San Carlos.

Bodhran’s saloon almost clean and back to normal:

Here’s another shot of the new dink in it’s nighttime security mode. I’m going to be lifting like this every night to keep the motor safe:

I got out of the anchorage around 11:00 and motored the 7 miles to get out to the Sea of Cortez. The motor is running great and pushed Bodhran along at 6.2 knots at a measly 1800 rpm and was doing 6.6 knots at my normal 2000 cruising rpm. Don’t worry though, I’ll be back to my trying to reach 6 knots with the hammer all the way down once I start getting some growth on the bottom again.

Don had forecasted light northerlies and the sea didn’t disappoint. I had about 8 knots out of the northwest when I rolled out my new sails and filled Bodhran with wind for the first time since April. Of course San Carlos was dead upwind, but I didn’t need to go anywhere fast and it was perfect wind for my return to sailing. Still Bodhran was pulling 4.5 knots hard to weather in 8 knots of wind and got all the way up to 5.5 when the wind increased to about 12 knots. Of course by the time I got with 5 miles of San Carlos, the wind had increased to 25-30 knots and after about 45 minutes of beating into a building sea while constantly reducing sail area, I decided that the boat wasn’t stowed well enough to take finish the beat, so I rolled up the rest of the Yankee, sheeted the main in tight and motor sailed the rest of the way into the anchorage where I anchored near Adam and Kristina on Estrella. I’m going to be hear for at least a couple of days and then I’ll be starting my way south.

One happy camper to be back on the water in Mexico again:

I’m not sure if this was a Blue or a Fin Whale that came by to check me out:

Ahhh it’s good to be back on the water!

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Just when all hope was lost…..

Here’s Bodhran’s new roller furler with the bent foil next to the reassembled unit:

So I woke up this morning a bit demoralized. I was all ready to go in the water yesterday when they ran the travel lift straight into my nice brand new roller furler, significantly bending the foil. So first thing this morning I loosened up the headstay, climbed to the top of the mast, popped out the pin, lowered the whole furling assembly and began taking it apart to assess the damage. Lucky for me I just put this thing together 5 days ago and it was a breeze to take apart. Also lucky for me only one of the 6′ foil sections was bent and I just happed to have a spare, so I was able to drill out the rivets from the bottom two foils, pull them apart and replace the bent piece with the new one. All in all only about 4 hours work. The wire headstay appeared to be in good condition, so I reassembled the whole thing, climbed back to the top of the mast, attached it to the mast head and it was time to put old Bodhran back in the water. On a side note, I’d like to sing the praises of my folding mast steps. I’ve had to climb the mast at least 10 times on this yard visit and it’s been a breeze using my mast steps, a climbing harness, a static line and an ascender. It was about $200 for all the steps I put on they’ve certainly paid for themselves.

Bodhran heading for the launch ramp:

So I’m just getting in from a night spent ashore drinking beer and playing music celebrating the floating of my old girl after 6 dry months in the desert, and she’s doing great. I’d also like to espouse the awesomeness of my new dink. I picked up a new 7’3” Avon RIB when I was home along with a new Nissan 3.5hp 4 stroke outboard. Anyone who cruised with me last year can attest to the general shittyness of my old nesting dinghy and it’s tremendous bulk trying to launch it over the side. Well my new little dink fits on my cabin top when fully inflated leaving plenty of room to walk around the fordeck, it’s only 65lbs and easy to flip over on it’s bottom, has a 3 point lifting systems to haul it up on a halyard and launch in flat, rows way better than my old dink and scoots like a banshee with my new outboard. It may end up being a bit small when I get some crew hanging out with me, but so far it’s love at first sight.

Bodhran heading for the launch ramp:
NewDink Launch

It’s soo good to be back on the water!: