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Although I’m usually not one for superlatives, our last trip down to San Carlos was replete with superb conditions for both sailing and anchoring, besides the obvious dining ashore.

We showed up on a Wednesday afternoon to find the red flag flying at the harbormaster’s office. This was our first visit after tropical storm Sergio came through. Winds had been reported as up to around 50+ knots from the ESE (thanks Aaron, for staying in touch during the storm), and the only real damage to Aegean Odyssey was to her already ailing dodger. Some stitching gave way, but the remnants of the dodger are still acting the part. I wished I could have been there to ride out my second named storm. Unfortunately, Bahia San Carlos lost 4 boats to the winds, one of them being Captain Bob’s Valiant. She had sawn through her mooring lines and ended up on the beach.

I had doubled up on dock lines and wrapped up the mainsail and bimini canvasses with a couple of hundred feet of rope, and I think the huge powerboat just to windward is also to be credited, acting as a decent windbreak.

That evening we enjoyed the special at Tortuga’s restaurant, beef tostadas washed down with beer.

The next morning I took off all that storm prep and set to work messing about with boats. The docks are without water pressure 4 days a week, so AO got a spit bath that day. This was to go on for the next few days while we waited for Guaymas to strike that silly red flag.

Plenty to do however. Spent an hour and a half just trying to stop a small freshwater leak on the cockpit’s shower head. Brand-new sprayer head just wouldn’t stop dripping no matter how I installed the washers, so I finally persuaded myself to not let “perfect be the enemy of the good”. It’s down to about one drop per minute. It seems my freshwater tank’s leak is very near the top, so I can put that off until something catastrophic actually happens.

The heat has finally abated down here, and the new screened companionway hatch board allows warmth and sunshine to enter the boat during the day. In the evening we close her up and guard our day’s BTU accumulation. Seems like only last week we brought the little ceramic heater back to Tucson for the summer, and it’s getting close to being returned to the boat!

The morning cruiser’s net was much more active than before, with folks showing up to take their boats out of mothballs. There was talk of a bunch of folks making their way to Bahia San Pedro Nolasco on Sunday, and that’s where the title of this post takes its name.

That’s Virgil at the helm, with Juanita and Pam enjoying the sunshine. It was great to have Virgil and Juanita along for the overnighter to the anchorage. The boat just sailed perfectly on the relatively placid waters. Most of our sails down here have been like being in a washing machine, with seasickness just around the corner. This time a NW breeze of 10-12 knots made our sail to the bay a one-tack deal, and the swells were practically non-existent. Compared to our last visit to San Pedro the anchorage was quite still, providing good sleeping conditions.

Even my leaky dinghy was cooperating after dosing the tubes with a half-gallon of Slime tire sealant. Pam and I went ashore Sunday evening for a meet and greet with the fleet, Virgil and Juanita stayed aboard because Virgil was dealing with a coughing issue, possibly an upper respiratory infection. He could have been just as miserable back in San Carlos, but I think he chose wisely to come along. I know I appreciated his sailing savvy on both legs of the overnighter.

Dinner and drinks aboard that night.

The next morning Pam made me jump into the cool-ish water to help her clean the hull of sea life that had grown. There wasn’t really too much to scrape off, but while I snorkeled around AO with a putty knife, I scraped off some vengeful little barnacles that somehow raised stinging welts on my skin. Interesting phenomenon, that. Have to Google it.

We raised anchor and exited the bay around noon on Monday, and the SSW winds were promising as fine a sail as we’d had the day before. The only fly in the ointment was that they gave out on us about a third of the way back to the docks. \_(ツ)_/

So we fired up the Yanmar and motored our way back to Marina Real.

That night we dined with our ship mates at Piccolo’s, an Italian eatery. The proprietor is an older woman who runs the place with great attention to detail, it seems. We asked the wait staff for menus and to take our drink order, but they wouldn’t think of usurping the owner’s assumed responsibilities. She explained the various dishes, took our orders and only then allowed her staff to fulfill their duties. Deliciously prepared tenderloin with a few shrimp alongside, and some signature desserts of tender crepes with your choice of fruit compote or caramel sauce and ice cream.

The next day we closed up the boat and made our way back to Tucson. That election thingy would be just about over by the time we pulled into town, and I’m looking forward to much fewer phone calls asking whether I plan to vote R or D.


I’m like, OMG! 🙂

I’ll combine the last two trips into this one post. We drove down to San Carlos on the 17th of July during a lull in rental stuff. Thank goodness for Mr. Carrier’s invention, the modern-day air conditioner.

While we’re used to temperatures above 100-ish degrees, sometimes even working in them, we’re not at all used to the humidity.

Opening up the boat, it’s a bit of a race to get the shore power hooked up, open all the through-hulls and get the AC going. By the time cooling airflow is achieved I’m drenched in sweat. Go back up into the cockpit for the breeze and a beer, closing up the companionway.

A while later it’s down to a much more bearable 84 degrees, with Pam bitching whenever I open the hatch, just like at the Ranch.

A respite is only a walk to the car away, driving into town for dinner with the AC on full blast. We left the dogs aboard with their bowls of kibble and water.

The next morning was a good time to deal with any outdoor activities such as dog walks and deck/solar panel cleaning, but it doesn’t take long until I’ve soaked another tee shirt.
Back down into the boat.

Pam decided to walk over to the nearby beach for a swim, and I tagged along with my snorkeling gear, again leaving the dogs cooped up in the boat. There are still a few ticks aboard to guard against, but we’d doused the dogs with permethrin and kept up the inspections numerous times every day.

Later that day I set about replacing the pump body on the toilet. Should be quick and easy, right?
Well, lol.

I’d purchased a new pump body for the Raritan PHll thinking I had everything else aboard in the spare parts supplies laid in by the previous owners. After closing the relevant through hulls I began tearing down the existing pump. Replaced the joker valve, greased the O rings and piston for installation into the new pump body, then noticed that there was one more part to transfer from the old one, the air intake valve used for the “dry” flush option.

Whip out the wrench and it turns the head of the old valve right off. Crikey!

Of course, there’s not-a-one in the big bag o’ spares. My only luck was that Raritan didn’t use proprietary threading. A 1/2 inch threaded/barbed plastic plumbing fitting was employed to close the valve, and we had a partially functioning head on the boat once again.

The new $28.00 air valve was installed during our next visit a couple weeks later.

Hey, why don’t we take the boat out into the bay, set the anchor and clean up this hull? It’d be a perfect time to utilize the new diving hookah.

Anchoring in about 20 feet of water, I pulled out the small compressor and 100-foot air hose from the locker and payed out the hose into the water. Showed Pam how to read the voltmeter and ammeter to keep an eye on battery usage, as this thing can supposedly draw up to 40 amps. That could kill a battery fairly quickly, even with the solar panels’ output on this sunny day.
I was being overly cautious. The battery bank had no trouble keeping up with the draw of the compressor, dropping only a few 10ths of a volt over the few hours I spent in the water. With the hull looking good, I climbed back aboard looking like a prune. Next time I’ll replace those zincs on the prop and shaft. They’re getting close to 50% eaten up by electrolysis.

That’s pretty much everything that happened on the July trip, except for one item; Pam had placed an ad in our local Craigslist to re-home Ziggy and Gilligan, and had gotten a response from a guy who lives in the Rio Rico area. On the drive back to Tucson we stopped by to interview him and check out his 40 acres.

The place is fabulous, his 4 pugs and heeler are in good health and he works from home, allowing him to tend to his animals very well.

We left Ziggy and Gilligan there for a trial period. Pam was pretty distraught.

The next trip down was in early August. It seems that the dogs are doing well, except Ziggy got lost once while out rabbit hunting. She made it to a nearby ranch where the neighbors gave her water and put out the word on a found dog. Smart girl.

We stopped by to deliver the remaining dog food and treats, toys and whatnot, causing Pam to go all teary-eyed again.

Anywho, onward to the boat!

Same-old, same-old; heat and humidity. After getting the boat’s internal temperature down to a reasonable level, the new toilet air valve took only a minute to install.

Next day, we tried to sort out the shade cloth system the previous owners had used, ending up with this:

After tying the outboard edges to the lifelines, we retreated back into the cabin and found that the AC was able to keep the temps down to about 81-82 degrees.

I had hoped to run up to Bahia San Pedro to anchor out for a couple/few days, but the winds were forecast to be from the West, making the anchorage a swelly mess. So, ignoring the harbormaster’s red flag, we motored our way out onto the sea for a day sail. Guaymas is from where the red flag notice is dictated, and sometimes that darned flag is up when there’s absolutely zero wind.

Anytime I get all 3 sails up and drawing, the winds are perfectly acceptable. Still, it was hot, and Pam wanted to take a swim while we were out there. I told her it wasn’t a good idea, even with a line tied ’round her neck. I mean “waist”. She kept on with the haranguing though and I relented, heaving to.

We were still moving maybe about 1 knot, and we didn’t see any sharks.

Every morning at 0800 there’s a cruisers net on VHF channel 74. Good weather info, local happenings and such. This was where I received my verbal reprimand for violating the red flag.

I guess awhile back there was a charter fishing boat that put out from San Felipe in the northern Sea of Cortez with 43 souls aboard. They got caught in an unexpected windstorm that capsized the boat, spilling everyone into the water. 7 or 8 of the fishermen and 1 crew member died. Considering this is Mexico, a country not known for litigiousness, the Mexican government decided to implement a safeguarding system.

I wonder what the penalties are?

Also on the morning net was a fleet-wide invitation to the birthday celebration of a lovely lady, Shirley.

Mmm, cake.

I had wanted to work on the dinghy’s floor panel as it was allowing water into the boat. After purchasing some fairly expensive 2-part Hypalon glue, by the time I got around to the job the rains spawned by some storms out in the Pacific had shown up. Nope, not gonna happen this trip.
Instead, we lugged the leaky dinghy back to Tucson in the back seat of the car where the dogs used to languish. I can control the workplace environment much better here.

I do miss the dogs. What I don’t miss is the fur, the bugs and the responsibilities that come with dog ownership.

We still have ancient Uh, Clem, meowing incessantly for whatever reason.

Why do I always wait until Summer to do these things?

Every day for the last week I’ve been at one of our rentals starting around 700 hours, digging post holes every 8 feet or so for this new fence. About 4 days ago Pam and I started hanging new fence panels, and just as we start getting into the groove of the work, noontime rolls around with its oppressive heat.

We’ve got about 30 more feet to go, along with a gate and its associated hardware. Should be done by July 7-8 if we get to work early enough.

The new neighbors to the South seem happy enough with their side of the fence. Nice folks.

Dang, I miss my boat. Even if it is more work.

One of the highlights of our recent trip down to San Carlos was hoisting Pam up the mast to perform a bit of wind indicator maintenance.

Much easier than her winching my lard-ass up there I guess. She removed the Raymarine ST50 wind transducer from the masthead and lowered it to me for an inspection and possible rehab. While she waited up there, she got to witness a small boating accident over on the next dock. Some sailboat drifted gently into another boat. No harm, no foul.

I tried just spinning the cups on the shaft to no avail, then removed the cups and attempted to rotate the stuck pin that they were mounted on.

It began to loosen a little bit, what with me turning the pin back and forth. Adding a spray or three of silicone lubricant seemed to help too. Soon I had the cups back on and the unit back in Pam’s hands. After she bent the pins trying to re-mount the thing, then the subsequent trips back down and up again, we had wind velocity readouts at the cockpit display.

It worked for about a day. Since then I’ve been looking at the intricacies of a tear-down and rebuild.

It’s getting hot down here in Mexico, so daily walks over to a small beach nearby seemed like a good idea at the time…

While the dogs waited in the shade of a small palm tree, we’d snorkel out and back along the breakwater. We may want a waterproof camera some day, as I spotted what I think was a sea cucumber, about 10 inches long.

I’m not touching that thing!

There were lots of small sting rays which gave Pam the willies. They’ll bury themselves in the sand in the shallows, so you should shuffle your feet as you walk out to snorkeling depths.

Another bit of beach life we quickly learned about were the small ticks waiting for fur-bearing critters to lay down in the shade of a small palm tree. Oh, great.
Their discovery was followed by three days of intensive grooming on the dogs. Pulled all of the small carpets and seat coverings from the boat, inspecting high and low for tiny, blood-filled bugs everywhere the dogs hang out. This put the kibosh on any more trips to the beach for Ziggy and Gilligan at this time.

We dined out almost every night of the trip, twice at La Palapa Griego.

I can heartily recommend the scallops.

Guess who’s also in town? The Tucson Sailing Club was having it’s biannual regatta, and the new owners of my old MacGregor had trailered her down to store on the hard at Marina San Carlos. Larry and Amy graciously allowed us to enjoy one of the regatta’s buffet dinners at the yacht club, and the next morning I gave them a hand in rigging up the boat for the day’s race.

0600. After installing the reefing lines and topping lift, we fired up the little Nissan outboard. Well, heck, the motor isn’t putting out it’s stream of cooling seawater for more than a minute, so it looks like it’s time to check on the water pump’s impeller.

We turned the boat around in its slip and popped off the lower unit over the dock. Yep, the impeller was a goner, but I had sold the boat to her new owners with two spares. Fishing around in the cabin, we located the spares, put one of them to good use and the motor was back up and running, peeing as it should.

Somebody in power had put up a red flag at the harbormaster’s offices, but the Tucson Sailing Club was undeterred. “We’re not driving all this way to just sit at the docks!”

They passed by the red flag on their way out to the race, where they enjoyed fair winds out in the bay.

Better to ask forgiveness than permission, huh?

Oh, one last thing. I noticed my bilge pump spewing about 30 seconds of water out the transom every couple of hours. It was fresh. I had refilled my water tank just the day before, so it looks like I’ll be returning to either an empty tank, or a dead bilge pump, with the remainder of the tank sloshing in the bilge.

This means I’ll be replacing the 90 gallon tank in the near future. May as well replace the 48 gallon fuel tank while I’ve got the sole torn up too.

Boat repairs in paradise.

Update: July 18, I learned that there’s still water in my tank, which means either the leak isn’t at the bottom or debris has effectively plugged the fault. I could refill the tank to determine its capacity, but why waste the water?

Technically good news!

After a few weeks of waiting for Ziggy to heal from the presumed coyote attack and a couple of rental emergencies, we were finally able to get down to San Carlos for what would be our first foray into the “cruising” life. Okay, it was only an out-and-back over-nighter.

I’ve been dealing with a leaky dinghy. Longitudinal cracks had developed on the underside of the large tubes on either side, and when I floated it, water would seemingly boil from underneath. Not good.

We’ll need this bit of equipment in order to get to shore, never mind the dogs’ needs. I had brought along a couple of pints of bicycle tire sealant and put half a pint into both tubes. Upon re-inflation, they appeared to be holding air! Yay!

$17.00 spent to save a $1,200 dinghy from the scrap heap felt pretty okay, until I noticed that the floor was starting to separate from the tubes as well. We’ll get wet feet, but at least we won’t sink for now. I’ll either have to purchase some Hypalon glue in order to rehab this old dinghy, or just bite the bullet and go brand-new. My web browsing is littered with dinghy sales pitches.

The old cockpit speakers are now in my wood shop, living out the rest of their lives in anonymity. The holes that were drilled for the original speaker wiring in the cockpit got a down-and-dirty sealing up with a couple of bolts, nuts and trim washers.

The problem:

And the fix:

The new speakers are mounted on either side of the cockpit’s aluminum arch supports.

They’re older Jensen marine-rated 2-ways with 150 watts of capability and sound great with the new Pioneer Bluetooth-enabled stereo.

Besides the dinghy and sound system work, I was also looking forward to getting the watermaker out of mothballs for an acid test of its functionality. But before that, I needed to secure the Clark pump to the shelf on which it resides. A bit of yoga was needed to hash out the holes for through-bolting, then a check of the entire system’s plumbing arrangement. The previous owners were in the middle of some medical issues so they had some friends do the installation. The only problem I’ve found (so far) was a mis-routed pressure sensing leg. It had been installed after the pre-filters instead of before them, so an easy bit of plumbing awaits my next visit. Then I’ll check every connection for tight band clamps and threaded fittings, hoping that no leaks develop.

For our first “cruise” we’re going up to Bahia San Pedro, about 10-12 miles as the crow flies from our home base at Marina Real. Pam’s been haranguing me to get away from the polluted harbor, but the dinghy’s been holding me back from just doing it. Now that we’ve a relatively serviceable dinghy, let’s do it! The outward bound route (in black) was interrupted by the GPS getting knocked loose from the iPad.

We put out on a Saturday morning, motoring past the red flag that’s supposed to keep us safe in the harbor from the heavy winds and seas. We had a decent wind from the SSW with swells about 1 meter high. About 2/3rds of the voyage was with these swells rolling us from side to side giving Gilligan a reason to puke up his breakfast 3 times. The other tack was with the swells on our starboard quarter, a much better ride. So it goes.

About 4 hours later, we spied what looked like a small bay with a sandy beach. Upon entering the bay, there are two sailboats anchored in the lee of a small spit of hilly terrain on the South side. One of them is our buddies Virgil and Juanita aboard Halcyon Days!

First, I anchored too far out, exposing ourselves to some decent swell radiating around the point. Then I anchored too close to the other sailboat that was already there.

Third time’s a charm, and when my rode got put out I was in a reasonable position relative to both of my new anchor mates. Let’s pump up that dinghy.

Now for the hard part: getting the dogs into the dinghy for their afternoon ablutions ashore. Not without some consternation, both of ’em ended up in the little inflatable and I rowed the whole gang to shore about 150 yards away. This being my first dinghy landing, I sort of lost control just as we reached the beach, and the boat turned 90 degrees, dumping Pam out into the surf. Success! 🙂

Getting them back aboard required a bit of finesse, dealing with the swells still present in the anchorage. Just short of hanging the dogs from their leashes, we got their forelegs up onto the step, with one person pulling from above and the other pushing from below. Timing is everything.

Some photos of our anchorage. The first one’s of Halcyon Days, a 40+ foot Camper & Nicholson ketch.

Pam got a shot of some old white guy with a drywall knife trying to clean the hull of sea life.

It’s nice to be able to see your entire hull when diving.

We got invited over to Virgil’s boat for dinner that evening, which we accepted gratefully. Taquitos and lentils with rum and cokes. We reciprocated the next morning after a rolly night at anchor with leftover chili and egg burritos, sans the alcohol.

Another trip to shore and back for the dogs, then it was time to button up the ship for the sail back South towards San Carlos. The winds had dropped and shifted to the Northeast, giving us an almost dead downwind run with calm seas. When we finally reached Bahia Algodones we pointed the boat into the wind to drop the main, and then let the breeze turn the boat around towards port while re-deploying the foresail.

After docking in our slip without a hitch (there’s never anyone around when that happens), we celebrated with dinner out at Don Lalo’s taqueria. Unfortunately, we need to head back to Tucson tomorrow or the Mexican immigration authorities will charge us 500 pesos each for overstaying our free 7-day visas. That would be about 55-60 bucks that would PO old Pam to no end.

Can’t have that, can we?

2100 hours.
Something seems to have hopped our backyard fence and rained down bloody mayhem onto Ziggy.

When we called the dogs in after a particularly raucous barking session, we noticed that Ziggy had a three inch gash on her left foreleg, and numerous other tears on other spots on her leg and head. Whatever it was, it got her on her blind side. I think it may have been a big cat.

This is quite unprecedented. Usually it’s just one nickel to quarter-sized rip of the skin, requiring a cleansing and a few staples. This one took about 25 staples with Pam and I holding her down and blood everywhere.

A dose of antibiotics and some Tramadol for the pain, and she’s got the elizabethan collar on once again.


12 hour update- She’s eaten her breakfast and is now on a maintenance dosage of antibiotics. Still unsure of exactly what animal got into it with her. No lion tracks in the yard that I can find, so it could have been coyotes.

On our last trip down to San Carlos, a few things got done. We completed an inventory of the ship’s myriad spare bits and pieces, and I turned it into an electronic form for ease in searching for whatever we might need in the future. That gets printed out in case we ever fail to have enough juice to run the laptop.

31 holds, 2 drawers, 3 hanging lockers, 8 or so cubbyholes and the lazarette were all turned out for inspection.

There’s a shload of spare parts, with the initial hand-written inventory comprising 20-plus pages of single-spaced information, and a legend to guide me to the correct place.

Need anything? 😉

I had a hole in the instrument panel where I’d removed an ancient AM/FM cassette player. For a couple of months, the hole served as a handy place to bring the new remote VHF microphone’s cable to the base VHF without drilling a new hole for said cable. Now that I’ve moved the base VHF radio to that old cassette player’s position, I’ve cleaned up that bit of wiring that was hanging outside the panel.

Old panel:


New panel:

Just below the VHF’s new location is a brand new Pioneer DEH-S4010BT Bluetooth-enabled AM/FM/CD player with which to annoy my neighbors and guests. ‘Course, they can hook up too. It’s only fair that I listen to others’ music for a short time, no?

New-old-stock cockpit speakers were installed onto the big ‘ol aluminium arch, hardwired to the original owner’s speaker connections in the lazarette. I forgot to take a photo of them after mounting. At 150 watts, they’re quite capable of destroying whatever peace and quiet a small anchorage or marina might have had.

Here’s the woofer.

They’re up and out of the way compared to the PO’s previous set-up and they sound great. Plus, I can control everything from my stupid smartphone, except when I’m at the helm. Seems there’s just too much electronic gear between the helm and the instrument panel for crystal-clear Bluetooth connectivity.

What else, what else?
Pam’s urge to spiff up the bright-work was indulged, and she’s given the twice-over to the toe rails and eyebrows.
She did a nice job applying the Pettit’s Z-Spar Captain’s varnish, but like Karin says, give her a year of trying to keep up with that.

So the boat’s sounding good and looking good except for her bottom. Next up is a 12 volt hookah system to dive down and scrub ‘er up whilst at anchor in the bay, and a Smart Plug modular upgrade to the shore power cord.

Oh, Semana Santa’s coming up, a religio-mystical kind of celebration. Things get quite insane here in San Carlos with the local population almost quadrupling in size, not to mention the volume level. We got the hell outta there just in time.

Today I met up with the MacGregor’s new owners, who seem like a very nice family.

Walked ’em through all the sail handling and how to drop the mast for trailering to Sovereign’s new home in Marana, Arizona.

Here she is at her old stomping grounds in Marina Fonatur, Rocky Point, MX.

I should go visit Rocky Point again in the near future, but wherever will I stay? What will I do?

Anywho, I got my asking price after marketing her on Craigslist for about 8 months. Dealt with a few flakes, if you know what I mean.

Clem’s gonna miss his perch.

Too much time has passed since my last post, and a lot’s happened.

Not the least of which is that I’m now the proud owner of a Mexican temporary import permit, good for ten years. The process is usually easy, but I was dealing with a previous owner’s reticence in telling the Mexican authorities a bald-faced lie about their having taken the boat out of the country.

Enter Sr. Victor Barreda, a port agent I learned of through the internet. He asked me and the previous owner for a shload of fairly sensitive information and documents which I gathered, scanned into an electronic format and sent to Baja, Mexico.

What could go wrong, eh?

Mr. Barreda knows whose palms to grease. Yes, there is corruption in Mexico, but as a dockmate told me, “at least it’s corruption I can afford”.

She will be christened “Sovereign” in the near future, now that I’ve gotten a few legal issues ironed out. No hurry though.

On our last visit down to San Carlos we did not sail, but we cleaned and polished most of the stainless stanchions and the bow pulpit. While removing one of the fairleads for the jib furler, I broke the stainless u-bolt clamping it to a stanchion base, causing your’s truly to spend a day in Guaymas searching for a suitable replacement.
I did locate a shop that could fabricate one for me, owned by a gentleman who speaks excellent English. I only needed one, but thought I might as well buy a few if he’s going to go to that trouble. But in the end, I decided not to have them made. At 250 pesos a pop, it would have set me back way more than would have been economically feasible.

I’m such a cheapskate.

I ended up scavenging a u-bolt from another fairlead located on the bow pulpit, and will be replacing that critical fairlead with a simple swiveling bullseye.

Good thing, too. That roller fairlead’s bearings were shot, causing the furler control line to experience some chafe. The swiveling bullseye will be simpler and cheaper than another fairlead block.

Oh, and did you notice that big ‘ol white hull in the background of the pulpit picture? That’s Imagine, a huge power boat owned by our new dockmates Tom and Judy. I think it’s even beamier than the boat that occupied that slip before, which caused me great consternation when docking.
Looking forward to gently bouncing off her. Not.

During these cool winter months, we’re employing a local upholsterer to sew us up a new bimini, and taking bids on re-doing the dodger.

We’re furtively scoping out real estate agents to start the process of selling the Ranch, and we’re selling off or giving away just about everything. The new place will be one of our rentals in the big city, currently undergoing a rehab and a large regimen of insecticide. The last tenant we had there allowed an infestation of dog ticks to get out of control. Ugh.

Anyway, besides boat repairs in paradise, we’ve been eating well down here.

The tacos are very good, as are the oysters. We’ve also taken to cooking up our own breakfasts aboard, something which Pam heartily endorses.

I think that’s where I get my cheapskate-ness.

In the spirit of “better safe than sorry” I drove down to San Carlos without Pam and the dogs. While Tropical Storm Lidia was dissipating and heading more towards Baja than the mainland, it couldn’t hurt to make sure that the boat was secure. I’m very glad to have the free time to be able to tend to our new boat.

I arrived about a day and a half before things got blustery and doubled up a few of the dock lines, checked the chafe gear and tightly wrapped the mainsail’s cover. Watching the weather forecasts, winds looked to be 30-plus knots gusting to 50, mostly from ESE. AO really needs a new dodger and bimini, and I’m lucky to have an East-facing slip. If the winds were westerly, I would have had to either pull off the canvas or turn the boat around in her slip.

Day 2-
While waiting for Lidia, I got a few other repairs done. A new sonar transducer had been installed by the previous owners, but the cable needed to be routed under the salon and over to one of the holds on the port side. It was hoped that I could just tie it to the old cable that was left in place, but somehow that old cable had glued itself to the hull. That’s why I brought my fish tape along.

Putting a flashlight in the forward hold aimed at the limber hole I needed to route the new cable through, I then went back to the aft hold, laying on the sole with a headlamp and an inspection mirror. Reaching down with the mirror, I was able to see the glow of the flashlight. Yay!

Unreeling the fish tape, it took about 15 minutes of trial and error to get the thing close to the faraway glow, and then another 5 minutes of twisting and turning the tape until it disappeared into the light. Get up and go forward for a look-see.

By golly, there it was! A bit of tape to attach the new cable to the fish, try to arrange the cable so it’ll feed nicely, and carefully pull. This took awhile too, as I didn’t want any catches or kinks messing up all this work.


I still needed to route the cable over to the connector in the portside settee, but that would require shutting down the air conditioner. Heaven forbid at this point in time!
I’ll wait until the next morning to deal with that.

Next on the agenda, install the new oil pressure gauge. This entailed a bit of contorting myself into the lazarette in the cockpit and trying to locate the wires from the previous gauge, hopefully to re-use.


So out comes the fish tape again, and a new 18 gauge wire is pulled to attach to the new pressure sensor on the engine. A new fused 12 volt wire off the ignition switch, new ground wire and another pair of wires for the gauge’s lamp. The lamp circuit is switched so night vision can be preserved if necessary.

Fire up the Yanmar, and I got about 50 psi of oil. Then I noticed the tachometer. It was bouncing between 0 and whatever RPM the engine happened to be at.

It just goes to show you…

It was daunting enough finding the oil pressure port for the new sensor on this new-to-me engine, now I gotta find the RPM sensor too?

Breaking out the manual, the schematic says that the two wires I’m looking for are orange and blue with red. Put a strong light on the wiring loom, aha! Orange and blue/red right there! Follow them to what looks like a flywheel housing on the aft end of the engine and there’s the sensor. Wiggling the connectors, one just pulls away much too easily. I wish all my repairs went like that one.

Bring on T.S. Lidia! Wind and rain, with some of the rain making it into my boat!

I had removed a copper propane supply line due to a leak, and did a poor job of temping over the pass-through hole in the propane locker. This resulted in a goodly leak into the starboard cabinetry. Rather than go out on the deck in the rain, I put some little buckets under the waterfall, emptying them about every 5-10 minutes. This was not very conducive to sleep, so I modified the catchment with a siphoning hose of surgical tubing.

This still wouldn’t allow me to sleep much longer than 20 minutes, if that. The real “fix” ended up with me drilling a hole in the bottom of a plastic tray, shoving the tubing through said hole and gooping the interior with a little 4200 caulk. Then I rummaged around for a piece of hose to run the surgical tubing into in order to reach the bilge, and let the bilge pump do its job.

Good night.

Day 3-
The rain had abated, but it was still blowing pretty good. I walked our dock to see how everybody fared, and there was just one small wind-related casualty.

Don’t know whether anything from the box got lost in the drink, but there was still shore power in that thing.

At 0800 there’s a VHF forum on channel 74, and that morning it was a bit busier than usual, with talk of one ketch that went on the rocks in Bahia San Carlos. A dock mate took some photos and sent them along to me.


Back to work. First, do a much better job of temping over that hole in the propane locker!
Next, let’s get that sonar cable finished.
Shutting down the air conditioner and its seawater pump, I pulled the pump’s hose to give me enough room to fit the transducer through the passage into the settee’s hold, then reinstalled the pump hose, which promptly began to leak when I turned the pump back on.
After about three tries and with the boat’s interior temperature rising, I was able to jerry-rig the thing with some Teflon tape to increase the O.D. of the pump’s barbed fitting. Secure it with two band clamps and turn on the AC.

I re-checked that fitting a number of times during my stay.

Take a break and go for a swim, then head into town for water. Along the way I stopped at the wrecked ketch and met the owner.

He was quite philosophical about his loss as he began his salvage efforts.

Day 4- Sunday
The remnants of Lidia’s glancing blow to San Carlos were pretty much gone, but Mexico as a whole wasn’t as lucky. Seven confirmed deaths, flooding of hundreds of homes in Ciudad Mexico while sinkholes formed on some roads.

Baja California took the brunt of it, with nearly 12 inches of rain in some spots.

But life goes on, and I’ve been eating leftovers and such during my stay. What say we patronize a local restaurant for some dinner?

One of the newer places in town is called Tortuga’s, and Pam and I have enjoyed the place a couple of times. I had the squid with garlic for an appetizer which was excellent. Main course was seared tuna encrusted with chilies, wasabi mashed potatoes, olives and fried tomatoes with spinach. Again, superb.
My compliments to the chef!

Day 5-
I had hoped to finalize the Mexican Temporary Import Permit in Guaymas that day, but I received such conflicting information from folks regarding what I’d need to present to the authorities that I went into information overload. Soon I’ll have to git ‘er done, but there’s one biggish wrench in the works that has me cowed.

Bureaucracy sucks.

So I spent the day aboard finding and fixing other small items. The cockpit shower had a small leak that caused the freshwater pump to cycle. After a good cleaning and a new O ring, no more leak. I was afraid that the problem was in a much less accessible place, such as under the floor boards.
Thankfully, no.

Day 6-
I got out of Dodge around 10 AM, filling up my truck’s gas tank with 1,000 pesos worth of gasoline. That’s almost $60.00. In the U.S., it’d be about half that.

Not too long ago, the state oil industry, Pemex, was “deregulated” in the hopes of inviting market competition as foreign oil companies started doing business in Mexico. Prices skyrocketed, resulting in the “gasolinazo” protests nationwide. Somebody’s making a killing.

When next we visit, I plan on going up the mast to install a new windex, a new VHF antenna, and try to find out why that wind transducer isn’t spinning as freely as it should.
Oh, and maybe sail a bit.

Anybody want to buy a MacGregor 25?