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While the weather report for the time I planned this trip looked a bit windy, I’d hoped to at least get a bit of sailing in, and a bit was all we got.

Nonetheless, a few upgrades were installed during the three days we were there, which I’ll get to shortly.

Day one-

After a mostly uneventful drive (Gilligan and his delicate stomach), we showed up an hour or two before low tide, and Arturo got me launched pretty quickly. I tied off to the launch dock and began loading up the fuel tank, cooler and clothing bags.

I filled out the capitain de puerto’s information papers and hopped aboard for the short transit to Marina Fonatur. The motor fired up quickly, I cast off the dock lines and put her into reverse. Aaaand, I’m not going anywhere!

Turns out I took a little too long to put out, and the receding tide had effectively grounded me on the concrete ramp. I had to make a precarious four-foot leap back onto the dock and drag the boat down the ramp to deeper water, where I could finally get underway. I’m sure the keel has a new scrape or two in the paint, dammit.

Arriving at Fonatur, a little shuffling of a panga over to a neighboring slip was done, and I was docked. I bent on the mainsail, installed the reefing lines, outhaul and mainsheet.
A little scrubbing and rinsing was also in order.

Hey, we’re back!

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The big boat at the end of the dock was gone, freeing up plenty of dock space for a 43-footer, easily. Heck, two 43-footers! The bird poop was power washed off the next day.
(Update- Pam just reminded me that El Guarda has a yearly lease on the slip, so….)

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It being a Sunday, and the sun over the yardarm, I felt it only right to not shove off for a sail that afternoon. In hindsight, it’s a decision I kind of regret, as Oscar updated me on the weather. “It’ll be getting windy, but you should be able to get out tomorrow morning.”

Well, I’ll take what I can get, but right now, I’m hungry. How about the Blue Marlin?

Sunday evening on the malecon, ain’t no way we’re driving over there. Traffic was backed up clear to where the road splits, so it was decided to head on over to Lucas’ for a cheap chicken dinner. 70 pesos for a quarter of a bird, tortillas, pickled onions, lettuce and salsa. Heck, you can’t afford not to eat there!

Gilligan fended off a stray who’d wandered into the open-air restaurant, providing a little drama with dinner. I tipped the restaurant extra, apologizing for the dog’s anti-social behavior.
He can be quite the scrapper.

Day 2-

Our typical Mexican morning; walk the dogs, clear the dinette, make the coffee and breakfast on potatoes fried up crisp with peppers and onions, eggs over easy.

Let’s go sailing!

The morning breeze was out of the East, allowing me to sail under foresail alone out onto the Sea of Cortez.
Not long after setting the mainsail however, the swells and building breezes caused me to reef, and then, suddenly, the boat’s almost on her ear.

Pam mentioned something about heading in, and I thought that was probably a good idea. In all, we got about an hour of sailing in.

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There were still things to do dockside, so I set up my new propane cylinder holder/wi-fi antenna mast base. It’s a one-foot tall piece of 3 inch ABS pipe, with the bottom cap glued and a few holes drilled for drainage, band-clamped to the portside cabin top stanchion. A small propane cylinder just fits, and the top cap is kept loose. I still need to create a leash for the top cap, ’cause I know it’ll get out of hand in the future.

The new wi-fi antenna is on an eight-foot piece of 1.5 inch PVC, and depending on the wave action, works pretty good. If the boat’s rockin’, it needs a wedge to maintain the antenna’s direction.

And we’ve got wi-fi at the docks!

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In some ways, I’ll miss the slog up to street level to check email and argue on the internet, but certainly not at low tide. That’s a friggin’ workout.

Thanks to Kevin and Joe for their suggestions on the upgrade!

I set up the boom tent to offer a little shade in the cockpit, which was immediately commandeered by the dogs.

That evening we had dinner at the Blue Marlin. Homero wasn’t around, but a new brood of kittens were. There was a woman who was trying to round ’em up and adopt ’em out, but they proved too wily for her. Let’s definitely get mama cat fixed.

Day 3-

The winds overnight were honkin’, singing in the rigging and shoving the boat up against the dock. It wasn’t looking very good for sailing today.

After breakfast, we thought maybe we should head out to the beach at CEDO, but then I remembered about the Morua estuary needing checking out. It’s just a few miles beyond CEDO, and mostly accessible by off-road vehicles. We parked as closely as we could, and hiked the half-mile or so to the body of water. I didn’t bring my camera, sorry to say. Next time.

According to Oscar, the estuary’s depth ranges from about 3 feet at low tide to about 9 feet at high tide. I had thought about visiting here in the boat, timing my entry and exit at slack high tide. I’d still like to see the mouth of the estuary from land, before committing to a passage. A photo I found seems to show some rocks and such at the mouth.

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Looks as if the tide’s coming in, huh?

After scraping the mud from off our feet, we headed back to the docks, noting the increasing prevalence of large, loud motorcycles. In fact, tomorrow is the official start of Rally Week here in Rocky point. I remember last year’s experience (or was that two years ago?), when big engines thraaaaged up and down the dusty side streets. I suspect the bikers will appreciate all the brand-new concrete that’s been laid down over the past year.

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Dinner that evening was at the Satisfied Frog, a wood-fired pizza with shrimp, garlic and onions. It was okay.
The guy manning the oven was wearing a surgical mask, supposedly to limit his lungs’ intake of particulates. I think a full respirator would probably be required in the states.

Day 4-

Yada-yada-yada, winds still blowin’, and it’s nigh on time to haul out.
I was preparing to cast off solo, after sending Pam on ahead to Safe Marina. As I was warming up the motor, I pulled the cover off to check the choke’s position and noticed a small stream of fuel leaking out of the carburetor.

After mopping it up with a rag, it seemed that the motor was flooded, so I removed the spark plug and let the cylinder dry out.
After reinstalling the plug, she fired right up, but still kept leaking! Well, for the 3 minute transit to Safe Marina, let’s just hope no fire results.

Okay, cast off the stern line, engage the motor and prepare to flip the bow line off its cleat, when suddenly my fenders climb up my hull and entangle the yet un-flipped bow line!

So I dropped it.

I had to either retrieve the line before it could wend its way back into my propeller, or just shut down the motor, so I shut down the motor. Then I scurried forward to haul in the unreachable line, and fend off an impending brush with the shrimping boat Progressista. All the while, the North wind was pushing the stern over to another boat, with my solar panel about to take the brunt of that collision. Ay-yi-yi!

Go back aft, save the panel, and now my forestay is intertwined with Progressista’s anchor and prow!

Thank goodness there were crew aboard the shrimper, and they extricated my forestay toot-sweet. I restarted the motor, thanked them profusely, and headed North.

How embarrassing, huh?

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4 Comments

  1. Most excellent having a clear view now that the derelicts are gone from the end of the pier! Ha ha

    • Pam just mentioned that the “derelict” has a yearly lease on the big T slip, but yes, it is a much nicer view!

      I’ll update the blog to reflect that.

  2. We call these “Mas Incidents” and also have many. All part of the sport of sailing. I enjoy reading your posts.

    • Thanks! But boy, that forestay issue…could’a gone much worse.


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