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I wasted no time in getting back down to Puerto Penasco after trailering my little boat down last week. The duct tape on the wheels’ hubs was replaced with simple axle dust caps, and we had her splashed by 1600.

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Over at Fonatur, SV Imagine was getting some boat love from her owners.

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It’s a Friday afternoon in Rocky Point, somewhat warmish, and Pam wants to take the dogs to the beach. I want to get the boat rigged for sailing tomorrow, so off she went to Las Conchas on her own. She won’t be long, as dinner time is fast approaching. 😉

I’m also kind of excited to try out my new navigational capabilities, since Karin and Joe from SV Flyin Sideways had gifted me copies of the electronic charts they had of the Sea of Cortez (and beyond). Been looking for these for about two years now, so, thanks guys!
I’ll be testing OpenCPN, the open-sourced marine navigation program, using a laptop computer and a GPS receiver.

Dinner that evening was at La Curva, while the dogs languished in the car.

Day 2-

Up before dawn, coffee and dog-duty. It seems that Pam was right, there are no garbage receptacles to be seen around the area. What am I supposed to do with this small plastic bag full of poop? Oh yeah, there are dumpsters behind Fonatur’s offices.

A little later on, breakfast on the docks, followed by final prep for the day’s sail.

I needed a radio check, but never got around to it before heading out. Oscar, Tempo’s captain, said he would accommodate me while we’re out there. Okay, so we put out, only to find that the usual hailing frequency, channel 16, is “busy”. Someone’s got a radio with a stuck transmit function, obliterating any and all communication on a very important channel!

This issue put the local maritime authorities on alert, and while we were out, I saw a power boat coming straight for us. Having no idea if the boat’s pilot was aware that we were on a collision course, I changed my course for him. When he got close enough so I could see he was the local Coastie and he wanted to talk to me, I hove to.
He spoke some Spanish to me, but my Spanish is not too good? He then raised his hand-held VHF and pointed to it, which I took to mean there was a radio problem. Ah yes, there is a radio problem.

So I switched off my VHF, he checked the status of channel 16 (no change), thanked me and then sped off towards the next boat.

Here’s our course for the day, as depicted on the iPad and the laptop.

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The laptop’s rendering of our track that day is to the right in the photo, stunted due to worries about the laptop’s battery life.
OpenCPN seems to put us a little North of our position relative to the chart. This may be because there really aren’t any up-to-date electronic charts of this area available with verified GPS coordinates.

Or something.

Adding in the fact that the laptop needs at least 18.5 volts to charge its battery, there may be a change in power systems needed for the boat.
Not this boat, however. The next boat.

We enjoyed dinner at the Blue Marlin that evening, and a nice walk with the dogs from the marina and back.

Day 3-

Same-old same-old routine, but the VHF problem had gone away. I had hoped the locals figured out who the culprit was, but later on the problem returned. But this time, it covered ALL CHANNELS!

Okay, then.

With reckless abandon, we still put out for a daysail, this time heading WNW towards Cholla bay.

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Delightful sail, culminating is being becalmed about five miles from port just before dusk. I waited too long to break out the spinnaker for the return trip, and the sun began to set on us. Stow it, fire up the outboard, turn on the navigation and steaming lights and head back in.

Hey, there’s another cruiser docked at Fonatur!

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That there’s SV Coastal Drifter, a David Folkes designed steel-hulled behemoth of a boat. She’s owned by Phil and Debra Perfitt, a couple of Canadians from Canada. 🙂

Debra’s the stunning blonde on the left.

They had been splashed from Cabrales’ yard just recently, and are in the process of provisioning for their next adventure. And they’re cleaning Coastal Drifter from top to bottom, after the boat sat in the work yard for the Summer.
I certainly know about that little problem.

We traded pleasantries, then headed out to Tacos Marcos for our final dinner in Rocky Point.

Day 4-

Today, we were given the nickel tour of both Coastal Drifter and Imagine by their respective owners. Two very different boats. Drifter is built like a tank in some respects: just look at those railings. Plus, a steel hull can be repaired almost everywhere in the world, compared to fiberglass. Beamy, with a displacement of around 38,000 pounds, she’s more than twice the weight of Imagine.

Alex (or Radu, as I’ve come to learn) and Katja have spared no expense in the outfitting of Imagine. She has state-of-the-art electronics, and a Carl Alberg pedigree. A superbly designed dodger and bimini enclosure keeps the sun, spray and bugs at bay, and she’s way fast, I hear. Below decks, she’s just as gorgeous. There’s a whole lot more of her to be seen on their website.

Thanking our hosts for the tours, I had to get busy striking the mainsail on Sovereign, and packing up for the trip home.

There’s some kind of election going on in the states tomorrow, and I wanted to get across the border before anything crazy happened.

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3 Comments

  1. Hey Tom If you can’t find duck tape for a bearing cap spray paint lids work well. I bought a used utility trailer and it didn’t have caps. I put spray paint lids on both hubs and used the trailer for 4 years. Sold it with the lids on it too.
    So any thoughts on where you’re going to sail after the wall goes up?
    Marty

    • I’ll just sail South of the wall, is all. 😉 How’s the family, Marty?

      Edit- Just checked your website and Youtube channel. Your life must be one of the most well-documented lives of all time!


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