Unseasonably warm weather here in Tucson, with highs in the upper 70s to 80 degrees, so let’s do this.
We show up in Rocky Point at just about low tide, and it’s a fairly extreme one, with the Moon and Sun exerting their influence. Another MacGregor, a 26er, was lining up for haul out, but seemed to be having some engine trouble. Turns out, he’d stumbled across the remnants of a polyethylene tarp that was floating in the harbor, and wrapped up his outboard’s propeller.
A few lines were tossed, and his boat was successfully dragged onto his waiting trailer.
My turn. Grateful for the 24-inch draft of my little sailboat, I put in and began the process of hosing off the dust and sand that had collected in my absence, then headed over to Marina Fonatur to claim my slip. It was nigh on 1700 hours, so a little tidying up of the cabin was done before we made our way to Amor de Pizza for some carbohydrate-heavy dinner.
At least that’s how Pam described it the next day, poor thing.
Winds are forecast to be light, and I’m in no hurry to get out there, so I did a bit of spot maintenance on my bow eye. During haul outs, the boys at Safe Marina crank the boat tightly to the V block on the trailer, and as the boat settles onto the trailer, the angles change, and some pretty good stresses are imparted to the bow eye.
I asked Pam to help me move the boat around in the slip to make it easier to reach the big U-bolt. Tossing her a line, she bent down to cleat it off, and that’s when her sunglasses fell into the drink. Immediately she lay down onto the docks, grasping in vain at her quickly-sinking shades. When she stood back up, she realized that she was fairly well-smeared with pelican poop! Yuck!
Good thing we’re at a sort of full-service marina, and we made use of the place’s laundry facilities.
Anyway, while she was dealing with that mess, I was excavating the forepeak of Styrofoam flotation to access the nuts and bolts of the bow eye.
After loosening the nuts, I cleaned the old exterior washers and gooped liberally with 4200, then installed new, big ‘ol fender washers inside to help distribute the loads. Tighten up the nuts, and I’ll clean off the excess in the future.
For now, that’ll help to keep seawater out of the boat.
So it’s getting on to early afternoon, and there’s a slight breeze enticing me to get a little sailing in today. With freshly-laundered clothes, Pam and I put out onto the Sea of Cortez.
The boys on EcoFun 1 had seen a mother humpback whale and her calf the day before, about three miles out South of the harbor. This seems very early in the season for them to be showing up around here, but armed with this knowledge, we set off on a course of 190 degrees in very light winds. Unfortunately, this is akin to the proverbial needle in a haystack, and we saw no cetaceans. Still, it was nice getting becalmed about four miles out.
Something happened halfway through that day’s sail, and my Bad Elf GPS quit on me. Whatever. We did see few sea lions lounging around.
Dinner that night was at Tacos Marcos. For less than $10.00, we ate nine chicken tacos, slathered with all sorts of good stuff.
Up way early, walk the dogs and get the coffee on. the winds today are supposed to be about the same as yesterday, but Irving from EcoFun 1 says they’ll be about 8-10 kilometers/hour. Lessee, that comes to about 5-6 miles/hour, somewhat better than yesterday’s waning puffs. Cool.
After breakfast, I noticed the breezes were coming from a direction that would allow me to sail right off the docks, without the use of my outboard motor. All I had to do was deploy my headsail, and we should be able to clear the dock finger immediately to our North.
Well, I waited too long, and the breeze slowly moved more onto my starboard beam. But I still went for it anyway. 🙂
So what if I bonked lightly off the neighboring dock? There’s a small mark on my hull to remind me of my hubris.
After letting the light wind push us around the outer end of the docks we turned into the breeze, I handed Pam the tiller, raised the mainsail and we began the slow procession towards the mouth of the harbor. Then, there was the gauntlet of fishing boats to pass through. I counted at least 11 boats anchored outside the mouth, which limited our choice of heading to about 280-290 degrees until we cleared the fleet. I don’t want to mess with these guys and their business.
From there we headed South, looking for whales.
After a couple hours of sailing, we decided to turn around. Ain’t no whales out here! About two miles out from port, Eco Fun was on the radio, asking for a report of any sightings. I could only say “Nada, nada.”
Then, a lone dolphin breached the surface to our North, but I didn’t feel that one dolphin was newsworthy enough to warrant a radio alert. Not long after that, Eco Fun was on the horn, advising us about a pod of dolphins between us and them. Yay!
I tried to get some photos, but ended up with shots of the surface of the Sea of Cortez.
By then, the light breeze had turned straight out of the West, and I was hoping to sail back into the harbor. We approached the harbor mouth, and as I dropped the mainsail and made the turn easterly, the breeze pretty much quit on us. Well, can’t be tying up the channel like this, so I fired up the outboard. We probably used about a half pint of gasoline that day, if that.
We went to China Fortuna for our dinner that night. Pam needs all the vegetables she can get.
We needed to wait out a very low tide for haul out, and there was the process of giving away/eating all the stuff that wasn’t allowed back into the states. This makes for some interesting breakfasts, sometimes.
Everything was buttoned up by 12:30, and it was an uneventful drive back to Tucson. Let’s hope that more whales will be here the next time we visit.