After making sure all of our important responsibilities were, at least, not going to bite us in the proverbial buttocks, I was finally able to justify a bit of time spent down in Rocky Point.
Having not been in the car since his adventure, poor Gilligan wasn’t too keen on hopping into it at all, but we loaded him up anyway along with Ziggy and made the drive down on a Sunday morning.
On the plus side, he didn’t puke this time.
It being Mother’s Day, I gave mom a call, left a message, then tried some other family members, leaving more messages. Then, my phone rings back. Turns out she was enjoying the traditional brunch at my niece’s new place in Hamtramck. I’m far from up-to-date on family traditions.
A few days of pretty good winds had been whipping up the Sea of Cortez, and their aftereffects would figure into our sailing days during this trip. But, I’m getting ahead of myself here.
The boat wasn’t too filthy, and I put in without much sweeping out of the cockpit, heading over to Marina Fonatur against a fair breeze from the South. Hey, there’s a panga in my usual slip!
No worries, as the guys on Eco Fun saw me coming, and proceeded to make room. I just needed to turn around and make room for the panga to exit. Putting the tiller hard over in the tight fairway and starting to come about, I quickly realized that I was going to bash into the booze-cruiser Baja Adventure!
Slamming the outboard into reverse and gunning it slowed me down just enough to whack her stern with a fairly loud bonk, causing the band members on her aft deck to peer through the railings down at me. This is what happens when I’m too long away from my boat. How embarrassing.
No real damage, but a bit of blue paint on my prow to remind me of my piloting skills, or lack thereof.
Pam let me use the dock hose to rinse off the last of the dirt, and in no time Sovereign was looking much better. I bent on the mainsail and threaded the reefing lines. According to the forecast, I shouldn’t need them, but what the heck?
After a bit of ribbing from the folks on Eco Fun, I believe a beer is in order.
We’ve been getting stuck in our ways when it comes to dining down here, so we tried out a different place this trip. On Sunday night, we stopped at a place called Taqueria los Poblanos. Not knowing just how big their portions were, I ordered three pork “quesillas”, and so did Pam. Two would have been plenty for me. Delicious, and we had mucho leftovers to take back to the boat for tomorrow’s breakfast.
After a huge pork quesilla omelette and coffee, it was finally time to put out for a day-sail. The winds pushing the harbor flags looked reasonable, and as we exited the harbor mouth, I put up the sails. That lasted for all of about two minutes, when I reefed out of fear.
The swells a bit further out were about 4-5 feet, with a period of three seconds between crests, making my little boat hobby-horse something fierce. Every few moments the boat would crash down onto the next swell, stopping my forward progress quite effectively. We endured this for maybe twenty minutes before turning around and heading right back in, tails between our legs.
The entire excursion lasted about 45 minutes.
The docks were a hotbed of activity, what with Quino el Guardian getting a bit of re-fit and paint before she heads back out next Sunday.
Oscar and his mate were busy re-habbing his dock stairs, grinding off the rust and spraying on some battleship-grey primer.
Thankfully, the breeze was blowing in the proper direction. 😉
Most of the work on my boat consists of cleaning up dog fur, but my outboard motor wasn’t peeing out quite the water stream it usually does, so I wanted to have a look at the impeller.
The impeller looked fine, so I guess there’s a bit of salt clogging up the cooling tubes, somewhere. There’s still enough water passing through, so it’s not an emergency as of yet. I put the lower unit back together and re-hung the motor back onto the transom.
A photo shoot was also going on, with a pretty girl all dolled up. Maybe it was for her quinceanera.
That evening we enjoyed the carne asada at La Curva.
Pam invited Ivan, a homeless guy, down to the boat for breakfast. On her many dog walks, she’s been getting to know the locals pretty well, and they her. Word spreads quickly when you give one of them a twenty dollar bill. I guess the guy that got the twenty had a dental problem, and Pam hoped he would put the money towards that. We don’t yet know how that was resolved.
Ivan speaks English very well, and helped us a bit with our halting Spanish. It being Mother’s Day in Mexico, he mentioned that he hadn’t spoken with his mom in a long time. We offered up our cell phones so he could do so, but he said he just needed a couple bucks to use a pay phone.
A little while later, we again put out onto the Sea of Cortez, running into almost the same swelly conditions, only with less wind. This time we lasted a whole half-hour longer.
So, for the second day in a row, we’re back on the docks before noon. What’s there to do? Beach!
Apparently, the progress on the cruise ship pier has halted, so Sandy Beach is an easy decision to make. Our other beach, out near CEDO along Las Conchas beach, has a lot of coral outcroppings. It’s no fun stubbing your toe on that stuff.
Later, getting back to our predictable ways, we had dinner at China Fortune.
While taking the dogs up for their morning ablutions, I found Ivan had given Pam’s car a good washing, so I gave him whatever pesos I had in my pockets. The car was filthy, so, thanks Ivan!
I walked the dogs down to the public boat ramp, and found my first evidence that there are actually sharks out there, albeit small ones.
Seeing as how my sailing efforts had been pretty much stymied over the past two days, I wanted to give it one more try. Our only remaining cat, Uh Clem, was all alone back at the Ranch with plenty of food, water and cat litter to tide him over.
Third time’s a charm.
The swells had subsided. According to iSailor, we traveled about 16 nautical miles that day, compared to the previous two-days’ total of 7 nautical miles.
As we were making our way back into port, there was a big ‘ol sailboat anchored outside.
That’s a 53-foot Spencer, AKA the SV Que Sera. She was waiting out there until high tide would allow all of her 8 foot draft an easier time in the harbor fairway.
I’ve seen this boat in Cabrales’ boat yard, with her huge pilot house being the giveaway. We met her owners back on Fonatur’s docks, as they were looking for a place to tie up for a bit. If they’re lucky, the big “T” where el Guardian’s getting her paint job will be open this Sunday. In the meantime, they’ll take a more expensive slip over at Safe Marina.
We made one more foray over to Sandy Beach later that day, then cooked our own damn dinner back at Fonatur. We’re really going off-script during this trip. 😉
An unprecedented day 5-
Skipped breakfast (but not the coffee, of course), folded, rolled and stowed the mainsail, and made my way over to Safe Marina for haul-out. Paid another month’s worth of rent on the hard, then took some time to visit Que Sera. Mary and Rick were just about to haul up this huge foresail for folding as Pam and I walked down.
I offered my help, and Mary offered to show Pam the boat in the meantime. Sounds good, so Rick and I pushed and pulled the dock cart up the gangway, setting the massive sail aside his minivan, then headed back down to the Spencer.
I didn’t take any photos of her interior, but “cavernous” is a pretty good word to describe it, I think.
After a brief tour, we moseyed back on up to the yard to fold up Que Sera’s foresail.
Trust me, there are at least some advantages to having a small sailboat.
We got out of town by 10:30, and made record time returning to the Ranch, waking up Clem with his first taste of moist cat food in 5 days. He hasn’t shut up since.
I am beat!