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First off, don’t assume everything’s fine if one of your tenants never calls you with the usual little problems. And if the neighbor next door gives you a call regarding said tenant, make that neighbor happy, ASAP. Turns out, we’ve got a rock band annoying the neighborhood.


Poor photo, I know. That tenant is now in the process of moving out, and we hope all the skeevy rock fans that showed up for the band’s night-time rehearsals go elsewhere as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy music, even music that most folks might call “bad music”. But we can’t have the police visiting on a regular basis because of the noise going too late into the evening, can we?

The subject of this post is behind the drum set in the living room.

About ten years ago, I replaced four double door systems in one of our rentals. The original multi-pane doors that came with the place had given up the ghost, and bits of those old doors are still in my burn pile. Here’s one of the new double doors I built, then neglected for too long.


The paint just gave out, allowing rainwater to enter and rot away a good portion of the lower rail of the door. Here’s a closer look at the same rental unit’s other door with the same problem, albeit slightly less rotted.


I’ve already repaired and replaced the worst of the two (what fun), but I thought I’d document the repair of the second, less-damaged one.

Step one: get the door down to my wood shop and remove the tempered glass pane.



Then, cut away the rot.


I had originally hoped to use my circular saw to make the cuts, but the white smoke escaped the motor on the old Milwaukee, so I went old school on it.

Leaving a healthy margin to prevent any tear-out from the still-good stile, the saw cut well.


Next, how to clean up these cuts down to the stile’s original edge? I thought about a hand plane…


But there’s more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak. Out came the Beast, a DeWalt 2-horse plunge router with a two-inch piloted pattern bit.



Carefully clamping a straightedge to the stile, the pilot bit made short work of the excess.
And lots of poplar dust.


The other side required a deeper cut into the stile, due to some rot. I set the straightedge deeper, and tacked on a stop to limit the router’s cut from going any higher on the stile than necessary.


Then, just square up the extra with a sharp chisel.


The Beast did an excellent job of preparing the door for its new bottom rail. So here’s the process to make that new rail.

Some 8/4 rough poplar I bought at my local lumberyard was cut down to two pieces. I need to make a flat surface on my stock, and that’s the raison d’Γͺtre of my long bed 8-inch jointer.


Once one side is face-jointed, you set the face onto the 90 degree fence to square up an edge.


After that, a few passes through the planer will machine the other face parallel to the first,


then the table saw will finish the other edge.


I machined them slightly oversized prior to glue-up, then when the glue has completely dried, I’ll run the piece through the planer again to get it down to just above final thickness, that being one and 3/4 inches, and cut to final length on the table saw.


That’s enough for today. I should be able to finish this project tomorrow. Maybe even get it primed and re-installed, eh?


I made the run down to Puerto Penasco on a Sunday, when everybody else was heading the other way.



Been there, done that. Once.

My boat was sorta buried in amongst the other sailboats, but there was still enough room to start tearing her down. The outboard motor and rudder assembly were removed and I gave the trailer’s wheels’ lug nuts a spritz of WD40, just in case I had to do any roadside repairs on the trip back North. I prepped the gin pole for the next day’s mast drop, then hit Tacos Marcos for dinner.

The mosquitoes were hell that night, and I barely slept a wink. I’ve already got the forward hatch bug-proofed, but I’ve been pondering how to screen the companionway. Flyin Sideways’ owners have a pretty good system, it appears. A sturdy screening material with weights sewn in around the perimeter, which is attached to the deck forward of the sliding hatch. Then the material is just draped over the open companionway, and Bob’s your uncle. How it might be designed to work with the pop-top up is another consideration.

Day 2-

Damned mosquitoes. Anyway, before the sun came up, I had the mast down and secured for travel. Then the rudder assembly was hoisted into the cockpit (after draining it of seawater all night, another bit of work to do), and the big ratcheting strap installed to keep the boat from jumping off the trailer.

Miguel moved the surrounding boats, then dragged Sovereign out of her slot and over to the yard’s compressor to top off the trailer’s tires. I’m just about ready to hit the road.

Pay off the remaining rent that’s due for storage and tip Miguel well, make a final check of everything I could think of, and I’m out of the gate by 0845.

Those first 10-20 miles, you want to take it easy. Stop and check the trailer’s hubs for any abnormal heat development, indicating a wheel bearing problem. While pulling over on the dusty shoulder, I mistook the dust that was kicked up for smoke. It didn’t help that there was also the smell of smoke in the air as I exited the cab.

I checked both hubs, but they were okay. Somebody upwind was burning something, so thank goodness it wasn’t me. Still, I made a couple more checks along the way northward.

This time, the agent at the border wasn’t interested in inspecting Sovereign for contraband, saying “Welcome”, and I thanked him.

I arrived in Tucson around 1400, parked the boat in her usual spot and headed inside to the air-conditioned comfort of the Ranch. Since returning, I’ve pulled off her running rigging and given it all a much-needed bath. The boat’s still awaiting her bath, but Clem doesn’t seem to mind. He’s glad to have his perch back in town.


Me too.

As Flyin Sideways moved North to escape the heat of Southern Mexico, they found a great price on a slip in the country’s second-largest port city of Guaymas (pronounced “why-mas”).

The city lies approximately 300 miles due South of my place, and the trip down took about six hours. Driving down alone, I had to stop at immigracion and pick up a free permit to travel in the “hassle-free zone” which extends from the border to Guaymas along highway 15, but no further East or South of my destination. For that, I’d need extra Mexican governmental clearance.

For now, I prefer it hassle-free.


How the heck did they paint that up there?


Guaymas and neighboring San Carlos are both great cruiser destinations, kind of a Northern-most point for sailors hauling out for hurricane season, or selling it all and “swallowing the anchor”. And there are lots of boats for sale, a few of which I was able to briefly inspect.

Most of the boats slipped at our local marina were very salty-looking.




The winds here seem pretty reliable, and there are a lot of anchorages, too.


The only real constraint imposed on most of these keelboats are the relatively shallow areas upon which you could run aground, if you weren’t keeping a close eye out. My little swing-keeled MacGregor 25 might be quite happy down here.

Day 2-

We headed towards San Carlos and breakfasted at Rosie’s, then made our way to the marina where local broker Don Brame is situated. He runs San Carlos Yacht Sales, and some of his offerings seemed to be worth a look-see. Working around each others schedules (his, mostly), I got to look at one boat that day, a Cape Dory 30.





Not a bad-looking boat, but it was only the first I’d seen during my stay. Thanking Don for his time, we headed back to Guaymas, where the yard there held another boat that piqued interest, Zorra.

She’s a 1975 Tayana 37. Add the bowsprit, make that 42 feet.


Getting back in contact with Don’s office, I set up an appointment for the next day at 0900 to check her out.
In the meantime, Joe was taking a long look at her hull and noticed an anomaly on Zorra’s cutwater. It looked as if there was an impression of the wire rope bobstay stamped on it, leading us to take a harder look at the bowsprit.

Zorra 020

Under that white paint(!) is a laminated teak and mahogany hunk of wood, with what appears to be a crack at the apparent fulcrum. This will bear further inspection.
Good eyes, Joe!

Dinner that evening was at the taco stand “Safari”, right across the street from the marina. Every bit as good as any I’ve had in Mexico.

Day 3-

Met with Brisa, Don’s cohort at San Carlos Yacht Sales, and she brought the keys to allow access to Zorra.

A tiller instead of a wheel in the smallish cockpit, with mucho storage space below decks. Lots and lots of wood, which is something that really doesn’t encourage me. It was a short inspection, as Brisa had some appointment to attend.

Since then, I’ve been delving into the particulars of these Tayanas, and will want a second look at her to confirm what I’ve learned about their build specifications. Things like the spreaders, mast and boom, which may be made of wood.

A bit later we took off for the San Carlos area to enjoy Playa Algodones, a beautiful crescent-shaped strip of beach.




Then we headed back towards San Carlos.


Really beautiful coastline around here, huh?

Karin had set up an emergency dental appointment in San Carlos, so we dropped her off at the dentist’s office, and Joe and I made our way to the nearby Captain’s Club for a bit of lunch. No sooner had we been served our delicious crab tostadas we got the call from Karin for her pick-up.

The cost of her exam, x-ray and consultation? Free. Just the few dollars for a course of antibiotics the dentist had prescribed.

Karin, I hope you’re feeling better by now!

The rest of the day was spent huddled aboard in Flyin Sideways’ air-conditioned saloon, where my Jeopardy skills were shown to be sorely lacking.


Day 4- There was a contingent of skydivers/scuba divers showing up in San Carlos to make a few dives, and Joe got the chance to dive with them that day. I’ve never taken the time to get certified for scuba. Perhaps someday.
Anyway, while Joe was off blowing bubbles, Karin and I did some laundry, and she put the boat to rights for that evening’s soiree.

Later that day the owners of another boat for sale, Coaster, got into town. In the heat and humidity of the afternoon, I was allowed to inspect her.




Odd galley arrangement, with the stove at 90 degrees to conventional wisdom. She’s got a deck-stepped mast, and peering down into the bilge, I checked the mast compression post base. It was starting to go soft.

Looking up the mast, it’s got quite an “S” curve.


The owner and I tried to pull on the shrouds to see if the mast would straighten up some, to no avail.

Later, the scuba divers showed up, and we partied.


Day 5-

Guests, like fish, start to smell after about three days, and I think I was positively reeking by that morning.
Thanking my hosts, I hit the road around 0830 and drove the 300 plus miles without incident. A bit of a wait at the Nogales border, quite different than the usually sleepy Lukeville border I’m so accustomed to.

Another trip down there with Pam and the dogs is in the works, but for that trip I’ll be looking into renting a nearby casita.

Come Autumn, I might drag the MacGregor on down to Guaymas. It’ll be quite the change from Puerto Penasco.

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.

Day 2-

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. πŸ˜‰

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.

Day 3-

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.
Okay, then.

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.

Day 4-

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. πŸ˜‰

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!

As the heat of Spring comes on, I’ve been getting our tenants’ evaporative coolers online. This year came with a few needing replacement, so I’m grateful for the moderate temperatures we’ve been experiencing.

So far, I’ve replaced five coolers this year, the last one being an unexpected job. Seems that a few vanes in the squirrel-cage blower decided to rust away, and the resulting unbalanced condition wasn’t very quiet at all. This happened the day before I wanted to run down to Mexico and sail for a couple days, so, no Mexico for me. Gawd I miss my boat!

Add those to the two or three I had laying around in my scrap metal heap, and you have about 580 pounds of sheet steel needing recycling.


It took about three hours with a sawzall to break down all the old coolers so they would fit into/on my POS little trailer, and this afternoon I hauled the stuff to our local metal recycler, netting a cool $29.00. Cha-ching!

Lessee, $29.00 divided by four hours labor equals $7.25/hour (exactly the federal minimum wage at the moment), and that doesn’t include my labor to haul the scrap back to the Ranch to store until I have a load worth dragging to the yard. I suppose I could have just left the old coolers by the side of the road and let some other scrapper have them, if they’d have them. The price of scrap steel at the moment is five cents/pound, and copper, brass and aluminum are pretty low right now, too. Plus, there’s the labor of separating all that stuff into the mysterious categories demanded by the place you’d sell it to. As of now, my stocks of the more profitable metals are just laying around, waiting for some metal-market miracle to occur.

It’s getting more and more costly to “do the right thing”, huh?

Everybody loves a little excitement now and then, right? I’m kind of an adrenaline junkie myself, hopping out of perfectly good airplanes at one of the best drop zones in the world.

Pam had an errand to do just a few miles down the road, and Gilligan was allowed to hop in the car for the supposed quick run.

It being a warm day, the car windows were wide open as Pam made her way down the road, Gilligan in the back seat. About two miles South of our driveway, a cross breeze made its way through the vehicle, stirring up some loose plastic bags Pam likes to keep handy.

Gilligan was not amused, and leaped out of the car window, doing about 35-40 MPH!

So, I’m at home, and I get a frantic call from Pam, telling me I need to get down to a certain address right away, as Gilligan was gone. She had no idea as to his whereabouts or condition, only a vague hope that he was still close by his exit point.

It’s 1700 hours, 90 degrees plus, Pam is sobbing and swearing, beating herself up (Hey, that’s my job!).

The dog is nowhere to be seen, and after inspecting the roadside and environs, I tell her that our best bet is for someone to find the dog and deliver him to the local dog pound. Another round of searching a wider area comes up fruitless, and we head back to the Ranch.

That night, every coyote howl had me thinking of that damned dog. Not much sleep was had.

Day 2- Today, April 22.

As the sun came up, I again made my way to Gilligan’s last known location, walking along the road looking for clues. A waste of gasoline.

I drove back home and plunked myself down for some coffee, Pam in her Barcalounger reading her book.

Guess who ambles on up to the front porch?


Our cursory inspection of him turned up a few cuts and abrasions, a bit of cactus and a chipped canine. Not bad for a 35 MPH, 90 degree crabbing touchdown on asphalt.

It took him 15 hours to make his way back to the Ranch. Pretty good homing dog, if nothing else.


That’s a straight line from his “stunt-jump” back to the Ranch. I wonder what his actual path looked like?


We first met Tabby at one of our rentals, and his owner was a tenant. One thing led to another, and we ended up taking on the tenant’s two cats, Abby and Tabby. That was about 15 years ago. Recently he lost a lot of weight, a cancerous growth had appeared on his right eye’s perimeter, and then his left jawline became swollen, indicating metastasis. Today, we took him to a veterinarian and had him euthanized.

Tabby was a good desert cat, smart enough to evade coyotes, owls and hawks. A friend remarked that about one in three cats can deal with the multiple predators around here, and Tabby was about one in ten.

He took no guff from our dogs, tearing into their snouts whenever they got too invasive. Damn sharp claws that drew blood from my hands quite often, too, but I always attributed that to his playfulness. If you didn’t pull away too quickly, they were just love bites.

He was the quintessential lap cat, depositing grey fur in surprising quantities, and he graced my bed with purring warmth.

I will miss him, as will the rest of the Ranch.

Day 1-
Okay, I made a mistake in choosing a Friday to head down to Puerto Penasco. No sooner had we gotten to the first Border Patrol checkpoint 15 miles East of Tucson, there was a “wide load” taking up both lanes of Highway 86. We followed a lead vehicle for about a half-hour, until the wide load decided to pull over and let a bunch of us pass.

Then, there was the border crossing. Ay-yi-yi. It took nigh on two hours to travel the last two miles to the border!






It took us about five-plus hours to make what is usually a three to four hour run. Still, we got into town with enough daylight left to get splashed and claim a slip.


I was pleased to find that the trailered sailboats at Safe marina had been relocated a bit further from the sandblasting operations next door, making the boat’s initial clean-up much easier, thankyouverymuch. I’m sure all the sailors dry-docked at Safe Marina will appreciate this, too.

Carl’s Sea Ray was all cockeyed in her slip at Fonatur, taking up both berths. Apparently, the fishing boats were getting a little out of control when leaving their docks, and ramming whatever might be docked at Fonatur, so the dock neighbors were helping out. I was told that the fabulous 80 foot ketch, Ocean, now under new ownership, was hit on her transom just before she set out for new horizons.



Ouch. Boat repairs in exotic locations.

Flyin’ Sideways, take notice. Ocean was right where you’d be if you were to get that coveted T slip at Fonatur!

That night the wind came up, pushing the Sea Ray to where it knocked over the shore power pedestal. The darned thing was just too much for me alone to put to rights, so I fetched Gustavo the night watchman, to help in squaring away the errant boat. All I wanted was to secure her so she wouldn’t do any more damage, and after we got her tied off, I hit the hay.

Day 2-
Upon awaking, I found that Gustavo had gone above and beyond the call of duty, wrestling the big Sea Ray over and alongside her dock. Kudos, Gustavo!

Coffee and breakfast on the docks, bend on the mainsail and reefing lines, and inquire of our neighbors as to where we might see some whales. Seems that the whales were further out than we got during our daysail, but there were shloads of dolphin!



What fun!

I also got to fly the spinnaker for a bit.


Then the SHTF and made things a bit too windy for that sail. I quickly stowed it away in defeat.

Did I mention that it was Spring Break down here? The local booze-cruisers were sold out.


It made for some pretty noisy times on Friday and Saturday, and the local bars were busy too, pumping out loud music until the wee hours of the night.

Day 3-

Pretty much a carbon copy of Saturday. We set sail late morning, enjoying light winds and a couple of dolphin sightings, until it was time to head on back in for dinner. The evening noise ashore had tempered to a reasonable level, and the night was quiet, thank goodness.

March 12-13-2016

Sunday’s sail track is in red.

Day 4-
I had kind of wanted to stay an extra day this trip, straining our home-bound cats’ kitty-litter allotment, but we ended up leaving town by about 1400 hours. The border was quick and painless, and I only had to pass one police cruiser that was holding up traffic. πŸ™‚

I guess it’s not surprising, considering the unseasonably warm temperatures.

Gilligan alerted us to his presence, just before dusk. Good dog!


Hope the snake ate that rat from the woodshop.

A couple of weeks ago, I made a solo trip down to Puerto Penasco to do some work on my little boat.

Replaced the house battery, the VHF antenna’s coaxial cables and connectors, and the original duplex lamp wiring for the anchor light, which I don’t foresee using in the immediate future, anyway. The wife and dogs are too tied to their shore-side amenities.

It was mostly successful, in that I resurrected my inoperable deck lamp, but lost my steaming lamp! Out of time on my temporary Mexican auto insurance, I headed back to the Ranch after some electrical tests revealed either a blown or improperly installed bulb in the mast-mounted unit.

According to some, the steaming light is really only a legal requirement in the US. It’s something that lets other boaters know that you’re operating on auxiliary power, not sails alone.

I’ll get to that on another solo trip.

So last week, February 15th through the 18th, Pam, the dogs and I headed back down for what appeared to be a weather window of about two days, and it was perfect timing!

We arrived about mid-afternoon and immediately put in, cleaning up the omnipresent sand and gravel donated by the boatyard next door. Thanks, guys!

There was still a bit too much breeze for my comfort however, so I ran over to Marina Fonatur to claim my cheap slip and bend on the mainsail and reefing gear.

Dinner that evening was had at Tacos Marcos, because we’re nothing if not predictable. And cheap.

Day 2-

After our usual dockside breakfast we confabbed with Oscar, the captain of Tempo, and he said the whales were out about ten miles or so, towards the SSW.


With light winds out of the NW, Sovereign moved beautifully, until the Sun decided to sneak behind the mainsail, making it a bit chilly for us in the cockpit.


So I tacked to the North, letting that Sun know we’d not be intimidated, and that’s when we saw our first humpbacks of the year.


And that’s also when I found out that the camera’s battery had begun the quick process of dying. A new one’s on order.

It seemed that the whales were moving toward the Northeast, so I turned along with them, putting us on another excellent beam reach. But, as soon as they appeared, they were gone, and I was headed back to port.

According to the iSailor app, we reached a top speed of 7.8 knots (!), averaging 3.8 over the 5 hour sail. A good day afloat, albeit without photographic evidence of whales.

That evening, we enjoyed dinner at the new Ramon’s Old Port, just around the corner from the marina. It was pretty good, dining al fresco in the courtyard amongst potted petunias.

Day 3-

Almost a carbon copy, right down to the winds we enjoyed. Seeing as how yesterday’s whale-watching advice was worthy, we made our way out along the same course, just a couple of miles further this time.


And the whales did not disappoint, showing up close to the same position as they had yesterday, about 20-25 yards from the boat.

As we were making our way back towards port, I heard a booming sound way off to starboard. Looking thataways, I watched as a couple of humpbacks breached, rising up and slamming back down onto the water. This was from at least a mile away. Way cool!

It’s theorized that breaching is a method of long-distance communication, the distance part being something I can certainly attest to. Imagine how far the sound should travel underwater.

As we were tying up at the docks, Oscar gave us the remains of some leftover sandwiches and fries he had from his whale-watching foray that day, so we contented ourselves with a free dinner. Nice guy!

Day 4-

Morning clouds.




Beautiful, huh? But it meant our weather window was closing, and it was time to get out of Dodge.
So we breakfasted, folded and rolled the mainsail, and had Sovereign hauled out by high noon.