This blog is about planning and preparation for a circumnavigation of the world in a 39-foot sail boat followed, hopefully, by a diary of the actual circumnavigation. You can track the progress of Pachuca by visiting http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=VNW5980
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Sandra presented us with the healthiest TD dinner that I've ever enjoyed: nicely baked turkey, cranberry sauce, light stuffing, sweet potato, the greenest green beans that I've ever seen, accompanied by white wine . Even after my two helpings I was able to avoid that oh why did I eat so much glutton's remorse.
On Friday afternoon (2 days ago) Arnold drove us to Port Townsend where we visited Mark at Shoreline Marine Diesel, which was officially closed for the day. It was good to see Mark again and it gave me an opportunity to thank him in person for his great service to me in defining and overseeing the engine repowering effort in La Paz. He agreed that it was one of his more unusual projects.
I passed over to Mark the incorrect buzzer harness cable that had been sent with the new engine as well as the alternator that I had brought from La Paz. We all agreed that a faulty on-board voltage regulator is the prime suspect, and Mark will put the alternator on a test bed in the coming week. Later, when the shop is formally open I will obtain from Seth the replacement buzzer harness and the new Volvo single-lever throttle and gear control. Mark told me that the throttle and gear cables will be identical (Morse 33?), which will make life easier for me.
Mark suggested that I might want to photograph 6 or 7 boats that came to grief during the recent snowfall. My understanding is that they were caught at anchor when strong winds came somewhat unusually from the north. I recall hearing several times that Pt. Townsend Bay does not have very good holding ground (due to weed, I think). I hope to take some photos of these boats in the coming week.
I had brought to Port Townsend a large mailing envelope containing almost everything required for my US passport renewal application: a filled-out application form, a $170 money order ($110 standard fee plus $60 fee for expedited processing) which I had purchased at the Kingston post office, my current passport (which expires in March 2011), and a copy of my confirmed travel itinerary from Alaska Airlines where I highlighted the fact that I was flying to Mexico on 5 Jan 2011.
I asked Mark if he knew where I could have some passport photographs taken, and he pointed me to a photography shop just past the ferry landing. We found the shop with no problem, I had the photos taken, and as I was paying I asked about the opening hours of the main post office at the top of the hill. The lady pointed out that there was a post office agency about three doors up from her shop. How convenient. Before long the package was on its way by certified mail - literally on its way since it was ready just in time for the transfer of mail from the agency to probably the main post office for sorting.
The normal processing time for passport renewals is 6 weeks. I have asked for expedited processing which should reduce that time to as little as 2 weeks, and I hope to receive the new passport before the Christmas holidays.
Yesterday I went solo with Arnold's RX7 on a short excursion to fuel up the car and do some grocery shopping. Now that the road conditions have improved and my upper respiratory system is finally starting to dry up after the worst cold in years I expect to hit the road in the coming week with visits mainly to Port Townsend.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
After a pleasant meal with Ib at a restaurant in town on Wednesday evening I woke up on Thursday morning comfortable with the state of my preparations for the trip. I had until 2.30 PM before we were due to leave for the airport - plenty of time given that my bags were packed and there was little to do besides closing up the boat.
Things got interesting when I decided to start up the Volvo engine for the first time in several weeks. Twenty minutes into the run the alarm sounded with a battery symbol on the tachometer display. I checked around and everything seemed to be functioning normally: engine at 1000 rpm, Volvo meter showing 13V, temperature good, and the independent BEP monitor reporting 52 amps flowing into the batteries. The House and Aux battery banks were at 13.1V and the Starter bank was at at 13.2V
Revving up the engine did not stop the alarm.
After a second engine run with similar results I sent a message to Mark in Port Townsend describing the problem and asking for his opinion. Mark is often out of the office for much of the day and I didn't really expect a reply before my departure. I was merely alerting Mark of the problem for discussion when I visited him in Port Townsend.
Soon I heard "Hello Pachuca" and went outside to see Cheryl Ainsworth from Stolen Kiss. I had not seen Peter and Cheryl for months because they had been based on the mainland side of the Sea of Cortez. They had just arrived to deal with a battery problem and would leave in three days. After a hug and a quick chat with with Cheryl I then walked over the Stolen Kiss and had a brief conversation with Peter, who was busy making preparations for a technician due to visit the boat. I told him that I would return to their boat at about 2 PM for our final farewells. Cheryl soon passed by the Pachuca again and told me that their faulty batteries were being replaced under warranty.
I checked my mail while munching on a turkey sandwich and saw a message from Mark to phone him immediately. He asked me to check the output voltage of the alternator and after probing the leads with the ammeter I reported to him that the alternator output voltage was running at about 13.5V. Mark replied that it should be 14 V, and the alarm was set to go off when that output voltage dropped down 13.1 or 13.2 volts (which I realized later happened to be the same voltage as the battery banks).
I then ran the engine for a fourth time and found that the alarm was now intermittent: on for maybe 30 seconds, then off again. Bob Carroll then paid me a farewell visit and when I started the engine for the fifth time there was no alarm. By now the battery banks were a bit higher - at about 13.5V. I also noticed that the Volvo volt meter was reporting 13.25V instead of the previous 13V. I reported this to Mark.
Unfortunately due to the alternator drama I did not get to see Peter and Cheryl again. They are headed for Ecuador via various stops in Central America, but by the time I get to Ecuador they will be on their way across the South Pacific. Worse, it is likely that by the time I reach Fremantle in the spring of 2012 they will have already left on a planned cruise of the Indian Ocean. But you never know how this sailing life will work out. I'm just grateful that we had a chance to say hello.
At the La Paz airport we waited for Ib's wife Yadranka to emerge from her flights from Australia and I knew that the timing was going to be close.. Fortunately we all caught sight of each other briefly through the door and waved, but I was then forced to say my goodbye to Ib and rush to my boarding gate. Again, I was grateful that we at least had a chance to wave.
There was a hitch with my documentation and I knew that it was serious when a girl asked for my FM3 residency card and passport then set off running. Well after the other passengers had boarded she came running back to tell me that everything was OK but next time to visit the Immigration office before flying out. I told her that I would remember to do that, but protested that I was the victim of bad advice from Eco Naviera, the office that had helped me to get my FM3 residency. The previous week I had visited their office with the specific question of what formalities I must attend do for the trip. I was told to simply fly out and then present my FM3 card the re entering the country. Wrong! I'll send a message to Eco Naviera so that this needless trouble can be avoided in the future.
The flight to Seattle went well, though with modern Coach transport being what it is due to competitive pressure, there wasn't much to eat and drink. Between my lunch on the run aboard Pachuca at noon and arrival at Arnold's house after midnight I had two glasses of white wine on the LA leg and one glass of orange juice with a bag of pretzels on the Seattle leg. That turkey sandwich saved my bacon.
LA airport was a real zoo with its hordes of humanity controlled by flimsy lines of rope. I needed every bit of the 2-hour layover to make the Seattle flight, arriving at the counter after boarding had started. Fortunately during the transfer of my baggage to the domestic flight I asked one of the attendants if it was OK to keep the two bottles of tequila in my carry on back pack. The reply was an emphatic No, so I moved the booze to my duffel bag and the alternator to my back pack. So at the next screening I was asked to step aside and follow. "It's an alternator from a marine diesel engine." I explained to the lady as we walked to the inspection bench. She took out the alternator, put it on the bench, and I exclaimed "Beautiful, isn't it?" as we stared at the marvel of engineering and design, set off nicely by the gleaming copper winding. She replied that she didn't know much about these things but her boss had one look and let it pass. (I mean, hadn't she ever seen a gray haired old guy humping a heavy alternator on his back?)
Arnold was waiting for me at the baggage claim area and I must admit that it was great to be headed to Kingston in the comfort and security of his car rather than having to battle my way across the airport hoping that there would be enough room for me on the next shuttle to Kitsap.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Everything fits in my one check-in duffle bag and carry-on backpack. I'll also be carrying my Acer webtop.
My in-box this morning contained an email from Alaska Airlines by which I was able to check in and also pay the $20 bag fee. I've now got my boarding passes through to Seattle.
Ib and I will share a cab to the airport at 2.30 PM. His wife Yadranka will arrive from the last leg of her flight from Australia, we'll exchange greetings, then I will board the same airplane for my first leg to LA. I will board at 5.08 PM in La Paz and arrive at 11.40 PM in Seattle, where brother Arnold will be waiting for me.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Any visitor to this blog can see all sorts of statistics by scrolling down to the bottom and clicking on "site meter", a very informative facility that Stephen installed on 2 Nov 2008.
My first posting on this blog is dated 25 December 2006, in which I described the specifications and equipment of Pachuca. Since then there have been 1072 postings.
There have been 37,058 visits to the blog, including the 4,425 that were made before we started running the site meter. This is alleged to represent an average 54 visits per day. The average length per visit is stated as "1:41" which must represent minutes and seconds rather than hours and minutes. The last 100 visits came from USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Scandinavia, India, and China. I have occasionally seen Africa on the list.
My initial motivation for the blog was very modest: to provide an efficient means of letting a few friends and relatives know what I was up to without my having to repeat the same thing over and over again. But unexpectedly I got into a virtuous cycle of increasing interest out there and increasing motivation in here.
And there have been personal benefits. I like the discipline of sorting things out in my head so that I can express them - kind of brings structure and clarity to the head. And the documentation is invaluable, both for analysing problems and for vivid trips down memory lane.
So there we are, the confessions of a blogger.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
It turned out to be a very pleasant part of town, which I would describe as elegant and leafy residential.
Only a few blocks into my exploration I came across the La Paz's Alliance Francaise building.
Ken, who recently took over my apartment,
Bob Carroll, with a cap indicating that he must be the star of the show,
Rick, who seems to be pretty active marina life,
Dave, computer expert extraordinaire,
Al, who lives on a comfortable power boat (a Cape Hatteras, I think) with his wife.
They must all be righteous men because none objected to having his picture posted on the internet.
Monday, November 15, 2010
http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/NR/rdonlyres/B4B9ECFF-57A7-4EB9-A843-FF6F3C91EB60/0/Page3fromOCC_AnRpt053.pdf) Kialoa III is in private hands again with David, who is doing some interior renovations.
David promised to take us for a sail when the boat is ready for sea again, and I hope that happens.
And finally the sad Footprints, hard aground at the Magote bar. Footprints is one of those neglected boats scattered around the La Paz bay: ferrocement hull, no rudder, engine not working, probably stripped by vandals, absent owners. Arnold and I twice reported the boat as dragging anchor a few days after we arrived in La Paz. The reply that I got to my second call was nonsense about long anchor scope and the "La Paz Waltz". The responder's last comment was "call back if it drags another 100 yards", which would have been moot because it would by then struck other boats.
For the net few months the boat dragged up and down the channel at the whim of the tide.
You may recall that Footprints became such a threat to Pachuca, which was riding at anchor without a working engine, that David on Puddytat kindly towed us from danger.
Well, Footprints is no threat for the moment because she is hard aground at the Mogote sand bar. During the next hurricane she will pushed over the bar and wreak havoc on any downwind boats trying to ride out the storm at anchor. Then if the script runs as expected, she will end her days on the beach adding color and romance to the Mogote peninsula.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
The round light next to the mirror runs on AA batteries and times out after about 30 seconds. I like it because it is independent of the boat's electrical system, so if due to some misfortune the boat is plunged into darkness I'll know where I can find emergency lighting.
Friday, November 12, 2010
After putting away the food I had a look at the companion way landing and decided that 5 coats of varnish was enough, so that was the end of the varnishing.
After lunch and a short nap I took the bike out for another shopping circuit. The first stop was Arcos where I was hoping to get replacement neon tubes for my failing galley light. Each of the 3 neon lights on Pachuca has a pair of foot-long tubes, number F8T5/D. My fear was that these tubes would be available only in the Australian-European world and I would have to replace the lights. I need not have worried. Arco had the exact F8T5/D tubes and the price for four of them was only 37 pesos, which works out to about 75 cents each.
I then swung back to 5 de Febrero to a place that sells solar equipment to have a look at an LED strip that had caught my eye in an earlier visit. The small LED in the head had quit working and I had thrown it out a month ago only to find out from Ib later that LED's frequently shut down if the voltage is too high - and Pachuca's battery bank had been running at over 13.5 volts. Anyway, I showed up at 3.30 PM and the place was closed. The posted store hours stated a generous lunch shutdown of two hours, 1-3 PM. I walked across the street to Lopez Marine and Hamish told me to try them after 4 PM. I replied that if I hung around his boat shop until then I would go broke from all of the goodies that I'd wind up buying.
I walked crossed over to another corner and and had a look at some plastic milk crate type of boxes that might be good for a suggestion of Bob. When I am sailing over the horizon, particularly in my run around the horn, I can lighten the front of the boat by feeding the anchor chain through the front hatch straight into a milk crate directly below, in that secure triangle of floor between the V berths. That space is currently occupied by the sea anchor rope bag, which I can move into the cabin, on the floor on the port side of the table against the forward bulkhead. I took measurements of a crate that I thought might be suitable then noticed that the solar shop was open so crossed the street again.
The LED strips look good - about twice the size of what was there before, and should light up the head very well. The strip is priced at 390 pesos (about $32) and the switch is only 15 pesos.
Back at the boat I changed the neon tubes in the galley and cabin lights, and tomorrow I'll purchase four more tubes to carry as spares. ... Yes, I know, neon tubes cause electrical noise and use more power than modern LED lights. But these lights are well made, work well, and are already there. I don't want to get involved in a major lighting effort.
I then confirmed that the milk crate will fit nicely in the V berth area to take the chain and after that planned the mounting of the LED strip. So tomorrow I will set out on the bicycle to get the milk crate and LED strip. I should be able to lash the milk crate to the bike's small carrier rack.
The northerly winds are definitely back. Today we had 10-15 knot winds from the north which are the strongest that I can recall since the beginning of summer. Out beyond the islands the wind will have been much stronger.
Which reminds me, I dropped by the office and notified Adriana of my travel plans. I am to leave a key to the boat with the office along with my contact information during my absence, as well as the name and contact information of a person that I nominate to watch over the boat. I then asked her if all danger of hurricanes this year had passed. She replied Yes, so I got to the real point of my question: would I have to remove my headsail before I left? To my relief she replied No. If my absence had occurred during hurricane season I would have been obliged to strip the boat of all sail (except the mainsail, I think) and canvas.
And I must confess that I fell into the trap of visiting Club Cruceros to look over the latest batch of books. I walked out with Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities. I'm trying to diversify because last week I picked up The Battle of Leyte Gulf and Dumb But Lucky, Confessions of a P-51 fighter pilot in World War II. I need help. There must be some 12-step program to help me control this mania before I overload the boat.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The character of the marina has changed drastically in the last 5 days. Boat from the annual "Baja Ha Ha" rally from California have begun arriving. My understanding is that most of the boats will come to La Paz. This marina is booked out and there are expectations of around 80 boats at anchor. I try to present as friendly and helpful demeanor as possible, because I remember when Arnold and I arrived wide-eyed, not having a clue of what was what.
Having said that, after 7 months here I feel like an old timer resident, trying hard not to be smug and condescending. I think that deep down inside I feel that staying in La Paz during the full onslaught of the summer heat gives me a bit of ... hmm ... stature and street cred. Also, going through the process of repowering the boat has given me depth beyond what the average visitor will experience. And finally there are the guys from the Palapa of Wisdom, Knowledge, and Truth who are true residents of La Paz plugged in to the nitty gritty of day to day life here and have helped immeasurably in making me feel part of the scene.
By the way, the weather in La Paz this time of year is absolutely outstanding!!! The nights are cool enough to warrant a sheet and blanket, and the days are, well, for me, of perfect temperature. All this is under day after day of crystal clear skies, meaning bright sun and sparkling stars. I love it!
Finally, I dropped by Eco Naviera and asked them if my FM3 temporary resident status would allow me free travel to the USA. No hay problema. On the way back I will present my FM3 card to Mexican Immigration and hopefully straight through I will go.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
This time I avoided the trap of strenuous exercise (which usually leads me to back trouble and colds) and relied on the demanding boat work and La Paz summer heat to take care of caloric outgo. Other than that it involved overpowering and subduing the usual culprits of alcohol and fat under the banner of calorie reduction (to an estimated 2000 per day), which put me in danger of vitamin and mineral O.D. due to the enormous amounts of fruit and vegetables that I shoved down my throat. A bland and boring menu of rice or potatoes with fish or beans or the occasional eggs, a teeny amount of cheese and a limit of 2 slices of bread per day helped. (I mean, would you want to choke on rice for lunch and dinner 5 days a week?)
I had to let my head and not my stomach dictate when what and when I ate.
But I can't crow too loudly: there is still a lot of gut down there and I've got the dangers of the conviviality with family and friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas ahead of me.
Life is tough.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Jose showed me nicks in the propeller due to electrolysis. I asked him if the propeller was still OK and worth re pitching so he passed a rope through the hub, tied a knot, held the propeller up by the rope, and hit each blade which rang like a bell. He pronounced the propeller as good. A dead sound would have indicated a problem.
That's Ib looking at the propeller, then a happy Jose.
The companion way landing has been on the agenda from the beginning. I held it to last because I needed fast passage through the companion way for the work that I did inside of the cabin. I plan to lay down at least 5 coats of varnish on that landing, then leave it in peace for at least a week to give the varnish time to cure and harden. During this time my primary access will be via the front hatch (HO HO HO!), though it is possible to pass through the companionway by climbing along the side of the galley sink. Part of the preparation involved punching down and filling over 30 nails that I must admit were not very visible but nevertheless had to be done right.
The cockpit table is a new project, given that I still have 11 days up my sleeve before departing for Seattle. The table is well designed and constructed from a good blond wood out of Tasmania. However, it is varnished and over the years the lower edge of the table has turned black due to anaerobic bacteria, according to Ib. I have decided to paint the table white using the 2-part Dupont Imron paint rather than staining and re varnishing it. I figure that the paint will last much longer than varnish in the harsh conditions of the cockpit. This required my borrowing of Ib's sander yet again and using it for two hours to remove all of the old varnish.
Following Ib's advice yesterday I knocked out the fiddle (lip) at the end of the table to expose the end grain and soaked it for over 30 minutes in a weak solution of bleach in an attempt to kill the bacteria. I then rinsed it off an put it on the deck to dry. Today I will re-mount the fiddles (with pins and glue) then apply the white primer, and tomorrow I should be able to lay down both coats of Imron. The following day I will reassemble the table and its fittings.
At 9 AM Jose is to dive and remove Pachuca's propeller. He is charging me a hefty $60 even though I showed him that the propeller is clean, accessible, and was mounted on the new shaft about 2 months ago. Nevertheless he will have to use pulling equipment and besides, I couldn't be bothered to shop around and try to save $10.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Joel had a look at the control levers then removed the cable at the transmission end and confirmed that there was no problem with the transmission. He pronounced it a cable problem, possibly due to it having kinked up inside of the sheath.
The cable is non standard to say the least. It is a steering cable because that is the only type that will fit the strong but antiquated controls that probably date to when the boat was built in 1983. Bob asked if it were better to replace the controls with modern standard ones rather than replacing the steering cable and Joel replied that yes, it would be better.
Bob and I then tried several suppliers in the area but non had controls suitable for a sailboat.
My plan is to try to get standard Volvo controls while I am in the Port Townsend area. That means that the boat will remain in this slip until I return to La Pa on 5 January. However, I will still exercise the engine in the slip, managing the propeller direction directly at the transmission.
Once again Pachuca has tested my character. Today's events remind me of a similar incident in New Zealand where two days before we were due to depart for French Polynesia I went to start the engine and discovered that the steering wheel was frozen and would not move. That turned out to be the autopilot linear drive that had seized up and had to be replaced. And as in New Zealand I can see the bright side: at least we discovered this problem in the safety of this slip, with supporting friends on board, Joel close at hand, and no urgent sailing plans. Better yet, it has manifested itself before my visit to the Port Townsend area.
It's all a great shame because today's winds were splendid and we would have had a great day out.
I owe Bob and Ib a sail and Pachuca owes me Big Time!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I then bundled it up and sought a place to stow it. The normal place when cruising is in the cockpit in front of the binnacle. However, I was determined to keep the cockpit unencumbered for tomorrow's sail. The natural place would normally be in front of the cockpit spray dodger, on top of the sliding hatch cover (aka "turtle", "garage"). Unfortunately I have learned the hard way that if I put any pressure on that cover the sliding hatch develops a scratching drag as I slide it in and out, as though there are screws a bit to proud and cut across a static surface. Investigating this requires dismantling of the entire area, a job for my home port Fremantle. In the meantime, I have to avoid putting any weight on this area.
If you enlarge today's photo of the port side of the boat you will see the Zodiac strapped down on the life raft, just forward of the mast. Note, by the way, that I have cleaned the unsightly grease marks from the hull.
Well, it looks like Ib, Bob Carroll, and myself are taking Pachuca out tomorrow for a sail. (Yay! Yippee! Cartwheels!!!) I have also invited Dave, owner of the legendary Kialoa III, berthed at the end of this jetty. Kialoa III is an S&S 80 that has a pedigree a mile long, including setting a course record in the Sydney-Hobart race that stood for 20 years. (http://www.arvelgentry.com/k3donated.htm)
One of the requirements was to ensure that the propeller and hull were clean enough for the sail. That started off badly but ended well. At the beginning the hull looked very bad, in spite of it having been antifouled only a couple of months ago. I could see that the propeller was very furred up with growth. My dive to the propeller yesterday confirmed my worst fears: marine growth at least 1/2 inch thick which meant that we would not have been able to even back out of the slip. After 30 minutes of work with a hard brush the growth was gone then it was time to switch to hand-to-barnacle fighting with a paint scraper. There were enough barnacles to upset the laminar flow of the propeller surface, greatly hampering its performance - and how could I show off the power and versatility of my new Volvo engine with an inefficient propeller? After another 30 minutes of hacking away at the propeller I cleaned shaft, skeg, and anodes. Then I turned my attention to the "beard" along the waterline of the boat. At this point things looked grim. I expected heavy and tenacious growth along the waterline and plenty of barnacles further down.
But to my surprise and delight the beard came off very easily. That job went quickly and my biggest problem didn't turn out to be the risk of being crushed between the hull and the jetty (because the movement of the boat was minimal and the fenders did their work well) but rather scratching myself on the veritable reef of growth on the jetty pontoons.
This afternoon I went for a second dive and confirmed that below the waterline there is only a thin film of slimy growth that is easily removed with a brush - and no barnacles. Because the water is so murky I cleaned only an arm's length down, breathing through my snorkel, and will rely on the rushing water as we sail to clean the rest of the hull.
So I am feeling much better about the hull. Next week I will engage a diver to remove the propeller for shipment to Mazatlan via Ib on Aeolus for re-pitching, so a fouling prop will not be an issue during my absence to the USA. Ill give the hull one last scrub in 10 days and hope for the best while I am away.
And finally a post script on my cucaracha problem. Bob Carroll read about my problem on the blog and gave me the solution: boric acid. Today at the Palapa of Wisdom, Knowledge, and Truth (the morning kaffeeklatsch that includes healthy-living Bob, big Al, smoking Rick, computer-nerdy Dave, and striving Ken who has taken over my apartment) I got an expansive explanation of the solution to my problem and later Bob delivered to my boat the boric acid as well as a liquid application that I can paint up bulkheads. The universal opinion is that my cucaracha problems are solved. Ya Gotta Have Friends, Folks. Why oh why don't I always consult first with the Palapa for all of my problems?
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
In the photograph you can easily see one of the leaks circled in red on the right side. You should be able to make out the other leak in the blue part of the left side. Early this morning I applied the patches and will pressure test them tomorrow. Which reminds me to add that the patch that I applied yesterday pressure tested OK this morning.
I plan a trip to the Walmart-Home Depot area today with insect spray as my top priority. Last night I saw on the galley counter what an appearance close enough to a tiny cockroach to spook me. I want to nip possibility this in the bud, so I will move out my kitchen equipment and vulnerable food stores then fumigate the boat.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I was up at dawn this morning because I was anxious to get the work done before the sun shined on the work. I assembled all of the required items, including 100 grit sand paper and acetone and got to work, doing everything by the book, including timing the 5-minute intervals between the 3 coats of glue. Tomorrow I will pressure test the result but must not load test it for a minimum of 48 hours.
The spoon in the third photo is for working out any air bubbles. The last photo shows the new patch under some weight.
Bob will arrive at the boat at 9AM on Friday for a day sail on Pachuca. I'll inform Ib, who is completely flexible on the matter. That gives me an ample two full days to prepare the boat for sea. Today I will clean the grease spots left by the boat fenders on both sides of the hull, then hose down and scrub the deck and cockpit. Tomorrow I will scrub down the Zodiac and stow it on the deck in its proper cover.
Monday, November 1, 2010
And the weather is superb. The season changed about 4 weeks ago and I now sleep under a blanket wearing track suit pants. The days are sunny and crisp and the wind either low or gentle. The current temperature at 8.30 AM is 63F (17C) with a predicted high of 89F (32C), which feels perfect to me after the torrid summer. It's a great time to be in La Paz. All of the Gringos and Canadian Snowbirds can come back.
After speaking with Roger I feel comfortable in uttering the "H" word that Bob Carroll banned me from using. It looks like the danger of hurricanes in the Baja area has passed. The temperature of the Sea of Cortez is dropping and the northerlies are starting to blow. One person told me that this has been one of the quietest hurricane seasons in the history of La Paz. We got one tropical cyclone very early in the season that passed well to the left of the Baja peninsula and died. Then there was a low pressure area heading this way that spooked Brenda and myself enough to interrupt our short cruise of the islands for a couple of days to take shelter in the marina. That threat faded too. Otherwise nothing, and that suits me just fine. This is in contrast to the other side, where the Gulf of Mexico has gotten its usual allotment of hurricanes.
After lunch I prepared with great care a rectangle of ply board that I can screw onto the bulkhead behind the navigation table for my microphone brackets. Today I will give it a second coat of varnish and tomorrow I will mount it. This is a temporary measure because during my visit to Kingston I hope to find a nice piece of solid wood for the job.
I then spent 90 minutes cleaning the 3 old fenders that had once again become gummed up with a thick oily coat. I grumbled to Ib that I suspected that their plastic coatings were degenerating but he suggested that I have a go with acetone and then possibly coat them with hull polish. The acetone worked well. I then scrubbed them with engine degreaser (biodegradable, would you believe). Today I will polish them. This is their last chance.
This marked the beginning of turning my attention to Pachuca's deck and hull. Today I will give the deck and cockpit a much needed scrubbing. I am trying to prepare the boat for a day sail that I hope to take with Ib and possibly Bob Carroll later this week. After that sail I will arrange for a diver to remove Pachuca's propeller.
As luck would have it Ib will be sailing his boat to Mazatlan for a short stay in order to get his new engine checked out. He has offered to take the propeller to have it re pitched. I have been in touch with the company, Total Yacht Works, and everything is arranged. This will save me the practical and possibly bureaucratic hassle of taking the propeller with me to Port Townsend.
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- Thanksgiving, Thawing Out and Drying Up
- Picture Windows
- Back in the USA
- All My Bags Are Packed
- Blog Statistics
- Bike Ride
- The Palapa
- Boats Around the Marina
- Milk Crate and Light
- Pretty Good Day
- Anodes and Painting
- I'm 40 Again
- Propeller is off
- More Brush Work and Propeller Removal
- No Linkage, No Sail
- Zodiac Ready, Boat Ready, Sailing Tomorrow
- More Leaks, Microphones Are Up
- Zodiac, Fenders, Sailing Again, and Shaft Stub
- Settling Down
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