4/4/2012 – A beautiful day at Muertos

As I look out of the hatch this morning, I’m reminded why we love Baja so much. The air is so clear and the sky is so blue. The rugged mountains in the background are crystal clear. The water is clean and turquoise-colored. It’s so good to be back.

I slept for almost 10 hours last night and Lulu beat my by an hour. We both woke up feeling refreshed. Going to be an excellent day.

We got most of our chores taken care of yesterday. Transferred 20 gallons of diesel from the jerry jugs to the tank, re-ran some lines from the windvane that had gotten screwed up somehow, and did a few other on deck jobs. Lulu made sense of the mayhem down below and assessed the extent of water encroachment. The mayhem was actually not bad due to her excellent packing. And her packing got a good workout coming over from Mazatlan since we spent a lot of time on each tack, heeled over up to 20 degrees for hours on end. Today, I have to change the fuel filter and plug a couple of possible leak points as well as decide how I want to plug the in-use anchor chain hawse pipe. Lulu’s going to change drinking water filters and do a little more straightening up. Says she might also sit out in the sun for awhile since it’s so warm and so sunny.

We should try to get to bed early tonight since we plan to rise at 4 AM to weigh anchor and set our course for La Paz. Our destination is about 60 nautical miles from here so, at 4 knots, it should take us 15 hours. If we get underway by 0430, a distinct possibility, we would arrive in La Paz about 1930 which is pretty darn close to sundown. I’ve sailed through the La Paz channel at that time before and didn’t like it. Just too damn hard to see. So, we’ll probably stop at one of the anchorages on the west side of the peninsula, either Puerto Balandra (45 NM, 11 hours), Caleta Lobos (46 NM, 11.5 hours), or Bahia Falsa (~52 NM, 13 hours). Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what things look like when we get to each spot. Then, we can get up at a leisurely hour (our favorite kind of hour), and tool on into La Paz on Friday morning. Guess I’d better check my tides program to try to get a favorable tide for the long trip down the La Paz channel. Going in on an outgoing tide can REALLY slow you down.

Five of the boats that were anchored here yesterday were gone when I got up this morning. An early morning departure from Los Muertos seems to be standard operating procedure. Might be partly to try to make La Paz in a single day and partly to take advantage of the normally calm conditions early in the morning. At the southern end of the Cerralvo channel lies a place called La Ventana. I’m told that the hardcore wind surfers and kite boarders spend the summer at Hood River Oregon and the winters at La Ventana. I’m also told it’s a good place for beginners since, if things go to hell and you get separated from your board, no problem as the prevailing winds will blow it up onto the north-facing beach. That means that the winds that draw the boarders will be right on our nose heading up the channel. And, if an early start will get us a few miles before the winds kick in, then early start it is.

Yesterday I got a wifi signal here and was able to download some e-mail. So far today, I’ve gotten the signal but can’t seem to make an internet connection. The wifi server must be disconnected from the internet at the moment. I’ll try again later but for now I’ll just use my trusty HF radio.

No position update today as we haven’t moved since the last one.


About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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10 Responses to 4/4/2012 – A beautiful day at Muertos

  1. Rich Nowak says:

    Hey Steve and LuLu- glad you made it safe and sound albeit a little frazzled…….somewhere I read that a good hawse hole leak stopper/stuffer is regular childrens modeling clay…..I guess plumbers putty might work and of course duct tape…….you guys take care……

  2. Joan/Raymond Yoder says:

    Keep coming. Love, mom

  3. MrsBunnyF says:

    Of course she should sit in the sun awhile! 🙂

  4. Rod says:

    Anchor chain hawse pipe. Wish I had a pic, but I’ll try to describe. Remove anchor from chain. Start with a paper cup that the tapered side fits snugly in hole. Cut hole in bottom of cup. Slide chain thru hole in cup, and tape cup to chain (location is critical so you don’t have excess chain on deck, so you should probably mark chain prior to removing anchor). Tape up hole in cup around chain. Fill cup with whatever sealant you have handy. I used 5200, but I’m sure most anything of similar consistency would work. It just needs to be pliable after it hardens. Let dry and remove cup (oh yeah, grease cup before filling with sealant). You end up with a plug permanently attached to your chain a few feet up from your anchor. Mine has never leaked a drop. Wish I could claim credit, but someone else showed me this slick trick.


    • sryoder says:

      Sounds like an idea. I’ll have to see whether a plug like that would fit through the opening in my bow platform where the chain goes over the roller. I have the oval hawse pipe. Have to plan it for one of those times when I have a project that requires just a little bit of 5200 (or whatever), leaving me with most of a tube that would otherwise harden into an expensive hunk of garbage by the next time I need it.


    • Dani says:

      What in interesting idea!! We also have a Westsail and have to devise some way to keep it from leaking.

      Steve the PO of our boat had pieces of wood shaped to fit snugly in the hausepipe hole. They tied those pieces to a string and were left up on the bow. When the boat is underway they shoved the wood pieces into the Hawspipe and put the metal cover back on top.

      Let us know what you come up with as we need to replace the wood (it’s old and falling apart) and will be interested to see what works.

      • Dani says:

        To clarify, after the wood was shaped to fit the hawspipe they drilled a hole in it, put a rope through and tied a knot or stopper on the other end of the rope, so they could remove the wood when needed, but not create a gap by having the string go around the side of the wood.

      • sryoder says:

        But wouldn’t this method require the chain to be removed from the anchor every time?

      • Dani says:

        Sorry I forgot to mention that the wood had a little cut out where the anchor chain was. I will try to remember to take a picture of one that is still there when we go to the boat today.

        Another thing I was thinking of was making a pattern out of cardboard probably of the hawespipe with the anchor chain in place, then having something made out of Starboard.

  5. Dani says:

    We like the “leisurely hour” best also! It’s like that here on the weekends also. We never actually make it to the boat until around noon.

    I bet you are adding years to your life with so much good sleep:)

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