5/8/2012 – Back in the Bd, Back in the Bd, Back in the BdLA…

Running dangerously low on cerveza, we left our little Puerto Don Juan family for the bright lights of Bahia de Los Angeles this afternoon. Almost didn’t, though. One of our neighbors in PDJ was a boat named Solera with Rick and Cindy aboard. They ended up in PDJ partly because their motor crapped out. And I mean crapped out royal! Like it swallowed a valve or something catastrophic like that. Yesterday evening while we were having happy hour on s/v Pochteca, we all got to talking about engines and the various woes that go with them. We all pretty much subscribed to the idea that you shouldn’t say anything too good about your engine lest you jinx things. Like happened to us about this time last year when our exhaust elbow blew out after I said how little trouble we’d had with our Westerbeke so far. Been very careful about what I say since then but I must have slipped a little last night. I probably said something like, “all things considered, we haven’t had too much trouble with our engine so far”. Or something equally innocuous.

Today, after a late breakfast and cockpit showers (Added a tea kettle full of boiling water to the solar shower. Much better), we prepared to get underway. Lulu secured everything below decks and I took care of the topside stuff. Finally it was time to go. I advanced the throttle a bit, turned the ignition ON, pressed the preheat button, counted to 5 and pressed the starter button. And got nothing in return. Nothing, nada, zilch. Not a click, nothing. Clearly an electrical problem. Although I don’t appreciate being inconvenienced, I actually sort of like electrical problems as they are fun to troubleshoot. Do NOT mention to Siempre Sabado that I said that. It’s just between you and me, okay? Anyway, did a bunch of logical troubleshooting and I’m still not completely sure what the problem is. I managed to start the engine by basically hot-wiring it. But that doesn’t really explain what’s wrong. Most signs point to a bad START switch. Maybe. All I know right now is that I can start the engine when I need to. Takes an extra piece of wire but I can start it. Tomorrow, if there’s time after we finish our must-dos, I’ll try to isolate the actual problem. If not tomorrow, the next day.

We arrived in BdLA during a brisk north wind. Diane, a local, said this is normal and things usually lay down pretty much at night. We’re anchored in about as protected a spot as we’re going to find here and the anchor is well dug in so I feel pretty secure. Tomorrow, we need to take our laundry to Yolanda, take a couple of jerry jugs to the Pemex station to be filled, get some cerveza, agua mineral, queso, tortillas, frijoles, mangos, pinas, etc. If there’s time after that, I’ll tackle the starting issue. As long as I can start the engine, even though the process is a little inconvenient, I’m not too worried. But it will be nice to fix it.

We’ll hang here in BdLA as long as the weather allows until we’re ready to push on further north. Oh, and the reason I’m blogging on Sailmail instead of the internet is that the internet connection I had at Guillermo’s resturante this afternoon was depressingly slow. We’ll try some other internet places tomorrow or the next day.

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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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4 Responses to 5/8/2012 – Back in the Bd, Back in the Bd, Back in the BdLA…

  1. Bob says:

    Might be failed neutral switch… most engines are ste up to not start unless they are in neutral…

    bob
    s/v Eolian
    Seattle

    • sryoder says:

      Nope. No neutral switch on our Westerbeke although it is apparently an option. No, pretty sure it’s a bum battery. But thanks anyway. I can generally use all the help I can get.

  2. sailmama says:

    Hi guys,
    pretty funny to read that you are adding teakettles of hot water to your solar shower while here in La Paz, we are adding teakettles of cold water to ours! Weather has been HOT, but tonight finally is cooler with great breeze from the south. Hoping to start north following your trail this weekend, assuming the last of our land chores are done by then. Saw “The Avengers” tonight – excellent 3D work, and loved seeing Adam’s name in the credits.

  3. Dani says:

    I couldn’t tell you what you problem is, but I’m glad you reminded me to not say good things about our engine.

    Even though ours is brand new, I have a feeling something will end up going wrong with it..at the wrong time.

    So i’ll make sure it knows i’m always suspicious of it. Our little Beta Fish.

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