5/15/2012 – Ready to move on

After we got our diesel jerry jugs filled, got out laundered clothes back from Yolanda, got our cerveza stashed topped up and got what few groceries we needed, we left Bahia de Los Angeles for Puerto Don Juan last Saturday. We’re about ready to head north further but the weather reports were calling for NW winds on Sunday, getting stronger on Monday and Tuesday before turning around to the SE on Wednesday. So, not wanting to buck winds AND the tidal current between the Baja mainland and Isla Angel de La Guardia (Ballena Channel), we opted to spend a few days back at Pto. Don Juan while we waited for a departure date of Wednesday.

Once again, the anchorage was nearly empty. Doug and Linda on s/v Que Linda, who we met in San Juanico were the only other people there. We anchored a respectful distance away but made radio contact a little after we arrived. Plans were made for a little happy hour aboard Que Linda around 6:30, after the sun went down and it started to cool off. We kicked back and enjoyed the afternoon. Around 6:15, we got a call from Doug. “What time do you guys have?” I told him it was 6:15 Pacific Daylight Time. “Ah, THAT explains it!” I told him we did the same thing the week before except, in our case, we arrived at Happy Hour an hour early rather than waiting for guests who appeared to be an hour late. But, we headed over and had a very enjoyable evening, playing Mexican Train dominoes, eating Que Linda Nachos, shooting the breeze and sampling tequila. Didn’t get home until midnight which is VERY unusual for us. We had a spectacular dinghy ride back as the bioluminescence was as bright as we’ve ever seen it. Left a big neon wake behind us and got to watch the streaks from the fish scatter in front of us. Too cool.

Sunday was a normal day. Pretty warm during the day and then cooled off nicely after the sun went down. We both just sort of puttered around the boat all day and then had Doug and Linda over for dinner on Siempre Sabado. Lulu made Pollo Poblano over rice and Linda made a cabbage salad with Craisins and ramen noodles. It was really good. We sat in the cockpit enjoying the cooling down of the evening and shooting the breeze. The evening broke up around 10:00 and Doug and Linda got to experience the light show on their dinghy ride back.

Yesterday (Monday) was HOT! How hot was it? Well, we had several different thermometers and all registered well over 90 with a couple of them approaching the century mark. Lulu worked on her Peruvian friendship bracelets and I did some fancy work tying Turk’s Heads. Long about 4:00 or so I was so hot that I finally decided to jump into the water to cool off. The water temperature is (probably – we have no pool thermometer) in the mid to high 70s. Not quite bathwater yet but, once we got used to it, it was very refreshing and did a great job of bringing the ol’ body temperature back down. Long as we were wet anyway, we went ahead and turned the plunge into a saltwater bath followed by a fresh water rinse-off. Of course, now that it’s hot out, the water in the solar shower was plenty hot. The Que Lindas invited us to dinner. Linda made a stew so Lulu made a loaf of French bread to go along with it. Again we sat around enjoying it when the sun went down and shooting the breeze. We begged off early and got back to Siempre Sabado around 9:30. A little more our style.

Today we were in for a sort of rude awakening. After breakfast I did some hand laundry and then Lulu did some more. While she was pumping some rinse water into the bucket, we heard the unmistakable sound of a nearly empty water tank. How could this be? We decided to run the watermaker most of the day so, in order to not deplete our batteries, we decided to run the Honda 2000 generator. Might as well charge the batteries while we’re making water. I pulled the generator out of it’s storage place, checked the oil, topped off the gas, and pulled the starter. Now this Honda has kind of spoiled me. I’m used to it starting on the first or second pull. It didn’t. I had about 10 pulls in before I got any reaction that made me think it might start. Ultimately it did and has been running steadily ever since. I guess, when you figure the last time I ran it was probably 9 months ago, it’s pretty amazing that it started at all. I bet next time it only takes 2 pulls.

Once the watermaker was pumping fresh water, I pulled out the log book to try to figure out how we had managed to run out of water. Well, the last time our tank was FULL was as we sailed out of San Juanico some 17 days ago. At our average use of 6 gallons per day (probably a little more now with the cockpit showers), we would have used 102 gallons. Let’s see, our tank holds 79 gallons so that means, uh oh, that means we would have a deficit of 23 gallons. However, we did make water a few times during the intervening period. Trouble was, we only made it while underway with the motor on and all of our latest hops have been less than 2 hours. So, we made 10 gallons twice and 13 gallons once for a total of 33 gallons. So, based on all these theoretical numbers, we should have had 10 gallons left in the tank today. But, like I said, what with showers and water consumption, we are probably using a little more than our previous 6 gallons per day. Shows one thing though; it’s VERY unlikely that we have any leakage in our tank or we would have run out even earlier. So, I’ve made a vow to keep better track of our usage. And, from now on, unless there’s a compelling reason not to, we plan to run the watermaker every other day for 2 hours or until the tank is full, whichever comes first.

Today we did laundry and I took trash ashore to burn. There are a bunch (dozens, not hundreds) of Humboldt squid lying dead in the shallow water near shore. No idea what killed them. At low tide, many of them will be high and dry and I suspect the seagulls will go crazy. There was a lone coyote prowling the beach when I got there but, seeing me, he ambled off. He’ll probably be back when the tide goes out as well. The coyotes here are amazing. When a bunch of them get together and start singing, it’s awe-inspiring. Lulu just finished cleaning out the dinghy in anticipation of bringing it aboard and folding it up. We probably won’t need it again until after Circus Mexicus. Tomorrow we plan to do an overnighter to Bahia Willard or Bahia Gonzaga. THey’re right next to each other and are about 70 nautical miles from here. We’re going to leave around 0700 so we can hopefully ride the flood tide up the Ballena Channel. After Willard/Gonzaga we’ll do an overnighter to San Felipe, another 70 miles and then an overnighter across the northern sea to Puerto Penasco, again, about 70 miles.

There you have it. Thought I really should check in as I hadn’t written since telling y’all about the “blowing like stink” winds we had at BLA last week.

BTW, it’s been very hot the last couple days. Last night didn’t cool off quite as noticeably as the previous ones had. I had to run my fan most of the night, partly for the heat and partly to keep the freakin’ bugs off me. I have bites all over my poor little body right now. They totally leave Lulu alone. Just doesn’t seem fair somehow.

Also, the predicted NW winds never materialized.


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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7 Responses to 5/15/2012 – Ready to move on

  1. Eric says:

    Bugs? Wasn’t Lulu working on some super secret type of bug screen for the companionway last year? Do your bug screens not stop the wee ones or are they breeding in your boat? Just curious because the skeeters eat me alive. Eric

    • sryoder says:

      The bug screens for the companionway didn’t meet my approval as they were a big PITA when I tried to get in or out. We recently replaced those screens with a simple mosquito net that covers the dodger and all. Easy to rig, easy to get in and out of. Of course, if you don’t bother to rig it, it can’t do much good. I just figured that whatever bugs were going to eat me were already on board and the mosquito net wouldn’t do anything but keep them from escaping. How’s that for convoluted thinking. So, I just got bit and probably deservedly.

  2. Dani says:

    I am also very curious as to the bug issue! I’m also somewhat envious of your watermaker…I don’t think we’ll ever have one, but Its nice to hear that people use them and have success.

    • sryoder says:

      Ah, the watermaker. Cost as much as a decent used car but now that it’s aboard, we don’t think of that too often. Rest assured that, as long as it continuous to work, you won’t see us schlepping carboys or garrafons of drinking water to the boat. It’s another one of those expenses that you just forget about once you’re filing your tanks with good clean water in some remote anchorage.

  3. MWhite:LittleCunningPlan says:

    Also like hearing a story about a watermaker that works. You hear so many horror stories about those. We probably won’t have them. But if our boat doesn’t sell, we’ll be cruising around up here forever (not the worst thing that could happen, but still…) so a watermaker will be a moot point. Love the bio-luminescence and jumping into the sea to cool off. Hope your water stays cool enough for that. Also, tell Lulu that we aren’t going steady anymore. I wore that friendship bracelet until this week, when I noticed I was killing it with love by wearing it constantly, so I had to remove it. I figure I’ll put it back on this summer when we go cruising somewhere, somehow. .

    • sryoder says:

      OK Melissa, I’ve dried Lulu’s tears and I think she’s finally ready to accept the fact that you’ve broken the BFF chain. I’m sure she’ll get over it someday. As long as you put the bracelet back on when you start cruising.

      RE: watermakers. If you have enough carrying capacity, no problem. But picture yourself about 2 weeks into a cruise. At 6 gallons a day you’ve used 84 gallons. Your tank holds 100 gallons, leaving you 16. You’re anchored in Caleta Grande (aka Ensenada Blanca) and don’t really want to go to Puerto Escondido just to get water. No problem, you just go ashore at the resort and fill your jugs or go ashore at the little town of Ensenada Blanca and fill your jugs at the tienda, a mere 1/4 mile away and slog them back to the boat. Two trips with one person carrying 2 jugs at 42 lbs each or one trip if you both can carry 84 lbs of water each. Certainly do-able. We would just rather fire up the generator if needed and then start the watermaker. But, OTOH, they are ungodly expensive.

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