Tuesday, April 17, 2007

San Carlos to Santa Rosalia, Mexico

San Carlos, Sonoma, Mexico, Marina Real…………………Sunday, March 25, 2007.

David (my son) and I arrived, finally, in San Carlos after 4 PM Sunday…seems US Air has a problem getting their act together…one of the reasons I chose to move the Noe Mar south to La Paz (there I can fly Alaska or Delta…not only do they use USA airplanes but they have a far better record of “one time flights” plus they are cheaper by half the cost.

Upon arriving at Marina Real…we found the Noe Mar filled with dust. One would never believe I painted her deck the day Candy and I left last time.

Also the Marina Office has moved to closer and newer headquarters…very nice.

Several projects to do and the Merc engine (which all the local staff at Marina Seco called the “Barby” engine…only 3.3 HP) to pick up (repaired). One of the projects is the “mast head light”…by the way Candy, David does not believe that you winched me up the mast (more than once, I might add). OK, after washing the deck and putting our food and cervasa away, Monday AM…up the mast…down the mast…up the mast…down the mast………OK, got the point? I went up the mast 4 times…and Dave did a great job but he wondered…where is the electric winch???

As it turned out…the main wire had a break in the plus lead…the light bulb was burned out…the unit itself was and is a mess (too old) and it needs a new one…LED??? However, after a trip to the Merc dealer in San Carlos (also the West Marine dealer) we got new wires and a new bulb (no mast head fixture available). Dave repaired the light fixture (actually he jammed the new bulb into the old fixture, since the new brighter and higher wattage, had the wrong prongs on it). Hey…it works and works great.

Next project before I got the boat ready to depart on Monday eve…check out how the SSB works for various talk stations. Everyone says that “Don” says we will get our “butts” kicked if we take off on Tuesday…OK, OK, we will leave tonight. However, I cannot download a GRIB file and Accuweather says that all will be very calm….hmmm…where did “Don” see 30 knot winds?? Don’t know but I am not waiting to find out. Dave reads all my SSB books and figures out how to check on “Don” and crews that are chit chatting. Never hear “Don” but a lot of chit chat…boredom?

We get Isabella (Marina Real’s port Master) to give us transfer forms to La Paz…to be shown to Santa Rosalia if asked. I get the latest info I can on the weather from Accuweather (should’ve used www.Bouyweather.com )…we get to the fuel dock just before they close and take off @ 5:08 PM on March 26, 2007.

27’ 56.8258 N & 111’ 06.3281 W…we raise the sails (I use the working jib…just in case)..set the autopilot for 52 deg (remember it is 180 deg off…I need to remount the fluxgate compass). After inserting a waypoint…I check our distance…79 NM to go.

Beautiful sunset…take a video and go for my little camera…oops…where is it? Not sure…did I leave it in the shuttle coming here??? Need to scour the Noe Mar for it (later found it).

Nice moon for most the night…I sack out for (around 8 PM) a few hours after my quick dinner (Dave prefers gourmet cooking vs my fast cheese tacos..or sandwiches, washed down with cervasa). Get up @ midnight…take over the helm…27’ 38.856 N & 111’ 40.76 W…motoring on flat glossy seas @ 5 knots (was 6.5 knots when we had a wind) checked our distance to the harbor in Santa Rosalia….36.8 NM to go…hope it is daylight when we arrive. I read all the articles (using a red headlight…makes for weird reading) in this months Crusing World…relax in these glassy seas. Dave sleeps well…and I am bored and sleepy. Come below…keep an eye on the radar & computer. Watch the ferry go to Santa Rosalia (yes, it beats us)…Dave gets up and takes over.

Just out of Santa Rosalia in early AM…we get a small breeze…I shut off the engine and we sail nicely. Now, right in my path to enter the Marina…pangas every where…so I fall off…Oh well, time to take down the sails and enter the harbor.

Dave calls the marina…This is the Sailing vessel, Noe Mar, calling Santa Rosalia Marina. They answer and we request a slip for the night…yes, they have 20 available…and they would wait for us on the dock.

WOW!...four of them there to anxiously tie us up to the brand new (albeit small walk ways) dock and system that was made in Canada…they quickly ask us if their prices are to high…and hurriedly show us the new showers, new offices, etc. They are proud of this Marina and the President will be here in a few weeks to dedicate it. They will take us into town (we walk)…they will let us use their computers for the internet…and so it goes. Price??? 10 pesos per foot plus 10% tax…per night……or $36 USD. Spendy.

Dave and I check out the town…look at the Eiffel church (a prefab church built by Gustaf Eiffel…aka Eiffel Tower)…neat.

I finally got hold of Ocens and learned how to use the Iridium phone to dial Mexico…it is “0052+ the numbers”…not 011 as you would do in the USA. So, I down load a 3 day GRIB file from Chopper…they call for 18 knots period. I try to call my friend Ed Epifane…no luck…he is out and about. I even find where I put my little camera…Hooray!!

Remember this is Tuesday, March 27, 2007. I noticed that the Davis Weather vane was twisted…so Dave hoists me up the mast with the preventer system (block & tackle on land)…oofff…I can’t reach it but Dave hands me the pole from the fore deck and I shove it around to it is straight. Seems to work. He challenges me about Candy helping me do this with this system. Candy will have to vouch for me.

David takes us out to dinner in a small diner…good food and good rum, but to much ”carne”….Oh well. We get to bed late.

I wake up @ 3 AM on Wed the 28th…the boat is being smashed into the dock and the wind is up to 25 knots…OOPs…better listen to “Don” vs Chopper of Max Sea. I put another line on the bow…bend a bolt over that was left on the docks (as a guide to make them all square). Do my best to cross tie it better…give up and go back to bed. Shine the flash light on the weather station…31 knots and???

All day we get 17-28 knots….get hold of Ed and he says the channel we will go through is doing 30 knots. I get a printed download of the Bouyweather Global weather service…it is specific for all the bouy’s in the Sea of Cortez. It will let up some on Thursday AM…we plan on going south to Punta Chivato and anchoring behind it until Friday. Then Friday on the winds subside. This will give us a 5 hour start…and a nice visit with Ed and Jean (Dave says sitting here is boring) and be safe. Checked out the Cunningham’s charts…it is a good holding area for Northerlies and Ed agrees (he is a very experienced sailor and lives here).

My main computer is fried…think it has a virus (turns out later…it is MicroSoft that shut it down, read the next blog) …I only use it for Ocens mail and Grib files and then rarely. I have down loaded everything onto my new laptop (my back up) but CMap is not letting me open every thing (since I forgot my codes…I have them now). Still, we have paper back ups and a GPS…however the GPS interface to the new computer is not working…so we will travel in daylight from now on. The marina here gave us keys to use the computer system tonight (or so they thought)…so I will see if I can get help downloading a new driver and CMap to open up my paid for charts (actually did it when I got home…and I have the codes on my laptop). Need to cover ALL of my bases before I take off like this…paper still works in an emergency.

Dave is off shopping…I am finishing this for the day, fresh cup of coffee…and then it is shower and shave time. Dave’s espanol is pretty good…gets me out of trouble with the locals J.

Check with everyone tomorrow (Thursday)……….Skipper of the Noe Mar….Ken


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