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Archive for November, 2012

Selling an Outboard November 15 2012
Well as you may or may not know us gringo’s can’t sell anything in Mexico so I had someone that wanted to trade for some coconuts. Just what I needed, a bunch of coconuts. In any case the trade was all set to go, then he decided he wanted it to run too, guess what I had in mind was more of a hood ornament for his 47’ sailing vessel. So yesterday I took it over to him because his outboard wouldn’t run, & was mixing water with oil in the transmission so it will become the hood ornament if he wants. Delivered it but couldn’t find the fuel line, I think it’s in the bodega in La Paz. (the back of my truck) So I got on the bus to go to walmart to find a fuel line. 5 buses later I haven’t found one & I’m back home. This is about 6 pm, I left at noon. Caesar is pissed the bus story didn’t cut it, he is thirsty & wants a walk. His walks have been good, I’ve dropped 10 pounds or so & my blood pressure is down around the 200-205 total. In any case it was the drivers fault he was to let me off at Marina Mazatlan. I would normally have recognized it but he came a whole different route, & had me 5 or some km’s away at the fuel stop for the buses. That was when he recommended the best bus to go back on. Sorry Caesar that’s my story & I’m stickin to it. So today we try a different tactic, I am going to go to the Evinrude dealer & buy an engine fuel fitting & modify his old hose to my fuel tank & my engine. Some hose clamps & it’ll be running like it wanted to. First we had an issue of emptying the fuel out of the old tank & filling and mixing with oil. The buyer was going to handle that while Caesar & I went El Cid, tied to the dinghy dock & walked to the evinrude dealer (last time it was a big bike ride but Caesars still has no basket). The gal in the harbor masters office assured us that we could tie up there without a problem as long as we were going to use a restaurant. I assured her we were, but evidently there had been some gringos there before us & she said all we needed to do was bring in the receipt. Ha. Well off we went & bought the fitting for 106 pesos & we’re on the way back. Could have saved my 35 pesos in bus rides yesterday that I was going to save by going to walmart. Oh well TIM as we say here, This Is Mexico. Back to El Cid, but can’t get into the El Cid restaurant, the patio is packed for a brunch & we need to be outside I thought a cold beer & clamato juice would have been good. I explained this to the gal, & she lets us go. After spending an hour putting that together only to finally decide it was likely the fuel pump, & or carb. Haul it to the mechanico at the marina, & he gets on it. Says it’s the fuel pump, tries to make gaskets etc., nothing works sends me back to the evinrude dealer for a pump & spark plugs, he will clean the carb. Guess who is still working, lets us go again, (Caesar has some redeaming) values I think. The dealer has only the wrong plugs, no fuel pump, says maybe the 3rd week of January, but does have some material to make a thin gasket, we buy that & some small fuel line to the carb. Only 50 pesos more. By this time it’s 4:30, we are tired & ready for water & a cocktail. I drop the parts off at the buyers boat & let him know that I won’t be there tomorrow as my brother Dave & his wife Sue are coming in. Have a day & a halves work that I didn’t get today to do in the morning.

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end

more. Next time I will be staying at anchor somewhere, but in any case for the first time with a freshly acquired boat it made sense.
Will do some updates, I expect to be here for 30 days. Will try to keep you posted.

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Mazatlan passage

Mazatlan Passage 11/5/2012
Took the boat out for another sea trial, about 30 minutes out the engine quit. You can guess my frustration. In any case discovered the racor filter had a lot of water in it. After bleeding it, then switching fuel tanks, still couldn’t get the air out. We called a friend on the radio who had a friend listening that had 5 gallons of diesel on his deck. They brought it out, I used about a gallon to bleed again, & we put the rest in the other tank. Soon had the engine running. Headed back to the slip scratching my head wondering where do I go now & am I getting out of La Paz. I drained another gallon or so of water out of my port tank & ran the fuel polisher for about an hour, by then only getting a small amount of water, which the racor was handling, if I could get crew I would leave on Monday the fifth.
The gal that wanted to go was a no show twice, so she was out. Then I talked to a guy from Switzerland that wanted to go, as he was cycling from Vancouver BC to Columbia. Only problem was, he wanted to sail. I knew his odds were not good to get that position as he had no experience & a large bicycle. By this time I had met another guy that was the Dad of a friend of Caesars, that we had met. He had never been to Mazatlan or on a ferry, wanted to do both. He was more my age, & the Swiss was about 30, two crew would sure work, especially with 2 with no experience. A plan was made to leave Monday, the tides & weather being favorable. Remo was to come & help fuel Saturday & Sunday, Rick would arrive Monday morning. On Saturday Remo said there were whale sharks to maybe be seen north & west of the Magote. His girl friend who is a marine biologist in her 4th year also wanted to go. We would fuel early & late on Sunday. So on Sunday afternoon, Caesar, Remo,Nadia, Caesar & myself loaded the dinghy with some water, beer & snorkel gear & headed out. We had a stiff breeze against us so it was a wet ride, but if we found some sharks we would be wet snorkeling so off we went. After a couple of hour hunt we realized we were seeing nothing so we turned back. About 20 minutes later a Mexican panga was waving at us. Nadia felt they had spotted a whale shark so we headed out to sea towards them, generally they are closer to shore. As we got closer we could see it, by this time Nadia had her snorkel gear on & was overboard, swimming towards the shark Remo was only a short time behind her. Caesar & I were left to man the boat. As we got closer we could see the size, it was about 12-14 feet long & feeding on plankton. They were in the water with it for about 15-20 minutes before coming back to the boat. The panga was still there with all on board. I quickly donned mask & snorkel & over I went, leaving Caesar with Remo & Nadia. That shark was huge when you got close to him, his mouth was at least 2 ½ feet wide, there was a school of fish swimming under him & at least one attached. I watched, & all of a sudden he came straight at me, at the last second swam under me so close both his fins touched me. I assure you that at times like this parts of you kind of shrink up! In any case he left, I swam back to the boat, in a few minutes he was back with a buddy, by this time more boats had gathered & people were getting in the water. Nadia & Remo went back in with 2-3 sharks, some dolphin & about a dozen other people. After about another ½ hour of play we needed to get back & finish the fueling, we were hauling in 5 gallon cans from the Pemex station as it was a saving of almost 70 cents per gallon, & we needed another 50 gallons or so.
Monday morning we lifted the outboard on board but it would not fit the new rack that had been built for it so had to do some modification there. Then on came the dinghy, of course we had lots of help & advise, much of it positive. In any case our 9:30 departure soon turned into an 11:30 one, oh well we were still leaving with the tide. I was nervous because we had had an issue on every outing but I felt now fuel could be the only problem issue & I was equipped to deal with that so off we went, we had extra diesel for bleeding if needed & extra gas for the dinghy if we needed a push back to somewhere, if we got a long ways before any issues I felt we would be just fine.
We passed through the San Lorenzo channel without any issues around 2 hours out so I knew all was well. We started to get into seas coming from the North, there were big swells close together coming onto our left beam & we started rolling badly from side to side, I hoped my crew could handle it Caesar couldn’t move because of the roll, everything in the boat that wasn’t fastened down was flying side to side. All of a sudden there is a high pitched screaming alarm going off & red lights flashing at the helm, oh s**t that is the high water alarm why are we taking on water. I put one of my crew at the helm & went below, to open the bilge, as soon as I started down I saw nothing floating on the floor so that was good. I opened it up but couldn’t immediately see what the problem was. Soon I discovered the float switch had come loose & was causing the alarm to go off. I got that solved, but there was a bilge pump running continuously it looked like fuel from the port tank was leaking into the bilge. I was concerned that I had a bad leak in a tank as it kept coming & the pump kept running. We had headed up into the seas by this time so the roll was stopped, just up & down almost taking green water over our high bow. At this point I decided we should get somewhere where I could track down the problem & solve it or we were going to need to return to port. I knew where my crews heads were at, they were set to abandon me if we went back. In any case we headed back through the Lorenzo channel meeting the Topolobampo ferry which really didn’t help our rolling but in any case about 45 minutes later we were dropping anchor in the lea of the island. Down below I started to find where the fuel was coming from only to realize after cleaning the sides of the bilge that there wasn’t more fuel coming, but the pump was still running. That switch was also out of place & once moved back where it should be the pump stopped. Nothing additional was coming into the bilge. I assured the crew that all was well, the problem was solved we could get back underway. The other option was we spend the night & leave early in the morning, after some discussion we opted to leave, I was hoping that the seas would lay down a bit & we would be more comfortable. We sailed all night & in the morning I decided it was time to wet a line. I got the pole out & found a Mexican feather that I had bought & threw it over. Then I hooked up another line off the other side that was attached with a teaser & 75’ of line plus another fly. The fish would have at least a choice to make. About an hour later I heard the line go & told Remo to throttle back & go to neutral, about 10-15 minutes later I had a nice dorado along side the boat, then to the front. He was a good fighter when we finally got him in the big net it was all that Remo could do to lift him aboard. We had no scale but he measured 44’ long a big bull. This was still around 0800 & we hadn’t had breakfast yet so out came the grill & I filleted that fish. We had lots for breakfast, lots for ceviche , & still leftovers for sandwichs. Absolutely delicious! That made our whole trip, my crew was now much calmer & liking the crossing better. When I went to the stern I found that our other line was gone. Something had broken the bungie cord & taken the whole tackle with it.
We decided if we caught more fish we would need to release because the refrigerator was functioning very poorly. In any case we didn’t & continue into Mazatlan without further incident, arriving around 0800 Wednesday morning. We got a slip, which I found to be expensive compared to La Paz, it was 50%

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Caesar at the helm

Oct 31 2012
Yesterday was my Mom & Dads wedding anniversary had they been still with us, but sadly they are not. In any case I will celebrate the Day of the Dead tomorrow here in La Paz. It is the day that the folks here celebrate the life of those no longer here.
Some celebrate Halloween although I don’t think it is a Mexican holiday, just something they have picked up from us gringos. Many will be in costume tonight the same as in Canada & the US. Caesar & I may go out later & watch some, but I think more than likely I will make a tuna salad for this evenings dinner. I found some really good Romaine lettuce yesterday that was cheap & real fresh. Many days one is only able to find the regular lettuce which is rather bland in comparison.
I have had the boat out finally, got the engine running after many days of work & frustration. Turned out it had 3 issues, fuel shut off, a gallon of water in the fuel, & I couldn’t bleed it because when the mechanic installed the new Racor filters, he left out a gasket, so it was just sucking air. Should have done it myself in the first place but now I know how it all works. As for the transmission, the linkage was out of adjustment so it wouldn’t allow forward gear to be engaged from the fly bridge. That was also the initial problem which was supposed to be repaired. In any case after my adjusting it worked when I took it out with a couple of friends for 10 miles or so, then we turned around to come back & as soon as I increased throttle to 1500 rpm, it started jumping out of gear. We came back slow & I managed to get it in the slip without mishap (my first time). Caesar’s first time out as well, had lots of big swells, some boat rolling but he just lay down up in the fly bridge & pretty much went to sleep. Some watchdog or helm dog. Then over the course of the next week, & much more research , I finally ended up adjusting linkage in 3 different locations to allow all gears to be accessed from both stations. It all worked well tied in the slip, now it needs to go out again & be tested. At the same time I need to try the other fuel tank & resolve a diesel fuel leak at the engine. Isn’t cruising fun, repairing boats in exotic locations.
Last weekend there was big boat sunk here out about 12 miles, at anchor in a bay near where I turned last week. The boats name was Temptations, you can find her on the net, 125 foot long, 104 foot waterline. She had been for sale for around 7 million, maybe a little less now. Different stories circulate as to what happened, first we heard she dragged anchor into rocks, then a seacock was left open etc., etc. In any case the stern was down in about 30 feet of water, the bow was sticking straight up in the air. The marina owner here got the job of refloating her which was a big job, it took them all weekend, she is now in the marina where we hauled, sitting on big barrels floating under her stern so as not to go down again. My bet is that there is a boat captain today that is job hunting somewhere.
I have been trying to find crew for the crossing to Mazatlan, Caesar already proved that he would just as soon sleep as keep a watch. The first guy I talked to was very interested until he found I wasn’t coming back till next February or so & he wanted a round trip. I am supposed to meet with a gal tomorrow that is looking to go. She also wants to go to New Zealand so that might be a good spot for her (Mazatlan), also will give her some offshore experience. I think she is from Greece. In any case, hope she will want to go & I may do it non stop from here, although that will run to about 45-50 hours. Need to do a run with the boat first. Plan on meeting one of my brother’s & his wife in Mazatlan on the 17 of November, look forward to that. It is my youngest brother David & Susan from Alberta.
Sorry no pictures yet but I hopefully will have more time after the crossing to figure it out. Caesar wanted to get his spa treatment yesterday, so had to take him in. Also found a big tick on him which managed to let go after an olive oil massage on mr. tick. It did leave a big scab though which I have treated with antibiotics. The vet says if he gets more we will need a special bath or tick collar. Then this morning he had another one, but it hadn’t started to dig in yet. Now I have to be vigilant & make sure one doesn’t get attached, I hate to have him in a full time collar, but it may be necessary. He absolutely loves the boat, has 2 favorite spots, one sitting out on the bow as he has a good view, but his most favorite is the fly bridge where he is up high & can watch everybody & thing. He loves to watch, just like his dad. He also likes to watch the fish at night on the dock, not sure whether he smells them or can hear them but it can be pitch black & he follows them. I for sure can never let him off his leash then because if he fell in & is a poor swimmer in the dark, he’d be gone.
For those of you that don’t know, Coye & I separated early in October, she is at her brothers in Utah. That’s all I know for now, hopefully won’t take so long for the next update.

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