08/09/2012, Animas Slot
I guess you know how that saying goes by now! We have to admit, up to this point, Mexico has really been pretty easy for us. Sure, it is hot, and sure it is very humid but nothing that were were nor prepared for. I am pretty sure we weren't mentally prepared for our first full on Chubasco storm. At least the boat was ready..... I will try to give a brief description of our storm last night.
When we anchored here in Animas slot, I put out quite a bit more anchor chain that usual due to the fact that I can. we are the only boat in here, and there really isn't room for another, so we let out 175 feet of our 3/8th's BBB chain. If any storm should happen along we are on a lee shore and if we should drag then it would push us right on to said shore. Our 55 LB Rocna anchor dug in nicely and we were set. We anchored in 18 feet of water so we have nearly a 10/1 ratio.
Last night we were able to see the lightening storm as it approached. We pretty much had all the awnings down, and everything that was loose secured, just in case. This is a nightly routine. The storm made it's appearance around 1:00 AM and as it approached, we could tell we were in for it this time. We did manage to take some of the most incredible lighten photos I have ever seen (to be posted later) and then sat around waiting for it to hit. We had been told that when the Chubascos hit, they hit hard and fast....they were right. The lightening got closer and closer, and then BANG, the winds went from dead calm to 45 knots in about 30 seconds. The strong winds really only lasted about an hour, then calming down to 20-25 knots but the electrical storm raged on for hours, finally slowing down around 5:30 AM. There is no way to count, but there must have easily been hundreds of strikes. It was steady, non stop all around us from 1:00 until after 6:00 AM. At the slow points there were 3-5 strikes per minute, and at it 's peak, there seemed to be one every 10 seconds. An electrical show the likes of which I have never encountered before. The great thing about Animas slot is that it is virtually surrounded by steep high peaks, with a very small opening to the sea. Our 55 foot aluminum mast is clearly not the highest thing around, and the waves didn't build up in the small bay.
We came thru it just fine, just a little tired, so it is time for a nap. Unfortunately the weather man called for the same weather pattern for the next three days so i guess we will just hunker down right here and hold on.
Talk to you all later
08/07/2012, Animas Slot
After a very nice snorkel this morning, the decision was made to make the 11 mile run from Isla Partida to Animas Slot, back on the Baja side. Whiled the under water part of Partida is awesome, the land part is truly nothing to look at, and the bulk of the land formations are very white. Not from any thing natural as far as rocks go.....bird poop, lots and lots of bird poop. Enough to make small islands look like they have been snowed on. The when you get a nice warm day, say in the mid to high 90's,I am pretty sure you will have an idea of what the aroma will be like. We decide that the best underwater visibility and snorkeling in a long time wasn't worth the smell.
We had hoped for some wind to fill in, but no luck there, I guess the wind did not get the memo. Sounds to me like the memo machine is out of order as we had a couple of fishing lures out the whole way and no fish showed up either. Gotta check on the memo machine.
Animas Slot is pretty much what it sounds like, a slot in the rocks big enough for one or maybe two boat to fit into, with good wind protection for all angles except the east. Now that we are anchored, guess which way the wind is blowing from??? Yup the east, but only about 8-9 knots, so it keeps things cooled down a bit. Cooled down to 93 in the cabin and 96 in the cockpit. There is a white sandy beach at the head of the slot with a couple of trails that go up and over the ridges to see down into the two adjoining bays to our north and south. Maybe tomorrow I will hike them and get a couple of pictures.
I am saving up a bunch of pictures to post as soon as we get some internet. Maybe in Bahia De Los Angekes
08/07/2012, Isla Partida
We have the anchor down here in the north cove of Isla Partida, in what is referred to as the mid-drift islands. We left San Fransisquito, under sail, with forecasted wind of 9-13 knots. NOPE!! After one good hour of sailing we had to motor as the winds died down to less than 4 knots. It turned out to be a very boring 31 mile day. No fish caught, no real amount of sailing, just a mostly flat run up here. We did see a couple of Pilot Whales but that was pretty much the high light of the trip.
When we turned the corner to enter the bay, we both must have dropped our jaws open, as this is the most desolate, barren island I have ever seen. Jeanne looked at me and said that she felt like we were landing on the moon.
We plan on doing some snorkeling tomorrow, as we have heard that it is amazing here, but we don't see our selves staying here very long
08/05/2012, Bahia San Fransisquito
Not a whole lot to report, as we are just sorta doing what we do down here on these hot humid days. We do start our days a little earlier than we used to, with it pretty common to be up around 6-6:30. We listen to the morning nets, get the weather, and check in with some of the other boats all doing the same thing, around the sea of Cortez. Then by 8-8:30 we are off to go snorkeling, hiking or fishing unless we have some important boat jobs to work on. If we had breakfast before we left the boat, then we do a little tidying up around the boat, before lunch. By then the heat is up and our desire to do much is pretty weak, so this is when we work on the computer, read, play cards, or just plain old nap!
A couple of days ago we pulled our Racor duel fuel filter system apart and gave it a good cleaning, as after our nasty little bit of bashing on our way in here we broke some junk loose in the fuel tank. It was stopped by the filters, but there was quite a bit gathered in the bottom of the fuel filter bowl. So far my wiring project looks to be a success, as everything is running good! The only thing so far in our systems that are under performing are the solar panels. Don't get me wrong they are doing their part, is just so much hotter, keeping the refrigeration running is now requiring so much more energy than we had thought it might. Since we make water about every three days, we run the battery charger at the same time, and get the batteries all charged back up. At this time we also recharge the hand help VHF radio, the cell phone (we use it as an alarm) the Ipod, the Kindle, and the flashlights.
Last night was our first real brush with a Chubasco. About 2:30 AM the winds started picking up, and then the lightening started popping about 8 miles away. Fortunately the winds stay just under 30 knots, and the electrical part moved away with out an issue. We pretty much never go to bed, unless the boat is ready to handle 50 knots of wind, so it was really a non issue, just lost a little sleep.
Depending on weather tomorrow, we might pull anchor and head north to either Isla Partida, or Animas Slot.....or not!!
08/02/2012, Bahia San Fransisquito
While we rarely ever need an excuse for a party or pot luck down here, last nights full moon was certainly as good as it gets for a reason to get all the bats together and celebrate. In addition, it was Lisa on SV Beyond Reason's Birthday, it was a little cooler, with a very light, cooling breeze. Lots of great food, a few cold beverages, a little joke telling, and some improvised bocci ball. I took a few of my extra golf balls and and maked them to be used as Bocci balls. I painted one yellow to be the target. If we get some internet when we get to Bahia De Los Angeles, I will post a few pics.
Looks like we will stay here until Saturday, and then head north with a stop in Animas Slot it there is room for us.
07/30/2012, Bahia San Fransisquito
Well, as you've read before, Murphy joined us somewhere back a few miles. He hasn't left,yet.
After a nice evening with Trisha and Derrick of S/V Interabang, for pizza and farkle, we discovered that the refrigeration system didn't seem to be working. Great! It's 10 pm, and we're now pulling out the tools and wiring supplies. My hero, Tom, bypassed the main system, and at least got us a working refrigerator to keep our full of food freezer cold. Off to bed, and we'll tackle it in the morning.
We'd been watching our panels very closely over the past several weeks, suspecting something was amiss, but not sure where it was. Murphy, again. So, after a quick breakfast of toast with PBJ on it, Tom basically rewired the entire 12V side of our panel. He mounted a couple of new bus bars for the grounds, and moved them off of the panel. In doing so, he discovered that we had two partially melted wires. Aha! and Oh, no! So with a careful look at all the wires, connections, it was all rewired and re- labeled. The meter is now reading properly and most important, the refrigerator is keeping things cold again.
The boat is certainly getting more use than ever before, especially compared to being tied to a dock. She's constantly in motion, which means all the systems, fittings and connections are too. We're also dealing with pretty high humidity and that is also having an effect. We're hearing of other boaters starting to have issues with computers, kindles, electronics, pumps and other refrigeration units.... so Murphy is not exclusively on our boat.
As I said before, Tom's my hero. There have been many times on this adventure of ours where he's pulled a new talent out of his sleeve, impressed me with his knowledge of our systems or those of others and VOILA - the problem is solved, the 'ordeal' averted, and the adventure can continue on.