30 October 2008
Having arrived in Bahia Tortugas (Turtle Bay), Pascale, the boys, and John took the dinghy to the beach, while I stayed on board to check things out on the boat.
As we arrived the previous night, when we prepared to anchor, I put the engine into neutral. At that time the oil pressure alarm came on intermittently. So this morning I checked out the engine. I found that the oil level was very low. This engine doesn't leak oil, so it must be burning some. I purchased oil in town, and did an oil and filter change. I must carefully monitor the crankcase oil level from now on.
I also installed a new fuel gauge (which I purchased in San Diego). The fuel gauge we had was reading backwards; Full read Empty and vice versa. The new gauge solved this problem.
After lunch, we took the dinghy into the village of Turtle Bay to buy groceries. This is the quintessential third world village. The streets are crooked, unpaved dirt roads. Everything is dusty. The tienda, which we jokingly refer to as the Wal-Mart, has the basic staples in canned and dried goods, milk, beer, a few vegetables. And then there is the meat counter. You don't want to go there. I bought some polish sausages; those are more likely to be sanitary since they're factory shrink-wrapped. I wouldn't touch the beef they sell here for anything. It looks old and gnarly.
We refueled our diesel tank today. This was an interesting process. Turtle bay is getting modernized. In the past we had to tie up to a rickety pier and pass our cash to the operator via a bucket tied to a rope. Now a panga loaded with a huge fuel tank comes up to your boat and fills you up right at your boat. The cost of diesel fuel is a mere $2.50 US per gallon.
Recall yesterday, I reported that the pennant that holds the tack of the jib down was showing serious signs of chafe. Despite our rigger's assurances to the contrary, the pennant was touching the deck opening that the furler passes through when under sail. (Our furler is below decks). I solved this problem by bringing out the ZIP router (a high speed tool somewhat like a Dremel and a router). I used the ZIP tool to cut away the gel coat and fiberglass opening, enlarging it by about half an inch all around. That should solve the chafe problem once and for all. If I hadn't done this, I don't think the jib tack would have lasted until we got to Cabo.