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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
From Antoine's Notes
Antoine (age 10)
10/20/2008, Catalina Island

We left Santa Barbara and headed down to Catalina Island, when we arrived the night sky was just gorgeous!

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Pt. Conception
10/19/2008

We rounded Pt. Conception in mild conditions with 15 knot winds and 6 foot waves.

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From Antoine's Notes
Antoine (age 10)
10/19/2008

After we left Monterey we headed towards Santa Barbara. It was a two day sail down. On the first day, we saw bottle nosed dolphins fly past us. On the second day, we saw humpback whales constatnly rise out of the water. Hours later, we finally arrived at Santa Barbara at night. We then stayed another night.

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Approaching Pt. Conception
Bruce
10/18/2008

I got up at 8:30 this morning, showered, washed the dishes, and made breakfast for the crew, apricot chutney breakfast burritos (tortillas filled with scrambled eggs, leftover chili con carne, and homemade apricot chutney). The seas are fairly flat, with 7 knots of wind on a reach. It seems that these conditions would be perfect to do the so-called Baja Bash. We are motorsailing to make good time to Santa Barbara. The diesel engine is purring along contentedly.

Francois is doing the watch at the helm, with John there to assist. Pascale is sleeping after having done the 9 to midnight shift and not having slept much afterwards. It was a tumultuous night.

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10/21/2008 | sherry in anchorage
Apricot chutney burritos? ....Never had them, but they sound yummy~ :o)
10/22/2008 | Bruce Powell
Burritos are just rolled up sandwiches, so anything that tastes good works. The chutney is oddball, but the savory sweetness adds something to scrambled eggs to make it interesting. Pascale canned about a dozen jars of chutney, so we have to find ways to use it!
Engine Trouble
Bruce
10/18/2008

I did a watch from midnight to 3 a.m.. There were moderate winds on the beam so I had shut the engine off. Just as my watch ended, the winds died so I tried to start the engine. At first, the starter wouldn't engage, after several tries the engine started, but ran at low rpm and died after a few seconds. Trying again yielded the same result.

I got John up to start his 3 a.m. watch so I could check out the engine and fuel system. There seemed to be two unrelated problems here working simultaneously: something wrong with the starter motor circuit, and a clogged fuel filter.

I put a screwdriver across the contacts for the starter motor solenoid: the starter motor started right up. So the trouble must be in the key switch circuit.

Meanwhile, the wind increased to 20 knots on a close reach, which was good in that it kept us moving, but bad in that the angle of heel made engine work awkward.

There are two fuel filters on the engine: a primary and secondary. The secondary filter is right on the engine. I decided to check there first. I unscrewed the bleed screw on the filter and pumped the priming pump. No fuel came out. Then I checked the line leading into the fuel filter. Fuel came out there. This lead me to conclude a clogged secondary filter.

I pulled a replacement filter from spares and tried to get the old filter off. However, no filter wrench was to be found. Without a filter wrench, I couldn't remove the old filter. Finally I had the idea of putting two hose clamps together and around the filter. Then I tapped on the screw end fo the hose clamp to unscrew the filter. This worked. I replaced it with the new filter and bled the air out of the system.

Asking John to crank the engine, it started right up. We are now running the engine just to make sure everything is all right. It runs fine.

When we get to Santa Barbara I'll need to examine the starter circuit and the fuel filtration system. I think the filter got clogged because we filled up the fuel tanks in Monterey before leaving. That must have stirred up some gunk that was in the tanks.

Now it's 5:30 a.m., I think I'll go to bed.

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Night passage to Pt Conception
Bruce
10/18/2008

It's 1:42 a.m., I'm on watch as we make way towards Pt Conception. The radar shows the many squalls, and I sit under the dodger to get out of the rain. We're motorsailing, because we have just 5 knots fo wind coming from the North. This is a welcome change, actually, since the winds have been coming from the South almost the entire time since we left San Francisco.

Our ETA to Santa Barbara is another 19 hours.

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More news from Turtle Bay
Bruce
10/16/2008, Bahia de Tortugas

Our day started with warm winds. We moved our boat to a new anchorage at the East end of the bay close to where the beach party was. I talked to several people with diesel engine experience. It all boiled down to one thing: was the oil consumption in the order of liters per hour, or liters per day?

I ran the engine the entire afternoon and evening and then checked the oil dipstick level. There was no apparent difference. Good news: the oil consumption seems to be at a reasonable rate.

Just to be sure, I bought 14 liters of engine oil to take with us.

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Second Night Passage to Turtle Bay
Bruce
10/16/2008, Pacific Ocean

This is our second night passage on the way to Turtle Bay. John is at the helm; I'm about to start a shift at 2 a.m. If we maintain our present speed we will arrive at 9 a.m.

The total length of this leg is 390 nautical miles. Winds are light, 8 knots coming from behind gives us a very low apparent wind speed so we are motorsailing.

We had a very nice afternoon under sail yesterday. The air and sea temperatures are noticeably getting warmer.

We fixed the radar mount yesterday. John held the assembly at the right angle with Vise Grips and Francois adjusted the height of the assembly using the topping lift, while I extracted the broken bolt and replaced it with a new one.

We had a problem with the furling line yesterday. The interior core of the line inexplicably bulged out of the line like a big hernia. This made it impossible to pass the line through a fairlead and impossible to furl the sail. Thank goodness this didn't happen to us in a blow! I removed the furling line and replaced it with a thinner line. Ironically this thinner line is the original line that Harken supplied with the new roller furler.

I also discovered an imminent problem at the furler. The tack of the jib is fastened to the furler with a short pennant made of something like Vectran. This pennant is suffering from chafe and won't last much longer. While we're in Turtle Bay I'll have to improvise something better. A steel cable pennant would be the way to go here. Maybe someone in the Haha fleet has steel cable and crimps that I can use.

I need to add steel cable and crimps to my list of required spares to carry.

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