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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Passage to Turtle Bay
Bruce
10/28/2008, south of Ensenada

Quite a bit has happened in the last few days. The new autopilot and new E80 chartplotter are installed and both work great. Prior to leaving San Diego, I tried to get the reluctant aft head working, and in the process removed the hose for overboard discharge. It turned out that the through hull for that hose doesn't close (you can turn the handle all right, but the valve does not shut off water flow).

So Monday morning at 8 a.m., I had the boat hauled out of the water at a yard in San Diego and had the valve replaced. We had the boat back in the water around 11:30 a.m., just in time to catch up with the Haha fleet that departed at 11:00.

We crossed the border into Mexico some time this afternoon and had a shot of tequila to celebrate. The winds were 15 to 20 knots on a broad reach, so we made good time, sailing at about 7 knots.

Towards the end of the afternoon I noticed something was wrong with the radar dome support. The dome was turned at a funny angle. The radar antenna is supported by a stainless steel tube that is bolted to a bracket at the stern and clamped to the backstay further up. The bolt where it is bolted at the stern had partially broken, allowing rotation of the entire radar antenna assembly along the axis of the backstay.

We attached the topping lift to the radar antenna to support its weight and minimize the strain on what is left of that quarter inch bolt. Also if that bolt separated completely, the stainless tube, with the radar cable in it, might damage the radar cable. We're hoping that won't happen before we get to Turtle Bay and can make repairs.

Speaking of which, the sail from San Diego to Turtle Bay is about 340 nautical miles. It's now 4 a.m. and we have another 215 nm to go. I'm doing the 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. shift, but I'm not too tired so I think I'll keep the watch for a few more hours. The night is clear and moonless and I can see the lights, and radar blips, of several Haha boats within a few miles of us. I'm keeping a constant watch for other boats. The AIS does a great job of watching out for ships. I would recommend AIS for anyone planning to do offshore sailing.

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10/28/2008 | Bill
Ahhh man you have AIS!!! Isn't that a great new technology to have. I see it being required on all vessels someday and on all inspected vessels someday very soon. I am sure it is comforting having it with the RADAR issue.

I have to say the Baja Haha looks like a ton of fun and I look forward to following the adventures.
10/28/2008 | Bill
Sorry about the double post, but I guess it's only fair I share my website [http://balbrant.com].

Cheers,
Bill
Baja Ha-Ha Kickoff Party
John
10/26/2008, San Diego

We had a great time at the costume party today. Bruce and Pascale won their category for best costume!

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A Night Out
John
10/26/2008, San Diego

To celebrate finishing lots of work on the boat, and being ready for tomorrow's start of the Ha-Ha we went out to dinner in the Gas Lamp district. We all wore our matching boat shirts.

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A Cruiser's Lifestyle
10/25/2008

Laundry hanging out to dry...

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10/26/2008 | Bill
My laundry would come out wetter than if it cam out of the washing machine if I hung mine outside to dry this time of year. Looks fun and sunny...I'm jealous!

Cheers,
Bill
Exploring San Diego
John
10/25/2008, San Diego

After shopping for investments, I relaxed at the historic Hotel Del Coronado.

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Exploring San Diego
John
10/25/2008, San Diego

I took some time out to look at potential real estate investments. This house seemed like a nice possibility.

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11/03/2008 | Sherry in Anchorage
Yep. I'd say that house has potential. LOL! ;o)
Last minute work in San Diego
Bruce
10/24/2008, San Diego

Having installed the new autopilot yesterday, we took the boat out on the bay to calibrate the autopilot. This took about an hour.

Back at the dock, I installed a backup engine starting switch right at the engine. We had some instances where the engine wouldn't start, but putting a screwdriver across the solenoid terminals got it going. The new switch replaces the screwdriver.

That being done, I investigated a freshwater leak that was draining a large amount of our fresh water supply into the bilge. This was keeping both the bilge pump and the water pressure pump working more than they should. I found the source: a pinhole leak in the side of the pressure reservoir. Water was squirting out in a steady stream.

I made a trip to West Marine and got a new pressure reservoir, and installed it. Problem solved.

While at West Marine, I purchased a bilge pump and a water pressure pump, and another head rebuild kit, just to carry with us as spares. If we don't use them, we can always return them later. Finding those parts in Mexico would be very difficult.

Meanwhile, John laid out the anchor chain on the dock in preparation for painting marks on it every 20 ft. John also installed the brackets for the dinghy wheels on the dinghy.

I spoke to Jonah, our rigger, on the phone today, for his advice. I found 73 feet of Vectra 5/16 line at 10 cents a foot. Normally it sells for 3 bucks a foot. I was asking Jonah what we could use it for. He said, not too much, but for the price: go for it. The stuff is amazing, with a breaking strength of 11,000 pounds.

Jonah reminded me that, in an earlier blog post, I understated how much rigging work we had done. We replaced all the standing rigging, and most of the running rigging, changing stretchy lines and worn out blocks where it counts. I especially love the new low stretch jib sheets, so much better than huge 3/4 inch sheets that came with the boat. The old ones were so big they pinched in the turning blocks. The new ones are even color coordinated with the boat!

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10/24/2008


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