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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Night Passage to Cabo

It's 2:30 a.m., and I'm on night watch on our passage to Cabo San Lucas. It has been a beautiful sail; we are averaging about 8.5 knots with 20 knots of breeze. There's no moon out, so the stars are especially brilliant. The motion of the boat through the waves casts out bow waves that glow in the starlight. It's mesmerizing to watch.

Cabo is about 50 miles away. One can see the faint city glow on the horizon.

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11/06/2008 | Jolea
Awesome visual! I did a passage with no moon once and it was beautiful. Is is bio-luminescence you are seeing? Amazing stuff. Fair winds!
Sailing to Cabo

We departed Bahia Santa Maria this morning at 7 a.m. along with the Haha fleet. We have 15 to 20 knot winds from the northwest and so we're making good time to Cabo averaging 7 to 8 knots.

We got out the piano today and Bruce, John, and Antoine played tunes on it. It's a Yamaha Portable Grand that only weighs 12 lbs and runs on AA batteries. It has a full size keyboard and a very sensitive action. It's great to have music on board. John's playing piano right now in the cockpit while he's on watch.

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Bahia Santa Maria

There was a great beach party this afternoon at Bahia Santa Maria. What's amazing is that here, in the middle of nowhere, there was a rock band, which drove in from La Paz.

Here's a view of the beach from our boat...

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Relaxing in Bahia Santa Maria

There was a strong wind the entire night, which kept it cool. We all slept well at anchor in Bahia Santa Maria. This is a small bay adjacent to the much larger Bahia de Magdalena (Mag Bay).

The rest of the crew got to relax while I got caught up on some projects.

One, the watermaker had an alarm go off. Checking the manual, the alarm was related to a flowmeter being clogged. I disconnected the flowmeter and cleared the clog. The watermaker is now back in operation. We made about 20 gallons of water today.

Two, it was time to check the engine oil. It appears that the crankcase oil level has not gone down since we left Turtle Bay. This is a good thing. If the engine is burning oil, it is not at an alarming rate.

Three, I repaired the lifelines. One cotter ring had come off taking a clevis pin with it. In the process I turned the bow lifelines around so that the turnbuckles are aft, not forward. This way the sail doesn't get ripped to shreds on the turnbuckle cotter rings.

Four, I installed a snap shackle on the preventer line. This will make it easier to remove.

Five, I replaced the forward head with a new one we bought in San Diego. The new one has the safety feature of a positive shutoff preventing backflow into the toilet form the holding tank. This happened to us a few times when the holding tank was too full. The new one will prevent that from happening.

I think that's enough projects for the day and will try to relax and have fun now.

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Kite Aerial Photo of Calou

Here's a snapshot taken of Calou from a kite-mounted camera from about 200 feet up. We're on the second day of our passage to Bahia de Magdalena. We've sailed the entire way from Turtle Bay, with steady 20 knot winds.

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11/02/2008 | Judy Armstrong
That is totally awesome!
Arrival at Mag Bay

We've finally arrived at Mag Bay and dropped the hook at about 11 p.m.. We had a steady 20 knots the last two days and it continues to blow in the anchorage. We're looking forward to setting foot on land tomorrow.

I have a few projects to do while in Mag Bay. The watermaker is not operating at normal efficiency but I'm sure I just have to change out the filters. We haven't changed the filters since we left Tiburon. (The filters can be washed and reused, by the way).

I need to check the engine oil level and see how much was consumed during the hours we ran the motor on this last passage.

A shackle pin popped off on one of the lifelines so I need to replace it.

The foot of the jib, near the tack, needs to be repaired. The UV covering got shredded on a turnbuckle. I have a sail repair sewing kit on board which should do the trick. I think the shredded jib managed to pull off the cotter ring leading to the loss of the shackle pin also.

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Kite Aerial Photography at Sea

One of the fun things we planned to do on this trip was experiment with KAP - Kite Aerial Photography. John bought a kite in San Diego and I bought a waterproof digital camera for the purpose. Earlier today I made a harness to hold the camera out of two pencils, some wire ties and tape. This rig was tied to the kite string and we flew the kite off the stern quarter.

The result is pretty cool, the camera jumps up and down and sways quite a bit but you can see what our sailboat looks like from about 150 feet up. When we get to some place with high speed internet I'll upload the video to Youtube and post it on this blog.

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11/02/2008 | Sherry in Anchorage
Wow! ...I had to fly down to Florida for a few days and I can't believe how far you all have traveled in the time I was gone! I can't wait to see the video that you post on Youtube. ~~~Take care!~~~ Sherry
Passage to Mag Bay

We left Turtle Bay this morning at 8:30 a.m., and headed offshore where we found 15 to 20 knots of wind coming from the north west. This has made for a pleasant sailing day thus far. We are now sailing wing-and-wing and making 8 knots.

One of the sailboats in the fleet lost its steering. They have a cable quadrant, and the last i heard they were setting up the emergency tiller and heading for a bay along the way where they can anchor for the night and try to make repairs. I heard that about three other Ha-ha boats were accompanying them. That's an example of how members of the Ha-ha fleet help each other out.

A few hours ago we heard something snap, and looking up from the cockpit the radar on its backstay mount ahd rotated 180 degrees. The bolt that prevents its rotation had snapped - again. Having repaired it already once before, we all knew what to do. We attached the topping lift around the backstay and used it to support the weight of the radar dome. Francois used the topping lift winch to raise or lower the assembly to just the right level. John used two Vise grips to rotate the assembly back into the proper position, while I leaned over the swim step and inserted a new bolt. Since this is the second time it broke, it's obvious that the 1/4 inch bolt is not up to the task. I'll have to re-engineer that assembly so that it's much stronger when we get to a marina somewhere.

In order to reduce the strain on the radar dome mount, we ran a line from one stern cleat, up and around the radar dome, and back down, so that the dome doesn't swing back and forth. That should reduce the strain on that bold considerably.

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