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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Great Engine News
11/13/2008

I had the local Yanmar diesel mechanic to the boat today, to look at why the engine was losing oil. Great news, the problem is relatively minor. The crankcase oil is cooled by seawater, and it is common for a leak to develop in the oil cooler. Since the oil pressure is greater than the seawater, oil leaks out into the seawater cooling circuit and goes out the seawater exhaust.

I was concerned that the oil consumption was via another route, past the piston rings, but thankfully that is not the case.

The mechanic also noted that the valves needed to be adjusted and the turbocharger needed to be rebuilt. Since we're in Mexico, all of this work is relatively cheap.

It feels great to know that the engine will be solid and reliable going forward.

One thing I learned, is that Yanmar engines like to run at a high RPM, around 3000 or even higher. It turns out, that our boat reaches hull speed at 2700 RPM, which indicates the prop has too much pitch. When running at a lower RPM like 2000, the engine builds carbon deposits that will shorten the engine life.

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11/14/2008 | Brad
I had read too - that Yanmars like to run at high rpms. I asked my mechanic - he said no - no engine likes to run at high rpms - it just wears out sooner - one more opinion
11/21/2008 | Bill
I am a deck guy and not an engineer, but every ship I have sailed on we have ran the main diesel engines at their maximum RPM's periodically to "blow out the carbon". Too bad to hear about the prop...are you getting any vibrations form that?

Cheers,
Bill
11/22/2008 | Bruce Powell
The prop works fine, the only problem with excessive pitch is that we have to run the motor at lower than the ideal RPM.
Arrival in Mazatlan
Bruce
11/10/2008

We had a long windless passage from Cabo to Mazatlan. There was never more than 5 knots of wind, often less than 3. Therefore, we had to motorsail the entire way. Along the way, at 5 in the morning, we inadvertently ran out of fuel. Calou carries two fuel tanks, and we ran the first one dry. Normally this would not happen, but at 5 o'clock in the morning, well, it's easier to overlook such things. In a flat calm, I bled the air out of the fuel pump and injectors and got the engine going again on the second tank. Well, it's a good idea to practice this procedure once in a while, anyway.

We arrived at Mazatlan around 9 a.m., or about 25 hours after we left Cabo. The Marina El Cid is luxurious yet inexpensive. We have two large swimming pools and a hot tub just yards from our boat. We like this place so much we'll hang out here for a while before heading south after Thanksgiving.

Mazatlan has a great cruiser community, excellent shopping, and a very nice "old town". In fact Mazatlan is the oldest port city on the West coast of Mexico.

We have a bunch of projects to get done on the boat, and Mazatlan is the perfect place to do it. I plan to beef up the stainless steel radar mount that broke on us twice. I have a few other ideas for stainless steel projects that we can do while we're at it. And it's about time for a new dodger. We can get this work done in Mazatlan very inexpensively.

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11/21/2008 | Larry Burnworth
Bruce, Pascal and family:
Great to hear you have safely arrived, we were hoping all was well with your trip. Great to see the photos. Karen & I hope your trip continues to be both safe and fun!!!
Best Regards to you all;
Larry
11/26/2008 | Bruce
Thanks for the good wishes, it is nice to be here in Mazatlan, this place feels like home to us.

cheers, Bruce
Aerial Kite Video of Calou
Bruce
11/10/2008



Here's a video clip from our first experiment with lofting a video camera with a kite from Calou while under sail. It's rough, and we need to design a more stable camera platform, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

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Passage to Mazatlan
Bruce
11/09/2008

We're on our way to Mazatlan now, crossing the Sea of Cortez from the tip of Baja California to the mainland, heading East. There's 190 nautical miles of water between Cabo and Mazatlan.

The winds are very light just 5 or 6 knots, so we're motorsailing and making 8.5 knots. I hope the wind picks up some time soon so we can shut off the motor.

We passed a sailboat along the way, otherwise all we can see is water in every direction. Having left Cabo at 7 a.m. this morning, we will arrive in Mazatlan around 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.

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11/09/2008 | Sherry in Anchorage
Sounds awesome! Will you be going to La Paz? :o)
11/10/2008 | Bruce
We're not going to La Paz this time, because it's too cold in the winter (temperatures in the 70s... brrrr!)
11/13/2008 | Sherry in Anchorage
Ah ratz! I love hearing about your adventures in that area. 70's too cold... LOL!!! O'well, I 'spose it's time for me to head down there sometime this winter. What beautiful photos you all are taking!
Last Day in Cabo
Bruce
11/08/2008

Our last day at Cabo San Lucas was a busy one for me. We had a tear in the UV covering of the jib, so I borrowed a sewing machine from another boat and tried to make repairs. The sewing machine couldn't handle the material thickness near the tack of the sail. So I borrowed another one, this time a Sail Rite [tm]. Boy, is that a powerful machine. It sewed through the heavy material like butter. We brought along some scraps of the matching gray sunbrella fabric so we managed to make a very good looking repair.

I also found out, in the process of removing the jib, that the vectran pennant at the tack had worn to almost nothing. I made a new penannt out of three wraps of nylon line.

While I was up at the bow I found that one of the cotter rings for the lifelines had disappeared. So I replaced it, and checked and taped every cotter ring fitting on the boat.

After that there was the awards ceremony for the Baja Haha. We, along with everyone else, got a third place trophy. Afterwards we had dinner with friends Glenn & Rose at a great restaurant, Mama's Cantina I think it was.

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11/10/2008 | Bill
Sounds like a great time! I am glad to hear everyone comes out a winner, even if it is third place:) So is that the end of the Ha Ha??
11/10/2008 | Bruce
Yes, that's the end of the Haha, but not the end of the voyage for 90% of the participants. This is actually where the fun begins.
Playing in the Surf at Cabo
11/07/2008

Francois, Antoine, and other kids from the Baja Ha-ha fleet play in the surf at Cabo San Lucas.

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Night Passage to Cabo
Bruce
11/06/2008

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
Bruce
11/05/2008

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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