07 January 2015 | Punta Mita
Finally got the weather window I wanted for sailing down the Sea of Cortez on the mainland side to Mazatlan. Lots of wind and for a couple 4 or 5 hour periods a little too much but doable. The nights were freezing so much that I had to wear my Levis and if you know me, I don't wear long pants. I hit over 11 knots a couple times and the feathering prop let me do nice speeds. This is a first for me as I usually motor a lot if the boat dips below 4 knots, but did not use the motor until I was coming into the islands at Mazatlan to anchor for the rest of the night. That took 3 days and 2 I/2 nights to accomplish. Took off that very morning to keep pushing south while the wind was blowing out of the north to push me south into warmer weather. Before I got to Isla Isabella I noticed the weather really warming and of course I had already discarded the long pants and hoodie. As I was approaching Isla Isabella the wind dropped down to almost nothing and I had to start using my motor. Because the prop and prop shaft were new, I had a different kind of vibration that was a little annoying so I set my course for San Blas/Mantenchen Bay. I was going to dive on the prop to see if I could notice anything out of wack. I dropped the hook in Mantenchen Bay and went immediately in the water. I could not see any reason for the vibration/noise and I had also took my shaft coupling apart to check the alignment and it was OK. The water in Mantenchen Bay was a little on the murky side, so I thought I would move on to Punta Mita and dive on it again. I checked the weather on three different sites and it looked like nothing over 10 knots....so off I went. About 2 hours out on a 10 hour trip the wind started to build and it rapidly went to over 25 knots. It was coming from land (an offshore flow) so the seas weren't as bad as they could be, but bad enough. The autopilot couldn't keep up with wind and waves so I scrambled to disengage it and hand steer. All the scrambling around, I hit the wires for the autopilot and broke the connectors. So now I'm hand steering and could not leave that post for a second because of the stiff winds and I had no reef in my sails (full force on sails). I'm sure glad I didn't have to go pee..... After about 2 hours the winds started to moderate and came down to 20 knots, enough where I could leave the wheel for 10 seconds at a time to collect wire cutters, crimpers, and new connectors. Got the autopilot up and running and let it do the steering while I started to pick up the mess. Mt microwave came flying off it's shelf and all kinds of stuff bouncing around in the cabin. My new generator tipped over and my extra outboard went sliding across the deck. This was one of those locally generated weather periods that cannot be forecast. I finally pulled into Punta Mita and dropped the hook and launched the dinghy to go ashore for a very delicious Dorado (MahiMahi) dinner. Today I took the bus to Nuevo Vallarta to check out a trimaran for sale for my friend Joe from Amarige fame. I pull out of here for Barra de Navidad/Colimilla in the morning for one last overnight passage. Oh yeah, I think the propeller problem is that the blades are too close to the hull and cause it to thump/vibrate/and make noise. The post pic is of my Princess the day I left Rio Vista for Mexico. A day that caused a lot of grief and sadness for my Princess and myself.