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The voyages and travels of the sailing vessel "Hilbre"
Home again

We arrived home yesterday. Hilbre is in San Carlos in dry storage and we will be back there in October, ready for new adventures.

Hilbre in Storage
04/18/2012, Marina Seca, San Carlos

We put Hilbre into storage at Marina Seca, San Carlos this morning. She is all locked up and waiting for our return in October. Watching them use the hydraulic trailer to lift boats out of the water is quite interesting and they are very experienced at doing it. They have a daily stream of boats going from the Marina to the storage yard about a third of a mile away.
We spent the last two days preparing her for storage and probably did more than others but better safe than sorry. There were lots of things to think about and do before sending her to dry storage. It is quite and exercise.

San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
Very strong winds
04/11/2012, San Carlos

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

We picked the best night for the crossing to San Carlos. Today the wind is howling at 35+knots and a heavy 40+ footer just came into the marina and tried to get into an upwind (opposite) slip of my arm of the Marina. They missed the slip which was almost opposite me and blew down broadside onto the three power boats to the left of my stern. For a while, I was concerned she would hit my stern. The power boat pulpits/anchors (they were all facing out of the slip) got entangled in the lifelines and stanchions of the sailboat and it took seven or eight people, John included, to help push the sailboat off. They finally got a line onto the bow from the other side of the channel and pulled her upwind into a slip. The powerboats did not suffer too much damage but the sailboats stanchions and lifelines were all bent and torn up.

The marina here is in a pretty location and has restaurants and stores dotted around the immediate area. This morning we visited the storage yard where Hilbre will live for the next six months. She will be hauled out of the water on a hydraulic lift trailer which is positioned under the boat on a ramp while she floats. She then moved about a half mile down the main road to the storage area. It should be quite a sight as she drives along the highway with mast and full rigging in place.

The storage area uses Hurricane poles which are buried deeply into the ground and these are used for the boat supports (see picture album). In high winds, the poles stop boats being blown over and causing a domino effect on all the other boats. She will be out of the water on April 18th., after which we will take the Executive bus from Guaymas to Phoenix and fly home from there.

To San Carlos
Sunny and warm
04/10/2012, San Carlos

We arrived in San Carlos about 8:00 am this morning and are at a slip in the Marina San Carlos. Next task is to firm up the date for plaving Hilbre into storage for the summer and scheduling the arrangements for returning home. We have covered over 1,500 nautical miles since October. The last leg across the Sea of Cortez from Santa Rosalia was like sailing on a Mill Pond; the sea was just like a mirror with just a gentle breeze to push us along.

Santa Rosalia
04/07/2012, Santa Rosalia, BCS, Mexico

Saturday, 7 April 2012

We have been here a few days and quite like this small Mexican working town. It is not a tourist spot and everyone is friendly and helpful. It was founded after copper was discovered in the area in the late 1860's. Originally, it was a small Mexican operation however the French became interested and finally took over all the small claims in 1885 creating Compagnie du Boleo. The port was created with blocks of slag from the mining process. Because of this, the town has a somewhat French atmosphere and is very different from the other towns on the Baja peninsula. The Boleo Company closed in 1954 and it became a Mexican operation. Finally, in 1986 the plant was closed however with to the increase in the price of copper, there is a move to reopen the mine.
The Iglesia Santa Barbara church is made of steel and was originally in Brussels. The Boleo Company bought it, disassembled it and moved it to Santa Rosalia then re-assembled it in 1897 and where it is still in use today. The church was designed by Gustav Eiffel.
This morning, we had a nice breakfast at the Hotel Frances which is a restored two story wood hotel dating from 1886. This is situated on top of one of the two hills above Santa Rosalia which sits in the valley between them. The local museum is close to the hotel as are many of the steam engines and rolling stock used at the mine. There are the usual slag heaps outside of town and left-over mining equipment which makes the area just that more interesting.
It is easy to walk into town and there are just two narrow main streets, along which most of the stores are located. The port is also the ferry stop for the small car ferry which does a regular trip every other day to mainland Mexico. The ferry docks on the pier next to us and it is interesting to watch them come and go. There is a nice French bakery in town so we get nice fresh baguettes and there are enough grocery stores for us to get the few supplies we need. We do have a quantity of canned goods that we still need to use before we leave the boat in San Carlos. Along with some other sail-boats, we are participating in a Potluck on the dock tomorrow. Many of the sailboats visiting here are headed to San Carlos for summer storage. We believe the weather will be favorable on either Monday or Tuesday for the overnight sail to San Carlos.

To Santa Rosalia
Sunny and warm
04/04/2012, Santa Rosalia

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

We left Puerto Viejo at 7:00 am and backtracked south to round the reef that extends from San Marcos to Roca Lobos passing over a small extension southeast of the Rock that put us in 14 feet of water for a short time. After this we turned west into the Craig Channel between Isla San Marcos and the Baja Peninsula. Once out of the channel, we could see the dust hanging over the mining area of San Marcos.
Just after 10:00 am, we pulled into the small harbor at Santa Rosalia near the Car Ferry dock to Guaymas and were directed to a slip at the Fonatur Marina. It is the first time we have power and water hook-ups to the boat in over a month. It is nice to be securely tied up to a dock for a change and in a location where it is easy to walk into town. The Marina is all new and has an identical layout to the one in Puerto Escondido, so we feel quite at home.

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