08/15/2012, Onward March to San Miguel Island
We just put the West end of Catalina Island to our stern and now the next targets are Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and then onto San Miguel Island before we jump out around Point Conception and onto Port San Luis. We still have about 175 miles left to Port San Luis, but if we can get a little cooperation from the weather, we should be in on Friday or Saturday with a rest stop at San Miguel. Do we want favorable wind...no, not really...because after over 1000 miles of motoring into the wind, we have given up on wanting to sail. We are just happily burning 1 gallon per hour of diesel fuel while making 4-5kts and are at peace with it. At this point in the game, all we care about is the sea state! Give us flat calm seas for easy motoring and we will be happy, because the norm for this trip has been that any wind we have is dead on the nose.
Almost incredibly with all the engine running and pounding into waves, we haven't really broken much on this 35 year old boat! We did knock loose a few bow pulpit wood planks during a night that the bow pulpit was violently being plunged over and over again beneath the waves. The weld broke on (I don't know the official seamanship name) the stainless steel pedestal that holds the self sheeting jib boom in place, but since we have a stainless welder at the shop, that's an easy fix. The stern running light went out, so we have rigged a temporary stern running light with our Bibi Owl anchor light that I have been carrying around in my desk drawer for about a year now, which proves that my procrastination of not installing it atop of mast was the smart thing to do (that's for your Chuck). And we blew apart two 35 year old snap shackles beating into some wind. All in all that's a darn short "broke" list for such a hard trip.
The boat, as they typically do, is holding up better than the crew. It's a long, long, long trip bashing into the sea and wind and at this point we are all exhausted. The kids have graduated from being kids to full fledged members of the crew during this trip. Both Amy and Jason have not just been standing day watches, but have been doing full night watches complete with "active and aggressive" hand steering during rough conditions when the Auto pilot wasn't able to hold course. Without their extra hands aboard, we could still be in Turtle Bay resting and recovering. I don't know how the crews of SV Hurrah and especially Sea Raven made it to Ensenada along side us quite honestly. They have 30yrs on us in age AND Sea Raven had no working autopilot, so they had to hand steer the entire trip! Whew...
According to our GPS chart plotter, the East end of Santa Cruz Island is now 8 hours and 30 minutes away at our current speed of 4.7kts, which will put us into the anchorage at 12:30AM tomorrow morning. Based on the conditions, we may just keep plugging along towards San Miguel or anchor for the day to rest. Thursday is forecast to be 20-25kts of wind, so that could be a good day to stay put and rest up.
08/12/2012, No time for Reflections...the Next Adventure Starts
Why it is I can't say, but Ensenada has a completely different feel to us after spending a few days here at the Marina Naval dock. Our other trips to, or should I really say "through" Ensenada, always viewed the town as just a stopping point on a trip to a better destination. The Cruise Ship terminal bringing collage kids attempting to drink Mexico dry played a role in our thought about the town and maybe it just was too close to San Diego (only 57 miles by boat and about the same via car) but what ever it was, we like Ensenada. And with marina slip prices being almost 1/2 of those in San Diego and Central California, what's not to like?
Besides resting, Lori has spent most of the last two days rotating the 15 loads of laundry through our washing machine and to the life lines to dry. Not just our clothes are clean, but all of our blankets, sheets, towels, and even our seat and bed cushion covers are now all clean and smelling nice once again for our homecoming. Come Monday evening with the boat all clean and tidy, or at least the best we can make it at the moment, we will start the final week of our 4 yr cruise and head for San Diego. After a quick check-in at the San Diego Customs Dock, we will leave immediately for Catalina or if we can make it Santa Cruz island, wait out a bad wind day on Thursday, and then with any luck we will be attached to our Port San Luis Mooring on Saturday 18th. With school starting for the kids on August 24th, we will be a few weeks behind schedule...but I guess any arrival day before the first day of school is actually quite an accomplishment for the crew of THIRD DAY.
I guess at times like these, during a life transition, it would be customary to take a moment to reflect and look back on the last 4 years. What were the highlights, what we learned, what we would do differently, and how we grew as people from the experience. Quite honestly, however, I'm a little too busy to take the time for any reflection at the moment! We left Port San Luis with two little kids and somehow are returning with young adults to get settled into high school and 8th grade. We left with no jobs, and I'm returning with the chore or conducting interviews to hire an employee to help build water makers, now that our monthly sales have outpaced my business partner's ability to fill orders without help. I have a USCG Captain's License test scheduled that I need to study for that will let us operate THIRD DAY Sailing Charters Inc out of Port San Luis. Lori has her medical boards renewal test coming up that will give her the option of resuming her PA-C work. And then there is my long long list or projects to renovate THIRD DAY:
Install a diesel fired boat heater...uggg
Finish the complete interior varnish and repaint project
Replace the galley counters
Re-varnish the cabin sole
Make fibertex and Sunbrella covers for the boat
Repaint the pilot house with 2 part epoxy
Replace the current deck non-skid with KiwiGrip
Prep the boat hull for new paint that we will do back in San Blas...ah...a hint ahead!
That's enough of the list now because writing anymore will make me dizzy.
Besides, you don't want the advice of this Cruising Bozo anyway. (ok...I will give it anyway at a later point0 What you want is to figure things out during your own adventure. The most valuable advice that I could give the cruiser in planning is simply this: It's easy folks. Stop the worry. Stop the "gotta buy more gear excuse". Stop the delaying tactic of saving for a bigger boat you don't need. It's Mexico folks...it's not the South Pacific...it's not Cape Horn! You can cruise Mexico on about anything that floats. Don't read a single article, don't attend a single seminar on "how to cruise", and certainly don't listen to a single internet expert on proper off shore cruising! Just buy that $10,000 30ft-er, rent your house to cover your house payment, take an extended leave of absence from work (I don't know...call it a mental Health crisis), sell your car to load the cruising kitty, and then send me the link to your Cruising Blog!
Ok...not everyone wants to cast off and go cruising but enjoys reading about it. Well, then add our friends blog to your read list to get your fill once the THIRD DAY blog turns from a Cruising Blog into a Living Aboard Blog. Tom and Jeanne aboard SV Eagle keep their blog fresh and updated frequently and have my mindset of what I think is a down to earth view of cruising. They are spending their first summer in the Sea or Cortez, so there are bound to be some great blog reports from them. Here's a link to their Blog Big Left Turn.
|Baja Bash 2012||
08/11/2012, We Made It...well 365 miles to go!
Just 365 miles to go to Port San Luis...
We landed on the dock this morning at 8AM and now it's off with the crews of Hurrah and Sea Raven for breakfast in Ensenada and then to bed!
Check out of Ensenada on Monday and then onto San Diego and Port San Luis...the Cow is seeing the Barn...and I'm the COW.
|Baja Bash 2012||