04/08/2011, La Cruz Marina
Well, another day gone with lots of things done to get us ready for tomorrows send off.
We got an email from our friends on Gigi that they needed some help. They left here almost two weeks ago(when we were supposed to go) and need a bit of help. During one particular rolly session, the little propane lighter stick they use to light their stove went flying across the galley and it broke when it hit the floor. They asked us to pick up some more before we left if we could. They had purchased a special one that takes replacement cartridges instead of use it till it doesn't work and throw it away. They have lots of the refill, but only one lighter stick. I took a trip to Walmart in Puerto Vallarta and got them two more that we will pass along when we meet up in Tahiti.
I fired up the water maker again today and found a small leak at one of the connections. I took it apart twice and added several wraps of teflon tape to try and seal it up--all of course to no good. So, since I was already going to Walmart, I just had to make a second stop at Zaragosa Marine store where everything is normally about 70% higher than it would be in the US but when you are just about the only place in town for marine parts, you can get away with it(and they do). Lucky for me, they had the parts I needed so it made for a worthwhile trip(what a surprise).
Back to Zephyr just after 1400 and back to getting the water maker fixed. A few more wraps of teflon tape and just for fun, a small smearing of some silicone caulk and I screwed on the fitting. On with the hoses and the clamps and they job is done. Now I just have to wait till tomorrow to fire it up again and make sure it doesn't leak.
Once that was done, we fired up the engine just so I could inspect all the lines and fittings. Hey, guess what I found? A new leak at the new fuel pump!!!! Now to get at the fuel pump, I have to take off the oil filter assembly. While I have an engine room that most sailer would kill for, there are still some size restrictions. Off came the filter and in with the 1/2" wrench(done it so many times I know the wrench sizes by heart). A quick 1/4 turn and a start of the engine and no more leak. Back on with the oil filter assembly and the job was done. I'll start the engine again tomorrow morning just to double check it one last time. It's better to find it now while it's easy to fix than after we set off. I'm becoming one with my engine.
We've hired a weather router since the weather out there is behaving strangely and we would feel better getting advise from a professional while in transit. We will receive out first report early tomorrow morning before we set off. Hopefully he will give us the green light that it's a good time to take off and not have to stop again for a better window. Tomorrow will tell the tale. I'm not sure we'd stop leaving even if he said we should stay. It may be a bit rolly and windier that we would have liked but we have to get out of here.
Several boats took off today. Now sailor any good sailor knows that you just don't leave on any trip on a Friday. It just isn't done( I have no idea why, but it just isn't done--I should Google it I guess). So far two of the boats that took off have returned. One with engine trouble(gee we know how they feel and the other we have no idea.
We've worked just about every system on Zephyr since we got here. She's as ready as she will ever be.
Tomorrow is the day--almost two years since we set out for Alaska from Port Townsend.
04/08/2011, La Cruz Marina
Hi all...just an update. All systems are go on the weather front. The big storm that is hitting California is pushing the Pacific High farther south and that means wind for us....finally.
The remainder of boats doing the Puddle Jump, us included, with be leaving tomorrow. We plan to cast off the dock lines around 1100 when the thermal winds in Bandaras Bay start and not stop anywhere until the Marquesas. The wind forecast is 15-20kts tomorrow and 20-25kts on Sunday. We'll be flying. Zephyr loves those wind ranges, we will even have to reef the main when it gets over 20-25kts. After waiting for two weeks for any wind, this is a great gift.
The boat is ready. We are at waterline,fuel, water, enough food to eat for months and months without seeing a grocery. I did three loads of wash this morning and it is all over the rigging. We look like a Chinese laundry. I'm sure the mega yachts around us are groaning and rolling their eyes, but I don't care. I wanted fresh, clean sheets on the bed. If it is calm enough on the voyage, I could do laundry underway, heaven knows I've done it in the past when Shadow, our now deceased puss, had an accident while taking a nap or whenever, but doing large items like sheets, blankets or mattress pads while you are rolling 30 degrees from one side to 30 degrees on the other really isn't my idea of a fun time. Okay, enough.
Last night, we went to a party on Endorfin. What a blast. It really took me back thirty years to some humdinger parties we have been to in our younger years. When the backlands tequila came out and a shot glass kept getting passed around and the beer and wine were flowing liberally...things got silly and political conversations were bandied around. It was very interesting as half of us were US citizens and half were Canadian. It was a great time and I'd repeat it in a heartbeat. It was a nice for us, it let me know how serious we'd become over the last month or so. Work, work, work.
Yesterday, we made one last trip to Costco for paper towels and tortilla chips. Today, Bill went into town to get a fitting for the watermaker that was dripping ever so slightly, enough that it bothered him, so the forward head is totally ripped up right now.
We will be blogging from sea everyday so you can join us on this journey. We will be both writing, so you will get both our perspectives.
So until tomorrow...remember we leave at 1100, don't be late. More later.
04/07/2011, La Cruz Marina
OK, here is the latest departure time table. The weather has shaped up for us getting out of here on Saturday. Yes, that's right--in under 48 hours we will have the sails up and the wind in our hair.
We're trying to set ourselves up with a weather router since the conditions are so strange out there for this time of year. Storms or calm are not the normal for where we are going. It's supposed to be nice winds out of the northeast and wave of the same but no, not for us. Instead it's winds out of the Northwest and waves out of the Southwest--right at the head of the boat. Not necessarily a fun ride, but at least we will be on our way.
Our friends on Gigi that left almost two weeks ago(when we were supposed to go) have had winds so light that they think it will be a total voyage of 30 days instead of the normal 25 to get to the Marquesas. We expect winds up to 25 knots and a faster trip(if we are lucky). Guess tie will tell.
So fixes are getting done and one last round of a trip to Costco to replace what we have eaten in the last two weeks and we should be all ready to get out of here.
I'll let you know tomorrow if anything changes.
04/03/2011, La Cruz Marina
Well, we made it to Punta de Mita, about 8 miles west of here yesterday afternoon and dropped the anchor in a bit of wind. All was well though a bit rollie as Zephyr rolled from side to side in the swell. The wind was 90 degrees off the swell so what was to be was to be. Rolling rolling and more rolling through the night.
For the last few days, I've smell a faint whiff of diesel when I go below decks. I pulled up the floor boards and the top of the tanks were covered in fuel!!! Yuck!! I'd installed new seals when we were in Paradise Village but the tanks were only about half full. Now, with them full, the sloshing did it's job and the new seals were not going to keep the fuel where it belonged--in the tank. With that being said, we had little choice other than to up the anchor and head back to the marina since we needed a calm environment to take the lids off and redo the seals. With the tanks full, opening the tops could have made the mess even bigger.
The first time I installed the seals, I used a new neoprene gasket and added some liquid gasket material from Permatex. I guess I didn't use enough since they leaked. Once off, I scraped off the old material and added a new, bigger layer of the stuff from Permatex and reinstalled the inspection plates. Now we will have to see what happens. I think we will try and rock Zephyr back and forth so see if we can make her leak tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm off the the new Auto Zone to see if I can find more liquid seal stuff to keep on board as I used everything I had here. Gee, boating sure is fun......
I think we may set a new record for most times leaving the dock to do the Puddle Jump. This next time, we will not be stopping at Punta de Mita. We will set the sails in what ever wind there is available(no wind is in the forecast for as far out as the weather folks are forecasting) and go. I don't really want to use the engine unless there is no choice.
Stay tuned for more of our odyssey. We'll get out of here yet!!!!
04/01/2011, La Cruz Marina, La Cruz,Mexico
All the work is done and the Zephyr is now FULL of not only food and water but diesel also. We have our Zarpe(exit documents) and are preparing to pull in the dock lines tomorrow morning and head out to Punta de Mita(about 8 miles west of here) for a day or three to await an improvement in the winds and weather. As of now, the winds are out of the west as are the waves. Not the best to head West.
Stay tuned tomorrow night to an update. We'll let you know how it goes on our first night on the hook in many months.
Here's a picture of the bad "off" switch.