S/V Northern Lights

Vessel Name: Northern Lights
Vessel Make/Model: J/42 - #61
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Rod and Mary Deyo
29 May 2015
25 April 2015 | Mazatlan, Sinola, Mexico
18 April 2015
27 January 2015 | Banderas Bay
18 January 2015 | La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico
09 January 2015 | Nuevo Vallarta, Nayaret MX
09 January 2015 | Nuevo Vallarta, Nayaret MX
28 December 2014 | Nuevo Vallarta, Nayaret MX
25 December 2014 | La Cruz and Neuvo Vallarta
15 November 2014 | Marina de La Paz
22 October 2014 | San Diego
17 October 2014 | San Diego
Recent Blog Posts
27 June 2015

Yanmar engine repairs - Replacing the oil cooler

Before heading to Chula Vista where we left the boat for the summer, we spent a couple of days anchored in Glorietta Bay as a nice break after working on the boat. While inspecting the engine before leaving Shelter Cove Marian, I had noticed a slight seepage around the oil cooler raw water intake at [...]

23 June 2015

San Diego - Shelter Island, Glorietta Bay, Chula Vista

After finishing the Baja Bash, we stayed at Shelter Island to work on the boat and haul-out at Driscoll's. We made a coouple of trips to Glorietta Bay in Coronado for a total of five nights. Before we headed back to the NW, we took the boat to Chula Vista where it will be moored for the summer.

29 May 2015

29 May 2015

Mazatlan to San Diego – Southern Crossing and Baja Bash 7 May – 26 May 2015

Mazatlan to San Diego - Southern Crossing and Baja Bash 7 May - 26 May 2015.

25 April 2015 | Mazatlan, Sinola, Mexico

Fixing a leaky hull seam in Mazatlan

Hull seam repairs on Northern Lights being done in Mazatlan, where the seam area forward of the keel was the source of the small, persistent mast step leak from flaws in the filler. The original seam filler is being ground out, the area dried, then it will be epoxied and covered with two layers of glass [...]

18 April 2015

La Cruz to Mazatlan

Photo is Isla Maria Madre to west near sunset.

Yanmar engine repairs - Replacing the oil cooler

27 June 2015
Before heading to Chula Vista where we left the boat for the summer, we spent a couple of days anchored in Glorietta Bay as a nice break after working on the boat. While inspecting the engine before leaving Shelter Cove Marian, I had noticed a slight seepage around the oil cooler raw water intake at the back of the engine. Over the next couple of days, the lleak didn't stop even after tightening the hose clamp. Since this was the same progressive failure mode before we replaced the oil cooler four years ago, it was not surprising that it totally failed when tightening the clamp again while in Glorietta Bay. The original oil cooler had been rebuilt in Seattle after it's first failure and corroded again and failed. Fortunately, with this possibility in mind, we had a new Yanmar oil cooler as a spare.

Replacing the part looked straightforward since there are only four connections - two for the raw water hoses and two for the oil pipes - as well as a clamp, but getting it actually done requires a delicate ordering of steps which the engine service manual neglected to cover. In fact, the service manual gives no help at all. It took many trials and 4-1/2 hours to get done, but the new cooler was eventually installed.

Yanmar designs the cooler to not need zincs. The repair by Seattle Radiator lasted only a few years and both the tube and solder joint they did for the hose pipe failed completely. Checking with the PacWest Yanmar dealer in San Diego, they don't recommend rebuilding the oil cooler. The Yanmar part is expensive but after-market versions are also available. We'll definitely continute to carry a spare oil cooler.

San Diego - Shelter Island, Glorietta Bay, Chula Vista

23 June 2015
After finishing the Baja Bash, we stayed at Shelter Island to work on the boat and haul-out at Driscoll's. We made a coouple of trips to Glorietta Bay in Coronado for a total of five nights. Before we headed back to the NW, we took the boat to Chula Vista where it will be moored for the summer.

29 May 2015

Mazatlan to San Diego – Southern Crossing and Baja Bash 7 May – 26 May 2015

29 May 2015
Mazatlan to San Diego - Southern Crossing and Baja Bash 7 May - 26 May 2015.

We left Mazatlan 7 May to do the southern crossing of the Sea of Cortez to San Jose del Cabo. We stayed there for two nights to get the boat ready and left to head north on the Baja Bash on Sunday, 10 May.

Southern Crossing from Mazatlan to San Jose del Cabo. We left Mazatlan after fueling at El Cid just as the dredge was getting ready to close the channel. We had NW winds 6 kns in the morning and the wind came up later in the afternoon NW 10-12 knts we were able to sail on a close reach with only the main since the jib gave us 7.5 knts and too bumpy of ride in the 3-5 ft swells and wind waves. It lightened overnight and in the morning and came up again in the afternoon as we approached San Jose del Cabo.

After getting the boat ready, we started the infamous Baja Bash on Sunday 10 May, leaving San Jose del Cabo at first light. We motored down to Cabo San Lucas where we put in for fuel and extra oil. We left Cabo around 1030 and Cabo Falso at 1100 in moderate seas and winds NW 10-12 knts. A strong S setting current was running at 1.5 knts, so we took a while to get past the Cape.

For the trip north to Bahia Tortuga, we chose a weather window with predicted light NW winds ahead of strong low pressure system that was aimed at San Diego later in the week. Winds were generally light to moderate on the nose, with higher winds and seas at Cabo San Lazaro north of Bahia Santa Maria. We passed San Lazaro just after dark and winds rose to 18-24 knts and seas significantly sharpened to 4-8 ft with an adverse current setting north for a couple of hours before we got further north and away from the cape effects.

We arrived in Bahia Tortuga Wed 13 May about 1500 after traveling 444 nm and fueled as soon as possible, but deciding not to race the strengthening low into Ensenada. We stayed in Bahia Tortuga for a week waiting for the next weather window and left to head for Ensenada at first light on Wed 20 May along with 4 other boats, staying west of Cedros to avoid the more extreme conditions off Punta Norte.

The weather window for going north was marginal with winds NW-N 14-20+ knts predicted for the entire trip. Punta Eugenia, the west entrance to the Keller Canal, 30 nm W of Cedros Island, and 30 nm SW on San Carlos were all extremely rough with short period seas 6-8 ft with the boat banging into the waves. Speed was reduced to 3.5-4.5 knts. The second leg was 305 nm and we averaged 4.7 knts for the entire trip from Bahia Tortuga to Ensenada.

We checked out of Mexico and got our official Zarpe while in Ensenada. The last 60 nm from Ensenada to San Diego was overcast and cold, but we were able to sail the last hour into San Diego Bay.

We generally were 20-60 nm off the coast going north to stay close to the rhumb line and avoid cape effects as much as possible. The currents were surprisingly strong that far off land in the 0.5-1.5 kn range and produced very rough seas when setting north against the wind.

The total trip was 817 nm and took 164 hours for an average of 5 knts.

Positions (local time - Southern Crossing is PMT (Z-6) and Baja Bash is PDT (Z-7):

5-7-15 1700 PMT N 23-14 W 107-16. Southern Crossing from Mazatlan to San Jose del Cabo

5-8-15 1700 PMT N 23-04 W 109-41. Southern Crossing from Mazatlan to San Jose del Cabo

5-9-15 San Jose del Cabo. Marina Puerto Los Cabos.

5-10-15 1646 PDT N 23-11 W 110 21 North of Cabo Falso which we rounded at 1300.

5-11-15 1725 PDT N 24-31 W 112-87. South of Mag Bay.

5-12-15 1526 PDT N 25-53 W 113-24. South of Bahia Tortuga.

5-13-15 1500 PDT N 27-41 W 114-53. Arrived Bahia Tortuga.

5-14-15 to 5-19-15 - Anchored Bahia Tortuga waiting for weather window to go north.

5-20-15 1641 PDT N 27-59 W 115-42. Left Bahia Tortuaga in morning. West of Cedros Island in very rough seas.

5-21-15 1621 PDT N 29-30 W 116-05. West of Can Carlos in rough seas.

5-22-15 1917 PDT N 31-16 W 116-37. Off Punta Piedrps. Slowing down to arrive Ensenada at daylight on 5-23.

5-23-15 0748 PDT N 31-51 W 116 37. Arrived Cruise Port Marina Ensenada.

5-24-15 to 5-25-15. Ensenada.

5-26-15 1600 PDT Customs dock San Diego. After customs check in moved to Shelter Cove Marina on Shelter Island. N 32-43 W 117-13.

Fixing a leaky hull seam in Mazatlan

25 April 2015 | Mazatlan, Sinola, Mexico
Rod Deyo
Hull seam repairs on Northern Lights being done in Mazatlan, where the seam area forward of the keel was the source of the small, persistent mast step leak from flaws in the filler. The original seam filler is being ground out, the area dried, then it will be epoxied and covered with two layers of glass tape and sanded out before new barrier coats and bottom paint are added. We wanted to get this corrected before we start the bash back to San Diego in May.

The harder Marel bottom paint that was put over our softer ablative paint in La Cruz by SeaTec had to be completely removed (I raised an objection with Peter at the time, but was assured it would work fine). It was already badly peeling badly after just three months and would have all come off before too long. The old paint was a gooey mess under the newer paint and the whole job was a waste of $3000 US.

La Cruz to Mazatlan

18 April 2015
Photo is Isla Maria Madre to west near sunset.

We left Paradise Village Marina in Nuevo Vallarta for La Cruz de Huanacaxtle last Monday April 12 to get diesel fuel before heading north. We filled the 25 Gal auxiliary tank and the empty 20 liter Jerry can. Next morning w e left La Cruz to take a route east of the Islas Tres Marias. The original plan was to head directly to Los Muertos on the Baja Penisula, but with a conservative 5 kn SOG, we weren't sure we could get there before a possible norther developed, so we opted to head for Mazatlan instead. The northern never did fill in as far south as Los Muertos, but we're conservative and don't generally like racing gales into harbors (we did it a couple of times coming down the coast).

The overnight trip from La Cruz took about 30 hours at 6 kts, banging into moderate head seas and swells. Winds were generally light in the 8-14 knt range and right on the nose, so we powered the whole way. The conditions were roughest E of Isla Maria Madre and lightened up in the morning. Swells were 3 ft from the NW with a mixed southerly swell, especially as we got nearer Mazatlan.


We arrived at Isla Vanados and anchored east of it about 1150 to wait for the tide to change at 1330 so we could enter the marina channel on the rising tide. Not wanting to repeat the problem we had last time entering the Mazatlan Marinas channel we called both Marina El Cid and Marina Mazatlan asking about the dredge. El Cid said it wasn't working and Marina Mazatlan said it was, so I called the fleet on Ch 22A to verify it was not in operation that day.

We tied up by 1530 and relaxed.

Soon after conditions became rougher, a water appeared coming from the mast step limber holes. We kept a careful watch that the relatively small volume didn't significantly increase (it didn't) and since arriving in Mazatlan have contacted JBoats about the mast step construction. There was a concern there might be wood getting saturated and collapsing under the load. The J/42 mast set is aluminum and they hull under the step is solid glass. But we're hauling out on Monday at the Fonatur yard here and will do a careful inspection. The most likely cause is from draining the mast sump as well as water accumulated from the anchor locker drain leak that was fixed in La Cruz in January.
Northern Lights's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 13 of 13
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Back in San Diego after finishing the Baja Bash.
6 Photos
Created 23 June 2015
Baja Bash - from San Jose del Cabo to San Diego. Stopped for a week in Bahia Torguta to wait for a weather window.
6 Photos
Created 29 May 2015
Getting the bottom paint removed, the hull seam leak repaired,
8 Photos
Created 25 April 2015
Staying in Mazatlan on the way back north.
11 Photos
Created 25 April 2015
Trip from La Paz to Mazatlan, Mazatlan, and the trip from Mazatlan to Banderas Bay La Cruz and Neuvo Villarta
20 Photos
Created 27 December 2014
Trip from La Paz to Puerto Escondido and back, Nov-Dec 2014.
12 Photos
Created 11 December 2014
San Diego to La Paz - Oct 27 - Nov 14, 2014. Includes Baha Ha Ha photos.
22 Photos
Created 16 November 2014
Taken in San Diego waiting for the start of the Baja Ha Ha Oct 27.
20 Photos
Created 11 October 2014
S/V Northern Lights - Counter-clockwise around Vancouver Island 3 Jul - 26 Jul, 2014.
40 Photos
Created 29 September 2014
S/V Northern Lights - Seattle to San Diego, 25 Aug - 22 Sept, 2014.
45 Photos
Created 29 September 2014

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