Sailboats Belong in the Sea

As it turns out, we had to take care of a few more pressing items before getting in the water. Sailboats are funny like that, as soon as you think you have repaired everything, something else breaks.

After hooking up the new batteries, we noticed our started battery was overcharging. We quickly disconnected it and decided to have someone else look at our wiring and electrical system. Tim and I don’t trust ourselves with electrical problems and boat electrical systems.

Victor is a highly recommended Mexican marine electrician and was able to work on our boat the next day. He spent all day analyzing our system. It was too late for our starter battery, so he installed a new one and our battery switch, which will keep the starter battery separate from our house batteries. It’s often we learn important lessons about our boat when something breaks and we have to figure it out, or in this case hire someone to help us figure it out. We paid close attention to Victor’s work, so we would have a better understanding of how our boat should be wired.

Boat Electrician

Victor, the boat electrician, re-wiring our system.

 

Another issue we had to fix before launching was a broken sea cock — part of the plumbing that goes through the boat to the water. This is key to function properly. We replaced it, did a test start on the engine and declared ourselves ready to splash!

Sea Cock replacement

Tim working on replacing the head sea cock (plumbing).

We were very anxious to get into the water where the boat belongs. It was really a quick process, Tim took the helm and drove about one hour to the La Paz anchorage, while I took the car down into town where we could access it after moving the boat.

It went pretty smoothly until we needed to anchor. Our friend Jasna picked me up in her dinghy and dropped me on our boat to help Tim anchor. We hit a little snag here, as our chain did not want to come out of our Windless anchor wench. With a little more help from Rick and Jasna, we were finally able to drop anchor in La Paz.

Finished anti-fouling paint

We finished a new layer of anti-fouling paint on the boat bottom.

Boat back in the water

Capitan Tim manning the boat as she gets back in the water.

Sailboat splash into the water.

Luckiest back in the water. the Splash went smoothly and Tim motored down the La Paz Channel to anchor.

Life on the water is sooo superior to the boat yard. It’s cooler, less bugs, more beautiful sunsets.

La Paz Baja sunsets

Life on the water is so much better. The Baja sunsets are some of the best we have ever seen.

Sunrise in La Paz, Mexico

Sunrise this morning through our v-berth porthole aka “bedroom window.”

 

We still have a bit of work ahead of us before we head out for a couple of weeks at the islands. Tim discovered a leaky sea water impeller, so we are trying to repair this today. That, plus attaching the sails will be key before heading out. We have never reattached sails, and it has been 1.5 years since we removed them, so it could be interesting.  We think we can do most other items out at the islands.

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Getting Down to the Wire

Wow, so we had about two weeks at home to get organized and ready to go, but we pretty much didn’t. We did do a few things here and there, but for the most part just stuck to our routine and started packing some stuff. We also did a lot of hanging out with people we will miss while we are gone. My family had a vacation planned from Sept. 30 – Oct. 7 to Gunflint Lake Lodge on the border of Canada and Minnesota, so we stuck to the plan and headed north. We knew it would make for a crazy couple weeks when we got back (now), but it was totally worth it! We relaxed and enjoyed the company of my family so much. I know we won’t be seeing much of them for a while, so I tried to soak them up.

My sister, aunt niece and nephew (in the back) on a boat ride back from a hike.

My nephew Caleb is so thoughtful and sweet. He now recognizes the importance of a situation without being told “you won’t see Aunti Mere for a long time, so be sure and give her a hug…” The day we were flying out of Minneapolis, he just knew. He spent his time at the lunch table decorating his napkin as a going away card for me and Tim. It was one of the sweetest things. He gave it to me when we said goodbye and told me to read it on the plane with Tim on our way back home. We all hugged and kissed as much as we could, and they saw us off at the airport. I broke out into tears before I even got inside. Caleb was hanging his arms out the car door saying “I’ll miss you!” I took one look at my sister – and we both lost it. Instant tears! I tried to keep it cool when we got inside. It was a challenge to pull myself together and get through security and to our gate. After we took off, we read the napkin card. As you can imagine, I couldn’t keep it together anymore. My new goal was to cry as quietly as I could, so as not to disturb the other passengers.

"I wish I could be with you" - Caleb's napkin card

Now that we are back, we are busting into overdrive! We realized through communication with our sailing mentor, Gary, that we would have to leave earlier than we originally intended because it will take at least four days to actually get back to our boat with our gear. Our new plan is to drive to Loredo and stay the night, cross the border and drive to Durango – remember, no driving at night in Mexico for fear of hitting livestock, then head into Copala where Gary and his wife Lois live in the mountains. We will pick up Gary and take the overnight ferry into La Paz. From there we will drive to Puerto Escandido where our boat awaits. Sounds like fun, eh? Not really, but it’s what must be done to get the three of us and all our stuff to our boat before Doug and Ann, the previous boat owners, leave the country. They are going to show us a thing or two about our new home before they take off. Then we will be in the trusty hands of Gary to sail down to La Paz.

As for the things we are doing this week: Packed up a lot of stuff to keep, sold a couch, priced stuff for a garage sale, found a storage unit and now we are looking to sell my two-door Accord to get a larger vehicle to take down there. We are worried all of our stuff and three people in that one little car just won’t happen. Let’s see, what else… Oh yes! We are making boat business cards for when we get down there. It seems a little silly at first, but they come in handy when you meet other cruisers and want to get back in touch later. I am excited to design them. One other big thing looming over this week is chopping off my hair! My appointment is for tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. I am actually getting pretty excited and talking myself out of long hair, anyway. I will post before and after pics tomorrow. Let’s cross our fingers and hope it looks good!