Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Enroute to Isla San Francisco

Sunday, 13 April 2008

We are heading north towards our next anchorage at Isla San Francisco after spending 2 nights and a full day in a beautiful anchorage called Ensenada de Partida on Isla Del Espiritu Santo. The islands in the Sea of Cortez were designated as national parks in May of last year and this is one of the most visited by cruisers. It is also one of 2 parks where a token fee is paid for the privilege of anchoring and landing ashore. The other is Loretto, further north. We spent the day exploring the sand-spit
between the two coasts and working on the boat replacing the caulking between the rails and the cockpit combing. J-G also wrestled with a broken drainpipe under the sink in the fwd head. That will have to wait for a solder job at our next port. Where is Doug (Ka-Em-Te) when we need a real plumber?

We stayed 3 days in La Paz, enjoying the ambience of what we have experienced as the best marina in Mexico so far. Had we known beforehand that the annual Bayfest, sponsored by Marina La Paz, was going to be held that weekend we would have allowed for it in our schedule. We will certainly consider it for next year.
The main chore of repairing the pulley was accomplished but not without complications. J-G set out afoot following directions to a bearing supply store but a few blocks ended up being a few10s of blocks. The store had a close fit (Nissan wheel bearing) for the inside diameter but the outside diameter would require the services of a machine shop. Luckily the machine shop was just beside the bearing shop. 2 hours later with the machined part in hand I was on the search for a slightly larger bolt to
accommodate the inside diameter. After a 2-hour search I finally found a shop specializing in fasteners and they had the right fit.
The next step was to re-install the pulley. With Doug's (Ka-Em-Te) help we managed to get it back in place. Only a run-up would confirm proper alignment. Our engine had been sitting idle for 2 days by this time and and, as usual, it wasn't starting. Kirk (Freedom Kirkland) spent the next 2 hours trying to find the problem. We had nearly given up when one last try brought success. From now on we will be starting the engine daily to make sure that whatever is draining doesn't drain all the way. Now,
2 days later we can confirm that process has worked.
We spent the rest of the time shopping for the trip north, visiting La Paz and just enjoying our time in the marina. Friday arrived and it was time to leave. Kirk had left the previous afternoon on his way to Espiritu Santo before heading south to Cabo to meet his relatives. We bid farewell to Doug and Trish and slipped the dock in a moderate onshore breeze.
This was our 4th dock departure and the first with any significant wind. We certainly gave the neighbouring boats a show trying to get the bow into the wind. Gosling can be very stubborn that way but after a good deal of filling and backing we finally convinced her to go to windward (backing out wasn't an option). We need lots more practice!

Today's trip to Isla San Francisco has been a short one, only 21 miles and, with a favorable wind we were able to sail part way. Another 5 lb bonito tuna sacrificed itself for sushi on the way. It is mid-afternoon and we are anchored in a nice quiet bay, close to where we were last year about this time aboard Royal Exchange. There is a natural salt pan just over the dunes so we will getting our year's supply of rock salt before we leave. Our next destination is Punta Evaristo, another choice anchorage
some 20 miles up the coast.

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