My departure from Mazatlan Marina was a true “cluster F!!K”. Now you know I changed those steering cables and you would think that was a good thing right, Hmmmm! Well !at day break solo sailor Jeff dropped the mighty Sailors run into reverse and backed clear of the slip. It was soon evident that something was strangely different, as it seemed the current was pulling the stern to starboard while the wind was blowing the bow to port, that could have explained it all except there was no wind and there was no current, of course when you go astern in a nearly full keel boat you never totally know what to expect, and this time was truly one of those times.
Once clear of the slip I dropped the transmission into forward and was amazed at the results! The “Darn thing” was steering in the opposite direction 100% of the time. Damn, I think I got a problem!!
Now I could just get this thing back in the slip, but if you know me, by now were going to carry on, and sail across the sea of Cortez as after all my auto pilot doesn’t care what way the wheel spins when it makes course corrections so off we went and I just pretended that the wheel was a tiller, that always goes the opposite way you turn it.
The sail across the sea was great there was plenty of wind and covered the 250 miles to Isla San Francisco in just under 42 hrs. The approach to the island was after dark and a sudden Coramel Wind came up out of the south. I was tired and wanted to get in, but it was blowing now 35 kts. The main was down and just had about ½ the Genoa and a reefed mizzen up, and was hauling butt on a beam reach. It was pretty much what I didn’t want to do as coming into an anchorage with this much wind in the dark single handed is not such a good idea. So I weighed the options and decided if this wind doesn’t subside, I will sail North to God knows where and seek a safe anchorage. Well, as fate would have it the winds subsided to about twenty knots and I decided to take Sailors Run in and find a safe anchorage. There were 5 other boats in the anchorage and I nestled in amongst them and dropped the hook. The winds continued to die and both Sailors Run and I rested and rolled off into a deep sleep in a part of paradise that is one of Debbie and I’s favorite spots.
The next day was quiet and I pulled those steering cables out and got them straightened out, they had gotten crossed right in the pedestal unbeknownst to me and it was a easy fix.
I hiked the islands with many peaks in search of getting in shape, although when alone you must be very careful as the rocks on these islands are very shaly and tend to crumble under the weight of just one person, so I was cautious.
I decided to rebuild my Pur-160 Water maker, just one of the things that needs to be done before I set off on my solo attempt to sail nonstop around the world. The water maker we purchased back in 2001 ,and it has worked flawlessly for 13 years. I do rebuild the pump about every three years. The kit to do this is $150 and the only other thing that we have done was replace the membrane after 11 years of use as the salt content had began to creep up.
The sea of Cortez is a beautiful magical place. At times I’m deeply saddened that Debbie is not along to share our favorite haunts, but I must understand she is where she needs to be as am I.
I anchored in Agua Verde , a fabulous place for me and Jose my friend that has lived there for some thirty years in this quiet spot, and it was fun to see him once again as he is now 78 years old, and I would run daily through out the desert canyons with his dog Lola, who was good eyes and ears for me, together we chased rabbits and cattle all over the place.
I sailed to Rosalia to take care of some business, as I needed an internet connection, not to mention it is a great place. I was tired of paying someone to manage my IRA when it cost money and they didn’t seem to listen to what my concerns were. So lucky for me Casey & Annie were there off a boat called V’ger and Casey knows all about electronic stock trading and he got me totally invested.
As a matter of fact I might now own, [not too sure] 20,000 shares in the copper mine in Santa Rosalia. I don’t know because that buy was pending when I left and I have no internet.
From Rosalia I sailed the 40-miles back down to Bahia Conception where it is 95* and the water is 85*, just perfect for diving in and cooling down.
Now the laundry has been piling up so I had laundry day. In the desert when you start splashing water around you draw a crowd and the crowd is composed of Bees and lots of them!! Of course I was ready, as I had my raid and spray bottle full of Vinegar. I try not to use the raid unless they get right in my face. Hand washing and defending your self is pretty damn exciting, and the trick is getting the first load hung on the line without taking a hit. Once the clothes are up they are swarmed by the bees and you can safely do the second load. Now the really cool thing is you can duck below to the safety of your main salon and work on inside projects, now don’t get alarmed as the swarm intensifies as not only is the wind drying your cloths and the hot sun, but you have hundreds of thirsty bees sucking the water right out of your laundry, and that stuff that takes forever to dry they gang up on it as the other stuff is finishing up and when the Bees leave “Wallah” you have super dry possibly, pollen laced underwear for the upcoming weeks ahead.
Having fun in the desert sea Your amigo Jeff, and missing Debbie all the time.