The next couple of days were spent cleaning the boat up from the trip down and more than anything organizing and reorganizing. It’s been an obsession. I thought the trip down from Portland to Ventura helped bring to light all of my storage issues but conditions from Ensenada to San Jose del Cabo were much more volatile for longer periods of time and from a wider range of conditions and it really helped highlight that more emphasis had to be put into this area. Reorganizing tool and part storage and finally stowing winter gear in less accessible storage areas since I’ve been in shorts and with or without a t-shirt every day since I’ve been here. The weather has been in the high 70’s – low 80’s during the day and low 50’s to mid 50’s at night and the extended forecast looks better yet to come.
In La Paz where I’m heading it is notorious for winds up to 45 kts similar to Santa Ana winds blowing out of Texas all the way down the Sea of Cortez. Fortunately they are fairly predictable, they don’t last long and if you are in a good anchorage with some protection and good anchor gear they are tolerable. I only had my main anchor rigged and ready to go but I have 4 anchors onboard. I worked on getting 2 more set up and ready to deploy since I know I’ll need them when I head north.
Another area I worked on was improving how the suspension of my dinghy is rigged. I’ve made improvements there, dropped the dinghy in the water and fired my dinghy motor up for the first time since Turtle Bay and I was pleased that she fired right up.
I know exactly what I did wrong to rip my radar off the mast. My furling job was very sloppy and I know that’s a mistake I won’t make again. Another issue that I’ve had to address was securing my main anchor which hangs off the bow and very easy to deploy with my electric windlass. When I replaced my original anchor with a larger one there is a pin that holds the anchor in place to keep it from coming undone and slinging around when thing get bumpy. The pin didn’t line up very good and would keep popping out. I had tried tying it in but it always popped out. The anchor had always stayed put but when I left Mag Bay I just tightened the anchor up snug with the windlass and figured it would hold secure. One bumpy dark night though I started hearing a banging and somehow the anchor had let out about 2-3 feet and I actually have a new beauty mark where the anchor smashed into the bow. I have since rigged up 2 lines holding the anchor in place to ensure that doesn’t happen again.
Probably the biggest mistake or opportunity I’ve discovered is that I didn’t read the weather properly at all. It has always been my goal to avoid just the kind of weather I ended up sailing through to get here. The weather service I’m using is Predict Wind and the customer support has been phenomenal and one of their tech support guys that I’ve developed a great relationship with has sent me some tutorials to review which I will be doing in the near future to ensure that I minimize exposing myself to those kinds of conditions if at all possible and he’s going to go over my route with me before I head out. La Paz is only about 1 1/2 day sail from here but it can be a pretty nasty ride into high winds and seas coming at short intervals which I now know is not very comfortable if you don’t leave at the right time. There is a really good anchorage about 1/2 day away so it is possible to do it in 2 short hops. Sounds like a great place and I’m sure I’ll probably stop there on the way up.
Main emphasis on the boat while I’m here is obviously getting the radar fixed, a better understanding of reading and comprehending weather, more organizing and more organizing and getting down to the bare necessities. I used to get bored pretty easily as many of you know by my jumping from one hobby to the next but there is never any boredom in this lifestyle if you want to stay on top of things! There is always some issue that needs to be addressed. It’s hard and frustrating in many ways but the satisfaction gained from using a little ingenuity to solve a problem are very rewarding. I love Gorilla Super Glue and Industrial Velcro!!! Finally mentally and physically recovering from the trip down and starting to enjoy being temporarily stuck in the beautiful paradise that is San Jose del Cabo.