Marianne’s Mom dieing - which caused me to spend the month of April alone in Guaymas.
I delivered a Bayliner 40 with George from Mazatlan to Oxnard. This delivery was so fraught with calamities, breakdowns, and delays it’s a complete novel in itself - I will try to write about it soon. During this time, Marianne got to spend a month by herself in Guaymas.
Our engine decided to quit running at 2000 hours, requiring a complete rebuild. It turns out that it was installed incorrectly, with a six inch clearance between the muffler and the exhaust elbow.. Our insurance called it a latent defect - that did not mean they would cover it though - we now have new insurance. Yanmar specifications require a 12 inch clearance. Marianne went into this in detail in earlier posts. Needless to say - it shook a bit of the confidence we have in our fine Malo sailboat. We are still waiting to hear from Malo.
We were delayed two weeks getting out of Mazatlan in order to get a new spray shield built, and security bars installed. We had great workmanship in Maz - but we were sitting around waiting for the workers to show up for two weeks, paying those high season rates. Also - I got to have a crown and a root canal done in my teeth - I found out about this the day we day we found out about the engine - seemed somewhat fitting - my teeth and engine both break down on the same day.
We crossed the sea on a great windward sail. We had over 40 ours under sail to windward between a 45 and 60 degree angle. However, we could not get our new Sailomat 760 to work. We added the self steering last year, and have been trying to get it to work since. Granted - we have not worked too hard. I seem to prefer to head for an anchorage in the afternoon when the wind finally blows , since I get so thirsty.
On the lighter side - I installed a 3 gal tank to hold gin - yes - a gin tank. This is a great success. I push a button, and gin pumps out of the tank. The problem is you can’t really tell how much gin your are drinking. We emptied the tank in about five weeks, but I think other people helped out - at least it seemed so when I awoke from my coma. See above to see why we emptied the gin tank in five weeks. The next project to install a back up gin tank - or at least a monitoring gauge.
We pulled into La Paz, and have spent one week getting our FM-3 visa exchanged for a regular tourist visa - this took 3 trips to immigration., which is pretty good This was a great bit of luck - thanks to a lovely evening with our good friends Linda and Geoff, we all figured out that we could save a few hundred bucks by getting a tourist visa for $26, rather than an FM-3 for $108. We are exiting the county in early March. To head for Ecuador.
The death of the Mom and the engine were the big blows of the year. By the time we were out of Maz, we had spent about $15,000 - oh yes - we also did a complete bottom job, grinding off 8 years of paint, new epoxy barrier coat, shaft seal, stern tube, etc. We spent six weeks on the hard in Maz.
We are sitting in the El Mogote now waiting out a norther. The El Mogote is the anchorage off La Paz. It has a lot of current. So you can have 20+ knots of wind on you, but the current will be pushing your boat in the opposite direction. Its very strange. Lots of permacruisers live in the El Mogote and never go anywhere - I thing the current, the wind, and the heat, make them a little mad - I mean not angry, just crazy.
We are slowly getting our shit together though. In La Paz we had our sail repaired, corrected an infection which developed in my new tooth ( see reasons for gin tank above), got our Coast Guard certification faxed to us (this took five tries), and cooked a duck. We will meet the manufacturer of the Sailomat in La Cruz in Banderas Bay in early January and finally figure out why this $4,500 device does not work. Hopefully, we will hook up with some friends further south, and make it to Huatulco in mid February, then travel inland to Oaxhaca and then on Chiapas for a two week inland tour.
Actually, when I think about it all, it does not sound too bad. Just life on the boat - not a whole lot different than land - just a different set of problem solving. Engines blow up, you get stalled waiting for things to happen. That’s why I have a gin tank - it makes the days pass more quickly - its fun to push the button and make the gin come out of the bulkhead, and my friends are endlessly amused and scandalized. Now - if I could only afford to fill it with Bombay Sapphire instead of Oso Negro - to do that I would have to get a job, or at least a few more boat deliveries.