I thought I'd add some thoughts of my own to this blog. I actually haven't read what PJ wrote thus far in the trip, so apologies if I repeat anything.
We spent the month of March in the Marina in La Cruz making final preparations for the trip. In hindsight this was a very good choice. It cost some extra $ from the cruising kitty, but it gave us a chance to be at the dock, not worry about rolling all night in the anchorage and get things done. I had a list of several items, some big and some small to get done on the boat. We were fortunate to have visitors and crew coming down from the states who brought items with them. Thanks Amy, Lynn, Tim and Ty! who all brought something that we needed down. The big items on the to do list were: re-build the water maker high pressure pump and crank case, have the autopilot motor rebuilt and get the high output alternator repaired. There were many more small items and just normal tasks that needed doing like getting propane etc. Having that month to do all this was great and the stress level was relatively low, which is a good thing.
So here is the what has broken so far report: The Prop shaft seal developed this little drip problem. Since it's what is called a drip less seal this is a problem. I had been monitoring the drip and it had gotten worse and was dripping even without the motor running. It turns out I had caused the problem. While at the dock I had decided to replace the rusting hose clamps that were holding a hose that attached to the seal and the shaft log. Evidently when I did this the whole hose had shifted on the shaft log. The shaft log has a slight taper so the hose was now to big of a circumference for the what it was clamped to and it started to leak. Also the seal itself was on riding on a not so smooth part of the shaft and had developed a leak. In the end it was really no big deal, once I figured out what the problem was. I loosened the hose clamps and slid the whole affair back into place. Nary a drip now. The other item that needed attention was a batten receptacle slide had come detached on the mainsail. This required the main be dropped for a repair. Aside from that everything is operating well. I do need to do another batten slide receptacle repair. Turns out when we re-hoisted the main, I put the bottom batten slide upside down and now it has the same problem. Oh well.
The sailing report: We had good sailing weather the first two days. Not all that windy, but good jib reaching conditions. The wind now is pretty darn light. We have mostly been motoring for the last 36 hours. That will change. The weather models show more wind to the west (which is where we are heading) plus the wind is supposed to build. As I type I see the wind has started to build hopefully that will continue. We should have the engine off today for good or at least until we reach the dreaded ITCZ near the equator (for those who don't know what that is, do a google search). We plan to motor through that.
Booby report: Ok guys it's not what you think. We had some excitement yesterday afternoon and evening. A brown footed booby (A type of seabird) landed on the stern pulpit. For those of you who have been following the blog, this is not the first time we have had boobies (I love saying that) on the boat. When we crossed the Sea of Cortez we had a rather unfortunate booby on the masthead incident that ended in bird crap all over the boat. So when a booby landed on the stern we decided chase it off. These birds aren't all that bright, or at least they don't have the instinct that many animals have to be afraid of people. There are stories where cruisers let the boobies stay on the boat and that they pick them up and turn them around so they will crap over the side. Tim had to give a not so gentle nudge to dislodge the booby of the stern. Later at sunset another (or perhaps the same) bird landed at the mast head. Using the slingshot with garbanzo beans for ammo did not work, so Bryce volunteered to go up the rig and persuade the booby to leave. Later that night while I was on the radio net I could hear the crew shouting and using the loud hailer to encourage boobies to roost in places other than the boat. We may very well have to do similar activities again tonight, as we will be passing near Isla Clarion, which likely has a booby population. I wonder how many times I've typed the word booby. Booby, booby booby!
Cheers from SV Capaz!
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