Friday, November 15, 2013


Large Yacht Taking Up the Whole Fuel Dock
We arrived in Cabo San Lucas late in the afternoon on Thursday and were packed into a raft-up with nine or ten other Ha-Ha boats in front of the Baja Cantina.  We were tired, but didn’t get a lot of sleep that first night because the music was loud.

Friday was a work day for Scott and me.  Joel left as soon an Ingemar had cleared him through immigration.  Michelle, Ingemar and Deborah went to the Ha-Ha beach party, but Scott and I stayed to work on the boat.  Scott took the shaft coupler to the yard for them to true and then we made the rounds of all the marine and hardware stores in Cabo.  I bought new hose for the water maker and we bought a new deck brush and pop rivet gun.

The mechanic from the yard came to visit us Saturday, but was unable to complete the work on our boat before they closed at noon.  I replaced all the hoses on the water maker, but we determined that the relay which switches the water flow from the tank to overboard, depending on the saline content, was not working.  Michelle left us early on Saturday.  I will really miss having another woman on board and, of course, I will miss having my friend, Michelle, aboard even more.  I know the trip was hard for her, but she did well and I hope she got something positive out of the experience.

We acquired two new crew members.  Chuck Masters came down on the catarmaran, Skabenga, and has some time to kill until Thanksgiving.  He is retired and lives on his 55’ ketch in San Diego.  We also recruited Carlos Roque, a young Mexican fellow who grew up in the US and attached himself to another boat during the Ha-Ha last year and is catching a ride with us to Puerto Vallarta to rejoin them.

I Always Suspected Burritos Were Californian
I desperately needed to do some grocery shopping, so Saturday afternoon I took a local bus out to the Chedraui store on the outskirts of town.  The bus ride cost me 2.5 pesos (less than a quarter), took about 20 minutes, and was quite an adventure.  There is major road construction through the center of Cabo, so the bus had to detour through semi-paved residential neighborhoods where the driver played chicken with other busses while dodging around cars slowly trying to dodge the pot holes.  I counted myself lucky to survive the ride.

Chedraui is a nice store.  I was familiar with it from Playa del Carmen.  I got as many groceries as I could possibly think of carrying back to the boat.  AAA batteries are tough to come by around here, but I did find some pillowcases that we needed and eventually found a few “pilas” (batteries) in the television department, of all places.  I hailed a cab for the ride back and had a nice conversation in Spanish with the driver, who helped me carry the groceries to the boat.

View from up the Mast
Saturday evening was the awards ceremony for the Ha-Ha.  Everyone got something.  The spirit of the Ha-Ha award went to the Swedish Ariel IV for having made the Northwest Passage in order to get to the starting line.

Sunday, Scott attempted to get the air conditioner working.  We flushed all the dirt out of the systems and got the heat pump operating, but still failed to get cool air.  We will need to work on that further.  I climbed the mast and replaced the (new) steaming light bulb.  One of the pins that hold the bulb in place had sheared off and the bulb was just rattling around in the housing.  Ingemar and Deborah had us over for margaritas at their penthouse suite in the beehivelike Wyndham Hotel.  It was nice to enjoy the view and relax for a couple of hours.  Ingemar and Deborah were leaving the next morning.

Monday morning, I decided I needed to get away from the boat and see a little of the town.  I got up early and went to Cabo Coffee, where I had a latte and enjoyed the fast internet.  Then I went for a walk in search of the Port Captain’s office.  It was kind of a case of, “you can’t get there from here,” but I did see a lot of old Cabo and eventually located the Port Captain’s office, which is just up Matamoros from the Giggling Marlin several blocks, in case you ever need to find it.  Between the local maps having only major street names and the streets having few signs, navigating in Cabo can be special.

Boat Yard in Cabo
The mechanic came back and spent half the day heaving the engine into proper alignment with a crow bar and reinstalling our shaft coupler.  Our alignment problem is now deemed fixed, so we are ready to go.  I installed drink holders and did a few other chores until 4:00 when Carlos arrived to take us shopping.  It took us an hour to track down Scott and then we headed out to Soriana (another big discount grocery chain) where we loaded up on meat and produce and lots of powdered Gatorade for Scott and I cleaned them out of AAA batteries.  Then we dropped by the house that Carlos shares with his girlfriend, Alejandra, to unload some groceries for her and pick up 5 gallon water jugs.  We took the jugs to the local water store, where they refilled them and we bought a couple of jugs for future use.  We schlepped the water back to the boat, poured it into the tanks, and went back for another load.

The water here on the dock is desalinated, but not treated for bacteria.  It is probably fine, but Scott didn’t want to take a chance of something growing in his tanks.  Here in the marina, water costs $10 for a 5 gallon bottle and 40 pesos for a refill.  Out by Carlos’ house, we refilled for 8 pesos.  Later refills we got in town, close by, for 12 pesos ($1.)

When we got to the second water stop, the guys were leaving to make a delivery to a hotel, so we stopped at a local tacqueria and grabbed some food to go while we were waiting.  Alejandra and I had a nice conversation in Spanish while the guys chatted in English.  She grew quite animated once she realized I could communicate with her.  She is afraid of sailing and not too thrilled about being left alone in Cabo, which is not her home town, but she is being brave about it.

It was after 9:00 PM by the time we got the water back to the boat, so we decided to skip a trip to Walmart.  Carlos left us for the night and I fried up some spicy chicken wings that I had bought at Chedraui.  Chuck, Scott and I sat in the cockpit, eating chicken wings, and drinking cold beers.  Coolers full of beer keep materializing around here.  We can hardly keep up.

Tuesday morning, Carlos (a very resourceful young man) arranged for the delivery of enough water to fill our tanks.  I spent the morning stowing loose items and cleaning up the boat.  Scott and Carlos headed off the port captain’s office to check us out and change crew lists.  It took us a long time to clear out because we were somehow not completely cleared us in, although Ingemar had been to the Port Captain and gotten our crew lists stamped.  We then spent more time buying fuel and did not depart Cabo until nearly 4:00 pm.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the memories!
    Hi Rene! Following your sail down the coast of Baja brings back such vivid memories of my cruise with Aaron. Turtle Bay, Santa Maria and Mag Bay were wonderful stops. Sounds like Turtle Bay has grown a little since we were there. Went out on a panga and the mommy whales were bringing their babies right up to the rails to greet us.
    Oh, a suggestion: After spending hours searching for our boat in the dark after partying ashore, we came up with 2 ways of making it easier to find: 1. We left our generator running. It was a good way to charge things up without having to listen to the thing at close quarters; most of the neighboring crews were also ashore so we didn't disturb them; and after a while the sound of your own generator is as easy to identify as the sound of your own kid crying. 2. We hung a battery lantern with a colored bulb in it from the boom in the cockpit. Then it was easier to find "The Boat of Blue Lights", to paraphrase the old song... I'm living your trip vicariously and really looking forward to joining you and helping you through the Canal. Do keep me posted on the crew situation! Love you, Kiddo! Deanna