Saturday, May 18, 2013

San Carlos

Yes, the rumors are true.  We are no longer working on our engine in Mazatlan.  We are now working on our engine in San Carlos.  At least the scenery has changed.

To be fair to Total Yacht Works, our engine is running great and we motored most of the 400-plus miles up the coast to San Carlos without any mechanical-related issues.  The problem we're facing now is with the charging system.  After five months of inactivity our regulator and/or battery combiner has decided to pack it in.  Or, it could be a wire running through the engine compartment was pulled the wrong way or simply shorted out after 30 years of service.  Whatever the cause, it needs attention if we want to preserve our batteries.  So, that's what I'll be working on over the next few days.

But, a little charging problem can't overshadow the fact that we have our engine back and are on the move again.   We said goodbye to our friends on Katie G and Bangorang on Sunday as we pulled away from the dock in Mazatlan for the last time.  We felt an overdue sense of liberation as we motored out the channel and set the sails for the first time in months.  A steady westerly breeze filled in and we managed to sail the entire afternoon in company with our friends on Cricket.  The wind faded with the light so we fired up the diesel and motor-sailed under a brilliant clear night sky.

By Tuesday we were weaving our way through the long winding channel to the little working town of Topolobampo where we planned to fill the fuel tank and hit the mercado.  The channel runs through a breaking reef, across a large shallow bay, to the edge of town where a couple new marinas are now operating.  We only managed to run aground once on the way in.  Luckily for us we hit soft mud and not any hard pointy things.  Colin found this to be a hilarious event and burst out in uncontrollable laughter when the boat came to an abrupt halt.  The captain was somewhat less amused.

A couple days in Topolobampo was enough for us so we motored back out the channel on Thursday with our friends on Dream Catcher just ahead and turned north again for another two-day sail to San Carlos under glorious sunny skies.  We discovered along the way that we needed to spend this time learning to sail again.  The rust had set in on our sailing skills after so many months of sitting in a marina and it took a few days to knock it loose.  After some time, though, we began to find a rhythm and adjust to the motion of a passage.  I even managed to catch a Dorado, my first one since sailing down last year.  Fish tacos for dinner.

This morning we sailed in to the anchorage in San Carlos where we plan to spend a few days before moving to Guaymas where we'll haul the boat out and store it for the summer.  It's tempting to linger here a little longer to check out the inviting anchorages along the coast.  But, home is calling and we're looking forward to seeing family and friends in the States again.  The Sea of Cortez will have to wait for the fall.  It seems the season has come to an end for us just as it was getting started.
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Anonymous said...

Yo ho ho James and Mills. I had a feeling you'd be popping into California I got a notice re Jim's updating his resume (or something) on LinkedIn a couple weeks back, I think. Been meaning to see what's up. Looking forward to seeing you guys soon. When are you hitting the BayArea?


James said...

Hi Mike,
We're getting he boat put away now and should be back in CA next week.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing you.