Yup, today was a workday. Since we’re officially halfway on our voyage, mileage-wise at 1752 miles, it was time for some boat maintenance before we leave tomorrow to begin our trip back. Actually, we’re not heading “back” for a few more days, as the next two or three days will be at Islas Espiritu Santos, about 20 miles East of La Paz.
Technicalities of the trip aside, there was work to do. Charisma badly needed a fresh water wash, not having seen same since San Francisco. She is much better now thank you very much. I even thing she’s smiling now that all the salt has been rinsed off.
Down below, I changed the oil, oil filter, and the primary and secondary fuel filters. Diesels will run forever IF they have clean fuel and oil (knock on wood). We have used 114 hours since leaving SF on the engine. Most of those hours have been “easy” hours used to run the alternator to refresh the batteries for power for nav instruments and lights, but as we move up the Sea of Cortez, we do less sailing and more motoring (less wind and when we have it, it’s right on the nose), so at least 20 of those hours have been in the last week. We did very little motoring from SF all the way to Cabo.
Geoff started the day by going to the Mercado. He had a fun time getting supplies and returned with stories of how to butcher a pig (apparently today was “pig day” at the market) as well as lots of fresh vegetables which down here means various peppers, some tomatoes, avocados, limes and sweet potatoes. We stripped all the cardboard off, washed all cans and fresh veggies in white wine vinegar (the object is to wash/kill any pest eggs) and then stored all the provisions. Hopefully this will keep Charisma pest free.
Geoff also made the supreme mistake of asking; “what else can I do?” The Supreme Commander (yes, I still wear that hat occasionally) with an evil glint in his eye innocently said; “the ice boxes could use washing down”. In reality, the Supreme Commander had discovered earlier, while changing the oil, the source of flies in the boat. They appeared to come from some fish that had gone bad a couple weeks ago and which run-off found its way into the bilge (the iceboxes drain there). This resulted in maggots in the bilge, etc, etc. The upshot: Geoff cloroxed the heck out of the ice-boxes, the drains into the bilge and the bilge itself. All mentioned are now so clean, we could drink out of them. In fact, after pumping the bilge, I think the marina is pretty clean now too! The flies persist, but we’re eliminating them one at a time. Not all is paradise in paradise.
For my part, I made a smallish mistake. I decided that the best way to completely clear the bilge was to use the hand pump under the cabin sole. It drains the bilge completely, whereas the electric pump stops a little short of clearing the bilge. Anyway, as I said, I wanted to drain the bilge to get rid of the maggots. The problem is or should I now say; “was”, we also use the manual bilge pump to pump out the holding tank at sea (for landlubbers, it’s where we – well – in the marina – well, it really stinks when we have to pump it out! OK, I’m not admitting to anything here, I’m just saying; once I cleared the bilge, I had to leave the area for a while as I didn’t want to have to answer any questions from our neighbors or the dock police. Back at the boat a half hour or so later, there appeared to be no repercussions.
We also discovered that Geoff is excellent at killing flies and bees. For some reason, some bees had decided that Charisma was a good place to nest. Probably the cereal Geoff brought back attracted them. We weren’t as comfortable with them as they seemed to be with us. Deadly force was exercised. With dispatch! The bees have retreated for now.
Boat projects have a way of expanding. I won’t bore you with all of them, but suffice to say there were a ton of; “tighten this, fix that, etc, etc” and before I knew it, it was MARGARITA TIME. Geoff is back in town for the evening and I went to the Beach Club for a shower (probably the last one for a while) and a cocktail overlooking La Paz Bay at sunset. Beautifull! Then treated myself to a last dinner ashore. I had Carpaccio de Salmone and Salad Rustico or something like that. My waiter was the highlight:
Omar Fabian Hernadez Mondragon. He was very, very good. Really knows his wines and is trying to get into an exchange program to work in Canada. I gave him my email address and told him I’d be an enthusiastic reference for him. He seemed genuinely pleased. My Spanish and his English made conversing an experience! I hope I didn’t tell him by accident that he could bring his family and live with me in San Francisco.
Opps, almost forgot to mention that in the middle of all the work-Geoff made some excellent fish tacos from the Mahi we caught a couple days ago. Fresh tortillas, avocados, peppers, salsa, mahi, onions∑. We’ve been carefully keeping the Mahi and the two tunas on ice, so they are fresh as can be. Yum.
So, tomorrow, we get up at a reasonable mid-morning hour, motor to the harbormaster and check out. By then (late morning) hopefully the wind will kick up a bit and we’ll sail the 15 or 20 miles to our next destination. We’ll see where the weather allows us to anchor (many of the bays at Isla Espiritu Santos are exposed to NW wind).
More once we get there.