Wednesday, February 18, 2009

San Carlos Highlights

First a couple of pics from Mazatlan and a road trip we did with Paul and Sue to a nearby village.

This little boy was offering donkey rides to tourists

Some of the crypts have sliding patio doors for easy access.

Sue, Paul, and Rani walking the beach near Mazatlan.

We arrived in San Carlos, Sonora, 2 weeks ago to survey Brisa, a Coast 34 designed by Graham Shannon and built in Vancouver, and were pleased enough with the results to close the offer. The trip on the overnight bus from Maztlan was comfortable but we were responsible for delays due to 2 military checkpoints at which our extensive baggage (2 full rubbermaid totes) containing tools, charts and kitchen stuff was searched.The USA is funding the checkpoints to reduce drug traffic and there were many young soldiers prodding and stabbing the trucks passing through, so we were relatively lucky that no body searches ensued!

As for the boat survey, Joe Schmick turned out to be a really good choice for a surveyor. He did a very thorough job on the survey, taking a full day and part of the next for the out of the water survey. We ended up with an extensive list of small things to correct and a relatively clean bill of health for Brisa/Ladybug.

Joe surveying the keel.

We made a decision to get in the water quickly, so we did a lot of work in a few days to get the bottom prepared (fixed some delamination in the rudder and then painted) as well as getting the engine in good shape.

Leaving the dry storage yard bound for the launch ramp. The trailer uses hydraulic pads to support the boat.

Launch day had the usual last minute panic with Chris running down to a welding shop early in the morning and waking up the owner's sister to retrieve a missing part for the engine exhaust mixing elbow and reassembling the engine at the dock. Fortunately Brisa/Ladybug floated on her lines and the engine started and ran well.

Launching Brisa/Ladybug

Jay Leno showed up to help out.

Brisa/Ladybug after the launch

The sails were in great shape, hardly used, and Brisa moved well in the water even in the light breeze on the morning of the test sail. Once in the water we decided to stay out in the bay, out of the dust and not having to climb up the ladder to get into the boat.

Under sail during the test sail. Charlie Bloomer is the yacht broker.

Out at anchor here, it can be tricky to get back and forth to shore due to high afternoon winds. We have been working hard to get our inflatable and its outboard motor working properly, as rowing the inflatable with its tiny oars is a bit of a joke (picture a chicken flapping its wings and you get the idea). The motor starts now after stripping down the carburetor, but it will not idle, so we tend to move at very high speeds between point A and B, followed by an abrupt halt and a little rowing – all quite entertaining for the dockside watchers.

We have made a list of problems which need to be fixed before we can sail out of here and hope to be enjoying our new yacht within 10 to 14 days. Using a bucket for a toilet is not the ideal so Chris is busy on the deck rebuilding the head today while I take care of the laundry and shopping - a good trade :) We also need to get another exhaust elbow welded for the engine and buy lots of spare parts in Guaymas later this week.

Trying out the new facilities - actually the head does not work yet, so a bucket will have to do...

New friends have been very helpful and we had a nice tour of the area on board our friend Hans Backer's luxury van yesterday. He also encouraged my ice-cream tooth by providing us with a huge serving of butter pecan brought all the way from Arizona.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A 2 boat family

Greetings from San Carlos, Guaymas. Things have been hectic here with boat buying, getting ready to launch, a survey, and a test sail. We are currently at anchor, living on our new boat and out of wifi range, hence the delay in updating the blog.

We now own 2 boats (or will when the money filters through to the seller). The Coast 34 is a big boat and the list of things we need to do is a bit intimidating but the basics are good - the engine checked out ok with good compression (but needing a valve adjustment). The sails, mast, and all rigging are virtually new. One of the sails needs recutting because it was built a bit to large for the roller fuller head stay. The head needs some work and the radar is not talking to its scanner... the list goes on. I just got the outboard motor sort of working (does not idle yet) after cleaning the plugs and removing and soaking the carburetor. This has allowed us to come into town to update the blog.

The weather here is quite a bit cooler than Mazatlan and we need two blankets at night. A wind gets up every afternoon and blows quite hard in the anchorage, so rowing an inflatable (our new dinghy) is not an option. The other day we stayed over at a friend's boat for 5 hours waiting for the wind to die before we could get back to our boat.

Ladybug is now for sale at Mazatlan Yachts ( We will miss her greatly and have decided to register our new boat as "Ladybug" also (we can do this because our Cal-29 Ladybug is not registered, but only licensed).

More news in the next few days when we have some time.