April 2, 2005

Getting Ready to Head Up to Mazatlán

We’re getting ready to head up to Mazatlán, targeting a Monday, April 4th, departure.

We'll be reachable at this email until early Monday morning. After that, the winlink.org email is best as we won't be able to check the raptordance.com emails until we arrive in Mazatlán

Let me know by reply email if you like hearing about this level of detail. Also drop me a note if you have any questions or want more info about some of the systems we've been working on.

We had a few more items to work on than we thought and they (as always) took longer than anticipated. That’s it’s the nature of cruising.

We’ve also managed to get in pool and social time, so it’s not all work ;-}

In the last week we:

1. Changed the oil and filters in our engine, transmission and genset. This took half a day, we hired “Teapot” Tony a local British ex-pat, mechanic to do this for us and give the engine and genset a thorough check out.

2. Debugged and fixed a low flow raw water problem, this took a full day which required:

a. Cleaning the raw water filters

b. Changing the raw water impeller in the engine

c. Getting Guillermo the Diver (the best local guy) to clean the through hull from the outside and check for any plastic bags in the inlet or other blockages.

d. Using a great kit that we bought right before we left to back-flush the plumbing from the through hull to the engine. I recommend this kit to all cruisers. It’s called “Blast It Out” – basically a series of different sized rubber stoppers with a hose fitting and valve. You can check it out at http://www.blastitout.com

3. Ran a cleaning cycle on the water Maker (2 hours).

4. Reconnected our Sonic Speed Knot meter – Our original unit failed back in November, we got a replacement under warranty, but had not hooked the new unit up until yesterday. We were running with the old paddle wheel sensor, which gets dirty and requires cleaning every few days. This took half a day.

5. Cleaned the outside and polished the stainless (2 days – hired a great local team of 2 guys to do this), they should finish up today (Saturday).

6. Cleaning the bottom of the boat and checking the Zincs (they didn’t need replacing yet), again by Guillermo the Diver. Note the water here in the Marina is not something I want to get in! Mary and I did clean the bottom and replace the Zincs in Tenacatita.

7. Run new cables for the new Laptop computer.

I had to return my work computer to Cisco at the end of March, so we bought a new IBM T42. The existing boat computer is a Shuttle XPC, It works great and we have a 17 inch Plasma display on a RAM mount at the Nav station.

The only problem is that it to run it under sail, we need to run the inverter as it’s a 115V unit. If we’re going to be sailing for many days in a row, the battery drain means that we need to run the genset a long time to recharge them. If we’re motoring, it’s not problem as the alternator generates more than enough electricity.

So the new laptop has a travel power supply so we can run it off 12 Volts. With it’s very low current draw, it will work great under sail for days at a time with little additional drain on the
batteries.

We still have a few things to do:

Today we’re going to head into town and do some provisioning. We most certainly are going to pick up some rotisserie chickens at Plaza Commercial along with the great roasted potatoes that are cooked below the chickens getting the drippings of garlic and chicken fat (yum!). These are the best roasted chickens we’ve ever had!

On Monday we also need to checkout with the port captain (done for us by the local “Paper Man”, Juan Pablo for a small fee), then we’ll head over to the main marina to fuel up and head out to Punta de Mita for the night. We could get delayed if the weather turns unfavorable. We’ll be listening carefully to the weather the next few days.

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