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S/V Nereida sails around the world

Can you believe that one small screw can take two hours to remove. ..? Damaged head, corrosion plus difficult access.... Grrr!!! At least it finally began to unscrew. Wanted to check solar regulator connections were good... Still removing stuff from aft cabin to get access to beneath bunks and behind aftmost wood panel to deal with radio and, if regulator connections looking good, solar wiring problems ...


So - after all that effort, the panel refused to be pulled forward! Not enough slack cable behind? So I took out the instrument next to it and found torch and extending small (dental-type) mirror to look behind from there - not a chance... impossible to see anything useful!!

All put back together ( with some new screws) and went aft to look at fuse-holder area. Fixed a spade connector firmly in place.... decided to try one more time replacing fuse... it did NOT blow!! Re-inserted other fuse... still OK... Full solar power getting to batteries.... What did I do to fix it???

Will be looking tomorrow midday, when input at its highest, to see if fuse is still holding.... Still have radio transmit problem - but only on 20m, occasionally on 30m and never on 40m. .. Will be busy clearing aft cabin to access ATU tomorrow morning .. and hoping to change prop anode in the afternoon - a good excuse for a refreshing swim.

Was nice to have company arrive tonight -Rikitikitavi came from marina to anchor nearby - in good time to enjoy firework display onshore. Have seen fireworks often since anchoring here - get a good view!

They are also waiting on the weather to begin their sail up north to Victoria. Was pleased yesterday to be able to help Pete sort out problem with getting good grib files using his HF radio.

Did same via email today for Randy - 'Spirit of Hanalei ' is holed up with 'Stella Blue' in San Juanico waiting for this bad weather to pass and they were both in need of good weather info - nice to be able to help people stay safe.

Hourly check on wind and anchor overnight. In lee of nearby high ground, winds were mostly 10-13 kt from W, with a few brief lulls of 8-10 kt. By dawn, wind was blowing 14-18 kt. Soon after, harbour master came over to ask me to move - seemed I was in way of the monster 'Carnival Miracle' that was about to anchor not far away. Don't think I was actually that close but.... I raised anchor and moved off - delighted to see small group of Mobelo rays nearby as I checked out Harbour depths.

Decided to try rounding Cabo Falso to see what conditions were like.... 17-19 kt on the nose -giving over 20kt apparent wind and big, short seas as well... Way too much... speed dropped to 2.5 kt... Turned back and found wind seemed to abate a lot....so gave it another try.... True wind was 18-22 kt! This was clearly not going to be a sensible move! Turned around again, and eventually enjoyed a pleasant downwind sail back up the coast in the lee of the land tow ards San Jose. Wind got very light here soon after midday but that would not be true S of Cabo San Lucas and on along the windy exposed Baja SW coast.

Weather forecast is not looking hopeful for next few days so I'll get some more jobs done on board. It was great to sail for a change but that highlighted some overlooked jobs needed on deck - later today maybe... or tomorrow, for sure!

Dawn over Cabo San Lucas. I've been up every hour, hoping for wind to drop -but has been mainly 10-12kt, occasionally dropping briefly to 8-9kt... and that's in lee of San Lucas Bay.
Now, at 6.30 a.m. 15 kt, gusting to 18-20kt. from W. Must be more on outside. Too strong a headwind to motor into it for long -so no escaping today...
Got heŕe at sunset yesterday from San Jose del Cabo after losing the morning weather window due to a fuelling fiasco when a BIG boat came in (& took all morning up to past 1pm to fueĺ up) as I was about to fill my tank .. Another frustrating day.

Sat 3rd June

Left before sunrise to make Bahia Frailes by early afternoon.
Newly-cleaned speed impellor not working properly - I'll have to remove it again and clean it some more later.  Can't calibrate it enough at the moment to compensate for its poor performance.
Lifted kayak out of water so it wouldn't slow us down -lots of barnacles to be  removed before stowing it deflated for the 700 mile passage north next week. Almost no swell here.
Hoping to leave Cabo early Monday to head to Ensenada in light headwinds, becoming calm at times.  Might have stronger headwind around the Cape -hopefully for just a short time!


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Los Muertos 2nd June 2017

A frustrating day…..

Decided recently wind generator not working properly - keeps making noise and not putting in power when wind is well up.

Fuse on circuit to one solar panel keeps blowing - can’t see why despite lots of trouble-shooting. Panel is putting out same power as other one- must be a wiring problem…but where? Need to dig deeper in aft cabin.

Looking to replace secondary water-maker pump - not simple and will take quite a time.

My only minimal achievement today was giving 'Nomad' a 40A blade fuse to replace in their engine control panel - theirs was blowing when they went to start engine. Problem turned into a bare wire at alternator from engine wiring harness - now fixed but too late for them to get underway. They lent me a clamp ammeter - turned out that mine was only good for AC, not DC… hadn’t realised until today… Grrr!!!

Wind dying down now - will go for a swim and clean boat some more…. Good news from yesterday was finding long hose I thought I no longer had - so can dive on keel or prop if needed - so long as tank has air enough.

Some boats took off around the Cape this morning - into 15-20kt wind on the nose, one told me - will be very uncomfortable and slow, bashing into wind and waves for the next day or more. They’ve been getting impatient with all the waiting for a weather window. I’m looking at a possibility early on Monday. Time will tell.

Thursday 1st June 2017 - A big overnight 'blow' last night!

Looking at latest COAMPS weather files for up to Sat 6pm LT (0000Z)... they show strong headwinds (WNW 14-16kt) around Cape Falso at that time - so that puts off going around the cape at Cabo San Lucas on Saturday, it seems.

So I'll stay on in Los Muertos today (Thursday) and maybe move to Los Frailes by tomorrow evening - Friday - ready to move on to San Jose and CSL over Saturday if Sunday winds look good - but could end up in Frailes another night if Sunday winds are still too strong to round the cape.... We'll see!

Had strong SW winds here overnight for quite a few hours. Began increasing from 10pm and quickly got to SW 20-22 kt for quite a time (I put out more rode at 10.30pm) before very slowly dying - still nearly 20kt at midnight. Got down to SW 8kt by 4am and then quickly died to almost nothing (2-3 kt) from NW by 4.45am. Similar picture of stronger winds over early evening than during daytime as was seen at La Ventana but nothing like as strong there as here last night. Due to strong winds getting over from the outside (Pacific side), I think - like a Coromuel? I was late to my bunk!

Heard there were strong winds last night in La Paz also.

I'll assume same pattern at Frailes when I go there... and will make sure I've plenty of scope out and the anchor is well dug in, ready for a repeat of Wednesday night's winds.

Seems that, once around the Cape, winds next week are looking fine for the rest of the long trip N - mainly calm or light, with frequent aftenoon/evening (onshore) W breezes to 15kt or so up as far as Isla Cedros and then mainly calm all the way to Ensenada and San Diego.

Dawn is breaking here - I'm off back to my bunk for more sleep!

Los Muertos 31st May 2017

Hopped the short distance (16 n.mls.) from just off La Ventana village, in SW corner of Bahia La Ventana, soon after Phil left on 'Sail a Vie' at 8 a.m. Very light wind and flooding tide meant I had no choice but to motor the passage E and then S to Los Muertos - but the highlight of a very scenic journey was seeing a big Manta ray leap out of the sea soon after rounding Punta Arena de La Ventana.

It’s a very pleasant anchorage here, with a fairly calm sea just now, and likely to stay that way for the next few days - forecast for this part of the Baja coast is for daytime calms or v. light variable winds, mostly from the N, with possibility of overnight westerlies up to10 kt - this place is well-protected from both W and N directions and even a short spell of NE-SE winds to 10 kt or so would not pose a problem.

Looking ahead to rounding Cabo Falso, off Cabo San Lucas, on my way north, I don’t see a clear window in sight - there’s a vague possibility this weekend but it’s definitely not looking as though anytime before Saturday will work out. Forecast for Friday evening is for a15 kt headwind (which probably translates into more!) at the Cape - not good! Of course, it’s not just a matter of getting around the Cape but also then not getting strong headwinds on the leg up to the first possible stops of Bahia Sta Maria or Magdalena…

It’s a situation where it’s great not to have a deadline looming to force a decision to leave and have a possibly uncomfortable, slow, fuel-consuming bash up the coast into short, sharp chop… I need one day from here to Los Frailes and one more to make Cabo San Lucas from there, including a stop at San Jose del Cabo for fuel, So with a good 3-day weather forecast, I can stay here as long as necessary - far pleasanter than being in a costly marina or being used as a mark by jet-skis at anchor in Bahia San Lucas… and I can usefully get on with more jobs while I wait…

Tuesday 30th May 2017

Clear blue sky again for most of the day...

Nice to meet up yesterday with Phil, who was on Sail a Vie . Went in his dinghy to see the place he's buying, close to the beach here - has couple of ancient cacti the size of big trees.

A lot of it was made using local stone and bamboo, as well as the inevitable concrete. Quite different from a normal dwelling - all areas are separate modules Good thing it's a desert here with infrequent rain or you'd get wet going from shower to kitchen/lounge to bedroom!

Phil plans to learn to kiteboard and keep up his passion for cycling when here over the winter months.

It got a little windy and rolly this afternoon but wind died down later and it was calm again overnight -a familiar pattern.

Got a couple more jobs done, including renewing the seal around the underside of the cockpit locker lid - an important item.

Probably making for Los Muertos tomorrow but will confirm forecast wind direction first.

Keeping busy checking weather several times a day.... Late Friday might be possible for rounding Cabo San Lucas to head on N to Ensenada but won't know for sure until Wednesday's forecast arrives... COAMPS inshore forecasts are only for three days at a time. Might have to wait longer ...

At least 8 tiny creatures, one long ragworm, several weed growths & a lot of squiggly chalky 'worm homes' - no wonder the speed impellor hasn't been giving a readout. Propspeed on the paddle wheel did a good job, as usual, but the uncoated cavity & side walls were home to a living congested village!
Now to replace it & dry the area before starting the next job.... but after a swim under the bright sun... It is Sunday, after all!
It will be nice to get true wind and current readouts ...for a time, at least.
Relaxing in between work - have been laughing out loud while reading some of Bill Bryson's comments - hilarious!

Left Balandra on Saturday after a bad night's sleep with strong (20-25kt) S-SSE winds. Anchor was well-set but had to be sure of that before I could settle down in my bunk around 2 am.
Passed through San Lorenzo Channel -slow progress made with headwind and some current. On down the Canal Cerralvo, past barren uninhabited Isla Cerralvo to Bahia La Ventana for a secure overnight anchorage
The long sandy spit of Punta Arena de La Ventana gives perfect protection from any SE wind! Two other boats were there overnight including friends on 'Sands-End' who left well before dawn to make San Jose del Cabo - a good distance away.
I had a good night's sleep in calm, peaceful conditions. Bright crescent moon was seen for a time after a lovely sunset over the Baja hills beyond the sweeping sandy Bay of La Ventana.
Light winds are forecast for several days here on E and SE tip of the Baja but N winds ~15kt are forecast on the SW coast - not good for heading N just now . I'll stay today and possibly tomorrow before heading further S - I've several boat jobs I can do while here.
This is a popular kite boarding spot so maybe I'll see some fun if there's some breeze today.

LeftBalandra midmorning after a bad night's sleep with strong (20-25kt) S-SSE winds. Anchor was well-set but, with a building wind, I had to be sure of that before I could settle down in my bunk around 2 am.

On to San Lorenzo Channel, past Cerralvo to Bahia La Ventana for a secure overnight anchorage .. protected from S winds!

Chatted on 'Baja Bash Net' (4149 @ 1500Z) to 3 other boats but a few others were unreadable - just too light to copy.

Anchored in Pto. Balandra tonight - great to untie the lines and feel the boat moving. Mobelo rays were jumping high as we got close -always an amazing sight.
Was great to catch up finally, just before leaving, with an old friend, Phil on 'Sail a Vie', from 2006 when we both did the Single-Handed Transpac race to Kauai from San Francisco.
Have been sorting the boat out since arrival here, ready for passage-making - always so much to do to make sure the boat is properly ready for sailing after being at the dock for a time - need to be ready for unexpected big seas plus there's the usual job of fenders & lines to stow away.
But time to relax in the shade with a cold drink now with - shrimp & garlic tacos soon... and there'll be the sunset to enjoy soon.
Later -midnight and beyond.....
Wind went light soon after sunset and then came up from S (had been from N) . By 11pm, was nearing 20kt and by midnight, well over 20kt, often 24-25kt from SSE -so no fetch here. We were swinging around a lot. Hopefully, it will start to ease soon.

21st May 2017 Happy long holiday weekend to my Canadian friends! Busy time here in La Paz - have had storm screen adjusted so more easily removed, settee cushion was also cut down to fit better, checked water-maker - works & makes water but only on one pump - second pump badly corroded so need to replace with motor & pump which I have in my spares. With settee cushion taken away, realised a major spring clean of entire saloon area was needed - so total clearing out & cleaning now taking place - gives a chance also to do some re-organising of stowage. Want to clean gunged-up speed impellor also - will be nice to have boatspeed readout (and correct true wind display) as I sail north shortly. Gave a talk here last week and have also been helping some other boaters nearby. Keep meeting up with cruisers I know - enjoyable to relax in between the work! Testing sending a photo with this posting - of Isla San Francisco from high up on the hill above the anchorage... I'm an ant walking the beach near to the borrowed kayak that my friends and I used to get to shore. 'Nereida' is seen at anchor. Strong N winds have been preventing any thought of heading up the outside of the Baja until now - but it looks as though they might be abating so I'm hoping to finish the boat work and get underway on Tuesday or Wednesday.... to Los Muertos initially, to try out bottom cleaning with 'hookah' hose attachment to dive tank. More news next week...

Friday 12th May
Amazing how a system working perfectly suddenly loses power for no obvious reason...!  I spent several hours yesterday, trouble-shooting power supply failure to two devices...  No obvious cause but simply taking plugs apart and putting everything back together several times seems to have solved the problem.  Lots of multimeter use and frustration....  All working fine now except that I still need to uninstal and re-instal some software that has  been misbehaving, while I've Internet access here in La Paz.
Was great to meet up later with San Carlos/Tucson friend Bernd who arrived on 'Pura Vida' with friends David & Dave - spent time together catching up.  They're away this afternoon, sailing in relaxed style back up to San Carlos.

On with more boat-jobs - the list, as usual, is very long so I decided to stay put here for a few days, where spares are available if needed, and try to deal with some of the items.   Hot and sunny - just cooled the boat by washing it down to clean off salt.

The local Cruisers' Club here have asked me to give a short presentation at their AGM on Tuesday so I'll probably get ready to leave soon after that - to head down to Cabo San Lucas and then northwest/north up the Baja to Ensenada and San Diego.

Isla San Francisco. Mon 8th May. Tom& Maggie paddled the kayak to shore with me as passenger. Good snorkelling today -plenty of different fish and lovely shells on beach. Pairs of oystercatchers and pelicans, a small grebe, three vultures, lots of gulls and sandpipers. Lovely fish dinner tonight , thanks to close neighbour Roger, on Jasmin, who caught (& cleaned) some trigger fish for us. Tomorrow, we'll sail to San Evaristo & then find a new overnight anchorage somewhere.
Wed 10th May A lovely week in the Sea of Cortez not far from La Paz. Several days anchored off Isla San Francisco followed by a trip to explore Baja's Cabeza de Machudo and San Evaristo, passing two huge rafts of grebes on the way North to Nopolo, before returning S to the NE bay off Isla S.F. for protection from a strong overnight West wind. Beautiful rock colours and formations everywhere, complemented by pale sandy beaches and clear blue sky.
Presently en joying Bahia Balandra before returning to La Paz for my friends' flight back to Vancouver tomorrow. It has been great to have good company on Nereida!

Wed 3rd May - underway from a rolly overnight anchorage off Playa Bonanza, on W side of Isla Espiritu Santo, towards Isla San Francisco. A great stop to see the sea lions but we didn't swim with them as many do. Nice to see them playfully leaping out of the water close to the dramatic rocky stacks where they breed on the shallow ledges. Noisy with their barking.

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