Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Its getting warmer!

Date Dec 13, 2011, Time 10am
24° 29.2' N 112° 14.3' W <Link: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=24+29.2+-112+14.3>
Wind speed 13 / wind dir W, Heading SSE, Speed 5
Barometer 1022, Temp 74, Water Temp 73, Sky Cloudy scattered showers
Log 2539.8, Engine Hours 1288.4, Batteries %77
Sail Plan Genoa, Staysail, Main
I'll be passing Bahia Magdalena (Mag Bay) in a few hours continuing south. The skies here are overcast with scattered showers - but the wind is decent. So rather than sit at anchor for a day or two in grey skies, I'll continue on.
The sailing on this passage has been nice. I was becalmed for an hour yesterday which allowed me to make dinner in calm seas, eat it, and just think about cracking a book open when the wind arrived again. I had been sailing upwind for a few days, this morning the wind shifted back to a west wind. I hadn't sailed upwind for some time and it was sweet - although the decks are now thoroughly salty again.
On this passage, power has been an issue. During the process of sending my last update, where I mentioned I didn't want to run the engine to charge the batteries, the single sideband radio consumed enough power to bring the voltage down below 12 volts and the chart plotter turned itself off. After the transmission was finished, the battery bank was 150Ah down. I ran the engine for under an hour, to add 50Ah. Since then I've been turning devices off. The inverter/charger consumes 0.5Ah in standby mode, its now switched off. I turn off the chartplotter now, only turning it on when needed - that saves me 0.75Ah. I've turned off the VHF radio, turning on my handheld saving me around 0.75Ah. With these savings I'm just holding steady now. On days where the sun shines I can bank some power, on cloudy days I consume some.
I realize now that I've under appreciated my wind generator. Sailing upwind in apparent winds of 15 to 18 knots allowed the wind generator to start making power. It can run the boat all night and bank some power. When sailing downwind, which is most of the time here, the wind generator doesn't do much as sailing downwind in 13 knots doesn't leave much apparent wind. On my passage from Neah Bay to Drakes Bay the wind generator must have been making more power than I realized, as I ran all the systems on the boat along with the computer and inverter for hours downloading weather radiofaxes. I'll be curious to see how the wind generator works in the trade winds.
I'll continue on to Cabo and either stop there, or continue on the La Paz. If I continue on, I'll likely find an anchorage before La Paz to allow me to charge my batteries and make water before going into town. I haven't been able to make water on this trip at all yet and would like to have my tank be closer to full before going into La Paz.
That's all for this update. Everything is going well.
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  1. For $12 pesos you can fill up jerry cans with water at Marina De La Paz... but you gotta run that watermaker once a week too soo... ;-)

    We're in Muertos waiting for the seas to calm down before we head to Mazatlan. Its cold in La Paz now. Well its not 80 anymore...

  2. Hi Patrick. I pickled my water maker in San Diego so its fine without being run for a while yet. I checked the level of water in my tanks and the tank I've been drawing from still over half full (45 gal tank) so I'm using less water than I thought. But I'll start running the water maker soon to get the tank up to more full.

    I'm heading up to Muertos today, I'm sorry to have missed you folks - assuming that you've started your passage by now... I hope to cross paths with your down the line somewhere.