Friday, February 28, 2014

Preparing to say Adios to Mexico

As planned, I brought Luckness into the marina last week, Feb 19th.  Since then I've been working on preparing her for our upcoming passage to the South Pacific.

I've now added a fresh coat of varnish, waxed all the surfaces, rearranged the reef lines slightly, adjusted the length of the monitor hub line on my wheel, added dyneema chafe sleeves to my sheets in areas they were starting to show wear, examined all of my sails and did some minor sail repair, replaced the tell tales on my sails as needed, changed the oil in the engine, changed the transmission fluid, changed the impeller, climbed the mast and inspected the rig, polished and examined the rigging at deck level, filled my main propane tank, bought gas for the dinghy, washed the entryway carpet at the base of the companionway ladder, serviced the primary winches.  The list goes on a little longer, but you get the idea.

A note on a few of those items.  I was only carrying 22' of dyneema chafe sleeve and so the chafe protection on my genoa sheets is a little short on each side.  This is an experiment anyway - if the sleeving seems to help, I will try to find more in New Zealand.  My sheets are relatively new, I bought them in Seattle before leaving this season.  They both had some chafe appear on them, I believe from my genoa car's.  The sleeve is an attempt to slow this down, but with only a 9-10' length of sleeve I may end up chafing the sheets in areas that are not protected.  Its an experiment, what I did shouldn't hurt and may help...  I changed the engine impeller again - the last time I changed it was two years ago.  The old impeller looked perfect as I took it out - I've yet to see any wear on this item, however the conventional wisdom is to change it yearly or something like that.  I have two more spares and will keep the old one as a spare as well.  My propane tank is a 20lb tank.  I last filled it in San Diego in late November.  There was around 2 lbs of propane left in the tank when I took it off to have it filled, so I burned through this tank faster than I expected.  The primary winches were in pretty good shape, as I serviced them in Seattle before leaving.  However the port side winch sounded slightly dry and so I serviced them both.  They both spin nicely now, with the well lubricated sound they have after a service.  All of the secondary winches seemed fine.

I started shopping today for provisions and cleaned the boat up, stowing all my project tools and supplies - the boat is starting to look like she may be ready to leave soon.  I was originally planning on leaving La Paz on Saturday (March 1st) but will push that back by a few days.  I'll shop one more time, buy a few last minute boat supplies and try to find some time to enjoy the Carnival that is happening in La Paz right now.

I've been reviewing passage details to get to the Marquesas (Hiva Oa) as well as some anchorages for the first part of my stay there.  I'm expecting internet to be poor during my stay in French Polynesia (probably for most of my stay in the South Pacific, until New Zealand...)  I've been downloading all of the cruising information I can find while I have a fairly decent connection here in Mexico.

One of the cool pieces of software I discovered through s/v Estrellita 5.10b's blog, is something they talked about in one of their recent postings, SAS.Planet.  Andy on s/v Discovery has been organizing the local Pacific Puddle Jumpers meetings in La Paz.  Some of the cruisers have been passing around information earlier Jumpers found useful - thumb drives full of cruising information, etc.  This trove of stuff included many Google Satellite images of remote islands, anchorage, atoll's and so on.  However you end up with a big collection of images - you need a way to organize them.  SAS.Planet takes this to a whole new level.  You can cache the satellite images in the program very easily, simply by zooming and panning to the area you are interested in.   Then, later, when offline you can zoom/pan to areas you have already visited and see all of the cache'd images.  The images remain registered and are GPS accurate - so you can zoom in and out across the images  you've downloaded and place waypoints or otherwise get the GPS coordinates for anchorage you want, examine passes, etc.  Its a cool piece of software - thanks Estrellita!

I expect to be leaving La Paz on Monday and then travel a few miles to a local anchorage where I will clean the bottom of the boat, change her zinc's and perhaps grease my Max-Prop.  When the hull work is done, I'll make my way down the coast to Puerto Los Cabos, where I'll contact an agent to facilitate my checkout out of Mexico.  I may be able to have the paperwork done on the 7th and then leave Mexico on the 8th, although those dates are still flexible.

More later!

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