We just set the hook down in the harbor of La Paz, about six months earlier than we intended. It's pretty disappointing, but like anything in life, every situation has a good and bad side.
We left La Paz all excited to start our continued exploration of the Sea of Cortez about two weeks ago. We were having a great time hitting new anchorages, and finding a new one of our own. Then one morning, we were messing around trying our hand at sailing off the anchor (how I wish sometimes that there was a salty old sailor stuffed in a closet somewhere on the boat that I could pull out for consultations!) We got it figured out and were sailing off but the wind was a little light to go very fast so I started up one engine to give us a boost. (I know, it's cheating, but sometimes you just want to GET someplace. My friends call me the Deisel Queen.) And then Jack came out on deck and said, "That doesn't sound right." Patrick came out, lifted the engine hatch, and hollered for me to turn off the engine.
The curse of the sail drives had returned. We've been dealing with a little salt water intrusion in our sail drives since we bought the boat. It's a very common occurrance on multihulls. We've been hauled five times and had the sail drives changed twice in the last two and a half years because of it. The current sail drive has had salt water intrusion for about the last year. We had two different mechanics look at the current sail drive in the last couple months and both said it looked ok and to just watch it. Well, the ball bearings finally are giving out. The engine is making a lot of noise but the transmission is not shot yet.
Since that moment we have been working to get back to La Paz, against the wind. Many mono-hull owners have smugly said to me over the years that we have struggled with our one sail drive, "Well, we only have one engine and we do just fine." News flash for Leaners (people who own monohulls) - catamarans are meant to have two engines and they can't manuever in confined spaces with one. Believe me. We had a couple exciting experiences getting our boat off the anchor in the last few days on one engine, in the wind, without hitting other parked boats or the rocks. It's taken us five days to get back since we got pinned down by a strong south wind.
As I said, we haven't been here long enough to have any answers about our repairs. We have a lot to figure out. We may have to go to Mazatlan. Thankfully we have lots of time and no constraints - no visitors are scheduled and the hurricane season won't be a problem for us for another couple months. So we will keep you posted, but for the mean time, we are back in a beautiful city that we are only beginning to know. How many more great taco stands are waiting for us to find?
3 days ago