We are at Mantanchen Bay near San Blas

2012, Anchored in Matanchen Bay in San Blas, Nayarit Mexico
Here we are in Mantanchen Bay near San Blas. We ended up here with three other ha ha boats. The day we arrived we put up the Breeze Busters and screens that are no-see-um screens also. We took a shower together in our head and it was great. Plenty of room and the water felt real good. We slept real good with the two fans we installed in the stateroom on full blast. They got turned down as the night cooled off. The next day was dingy day. We blew up our Achilles dingy. We used the electric pump and set up we made and did this on the fore deck. We had to take down the Breeze busters but it was a breeze (get it) because they go up and come down real easy. We closed the hatches, the one over the bed and head one. We launched the dingy using the block and tackle we used on our old Catalina 30 for going up the mast, made it a lot easier. We had also made a bridal for this for our old dingy which we re-purposed for this. It all took a while as it was the first time we have done this on this boat with this dingy so it all had to be adjusted and set up for this purpose. We got the Honda outboard on and then had a hard time starting the new motor. We did get into the beach and had to use the ding wheels.

We went up to a restaurant on the beach where some other Ha Ha'ers were which we knew and sat down and all told stories, then came out the dominoes! We played Mexican Dominoes and had lots of fun etc. None of the beach restaurants have lights so they close at dark. We all went to our boats and now I am writing this. We will stay for a few more days then head to Chacala down the coast a measly four hours (22nm). When leaving Mazatlan we lost our autopilot about three miles out. We checked the quadrant using the digital camera holding it into the lazeretts for physical damage but there seemed to be none. It was a long passage seeing as it was one from about 11:am the first day and then all night (that was the hardest part hand steering all night) and till about 2:30 PM the next day. We were tired and worn out! That there'd crew member auto is sure a valuable member. We will try to find out what's wrong on our way to Chacala. Thankfully the sea state was good but the winds were real light.

The water is very warm and there is a slight breeze. The waves are small and rock the boat at anchor (the CQR is holding well) gently to give a slight back message while in bed. Just a nice comfy night under the stars. It is almost still a full moon so the stars are not so easily seen. There is really absolutely no noise. If you listen closely in the cockpit you can hear the gentle waves breaking on the beach. No generators running, no planes or helicopters, barking dogs etc you get the idea or can you even imagine no noise living in a city? in-fact we have only heard about three far away planes since being in Mexico. It is really quiet and dark and lovely.

The only down side so far here in Mantanchen Bay is the no-see-ums and mosquitos. It rules out the use of the cockpit at sun down or for us in the evening so far. We may brave going out after sun down soon for a sit in the cockpit. They (the bugs) are not real bad but one is too many for us. We also could anchor out further to help that. We are about ¾ mile off shore now. San Blas is worse and that is one reason we did not go directly into San Blas.

Some of what has worked well and we especially appreciate: (Pictures of these all on the blog)

Islander Freeport sail boat B plan.
Breeze Busters with no-see-um screens.
Donard Dinghy wheels.
Kohler shower equipment.
Debbie-made window shade screens.
Debbie-made shower curtain.
Bora fans.
Beta engine and Twin Disk TMC 60 gear box.
Galley foot pump.
Mermaid AC.
Ventura 200T by Spectra water maker.
Frigoboat Refer system.

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com

Netting added and Mermaid 5200 btu working great

Debbie added the netting so items would not fall on the Mermaid 5200 HVAC unit.
Or new Mermaid 5200 btu unit that was rebuilt twice by Mermaid worked when it counted. First off when we arrived in Cobo from San Diego and it was 92 deg it worked fine. We really needed the rest and the Mermaid unit came through and allowed us to rest. Now in Mazatlan Mexico for the past nine days it has worked great. We are off to San Blas next and may attempt to use it on the 2000 Xantrax modified sin wave inverter. We did this once when the shore power plug was accidently pulled and it worked great, even with the digital thermostat. Next test is to see if it will run all night on our 520 amp hour AGM house batteries. The anchorage may be cooler than these marinas as we are blocked in with no breeze, the boat is facing the sun and the breeze is not going in the hatches. On anchorage that will change.

Cobo to Mazatlan passage

He put the fule hose in.

We did the rest. At the fuel dock in Cobo, filer up!
Fuel dock.
By Cobo marina!?:) :(.
Mixed emotions.
Leaving Cobo harbor.
Cobo - Lands End behind us.
First night of Cabo to Mazatlan passage - sunset.
 The first afternoon and then into the night out from Cabo the seas were nice and there was no wind. We motored. The first night out was the first time Debbie and I took turns on watch and alone. No crew to help. We did not do scheduled times, we just took turns dozing, and whoever was the most sleepy - that was usually me.


The next day the seas picked up and so did the wind. We were getting 15 knots so raised the main at first light and also the 130 genoa. When we let the genoa out of the furler the line all fell out. We did not see why this happened as the seas were rough and being up on the bow was a bit dangerous. We were traveling at 7 knots under sail. The winds died down to 10-12 knots and we slowed to about 5 knots and this was good as the seas calmed some also. This went on all day. We had a nice sail.

Debbie trying to catch a nap.
Nice day of sailing.

 We thought of what to do about the genoa but had no solutions for getting it furled. We were hopping the wind would die but towards sunset it was getting stronger. It was up at 18-19 knots and the seas were building. We decided we needed to bring in the genoa and tuck a reef in the main for the night. We put the boat into the wind and put the autopilot back on. The boat was pitching wildly in the seas. Debbie and I were, of course, tethered on and climbed forward. We wrestled with the genoa but it started to fall into the sea (shrimping it is called) and it was hell getting it back in and dangerous. It did cross my mind to cut it free but we were able to get it on board. It was dark by that time and we were pooped out. A dangerous situation but we did gain lots of experience working together and in extremely adverse conditions. We got the genoa tied off up on the starboard side and Debbie reefed the main. Now the engine had to be the head sail so we started out at about 1800 rpm but this proved too fast as the wind was now up at 22-26 knots. We were doing 7 knots with the reefed main and 1800 rpms. Way to fast in this punishing sea. We were also taking the sea broad side as this was our route to Mazatlan. The forecasts were for 3-4 foot seas and 10-15 knots. Sill we forgot you needed to times them by two!!


So we throttled down to 1000 rpms and were doing 5 knots easy. Good enough. All night the seas stayed up there and the wind stayed up also.  By about 4am they started to calm down some. It was a bit eerie to see braking waves coming at the cockpit that were way higher than the cockpit. Or scary could be the word. Most of the times the boat just rolled up and over the wave and from gunnel to gunnel but sometimes the wave would partially break on the boat and splash in the cockpit. After a change of clothes we spent most of the night huddled together under the bimini trying to stay dry. We would take turns trying to get some sleep on the settee. All in all a very uncomfortable night with the Sea of Cortez on our port side and the Pacific Ocean on our starboard side a hundred miles from any land and nothing in sight as it also was a sliver of a moon.

We decided we would stay the course as the alternative was to head south with the waves and then bash back up. This would take longer and we would still feel the pain. We decided to take the punishment and stay the course. We talked to some other cruisers after arriving in Mazatlan and one who did change course and it was no better and took longer and they ran into fish nets and it took a 5 mile detour just for the nets so we made the right decision for us.
The videos do not show our dire moments as we were too busy hanging on to shoot video :).

OK so we are sitting in the salon and making a route to Mazatlan from Cobo on our new Acer laptop with the nice 15” screen and I realize I made the route about 17 nm’s up from El Cid in Mazatlan. I made another route and named it Mazatlan 1 to the El Cid marina.
A man named Nick from Aleutian Ligt came over to our boat who heard us on the morning net saying we were leaving for Mazatlan in a couple days. He wanted to buddy boat over. He sat down and we measure some distances using the Garmin Home Port software we had made the routs on. When he left I uploaded the route to the Garmin 740 chart plotter.
 You are ahead of me guessing I uploaded the wrong one and you are right. At sunrise we are approaching what we think should be the channel to El Cid marina and what it is is some estuary 17 nm north. After we realized my mistake we take the three or so hour trip down the coast of mainland Mexico to the El Cid marina channel. It worked out OK as the tide was at ebb. We went into the El Cid marina to the fuel dock. Debbie had contacted them by VHF to get instructions. Then we walked up to the dock masters office and got a slip number. Getting to the slip was not a problem at ebb tide but we would have had to wait some hours if the tide was running because it makes a nasty current with the surge.

At out El Cid slip looking at the pool.







Finished propane box

The finished propane box looks like this.

 We did have a bit of sea water in it (only a inch or so) from our two nasty passages San Diego to Cobo and Cobo to Mazatlan. We are hoping this is not a regular occurrence or it will have to become a maintenance chore. The through hull for the propane box had to be up a few inches as you could see in the earlier post because it needs to drain out of the boat at a down ward angle. To accomplish that we needed to raise the hole in the box some.
The hoses keep the tanks frome moving asrround and also give us a place to store sapre hose for the boat :).

 Time will tell but I bet unless we get a lot of bad seas we do not need to wipe it out.

Baja Ha Ha - Cabo

Going into Cabo harbor was like going into a harbor you see on TV in China. It was busy and chaos. Lots of panga, water taxies, sport fisher boats and tour boats all making noise. Not to mention the jet skis etc.  and all going every which way.

 Debbie had got us signed up in the Ha Ha at #11 (was trying for #10 or less), she did a fine job. As it turns out there were 12 slips available and we got one. They said in years past there were none to a few slips available and the prices were almost three times higher. It was really nice to get a slip. We went to our slip and got to it after a big hassle. The wind and the turning basin were not cooperating. We final got into the slip and got tied up. That was as far as we got and were told we had to move. Damn! OK, we moved to the other side of the channel and were just happy to get a slip. Showers available and electricity/water on the dock. No moving around like at sea and food and everything else was a short walk away. Even a Starbucks (SB) and a shopping mall????!? Of course the marina WiFi sucked as usual and we had to go to SB to upload videos etc.
It was about 92 deg when we pulled into Cabo at about 5:30 PM. The humidly was about 95 percent.
Ironically, this was the name of the division we were in
with the Ha Ha and there was a restaurant in Cabo with the same name,
across the street from a street taco stand we liked!

Chip, Debbie with crew, Roger and Pam.


From the stern at our slip. 

The crew tried to sleep in the salon\settee are. Before they had opened the settee and used it as a double bead. The cushions did not cooperate and we devised a different lay out for them. At any rate the heat made the closing of the companion way impossible and the lights from the bars and noise was too much for them. The disco went till 5:00 AM. The next day the crew abandoned ship for a hotel room as they were staying for another couple days.

 We on the other hand have AC. We had closed the stateroom door and head door as we decided not to AC the head. We then put the handy dandy porthole covers Debbie made on and closed the Shade screen blind on the hatch. We were in total darkness and nice and cool and quiet. Thank you Mermaid for getting the AC right when we needed it.

Debbie had gotten a printer\scanner for our laptop and
we used it for printing out the insurance papers for checking in to the country.

We spent six days in Cabo and it was a great rest. We even went to Costco with Mike and Holly (our friends from San Diego who also did the Ha Ha on their new-to-them Catalina 42, "Wanuskewin").  The view from the parking lot was incredible - ocean view and sights of the arches and "Land's End".  They even had the outside patio and food stand - the pizza and dogs didn't quite taste the same as in the States.

We were, however, ready to get on with the next passage as Cabo was not what we were looking for. We did enjoy the good food, "dulce" (candy) street vendor and kind people, including the marina staff!  It was a fun place to visit!!

Caprail and cockpit teak Cetaled before leaving on ha ha

We finished off the cap rail and the cockpit teak and even did the top side of the cockpit table just to be clean and comfortable on the ha ha which was 10-29-12. It al came out good. We did a coat a day as there was no time to waste!


Baja Ha Ha - Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo

The sail or the motor to Cabo was sun-event full other than the fact we wanted to get there. Showers and excitement about Cabo and what it is like was in the air. None of us had been to Cabo before.

  We were excited also because there was only one over nighter involved in this passage so only one more watch apiece!

 We left early in the morning and arrived about 5:00PM the following day.


Crew with a photo duel.


Crew -Pam in the g alley.


Now thats a sea state.

Outside the sea side of Cabo.






Lands end!



Disney cruise ship at Cabo beach by harbor entrance.











Baja Ha Ha -Bahia Santa Maria

First off we went swimming! The water is worm!

 Debbie and I.
The stern steps with the block and tackle to raise and lower them worked great! We used about 3' of jack line to connect the steps to the tackle, that way the block stays out of the water. The strapping and tackle keep the steeps a few inches from bottoming out so when the swells come by the steps rest on the jack line strapping and do not bottom out. Worked great and easy to raise and lower. Planed it out for dingy access but also works great for swimming!
Cerw - Pam, Roger took a nap instead.

We threw over an old life sling line for a float and used a couple of flat fenders as water toys, worked great. There was a current trying to wash you out of the bay. The wind was also 10-15 and felt great.

Debbie and I, we were on the outer edge of the anchorage.

Use the stern sower for the first time and it was kind of disappointing. The water barley came out of the shower head. We will drill the holes in the shower head a little larger to see if we can improve on it. It does work just not that great.
We did, OK Debbie did hers and my laundry.

Checking out the rig.
Crew- R6ger + chilling out.
The back part of the anchorage. The pangas loved blasting arround doing the taxi'ing us boaters arround.

Elegant'sea at anchor.


The ride in was fun!

Tried to take a picture of Debbie using the water proof camer but never got a good shot from under the water :(.


Up on the bluff was where the band, the food and boozes was.
Even had one of these :).


There is noting here. No bath rooms no water no nothing. Bring your own.
This part at Behi Santa Maria and all other events you can read about on Latitude 38.
The fleet left at dawn or before the next day.