Thursday, February 19, 2015

She's Afloat!

It’s official. Our second season of Sea of Cortez cruising has begun. After six days of hard work in the yard, Sound Discovery is on the water! With her fresh new bottom paint, deck scrub, sails on, teak oiled, and plenty of drinking water, we are all set to roll.

Our first “Put-in” went as smoothly as we hoped it could go. I realized about halfway through the process, that “putting-in” is WAY more stressful than pulling the boat out of the water. This thing has to float again! And who knows what has happened to the shape and soundness of the vessel while she was sitting in 100+ Mexican summer heat all year. To protect the new bottom coat, the painters suggested plastic garbage bags (of which we had two) or bed sheets, which I did have a couple of laying around. It only took a couple minutes of the boat being laid in the water to recognize that bed sheets were are horrible idea. The strips of sheet fused to the final layer of paint and wouldn’t come off the bottom. It took quite some fishing, pulling and prodding with a boat hook to assume that the entire bed sheet was removed from the hull. (You can see the green sheets dangling in between the sling and the boat hull.)

We did have two other leaks once we were set in the water. Both fixed easily with a little work from Clif, while we were attached to the Marina Seca dock. Our prop shaft was leaking pretty severely, but needed just a little tightening. The knot-meter inside the bilge of the boat was also leaking, and the pressure of the water made the piece really difficult to remove. However, all was fixable within 30-45 minutes, and we were off. The engine ran smoothly and soundly (as soundly as our ’78 Westerbeke Diesel can run) while we made our way across the bay leaving Guaymas. We spent our first night afloat at the “Free Docks” (30 pesos/$2 per night) just on the outside entrance of the bay, along with our new Canadian friends aboard S/V Slade Green, who are also seasonal worker in the Inside Passage! The Free-docks are an excellent place to do boat work sans-fresh-water (hoisting Clif up the mast, putting on sails, scrubbing the yard dirt off the decks…etc). What a feeling to finally be afloat and have little to no problems! Needless to say, we toasted our efforts with mimosas, ending our almost-month of sobriety. We toasted to our cleansed livers and once-again-floating home.

Like my bright pink zinc-oxide lips? Gotta love self-timers.

Today, we had our first morning afloat and motored/sailed our way north to San Carlos, a popular Mexican cruising hub. Just 18 miles from Guaymas on the water, it is a small Hurricane-hole/summer-destination for folks that spend a year or more in the Sea of Cortez. It is also a popular spot to haul-out and store boats, because of its proximity to the US.  We were able to sail the last several miles into the bay and make sure everything aboard was ship shape. We even got a good heal and had to strap the new herb-garden in place. I will soon get to use my fresh mint for mojitos, and limonadas. I’m going start infusing my drinking water on the boat to make it taste better—what a genius idea.

Playing with my new 50 mm lens on my Canon Rebel on our first sail.

Our friends Eric and Andy (Eric’s brother) aboard Emma Bell are going to be in the water tomorrow morning, if all goes well, and from there we are headed across the sea. The weather this weekend looks perfect for crossing, light winds across to Bahia Concepcion, where we plan to find those awesome whale sharks we got to swim with last year. Keep an eye on our Inreach Delorme tracker this weekend, it will be moving!

Cheers to our second spring of sunshine and sailing. Let the cruising begin!

This portrait was taken to mimic a similar shot of his dad at the same age!

Just about to set in the water at high tide.

My herb garden is strapped in for the ride to San Carlos... until it finds a better home.

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