Sunday, May 15, 2011

Savoring our final hours in Mexico

We're fully loaded and have broken free from La Cruz. We've been pushing hard to make safety upgrades for this passage and have done well but we are tired. Yesterday afternoon as Chris was squeezing more water than ever into our two 30-gallon-that-only-actually-hold-25-gallon tanks he noticed a leak. It turns out that the port tanks old level sender (which we knew was there but never used) was so rusty that the pressure of an exceptionally full tank of water was making it leak. The proper fix would require us to have a circular stainless plate made, remove water to dry the area to 4200 the screws, and would keep us at the dock until at least Monday. We chose to jury-rig a fix cutting off a wooden through-hull plug, putting pressure on it to hold it in with the stainless cover plate, and adjusting where we pull water from first. This speed bump traversed, we finally motored out to the anchorage as the sun set.

It was refreshing to be in the anchorage and feel the ocean moving under us again. This morning we awoke to dolphins swimming around our boat and now out of the marina, were able to make radio contact with the weather guru Don Anderson. He assured us the weather conditions are safe for the beginning of our passage and told us that there are currently about 6 other boats crossing to Hawaii. We then proceeded to make contact with two of them, Witte Raaf already nearly half way across and Commotion just one day out of Cabo. It is nice to know that others will be out there too. From here we weighed anchor and motored to the Marina La Cruz fuel dock. We tried, unsuccessfully to get some last internet as the breezes started to pick up. Always the adventurous one, Chris took the sail covers off and wanted to sail off the dock. Shawn was game, though tentative. Up went the 100% jib and after a first jumbled attempt, once we had the boat in a good position relative to the dock, we sailed smoothly off the dock and out of the marina!

The normal afternoon onshore thermals were filling in so we put up our main double reefed and did one long tack out into the bay and back toward Punta de Mita. It was beautiful Banderas Bay sailing. We munched on our rosemary ham-n-cheese sandwiches and admired our new dodger while sitting in its shade and the shade of the solar panels on the stern arch. As the sun continued to beat down and we shook both reefs we decided to try out our new awning too and marveled at the enclosed feeling of our cockpit. It is like having a covered porch attached to your house expanding the comfortable interior space outside. Another tack later and we were back at what we consider our home base- Punta de Mita. We sailed onto anchor and sighed with tired happiness to be here and splashed into the water to cool down.

It was an added bonus that we were able to get an internet connection to Skype our families and do a little last e-mailing and this final pictured post before we become quite disconnected for the next 30-days or so using the HF radio to make updates. We still have to get Tao truly ready for passage making, check the rig tension, cook lots of food, etc. So we plan to weigh anchor tomorrow whenever we're ready and point toward the Soccoro Islands. As the sun has set and the near full moon is up and the flopper stopper is set, it is time for us to enjoy what is likely our last grilled meal for a month (steak and chili poblanos with fresh salad) as celebration in this beautiful anchorage. We'll keep the blog updated as power allows, so please follow along and send us good weather thoughts!

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