Sunday was Grampa Wally’s birthday. Craig and I broke our own rules and we cracked open a beer while underway. The first sip went to Neptune as we toasted in Wally’s honor. Within a few minutes, a pod of dolphins rushed through the waves to play around the boat. They brought a smile to my face and I made a mental note to update the Wikipedia page for dolphins to document that they enjoy Mexican Lagers.
Just after midnight during our passage from San Blas to Mazatlán, when I took over watch from Craig, a brilliant white light lit up the sky for several seconds. As I settled in with my snack and my podcasts, I hoped the oversized shooting star would be a good omen for the next several hours of motoring through the pitch-black night. I am happy to report that the engine ran perfectly and didn’t stall once.
This is the Captain speaking. We have a little bit of a problem that we are going to do our best to work through. We’ve lost our main writer (Krystle has a headache probably from lack of sleep, dehydration, and a bit of brain overheating) so we are going to run on auxiliary power (that would be me; I am Craig; I am the Captain) for the duration of this blog… as a precaution we are going to release the oxygen masks from the ceiling above you. Please ensure your seatbelts are fastened. Also wondering if we have any writers onboard- asking for a friend.
Who else is surprised to read that the engine ran without a single hiccup during our passage to Mazatlán?! Not since sailing from Monterrey Bay to San Luis Obispo, way back in the spring of 2017, have we had an overnight passage with just the two of us aboard without some kind of unexpected catastrophe that rendered the boat dead in the water in the middle of the night. Let me be the first to say that I much prefer the way things went down last night. I got to do a little workout on deck, watch Phantom of the Opera in the cockpit, and take a couple naps down below while Krystle kept watch (of the boat, not me). Now compare that to our last several overnight passages: hanging upside down over the 170° engine in a rolling seaway while bleeding diesel, air, and blood all over the engine room. Last night was pret-ty great.
I think Krystle mentioned in a previous post that we are getting ready to decommission the boat for hurricane season and that we are aiming north to get out of the hurricane zone. The exact path to take north has been a big discussion, and we still haven’t really decided on a route. Sometime last week that we did decided to include Mazatlán on our itinerary north into the Sea of Cortez. Wanna know why? Of course, you do!
I’m assuming that the following is totally illogical for life outside of boats. Here we go… Since we weren’t going to need our water maker for a while, we pickled it (chemical storage) back in December. Earlier this month I attempted to reanimate the little miracle machine that turns salt water into fresh. After I fired it up, I noted a couple leaks around various fittings. “I can handle that!”, I thought. (Spoiler alert: I couldn’t handle that.) I gave it my best futz, honestly, but at some point, even I know when to call it. O-rings were shot, half-a-dozen hose fittings were leaking, and the jerry-rigged repair of a crack on the high-pressure pump that I had done back in Seattle had also decided to fail. By the time I gave up, water was shooting out of so many places I couldn’t even isolate all of them. All signs pointed to a dirt nap for the water maker. So, naturally, we are in Mazatlán to change the location of the fridge compressor. (Listen, I told you this was illogical!) Moving the compressor will free up space in the engine room for a new water maker to be installed AND (keep your fingers crossed between now and when we give the word) will allow the compressor to actually cool the freezer box to, oh I don’t know, A TEMPERATURE BELOW FREEZING! How I covet land-based refrigeration.
Before I go, I want to document a few other things that happened on the trip to Mazatlán:
- An adorable and curious little bird flew aboard and gave Small World a thorough inspection. The little nugget even jumped from one of my arms to the other! And no poop!
- Bioluminescence remains a mind-blowing, surreal phenomenon. Without any moonlight, the green light along the hull was, in a word, magical.
- We almost hit a sea turtle. Not sure who was more surprised by the close call!
- While in heavy fog, we narrowly missed what I can only assume was a long-line fishing buoy. I looked up from the radar screen to see the flag atop the buoy pass within 10ft of our hull. The visual of having to jump in the water to free the prop of a tangled mess of fishing line haunted me while I was off watch and trying to sleep.
- Jumping rays!
P.S. I’m a blogger now. Willing to share the Pulitzer with Krystle if she keeps being nice. Odds are 50/50.