The last La Cruz

We left the island of frigate birds in the early morning, with enough time to make the 40 mile sail to La Cruz before the sunset, and all went smoothly. We even got to sail the vast majority of the miles with favorable wind the whole day, picking up later in the day as we approached La Cruz. By the time we finished this sail we had topped more than 10,000 nautical miles in our sailing career dating back to 2019.

We arrived to an anchorage with dozens of boats already tightly packed, so had to anchor well out from the harbor where we would be going into regularly for all the last minute to-do’s we had planned. Our little battery powered dinghy taking a lot longer than others to traverse the three-quarters of a mile to the dinghy dock, but there was no spot to squeeze in to closer. Making it even more treacherous was the afternoon winds that would ease into the 20 knot range, kicking up enough wind-waves to really make the trip uncomfortable, but we managed as we often do.

La Cruz would be our final stop in Mexico, and our jumping off point to start the next big adventure of crossing an ocean. But first, we still had some work to do. One of the key “must fix” items was out range gimble. It has been slowly collapsing for a couple years now, making it very hard to lock into place. We were very uneasy that the whole gimble mechanism wouldn’t make a month long sail, so it had to be done now. And so we set about tearing the whole thing apart to access the nut and bolt that the entire oven was built around. There was no access built in, so it took a lot of huffing and puffing, and a few bleeding knuckles, to get there and tighten them up. Eventually the job was completed and now we are able to cook while underway, without risk of the whole thing falling off the gimble.

And then on to finally replace the last two chain plates on the boat so we start this big sail with fresh hardware that we do not have to worry about… hopefully. The last thing we would want is for a cracked chain plate to topple the whole mast half way across the ocean. The job, as usual, was not straight forward. I found that each of the main shroud chain plates had their own sized pin, meaning one was too small and that I had the holes drilled to the wrong size. They had to be drilled out slightly, and only then could I install them, using the correct sized pins of course.

As luck would have it, within days of arriving here in La Cruz our water maker started acting up with the same issue it was having a few weeks back. We had already spent a ton of money on it trying to resolve this issue, so the frustration level was high. Before spending hundreds more I set out to try every single thing I could think of that might help it, even if I didn’t think it would help at all. The entire thing was rebuilt again, for the third time, and every nut/bolt/fitting was tightened and re-tightened… again. After a few days of working on it, it does appear to be doing what it is suppose to be doing now… about 95% fixed anyway. It will get us across the ocean at least.

As you can tell from my topless photos, it is significantly hotter this far South. My work day has to start at 7am, and by 10am it is well too hot to do much more – at least outside – though I continued as best I could to complete each task. It just is what it is, and the saying continues to prove true, “full time cruising is just fixing your boat in exotic places”.

Kerri has been hard at work canning as much as possible, not only for the month long sail, but for the 3 to 6 months following our arrival in French Polynesia where grocery prices are significantly higher and options are extremely limited. This task goes through a lot of water, which was a bad time for our water maker to act up, and with a tank running empty she noticed a slight discoloration of what was coming out the faucet. This then put us down the path of emptying, opening, and cleaning out both our tanks by hand, each taking a few hours to do and each result in complete and total destruction of the entire interior of the boat to accomplish.

Just a portion of the groceries

But the worst of it all was a day of grocery shopping. This required a rental car to drive to Puerto Vallarta’s Costco – and neighboring super-market – where we spent 6 hours loading up two shopping carts to the brim. Again, we were not just planning to have enough food onboard for the passage, but for as many months after as possible to avoid [some of] the grocery costs out on the islands. This one day may have been the hardest day we have had in all our boat life.

It wasn’t all sweat and blood though. In the evenings, as the cooler temperatures took over, we would get out and enjoy a meal, or two, probably three, but likely at least four times or more. And, because of all this hard work in recent months we are fully ready to go. We get to do just that on Tuesday, after our check-out-of-Mexico-inspection appointment, if the weather holds up.


You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    The hardest day was a day of shopping? Must be getting the two shopping carts of stuff back to the boat and finding a place for it…
    I am curious about the “check out inspection” from Mexico, is that a tax kind of thing?
    Good luck this week!

    • Tim says:

      The two full carts of groceries took three trips in dock carts from the rental car to the boat to get onboard, then another day to get organized and put away. Still a few large bags of common stuff just sitting on our floor that have no place to fit in any cabinet. But it was the heat/humidity that really made it more difficult. Hope to acclimate to the heat soon.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: