Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Updates on the engine room!

Well Jerry and I went back down in the engine room to clean out the bilge of antifreeze.  The day before Jerry and John from Magus, took off both heat exchangers, which are running raw water through cylinders to cool down the oil and the water going into the engine.  After these were removed then the fuel pump was accessible, it turned out that the gasket was bad and needed to be replaced, luckily Jerry had gasket material on board.  After cutting out a new gasket, and replacing the fuel pump and the heat exchangers, turning on the engine for an hour, and going below to look....no oil.  Yeah, so now we think we found the problem, one major project done....oh who knows how many to go!

Playing on the Kayak!

Now that Jerry got a kayak up in the States, we decided that we need to try it out.  Both Jerry and I took turns going around the marina's gas dock and back to the boat a few times.  But yesterday Skeeter and I decided to take it out to Mystic and go swimming and snorkeling with Jenny and Randy. 

It was definitely a fun filled day six hours later Skeeter was tired and my arms were starting to feel sore.  While Skeeter and I were out having fun, Jerry was working hard on the boat.  He took the generator pump apart, needing a new seal, he went into Guaymas, but the store that he knew of was out of business, so it will have to wait till he goes back to the States.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Trip to Phoenix, Arizona

Jerry and I are back from are short, but felt long, trip up to Phoenix to buy some boat parts at West Marine.  We left the marina parking lot at 6:00am, an hour at the boarder, and 30 minutes at target we arrived in Phoenix at 4:00pm and it was still 108 degrees.  We did some shopping at west marine getting a power inlet plug for the shore power cord and on the boat (the old one melted the neutral wire, and we were unable to find them in Guaymas), buying a few gallons of oil because it is cheaper than at Star Marine in San Carlos, and a few other odds and end.  We had dinner at a Chinese buffet, which was actually pretty good, and went back to our motel room at the Red Roof Inn, for a much needed good nights rest.  The next morning we headed back to Tucson, stopping in Casa Grande for breakfast at Cracker Barrel, which was my first time there...yum oh. We met up with Lee who is the owner of the boat next to us in the marina, to take some parts back down to Sammie his captain.  Did some more shopping at home depot, Jerry bought a kayak at sports authority, and a new dvd drive at best buy.  Then headed to Nogalis for some groceries that we are unable to get down in San Carlos and crossed the boarder, but after we got some McDonald's.  The boarder crossing was even easier going south, but probably helped that it was raining pretty hard.  But we had no problem at any of the stops, nice and easy trip back.

Oh the Engine Room!!!

Well now that we are back at the dock and back on shore power we need to go into the engine room and try to figure out the oil leak and the generator problems.  The engine has had a small leak for a long time, but after our last trip up to Los Cosinas Jerry is concerned that it is larger and more of a safety issue.  Well I, being the great crew I am, went down into the engine room and cleaned out the bilge of all the water and oil that has been accumulating over the last couple of trips.
 It took me two buckets and three rolls of paper towels, but I got it spic and span clean.  John on Magus came over and helped Jerry down with the engine and generator.

Generator Water Pump
First they removed the water pump from the generator, believing that there is a bad seal,  they will have to take it apart to be sure. 
The pump was in the very back on the side next to the batteries, so due to heat and sweat John got shocked a few times...sorry John. 

generator starter motor
Then the generator starter needed to be removed, which was located in the same area as the pump.  The solenoid on the starter motor needs to be replaced, hopefully we will be able to have that worked on down here.  Finally to the big project, trying to find the oil leak in the engine.  Jerry has looked many times before but can not seem to pin point the problem, I looked a little for it when I was down cleaning the oil off the bottom of the engine, but still nothing that looked like there was a problem.  The most frustrating thing about this is that with all the oil the engine is loosing while under power, one would think that it would be easy to spot the leak, well I guess what one thinks is not always right.  Jerry ran the engine for an hour, went down to see if they could see any oil spots, but due to the engine being hot they were unable to tighten any bolts or work on it anymore that day.  

Happy Birthday Jerry!!!

Well, we once again went back up to Los Cocinas for a week, but this time we went up with a couple of other boats. Jerry and I left on Tuesday August 10th along with GiGi (Paul and Karen, who live next to us in the marina). Jerry and I motored all the way up the sea on the inside of the island; there was absolutely no breeze so we were unable to put up the sails. About an hour and half outside San Carlos bay I had a large male Dorado hookup. I played with it for about 20 minutes to I finally get it to the boat, Jerry and I brought it to the side where Jerry got a hold of the leader about 2 feet from the fish, trying to pull it up onto the boat, unfortunately we did not have the gaff ready so we lost of fish, but still it was the largest dorado to be caught on SOMF. Well after that excitement we motored up the rest of the way, pulled into the anchorage and set the hook. GiGi was about an hour or so behind us, after setting the hook, Jerry and I jumped in to cool off, oh I forgot to say that it was hot, hot, hot, since there was no breeze out. That evening we had Paul and Karen over for a couple of cocktails and to visit. That night Jerry and I slept out on the cabin top waiting for shooting stars, it was supposed to be the largest meteor shower, Jerry saw a couple, but I fell asleep before I saw any. The next morning after swimming and snorkeling, Synchrony (Herb), KMT (Doug and Trish, with Maria on board) and Magus (John) came into the anchorage. Jerry and I swam over to KMT to visit and talk about their trip.
There was a couple of Mexican families camping on the beach from Hermesillo and Kino Bay, the kids came over to the boat to jump off and for thanking us they gave us some scallops that they got in the anchorage. That evening Jerry and I had ice cream for dinner and watched some TV and again slept on the cabin top for two reasons to try to stay cool and to also see more showers, unfortunately there was large cloud cover so we could not see any stars or shooting stars. The next couple of days were about the same, lots of swimming, snorkeling and playing on the beach. We had a couple of pot lucks, one on our boat with KMT, Magus, Synchrony and GiGi and another on the beach with KMT, Magus, Synchrony, and two new boats that came into the anchorage Aquadisiac (Doug, Lynda and their dog Tucker), and Peregrine (Larry and Mugs).

 That night there was a chubasco (a weather event that has lots of wind associated with it) and lots of rain that picked up around 10pm, we had Maria staying on board, so we all picked up, and tied down things so they would not blow away. Earlier that afternoon, Jerry let out about 20 feet more of chain when he was putting the snubber line back on, so with the change in wind direction the boat came really close to the rocks, and it even touched bottom, well really bouncing off the bottom. Never the less this was not a good position to be in, so when the wind would calm down a little, Jerry would manually bring in the chain a couple of feet at a time until we were off bottom. Luckily we did not drag the anchor, nor did any of the other boats in the anchorage. The next day GiGi left to go back to San Carlo, we pulled up anchor and moved to their spot to be farther away from shallow water and the rocks incase another storm came through, Magus and KMT also moved inward.  Mystic with Jenny and Randy on board came into the anchorage a little later that afternoon, I swam over to talk to them as there were heading off to do some spear fishing.

On Monday we went on a hike up to the hill, overlooking the anchorage with all the beautiful boats anchored out. It was a wonderful hike with all of our new friends, John, Jenny, Randy, Linda, and Doug, and of course Skeeter, it was a great day.

That afternoon the rain and wind picked up a little, not as bad as the first storm but enough that we postponed our potluck to the next night on our boat for Jerry’s birthday. On a not so happy note, Jerry found that the oil leak in the engine is getting worse, and also found out that the generator problem of not starting is not because of the starter battery, but the generators starter itself is not working. After a few slight taps with a wrench on it, the generator started right up. But while working on that, found that there is a leak in the water pump, letting salt water spray all over the generator. So needless to say that did not make Jerry in the happiest of moods. But we tried to make the best of it, it was not life threatening so we said that we would deal with it all when we get back to San Carlos.
The next morning I was getting ready for Jerry’s birthday party on the deck, Jerry and I were still really concerned about the problems in the engine room but knew there was not much we could do now and we were leaving in the morning anyways. Everyone came over Doug and Trish on KMT brought a veggie enchilada casserole, I made jambalaya, John on Magus made a bean dip, Randy and Jenny on Mystic made ceviche, which they just caught in the anchorage that day, and also made flan, and Lynda and Doug on Aquadisiac made Jerry a chocolate birthday cake. After a night of singing, laughing, and having great conversations with some new friends, Jerry ended up forgetting about all the problems for a few minutes and had a great time.
That evening, I cleaned up, and I slept on the cabin top to try to look for some more shooting starts, Yeah I finally saw 7. The next morning after cleaning the dishes and tying chairs down from the night before, we pulled up the anchor and took off back to San Carlos. The trip back was really uneventful; we just wanted to get SOMF back to the marina before anything else would possible go wrong in the engine room. We got back to the dock, tied up and thanked the Sea Gods for another fun and safe trip up the sea!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ostioneros de Guaymas Baseball!

Jerry, myself, John on Magus, Randy and Jenny on Mystic attended the the Ostioneros de Guaymas ( The Oyster Catchers)  verses the Marineros de Ensenada baseball game last evening.  It was also Jenny's birthday, and on a side note Randy and Jenny are from Stockton California, wow what a small world.  The Ostioneros were the 2009 League Champions and are trying to do it again.  Unfortunately the Marineros are leading the series by beating the Ostioneros 3-2 on the 4th and 7-3 on the 5th in Ensenada and yesterday 14-4 in Guaymas.   Even though the home team was not winning that did not stop the fans enthusiasm, we were sitting in the front row by the walkway of a sold out stadium.  These people sure do like their Mexican baseball everyone was standing, cheering, singing and even dancing all night long. 
It cost $50 pesos a person to get in and $15 peso cervesas, now that is not like baseball stadiums in the States.  They also had food and merchandise vendors, Jerry and I shared two carne asada tacos, peanuts (which are not salted here, probably healthier for you, but not as good,) and three cut up sausages with a bbq and chili sauce on them all for $50 pesos. 
The cheerleaders were cute girls in little Corona outfits and the ushers were cute girls in Coca Cola outfits ( and when I say little I mean LITTLE) so I am not sure how much of the ball game Jerry actually watched...Just Joking!  I am not exactly sure about their mascot, it was a man dressed in the Ostioneros uniform wearing a Mexican wrestling mask, but he sure did get the crown excited running up and down the aisles.  There were vendors walking around the aisles, beer in Pacifico buckets with ice and candy being held in boxes.  It was such an exciting experience, the only down side was that it was hot, hot, hot, but I guess that's the price you pay for a cheap and fun event. 

Filters, Filters and more Filters

Jerry has been busy installing some new filters in the engine room to ensure the most efficient filtering possible.  First is the fuel polishing system - since all over Mexico the fuel might dirty, this is a good way to make sure the fuel is clean to go into the engine.

Second is an engine oil bypass filter, with this we never have to change the oil we just change the filter at the normal oil changing intervals

Third is a generator oil bypass filter, which works the same way as the engine filter, but for the generator.

Forth is an added fuel filter for the generator, which Jerry bought at the local cruisers swap meet for $300 pesos (~ $27 US dollars) and they normally go for $250 US dollars without a filter, and this one even came with a filter.  On a side note when Jerry was looking at it thinking about buying he noticed then that it came with the filter, and the man selling it said jokingly " I must not have looked in it, because if I would have seen the filter I would have taken it out".   So to say the least that was a major score and ever since installing it, the generator has been working great, it was just the little filter was getting clogged to much.  Another big plus is this filter uses the same filters as the main engine, this always is nice when there is a shortage of storage space. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Another Fishing Tournament!!!

Last weekend July 30, 31 and August 1st was the first annual Hooked on San Carlos Fishing Tournament. There was a great turnout for the first ever 16 boats entered with 80 participants including the captains. The total pay out to winners was 12,860 US dollars, and 3,700 was donated to Sonora is Safe by the tournament towards promoting San Carlos and Guaymas area in the US and Canada. For more about Sonora is Safe please visit http://sonoraissafe.com/ . The amount of fish was great due to the fact that fishing has been hit or miss here in the past couple of months. In all there were 82 fish, the breakdown was 20 marlin, 41 Sailfish (which all billfish were released), 17 dorado, and 4 tuna.

The overall winning boat was D'Becca, with Kriptonite and D'Becca being the Saturday and Sunday winners.

 Again Jerry and I were not involved because we had friends here from back home, but I did go and hangout and watch all the boats come in to weigh the fish. It was a lot of fun, but I am determined that Jerry and I will be in a tournament before we leave here!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Good Times with Good Friends!!

So our friends Steve and Cheryl came down last week to visit us from our hometown Stockton Ca. They had a long 18 hour trip so you could only guess they were hungry and ready for a beer when they got here. Jerry and I have not seen either one of them in almost a year, I was very excited to see Cheryl because I did not know she was coming down with her brother, I even cried a little. That evening we went to JJ’s taco stand which was a blast, beers tacos, “who care’s” as JJ himself would say. After we all finished our fish tacos and Steve finished his very large burro (burrito), we took off and stopped over at a bar called MrMugay (sp ?) and had a couple of beers before we went back to the boat. The next morning we went to breakfast at Tequila’s then went and provisioned for the upcoming trip up to Los Cocinas again for another three-day trip of fishing, snorkeling and swimming. That night we were invited over to our friend Alexis’s place were here dad cooked the best and largest shrimp scampi in the world (in my opinion), then after Cheryl and I went to captains club which I had many many cocktails, and Jerry, Steve and our friend Alex went elsewhere. We left the next morning but before we had some tie downs to do and to say the least I was hung over, but we got it all done and pushed off from the dock. I went down to the galley to start cooking some breakfast and as soon as we got out of the bay it started getting rough, Cheryl was trying to make bloody mary’s up on the deck, but both were very challenging.

I only got two plates made and never even drank my bloody mary and Cheryl never was able to make one for her. After I freaked out a little, due to everything inside flying around and Cheryl getting sick, things started to calm down once turned north toward the anchorage. We caught two mexican bonitos and one really small dorado, we threw back the dorado, but kept the two bonitos. I filet both the fish so they would be ready for dinner tonight.

The rest of the trip up was nice and smooth a little overcast but we all got a lot of sun. Once we got in the anchorage we found our spot to anchor which was much closer in toward the rocks this time, we all jumped in and went swimming.

The first day was full of swimming and snorkeling; Jerry made hamburgers for lunch and the fish that we caught for dinner. After dinner I got the poles ready for Steve and Cheryl to do some night fishing. I felt like the deck hand going back and forth between the two batting their hooks and taking of their fish, but I really enjoy doing that anyways. Steve caught a little eel and that was one that I wouldn't touch, any thing that can wrap around your arm is a no no for me, so Jerry had to take that one off.

That night we all slept up on the deck because it was really warm out, Jerry, Steve and Cheryl slept on mattresses on the cabin top and myself and Skeeter slept on sleeping bags on the foredeck. The next morning Jerry and myself made breakfast and once again we all jumped in for another day of swimming, snorkeling, and spear fishing. 

It took all day but Steve finally speared a fish with the gun, and Cheryl almost caught one with the spear pole. That night we had steaks for dinner and another night of fishing, we all went to bed a little earlier because we were going to be heading out the next morning to head back to San Carlos.

The next morning Cheryl made us all breakfast burritos and I cleaned up before we headed back. We had a great trip back, there was a little wind on the bow but everyone did well, so well that they all took naps. We did have a little excitement when we hooked a sailfish, it took awhile to bring him in and release him, but with all the help we finally were successful.

We got back to the dock that afternoon and tied up SOMF and washed all the fishing poles and lures as well as the snorkel equipment took showers and headed to Los Arbritos for dinner and had a dozen large raw oyster that were only 85pesos (cheap and good what else could you ask for). That night Jerry and Steve went out and Cheryl and I went up to Captains Club for some drinks and to get on the Internet. The next morning we all slept in and once we got ready it was time for lunch, so we headed up to our new restaurant in town Five Palms, and due to the heat we all went back to watch a movie and hang out in the air-conditioned boat. That night we went back to JJ’s for some more fish tacos for dinner and then had a few drinks at Ruby Wine Bar. Then on Saturday morning Jerry cooked breakfast and after just hanging around the boat because it was to hot out to do anything, Steve and Cheryl decided to head home. We all said our goodbyes and I have to say it was another successful trip on SOMF. I think they had a good time, I sure hope so I know Jerry and I did.