Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cruise RO/Spectra install

Well it's been a very long time since the blog has been updated. Lauren used to be the blog master but she has moved on to better things and is really missed. I decided it was time I got back into the blog to let everyone know what is going on with SOMF. Currently she is in La Paz MX at Marina Don Jose while I get projects done. The goal is to leave here at the end of February and take a leisurely trip North to San Carlos. One of the main projects I did while here was convert the Spectra water maker over to a Cruise RO system, Rich Boren on SV Third Day was a fantastic help. If anyone is considering a new water maker or replacement I can't stress enough the importance of contacting him! Just Google Cruise RO and send him a message, he will respond within 24hrs, usually much quicker, Oh yeah he can be easily bribed with fresh tacos.
 So on to the install. Rich has helped other cruisers convert their Spectra to his system and put a list of everything I needed to convert. The kit he put together for SOMF was so complete I only needed one extra SS fitting that I located here in La Paz easily. The one recommendation I have is that when you are determining the location of the high pressure pump to determine the length of the high pressure line add 1 or even 2 feetof length to the hose. I decided 6' was good but once I actually started the install I realized 1 extra foot would have made life easier. I know I could have had an extension made up at an hydraulic shop but the cost of the added fittings would far out weight the price of an extra foot or 2 of the line when Rich makes it up.
   Two other notes, the instructions from Cruise RO only discuss mounting the High pressure pump horizontally, in my case I wanted to install it vertically on a bulkhead. A quick message to Rich confirmed it was just a matter of removing four bolts and rotating the pump head, Second, if you are using the constant duty centrifugal pump it needs to be mounted below the water line so that it is always flooded, they aren't designed to be self priming. Additionally they are better at pushing water through the pre-filters not pulling through them. The proper order is sea strainer, boost pump, 20 micron, 5 micron filter then on to the control panel.

   The complete install took less then 8 hours spread out over 3 days (lots of breaks for cervesas and tacos). I reused the Spectra 22" pressure vessel so when I run the system I get 8-9 gallons of great water! The nice thing about the system Rich set me up with is that I can add a second 22" vessel and double my output to 16 -18 gallons an hour. All it takes is the vessel, membrane and a few hose connections. I will be on the look out for a pressure vessel at the swap meets.
   By salvaging everything I could from the old Spectra I was able to do the conversion for around $2,500, not bad considering the original Spectra unit was $4,600 6 years ago and on it,s best day barely made 5-6 gallons an hour. You do need to have an Honda 2000 or equivalent generator to run the system as I have it but I already had that. If you don't have one or a genset you are looking at an additional $1,000 +- but I wouldn't be without my Honda.
   If anyone is looking to do a similar upgrade and have any questions feel free to contact me, or if you really want the best info contact Rich, I am so happy with the quality of the unit and the help Rich provided!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

San Carlos!!!

We have been here in San Carlos for 2 weeks now and are having a great time catching up with old friends, and making new ones.  Unfortuently my camera got stollen on St. Patricks day at the Captains Club, so I do not have any pictures.  But we had a great night on St. Paddy's day hanging out with our friends, we have also gone to Guaymas a few times, and hung out at Ruby Wine Bar.  We are also getting the boat ready to be put on the hard, we have taken down the sails and halyards, washed the covers and lines, taken down the bimini and started to stow things down below.  Jerry and I are taking the bus up to Tucson on April 3rd to bring back my car that my parents are driving down from Stockton, an it just will happen to be my birthday, we will stay the night and come back to San Carlos on the 5th.  We have a haul out date on the 9th, and will head home on the 11th, things are going fast here, but we are excited to head home. 

It has been two years, six months and seven days since we have left the slip at River Point Marina in Stockton Californa.  We have travel 7161 nautical miles (plus some when going in and out of anchorages), which is 8235 miles, and have seen 4 countries, and wow what a trip.  But the time has come to go and see our friends and family back in Stockton, who we miss and are very excited to see. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

San Carlos Bound!!

On Saturday March 10th at 3:15 in the afternoon, Jerry and I cast off the lines of La Cruz for the last time.  We were on our last leg up to San Carlos, about 541 miles which would take us 107 hours.  We had a great trip, the first two night were a little rough with high seas and winds ranging from 15 to 20 knots.  We saw a couple of humpback whales in the distance, and one that crossed us right infront of the boat.  As always I am slow with the camera, but I did the best I could.

We had the poles out the whole time, but only hooked up one sailfish that of coarse we released.  Tuesday afternoon, 4 days into the trip we saw a pod of killer whales out in the distance. 
killer whales, I tried to take a video, but it is even worse than the picture.  But I will post it on You Tube later.
The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, which is not always a bad thing, we arrived at the bahia enterance of San Carlos 12:30pm on Thursday the 15th.  We had a great last passage, now it is time to go see some of our old friends and have a much deserved beer up at our old hangout Club de Capitanes.  Then we will start getting the boat to be hauled out the second week of April and get ready to go home for the summer.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Good Luck Hawk!!!

A couple of weeks ago we ran into a young white lab, and our hearts just went out to him.  Now through our travels we have seen many cute dogs that all need help, but this one was different.  So over the last few weeks we, and another couple of SV Oceanair, have been trying to find him a good home.  Well Greg from SV Oceanair has decieded that he would put up the money to get the dog fixed as long as we could find him a home.  One night at Ana Bananas, Barry the owner, had a friend who has also been interested in the dog, he has even followed him around a few times, but he did not have the money to take "Hawk" to the vet and get him all fixed up.  So Greg and I took him to the vet, but he had a bladder infection and needed 5 days worth of pills before he could get fixed, so SOMF to the rescue.  Hawk was allowed to stay on the boat for the time he needed to have the pills, he got along great with Skeeter and even didn't try to eat the kitty that many times. 

As the five days came to an end, there was even a time when Jerry thought Hawk could be an addition to SOMF, but for when Jerry is out in the Bahia alone, he is just a little big to get on and off the boat with one person.  So after we were finished with the five days, and it was time for us to leave for San Carlos the next day, Greg and I took him back to the vet.  SOMF donated 500 pesos toward the bill and bought some food for home and his new owner.  The vet said that the proceedure would happen the next day and Hawk would stay for 8 days until he could be picked up.  Unfortuently we were leaving the next day to check up on Hawk, but a week later I have emailed JC in La Cruz and he said that Barry and the new owner picked up Hawk and he thinks everything is going good.  Even as I write this email my heart hurts, if it was not for the boat trip to San Carlos and the car ride up to Stockton, I would have taken Hawk in a heartbeat and tried to find him a home.  But that was not the way it worked out, and I thank God that we could be apart of Hawks life and help him get healthy and happy!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Getting ready to leave La Cruz!!

After being in La Cruz for over 2 months it is time to start heading back up to San Carlos.  The major project that we had to do it get the dinghy cleaned up of after 2 months of growth on it.  We took it out of the water a couple of days after Cheri left and it took a couple of days to clean the bottom and Jerry reglued a couple of the patches.
Right after we pulled it out of the water

Yes, we have a little ecosystem on the botom

After two days of scrapping!!
We had Kai and Rob from SV Vellela Vellela and Wes from SV Great Bear over for cocktails and WII entertainment.
Team Jager!!
Kai and that is some intense driving!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Having fun in La Cruz with Cheri!!

On Monday the 27th of February Cheri (Jerry's sister from Colorado) came for a week visit.  We pulled the boat into the marina for the week, so Cheri could stay on the boat with us, and we did not have to worry about going back and forth on the dinghy out in the anchorage.  Jerry and I took the bus to the airport in Puerto Vallarta to pick her up, first and formost we had to stop for a beer, then went to walmart to pick up a few goodies for the boat. That night was the Pacific Rock Band at Ana Banana's, so of coarse we had to go listen to them.  We were going to only stay for a while, thinking Cheri would be tired, we ended up staying the whole night and had a great time.
Dancing on the pole!!

Greg and Cheri
We had such a good time with Cheri, we first took the bus to Sayulita to hang out on the beach for the day.
Jerry and Cheri waiting for the bus on the side of the freeway!!

awesome day at the beach!!

A truck load of a large fruit (I can not remember the name), but we tried them and they were not too bad!!
The next day we took a walk on the beach to Buccarias from La Cruz, the walk was about 40 minutes.
The church in Buccarias
One afternoon we took another bus to Puerto Vallarta to do all the tourist things, like shop, shop, shop.  But of coarse we had to stop at some of Jerry and my favorate place for a cold beer.  I forgot my camera this day, but Jerry says I have plenty of pictures of PV in past blogs.
On Thursday we took SOMF out with Tim and Linda ( a canadian couple that we met in La Cruz). Peggy (another canadian that we met), JC (who works at Ana Banana Bar) and Cheri, Jerry and myself.  We cast off the lines around 9am and came back into the marina around 3pm, we had a great afternoon out on the water.  Unfortuently we did not see any whales out by the Tres Maria Islands like we were hoping, but we did see some dolphins and had great weather, we even put the sails up.
Shiraz enjyoing the sun!!

Tim out on lookout for whales!!

Cheri and Linda on fishing fish the whole day :(

JC...What are you doing??

a fleet of 420 sailboats out for the afternoon!!

JC, Jerry, and Tim...I think it is Tequila time!!

Linda, Cheri and I having Cheri's famous "Bernies" a shot of Tequila and a wedge of orange rolled in cinnamon and sugar....Yum!!!
While Cheri was here in La Cruz the Regata Copa Mexico came, this is the biggest regata in Mexico., the first events are of the J24 sailboats.  This was fun, because Jerry used to sail these up in Stockton.  Then at the end of the week the big, fast sailboats came down from San Diego.  We did not get to see many of them, since we left before they started racing. 
The last day of Cheri's trip we went over to Tim and Linda's condo and had an afternoon of hanging by the pool and had a little potluck.  This is an awesome place they rent every year, Jerry and I said we will come visit them next year.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Back to work!!

After a week of playing it is time to get serious about the boat again, Cheri ( Jerry's sister) is coming down the end of this month, we are going to move the boat into the marina for the week.  That means we need to get the motor running and the windless working so we can move.  Through a local cruiser we found Christain Gonzalez who owns Gonzales motor shop, we took the bus to downtown Puerto Vallarta and started walking blocks trying to find his shop.  The was a south and north address, one on each side of the main road.  We ended up having to ask few different places, but we found it.  We walked in, and Christain was at the front counter, and he spoke perfect english.  We described what we needed done to the shaft on the windless and he said he would have it fixed, and would deliver it back to the marina entrance in La Cruz, wow too good to be true.  But it was perfect, two days later he emailed Jerry saying it was ready and the price of 450 pesos, and that he would meet us at the entrance of the marina at 10 am.  That morning we walked up to pay for the part, and asked if he would be able to take a look at the motor of the windless also, and change the brushes.  He said he yes and would have it back in two days, and it was!!
The only thing Jerry had to do to the windless motor was modify a drive pin

The windless shaft that needed a bushing replaced
One morning Jerry went into the engine room to check the fresh water coolant, and the cap broke, due to salt water getting into the system.  Salt water is getting in through the heat exchanger, we knew this was something that was going to need to be replaced up in San Carlos, but we decieded to do it now instead of waiting.  So he ordered and new cap, new thermostat, gasket and had that shipped to Casa Maru in La Cruz.  The parts cost $64 and duty cost $20 and shipping was $15, and it got here in 7 days.  Then he orded the new heat exchanger and that was a different story, it cost $750 and shipping was $150 and dutie was around $200, after all said and done it was about a $1200 part, but it needed to be done.  We heard from Ben on SV Jase of a man who lives in San Diago who actually walks it across the boarder which saved about $300 dollars, so we had it shipped to him, then he puts it on a plane in Ensenada and had it flown into PV.  Well we got it in about 14 days and it all worked out...just not going to be able to go out as much this month, but that is all part of this awesome lifestyle.
Brand new heat exchanger

Header tank and pipe

heat exchanger painted

Header tank painted with new cap

Jerry and I one afternoon put on our wetsuits ( the water is cold) and jumped in to clean the through holes and try to clean the prop and rudder as best we could.  The bottom is loosing all its bottom paint and had thousands and thousands of barnicals growing after three months since the last cleainng.  We were not able to do it all, because we do not have our hookah system working and the barnicals are so tough to get off it would have taken us three weeks to try to free dive on it. 
Jerry coming up after diving down to attack the growth!!