Thursday, October 21, 2010


On October 13th, Sea Turtle was finally put back into the water where she belongs, and of course, water came into the bilge (maybe we should have waited until the 14th!) But this is normal after being on the hard for so long, just had to wait a few days till the stuffing box expanded so water wouldn't leak in. Got everything put away and at last she is now back to normal.

When we first got back to Sea Turtle when she was on the hard, Jordan noticed a black widow spider, with a full egg sack, crawling across the hull. He very quickly got rid of it, but I won't say how! Then as we were working on the boat and it was still so very hot out, we left the windows open at night so the boat would cool off a bit as we went back to the motel. But one morning, we discovered a mass of bees that had decided to make the inside of Sea Turtle their new home. Jordan was able to scare them all off, but after that, all windows were closed at night until we moved aboard!

As there was little wind, we motored to Guaymas Singlar Marina from San Carlos on October 17th, a short 3 to 4 hour trip. We were expecting a smooth ride so I did not take any Stugeron to prevent seasickness. So of course, we found ourselves riding large waves, and as I had not been on a boat for several months, I started to feel nauseous. Wouldn't you know it - after sailing all the way from Victoria to San Carlos over the last year and never actually being sick - NOW it happens! Guess I'd better take my Stugeron from now on till I'm used to being on the water again.

Jordan has been working his butt off getting the decks all ready to paint. He wants no help (including mine!) even though it's a much bigger job than expected, but he wants to make sure it's done right so it lasts for years to come.

The job consists of scraping off all the non-skid, sanding and grinding, filling all the cracks with epoxy or putty, sanding again, applying primer, sanding again, and then finally painting. Expect to be ready to start painting in about 10 days, which I can help with. In the meantime, I've been sanding and prepping all the "brightwork" - getting the teak ready for a few coats of Cetol.

Areas filled with putty and then sanded

Areas painted with gray coloured primer

We had some company from Canada, our buds Bruce and Jeannie and their daughter Natalie. They are in San Carlos for about 3 weeks as their boat, SV Jabula, is on the hard there. Went for a delicious bite and ice cold drink at Pancho Villas, within walking distance of Guaymas Singlar Marina. Very popular place for gringos.

We've used all of the stored water in our tanks and can't make any till we head out to sea again. The marina sent down the guys that sell the 5-gallon jugs so we decided to fill up as it was so cheap - 11 pesos for each 5-gallon jug which is about $1.00 Canadian each! We'll just use the purchased water for drinking and cooking and the local hose water for cleaning, dishes, etc.

While filling, we discovered that Sea Turtle has a larger water capacity than we thought. We were under the impression that she holds 100 gallons but we ended up purchasing a total of 29 jugs = 145 gallons! We have enough water now until we head out to sea where we can start making our own with our watermaker.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bad news, and good

Our motorcycle trip to visit Copper Canyon was over and we arrived at San Carlos and Sea Turtle on Sunday, October 3rd - feeling so good to be "home" once again. Aaron and Dee left Monday to go back to work - I know, someone has to do it! It's very very hot and very very humid here. Now we know why Mexicans take a siesta. After about a week, the heat and humidity lifted making it much more bearable.

We finally got the opportunity to do an inside thorough check on Sea Turtle. Bad news. And good news. When we climbed up the ladder, we noticed that the door hatch was open about 4 inches. How could that be?? We would have never left her open! But when we entered, everything seemed okay. Nothing was missing (security is super at Marina Seca San Carlos) and nothing was damaged or wet, etc. from weather. After a few hours of work, Jordan decided to check out the bilge and discovered a few inches of water. But from where? And why don't we have any battery power and the solar boost is not working?

After much contemplation and checking out everything, we decided that somehow the latch must not have caught on the hatch door when we left Sea Turtle in such a hurry several months ago. Over time, the tarp wore through and rain must have leaked into the bilge (fortunately, no water damage was done to any surface areas). As the bilge was filling with rainwater, the bilge pump came on (the thru hull for such was shut) and ran continuously, draining the batteries. Once the drained batteries were re-charged, the solar boost came on. Yeah! Jordan has ordered new batteries as the old batteries cannot hold a charge anymore.

As Jordan was pumping out the bilge, he discovered that the water was soapy. Now what? Apparently, the excessive summer heat had caused a liquid Tide container to burst a hole and drain into the bilge along with the rainwater.

Bilge with soapy rainwater

So - no bugs, no cockroaches, no rats, no mice, no hurricanes, no major problems. All in all, Sea Turtle fared pretty well during the sweltering summer.

I think Sea Turtle needs a facelift!

Quick summary of some of the jobs completed so far:  soapy water pumped out of the bilge, batteries recharged, diesel leak fixed, stuck fishing line removed from prop shaft, dodger re-attached, things put back into their respective places, grocery inventory completed for re-provisioning, lower hull scraped and sanded, upper hull polished, toe rail scraped - getting ready for Cetol (a type of "varnish")...

We ordered our usual burgundy red bottom paint. When Jordan went to pick it up, he was told that our colour was not available and black paint would be in the next day. When Jordan went to pick it up, the burgundy red had arrived instead!! So today, we applied 2 coats of bottom paint and tomorrow morning at 09:00, Sea Turtle returns to the water!

Looking much better!

Saturday, October 02, 2010


It was time to head back up the Copper Canyon towards Creel once again, where we had read about Cascada Cusarare - a waterfall that we wanted to see. The trip heading up from Batopilas seemed easier than heading down to the town. The 30 m waterfall (N27°37.18' W107°34.26') was very close to Creel and was quite spectacular after a short hike in. It seemed to have an always-present rainbow in front of it...

30 m Cascada Cusarare

Next, onto Basaseachi Chihuahua (N27°01.329' W107°44.230') where the highest full-time waterfall in Mexico is located. The locals describe Basaseachi as a "work town". In our opinion, this town is definitely not a tourist destination and you don't want to stay overnight here as the hotels leave a lot to be desire. But the next morning, we checked out our reason for coming here - the extraordinary waterfall which seemed to make it all worthwhile...

246 m Cascada de Basaseachi

As we left the high plateaus, we had a fun, winding, descending paved road pretty much all the way back to Obregón where a nice hotel and refreshing swimming pool was awaiting us once again to briefly escape from the sweltering heat and humidity.

We experienced extreme differences in altitudes on this trip with Creel at 2,338 m and Batopilas at only 495 m, and where temperatures would range from over 35°C to a mild 15°C. And as mentioned previously, extreme differences in road surfaces were travelled ranging from dreadfully poor to excellent. Definitely 1 of our top 10 trips!