Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Getting ready for summer storage

Kialoa at the Fonatur dock, sails off but the flags are flying!

As soon as I arrived in Guaymas it was time to get to work!  There are quite a few things to do to get a boat ready to sit out of the water in the heat and ready to weather any tropical storms or hurricanes that might decide to venture this far up the sea of Cortez.  Kialoa had survived hurricane Newton without any damage so the preparations had paid off last year.
All the canvas and running rigging must be taken off.  This includes rinsing the salt off and then drying it all.  It is best to do the sails on a calm day and many hands make light work! The sail removal and folding for storage is much easier with more people, and so by the time we had the sails off Searover II, Seadra and Kialoa we were a well oiled team!  We also teamed up for haulouts, it is always nice to have extra hands for this stressful event!  My haulout was at Marina Seca which is a short journey from the fonatur docks.  I had Karina and Ed on board and Gary drove around to catch us on the other side.  Due to some confusion about timing of the haulout we were longer than planned, this worked out very well for me as Karina and Ed managed to wrap up every single block, winch and clutch in tinfoil while we were waiting.  I just had to flush the engine, plug the through hulls, finish putting everything inside, wash the decks, empty the water tanks etc, etc......
Kialoa in the slings and headed for dry land!

the inside of the boat.......

the outside of the boat looking clean and clear!

The walking away photo.....Spanish Stroll, the boat just behind Kialoa is
also a southern cross 31, and she has sailed around the world.
Keeping the dream alive!
So that is the end of this cruising season.......I am now back in BC and back to work looking forward to the next adventure!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

La Paz to Guaymas

Every year in La Paz at the end of March Club Cruceros (this is the long standing cruisers club in La Paz) hosts Bayfest.  This fun event is a fundraisers for local charities and brings the cruising community together to play games, eat good food, listen to music and hang out together.  If you are so inclined there is also a sailing race.  Time to clear the decks of some of that stuff that seems to have no where else to go and go racing!  I was lucky enough to be joined by Ed from Seadra and Gary from Searover II for Kialoas first ever official race in Mexico. I say official because whenever there are two sailboats going the same way within sight of each other it is actually a race. So on the morning Maggie headed for the bus Kialoa headed for the start line.  It turns out we should have started much earlier as we underestimated how long it would take to get there.  By the time we arrived the start had happened and the committee boat had left......we were some 10 minutes late.....so as the last boat went by us we turned around and started racing!  We had a great time sailing Kialoa under Spinnaker even through the tricky entrance into the La Paz harbour channel and managed to pass five of the ten boats ahead of us for a very middle finish! Not bad for a boat loaded down with a whole lot of stuff!
chasing down the fleet
After enjoying Bayfest I headed out to the islands, it was time to start making my way further north as the season was starting to come to a close and my plan was to store Kialoa in Guaymas for the summer months again.  I left La Paz in the company of Seadra and Searover II and we made our way to the anchorage at Los Candeleros on Espiritu Santo.  I won the race that day!
We all enjoyed the anchorages in the area, which is a large park and virtually unpopulated.  After Ed on Seadra had returned his crew to La Paz we continued, working our way north anchorage by anchorage.  Some beautiful sailing days, some motoring days and one that was a little more boisterous!
One of the beautiful anchorages on Isla Espiritu Santo 

Ed(Seadra) myself and Gary and Karina(Searover II) enjoying some of the
fantastic hiking and views the Baja has to offer.

Some dolphins coming to visit Kialoa.

It was a great experience single handing Kialoa for this stretch.  All the anchorages are within a daysail or less of one another and I was able to really enjoy each time underway.  The Baja is spectacularly beautiful, the sealife is abundant, and the weather is never less than pleasant, what is not to like! And I had lots of dolphin sightings to bring joy!  I got to explore some places that I had not yet been to and revisit some of my favorites.  
Searover II decided to cross the sea of Cortez from Isla Isabella, Ed (Seadra) and I headed a little further north to Punta Pulpito to cross.  As we were both single handing it made for a slightly shorter trip.  I was nervous about this long (90nm) crossing on my own as the last long passage I had made by myself was pretty hard at the end when I was exhausted and sleep deprived.
It turned out I did not need to be nervous.  After having a lovely visit with some friends from last years cruising (Ptarmigan) and a good if short sleep, Seadra and I pulled up anchor at 2:30 in the morning and headed to sea.  Conditions were calm and it was not until about 10:30 in the morning that we had enough wind to start sailing. It turned out to be a beautiful crossing, I sailed from 10:30 in the morning until I entered the harbour of Guaymas at 8pm, followed shortly by Seadra, I won that race too! What a great way to finish the sailing season!
Seadra motoring in the early morning light

6.6 knots is excellent speed for Kialoa!  And heading directly for
the destination.  It doesn't get better than that for sailing!

Guaymas harbour is in sight!