We motored most of the way up to Isla Coronados with Beethoven. No wind, but the fishing was good! We caught a fish on one of the lures our friend Chris recommended, a beautiful 2 foot dorado. Bill filleted it and we gave one of the fillets and the head to Beethoven, so they could make fish stew. They gave us a lovely piece of bonito they’d caught. We had better luck than Free Luff, who’d heard me on the radio asking Beethoven the ‘what do I do with it now’ question. Free Luff caught a passing motor boat, and almost lost all their line before it broke.
The water at Coronados was pretty clear, so Bill took a look at the bottom of the boat to see what sorts of creatures were attaching themselves to it. The bottom was still clean from its fresh coat of paint, but the knot meter’s little propeller was very crunchy with tiny, long worm casings. No wonder it stopped working again! We pulled the unit from inside the boat. Yes, that did create a mini geyser when we took it out but we plugged the hole while we cleaned out the calcified guck with a repurposed pallet knife. We reversed the process, put the knot meter unit back in place and bailed out the gallon or so of water in the bilge. If you’re fast with the plug, not much water gets in. We didn’t have enough hands to take pictures in the moment, so you’ll have to imagine what that the process looked like.
Hike in the afternoon with Beethoven on the south side of Coronados. Tried a different trail back from the beach and realized it wasn’t going to get us back to where we’d left our kayaks and SUPs. Had to do a quick backtrack before the sun went down, but we did make it back to our boats by the time the sun went down with a beautiful sunset. Bonito for dinner.
San Juanico was our next stop. Isla Coronados is about 20 miles north of Puerto Escondido and San Juanico another 18-20 miles north of Coronados. San Juanico has an island studded bay and is popular with campers as well as boaters. It was cloudy most of the time we were there, but it didn’t rain, so no help to wash the salt off the boat. We went for a walk with John and visited the small farm up the road from the bay. Fresh produce and eggs! Clambering over rocks with a dozen eggs tied up in a paper egg crate with baling twine is an interesting experience, but we all survived.
There was a norther forecast so we headed back to Puerto Escondido. We had a spinnaker sail back to Coronados but had to motor from there to PE. Back on the mooring ball, we put the dinghy together and headed in for showers. Having a cold water boat with no shower, we make an effort to get nice hot showers. On the way in, the dinghy was making a funny noise. It wasn’t the outboard. And then we discovered that we were taking on a LOT of water! When we put the dinghy together, we somehow didn’t get the lower through hulls tightened and they were letting water into the dinghy. Headed back to Gypsy for tools, tightened everything up, and got the leaking stopped. Back in again for showers.
And then came the 13th. Generally, we aren’t superstitious beyond a generic things happen in threes, so we thought we were mostly covered. Our new first bit of bad luck/news: Bill found out that his 94 year-old father had fallen and broken his leg. Since the norther was still blowing like stink, we decided to head into town. We got distracted driving out of the marina and drove into the gate. That was number two. We dinghied back to Gypsy in the wind and waves with an extra passenger who needed a ride back to his boat. Pretty soaked by the time we got back to Gypsy. Bill discovered that the water filter he was soaking over the side of the boat had come untied and the rope had wrapped itself around either the propeller or rudder and was not coming loose. Waves were now a frequent 3-4 feet as the wind had kicked up more. From the dinghy, Bill finally got the rope loosened without being pitched into the drink or bashed into the boat. Time to dry out, get warm: time for quesadillas. Bill cracked a tooth on one. It had been twingy, but it was done in by a tortilla. So a second on the trip out; the third was the tooth. Fourth or fifth(?): because we were heading back to Portland in a couple of days, we pickled the watermaker because we wouldn’t be able to run it everyday while we are gone. It had been having issues with high TDS, or total dissolved solids aka salt, in the product water and it was easier to pickle it than try to troubleshoot it one more time before we left. We then discovered the forward water tank is empty. We’d clearly been using more water than we thought. Time to buy some water. In talking with friends, they too, had quite the day on the 13th!
We got Gypsy buttoned up so we could head back to the States for the holidays. Dharma Girl gave us a ride in and we got on our way. But luck of the 13th continued. Nina got to have a conversation with a couple of nice Guardia Nacionals outside of Guerrero Negro. They explained that the speed limit is in kilometers per hour, not miles. We decided to take Mexico 5 back and blew a tire outside of San Filipe. It was a long 50mph trip to San Diego on the spare. It gave us plenty of time to try to find a tire, when we had phone bars. Next time we drive, we are strapping an extra real tire to the top of the car!
The border crossing into Mexicali took a couple of hours of waiting in line after we finally found it, due to road construction and interesting signage. We got through in one go this time. And then Bill got a call from his sister that his father had passed. We found a new tire at a dealer in San Diego. We could buy the tire there but would have to find a tire shop to install it as their service department was closed because of a Covid contraction. Got all that behind us and made it safely to Portland, where Bill got a colonoscopy and a tooth pulled. A quick trip to Minneapolis for his father’s service and then we head back to Gypsy.
We hope your holidays were safe, warm, and filled with love. Buen año nuevo – it can only get better!