March 15 – April 19, 2019
After a weird month-plus in Barra, what with Rand being gone for most of it, we were off once again to Punta de Mita and La Cruz in Bahía de Banderas. We wanted to be back in the Bay to hang out with Leslie, Murphy, and Maggie who were in PdM for Leslie and Maggie’s spring break from school in San Diego. The timing also coincided with the NCAA Tournament, generally known as March Madness for those of you unfamiliar, and lucky for us, we’d switched to Google Fi last year, so we weren’t afraid of streaming. It was like a dream. For the first time in three years, we were able to catch a lot of hoops. That said, however, we did blow our data wad, meaning we burned through 15 gigabytes pretty quickly, and after the first weekend, we were forced to struggle through the remainder of the tournament with substandard speeds (sigh) or find a venue in town to watch, which wasn’t too difficult, thank goodness.
Now as I look back through the photos that we’ve been posting, it becomes evident what this life is all about – it’s about all y’all. People used to look at us with blank stares when we told them of our plan to venture off “to sea” for an unspecified length of time. The stares were expressions of astonishment – they were astonished that we would want to spend so much time on the open ocean. Well, honestly, the vast majority of our time is spent in various ports and anchorages, and our time at sea is really all about getting from point A to point B in order to reconnect with and/or meet new people and revisit old haunts and/or see new places. Oh and also because we probably need food. This is not to say we don’t enjoy being on passage – we absolutely do, especially at night under a full moon, with pods of dolphins as escorts. There’s nothing more magical.
Life on da boat is also all about boat work. It’s constant. This marine environment is tough on man-made materials, so it’s important to stay up on maintenance of all things – big and small, easy or impossible to get to – from the big ol’ mainsail to the teeniest little hose clamp. This is because there’s always something to maintain, jerry-rig, fix, or replace. This time it was a little engine maintenance. Because we have just over 5,000 hours on both engines, and were starting to get a little smoke/soot out of the starboard side, we had Rafa of Mazatlán Yacht Services run compression tests and give both engines the general once over. Unfortunately, what he found wasn’t encouraging. Starboard has lost some compression and it is highly likely we’ll have to re-power sooner than we had hoped. Bummer. To try and buy us some time, Rand did some research on ways to beat falling compression and came upon some snake oil. We bought it. It was a little expensive, but cheaper than a new engine. We gave it a try and have our fingers crossed. Check out the video if you’re at all interested in the nitty-gritty. We’ll let you know how it shakes out.