Sunday, April 5, 2015

True North in La Paz - March 14 to April 4

Mid-March brought us back to La Paz, this time a staging area for preparing True North for the offshore passage from Mexico to Hawaii May 1, pending a good weather clearance. It is hotter than normal for April and still too early to know if this might affect the normal May weather patterns.

Just after arrival in La Paz, True North was scheduled for a haul-out to the Bercovich boat yard next door.
Gregg replacing ventilators in the boat yard
For the 4-day haul-out we had decided to tough it out and stay overnight on the boat but then 4 days became 8 as some keel blisters were repaired which required additional drying time.

Anne climbs the ladder while floodlights dry keel blisters
So the first week we were live-aboards in a dusty waterfront boat yard with 3 large growling dogs guarding the gate. Fortunately, we immediately made friends with Vicente, the night guard, who kept the attack dogs in check whenever we entered and Gregg quite naturally charmed Negro, the huge shepherd.

Negro guards our boat just before charging Anne
Well, not so bad. The Costabaja infinity pool was just a 15-minute walk away, along with socializing with some of our dock mates from last year. The bottom job was finished and well-done!

The Costabaja infinity pool, relaxation after a hot day of boat work
Gregg has been vigilant in attacking projects: analyzing, organizing, doing and finding the right people to work with us. Since returning to the marina, we've had a hydrovane installed which will keep us on course using only wind power, had the wires rerouted for the solar panel so they go directly outside rather than across our bed and out the porthole, sails and rigging checked, the through-hulls and also the engine. 
Gregg helping to install the Hydrovane
We are working with a most thorough engine guy, Rob from Cross Marine, who unfortunately found that we need to replace the coolant pump.

Coolant pump above crankshaft pulley.  Yes, the entire front of engine needs to come off!
It is only available from Sweden and will not be available until later in April. In the meantime, all of Mexico is celebrating Semana Santa! The Malecon in La Paz is bustling with festivities. We will leave Easter Sunday for a week on the water to check out the hydrovane and also the latest and greatest addition for us: a salt water faucet was added to the galley, as well as a conversion to salt water flush so our fresh water supply will be greatly extended. 

Salt water faucet on right
Following our return and the engine repair, we will go out for another shakedown sail around the nearby islands before leaving for Cabo and Hawaii. Check out these improvements!

The Hydrovane nears completion

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