- December 2001
purchased Slip Away in October 2001, and at that time, she was in Puerto
Vallarta, Mexico, about 1100 miles south of Los Angeles. Since our sailing
experience was limited to coastal cruising in Southern California, we decided
to hire a delivery skipper and also asked a friend to lend a hand in bringing
the boat north to Ensenada, Mexico. Ensenada is about three hours south of
L.A. by car, and we were bringing the boat there for some work at the Baja
Naval boatyard. We planned to keep the boat in Ensenada until Spring and
then bring it up to L.A.
the end of November, we flew to Puerto Vallarta and were joined by our
delivery skipper (Rick Whiting) and our friend (Tom Boeker). From Puerto
Vallarta, our plan was to sail northwest across the mouth of the Sea of
Cortez (aka Gulf of California) to Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip of
the Baja peninsula, and then continue north along the west coast of the
peninsula to Ensenada. We estimated the trip would take us about two
weeks, but although we were on a sailboat, this trip would be "uphill" Ė
against the current and prevailing winds Ė so thereís a lot of motoring
and not much sailing. Itís fondly referred to as the "Baja Bash."
Provisioning in Puerto Vallarta
Toasting King Neptune after changing our boat
name from "Mine Too" to "Slip Away"
The delivery crew and previous
owners of Slip Away.
delivery plan didnít quite go as expected. Although the previous owners
cruised the boat from California to Mexico, the past couple of years she sat
in a slip and was sailed only occasionally. Taking her out on the open seas
stirred up a lot of crud in the fuel tanks, and on the leg from Puerto
Vallarta to Cabo, we found ourselves changing fuel filters at a frantic
pace. In addition to the fuel problems, we ran into a storm about half way
to Cabo. The 35-knot winds and 10-15 foot seas were "character building."
resting a few days in Cabo and shopping for additional fuel filters, we departed
Cabo bound for Ensenada, 800 miles north. We continued to have problems with
dirty fuel and were quickly running out of the additional fuel filters (about 20
of them) we purchased in
Cabo. After ~150 miles, a new problem arose Ė a leaky shaft log. The shaft log
leaked only when the engine was in gear, but since we were in the heart of the
"Baja Bash," we needed the engine. It became evident that it would be best to
return to Cabo to get the shaft log fixed and the fuel situation straightened
out. Unfortunately, there was no place to stop in between Cabo and Ensenada. The
coast of Baja has some beautiful anchorages along the way, but itís a remote
area, with no place to have work done on the boat.
When we turned around for Cabo, we were now going with the wind and current, so
we didnít need the motor, and we had a beautiful sail back! Although we were
disappointed that we didnít get all the way to Ensenada, overall, we had a great
experience and learned a tremendous amount.
When we got back to Cabo, we arranged with the local boatyard to repair the
shaft log and clean out our fuel (they call it "polishing" the fuel), and the
four of us flew home for the holidays. Rich had plans to come back in January
with another delivery skipper, but unfortunately, Jan had to get back to work.
Cabo San Lucas postcard view
Slip Away in the yard at Cabo