Slip Away


 

 

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Logbook:  October - December 2001

We 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.

At 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.

     
Our boat 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."

 

After 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