- March 2002
On January 1, 2002, Rich flew back to Cabo San
Lucas to complete the delivery of Slip Away to Ensenada. A few days
later, Captain Jack Steele joined Rich in Cabo, and a few days after that,
they departed Cabo San Lucas bound for Ensenada. Before departing Cabo, they
ran the boat through a sea trial to make sure everything was in working order,
and it appeared to be so.
About three hours out of Cabo, the shaft log
started leaking again. Rich and Captain Jack decided to continue on to
Ensenada and let the bilge pumps keep the boat above water. There were two
electric and one manual bilge pump on the boat, so they figured they could
keep going. Although the fuel was polished, they continued to have problems
with clogged fuel filters. Two of the bilge pumps gave up the ghost on the
way, but after a short stop in Turtle Bay to refuel, they arrived in
Ensenada early the morning of January 12.
Although this trip provided more
character-building experiences, Rich enjoyed it, learned a lot from Captain
Jack, and they saw the “green flash” at sunset two nights in a row.
Jan picked up the two sailors in Ensenada, and
after lunch at La Tortuga, she drove them home. Unfortunately, Captain Jack
came home to some bad news. While he was on this trip with Rich, a thru-hull
on his boat broke, and his boat sank. His wife Terri was extremely
resourceful and managed to get the boat raised before Jack got home, but he
was faced with a big cleanup project. It seemed like bad boat luck was
During the months of
January and February, we spent a lot of time in Ensenada and completed
some projects on Slip Away, including replacing all of the thru-hulls,
repairing blisters on and repainting the bottom and fixing that shaft log
Slip Away in the boatyard in Ensenada
At the end of February, it was time to bring
Slip Away home to Marina del Rey. The two of us were ready to do this trip on
our own, and we planned to stop in San Diego for a night on the way.
We motored out of Ensenada harbor bound for San
Diego late Thursday afternoon (2/28). Since we were again going against the
prevailing winds and currents (our last leg of the “Baja Bash”), we expected
to motor the entire way. We were having mild "Santa Ana" conditions, so the
winds were light, the seas were calm, and we were looking forward to a smooth
We had one small "incident" along the way.
About 10 p.m. Thursday night, our alternator/water pump belt broke. (Things
always seem to break in the middle of the night - never in the middle of the
day!) Rich installed the spare, but it was a bit too long, so he couldn't get
it tight enough. We were able to run at idle speed, but it slowed us down
quite a bit. We did get some help, tho, from some light off-shore breezes.
We hoisted our main sail and increased our speed by a knot.
We arrived in San Diego around 10:30 a.m. on
Friday morning. We checked in with U.S. Customs and got a slip to spend the
night. Our friends Sam and Tom came down from Dana Point to visit us and
brought some champagne to celebrate. (Tom is the friend who helped us on the
passage from Puerto Vallarta to Cabo San Lucas.) They also took us out to
pick up another belt for the alternator, and we went to dinner. Rich and I
slept very soundly on Friday night!
On Saturday morning, Rich changed the
alternator belt and noticed the raw water pump was leaking. We had a spare,
so he changed that too. (Thank God he's such a "gear head!") When he
finished, he commented that he wished we could have just one passage when
nothing broke. His wish was about to come true.
We left San Diego about 1:30 p.m. on Saturday,
and the seas were even calmer than the previous leg of our passage. We had a
great trip to Marina del Rey, arriving about 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning (3/2). We
got to the shipping lanes just outside of L.A. Harbor in the middle of the
night, and we have a tremendous appreciation for our radar!
Now that we had Slip Away in
Marina del Rey, iit was time to move on board. At the time, we were
renting a one-bedroom apartment, so we had some further downsizing to do.
Luckily, we had almost a month to accomplish this task. By the end of
March, we had emptied out the apartment (shipping a dozen or so boxes to Jan's
Mom's in Cincinnati, storing a few things at Jan's office and giving away the
rest), and we and the cats moved aboard.
Slip Away in Marina del Rey