Thursday, May 16, 2024

Bashing Level 2, Pranked

Sea of Cortez, en route to Puerto Escondido

We’re on our way to Puerto Escondido, one of my favorite stops in the Sea of Cortez and where Intermezzo has spent several hurricane seasons laid up ashore. The weather is pleasant, conditions are calm and the engine is pushing us along at over 6 knots.

Yesterday was a day of bashing against 10-15 knot headwinds and a decent chop from Punta Chivato to San Juanico. Since I’m going to be doing a lot of bashing on this voyage, I have established a metric, the Bashing Level (BL). The BL is a number from zero to five, zero being no bashing at all, five meaning a painful, boat-jarring, bone-rattling, spray-flying, we-want-to-get-off level of bashing. Yesterday was, at worst, a BL 2, with the boat pounding against and being slowed down by head seas, spray occasionally hitting the front windows. Unpleasant, but not uncomfortable.

I’m very happy to report that my repair to the starboard hull-deck joint, part of the “10 Year Refit”, seems to be a success. This joint has leaked a little or a lot ever since I’ve owned the boat, despite several prior attempts at repair. The worst leakage occurred when we were rounding Cabo Corrientes last year and the contents of the starboard lockers were soaked. We’ve always had at least a little water on the sole of the starboard head, a constant nuisance.  What I discovered was that when the boat’s builder was joining the hull to the deck, they had to install temporarily screws to hold the joint together until the epoxy adhesive cured. They then removed these screws and filled them with caulk. A combination of gaps in the joint adhesive and shrinking caulk resulted in several pathways for water to enter the boat. I epoxied the entire length of the joint, pulled out all the caulk from the screw holes (56 of them!) and filled them with epoxy. I also replaced the gasket for the hatch above the starboard head. I tested the repair with a strong hose stream at the boatyard and had no leakage. Yesterday was a real life test, albeit only BL 2.  I expect BL’s to be three and above during the Baja Bash. Then we’ll really know if I finally have a dry boat.

I have mounted the Starlink antenna so that I can be connected to the internet while underway, a blessing and a curse. I got a bit bored yesterday while bashing and started scrolling through my Facebook feed on my phone. Earlier, I had connected my phone to the boat’s stereo system to listen to music and had the volume turned up fairly high to overcome the noise of the engine. I stopped listening to the music, but never disconnected the phone audio or turned down the volume. As I was scrolling Facebook, all of a sudden it sounded like the boat was being attacked by orcas, or a propeller was falling off, or the boat was breaking itself into bits.  I was scared out of my wits  and just about started investigating when I realized that I had paused my scrolling on a video of a guy banging trash can lids (for a reason, but no need for me to explain here). The audio from the video was playing at loud volume through the boat’s speakers. The noise was not orcas, propellers, or boat disintegration. Banging trash can lids!  False alarm, quite a relief. It only lasted a few seconds, but I had been duly pranked.

Last night we anchored in La Ramada cove in San Juanico, a small, pretty and sheltered anchorage shared with two other boats. To have some distance from the other boats, I anchored a little closer than comfortable to an outcropping of rocks to the east. Last night the wind blew strong from the west, making the rocks a lee shore. I’m very confident in my anchor and ground tackle, but since there was only about 300 feet between Intermezzo and the rocks, I set an anchor alarm that would wake me up if we started dragging. I slept soundly.

Intermezzo has two Multi-Function Devices (MFDs), commonly referred to as chartplotters. One of them is clearly on the blink, requiring multiple cycles to boot up every morning. Once it boots up, it works fine, but I’m getting tired of waiting for it to wake up and am concerned about its reliability. Fortunately, I have a spare and it’s not difficult to swap out. That will be tomorrow’s project while hanging off a mooring in Puerto Escondido.