December 29, 2005   

Cabo San Lucas to Bahia Los Frailes

We refueled in CSL yesterday afternoon and departed early this morning for Bahia Los Frailes on the East Cape.  Beautiful day on the water.  Trolled a bit around a couple points along the way.  About two hours from our anchorage, i noticed the port ammeter showing no charge.  Went below to check and found the port alternator belts smoking so went back up and stopped the port engine for further investigations.  Found the alternator pulley frozen up so decided to proceed to our anchorage on starboard engine only.  Bummer!

Arrived at the anchorage, beautiful spot, and dropped the hook.  As dark came on us, we turned the anchor light on and checked it.  It was not on.  Tapped it to see if that worked.  It did not.  So I turned the lights on under the radar arch instead.  A little later, we were standing on the aft deck and I noticed fish boiling in the light on both sides.  they were a couple pounds each, so I netted one and it looked good so netted a total of six.  I cleaned one and cooked it.  Yummers, just about like the rock fish we caught up in the PNW.  So cleaned the rest for later.  Kath was quite happy about that!  Free fish!

The next morning, I dinghied ashore to see what I could learn.  I learned that there were no repair shops nearby.  And no auto parts stores.  I talked with a few gringos that were camping there in their RVs and they said that when they went for supplies in two days, they would see what they could find in the way of a small alternator that I could put in place of the old one to at least drive the belt for the water pump.  I thanked them and went back to Dreamer to discuss things with Kath.

We could either wait for another alternator or continue in one of three directions on one engine, to La Paz, back to Cabo San Lucas or to Mazatlan.  Neither of us wanted to go to Mazatlan on one engine, a run of 165 miles.  Neither of us liked the idea of going back to Cabo San Lucas, so it seemed like La Paz was the choice of directions.  Then we discussed whether to wait or go on.  If we waited and the fellow was not successful in obtaining another alternator, we would have wasted two or three days.  We were beginning to run out of time to meet up with Brian and Tonya.  So we decided that heading up to La Paz on one engine and trying to get our alternator repaired there was the best thing for us to do.  I dinghied back ashore and informed the fellow of our decision, thanked him and went back to Dreamer.

We decided to make it to La Paz in two runs.  First to Bahia de los Muertos, about 48 miles, then on to La Paz, about another 60 miles.  On one engine, we can only make about 6 to 6.5 knots at normal cruise RPM.  We decided to leave the following morning, New Year's Eve, which would put us into La Paz on New Year's Day.  So we settled in for the rest of the afternoon and evening.