December 11, 2005   

Islas Benitos to Bahia de Tortugas - Turtle Bay

We reluctantly pulled in the flopper stoppers and hoisted the anchor and departed our little anchorage of abundance at 0830 for the seven hour run to Turtle Bay.  We will fuel up there and rest a day perhaps.  Maybe a little cleaning up in the engine room.  If we had been visited by another fisherman with lobster, we would have traded until he had no more, but none showed up. 

Winds are 10 to 15 with low swells and 1' to 2' wind waves.  About 1000 I heard the alarm for the stabilizers and looked at the control panel.  It warned of low hydraulic fluid in the reservoir so I went down into the engine room to investigate.  Sure enough, the tank was down about 30% from just below the full mark where it was this morning when I made my rounds.  I gave a quick look around and could see no evidence of a leak but the tank was definitely lower on hydraulic fluid.  So I brought both engines back to idle and looked around some more but could find nothing which is a bit disturbing.  We shut down the stabilizer system to preserve what oil we have left and will proceed to Turtle Bay without them.   Fortunately, I have almost 5 gallons so I can refill the reservoir but I have to find and fix the leak first.  That's a chore for tomorrow after the engines cool down.  Another item on the To Do list.

What a difference!!!  Lots of rock n roll without them.  But no more than we used to have before the stabilizers and it's not too bad out here except the seas are on our port stern quarter and the swells are building plus the winds have picked up to 15 to 18.  So we are being pushed around a bit and seem to have lost a bit of speed without the stabilizers.  We should be in the lee of Isla Cedros in about another half hour so I expect things to settle down a bit then for the rest of the trip to TB.

This morning, we put the rest of the lobster tails in containers covered with water to freeze for later.  All but one which wouldn't fit, so, Darn, we will have to cook it up later to go with the other two left over from yesterday. 

Well, we are out of the lee of Isla Cedros and the winds have picked up again on our beam and we are really rockin n rollin.  So we have a renewed appreciation for our stabilizers.  

We are about an hour and a half out of Turtle Bay and have changed our course plus in the lee of the mainland so things have calmed down a bit aboard Dreamer.  But I think we have picked up some kelp on the stabilizer fins that has slowed us down a bit. 

Turtle Bay is a very small village, unlike villages in the US.  No sense of layout or order.  I went ashore to get a few supplies and perhaps a couple fittings for the stabilizer system but only got a few lemons, no charge........

We fueled up this morning.  We had to Med moor with anchor out and backing up to fuel pier then toss a couple stern lines to the dock guy who crossed the lines to help hold the boat in position and we took up some slack in the anchor line to hold the boat off the fuel pier.  After some delays, doing who knows what, they passed down the fuel hose.  I used a Baja fuel filter but got no debris or water so things must have improved in their fuel handling and storage over the years.  We took on 973 liters, or about 256 gallons at $.67 US per liter.  Not too bad considering the remoteness.

We were visited by a fisherman this afternoon and when we said we wanted to trade for lobster, he nodded.  Kath showed him a tee shirt we got for free when we bought fishing gear in San Diego and his eyes literally lit up.  We negotiated and I said ten lobsters for the tee shirt and he nodded and said he would return shortly.  He did and with ten lobsters.   Kath is a happy girl again.  J

I guess we will proceed with the hose on system as is for now and hope for the best as I wasn't able to locate a fitting in town.  Tomorrow we will make the run of about 58 miles to Bahia Asuncion, a good anchorage in normal weather.