November 28, 2005   

Newport Beach to San Diego

Leaving Newport Beach was a little sad for Kath.  Leaving there this morning brought a few tears to the eyes of this fine lady who does not cry easily.  However, she still has all those fond memories from her childhood and a few new ones.  

We have been underway about 4 hours now, heading for Shelter Island in San Diego.  Only had to make a slight adjustment in the starboard packing gland to stop the drips.  Both are now running dry and cool.  So far, the new three blade props are doing what they were supposed to do.  I am running at our normal cruising speed of about 8.1 to 8.4 knots, but at 200 rpm less than previously and burning 1 1/2 gallon per hour less than normal.  We lost about 50 rpm on the top end but that was expected and I can live with it. All in all, a very nice improvement! J At this rate, and fuel at $2.50 per gallon average, the new props will pay for themselves in about 500 hours of run time.

Shelter Island has been a very nice place to stay and get a bunch of things done before heading down into Mexico and we have been very busy here in San Diego!  We rented a car for the whole time we will be here so that we can run around doing our errands.  We have been to West Marine a few times already; drove to Vista to buy a new 2.5 HP Yamaha for our backup inflatable Avon 9' Redcrest dinghy; discovered that ham radio tests were to be given on December 3rd so hammed  up the night before and passed missing only 3!  Imagine that???  And I only passed one out of about eight practice tests the night and morning before the test.  So, now I am a hammer. 
J WiFi has been intermittent and slow so am not able to update our website.

We also bought a couple sets of nice new trolling rods and reels along with a bunch of fishing lures and equipment.  Tis hard to come by in Mexico and even then expensive.  After we fish a while and find out what catches fish, we will order some in and have Brian bring it down in January when he and his bride to be visit us in Puerto Vallarta.  Got our SailMail working which we are finding great for email as well as weather forecasts in at least two ways.  One is downloaded grib files which is graphic depicting wind speed and direction as well as surface pressure out as far as 10 days in 12/24 hour increments.  The other is downloading weather faxes from NWS.  All is good weather information for trip planning.  In addition, we have WxWorx satellite weather 24/7 via the XM radio satellite signal which provides very good information as well.  So we feel we have weather covered pretty well (fingers crossed and knock on wood).

 Picked up some foreign country courtesy flags we were missing;   a new Mexico chart book;  received our Panama coffee and mail plus a couple teak louvered vents to complete the dehumidifier installation; went to Costco and loaded up on cheeses,  boxed wine to conserve space, some candy for trading and for the kids in Mexico, Christmas gifts for friends and family and a few other things we needed.  Packed up the Christmas gifts and sent them off.   We bought a Boji water softener for washing down Dreamer.  The water spotting from the various ports has been the worst I have ever seen so we hope this will cure the problem.    We also picked up a Garmin iQue M5 PDA with GPS built-in which will run Maptech's Pocket Navigator and also the marine digital charts we have on CD.  This will be another backup navigation system as well as one we can take in the dinghy.  It seems that we take on so much more than we take off the boat.  The only way things leave the boat are via trash and human wastes.  I'm beginning to wonder if we raised the boot stripe far enough.

Squared the boat away a bit, still some more to do.  Picked up our fishing licenses,  one for Dreamer, one for each inflatable and one for the kayak, plus one for Kath and one for me, then one each for Brian and Tonya who will visit us in Puerto Vallarta in mid January for about 10 days, all for only $350 or so for a year. L We better catch and eat a lot of fish!  We are looking forward to their visit.  J

I think all is ready to head for Mexico so we will return the rental car this morning after a couple last minute errands and depart tomorrow, December 8.