S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

My photo
Intrepid II is a Cape Dory Intrepid 40 sailboat, hull #2, designed by Chuck Paine and discovered by the Captain in Blue Hill Maine in 2006. The crew are Kelly (Captain) and Carol (Admiral and Blogger). In 2009 INTREPID II embarked on her West Coast journey from Victoria to San Francisco, the Baja Sur Peninsula and into the Sea of Cortez. In 2010/2011, we sailed ifrom Guaymas, south to Bahia Banderas and back. In 2011/2012 she left Guaymas, headed south to La Paz, spent three weeks at anchor on our northward journey and rested on the hard in San Carlos. Her 4th, 5th and 6th seasons were Boat Projects related. Season 7 - we are hoping to cruise again at long last.

March 31, 2013


Spring bouquet - subtle and delicate - Happy Easter
A year ago INTREPID II was anchored in Bahia San Evaristo with over a dozen vessels and experiencing alternating strong northerlies, then calm enough waters to go ashore or visit. Celebrating Easter in that setting, with the wind and the waves and the sky and the full moon and the church bells ringing Saturday night for the Easter vigil was unique and memorable.

San Evaristo 2012
This Easter the kitties and I are at home; the Captain is still enroute   Our Easter will be celebrated once we are all reunited.  The weather at home has been sunny, 13 - 14 C with enough warmth to sit out on the patio and enjoy the spring flowers.  Kelly's land passages have been long days driving; he did enjoy a family visit near Los Angeles before continuing homeward.

Our Easter wishes go out to family and friends, on land or on the water; hope it will be a joyful one whatever the setting.

March 26, 2013

Adios San Carlos!

INTREPID II has been moved (a bit prematurely) back into dry storage in Marina Seca.  Hopefully the workmen finalizing the repairs on the rudder will be able to do so.  For some reason the moving crew jumped the gun. Kelly came back to the works yard late yesterday to discover our boat had been moved back to storage a day early.  He had to locate a ladder and squeeze into the cockpit to finish covering up the various bits and pieces still needing foil, duct tape or other covering.

Today was sort and organize the storeroom and get things packed to start his homeward journey.   Also to say adios to friends and deal with the frustration of route planning and reservation making without internet.  It's not quite as if the Admiral is the weather router back home, but a bit similar.  I try to anticipate where and when, check for hotel availability.  With Easter weekend approaching, accommodations are getting booked up.  Then call the Captain, discuss  finalize the details and hope for the best.  Kelly noticed vendors are setting up and organizing throughout San Carlos.  Rooms for rent signs are popping up as well.  As our friend Linde advises, 'time to batten down the hatches'! Until experiencing Mexico in person, I had never considered Easter weekend a time to party hearty.

Linde also sent along proof that the Captain did take time to enjoy himself in the midst of boat chores.  This photo was taken at last Sunday's beach party to raise funds for 'Castaway Kids, an organization which works with needy children in the San Carlos area.  So the drinking of cerveza was for a good cause!

Tomorrow it is time to make tracks northward.  Buen viaje!

March 25, 2013

Springtime highlights

One highlight of being at home this Spring rather than enjoying warmer, sunnier weather further south, is enjoying the springtime blooms in our garden.  That does mean ignoring all the pending yard work; that will wait for slightly warmer weather. The Captain will need to exchange his shorts and sandals for jeans and boots to tackle the grass cutting, raking, power washing and all those home based projects on his arrival.

Pictures taken this morning in some glorious sunshine, but only 8C degrees.

Narcissi in full bloom

Purple heather
Purple hellebore - enjoys the shade

Flowering red currant
Stunning tulips

Garry Oaks are biding their time 

San Carlos update from the Captain

Beach near La Greiga restaurante, San Carlos
How quickly time passes, yet how slowly as well!  Kelly still has no access to internet.  He's hoping for one last try this morning to obtain a relatively small but critical replacement part to get his laptop monitor functioning.  Fingers crossed!  It is amazing how we have become reliant on technology; everything from checking weather (whether for land or boat passages), the news of the world, emails, banking, Skype and entertainment during those long evenings away from home.

San Carlos at dusk
The transmission was re-installed late last week but not yet tested due to a lack of appropriate transmission fluid.  Another mystery as we were certain we had left some in the store room.  The rudder work is progressing and hopefully will be finished today.  Kelly has almost decided it is time to consider replacing, rather than repairing our 30 year old head. It is likely some other parts are plotting to act up if he repairs the current culprits.  At the moment he is eyeing the space in our Subaru wagon for what items will fit to bring back home.  It would have been great to empty out the rental storeroom but we have found it so useful when we recommission INTREPID II.  We can  shift sail bags, boat supplies, bikes, etc. back and forth to allow us room to sort and clean.  We can even sleep in the cabin while we prepare her for a cruising season!

It is time to replace any aluminum foil, duct tape and other protective coverings we had set up on deck.  That includes in the portlights to protect equipment from the intense Sonoran sun and other elements during the coming months.  Kelly has checked out the sea-cocks and has tentative plans for modifying them to minimize the frustration getting to some of them. There are four located in incredibly inaccessible spots in the galley; another project to plan and scope out once back home.

If all goes well, the Captain will head home mid-week, saying adios to our cruising friends who are currently in San Carlos.  We wish those of you still on the high Sea of Cortez "fair winds".

March 20, 2013

Status of boat projects

Boat projects underway in Marina Seca, San Carlos

Since the Captain continues to wait for his laptop to be fixed,  I'll give a quick update as conveyed via fuzzy skype conversations.

Westerbeke 53 hp engine
Omar, the primo San Carlos diesel mechanic, advised Kelly that he is hopeful all our transmission needs is new seals.  He had one and could get another locally.  If that is the case then we are very pleased; fingers crossed.  The work on the rudder is proceeding and the fibreglass repairs are done; now there is some drying time required.  The head has been dismantled and sits in the cockpit as Kelly intends to take some pieces to Hernandez Brothers in Guaymas to remachine the parts. However, as this is a 30 year old unit, albeit an excellent product, we are wondering if it is indeed time to replace it, in case other parts decide to pack it in.

The past weekend in Mexico was a long weekend in honour of Benito Juarez.  The Condos Filros where Kelly is staying filled up with a number of groups with partying on their minds.  Sleep was limited for a few nights.  However, there has been a few days lull until folks arrive for the Semana Santa festivities. Kelly is hopeful he will have pulled all his projects together by then and be on his way home.  We will see!

Kelly says he's enjoyed spending time with cruising friends;  he's had a chance to take some walks. Disappointingly, where he's staying doesn't provide a safe roadway to ride his folding bike to Marina Seca or to the stores.  
Gravel road in the Ranchitos area leading to highway
Good food!
He's scoped out the way to reach the Canon de Nacapule, hoping to find someone with time to enjoy the hike with him.  This is apparently a very lush, tropical oasis of sorts, with freshwater pools when there has been sufficient rain.  Having a kitchen in the condo is economical for breakfasts and lunches, but it is still reasonable to have a meal out.  Kelly has been enjoying El Novillero, an open air restaurant under a palapa roof; keep it in mind if you are visiting San Carlos.  It is on the way to the marina and near the new Santa Fe grocery.

Back home, we've had more of the same:  a bit of sun, much more rain and often high winds.  At the moment the sun is glinting off the raindrops on the trees and flowers and it is sparkly and cheery.  Home projects continue and I feel I'm keeping Kelly company in spirit.
Happy 12th Sebastian!
Today is the 12th birthday of our 'big guy' Sebastian , a solid tan and white cat we've shared our home with for 10 years.  He is a complicated, restless and loving feline with an unpredictable streak we've never been able to tame. At the moment he is soaking up sun while he can and just enjoyed his daily spoonful of vanilla yogurt.  Tonight he'll be treated to his favorite salmon dinner.

March 15, 2013

Progress so far in San Carlos

The best laid plans....

The Captain is somewhat incommunicado at the moment as his well behaved laptop waited until he arrived in San Carlos to act up.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that the glitches will be identified, rectified and banished, allowing Kelly to once again connect to cyber space.

Our conversations via Mexican cell phone to Canadian land line, or Skype to Mexican cell have necessarily been as brief as possible.  Not inexpensive, but necessary.  What I've learned to date: the rudder is being investigated, contact has been made with the diesel mechanic; he's had an onsite inspection of the transmission, and further checking is underway.  The details will follow when the ups and downs of boat maintenance and computer surprises are under control.

In the meantime, we've had fog this morning.  It's a moody, misty, West Coast atmosphere. Light rain followed, then that elusive sunshine and finally more dumping down rain.  Nothing boring about the weather today.

Moody, misty West Coast morning....not exactly San Carlos weather
When the Captain is away, the cats are somewhat melancholy.  They are missing their personal groomer and Doorman!  So why get out of bed on such a rainy day?

"We miss you Dad!  Hope everything starts to fall in place soon and you can enjoy that lovely weather - send some home too!"

March 12, 2013

Meanwhile back home in Victoria

Meanwhile back home, we've had the spring forward to daylight savings time.  Along with losing sleep, it brought rain which seems determined to stay around for some time.  While the thought of more daylight to do outdoor work is great, those efforts will wait until it warms up and things dry out.
Hellebores in bloom
However, there are spring flowers to enjoy and the incredible variations of green which make the West Coast so special.
Crocus sending out its blooms

Snow drops 

The Captain is back in San Carlos

The Captain had a tiring, but safe journey by land; he drove for three and a half long days to San Carlos.  Now the boat work begins.  INTREPID II has been moved from dry storage to the works yard at Marina Seca, where he can tackle maintenance and projects.  Kelly will be updating his adventures as he has time and wifi connections; however, we wanted our cruising buddies to know he had arrived and is more than happy to take a few breaks and reconnect with anyone who is still in the San Carlos/Guaymas area.

Back home it is pouring down rain!  At least one of us can enjoy the Mexican sunshine, cervezas and all the other delightful things we so look forward to when we cruise.  It is extremely disappointing that we won't have a 2012-2013 cruising season.  At least our sailboat will have some TLC and be ready for us in the fall.