June 1, 2012

Splash Day

Splash Day

After 10 weeks in the yard, getting the bottom stripped, barrier-coated, and painted…and the galley torn apart and rebuilt…and the master stateroom demolished to make way for high-tech water tank repair…and new wall coverings in the master stateroom and bath…and new non-skid on the main deck…and a brand new paint job on the blue trim…Emma Jo was launched and motored to her temporary home at Marina Mazatlan.

It went as smoothly as it should have after 10 weeks on the hard…the starting batteries were dead (which we discovered while in the slings in the lift and about to back out); the electrical system was screwed up, with switches in the wrong place and mislabeled; and the mysterious workings of the valves that control the freshwater system onboard led to just hooking up to shore water; and the galley finish work wasn’t finished. [Read more…]

Deconstructing Emma Jo

April 15, 2012
On the Hard, Mazatlan Marine Services
Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico

Demolition is always way easier (and much more fun) than actually fixing things, as the following photos will show.

Galley Chaos

Galley Chaos

Repainting Stripes

Repainting Stripes

First, we covered every conceivable (and some unconceivable) surface with drop cloths, cardboard, and duct tape.

Then, they ground off all the bottom paint, right down to the bare fiberglass, took off the blue stripes, cut out the patches of damaged fiberglass on the fly bridge, and ripped the non-skid off the entire main deck. Dust everywhere.

Next they tore out the galley – bare wood and gaping holes everywhere. [Read more…]

High and Dry…Let the Organized Chaos Begin!

March 24, 2012
Singlar Marina, Mazatlan

Emma Jo High and Dry

Emma Jo High and Dry

Here we are, high and dry, with the accompanying chaos.

Our Tuesday haulout didn’t go as planned, as the north winds kicked up and Miriam, the lift operator, plans methodically for a calm, stress-free haulout. At her recommendation we waited until Wednesday morning, which was perfect.

We entered the lift at 9:05 a.m., and were high and dry by 9:20, with guys armed with a pressure-washer at the ready. It’s the first time we’ve seen a travelift operated by remote control, and with a cute, petite woman at the command. She’s a pro, and doesn’t lift a finger unless everything is perfect.

It was also the first time we stayed aboard until the boat was supported by the sling – the travelift moved us forward, the guys organized a ladder at the front rail, and we just stepped off. Brilliant! [Read more…]

Spectacular Passage to Mazatlan — And a Welcome Reunion

March 17, 2012
Singlar Marina, Mazatlan, Sinaloa

Well I guess we paid our dues the other night rounding Cabo Corientes in that mess.

Our 185-mile passage north to Mazatlan was … dare I say … spectacular. We had little to no wind, with the anemometer showing between 9 and 11 knots relative and subtracting our speed of around 7 knots we can safely say we saw less than 6 knots of real wind the whole 25 hours.

And with that little wind, the sea was almost mirror-calm with little cat’s paws raking the surface every now and then and a gentle swell of 0 to 2 feet most of the way.

During the night we passed two sailboats heading in our direction, giving me practice at identifying targets on the radar at night and verifying what running lights on a sailboat’s spreaders look like. The radio was quiet.

Whales Approaching Mazatlan

Whales Approaching Mazatlan

The icing on the cake was a sighting of humpback whales just after sunrise, a mother and calf feeding not 100 yards off our starboard side. When they sounded, I ran for the camera and hoped they would appear again for a picture…and as luck would have it, they surfaced and blew about 50 yards off the port side.

I could get used to that – but probably shouldn’t. [Read more…]