Leaving La Paz for Loreto

Monday 25th October.
I just have three more days here in the marina at La Paz then I will head off to the north ending up in Puerto Escondido for my flight from neighbouring Loreto back to the UK at the end of November.
The last two weeks have been a bit lazy, the first week was spent mostly at the keyboard trying to get my Raspberry pi working with the ADC, unfortunately at some point the SD card, that contains the operating system and all the software and data got corrupted, I tell myself this happened just before I was going to back it up, but that’s probably a lie. I spent a day trying to recover my software from the SD card, which I succeeded with a little, but decided in the end to start from scratch again. Is there a prize for the quickest rebuild of a LAMP system?
Once it was all back and running, I spent a day working out how to backup the SD card. Next the ADC needed to be connected and I didnt have the right connecters. Eventually I got it all working and reading voltages when I decided a week was enough playing and as I only had 10 days left I better make a list of chores that needed doing.
The usual jobs, like getting fuel, water, supplies, gas (lpg), do a laundry run, wash the dinghy and boat (best to use water while I have it for free), furl on the headsails, refit the sprayhood, take the covers down and load the dinghy onto the foredeck were added to the list and tackled one at a time over the next week.

While the spray dodger was off, I was able to access the teak work on the coachroof and give it a couple of coats of varnish, it’s looking quite smart now, but also highlighting the areas I haven’t done yet.

I also slapped a bit of varnish on the bowsprit.

One job on my bigger todo list was check and replace if needed all the chainplates.Now a chainplate is a long bit of steel, or iron on some boats, that is bolted to the side of the boat and the wires that support the mast are fixed to it with turnbuckles. If they fail, and they can, the mast can snap. I don’t know when they were last replaced, if ever. However there were signs of rust on one chainplate below the deck, so I thought I would check that one out.

A touch of rust creeping in there

This starboard locker had suffered a lot of water ingress when I bought the boat and I had quickly fixed the leak in Malaysia, however it needed to be sorted properly.
The first job was to remove the chainplates and then the damaged vinyl on the surfaces, I had hoped to just do a small area, but the job grew, and I decided to do both chainplates in that locker and also the next locker.

First problem, the bolts are too long

The first chainplate came out and had some crevice corrosion. It’s usually like this, a line running around the plate where it is sitting inside the deck. Water gets in from the deck, but there is no oxygen there, consequently a special type of corrosion occurs. It’s amazing how a bit of water can cause the steel to be eaten up so badly.
I took the chainlate off to a local fabricator to have it copied, I’m still waiting to know if he can do it before I leave on Thursday, otherwise I will be delayed, but out at anchor as I have to be out of this berth.

I don’t feel safe relying on this.

To be fair, as this boat is a cutter rig there are shrouds all over the place, and the failure of one shroud might be ok if the mast wasn’t under a lot of strain at the time.

You can see below the holes in the deck where the chainplates emerge. There was no obvious damage to the core of the deck, but I raked out the core balsa material to about 1cm back, then I filled the void with thickened epoxy. this will protect the deck against future failures of the seal.

Two starboard rear chainplate holes
Messy
Clean and ready for new vinyl covering

So unable to find the vinyl I bought in Guymas I went off and bought a lot more, only to find the original as soon as I returned to the boat.
I would like to say I have added upholsterer to my CV but you would have to be pretty desperate to ask me for help with any fabric work. Below is the only angle where you can’t see a bad join. Once things are in the lockers it will look very professional.

Below you can see the cleaned up chainplate backing plates on the fresh white vinyl, this is as good as it will ever get. I’m very impressed, if only the other six looked as good. That will take a bit longer me thinks.

Sunday 24th October
So I finally finished cleaning up the boat, I have to wait for the chainplate to arrive before I can fit it and seal them both at the deck level. The second chainplate was in good condition which gives me some hope for the other ones.
So I headed off into town and onto Arturo’s rooftop terrace to checkout some Blue cheese he has found.

The fire brigade join a protest march

The police lead the march for Cancer Awareness
Now that’s an oven.
What a great location to chill, 360 deg panarama
The main cathedral in the city square viewed from the terrace.

So just a few more jobs to do and then I can leave the Marina. I’m really looking forward to being out again, no aircon, but a nice sea breeze, dolphins for company, and after a couple of days getting used to the boat, I will head off into the islands for 3 weeks, with next to no contact with the world, although I will be working on my SSB pactor while out. I returned from the UK with a big bag of toroid rings so I’m hoping to sort out the RF interference.

It’s been a little difficult writing this blog with the knowledge that one of my favorite readers, commentator and friend is no longer going to be reading any more of my posts. Kathy’s sister Bobbie very sadly passed away just a couple of weeks ago, Kathy was with her in Milan and has now returned to Liverpool. Bobbie was a lovely person and took a lot of interest in our travels, she understood and enjoyed my slightly dry humour and I always had her in mind when trying to pen something funny. We will miss her terribly.

My next blog will probably be mid November from Puerto Escondido.

Paul Collister.

4 thoughts on “Leaving La Paz for Loreto”

  1. So sorry to hear of the loss of Kathy’s sister Bobby. Win joins me in sending you both our deepest sympathy. Our thoughts are with all your families at this difficult time. Neil & Win

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