The first leg of the trip: San Diego to Ensenda . . and beyond
So the plan was to leave San Diego early in the morning and make a quick 8 hour run to Ensenda as sort of a final trial of all the work on the boat, check into Mexico and then continue south. The first part worked ok, the boat performed well and just about as planned the boat arrived in Ensenda. Because of some last minute work the crew left Saturday morning really early rather than Friday as scheduled, but no worries, word was that the customs and immigration office in Ensenda was open on Saturdays. Pulled up to the dock and discovered the office is only open on Saturday once a month, and today was not it. So they pulled in lines and headed to Cabo. Weather forecast was good to Cabo, with some indication that a storm might be brewing that would impact travel south of Cabo. But no worries for now, so the crew headed south, threw fishing lines in the water and started looking for fish.
Initial results on the fishing were poor as the crew struggled to knock the rust off their skills, but soon they were hooking a variety of stuff and landed a few, which they cleaned and put on ice for future meals.
In an earlier post I mentioned that we installed an Iridum Go! device, it provides phone, text and (very very) slow data connections for a limited amount of special applications, like our weather program and our sailmail account.
We set up the device to email a location report every 4 hours so that folks on the mainland can track the progress of LFB. Most of the features work pretty well, but the location application appears to be operating on a “just get it close” theory. It is supposed to provide longitude, latitude and altitude information, but it appears that LFB has developed wings because the altitude is regularly reported as between 500 and several thousand feet above sea level, and the long and lat coordinates often show LFB many miles inland and sometimes shows the boat backtracking. Here is what a recent message looks like:
I am here Lat+26.863500 Lon-80.127300 Alt-5298ft Iridium Loc http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=26.863500&lon=-80.127300 Sent via Iridium GO!
Not even close to reality, and showing the boat at 5, 298 feet above sea level. May be a new altitude record for a Nordhavn. We will have to do some more research and figure out what is going on there.
About half way between San Diego and Cabo I got a couple of emails from the boat through our sailmail account. Fuel burn was very high, the main engine runs too warm at WOT (which we try to run at for about 15 minutes a day to burn out soot from the dry exhaust stack) and the 12K generator had tripped off and when they restarted it the engine ran but no power was seen at the electrical panel. A little while later another update, one of the large air blowers in the engine room and died and the temperature in the engine room was rising. Looked like the stop in Cabo for the weather would be a great opportunity to do some fixing, if we could get the parts. Pulled the blower number from the owner’s manual (a great resource, thanks Nordhavn!) and ordered it from Grangers. Engineer thinks the coolant pump on the main engine might be a bit of a problem so we sourced and ordered a new one from a john deer parts place and made arrangements to have both parts picked up in North Carolina where willing family members stood by to help. Also began the search for a Northern Lights expert in the cabo area to come work on the 12k Genset; while that process was underway I posted a note to the Nordhavn owners website with the details of the problem, within hours I had a response that the likely problem was a circuit breaker not easily accessed. Sure enough, the engineer went to the lazarette with a mirror, looked behind some electrical stuff, found the breaker, reset it and we had power once again from the 12K. But that breaker would be problematic for much of the trip, unwilling to handle much more than a 30amp load when the genset should be able to supply almost 50amps.
Back to the fuel burn, turns out the gang was running about 400 RPM high, they lowered the rpm down to about 1400 and started getting about 8 – 8.5 knots through the water burning just under 1 gallon per nautical mile. That made a huge difference.
Made a few phone calls and emails to Nordhavn contacts looking for a marina around Cabo San Lucas to park for a while. The first recommended marina was full, but a friend from the owners list suggested San Jose del Cabo Marina. They had space and so LFB rounded the tip of Baja and into San Jose del Cabo.