Thursday, October 16, 2014

Getting Ready to Head South

Finisterra has been in her slip for the last four months undergoing some refits, improvements and upgrades in preparation for her next adventure. Here is a partial list of work done:
- 10 coats of varnish on the cap rails
- Replace the worn teak in the cockpit with synthetic teak
- Add a fourth element to the lazyjacks
- Rebuild the watermaker
- Replace the jib sheets and main halyard
- Service the ground tackle
- Install fans in all the cabins
- Modify the outboard motor hoist to make it smaller and lighter
- Install a cut-out switch between the solar panels and charge controller
- Upgrade the bimini
- Fabricate and install a new cockpit table
- Replace the XM radio antenna
- Replace all docklines
- Install spreader patches on the mainsail
- Service the diesel engine and outboard motor
- Seal the joint between the galley countertop and lockers
- Completely empty the boat and clean out all lockers
- Refresh ditch bag
- Get new bug screens for all hatches

Whew! That was a lot of work. Now all that's left is to provision, fuel up and take care of roughly a thousand other minor tasks, such as refill the propane tanks, re-certify all the safety gear, go through our wardrobes and thin them down for the tropics, install an Iridium Go satellite communications system, stock up on spare parts and tools, make copies of documentation, etc. etc.  A few of my landlocked friends tell me I'm "Livin' the dream", but what they don't understand is that living the dream is a lot of work!

Anyway, it looks like, barring any surprises, Finisterra will be ready to sail sometime in early November. The plan is to spend a few days at Catalina Island, another week or so in San Diego and then head for Ensenada. From there we'll sail down the coast of Baja California, stopping in Turtle Bay and possibly Magdalena Bay before rounding Cabo San Lucas and laying over a day or two in San Jose Del Cabo to top up provisions. From San Jose, the plan is to cross the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan, then cruise down the coast to Puerto Vallarta where we'll spend a month or so and plan our next move.

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