“No, I’m not kidding, we are sinking, again”. It wasn’t the words that Bill had said that upset Lisa but rather the fact that we were turning around again after making 30 good miles since noon and 20 positive miles toward San Diego or Turtle Bay which was our ultimate destination.
Our friends Bob and Sherry (B.S. to those that know them) are very dear to us. Sherry is the light of any get together and Bob is just one of those guys that are willing to do anything to help a person out. During our recent issue in Muertos where the alternator bearing failed, it was Bob that ran the telephone panel to disperse information to the appropriate people about the alternator and it was he that was willing to front money and rent a car if needed to get the parts to us. It was also Bob and Sherry that told us the day we traveled to Todo Santos with them that we could check out of the country but we were not leaving. It was no wonder they wanted to check out the Hotel California while there.
We didn’t think much about their threat to our travels at the time but after the trouble with the Mexican Health Department, Port Captain and Alternator issues we are beginning to believe that they may be at the root of the conspiracy to actually keep us in Mexico. It might be fun to stay but there are a number of people in Mexico and California that would be disappointed.
The water had been coming into the boat since we departed Puerto Magdalena or Man of War cove. Our intentions today were to get a good start on the trip to Turtle Bay and as suggested by our friends and the local weather guy, the weather would cooperate. True to form, the weather was fine and our 6 hour trip up to Bahia Santa Maria was pleasant and comfortable. Only the nagging light on the bilge pump created a bit of distress or concern.
When we first noticed it we figured it was just the added water in the bilge from pulling up the anchor. After the third time that we saw the light on the bilge pump come on we took a quick look in the bilge and didn’t notice anything odd so we chalked it up to the anti-siphon valve not working correctly and Bill went to work adjusting it and determining that the issue would stop. As we were pulling away from the last land mass we would see for 48 hours or more we decided that perhaps we should check into the bilge pump issue since it had again cycled on then off.
Bill pulled the floor boards near the pump and determined that there was definitely water coming from the front of the boat so he pulled the floor boards at the front of the boat and determined there was no excess water there. He move back to the boards near the front of the engine and removed the settee to access the engine. This is when he informed Lisa that they were indeed sinking albeit at a slow enough rate that Lisa and a bucket could easily keep up with it till they reached their destination. Lisa needed some confirmation at this time and again Bill said, “No, I’m not kidding, we are sinking, again”. The only problem with having Lisa and the bucket keeping the boat dry was that the raw water pump that was just rebuilt in Mazatlan a couple of months ago was the source of the leak, and neither of us was willing to risk the pump disintegrating somewhere out on the open sea.
After a fairly quick discussion we turned the boat around, shut down the engine and with fair winds and following seas we headed back to Man of War cove where we at least had some options for correcting the problem.
We arrived safely at approximately 0130 this morning, are anchored and waiting for the morning sun to bring us new adventures in boat repair. We would have traveled in to San Carlos (the major industrial city here) but the channel is a twisting mass of lighted and unlit buoys so we figured we better wait till the morning. Additionally we have a Mexican friend here that may be able to help us locate the correct person to supply the needed bearings and bushings to correct the leaking pump.
The good news at this point is that we are only aware of four late season hurricanes that have ever hit Magdalena Bay, there are two hurricane hiding holes in the area, we believe that since this is a commercial port we will be able to find the parts for the pump and they have unbelievable scallops here that we have found nowhere else in the Baja. The bad news is, we may miss a perfect weather window to skedaddle home, there is a potential hurricane forming today over Zihuatinajo Mexico, and it really would have been great to not have to continue to rebuild this boat while doing a return delivery to the states.