Sunset on the Baja
The Adventures of the Wasatch
When you reach the horizon, you're near  your journey's end
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1. Marina Del Rey to La Cruz, Mex.
The Bon Voyage Party
Wasatchs Crew at the start of the Adventure
New lifeline nets for the spinnakers, In the SD Police Harbor
SD Bay from the SD Police Dock
The Tender, riding comfortably on the foredeck, but taking up alot of space
Leaving San Diego and Heading into the Sunset
10/30/07
We slipped the dock lines and motored out and away from Marina Del Rey for the last time leaving some
good friends, Mike from Slow Dance and Judy from Wind Borne with her little dog breezy waving goodbye
from the pier.  As I looked back, I had to blick a few times to keep my eyes dry.  Marina Del Rey had become
my home although I had never really thought of it as that until just then.  Mary and I had actually lived in Salt
Lake City, but over the last few years I had been spending more and more time working and living on the
boat in Marina Del Rey.  I had gone half time at work for about a year before I had finally retired to jump off
and go cruising.  I had retired in the Spring with the plan to head south that following November.  However
as things usually go on boats, particularly working on them, things take longer than shorter and it was now
18 months since I had retired that we finally cut the ties.  I would miss Marina Del Rey with many trips to
West Marine and the Ships Store for various parts as I worked on the boat, the many walks along the canal
to Venice Beach, the fun eating places in the area, strolling the Third Street Promenade at Santa Monica,
talks about boats with Mike, Peter and Rick, and the dock parties with all of the friends that we had made on
the dock over the past 12 years.  
After raising the main and clearing the breakwater we motored South with the wind on the nose at 5 kn. to
reach and round the west end of Catalina and anchor in Cat Harbor for the night.  There were three crew on
board, Peter a dock neighbor, Mary, and myself.  I had originally planned that just Mary and I would make
the trip, but as the jump off time grew nearer I became a little nervous about just the two of us heading
south.  Over the last couple of years, I had been working on the boat and had it torn up to the point where
it had really not been out of the slip for much time at all.  Mary was a relatively new sailor and although she
enjoyed traveling was somewhat slow grasping the concepts and mechanics of sailing.  And we had had
some serious issues lately about how much time we would be spending on the boat and how much time we
would be going back and staying in Salt Lake City.  So with Mary, myself, and the boat with all of its systems
largely untested, I decided to ask Peter to go with us down the Baja Coast to La Paz, while we got our sea
legs and made the transition into a cruising lifestyle.  Peter had a 42 ft cutter near the Wasatch on the
Dock.  He had taken several trips down the Baja Coast to Mexico in the past.  Although his wife had a bad
back, a disposition for seasickness, and had really signed off on sailing and all things related to the
sailboat, Peter was an avid sailor.  Most days, particularly since his retirement several years ago, you could
find him down at the dock working on his boat.  And at nearly 70, he often took his boat out sailing and over
to Catalina by himself.
The sail, or should I say motor, over to Catalina went uneventfully.  We rounded West Point and continued
on to Catalina Harbor to stay the night for a passage the next day to San Diego.  As we motored in Peter was
at the helm and picked out a good place to anchor as he often came to Cat Harbor, and I was up at the bow
and dropped the hook.  Not wanting to off load the tender from the bow and needing to get an early start in
the morning, we had dinner and spent a quiet night on the Wasatch.

10/31/07
To get to San Diego in daylight from Cat Harbor, a 75 mile passage, we weighed anchor at 4 AM in the
morning well before daybreak on a moonless night, and not without some difficulty.  The 1500 watt Lofran
windlass was having a hard time pulling the 40 kg Rocna anchor over the bow roller with out tripping the
circuit breaker and it finally did so only after the 3rd attempt.   Each time the circuit breaker tripped, I had to
run back to the cockpit and down into the main salon and reset it.  With Peter at the helm, we had to lace
our way between the cliff wall and a fishing boat that had deployed his nets over the harbor entrance.  
Finally, as I put the mainsail up, the main sheet broke and I had to rerig the mainsheet system as the boom
bounced around and sail flogged in the wind.  First I took the normally free end of the main sheet, ran it
through a shackle on the mainsheet traveler, then up and tied a bowline to one of the bales on the boom.  
Then I hauled in as tight as I could on the main coming from the shackle and quickly threw in a couple of
half hitches on the standing line.  With the boom now quiet it was fairly easy to rerig the main sheet block
and tackle system.  Finally I tightened the mainsheet around its winch, freed up the end of the mainsheet
that had been previously securing the boom, and we fell off the wind and headed on a course.  Mary and I
had had only one shake down cruise to San Diego before we began our epic world cruise and it looked like,
at least the first part of our cruise, we would continue to be shaking down.  Indeed I had left a number of
boat projects unfinished, but as the jump off time grew near, we had already postponed our plans twice, I
just threw all the parts for the unfinished projects into the foreward cabin which had now become the
official storage locker, and we jumped off on schedule as planned, albeit the third planned scheduled jump
off.
The wind soon died and the autopilot was dealing well with the 2-6 feet following swells.  The passage
down to San Diego was uneventful and on the approach at 6 PM we had to make a wide swing around Point
Loma to avoid the kelp beds.  Peter, having entered the harbor before, was somewhat concerned with the
kelp beds, and was up on the bow scouting for kelp, and I was back at the wheel following his directions
and the chartplotter to the entrance channel markers.   As we followed the channel markers in, we furled
the genoa, and then once in the lee of point Loma lowered the main.  After calling the San Diego Harbor
police on the VHF, we found out that the transient slips were unavailable after hours, 5 PM, and they
suggested that we go else where, perhaps try to get a slip at one of the yacht clubs.  By this time it was
nearly dark as the days were getting shorter and shorter, and I felt our options were limited.  On the chart
there appeared to be an anchorage between two of the yacht clubs not to far up the channel on the right.  
When we got to the anchorage, there were no other boats there, so we motored slowly to the center of the
anchorage and dropped the hook in 15 feet of water.  It was a very pleasant location looking out at point
Loma from between the two yacht clubs.  After dinner Mary and Peter were reading in the salon and I was
up on deck tying up some lines and putting away some equipment, when a motorboat with very bright lights
and several men standing on the deck approached.  When they were with in 30 feet or so, one of the men
asked if he could talk to us for a minute.  As it turned out they were the harbor police and the anchoring
where we were was only allowed on the weekends.  So they politely made it clear that we would have to
move, suggesting that we either anchor out and around Point Zuniga or go back to the transient docks and
try to find a vacant slip.  Negotiating the passage back out and around a reef and other hazards to an open
anchorage around Point Zuniga in the dark did not sound very appealing to Peter or myself, so we decided
to go back and look for a place at the transient slips at the police dock, although technically it was not legal
tying up there after hours.  In the middle of the night, while Peter motored up slowly, I hauled the 40 kg.
rocna up covered with mud, and once again the windless circuit breaker tripped as the shank of the anchor
met the bow roller.  This time I just cranked it up the rest of the way by hand.  It was beginning to look like
the windlass circuit breaker tripping while hauling the anchor up was going to be an ongoing occurrence.  
At any rate, although things looked different at night, there were plenty of lights and channel markers and
we made our way back to the police dock, found a vacant slip and pulled in for the night.

11/1/07 to 11/3/07
The Police Harbor dock turned out to be one of the few inexpensive and convenient places to stay in San
Diego Harbor.  Unlike many places farther south, San Diego, as was most of the rest of the West Coast in
the States, really not set up to handle cruising sailors, and understandably so, because there aren’t many
sailors cruising in the U.S.   Most cruising is done farther south.  However, we had a very pleasant stay for
several days in San Diego at the Police Harbor Docks.  Mary went to visit her son and family for a couple of
days and then we all got together for dinner one night.  Peter had a friend that he wanted to get in touch
with.  And I worked on a few of my unfinished boat projects.  While staying a several days at the police
dock, we ran into a number of other cruisers, some heading south and some coming back north.  One
couple with an Island Packet next to the Wasatch was headed back north.  He was into computers and
offered to download some divx movies onto my hard drive which I gratefully accepted.  Another couple,
David and Kimberly also with an Island Packet were headed south.  They were retired computer people and
were headed for the Mexican Gold Coast to spend the winter and then bring their boat back up into the Sea
of Cortez and fly back to San Francisco for the Spring and Summer.  Although headed in the same direction,
they left San Diego a couple of days earlier than we did.  Another cruiser heading south that we met was
Phil, who had a 37 foot trimaran.  He was a very friendly gentleman in his late sixties from San Diego who
had sailed to Mexico several years ago and then had come back to live on his boat and work in San Diego.  
Now he was ready to head south again.  He was in the process of remodeling Manasea from a live aboard in
a slip boat to a cruising boat.  At the present time he was installing a single side band radio as well as
hooking up his wifi system.  He had an 8.5 db external antenna that he fixed to his boom when he was near
a wifi station and ran a cable down to his computer in the cabin.  He was nice enough to give me the access
code to a wifi station at a hotel nearby, so I tried setting up a connection with a smaller external antenna
system that I had.  Actually I had a couple of different systems and was in the process of trying to figure out
which one worked best, although none of them seemed to do a great job.
One afternoon Mary and I went to Downwind Marine, a store with in walking distance of the Police Harbor
that we had heard about from dock friends in Marina del Rey.  It was very similar to the Ships Store in
Marina Del Rey.  Although small compared to a West Marine, it had just about anything you would need to
work on or repair your boat.  We got several items from them, including a copy of “The Mexican Boating
Guide” and a water filter system for hooking up  to a hose before filling the boat tanks.  It had one white 5
micron filter and another charcoal .5 micron filter. Another day we went with Phil who had access to a car to
the grocery store to top up on our provisions before heading on south.  Mary was pretty much in charge of
the cooking and provisioning so I just went along for the ride.  Another thing that I was able to accomplish
while in San Diego was to get boat collision insurance.  When I looked into getting cruising boat it
insurance in Marina Del Rey, I checked out several companies.  I have put a total amount of about $250,000
into the Wasatch not including all of the sweat equity of which is considerable.  The last time I had the boat
hauled out of the water, I had it surveyed and he valued to boat at $180,000.  To actually replace the boat
that I had now with a similar boat with all of the equipment would probably cost in the range of $400,000 to
$500,000.  For about $3,500 a year I would be able to insure the Wasatch for the $180,000 that the boat was
valued at.  It seemed to me that at most I would only be insuring the boat for half its replacement value, so
why even bother.  I finally decided to go without insurance.  However, Mexico requires collision insurance,
so I was in San Diego I was able to track down a company which sold Mexican collision insurance and buy it
over the internet for approximately $300.
Broken Mainsheet