Via s/v Whatcha Gonna Do
Well, we arrived yesterday afternoon (Tuesday Nov 3rd) in Bahia Santa Maria two thirds of the way down the coast of Baja. It has been an awesome trip! We finally caught up with the rest of the Baja Ha Ha fleet and it was quite an impressive view to turn into this bay in the middle of nowhere and see nearly 200 boats all anchored. We joined up with the party going on at the beach and then came back to the boat for an excellent steak dinner. Today, the fleet planned to depart at 0600 to begin the final leg to Cabo San Lucas. Given that we had just arrived at Bahia Santa Maria only late the prior afternoon, we decided that we would take it easy today, sleep in, have a late breakfast, swim and then go for a late afternoon hike. Once all those other boats had left it was pretty awesome to see ours and just two others anchored in this bay. After two over nights at sea we figured we deserved a little break. Overnight sailing, which requires doing two hour watches, can be tiring after a while. We are doing 2 hour on, 4 hour off shifts with Barb and Caren sharing one of the shifts.
Catamarans are great and here is just on reason why! On Barb and Caren's shift two nights ago all of a sudden the port (left) engine alarm went on and the rpm's went to zero. We could not figure out what was causing the alarm so we turned the engine off and decided to look into the problem the next morning. Well, when we got up that next morning and went to look inside the port engine compartment we discovered that the engine room was over half full with water! We thought maybe there was a leak caused by the rope getting wrapped around the propeller but found that hard to believe. When we looked closer there was a lot of water further aft of the engine room and that was the water that was leaking into the engine room. What the #&$*@! We started pumping all the water out with a hand bilge pump (which took about four hours -- there was a lot of water) and during that time tried to figure out how all that water could have gotten into the boat. Was there a hole in the boat and if so where was it? We had not hit anything. Anyhow, we kept looking and went down onto the sugar scoops (the steps behind the boat) and there they were -- two very little holes on the bottom step. The boat has these nice outdoor carpets that are usually snapped onto the steps but we have taken them off for this passage and stowed them. My guess is that these two tiny little holes were left when the carpets were originally installed and not properly sealed! Only with extended time at sea in a boat heavy with gear and water constantly slapping up on the lower steps could that water have slowly leaked in. Well, we patched the holes with a sealant that we had, finished pumping out all the water and then finally sat back to have lunch. Now the reason catamarans are great is that if this had been a mono hull the whole boat may have been underwater (or worse), but because this was a catamaran, with built-in buoyancy, this was much more of a nuisance than a safety concern. Needless to say, it made for an exciting morning.
Well, after a great day of relaxing in Bahia Santa Maria today with the kids swimming in our outdoor swimming pool all afternoon :) followed by a sunset hike, we have departed on our final leg to Cabo San Lucas. We hope to get there sometime on Friday but as I write this there is not much wind, so we may be motoring for a while.