In late November 2002, Ron and Sandra Benson took delivery of Boundary Waters, their brand new Nordhavn 50 hull #21. They hired delivery captains Tom and Ann Caywood to help them to deliver their boat from Dana Point, California to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The Caywoods will be presenting a seminar on this delivery at the Melbourne, Florida, TrawlerFest in March 2003.
December 4, 2002: We are currently in Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, having arrived yesterday morning at 07:57. The second leg of Boundary Water's maiden voyage, San Diego to Cabo, covered 739 nm and lasted 89.3 hours. We have approximately 3,800 nm to go to reach FL.
After a delightful stay in San Diego, (thanks to the Houstons on Julie Kay and the Eschs on Fet-Esch) we were finally ready to depart the day after Thanksgiving, Fri., 11/29. After topping off our fuel tanks (879.7 gals. which took us 3 hrs 20 min. to fill because a very large commercial fishing vessel was also fueling and the pump pressure was nil! This vessel's drain on the fuel tanks in San Diego may well be the cause of our unusually frequent Racor filter changes.), we headed out into perfect trawler weather: winds light and variable, wind waves non-existent, swells maybe 15 seconds apart. Despite that, three of the crew chose to take an anti-motion pill "just in case".
Our trip thus far has been a combination of the very best of trawler weather (calm seas, mild winds; the boat handles quite well in a following sea - we once saw 10.2 on our knot meter as we surfed down some waves) and a bit of real excitement when the winds got up to nearly 40 knots on the beam (she handles incredibly well in a beam sea!!). The bar stools and a freestanding dining table both tipped over, but are none the worse for wear, and intrepid Sandy continued dinner preparation through the very worst of it all! Extremely impressive!! By changing course to hug the coast just below Magdalena Bay, we were able to escape into calmer winds and seas, and we continued our trip in comfort.
Since I've been told, "seas so smooth that a star, low on the horizon, left a sparkling white wake in the water" and "the Milky Way so bright it's no wonder the ancients believed their gods walked across it" are not what you'd prefer to read about, I'll also not bore you with the several instances when a watch stander tried mightily to find on radar a bright light on the horizon, only to realize, as it continued to rise, that it was a star rather than a boat.
Our first major waypoint off Punta Eugenia (almost exactly halfway down the Baja Peninsula, offshore from the anchorage at Turtle Bay) was passed at 00:50 on 12/1, with an average speed of 8.3 knots; 273.8 nm from the Mexican islands of Coronado off Ensenada in 33 hours.
The next major waypoint, Cabo San Lazaro (about half way between Eugenia and Cabo San Lucas) was another 276.8 nm farther south. We passed it at 10:25 on 12/2, with an average speed of 8.2 knots for that 33.5 hours.
The last major waypoint, Cabo San Lucas, 180.5 nm further on took 21 hours and 32 minutes at a speed of 8.4 knots. Entry fees totaled $184, covering the port tax, port captain's fee and tourist cards for the four of us. Slip fees are $103 per night, including electricity and water (nonpotable). Diesel was quoted at $2.11 per gallon, apparently now regulated nationally rather than by city location (per a seasonal luxury yacht captain familiar with fuel stops along this coast).
Our future plans are tentative and will be based on an expected phone conversation with the weather advisor later today. First thing on the agenda is engine room maintenance: changing oil and Racor fuel filters (has already been done twice, underway, at 9 inches of vacuum; thank goodness for that set of double filters!). Everyone is ready to head south, but the weather advisor may suggest otherwise for our trip to the mainland, across the open mouth of the Sea of Cortez.
Challenges conquered: Fuel and water management continue to be a major focus. Water, because of a good but slow 12-volt watermaker, is plentiful and, with dishwashing, showers, and freshwater head flushing, we're using quite a bit of it. However, the plumbing to the watermaker is designed to put its product only into whichever tank we're actually using. That requires careful monitoring so that 1) there is room in that tank for the product, and 2) we don't use more than we put in, thus running that tank dry (and these gages are located in the main stateroom head - away from the other important gages at the helm station). Add to that an apparent requirement to consider a tank that holds between 10 and 15 gallons as "empty" (to insure against the water pump sucking air into the system), it requires a lot of vigilance.
The fuel issue is similar, but much more complex and will await a future update.
On the water issue, I'll quote owner Ron Benson:
"The design requires placing new water in the same tank as in service. With 4 tanks ranging in size from 45 gallons to 75 gallons this is a lot of switching with four people aboard (a shower every day being a minimum requirement for comfortable passage making). It also appears that switching from tank to tank can introduce a vapor lock requiring purging to return the system to service."
"I would think", Ron tells me, "a supply manifold for the watermaker is in order to complement the existing distribution manifold."
Tidbit: total seafood caught so far (without the wetting of a single hook) -- 2 small squid found on the decks. They are currently in the freezer awaiting usage as bait.