Cruise to La Cruz....Aborted

Last week we had a perfect 46 hour weather window to cruise from La Paz to La Cruz across the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. We had food and snacks for days. The water tank was full. We had taken Stugeron (really great sea sickness meds). Everything was off the counters and stowed away. Life jackets and ditch bag were close at hand. Notified family and friends of our departure and arrival plan. Engine room and systems check complete.

We called the marina (in Spanish :), "Costa Baja, Costa Baja, Costa Baja, 3 people on board Noeta checking out. Heading for La Cruz. We left the key cards in the dock box"
"Have a great day Noeta. Safe cruising. Come visit us again."

Beeeeeeeeeeep, Beeeeeeeeeep, Beeeeeeeeeep....where is that alarm coming from?! I'm searching all the panels for red lights or error messages while Pat is navigating the narrow channel lined with boulders. On the stabilizer panel, I spot that it reads 'Searching....' "That's it," says Pat over the beeping alarm, "turn off the stabilizers." I turned the stabilizer switch off and the pilot house was quiet again (followed by some swearing).  

Once out of the channel, Pat went to explore. He discovered not only that the stabilizers weren't functioning, but that the alternator didn't appear to be working. Stabilizers work to keep the boat from rolling as much. While we expected good weather, it wouldn't have been good to have them just flopping around under the boat. That could cause significant damage to the stabilizer hardware.  Not something we wanted on a 46 hour cruise. So we made the decision to turn back. 30 minutes after leaving the dock, we were tying back up again. 

You can see the stabilizers here, under the boat on both sides - like small wings under water

After a number of phone calls, some research and expert advice, Pat ordered a complete ABT Stabilizer upgrade kit. Once we have it, it 'should' be plug-and-play with a relatively simple install (I probably just jinxed it :/ ) When Pat called the manufacturer and told them which model we had (called 'the Brick' from 2002), they said they were shocked it had worked this long. Pat also found our spare alternator. However, after checking out the voltage regulator on the alternator, he was able to get that back online. We don't need that spare just yet. 

So now I'm back in the States picking up boat parts to put Noeta back together since having parts shipped to Mexico is a complex process. In the mean time, there are worse places to be 'stuck'. We've gotten other projects done, enjoyed the company of the Talbots on Northern Ranger II and Norman and Clarice on Salish Aire, and are getting some friend and family time in the States. Really, being 'stuck' in La Paz, Mexico is not a bad thing. We'll cross the Sea of Cortez another day.

One of our spare alternators - turns out we don't need it just yet.

We would rather be at a dock wishing we were out there than out 'there' wishing we were at a dock.

One of many projects we completed since we couldn't cross the Sea of Cortez just yet. 

We spray painted our 420 feet of anchor chain in 20 foot increments so we can figure out how much we're dropping when we anchor.


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