Mazatlan third time ROUND


We came up here to Mazatlan in May of 2013 in order to get our Motor rebuilt or replaced!  We had it rebuilt for around $7000 USD at the old Total Yacht Works.  Oh ya, got a “free” tee shirt too!

Then after five and a half months without a motor ( we spent the summer in Mazatlan) we went back south Mid October 2013…  Long story short, the rebuilt motor lasted until then end of January 2014 (just around 100 engine hours).

We did not rush back to Mazatlan for service from Total Yacht Works, they were GONE after 15 years in business at that time.  I did get to talk to Bob Bucannon the day after my crank shaft broke in Puerto Vallarta and he said, “Drink heavily!”… He left Mazatlan later that week!

Jess and I think it was because of the liability overhead of all those 40 or so re-builds they had done (Rafael (Rafa) did ours) and he did not put the correct journal bearings on the at the #1 journal on the crank shaft.  It was ground  0.010″ undersized journal during the rebuild.  The crank broke in half just behind the #1 journal.  Was in two separate pieces, but still ran…

Inhabiting the same location as the old TBY are now two companies today, Active Marine and Rafa’s Superior Marine.  I would do business with Active Marine Services if needed… Enough said!

We came back through Mazatlan in May 2014 on our way over to La Paz and the Sea of Cortez.  And now we are back visiting our friends and enjoying the city!

Visa- Temporary Resident cards

This trip we have just applied for temporary resident cards here in Mazatlan.  We went into the INM (Mexican Immigration) last Thursday after arriving Wednesday 18 Feb 2015.   We did all the paperwork and paid fees and now we wait for a notice via email to come pickup the cards.

We got notice on Tuesday 24 Feb to return three days after receiving notice!  We will go in tomorrow or 26 Feb, Friday!  I believe we have to do fingerprinting and it will be done.   We can not leave Mazatlan until we have these cards, the INM office retains your tourist card during the process!

The beginning of the temporary resident process is done in the USA at a Mexican Consulate, you make an online reservation for a time/day to go into a Consulate and start the process with a filled out application and six months statements showing financial requirements are met, photos, etc.  The Consulate will approve you for any one of the types of residencies for which you are applying.  The take fingerprints, photos, and put a visa sticker into your passport.  I think it was $38 USD each at the consulate.

The NEXT trip into Mexico the border INM agent issuing your tourist card should give you a special 30 day tourist card which you NEED to take to an INM office within 30 CALENDAR days in order to start the process of getting the physical card!  We paid $232 USD each for the INM fees and $18.50 USD  each for photos and copies and paperwork expertise from the little business next door to the INM in Mazatlan which helps people get it right in a timely manner for the INM document requirements.  I used 15.2 peso per USD which is the rate today for costs)

There is a rumor that some Mexican Consulates are less strict with their interpretation of the recent Mexican Immigration rule changes.  And, that you can go DIRECTLY to a permanent resident card application and skip the four years of temporary resident fees!  It is completely the duty of the Mexican Consul in your US city to determine the type of resident card you can apply for when arriving in Mexico.  The local agents can not change what is on your visa stamp received from the consulate in the US!  The difference in total cost considerable.  Four years $3519 peso each year (you may be able to get a card for 4 years at $8000 peso???) Permanent is one time $4219 peso…

Nuff of that!


We have been doing Judo with friends at Irimi Dojo in Juaurez Neighborhood here in Mazatlan!  Great to see friends Federico, Aida, Mario and Javier along with everyone in the classes!

Getting around the city

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Bus info:

One route map:

Another route map:

New bus route site:  COOL!


We did get out Sunday to Playa Bruja, for a lovely shrimp and mango margarita feed!  And as always met lots of Canadians!

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Been doing some boat stuff

Re-stitched bimini, it needed all the zippers and seams re-stitched with thread which will not dissolve in the MX sun!

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Did re-alignment transmission to prop shaft.  Was on the list for around 100 hours to check and re-align if needed… These are old photos of the old motor, but for you techies!  The round red “flex coupling” bolts tot he “X” flange on the transmission with four bolts.  When the two come together, if you put one bolt in and loosely tighten it and turn it so there is no gap between flanges…  Then if you can get a feeler gage into any of the other three legs of the “X”  you have an alignment problem.  To check you loosen the bolts and get out the feeler gauges to see how much gap is naturally there…



We had about 0.006″ top to bottom and about 0.014: side to side.  It was relatively easy to fix but we did have to drill out a couple holes for the motor mounts to get it done.


Changed motor and refrigerator zincs. With the new motor the same zinc we buy and cut down for the refrigerator also fits the Beta 30, cut length is a little different.  Woo Hoo one less part number in the parts bin!

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Making Water from dock hose bib, we filter going into tanks.


Getting setup to service watermaker, have seal kit and downloaded Gary’s book and video:   Gary’s site has a great video showing you how to do the seal maintenance:

The Katadyn Model 40E Waternaker

Moved KAYAKS from aft by cockpit to forward around dinghy.

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Need to take some more photos!


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San Carlos to Mazatlan

We left San Carlos, finally, on Sunday the 15th of February 2015.  Jim arrived in San Carlos 30 days prior!  Even with Andrew on board for a few days after launch on 1/22/2015 it was a long wait to get crew and then a weather window – vamos (we go)!

Really not an awfully exciting trip for our longest to-date at approx 385 NM… Yes true, I went to the charts and checked it out, Hot Springs Vancouver Island to Coos Bay, OR was less, Coos Bay to San Francisco, CA was less, We stopped two times between Ensenada, Baja Norte and Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur.  And Cabo to Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco was less at approx. 300 NM.  So thanks, John Kuony, another shot of bitters! (Jess says “yuck, that was awful” so I guess all sailing traditions are not SWEET)

We did, finally, decide to start flying the whisker pole on the head sail for downwind legs instead of the main sail most of the way out…  Noted a couple things, one the boat still responds the same at the helm on both sail plans (wallows some directly down wind) and two, it is very easy to reduce sail this way, no need to turn upwind to reef or “drop” sail!

Only been 4+ years of downwind sailing! I don’t know why we were afraid to fly the whisker pole, other than it is a bit of a pain to put up, but that gets better with practice!  I think maybe that putting it away takes some some work, but we found out you don’t have to do that until the seas calm a bit either…  Really liked it!


Some photos…  It was a little blustery leaving San Carlos, you can see the Tetes de Cabra as we leave…

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As always, things calmed out and we did run about 30 hours on the new engine this trip…

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We had three sun rises on out nose…

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And yes, Tom and Nancy, that is a Kokomo Grain cap!


We have a couple favorite restaurants here, one is Mr Lionso, at Playa Bruja north of the Marina in Cerritos and the other, Pancho’s  is south in Zona de Oro…  We went to Pancho’s for lunch and had a lovely celebration lunch for all of $40 USD included drinks and they always compliment you with a shot or two of tequila and a kalua on ice to end the meal…  We crawled back to the boat…  We will get to Playa Bruja SOON!

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A reminder that we just missed Carnival by a couple days arriving on Ash Wednesday instead of a week earlier…


We began a process in December by going to a Mexican Consulate in the US to obtain a visa for application for a temporary resident card…  We had hoped for application for a permanent resident card, however, different consulates go by different rules.  The Denver Mexican Consulate needs you to be on a formal retirement like social security in order to even think about processing you for a permanent resident card.  The word on the net is that some Consulates closer to the boarder work under different rules and that it is possible to go directly to a permanent resident card without passing through the 4 year temporary process…  Saves lots of USD if you can swing it!  We could not!

Thursday, the 19th, we rushed down to Immigration to do the things needed for getting resident cards, Jim’s tourist card was improperly issued at the border for 180 days at 1:00 AM on 1/15 and the date stamp was hard to read. We could tell it was January but the date could have been anywhere between the 11th and 19th…  With a little “sad face” at Immigration and trip to his the supervisor, the officer let us BOTH proceed with the application. They had wanted Jim to return to a US based Mexican consulate to start the process all over again next trip to MX because he missed the 30 day window…

We did get the forms necessary for resident cards, found a service company next door to the Immigration Office to make copies, take photos, fill out forms for us, etc. This ran 280 pesos each.  We ran to the bank to pay the fees ( 3519 peso each) and ran back, this actually happened in a pulmonia for 70 peso round trip,

and made the 1:00 PM closing time by 30 minutes…  In 5 to 10 days we should get a call or we can look on-line to know that our cards are done and we need to return to Immigration to pick them up and get finger printed…  All that so you do not HAVE TO leave the country on a 180 day schedule…  Never sail on a schedule!


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How to route your passage for your next sail

Keep it simple…  Try to sail the distance… Never sail (cruise) on a schedule…  Let your land contact person know your plans so you can be missed (and looked for) when plans go wrong!

We are trying to leave from San Carlos in Sonora MX and head south to Mazatlan.  So how exactly do you set about planning and executing the sail plan…

We use a couple tools while sitting comfortable, and with access to the internet.  Here on the Mexican Pacific seaboard or in the Gulf of California access to the internet for data is not too difficult nor expensive.

We use the marina internet when available or a Telcel cellular account with data.  When in a marina, we use our T-Link wifi antenna connected to a wireless router on board svHajime to serve the various data needs on board.

T-Link info:

Worst part of the T-Link is to keep it pointing at the marina access point antennas,not hard at dock, more difficult on anchor…  We can get great access up to about 1 kilometer from an AP.   I have tried the Round Ubiquiti omni-directional antenna and Bullet2 AP and cannot get decent access unless maybe 0.10 kilometers from an AP.

The Banda-Ancha (wide band) option on the Telcel phones and USB access devices …

We use a T-Mobile capable smart phone and just change to the Telcel SIM we bought here in MX a few years back.  SIM was something like $12 USD.  You buy 3 GIG date good for 30 days for $399 peso and use the hotspot feature on your android phone to serve a PC or…

399 Mexican Peso equals
26.804 US Dollar  @14.89 today 02/14/2015 …   

Sites to help with routing weather…

Jessica uses several web sites to look at area weather trends, Mx progonostico,  Sailflow, US Naval oceanographic site, Stormsurf ???

Me?  I download a 5 to 7 day .5 deg. wind, pressure, rain GRIB file from ZyGrib or GribView, or GribUS.   ( GribUS quit working for me the otherday, don’t know why?)…

A typical GRIB file for wind shows wind direction arrows spaced at .25 deg or .5 deg or 1.0 deg. grid over a map of an area for a given projected time in the future.  A GRIB file covering 3, 5, 7 days usually a maximum of 10 days will show the wind chart for three or six hour intervals over the period.   The more information, the bigger the GRIB file to download…

Typical GRIB snapshots:

GRIB Capture GRIB 2 Capture

Weather taken care of, kinda, we do our routing on a PC based charting program.  Here are some screen shots from a demo version of software for charting and routing…

Max 1 Capture Max 2 Capture

We are thinking of thinking the direct route in RED on the above charts, it is 385 KM and at 5 KN will take 77 hours.  5KN is probably aggressive so…

In this routing program, you can look at the trip over time, ie open a weather GRIB file and tell the program how fast the boat can travel, and it will show you the PROJECTED conditions at any point in time/location along the route …  Here are some screen shots in 3D showing the wind arrows projecting direction and velocity ath the beginning and middle of the route…

3 Capture 4 Capture

All information in, it looks like a GO for leaving tomorrow morning, hope to be in Mazatlan around the 18th or 19th.


Jess’s notes:  Jim forgets to say, try to plan your arrival for daylight if at all possible.  We hate going into strange ports after dark, while leaving a known port after dark is usually okay, unless you know it’s not.

I also always remind myself that the weather projections is not the actual weather.  We say about gribs, multiply by 2 and add 10 to the wind speed.  It sometimes works that way.

He also skips out on the meal planning and the rest of the requirements for a three day sail.  Keep it simple in the galley, too. You might have flat water to cook in, or you might find yourself beating into an unexpected headwind, and be happy you have instant soup and a deep pot to put it into.  I like pre-made dishes.  Just in case I can’t cook.

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First Mate reporting for duty !

Ahhhhh, Jess arrived on Wednesday 02/11/2015 here in San Carlos, Sonora MX.  She flew out of San Francisco to Phoenix then to Hermosillo where she took a cab over to the Tufesa Bus station and two hours later around 2:20 PM arrived in Guaymas.  We took a cab 12 kilometers up to San Carlos.

After boat inspection, we did went over to JJ’s for Donkeys (JJ’s joke on  “burrito”) and so ended Jess’ long day!

Shopping done, well almost!  We ran into, literally, in the Ley’s Express in San Carlos, Kit and Terri Rushton…  Last seen waving, good voyage, to us as we went east and they northwards up near Desolation Sound in British


Columbia Canada in July (or August) 2012…  WOW..

Talked a bit , bagged grocery shopping and followed then to camp site and had a beer and caught up on where(ss) and when(ss)…

Somewhere in all that we got together for a day sail on Thursday 13th of February…

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Had a fog day somewhere in photos a little older, but still in Bahia San Carlos…

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And some sunny day photos…

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San Carlos nice place all in all…

FIN (for now)

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Back on boat with little projects…

I know it’s kinda soon for another blog, but back on boat alone and a little bored without a crew…

We purchased a Honda 2hp 4 stroke outboard in CA when we first got the Walkerbay 8′ dinghy.    Spec on the dinghy says max 2hp motor, and with the added waterwings we can go up to a 4hp …

 not my boat…

So the real story!  I did try the 10 hp 4 stroke motor on the dinghy when we lost the Westerbeke 40hp auxiliary in April 2013…  Way too heavy and dangerous, but hey had to try!

We have been using a 2 hp Honda 4 stroke we got in Alameda in 2011, second hand from a new engine dealer… The said it was “new” ish just returned same day purchased and all, we got $150 off new price…  It never did run very well and lately the choke stopped working and in general it ran like S___.  Honda puts carbon steel parts all over this motor, in unlikely places.  Fasteners, the drain on the carb. was completely flaking rust after a couple years???

 also not my motor…

Found a deal on a carburetor online and brought it down and replaced the old one the other day!  Runs better than ever…  There is not much to changing out a carb. on this little engine and I highly suggest it for anyone fighting a 2 hp Honda running badly…

The old one…

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New one from Scrubber City…

Retail Price: $98.36 Our Price: $73.77    Sale Price: $67.87  Availability: Usually ships in 1-6 days     SKU: 16100-ZW6-G01  , shipping was $9  

Gasket 40.72  Honda 16221-ZW6-000 Gasket, carburetor

  I got a gasket too, but did not really need it…  Search for “Honda 16100-ZW6-G01″

So for $75 got that $900 motor running like new!

By the way, I don’t think I would get another Honda 4 stroke for a dinghy.  I would like to try a 5 or 6 hp 2 stroke and I think It would serve us better!  2 strokes are much lighter per at a given horsepower than 4 strokes and I want to see my Walkerbay 8 plane…  None the less, it runs like a top now!

Got the transducer installed for the IPAD Navionics depth sounder add-on.  I used some plumbers putty to retain the silicone and set the transducer down on a pad of GE Silicone…   Hope there are no air bubbles under it and testing with a cell phone shows a bottom chart that looks reasonable.

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Jess has the IPAD with a GPS in it, wifi IPADS do not have the GPS  sensor in them, only the cellular capable ones do…  You do not need to run a data plan or even have a SIM installed in the IPAD and the GPS works fine  Navionics with the sonar should be a great addition to our navigation options…  I think the sonar transducer kit was around $150

SP200 – T-BOX

Lastly, got the second bike put together with new brake and shifter cables.  I picked up a couple sets of cables from the bike shop where we got the MOBIC folding bikes back in 2012 in Fremont, CA…  Working well again, just have to remember to take them into the boat from dock when expecting a big blow.  Had to grapple hook them out of 20 foot under the dock in Mazatlan in the summer of 2013.  This is the second set of cables since then, but other than that the bikes have served well…


My workplace is a bit cramped…


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The Andrew Carmer show – Guaymas

AJ and I got the boat in the water, ran a shake down cruise up the coat 15 KM to Bahia San Pablo, stayed a couple nights, one in a 30 Knot blow.  We ran back down the coast to San Carlos with a 25 to 28 Knot tail wind and put Hajime into the harbor, on anchor, in San Carlos.

Coming back from Bahia San Pablo…

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After getting AJ’s travel stuff worked out, we took a bus ride into Guaymas to buy a bus ticket and then to do a little sight seeing.

It was a beautiful morning, more so when someone cooks for you…

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Bus to the city of Guaymas…


Sight seeing in Guaymas port…

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Stopped at JJ’s for the “not so big DONKEY”,  burrito…

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Back to boat for the evening…

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Next morning, Saturday, took AJ to the bus and sent him home, well towards Phoenix at least…



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San Carlos all over again…

We left Denver on Jan 14 in the morning, a good day to leave… snow cam:


Friend to the airport, plane to Phoenix and then we found a $4.00 per person day pass for all lightrail and bus transport.  Took the brand new sky rail from the terminals out to the light rail;



W e spent the day at a nice coffee shop in Phoenix at Central and McDowell, they let us sit and hang around all day…  Internet and all:


The bus left at 10:00 PM so we had Tai next door to the coffee shop, food and service was excellent:,-112.0726726,19z/data=!4m7!1m4!3m3!1s0x872b124737d8f4d5:0x2785a58438f669aa!2sHob+Nobs+Cafe’+%26+Spirits!3b1!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0x4bb33183c7e9bff7?hl=en

Tufesa bus statio at 27th and McDowell in Phoenix is easy access from the #17 bus.  Be sure to pull the stop if there is no one waiting to board at the stop, the driver may just drive on by!

Last time I went down alone, the bus must have got the green light at the border, because we did not stop and they did not x-ray all the baggage, this time the bus stopped and after x-ray, we walked around the corner and did the FMM, Form Migration Multiple for about $23 per person we got our tourist cards good for 180 days!  The driver was waiting for us to re-board the bus then off to Guaymas, Sonora MX.z

AJ and I arrived in Guaymas on Jan 15, 2015 at around 7:00 AM.

We had tamales at the bus-port waiting for 9:00 am when stores would open…

Bought paint from Sherwin Williams paint store in San Carlos on the way to the boat.  At the boat around 10:00 AM and AJ started sanding and then we broke open the paint in the afternoon!  turned out the two gallons were almost enough and that the two cans marked identically were almost the same color, not really though…

Him what WORKS hard is allowed to ….

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EATS hard — here at JJ’s just a short walk from the boat yard:

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Mine was SMALL in comparison to the “DONKEY” served at JJ’s.  We ask JJ about the “Donkey” on the menu? , He said, Donkey! like Burro!  You know???


Also kinda liked some of his t-shirt art. Most of it is not suitable for blog publishing!CAM00936 CAM00935


We painted, scrubbed the topsides and waxed same.  Ate out at JJ’s and Captain’s…  Installed another sounder, this one works on IPAD via wifi/wireless with Navionics charting software.  Checked the windless, both it and the battery seem to be in good shape. Filled water tanks, and added a little chlorine, because we love that taste!  We hung the sails, had to pull the drive unit for the Hood 808 SL furler and soak it to get it turning fairly freely.  I think it was new in 1989, and not sure how it was maintained?  We cleaned up and made things ship shape.

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SPLASH came Monday morning at 8:00 AM:

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Just like promised, and all was tight and well.  Did have a couple things, wire had been knocked off the refrigerator down in the storage area.  Had to tighten the new carbon fibre packing, more than expected…  We will keep an eye on it.  The new thru hull feeding he wash down pump allows the pump to spray like a fire hose! Success!

We stayed one night on dock, did some shopping, looked around town for a bike shop, but then found a patch kit in the boat…  Filled the propane tanks t 9:30 AM a truck comes by out front of the Marinaterra hotel at the taco stand and you throw yourself in front of the truck to beg for a fill-up!   Two 20 pound tanks, 300 peso ($20 USD)  Filled a couple 5 gallon diesel cans and a gallon gs can at the marina fuel station near A dock.

We sent a test SPOT message from dock and headed out for a shake down sail/motor up the coast to Bahia San Pablo, about 15 KM. Left dock on Tuesday Jan 20, 2015 at 10:00 AM!  WooHoo!  back in the water again, with dry feet!


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