Countdown to CUBAR – three days…

We are still hanging in Chula Vista, which seems like a long way to go to meet the gang as we leave on Tuesday Morning early… but we have been having a local fellow wax our boat and I wouldn’t want to make it difficult for him! Other visitors have been Shea the radio guru ( Offshore Outfitters) and the installers for the Emarsat phone system. We have had another glitch thrown at us, as Shea pointed out the spectra line we use for the hoist has almost split and parted from itself up at the top of our mast. ( Yes, Virginia, some power boats have masts)

we do love it here, as the sunsets can be breathtaking!


This spectra issue is very disconcerting as we just had that line replaced a month or two ago. Luckily we have a topping lift that is keeping the boom from kabooming down onto the dinghy and the deck and whatever or whoever else is up there… but there will be no lifting of dinghy or kayaks or men/women overboard if we don’t fix it.

It is a mystery, because that is the same type of line that has been doing this job since the boat was built in 2002… apparently with no mysterious defects and defections.

The offending line… next to the dry stack … seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it??? we shall see.

If you look closely at this picture taken just under a month ago the line is intact . As it should be. But isn’t.


I asked the Diesel Engine God ( aka Bob) how hot the exhaust gets coming out of the dry stack, the opening of which is about ten inches to a foot away from the line at the top of the mast.

The answer makes me think that this line ( melting point 300 F) has failed because the exhaust can come out anywhere from 500F at normal cruise speeds to 975F wide open. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this line has melted to death.

The question is why has it never done this before? Are we missing something? Is there a difference in something since we had the line replaced, whether it’s the placement of the block and tackle up there, or how we situate the boom when we are underway…

Luckily after a frantic phone call yesterday night ( Friday afternoon at a shipyard… you can shoot a cannon between the boats and not hit a human being,so we are lucky someone found our message) (mind you, they start pretty early so I guess they are allowed to go home for the weekend! just not when we need them, LOL!) we are told that although he’s off sailing today, he can come tomorrow morning after a prior appointment and deal with this conundrum.

Initial thoughts are to replace the spectra with steel cable. We have had a spectra/dinghy/davit accident in the past that could have been deadly ugly, and luckily just cost us the price of repairing a submerged outboard and a few other bits and pieces on a deep-sixed dinghy – so once bitten twice shy. Just a shame we are down to the last few days of preparation- so as the shipyard that did this work is just around the corner I am thinking staying in Chula Vista is a good idea.

Besides, we love the pub!


Other than that – we have had a lot of fun, hanging with our San Diego buddies from Varnebank Christy and Ken – enjoying Hallowe’en with their granddaughter, and enjoying a lot of evenings out. Now the Cubar people are here, after the check in this past week, so we are getting re-acquainted and acquainted with lots of new and old friends! Which is why we do this!

The weather has been somewhat sketchy, and there are several times I have kicked myself mentally for putting my favourite sweater back in the cupboard back at the lake – after all, it’s been minus 12 there, that’s where sweaters belong. However this past week San Diego has experienced markedly cooler weather than they had last month. Personally, I could use some heat, just to get me ready for Mexico. But today is sunny, and it’s warm outside, not that I have gone out there as I am trying to clean up before Val arrives – after all, we want the boat to look her best! Because after this, my guess is staying neat and tidy will not be a priority.

Our crew is flying in today, our Cubar 2015 crew member Valerie who has happily volunteered to do it again – let’s hope the weather is better than last time. But we have a different vessel, and I am going to be optimistic about the weather.

Meanwhile, a few more days in one of our favourite cities, the sendoff party is tomorrow at the San Diego Yacht Club… a day to finish up and last minute shopping.. and then bright and early, zero dark thirty, we will slip away from Chula Vista and head out the harbour one last time to meet up with some of the other vessels embarking on this adventure!