Tag Archives: boat projects

Why Mantus Anchors are amazing

We are very proud to be ambassadors for Mantus Anchors. As long as we put the proper scope out, our anchor grabs so fast and holds strong. That is why we call it our sleeping pill. We are posting this video because is gives a good demonstration of that. We have a lot of experience with others and so far our Mantus is “THE ONE”!




Refill the kitty in 3 months!

After 10 months of sailing around, it was time to refill the cruising kitty. We spent over our $12,000/year budget in unexpected, yet typical, repairs and replacements. Since we were so close to the US and easy  access to work, we decided to take the hottest time in Mexico (July, August, September) off of the boat and head to The States to refill our hungry cruising kitty.

If you haven’t read the “about me” part of our blog, then you may need to be informed of my profession. I’m a Registered Nurse, specifically a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse. If you’re saying to yourself “what’s that?”, I take care of premature and very sick babies. I’ve been doing this for over 12 years now and I still haven’t lost my passion for it. In fact, it was actually hard to put in my notice at UCSF 11 months ago so that we could sail away.

In mid May, of this year,when I was able to check my email from La Paz, I found out that my old Unit at UCSF was hiring Travel Nurses for June 28 start date. I checked in with the management team and they said that they would love to have me return for a 13 week assignment! It was too good to be true! June 28 was a little sooner than we wanted, and 13 weeks was a little longer then we wanted, but really, its perfect.

We made it to San Carlos, Mexico, by June 14th with plenty time to put away the boat in Marina Real for a 3 months detour to the US. It took about 3 full days to complete the check list of things to do. This included, but not limited to:

  • pickling the water maker
  • fresh water flush through the engine
  • taking down the sails and stowing them down below
  • Putting up the sun shades
  • Cleaning and leaving the heads (toilets) filled with fresh water and vinegar
  • fresh water washing as much salt waterlogged gear as we could
  • laundry and getting rid of clothes
  • eating and cleaning out the perishable food (we did leave cans of tomato sauce, so hopefully we don’t arrive back to the boat with exploded cans of tomato everywhere. Apparently this happens when it gets too hot.)
  • Placing Bay Leaves in almost all of our bulk food containers. Apparently the Bay Leaf helps keep the Weevils at bay (no pun intended). Thanks Deb on SV Coastal Drifter for that tip.
  • Packing clothes (REAL shoes, socks, pants AND A BELT, sweaters, and WORK CLOTHES!) , oops I forgot a beanie!
  • And a couple more odds and ends stuff.

Our pile of stuff to bring back to the US was huge. Mostly because we had to pack for 3 months of on the road adventures. I say “we” but I really mean Christian and the kids. My list of things to bring was small: work clothes, 2 pairs of pants, 2 shorts, and one “nice outfit”, flip flops and my work shoes. Oh and my awesome Brompton folding bike, that we store in our aft shower, for my San Francisco commuting, yay!

Our 10 hour bus ride on the Tufesa bus line ended up being more like 11 hours, but it still wasn’t bad. Reclining seats, AC, 2 bathrooms, 1 check point and 1 border check, and 5 movies  later(3 of them, very inappropriate for kids), we made it to Phoenix, AZ for a nominal $80 fee.

After a few days at Christian’s sister’s house in Phoenix, I flew off to start my 3 months of work, leaving behind the family to road trip their way around The States visiting friends and family.

“Was it hard to leave?”, you ask.

EXTREMELY !!!  After being so close with each other the last 10 months I’m finding myself really missing their company. But I also know it’s only a short time in the grand sceme of things and totally worth it !

So now I’m here in San Francisco. Christian is on super land nomad dad duty. Boat school is out for summer break and we’ll be doing this up through late September. After all is said and done, we should have overfilled (wishful thinking) our cruising kitty with enough $$$ to get us to New Zealand by our (Northern hemisphere) fall 2017. But you know how cruising works… “We’ll see as we go”!

Yummy grub next to (Cerca de) the bus station in Guaymas. Missing me some good Mexican food !
Christian visits the Grand Canyon while I meet Travel Nurses

Then use my trusty Brompton Folding bike to get to work. Here my “brommie” is sitting pretty on the Bay Area CalTrain. 

Happiness is a clean bottom: 3 day Haul Out!

It all began on a nice Monday night romantic sail from Sausalito over to Berkeley Marine Center haul out slip. The girls went with the Kiddoo Grandparents and Taj was asleep in the aft cabin.  I think this was the first time in too long that Christian and I actually sailed together, sans kids. We took 2.5 hours under full sail from anchorage to dock. The wind was perfect, but we were fighting a pretty strong ebb, so our average speed was 3.8 kts.

First thing on Tuesday morning the Berkeley Marine Center crew hauled us out. As soon as the boat was positioned on it’s stands, Taj and I took off for the day and Christian went to work. He finished sanding before noon and the first coat of bottom paint was on by 3pm.

omg, a picture of all 5 of us!

So happy to get her bottom cleaned!

First time Josie’s parents have seen a boat hauled out!


Wednesday included another coat of paint and the engine/propeller coupling removal to make some needed adjustments. We also put in another thru-hole for the water maker.

Water maker thru-hole

Thursday: another coat of paint, filing of the coupling for a slightly looser fit,  shaft removal and replacement to get the previous summer’s caught trip line fully removed, the drip-less stuffing box removed and replaced with traditional packing gland. We also installed a “tranny saver”, said a few words that shall not be repeated, and realigned the engine.

Shaft entry point damage from last summer’s trip line getting caught. Yikes!



Friday: We were the first to splash for the day! After we came off of the stands and in to the slings, a few coats of paint were added on the areas where the pads were, a few moments to dry, and voilà, splishy splashy in 3 days! Captain Lauducci is AMAZING!!!


As soon as we hit water, all possible leak points were checked and all was good to go. Well, we thought all was good to go. After some fine tune engine alignments, we started the engine. To our disappointment the area around the new packing gland was getting too hot. Urg!!! … many other words….

After 2 days of wrenching on the engine at the guest dock in Berkeley Marina, Christian figured it out, phew! We were worried we would have to haul back out and go back to the drip-less system (which we really did my want on there). The culprit of the hot spot around the packing gland: aligning the engine and shaft on the hard. When the boat was returned to the water, the haul settled, therefore changing the position of the alignment by a whole half of an inch!!!  Having the alignment off that much caused way to much friction around the packing gland. Moral of the story; wait till your boat is back in the water to do your engine alignment.  Now I think it’s safe to say that we are pretty much good to go!

To Do:
We are just waiting on floating ground cable for our SSB (single side band) radio to finish installing out SSB. We need to finish connecting the water maker and start it up.  And we are also going to get the iridiumGo before we take off. Yay!