ANOTHER BAJA BASH by Captain Jerry Taylor
When Dick Peterson of Mikelson Yachts called to ask if we would like to deliver an almost new 62′ Nomad from Cabo to San Diego my instantaneous reply was, “Of course. How soon do you want us there?”
The owner had selected a captain and crew unsuited and inexperienced for the sometimes arduous trip north. They had lasted less than half a day before turning back with electrical problems and reports of 12′ seas breaking over the bow. The ‘mysterious’ electrical problems resulted in a complete shut down of both main engines, fortunately for them, just a few feet from the dock.
When Hans, Wendy, and I arrived at the marina in San Jose del Cabo two days later, we set about correcting the electrical problems and readying the boat for sea. During the next two days we:
** Provisioned the vessel.
** Diagnosed the electrical problems as incorrectly specified and installed 12 volt alternators on the Cat’s 24 volt system. Probably “smoked” both alternators on the first start up when the boat was being newly commissioned. This malfunction was masked by the constant use of 110 volt 24v and 12v chargers while on shore power, or by the generator when underway. We discovered both chargers had been unplugged, and subsequently replugged into incorrect outlets in the engine room and were not charging, a condition overlooked by the previous crew.
** Replaced raw water impellers and belts on both generators.
** Topped and pressurized the steering system.
** Brought all the fluid levels to the mark.
** Removed, and reorganized the contents of the lazarette.
** Installed a positive latch on the galley refrigerator door.
After checking with ‘Weather Bob’ of Ocean Marine Nav and topping up the fuel and water tanks we departed for San Diego. The obligatory 6′ to 8′ head seas and 20+ knots of northerly wind greeted us as we rounded Cabo Falso which lies a short distance west of Cabo San Lucas. Our forecast was for a ‘bumpy’ beginning, with diminishing wind and seas as we travelled northward. Bob’s forecast was ‘spot on’ and we were able to gradually increase the Cat’s rpm to 1150, and our speed to 10 knots. As darkness fell the first night, it became obvious that the two main navigation screens could not be dimmed sufficently. In fact they could still be clearly read even when covered with TWO black garbage bags.
Shortly after rounding Cabo San Lazaro, the 0600 engine room check revealed a large amount of salt crystals around the injection elbow for the starboard engine exhaust. Out came the trusty Marinetex and a temporary repair was made.
After 73 hours of continuous running, at dawn, the familiar sight of Point Loma revealed itself. We tied up at the US Customs dock on Shelter Island, and went through clearance
procedures. From there we moved to the Mikelson Yachts dock at Shelter Island Yachtways.This was our second trip north from Cabo on a Mikelson Nomad, and we have only the highest praise for the boats comfort, strength and sea keeping abilities.Delivery SummaryTotal Distance: 747 NM
Total Running Hours: 73
Average Speed: 10.2 Knots
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