ON THE DOG WATCH
August 2005Up until Pacific Hurricane Season, the year 2005 has been a busy time for me, filled with yacht deliveries and marine surveys. It’s a wonder that I have been able to get any writing done at all. My work on REDISCOVERING THE ONCE FORGOTTEN MIDDLE a chart guide for the Pacific Coast of Central America has really suffered, and I am hoping to put the finishing touches on it and other writing projects now that I am confined to staying on land for the next few months because of the weather.
So far this year I’ve completed six Yacht Deliveries, power and sail. Fortunately, my faithful 2nd crewmember, Scott Breitag, has been available to help whenever I needed him. Leon Stewart, Poncho Joya, Eric Klemowicz, and Odin Aragon, have filled in as 3rd crew, depending on scheduling. Each voyage was very different and presented its own set of challenges.
6-7 January. S/V MATANG, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to Mazatlan, Mexico.
On a last minute whim, I helped Stuart Wetherall and Laura Webb sail their 36 ft traditional style vessel upwind. Again, I reminded myself why I don’t like full keel boats when I had to put her in a narrow slip at the very end of a causeway in Marina Mazatlan. I used the old delivery captain's trick--use the motor only to get enough way on, then take it out of gear, and use only the rudder. I'll take a modified fin-keel vessel any day. Full keel boats don’t go to weather well either.
VA5 at Isla Mujeres
16 February – 6 March. M/V VALLARTA ADVENTURE 5, Tarpon Springs, Florida through the Panama Canal.
On this one I got to see my friends at Corinthian Catamaran again. Built by Corinthian, this new 72’ excursion catamaran, powered by twin 3406 Caterpillar engines, is almost the same as the first boat I brought to Mexico for tour operator Ricardo Farkas, of Vallarta Adventures, back in 1994, except it is double decked. My job this time was to get the new boat from Florida through the Panama Canal and use the time to train Ricardo’s three man crew so they could bring it up the Pacific side by themselves. The seas around the west end of Cuba turned ugly on us and I had to divert to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, to wait out the squally weather. Otherwise, the trip went well, and by the time we got through the Canal, my Mexican crew (the mutiny led by Captain Poncho Rodriguez) was anxious to put me on an airplane, and handle the rest of the voyage by themselves. While in Panama, I got to visit with my long-time friend, Ship’s Agent Pete Stevens, and do what sailors do when in port—tell stories and sample the bubbly.
Pete Stevens & Doug Danielson
17-25 April. M/Y MISTER ED, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to Newport Beach, California.
This beautiful 60’ Ocean sportfisher belonging to Southern California Ford Dealer Sergio Llovio, needed to go back to the states for some routine maintenance. We confirmed the owner’s complaints that the weight aloft of the tuna tower was detrimental to the boat’s performance in the open sea. The owner had the tower removed, and it made a big difference on the return trip back to Puerto Vallarta in July.
28 April – 17 May. S/V LOW PRESSURE, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to San Francisco, CA.
Lorca Rossman and his family asked me to deliver their newly purchased 1981 Formosa 46 to the Bay Area, so they could better spend their time on weekends and holidays learning the boat and preparing it to go cruising, and not interfere with their busy work schedules. During our stop in Turtle Bay, we got the low-down on the fuel war there. Challenger, Servicios Annabel, had been put out of business because of a fuel spill, and Servicio Los Gordos was still dispensing fuel from the old cannery pier. We had good weather most of the trip, until we rounded Point Conception in California. From there north, we’d get as far as we could in the early morning hours and then find a place to hide in the late afternoon.
Re-fueling LOW PRESSURE at Turtle Bay
1-5 July. M/Y MISTER ED, Newport Beach, CA to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
A fast, uneventful return voyage. My long-time friend, Mexican Captain Poncho Joya, was along to learn the boat and take over as captain when we arrived in Puerto Vallarta.
27 July – 8 August. S/V FREE SPIRIT, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to Ensenada, Mexico.
This 1979 Force 50 ketch had been moored in Mexico for several seasons and the owners wanted it delivered to Ensenada for re-fitting and maintenance. Another captain friend of mine, Tony Camacho, had booked the delivery, but ran out of time when some of the pre-voyage projects took too long. After installing a new cutlass bearing and supervising work on the engine, he turned the delivery over to me. You know when you take on something and have an uneasy feeling about it? Well, two thirds of the way between Puerto Vallarta and Cabo, the tie-rod between the hydraulic ram and the steering arm broke, rupturing the front seal of the ram. We had to hand steer, using the emergency tiller, the rest of the way into Cabo San Lucas. There, we improvised an external seal and repaired the rod. After that, the rest of the trip was relatively easy.
ID1 = 31
- March - Rediscovering The Once Forgotten Middle
- May - Bringing The Boat Back From Mexico
- July - New Regulations for Private Vessels Moving From Port To Port in Mexico
- August - Six Yacht Deliveries
- October - 26 October to 3 November 2005, M/Y HERCULES, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to Ventura, California
- September - October - Sailing and Writing
- August - 29 July to 5 August 2008, M/Y ORIANA, Mazatlan, Mexico, to San Diego, California
- January - April - three very different yacht deliveries.
- October - Climbing the Hill: “Rounding the Cape.” and Climbing the Hill: “Up to Mag Bay, then on to San Diego.”
- September - SEFERINA: “Astoria, OR, to Port McNeill, BC.”
- December - BELLALOU: “Tortola to Florida.”
- May - ENSENADA, THE EASIEST PLACE TO CHECK INTO MEXICO
- May-June - WHAT A LIFE: “Newport Beach, CA, to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.”