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Broke Down in La Paz

It’s not near as bad as it sounds. We are anchored about 100′ off the Malecon (boardwalk) in 4′ of water with almost everything within walking distance.

We took a leisurely 3 weeks to sail from San Carlos to San Juanico to Isla Coronado to Loreto to Escondido to Aqua Verde to Puerto las Gatos to Isla San Jose to Isla San Francisco and finally to La Paz.

We had some serious wind from San Jose with over 25kn apparent on our stern and 6′ plus short choppy seas (which is about all you get in the Sea of Cortez) less than an hour from raising anchor we decided to duck into Isla San Francisco and hole up. We jibed across and despite Hil working the mainsheet hauling like hell, we snapped about 6 slugs on the mainsail and I think we broke a few teeth off the pinion gear for the steering.

Anchored in tight, we spent the better part of a day greasing the teleflex steering cables to each rudder. Half human origami and half grease monkey, I got the steering working 200% better but still stiff a few spots on the wheel. We ran downwind with a asymmetrical spinnaker in light winds the last 40nm to La Paz without a problem.

I knew the steering would need attention at some point. The teleflex cables are prone to corrosion and who knows when and if they have ever been replaced. Performance cruising has changed the steering system since our boat (19 years old) and they suggest updating the steering hub, both cables, and both linkage arms at the same time.

We were in La Paz for a week and we decided to reset our anchor ahead of a couple days of 20kn winds. Once the anchor was free, we found we couldn’t steer to starboard (right). By making several left circles we were able to drop anchor. We quickly found one of the linkage arms broke from corrosion.

After some research, we decided to bite the bullet and I’m finalizing and order for all new steering components for a pretty reasonable price. The kicker, I can’t get the parts here in La Paz (or Mexico for that matter). The easiest way is to have my mother bring them down when she visits in three weeks.

I did find a link arm that will work temporarily, but I don’t really want to risk heading back to San Carlos and losing steering.

La Paz is great! If we were to break down- this is the place. Good cruiser community, lot’s of kids, super food, beautiful old city. The one downside, once you touch civilization the pesos start pouring out of your pocket. I write this from the Burger King with a 3 story play area where the kids just finished an ice cream treat.

Oh well. Cheap cerveza and great food while waiting on parts, it could be a whole lot worse!

You know an ICE COLD draft beer in Mexico is a very affordable price of approximately $1.25! Click Here to Buy Us a Beer.

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