I've been in San Diego for five days now, and will be limping to Ensenada on Saturday.
I had a mechanic looking at the engine today. The good news is the engine is fine; the bad news is the transmission needs to be pulled out and serviced. Baja Naval in Ensenada is much less expensive and just as capable as anyone in San Diego - they actually bring stuff up here to be fixed.
So I'll meander down the coast slowly, and spend a few months in the Sea of Cortez - tough, huh?
I'm really looking forward to cooling my heels in the Mexican heat and doing some long-overdue projects on the boat. I'll be in Mexico (West coast) through Christmas, then I've decided to ship the boat to Florida: Dockwise Yacht Transport will pick me up in La Paz in March 2006 and deposit me in Fort Lauderdale in April 2006.
The cost is close to what it would be to actually sail through (maintenance, provisions, canal fees, fuel, etc.)Why? Because beyond Puerto Vallarta is nothing but hardship: the Gulf of Tehuantepec is a bitch to cross single-handed, Nicaragua is to be avoided altogether (according to the latest State Department bulletin), Panama grows less friendly to pleasure boats ever day, and once through the canal, it's an 800-mile bash to windward to get anywhere. All in all, not my idea of a fun retirement cruise.
So, anyone planning to join me in the Caribbean will be disappointed, but hey - come enjoy the Sea of Cortez!