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Captain Log ID: 169
Title: Aliza's 6000 mile trip from NYC to LA
Boat Name(Id): Aliza ( 705)
Sailor Name(Id): Efraim Schwartz ( 1215)
Geo Region: Ventura, CA
Date of Occurance: 2001-03-15
Latitude: N 34º   14.4'
Longitude: W 119º   15.6'
Sender (if email-in):
Earlier log from "Aliza":  
Newer log from "Aliza":  332
        Page visited 2324 times since created         Edit This Log
Panama Canal Crossing:

Acapulco To Puerto Vallata:
Look at our photo albums for this trip: Album Password is Aliza2001 (Case sensetive)

We left Florida on February 6th late at night.  We had some delays as the 
engine refrigeration compressor failed just as we were leaving the day before.  
We manage to purchase and install a new compressor.  We also installed the second
RADAR set I bought for redundancy (Furuno 1622, 2KW 16NM LCD unit).  All the 
prep work and the food purchase caused the delay in leaving Florida.  We had a 
nice sail through the Gulf Stream.  Wind from the NE at 15 to 20 kt did cause 
some big waves against the direction of the Gulf Stream and it was both interesting
and challenging.  We rolled a lot and some crewmembers did not feel so good.  
Due to an autopilot error and a slow response from the crew we lost the 
Asymmetrical one night  (only the head ripped and was fixed in Mexico for $100) 
and had a lot of excitement recovering 2308sqf of wet nylon in the middle of 
the night.  We arrived at Isla. Mujeres Mexico on Saturday the 10th in the 
evening just as the sun went down.  We went in and got stuck as we hit ground.
(Just a few inches short)  the next morning the ferry passed close by and her 
wake bumped us free to go to the official anchorage.  Later as we found out the 
GPS  and the PC navigation charts we had were not exactly on the spot.  There 
was a difference of about 1/3 mile between really as we saw it and the charts! 
We will learn to do a better job and make sure we follow our own rules of the 
road ? do not enter a new port when the lighting condition are not good.
We stayed in the island for the next two weeks as we took care of crew 
(Problems were aggravated as two crew members were doing drugs and alcohol 
so I had to get them off Aliza), my father who flew to NJ for a medical reason
(no problem just an infection treatable with anti biotic) my own three stitches
from kicking the dingy anchor. And the asymmetrical sail we needed to fix.  
We left for Panama Canal on February 25th and made a great time next Saturday 
at about 1 PM for 840 nm distances in 6 days.  We anchored at Swan Island 
(Honduras) on the way for an afternoon of fishing and dining (two 15lb tuna).
Later we got a 25 lb Mahi-Mahi (Dorado) and we arrived with a lot of fish to 
Colon, Panama.  After lots of administrative paperwork we crossed 2/3 of the 
canal and tied Aliza in Pedro Miguel Boat Club where she is now for the next 
5/6 weeks. We have transited from Colon in one day through the locks, 3 sets
of chambers up to lake Gatun, 27 miles sail and then one set of locks down. 
The only one still to go are the Miraflores locks (2 chambers) and Aliza 
is in the Pacific!!!  Now, as far as my opinion of canal crossing; First thing 
is that it was very smooth and un-eventful.  We crossed with another 65 footer 
next to us and together with a cruise ship.   All of the people we had to deal 
with were very helpful and the process was great.  Our pilot (Jimmy) was very 
nice and it was all a pleasant experience.  Also base on our stay in Pedro Miguel
Boat Club, I would highly recommand a pause in the crossing and a stay at PMBC
for a better look at Panama and some fellow sailor/cruiser input for your cruising
plans.

I just got back from Aliza, and she is now at Acapulco bay after completing the 
~ 1600 NM trip from Panama Canal to Acapulco with a visit in Punt arenas Costa 
Rica.  It was a very intense three-week trip.  We had good crew this time and 
this makes for a much better trip then before, Sheldon (Shelly) a good friend 
and fellow sailor from NJ an Rick a lawyer and a new sailor from Colorado 
joined my father and me in Pedro Miguel boat club for the trip. We had the 
schedule to cross the Miraflora Locks at 1PM and had verified it 3 timed the 
day before (at 2pm 7 pm and 11pm). We wanted to use the morning hours to fix 
the remote control cable for the gear, as we had some problems shifting gears 
before.  I was the one to fix the remote Dad and Shelly were to take a taxi to 
Panama City and obtain some last things needed for the trip.  At 8:30 am as Dad
is going to the taxi a man approach him and asked about the where about of 
Aliza.   When asked who he was he informed Dad that he is the pilot and we are 
schedule to go

We crossed, dropped our line handlers at the Balboa yacht club and proceeded 
to drop anchor at Flamingo anchorage.  Dad and Shelly went by taxi to do the 
paperwork for learning out of Panama and Rick and myself were fixing the bilge 
pumps.  We wanted to pick up some fuel however Balboa yacht club was not 
answering the VHF calls so at about 10 pm we lifted anchor and left.

We sailed to Bahia Honda which is a very large cove where we spend one night.  
We then continued on the way visiting small islands and coves on our way to 
Costa Rica.  We arrived in Punt arenas on Sunday the 22nd  and started the 
paperwork.  Shelly got off Aliza and went to his hotel where he had to meet 
his wife for another week of vacation in Costa Rica.  Next day I finished the 
paperwork and we set sail out to Mexico.  

We have taken the direct route and crossed the gulf of Tehuantepec far from 
shore.  As it happened we hit a Tehuantepecker, which happened, when a Texas 
high pressure is funneled through the mountains into the gulf area to a low 
system in the pacific.  Results were seas of 20-25 feet top wind at 32 kt and 
very fast waves at about 5-6 sec wave period.  This lasted over 24 hours and 
proved fatal to our transmission as it freewheeled at about 6-7 kt.  The 
transmission overheated and we below an oil retainer between the trany and the 
engine.  Results – We do not have prop motion and needed to sail to 
Acapulco (against the wind) without the benefit of an engine!!!

It took a lot of work however we found some work around and managed to get to 
Acapulco 3 days after the target date.  Using our INMERSAT M we ordered the 
parts needed for a repair which came to Acapulco with Warren who is a new 
member of our crew with his daughter Karen.  Dad and I changed the parts and 
hopefully solved the problem.

Next leg was done with Dad and three crewmembers.  It took them a few more 
days to get the Trany in place and working.  A few additional mechanical 
problems and they went sailing to Puerto Vallerta.  At PV Dad stayed with 
Aliza and waited for me to come with some crew for the last leg of this trip 
to California.  

The last leg a 1300 NM from Puerto Vallerts Mexico. Moshe and Efraim Schwartz 
were the crew (due to a last minute dropout of one crew and missed flight by 
another). On the way 6 temporary passengers were added. 1 bird stayed over 
night after landing half frozen on deck. She recovered by morning and happily 
flew away. The other five temps were not that happy however they stayed longer 
(The reported 5 delicious tunas were caught along the way. Partly consumed by 
the crew, partly made it to NJ to the Schwartz family tuna hotel/freezer). The 
trip was tough and challenging however went smooth and safe.  We continued to 
have transmission problems (Overheating) and solved it with an external cooling
of the Trany.  We opened a sea water line and provided a study stream of cold 
water to the gearbox.  This cooled the transmission very nicely and allowed us 
to continue on our way safely.  The excess water dripped to the bilge and was 
pumped out by the bilge pump.  I our sail plan tried to take advantage of 
Hurricane A

Aliza is now at north Los Angeles Marina in California USA.  We have completed 
over 6000 miles trip from NY City started just a day after Christmas and ended 
about seven month later.  Next leg is 2200 NM is to Hawaii in May 2002.
Circumnavigation, Panama Canal crossing, Israel