CAPTAIN'S BLOG

IRG Vessel Thunderbird 1

Real-time SPOT Connect GPS position.

Fourth IRG Captain (Acapulco, Mexico): Marta De Madariaga, May-6-13

Third IRG Captain (Zihuatanejo Por Los Ninos operation and on the way down the Pacific coast to Panama): Evelyne Dubuc Dumas Mar-13 to May-13.

Second IRG Captain (San Francisco, CA to Turtle Bay, Mexico): Jack C. Li 1-Oct-12

First IRG Captain (Delivery, San Francisco Bay operations): Evelyne Dubuc Dumas 12-Sep-12

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Comment by Captain Ray Thackeray, IRG on June 19, 2013 at 7:51pm
Lou Rodriguez and I are at the boat in Bahia de Puerto Marquez, the next bay on the south side of Acapulco. Just 3 1/2 hours after I boarded, the anchor dragged, we had to take pretty rapid action to stop going up on the beach! All OK now but still working on the diesel, it's turning over OK now, batteries charged, solar panel installed, but still some water in the fuel lines and, unfortunately, the cylinders, to sort out... Lou has made fantastic contacts on the shore with his fluent spanish.
Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 26, 2013 at 4:08pm

Official crew picture of Acapulco adventure:

Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 24, 2013 at 1:26pm

For a reason, one picture of zinc plate went missing in last post:

Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 24, 2013 at 1:17pm

For the posterity, here is pictures of the zinc plates that we unscrewed to replace the anti-corosion zinc

Here is a picture of the four screw that we need to unscew to bleed the fuel line, followed by a picture of the manual pump handle to circulate fuel in the engine while not running:

And finally, my most famous trick: to start the engine from inside with a pair of pliers:

Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 24, 2013 at 12:33pm

Well, Zihuatanejo will have to wait because the direction of the wind and the fact that it die at night did not allow us to make any progress without an engine. We had a pretty adventurous 24 hours sail, tacking in front of Acapulco. When we first eve to to reef the main, we caught a fish so we stayed eve to for several minutes, by the time we got organized, we drifted back to where we were from and have to start tacking again. We did it another time when a schakle ataching the main sheet block to the traveler broke: we drifted a little while while fixing it. And at night, we drifted back to Acapulco, calling the big ships around us on the radio to make them aware that without wind nor engine, it was hard for us to get out of their way. We did not like it and considered that it was not realistic to try to go to Zihuatanejo that way doing 6 miles per days througt our target and being worried about trafic every nights so we waited for some light wind in the morning and sailed back to Acapulco where Thunderbird 1 will be ready to be taked care of by the next crew!

Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 23, 2013 at 9:02am

After completing our mission in Zihuatanejo, we decided to sail to Acapulco as a training for the crew. Well it was hell of a training since our engine quit in Puerto Vicente! After diagnosing that we had water in the fuel from a cracked gaz cap, we tried to filter some of the fuel but without a new fuel filter, it did not work so we decided to sail to Acapulco anyway where we thought it would be easier to buy a fuel filter.  We had to sail out of anchorage, to navigate utilizing the electric instruments as little as possible to save the battery and, 24h later, we droped anchor under sail. We did very well! After a day exploring our anchorage - Puerto Marquez - we decided to sail to downtown Acapulco to be closer to marine store but unfortunately, after sailing between boats at mooring in the whole bay, we did not find a place to drop anchor. We even docked at a marina, under sail, but decided to go back to Puerto Marquez instead of paying for the slip. Next day, we found a kind canadian power boat in the anchorage that acepted to charge our battery with their generator. Our new crew member -Katja- and I did some basic maintenance on the engine like changing the anti-corrosion zincs and a water intake hose for the seawater cooling system. The rest of the crew went to the farmer market for provisionning. I then took a collective taxi to Acapulco to try to find a new fuel filter. Unfortunately, the four marine store in town all told us that there was none of our filter in whole Mexico and that it would take several days to order one. So back to the boat, I reinstalled the old fuel filter, we extract most of the water out of the fuel tank and I bled the fuel line. Unfortunatelly, it was not enought to make the engine start again. I think we will have to change both fuel filter and to clean the injection system with clean fuel. But since I need to go back to Québec at the end of this month, we will sail back to Zihuatanejo today where IRG decided to keep the boat on stand by, waiting for our next mission and welcoming volunteers that are willing to help the DIF and healt department in their campaing to help the more rural population of the city.

Comment by Captain Ray Thackeray, IRG on April 14, 2013 at 1:09pm

A message from Maryellen Jackson, Administrator for Los Ninos, Inc. USA based non-profit for the support of education in Zhuatanejo, GRO, Mexico:

Captain Evelyne was with the DIF Municipal Zihuatanejo (Social Services) group representing International Rescue Group out of San Francisco North bay/Alameda. Captain Evelyn and crew delivered school supplies and toys for Zihuatanejo's disadvantaged children in the sierras of Zihuatanejo. A huge thanks to Captain Evelyn and her crew for this assistance.

Captain Evelyne is to the right of the below photograph (credited to Maryellen Jackson).

Comment by Natasha Pyle on April 13, 2013 at 9:31pm
Great work Captain Evelyne and crew!
Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 13, 2013 at 4:54pm

Here some picture from our meeting with the Civil protection director on thursday:

Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 13, 2013 at 4:44pm

Today, we got up at 5 AM, kayak to the shore two by two, got wet, and got picked-up by our contact person with the DIF.

With the whole team of social services, we drove small and curved roads in the mountains for an hour and a half and helped out set up tents on the main place of a small town called Vallacitos where the DIF was distributing milk, cereal, blankets and the clothes and shoes we brought. There was also a medical team, a dentist, an optometrist and hairdressers.

Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 12, 2013 at 10:06am

Yesterday, we've been received for lunch by the director of civil protection and fire, Jose Angel Lara Magana in a very nice restaurant with a panoramic view of Zihuatanejo Bay. Before being apointed to this position, he was the Port Captain and he have been rewarded for thousands of offshore rescues in the last 30 years! Our discussions about safety at sea, rescue, natural disaster and civil protection have been very rich and willl help IRG to orient ourself for the near future!

Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 11, 2013 at 8:13am

It was time to say goodbye to Matt and Gesine yesterday. Great memories that will stay forever with this crew!

Mrs Wendy Carbajal - the first Lady of Zihuatanejo and head of social services came to the boat yesterday to pick-up the school supplies with her assistant, bodyguard and driver. The DIF team will package them for individual kids and we are welcome to join their expedition to deliver them to a community that live totally offgrid in the mountains, next saturday. They where very happy with the warm clothes we brought because it get cold at night in the mountains.

Today, we will bring the boat to Zihuatanejo and have lunch with the director of Civil Protection and Fire, Jose Angel Lara Magana to talk about how IRG can help in disaster relief in the future in this area.

Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 10, 2013 at 7:24am

We arrived in Ixtapa yesterday afternoon after two straits nights of sailing. We took a slip at the marina to make crew exchange easier and get nice showers before meeting the people we are delivering the school supplies to. We also had a proper last crew dinner in Z-town on the beach! Jeff, a new crew member, show up early in the morning and we are now getting the boat ready to receive the first lady and president of social services of Zihuatanejo to pick-up the supplies at 5:30 tonight!

Comment by Mario Dumas on April 9, 2013 at 3:51pm

Bravo Capitaine Evelyne, Have goods days in Zihua and take one for me ;0)

Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 7, 2013 at 12:47pm

Last night was the night! We flew the spinaker and the jib wing on wing and reach our maximum speed (over 6 knots). And since tuna like speed...

Now, we are doing some internet in a resort in Manzanillo and will depart for Zihuatanejo before sunset, since we arrived this morning at the break of day and the crew enjoy more than ever night sailing (days are way too hot!).

Comment by Captain Evelyne on April 4, 2013 at 6:11pm

After a nice stop at Isla Isabella, we made it to La Cruz (Baja Banderas) this morning! Nice sailing! Crew is learning very quickly! We had our engine stopping right when we arrived at the fuel dock this morning and docked like pro! Now, we spend the night at the marina so everybody can do their own thing and be ready to depart back tomorrow around noon.

Here is some pictures from the last week:

The Bercovich boatyard that I was not unhappy to leave behind:

Official crew picture no 1, leaving La Paz:

Sailing:

Mazatlan anchorage:

Isla Isabella:

Official crew picture no 2:

Comment by Captain Evelyne on March 31, 2013 at 1:09pm

What a nice crossing of the Sea of Cortez! We sailed almost all the way with a limited use of the engine. We swam along the boat in the middle of the sea while it was becalmed. We enjoyed all different conditions of sailing from perfect light spinnaker wind, to heavy broad reach run with just the jib in 6 feet swell and moderate speed close haul full sailled. We saw whales breaching, sea turtles, dolphins, fishes. Pictures to come...

Comment by Mario Dumas on March 27, 2013 at 5:14pm

Bon Vent Capitaine Ma Fille ;0)

Comment by Natasha Pyle on March 27, 2013 at 1:51pm
Thunderbird 1 must now be in very good shape with all the work and attention by Evelyne and ger crew. Fantastic all that you have done!
Comment by Captain Evelyne on March 27, 2013 at 12:23pm

This morning, waking up and doing breakfast with a crew of 5 was pretty funny! We lift anchor at 0845 and after a short briefing about how to move safely on the boat, we sailed the jib! On the way back to the boatyard, the crew was briefed about safety equipment, MAYDAY, and we even did a Man Over board exercice (without anybody in the water, of course!)

Now, Braden hit the road to Mazatlan where we are gonna pick him up in three days. The boat is on mooring near the boatyard and the mechanic is fine tuning the aligment of our engine with our new shaft. Since we missed the morning tide, we are gonna rest and do some exercices with the dinghy this afternoon and leave around the evening slack (high tide) wich should allow us to arrive saturday morning at hight tide in Mazatlan.

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