06/28/2013, La Paz
In an effort to not only keep the flow of information going here on the blog, but answer some of our readers requests, I am going to try to post a "tip" every now and then. Most of these will be things we, our friends, or customers have found to be important in real life, out cruising.
Staying with the topic of keeping the salt water where it belongs, outside the boat, let's discuss the need for a high water alarm.
In many of the newer modern cruising boats, there is a real absence of a bilge. They are small depressions in the floor of the vessel, and if there is a serious leak, it will be quite obvious, very quickly. But, in more boats than not, the bilge can be quite substanial. In Eagle, with our engine pretty much dead center of the boat, our bilge is over 5 feet deep. If we were to have a large leak, one that the bilge pumps did not have the ability to handle, we would have a huge amount of water in the boat before it became visually obvious.
With that concern in mind we have added a bilge, or high water alarm. This can be a commercially produced item, or can, with very little effort be constructed from parts gathered in your local chandelry and electronics store.
Ours simply consists of a standard float switch, and very loud (think ear piercing ) alarm, and some basic wiring. Wire the alarm directly from the battery, thru the float switch, to the alarm, and back to the battery. If the float switch should rise to the point that the contacts are made, you will get your alarm. We have two electric blige pumps on Eagle, and have installed the alarm float switch in position with the second and slightly higher #2 pump.
We test the alarm, along with the bilge pumps frequently, just to know that we have a working emergency system. The location of your alarm, and it's float switch will vari depending on the design of your boat, and sailing preferences.
While this will be one of those pieces of equipment you will spend a few bucks, and a little time on, hopefully you will never have to use!!
06/26/2013, La Paz
Yesterday we moved out of the house and back onto the boat.... it was quite warm, ok downright hot! And then it got humid as the clouds from Tropical Storm Cosme passed a few hundred miles away. Hot and sticky! So they headed to the pool for a cool down swim.
Today, well, today is hot as well about 100 with 85% humidity, and they're moving sloooooooowwwwwly! Tom got a bunch of projects done on our boat, and a couple of others, this morning while Jeanne made a run to deliver some food and clothes to Mama Benitas shelter and a couple of other errands around town.
When they both got back to the boat they had something cold to drink and went and took naps! I just sat up here on my shelf. It's fairly cool. Although I can feel the heat in the afternoon as it comes through the deck.... that's when I fly down to a lower perch for a while!
The humidity all got together a little while ago and spit out a few 'drops'. Can't even call it a sprinkle. Tom says it was just enough to make the dust on the boats look like mud splots!
They've got all the fans running, even one pointed in my direction... but it messes up my "do"!
I'm sure they'll do ok, they just need to ease into the heat of the boat after the cool of the house!
06/22/2013, La Paz Mexico
We are now spending quite a bit of time on OPB's.....other peoples boats, what with our management company, water maker sales, electrical repairs and Jeanne's sewing projects. This gives us a chance to look into the minds of a lot of cruisers, both long term and newly launched, and see how they prepared their boats! And...in addition compare it to how we chose to set up Eagle.
With consideration to our management company, which is regular care to boats who's owners have left the area for an extended amount of time. Many leave for the summer, to avoid the heat. Many down here are from Canada, and in order to keep their country provided medical insurance must be in said country for at least 6 months of the year. so, we take care of their boat while they are gone.
One very small, relatively inexpensive piece of equipment that I am very fond of is the "Bilge Counter". Particularly the Water Witch brand. This little piece of electronics keeps a running tally of the number of times your bilge pump has operated. Now, why you ask would you need that? Imagine you are off the boat for what ever period of time, and develop a leak...nothing catastrophic, just one o those nagging drips, or perhaps a packing gland that needs a little attention. The bilge starts to fill up, and the pump, ever ready to jump into service, fires up, and pushed that nasty water back where it belongs, out side the boat. Consider now that you are gone for say a week or two, the bilge pump quietly, or in some cases, not so quietly, just keeps doing it's job. You come home to a nice dry boat, thanks to that good old bilge pump. You have no real indication that there is a problem. At this point, the bilge pump will just keep on, keeping on, until it doesn't!! If you had a bilge counter, you would have a small illuminated display telling you that you have now had 73 bilge pump cycles since you left the boat!! Time to get something fixed!!
I don't have any financial interest in the Water Witch, but did install one in Eagle a couple of years before we left. With it wired directly thru the automatic switch, it also sits there flashing.....and at least twice I have looked down to see that it was not flashing! This was a result of the automatic bilge pump switch getting bumped and moving it to the off position! Just a bonus feature of this great little device!
Several of our management boats have them, and it makes my job, checking the bilges frequently a lot easier. I am sure that it will give a much greater piece of mind as well!!
If you are interested, here is the link... http://waterwitchinc.com/online_cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11&products_id=17&zenid=2920d8a1dc34d563cbfb5af34139ef88
Every once in a while I find something that really catches my eye. Ok, I'll admit it, more often than not! :) One of the things I try to remember about our life here, is that I do have time to 'stop and smell the roses', or take photos of them at least!
I found this today... several dozen images later, I've edited it down to just a few.
06/17/2013, El Centro
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Mama Benita, her 'kids' and how we're helping out. I've made almost a weekly trip to the house to bring supplies: food, toilet paper, a few toys and books. I've also made seveal visits just to visit. I didn't want to be the 'gringo' that just tosses a bag of food or clothes at them, or trys to 'fix it'.
I was interested in forming a longer lasting connection than that. In the past couple of visits, I feel that has happened.
While talking with Benita and Eva, a resident who speaks english, we were discussing some of the needs and concerns of the shelter and goals that Benita has. After our talking ended, Estrella, 8 years old, asked me in a very quiet voice, if I would come and watch her dance in a competition.
Brenda, also 8, quickly agreed! They both were dancing in a city wide event. I was honored and thrilled that they'd begun to see me as a friend.
Tom was a bit reluctant to go along to watch kids dancing, until I reminded him that'd I'd gotten up at 5am to shoot the start of the marathon for him! We had a great time, needless to say.
Twelve different schools were represented. We mostly saw lots of 5-9year olds do lots of skipping in circles. "Our" school had some pretty good choreography.
They didn't get an award, but I think it's because they were the second to perform. The kids were having fun, the breeze cooled the place off and it was very colorful. Enjoy the photos!
*** Editors Note: Somewhere in one of our editing programs we have a gremlin... or perhaps I'm just not holding my tongue correctly! I've tried at least 7 times to get the two pics that are sideways to be correct... they show correct when I imput them... go figure! I give up... consider it a neck stretch technique... yea, that's it!
06/16/2013, La Paz
Somewhere in my past, I had thought I might want to be a marine biologist. Ok, so that didn't happen, but my love and interest in all things in the salt water never waned. My curiosity over the unknown jellyfish bugged me, and several of our readers... so, thanks for the push!
I looked at the Monterey Bay Aquariums site, all of my reference books and came up with nothing. BTW, if I had to bring something with me, were I to leave the states again... I'd bring as many reference books that you can fit on the boat. You'll be able to find 'reading' books almost everywhere. Stock up on reference books for flora, fauna, critters, fish, etc.
Anyway, my search led me to www.jellywatch.org . They have a 'submit' page and I entered in our info. This morning I got a reply......
"Thanks for sending your photo. It looks like an example of an introduced species Phyllorhiza punctata, which is not supposed to occur there. We had another report of one from the San Francisco Bay, California, where they also are not supposed to live!
They've asked for more photos for further confirmation, which have been sent off.
Since I had a name, I did the google search and got the wiki link to the Australian spotted jellyfish or white spotted jellyfish.... and I'm pretty sure it's the same thing, only not as big. (Thanks Char, I think you got this first!)
If the info changes I'll let you know... in the mean time, go check out their site! You can just click on the link that I've added in our links section!