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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Boat projects
05/04/2007, Mazatlan, Mexico

Yesterday we got the faulty seacock (valve) replaced. We were able to do it without hauling the boat out by putting a wooden plug in the through-hull while replacing the valve.

Also, replaced the faulty kitchen faucet with a new one. And we hired a local guy to strip and revarnish the teak on our boat, which was showing some wear.

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Pascale and Antoine do History
05/04/2007, Mazatlan, Mexico

Pascale and Antoine do his History lesson together on board Calou. Antoine is learning about the Ottoman Empire. His retention is very good and he passes his quizzes easily. History is probably his favorite subject. Besides that he does English grammar, spelling, science and math.

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05/04/2007 | Kate
I recognize the history book! Is Antoine also using the "activity" book that accompanies the series? I'm currently gathering home school materials for our trip in Sep. Welcome back to the boat.... grumpy heads and all!
05/04/2007 | Bruce
Yes, he's doing tha activities which includes, for instance, drawing out maps that show the boundaries of various civilizations, etc. Susan Wise Bauer's history book series is superb. We are also using Susan Wise Bauer's "The Well Trained Mind", a guide to a classical education, as the reference source for our homeschooling pogram.
05/04/2007 | Bruce
The expressions aren't grumpy, btw, just serious and absorbed in the story they are reading together. Pascale and Antoine take turns reading paragraphs out loud.
05/04/2007 | Bruce
I think I underdescribed the Activities Book, besides the map drawing, it consists of projects, like making for example a Richard the Lionhearted's shield, or a Celtic axe, etc.
head games

Today I rebuilt the head (marine toilet), using the rebuild kit I had brought with us. This consists of completely disassembling the complicated system and replacing all the O-rings, flapper valves, and the like. This has to be the sailor's LEAST FAVORITE chore!

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Repairs in Paradise
04/24/2007, Mazatlan, Mexico

There's a saying, that sailboat cruising amounts to "doing boat repairs in exotic tropical locales".

There's also the adage, "that which doesn't get used, breaks". Well, we left our boat unused for six weeks, and after coming back a few days ago, we have to contend with some repairs, all plumbing related.

1. the seacock for the holding tank is stuck in the closed position.
2. the head (toilet) does not flush.
3. the kitchen faucet drips, needs to be replaced.

#1 is the most serious; I have to replace a 1-1/2" ball valve that is threaded onto a thru-hull fitting. Removing it would let seawater into the boat so I have to either, (a) haul the boat out of the water or (b) plug the thru-hull from the outside using the services of a diver. Getting the old valve off and the new one on wil be difficult because of the tight clearances of cabinetry around the valve.

#2 is annoying but not a big problem since I brought with me a rebuild kit for the Raritan PH-II marine toilet. I plan to tackle this one today.

#3 should be not too bad provided I can find the right replacement faucet size at the Home Depot here in Mazatlan.

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04/25/2007 | jeff
Bonjour à tous,
[prise l'à travers-coque de l'extérieur en utilisant les services d'un plongeur]
Bon ben j'arrive alors !
Back to Mexico on April 19!

We've booked our flight back to Mazatlan and to our boat on April 19! From there we'll get the boat ready for the crossing of the Sea of Cortez, and then start sailing north!

Meanwhile, temperatures here in Tiburon, CA are pleasant and temperate. We drive up to Lake Tahoe periodically for some skiing, and we look forward to going back to Mexico.

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04/17/2007 | Jeff
Alors bientôt de nouvelles belles aventures !
Super ! Nous vous suivrons tout les jours avec attention !
Jeff Renée
Diamond Peak
03/03/2007, Incline Village, Nevada

Here we are at Diamond Peak, elevation 8540 feet (2600 m), taking a break from tropical temperatures and sailing by...what else?... freezing temperatures and skiing. The area had a heavy snowfall just a few days earlier--notice how snow frosted the trees are.

Diamond Peak has a great view of Lake Tahoe.

Our boat, meanwhile, is in Mazatlan, Mexico. We'll return in April to sail her in the Sea of Cortez.

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Back Home For Now
02/20/2007, Tiburon, CA

At first I didn't want to write about this, but I later decided this could be of interest. I got bronchitis, (I know this sounds incredible, how can you get bronchitis in sunny Mexico and 85 degree weather??).

This time of year thousands of tourists from Alaska, Minnesota, Canada, and the like, migrate to Mexico for the winter, and they bring their winter illnesses with them. And I caught the bug from one of them.

After an exam and an X-ray, the doctor diagnosed pneumonia. I was down for a few weeks. The doc put me on very potent antibiotics.

My weakened physical condition put me in a position of just wanting to be home with Pascale and the boys.

(As of this writing, the penumonia has completely cleared up, thanks to the Mexican pharmaceuticals).

We've read that the best weather for sailing north into the Sea of Cortez is in the month of May.

So I've decided to fly home, take care of business for a few months, and then fly back to Mazatlan sometime in April, where we'll prepare Calou for another sea journey, and set sail northwards in the first part of May.

That time of year, the notorious "Northers" will have ceased, and we'll enjoy warm weather sailing again.

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03/02/2007 | jeff
Wouah ! Super ! Donc encore d'autres aventures de Calou !
A bientôt sur l'onde bleue du Pacifique.
Et j'ai hâte de voir les belles photos de ce carnaval de Mazatlan.
03/08/2007 | Ori Lahav
feel well Bruce
03/21/2007 | Bruce
Ori: thanks for your wishes, I had an injection and a course of antibiotics which have completely cleared it up. I have heard that "walking pneumonia" is not something to take lightly.
Poolside in Mazatlan
02/01/2007, Mazatlan, Mexico

Back in Mazatlan, it's nice to be back in tropical weather again. Crew member John flew home on Jan 25.

I keep busy by reading, doing projects on the boat, playing volleybal in the pool, and cooking on board Calou.

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02/07/2007 | Lisa Wear
Hi Bruce & Pascal, I really enjoyed your photos! Fabulous! We're in Cabo after celebrating with the Warrens in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy your sailing. I'm just loving those photo shots!
02/08/2007 | jeff
Bon retour à Tiburon pour Calou Antoine et François et bonne continuation à Bruce pour la retour du fier navire vers le nord !

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