12/05/2008, La Paz
Corey Aka Human Gilligan DUDE!
You made us laugh our butt's off... Had to review the history books on YouTube....
Here's Corey's comment from our post below about Christmas.
12/05/2008 | Corey (AKA Gilligan - Person not dog) (funseekrz att yahoo dott com)
Ho Ho Ho. Santa will be pleased to visit you. He can skip the suit and throw on some surf shorts (stay away from the Med, he wears a speedo there). I'm please to see this is a multi denominational boat. Both Christmas and a +60' Festivus pole on deck. Great hearing from you. Love the updates.
12/05/2008, La Paz
Two wonderful %&^$$ examples of "Try the simple solution first" recently...
- The remote microphone at the helm has been intermittent forever. so of course I'm cleaning connectors, trying to source new cables, talking with repair guys in multiple locations in search of the holy grail. So Rina and I are pulling various components recently, documenting serial numbers for our Mexican "Temporary Import Permit" which allows you to import replacement parts duty free from the U.S. Low and behold, as I pull the unit out, the other end of the helm station cable is just *****SITTING***** on the connector. Plug it in and bingo, problem solved.
Stupid boat trick #5 was even better. We've had a water leak in one of the overhead portlight (windows) forever. I've resealed the portlight below and above, which took care of water coming into the cabin around the portlight itself, but instead diverted the water between the inner and outer cabin and onto a bookshelf. So here in La Paz I sealed it again, and it still leaked. Grrrr. So, I stepped back, asking myself what I missed. What is a simpler explanation.... So I look around it again, and think about these little silver screws that held the portlight in during installation. My assumption was the dealer sealed them. So I pull them out and 3 of them are loose and have no sealant. Long and boring story short, problem solved.
We'll be leaving La Paz to enjoy the islands again for the next 4 days, meeting up with Lea Scotia and 3rd Day for a passage to Mazatlan later in the week after a norther passes through.
12/02/2008, La Paz
Saw your comment about Topolobampo. we are seriously considering going up there and then to Los Altata before Mazatlan. Love the fact that they are off the beaten path. Only problem may be how far north it is. Weather is holding however, and as long as it is warm, Rina is in.
Gotta check out this pic of Carinthia from the islands.... it's even more stunning in high resolution.
12/02/2008, La Paz
Hanging out at Marina Palmira today, chores in the morning.... putting the genset fuel system back in order, defrosting the freezer and other mundane stuff. Took a bike ride this afternoon along the long Malecon (waterfront walkway) where we saw Carinthia off, as they are heading to Puerto Vallarta to be hauled out for some repairs. We'll see them again in about 5 weeks when we make it down there after New Years.
Then rode back and ran into Trevor, Karisa, and Kira from Lea Scotia at a taco stand, where we hung out having a couple beers, chips and salsa. We'll buddy-boat with Lea Scotia from La Paz over to Mazatlan in a couple of weeks.
Gotta check out all the pictures from tonight. in the picture gallery. Rina was doing a little Christmas nesting, putting up the lights and decorations during yet another (sorry Donna) stunning sunset.
Gene, gotta check out the old 38' DownEaster with a crusty old guy named "boomer" aboard.
The cute little puppy is "Gilligan", not to be confused with Corey, who only played Gilligan in our award winning Haha costume party, who bit me today as I petted him, picking him completely off the ground as he ground his teeth into my hand. Yea, cute...
12/01/2008, La Paz
Check out the updated Photo Gallery to the right for Thanksgiving and Isla La Partida Pics!
We're back in La Paz for a week, staying at Marina Palmira while we provision for our crossing to Mazatlan next week, check out the town in more depth and doing some boat projects. Found out this morning on the cruisers net that there are musician's jams every Wed night.... I'm in!
We learn something new about the boat all the time... Last week, while out sailing, we ran the generator to run the washer/dryer and then the genset died with a "low voltage" error. Bummer... dreams of expensive repairs danced in my head. But as my stupid boat tricks lessons have taught me, start with the the simplest explanation. Long story short, low voltage was caused by low RPM's while under a high load (washer/dryer) Why low rpms? fuel starvation? Why fuel starvation? First thought was a plugged filter, and in fact I had noticed the fuel pump working harder over the past couple of weeks. (Phil, that was the loud ticking we heard) And for some reason we missed buying a spare for that filter. Got to La Paz and found the filter elements, but then I recalled from some discussion somewhere over the past 3 years that the genset fuel pickup on Hunter tanks is SHORTER than the pickup for the main engine... the logic being better for your genset to run out of fuel rather than your engine. Topped off the fuel, replaced the filter, all better now.
We'll be adding a bunch more pics over the next week as we have a great internet connection....
11/28/2008, Isla Partida
We'll be headed back to La Paz tomorrow to provision for our sail to the west coast of Mexico, fix the generator and touch base with a couple of friends. We will likely head south back to Los Frailes, and make the jump to the Mazatlan area from there.
11/28/2008, Isla Partida
Rina and I spent Thanksgiving with the crew of Carinthia and it had all the trappings of home. We'll post more pictures once we get back to La Paz but as you can see, Rina created yet another Thanksgiving masterpiece, this time duck with a wild berry sauce reduction with port. We joined Carinthia in air conditioned splendor... Turkey, duck, stuffing, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, french green beans, wild rice with nuts and berries, pumpkin cheese cake and apple pie.
As usual, we have spent the friday after thanksgiving lounging about, reading, napping and with a late surge of motivation, tidying up the boat in time for yet another perfect sunset. While last night was again bumpy, with the chubasco winds coming out of the west right into our anchorage, tonight looks to be pleasant and windles
11/27/2008, 24 31.92'N:110 22.802'W, Isla Partida
What would Thanksgiving be without Cheese Dip! We sailed back from Isla San Francisco after a rocky night, as the winds shifted to the South, leaving us exposed to the wind driven swell. We got back to the isthmus at Isla Partida to cook thanksgiving duck, make cheese dip and work on a generator that won't run. There's about 8 other haha boats here, but most are non-usa boats, so it's like "oh yea, thanksgiving".
It is very strange indeed... 88 degrees 65% humidity, blue skies and the smell of Thanksgiving cooking.
11/26/2008, 23 03.752'N:109 40.492'W, Isla Partida
The last 3 days have been easy 3 hour sails between wonderful anchorages on Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla La Partida. Our favorite was the isthmus between the two islands, which reminded us of the canyons upriver in Lake New Melones in August. The waters are flat and warm, winds 10-15 and weather perfect. We will have some awesome sunset pics once we get a real internet connection again in another week or so.
Right now we are hanging out at the "hook" at Isla San Francisco with about 7 other boats. Carinthia is here, as well as 3 moorings cats, all of which who don't know how to anchor. Rina had to gently guide the incoming boats to anchor a) the hell away from us and b) for the prevailing north winds, as they didnt seem to understand the weather patterns here. Look at us, poo-pooing the poor charter cruisers.... It wasnt so long ago that Rina and I were forming our own cruising plans on a Moorings charter boat... now listen to us.
We've spent our time sleeping long nights, reading, kayaking, running on the beach, hyping with Ditmar about provisioning Carinthia for their upcoming blue water voyaging to the south pacific, and not much else. It's been humid so we have not been eating much, which is fine.
We've received emails from a couple people reading our blog who comment on all the positive's of the trip and wondering about the negatives.... Ok, so here it goes:
- Bugs - We were bug free until we got to Cabo, but since then, the mosquito's have been voracious at sunset and here in the islands the no-see-ums have come out. Rina and I had to scramble to finish refitting all our screens with special material that the no-see-um's can't get through.
- The fridge freezes things sometimes - While our fridge and freezer work well, at times the fridge works too well. It's a constant battle to keep it at around 37-42 degrees given the temperature swings we see here. We've been lucky so far, days have been 85-90 and nights 65-70. Sometimes we'll find frozen drinks or veggies in the bottom if we don't monitor it closely.
- Running the Generator - We've learned to ration our amps by turning off the inverter and all AC devices when not in use, but sometimes we splurge by leaving the TV or stereo on at night, which means that we wake up to batteries drained to 55-60%, requiring the generator to run for 2-3 hours and even though it is well insulated, it gets annoying. We've also learned to time our energy usage so that the batteries can be replenished by the engine and genset at the same time, reducing charge time and heating/generating water at the same time. As long as we are on the move every couple of days this works, otherwise we are in for a long droning generator session. That investment in solar panels we did NOT make is looking a little more appealing right now.
- Fermenting Poop - The 2 heads aboard each have a 25 gallon holding tank. When you flush the toilet, the odor is something like a smoldering porta potti at a summer rock concert. We have chemicals that help moderate the smell, but we didnt bring enough, leading us to go without sometimes. Our luggage will be full of odor-loss when we come back to the states in December.
- His and Hers cases of Tourista - Rina and I have both had minor cases, but luckily have passed (no pun intended) in 24 hours.
- An ear infection from too much swimming - I've made good use of the Cipro in our medical kit after 5 days of swimming resulted in a pounding right ear
- Marine growth on the hull - My retentive nature will NOT allow marine growth on my hull. Unfortunately the 80 degree water makes it a high growth environment, with little wormies growing every week. This results in a swimming session where clean the hull and come out exhausted from holding my breath and diving under the boat to clean the growth.
- Taking a dip while exiting the dinghy - Occupational hazard when coming back from a night of celebration on a neighboring boat, Rina exits the dinghy, slips on the bottom stair and goes for a swim!
- Veggies and fruit don't last long in the heat - Really need to learn how to buy only what will survive in the heat...
- No Tanqueray in La Paz - Both Follow You and Carinthia love our Tanqueray, and La Paz was dry... Hopefully Mazatlan is better stocked. Rum and Tequilla will suffice nicely until.
All in all, small price to pay for the many positives out here...
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone...
11/22/2008, La Paz
Rina and I have spent the last several days provisioning the boat for the next several weeks in the islands and rural shoreline above La Paz. We will be spending Thanksgiving in Aqua Verde, about 90 miles north with Carinthia and several other boat friends. We'll be out of cell and internet range, although we may be able to upload blog entries via satellite phone... we'll see.
We've been staying at Marina De La Paz, which has a wonderful set of services aimed at cruisers. The morning "net" on VHF 22 allows everybody to hear what's going on, announce new arrivals and departures, trade or barter boat parts for "coconuts". Many vendors come down to the docks to sell their services. The propane guy, who unfortunately lost his vocal chords to smoking, using one of those voice boxes that he presses to his throat, collects everyone's empty propane tanks, takes them off to the Pemex station and returns them in the afternoon. A parade of dayworkers, not unlike the Home Depot parking lot, come by the boats looking for work. I negotiated a full boat detail that would have cost a thousand bucks in the states for $200. Javier and his 3 guys worked on Follow You for a full day and a half, cleaning and waxing the hull and topsides, cleaning and waxing all the stainless and even cleaning the lifelines. I knew Javier was my kind of guy when he pulled out the toothbrush to get the rust off a few nuts and bolts on the bow pulpit.
There are 3 nearby chandleries that stock a pretty good selection of parts, although I have not been able to find fairleads used for my preventer that have broken over the past couple of weeks. A preventer is a line (rope) that "prevents" the boom from swinging back and forth uncontrollably when sailing downwind... very dangerous.... A fairlead is mounted to the lifeline stanchions to run the line back to the cockpit where we fasten them down.
[Corrected: Thanks to Gene for catching errors above]
The marina cafe had music last night, hosting boating guitar players with (AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!) a drum machine! I would have pulled out my hand drum and joined them if not for that unfortunate event.
Rina and I cruised around the old town of La Paz on our bikes yesterday, visiting the grocery store, bank, having some very nice mexican Chinese food (picante egg drop soup anyone?) and hit the english book store, scoring "The History of Mexico" and "Do as the Mexican's Do - The Clued In Guide to Mexican Life, Language and Culture" Highly recommend by local cruisers as the gringo's bible to "Mingle in Mexico without Mortifying Mistakes"
After being pretty busy for the last couple of days, we're looking for some extended down time in the islands. Yea, I realize that won't get us much sympathy given the fact that this whole adventure is pretty much all downtime from the daily grind at home... this boating thing is a pretty active lifestyle, and Rina and I regularly drop into bed at the end of the day complaining about sore muscles we never knew we had.... a pretty fair trade actually.