04/18/2013, San Carlos Marina, San Carlos, Sonora, MX
Picture is of new AIS Attenna mounted on Radar tower.
Getting Ready for the "Big One"
While being here at the docks at Marina San Carlos, it's a good time to do major up- grades for our big one The puddle jump to the South Pacific 3000 miles of pure Pacific Ocean. It's in the future, how far who knows. We have been moving slowly enjoying the Baja and the Sea of Cortez. Our inland exploration have been exciting, were glad we have been able to explore the northern half of Mexico & the Baja, Getting to know the people their customs and the fascinating history of this area. Hopefully next season we can do the same in southern Mexico.
Thanks to the Captains regular maintenance programs everything on Magic Carpet is running smooth. Lots of great water, plenty of electricity, Navigation & communications systems top notch, Refrigeration and freezer very cold, Yanmar running well & sails in great shape rigging sound, ground tackle strong. We are well protected for the sun and nice and cozy on our Little Magic Carpet. Getting ready for the big one Greg's installing a AIS Automatic Identification System. So we will be safer and be seen! The automatic identification system is a digital VHF radio based transponder system that can prevent collisions and protect Magic Carpet from being run down by a huge fast moving ship. It's like digital radar with precise position information. AIS uses GPS & VHF radio and sophisticated digital processing to automatically communicate between vessels with- out any operator interaction. AIS information is not degraded by rain or clutter like radar, so it works the same in all weather. It's extremely valuable for night travel and in crowed shipping lanes with restricted visibility. Were excited about this up-grade and glad we will have time to get to understand it's how's & why. The next few seasons at sea will make this possible for us.
The installation has been slow; Greg had to design custom brackets with mounting features and have them manufactured. Pulling wires through tiny spaces using his custom cable tray once again. Redesigning first on a schematic than at the chart table the electrical panels, and most amazing retuning the Ray marine E 80 to work compatibly with the new AIS system. I'm happy to report everything is working smoothly together. Now were looking for a commercial cruise ship or a big tanker, just to see what they look like on our screen, how fast they are going & what direction and who they are! Magic Carpet is also sporting new LED lights. One under the radar tower to help us find her during late night returns and to insure pong's running around at night have an easier time seeing her. Sometimes anchor lights get lost in the stars. We also have new reading LED reading lights below deck and a new cockpit dinner light. These new LED replace old lights that drew 1 & ½ amps, the new draw 1/6 of an amp. The new light was made by Bebi Electronics in Fiji, a fellow cruiser trying his hand at manufacturing working with locals.
The work goes on the major new projects are just about completed. Next week we will start working on Magic Carpets semiannual cosmetic maintaince program. With luck we will shove off the docks end of April. Wish us luck!
|Magic Carpet's Ships Log||
03/29/2013, San Carlos Marina, San Carlos, Sonora MX
While being able to enjoy the fruits of our retirement cruising aboard our beloved Magic Carpet, working at turning a "Dream into Reality". We are always a where of how precious our time at sea is.The reality of being so far from family & close friends is a heavy personal sacrifice we must except to live a dream. Both of us have a living parent whose candles are fading slowly. Our recent extended trip home was full of family time. It was with sorrow that we answered Magic Carpets call to return to her needs. For the first time we realized the stress of having our lives and family so scarred. We are slowly taking care of the boat needs and our Own, with appointments with immigration, eye doctors, Medical doctors & Dentist heading the list. Magic Carpet survived well dancing at the docks under the watchful eyes of a few of the local cruising community. We will be forever grateful to them. It's work time on Magic Carpet we are commissioning her for a possible late sailing season. Yet keeping in mind we are on stand by for a fast trip home.
|Magic Carpet's Ships Log||
08/19/2012, San Carlos Sonora Mexico
Picture of Goat Tit Mountain, Home Sweet Home!
After a 16 ½ hour crossing with an average of 4.2 knots with a light to moderate south west, south east, south wind and favorable currents. They were there Tetakaw Mountains, locally called Goat Tit Mt. Standing tall on the horizon guiding Magic Carpet back to her safe Mexican berth. It really feels like home, we have spent so much time here. San Carlos is a great home base for Magic Carpet Adventures, turning "Dreams into Reality". We were met by fellow cruisers and friends which includes Hector. He always helps us put Magic Carpet in top condition for the remainder of the hot summer. Greg and I work with Hector detailing her to perfection inside and out, inventorying her stores & preparing a needs list for our return to the states. Magic Carpet is washed & waxed, teak is cleaned and oiled, sails and all lines are washed and put away. The chrome is polished, oil is changed, engine is cleaned and flushed with salt away, new zinc are in place, water maker pickled, and galley is shot down extra food sent to the orphanage. Magic Carpet is stripped top side preparing her giving her the best chance possible to ride out a big blow all by her. As excited as we are to spend time with family and friends it's hard to leave her dancing at the docks.
|Magic Carpet's Ships Log||
08/19/2012, Santa Rosalia old Marina
Picture of Santa Rosalia Sunset
An easy morning short sail from San Marcus Island found us at the Santa Rosalia old marina. It rages with color and old world charm with the envies on old. Camaraderie from the simple sign in, to the on your honor system cold drink tally sheets. Along with the daily circle of knowledge get together in the palapa it was a chance to say good bye to a few of our Baja Sisters and Brothers. We are heading home to San Carlos and then to the U.S.A, from here. A few we will see next season some we may not see again for a long time. Because like past seasons as soon as hurricane season is past some will sail to the South Pacific, others to South America or through the Panama Cannel planning to cross the Atlantic and sail the Mediterain or like Robert Morales around the Cape Horn single handed, fulfilling his lifelong dream. Final destination can lose their importance along the way - it's the journey getting there that has life long meaning.
|Magic Carpet's Ships Log||
08/19/2012, North side San Marcos Island
Picture is of Osprey Nest Isla San Marcos
North side San Marcos Island : Peace found here in the rich blue waters white clouds, red, orange, yellow & green brown & black veined mountain cliffs protecting us. Offering us a warm & wonderful pallet of colors for a peaceful safe anchorage. During our dingy exploring we discover several Ospreys perched on top of pinnacle rocks guarding the area. A white friendly seal patrols these waters. This area of the Sea of Cortez is alive with big and little critters in and out of the water. A off shore sea mount offers plenty of fish far more than we can eat. Sometimes it's hard to no longer be sport fisherman. We only take from the sea what we need to survive. This area is like a smorgy board; it's all here Lobster, Crab, Claims, oysters, reef fish and deep water fish, including the monster Humboldt Squid. Just from shinning a light off the stern of Magic Carpet at night we see hundreds of moon jelly fish being attacked by reef Squid who suffer fast swim by attacks from larger fish. Oh the balance of nature is alive and well in the Sea of Cortez. We are not night swimming at San Marcus Island. Winds have been from the south east, so at the north end we are very protected. Dingy touring the Trinity Sea caves exploring both above and below the water keeps us busy from sun up till sun down. Sunsets are fantastic a very special time of day at sea. Boat chores are always present; keeping Magic Carpet running smoothly is a challenge. So far this season all is well Greg is on top of it he says we have reached "renewable superiority" To me that means we have the entire electricity we need to live comfortably. To make seven gallons of water per hour, I can run the shop vacuum, run several fans day and night, watch movies at the end of the day, and charge the cell phones, nook cameras and computers. With the big plus Ice cube & a freezer full of great foods. This seasons Magic Carpet breads were the best yet! Including San Francisco style sour dough French. This was made from a starter my Uncle Al brought home from Alaska years ago. This dipped in our home press Olive Oil makes a super treat. Life is good! Exploring in one of the Trinity Sea caves the other day I saw a large green Moray Eel swimming with me. I do not know if he was the one who bit me a few years ago in the very same cave. But he scared me big time and I got out of the water quick. I do not think I will swim or dive in that cave again, I do not think he likes me or maybe he likes me to much!
|Magic Carpet's Ships Log||
07/15/2012, El Burro Cove
Picture of 2012 net controllers attending Geary (PKH) 4th of July party at El Burro Cove.
Fellow cruisers working on their master plan to get us to buddy boat to the South Pacific next spring included us on (they have a car) their Loredo provisioning trip, farmers market, pharmacy & bulk food store included breakfast in town. Lots of talk on their future puddle jump (3000 miles to land) than joining a sailing rally to Micronesia, a tempting idea. But todays thought is we must see more of the Mexican Rivera & Central America before we cross the Pacific to new oceans. We feel that once we leave this area we will not return, there is so much to see and do. Shortly after words we meet a couple on a Trimeran Javier who just happen to be from our home town area and have an interest in our favored Ford dealership! Yes they lent us a Ford Van for a propane run and we were able to include other cruisers who also needed cooking fuel. Small World. We have few shore side needs propane, diesel and dingy fuel being the major requirements. So with all "needs "filled we are good to go. It was great not having to walk & carry - wheels are wonderful, thanks to all who made our life a little easier. It's the quite peaceful Island anchorage we are here to explore. Back to Isla Coronados and its clear warm water teaming with marine life, morning dolphin shows and evening manta ray performances we always feel they are just for us. After a few days unwinding from civilizations we head north to San Juanico on the Baja main land and snuggled Magic Carpet in between two reefs and hide from the South wind for a few peaceful days of totally enjoying the beauty of the Serra Gianites from spectacular sunrises to sunsets birds diving bait balls with fish jumping all around us. The Dorado are everywhere we are eating well the challenge is cooking the catch of the day a different way each night. From there we rounded the point to La Ramada a perfect little cove offering southern wind protection and chocolate claims and under water caves. A big surprise came when gale force west winds from the Pacific side of the Baja found its way through the mountains to the Sea of Cortez & La Ramada cove. From there we had a fantastic all day sail north to San Domingo at the mouth of Concepcion Bay. Magic Carpet average speed was 7 knots with highs to 9 knots not bad for a fully laden boat towing a 14 foot inflatable (Aladdin) amazing speed and lots of fun. After a few days enjoying San Domingo and her white sandy beaches loaded d with "goodies". Magic Carpet sails south to El Burro Cove and the 16th annual July 4th BBQ Bash hosted by Geary the Sonrisa Ham radio weather man & Beach Bum Extraordinaire, "PaPa Kilo Hotel" Hot Dogs by Geary and super pot luck by all the cruisers with Fire Works & a Fire Dancer entertained us at sun down this year. For the first time El Burro Cove was not an inferno so exploring both above and below the water was in the game plan this year for our visit to Concepcion Bay. Wreck diving claiming scalloping and fishing entertained us daily, life is good. Soon El Burro heated up 100 plus outside & 90 in the water very high humpty so it was time to move on! San Domingo was 10 degrees cooler than across to Punta Chivato , shell beach & dozen of Whale Sharks . Than all hell broke loose! At 1 P.M. a Chubasco hit this very exposed anchorage winds to 40 knots with wrap around swells giving us a very wild Rollin night. Magic Carpet held in place we watched on both the radar and from the cockpit it was a long night! Soon after sun rise we hauled anchor and headed north to San Marcos Island. Winds for the next few days are protected to be coming from the south east , each night we have seen lighting & heard thunder coming from the Mexican Main land we are now on hurricane watch as the sea warms it perfect, Condition for hurricane to come our way, always trying to remember it's the journey not the destination that counts in life and that weather will always dictate our travels.
|Magic Carpet's Ships Log||