03/07/2011, Mazatlan & State Side
The storing of personnel stuff into the huge tubs continued until we had filled up 8. The first mate was betting we'd fill 12, I said we'd fill 9.
We had signed the papers with the boat broker before we left for New Holland, PA. Since returning Perpetua has been exacting her revenge on the crew. First, the refrigerator started to not cool has it should and finally stopped working after 16 years. The technician declared it "muertos", dead! A $1000 replacement will have to come from the states next fall. Next the 6 CD changer stopped working. I commandeered a local fellow who has a side business of installing car stereos to take the CD charger to be repaired. He came back a few days later and said he could sell me a "all most new" replacement or he could continue to have the original fixed. The replacement was only $600 pesos ($50us) and was guaranteed to work with my original control head. It did work but was a different color, oh well, I kept the original in case the new owner wanted to get it fixed to match. Next my electric hand drill would not start. It was at least 16 years old too. It's still dead .... Next a brand new MP3 player we'd just bought at the local Walmart died after only two weeks. Fortunately they took it back and we got better replacement (more $). At this point we have our fingers crossed hoping that nothing else goes wrong.
An inspection of the top sides areas had revealed quit a bit of deck repairs and some fiber glass work that needed to be done. The most critical problems that needed to be done this season were addressed. The first mate had some sewing repairs as well. During this time our neighbor had their boat polished and waxed. We'd had this done in 2009 and it made our old hull paint shine. Our new cabin side paint had not been waxed since we had it painted last spring. So we hired a guy to polish and wax the hulls and wax the top sides. This was done in 2 an half days for $3500 pesos ($290US) and now the boat looks real good for showing a new buyer. Next season we'll fix the remainder of the deck issues and paint it.
Once this work was done it was time to prepare Perpetua for her long sleep. This season its even longer due to having to be in Texas for the new grand baby due March 12. The first mate revised our check list and we began in earnest. We had 12 days to complete all the tasks and we made it in 11. When it came time to repack the tubs into the car it took us about 2 hours to reopen each tub choose what we wanted to take north on this trip and then reorganized the remaining items into other tubs. We shrunk our pile of tubs down to 4 that we left for next season.
The first mate had a couple of places on her skin she wanted looked at so one after noon she went to an appointment. She didn't return for quit a while. When she did she had bandages on her nose and upper thigh. She was exhausted and surprised that she'd had two operations. Also she had to go to a bank and return to pay the fees. The samples were sent to a lab and she didn't hear from the doctor for 2 weeks. The cost was $5500 Pesos ($469US) for everything. She was glad to have done it and they turned out ok, except the one on her nose which she has to watch.
Once again the weather was plain weird. We woke two or three times a week to fog covering the area. This of cousre made it cool. We went so far as to break out the kerosene trawler lamp. When lite it produces quit a bit of heat, ordinarily something you don't want in the tropics. We also bought a clay flower pot and placed it over a burner on the stove to become a heat sink while the burner was turned on. Both of these tactics helped warm up the boat in the cool mornings.
The night before we left for the states was also our 21st anniversary. We invited a few good friends to go out to dinner with us. On our last night in Mazatlan we always go to the Chiles Pepper Restaurant. We always have fun there and the food is great too. This time was no exception. Although it was a little foggy.
The next morning we left after some breakfast, with Marilyn from Crackerbox, at Ricos coffee shop. We planned to drive all the way to San Carlos. It was a long day but we made it in by 5 PM. We dropped off our bags in our room and went to dinner and then right back to the room. We went to bed early. The next morning we went for some breakfast, then back to the room packed up and hit the road. We got the borader around 1 PM. We waited for 45 minutes to cross the border while the local vendors paraded up and down the waiting cars with displaying their wares. This ended up being a quick crossing as we didn't get inspected even though the car was stuffed. We made it to Green Valley and our friends house by 3 PM.
The next morning we drove to where we had stored the RV. It took 2.5 hours from the time we arrived at the storage lot to wake up and relocate it to a near by RV park and get setup. The first mate like to point out this relatively quick setup time compared tot he boat's 2 weeks.
We spent 3 days in green valley visiting friends and getting a leaky faucet repaired. We went to Mesa near Phoenix to visit more friends and family. While there we went target shooting with our friends, we hadn't done that in two or three coons ages! It was fun if not quit noisy. We had a great time seeing everyone, especially the skippers daughter and her son, who had just moved to Phoenix a few months before. All to soon it was time to move on towards Texas. We made the uneventful trip in 5 days, taking one day to regroup along the way. The only issues we had were at the gas pump where we were eaten alive! It's good to be settled now for several weeks while we wait for the arrival of our 14th grand child.
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
As you can tell by the above picture on Perpetua of a "Boat Broker's for sale sign" things have been spinning out of control since the last blog update. All the plans of local island cruises, inland trips had to be put on hold. We had been doing a lot of soul searching and hard thinking about the "end game" with regard to our 36 year relationship with Perpetua. All things considered we've had a pretty good run at it over the years and she's now in pretty good shape. However there's always a few old/new things, that will be taken care maybe even this season. Oh yeah this week the refer system died after 16 years of service! That will have to wait until fall.
We started seriously talking to the local boat broker about listing the boat and discovered that there was a lot of things to be done before and in conjunction with listing the boat. So we through out any earlier plans and jumped in with four feet. We had originally thought we'd be doing these activities toward the end of our season but oh no we soon realized that we'd better get going soon rather then later. The butterfly's will have to wait for another year.
So what the initial effort in December was to inventory and document everything that was going to be sold with the boat and everything else that was either going in the trash, to a local cruiser swap meet to be sold, everything else that was going to go north. This last category has been broken down into take north this year, next year, Etc. and when the boat actually sells. You see we can still take her out on a cruise if no one is showing any interest. We had to remove all our personnel gear and be ready for a photo shoot which has just finished! We also decided to remove everything that was going north as we had been creating a gigantic pile on one of the berths. So we talked to our local people and found a secure place where they deliver huge plastic tubs, you fill them up and they take them to their storage place. I know you're thinking oh sure where is that stuff really going, but this guy is someone we've been working with for years.
There were projects that had to be done for the photo "op", like paint the pilot house non-skid gray, replace the covers on the aft cabin cushions, reinstall lose teak parquet on the toilet base, wash off mold from various places it likes to grow, paint the forward wall in the berthing area and lots of other little jobs.
Once all is ready for a particular area to be photoed all unnecessary items/gear had to be removed then the shoot, then all the gear put back. We just finished all the photos today January 29th. We've been real busy for over a month!
While we were busy on the inventory we got word that Susan's mom was going to be able to move back into her independent living cottage on December 24th. This meant we had to travel from Mazatlan, Mexico to New Holland, Pa. during the holidays. Great! We lucked out on the flights and only had one stop in Houston, Tx. Where we changed planes. Only down side was on the return trip we had to lay over one night in Houston to be able to fly back to Mazatlan, the next day. Going the crowds were thick as ants on the march everyone trying to get into a line and then wait for some activity, checking in, security, customs, you know the routines. We made our flight with 20 minutes to spare. Coming back wasn't nearly as bad, the holiday rush was over. While in New Holland it snowed. One of the Admiral's favorite things to do is go for a walk during a snow fall. Fortunately for the skipper, it was cold and blowing quit a bit. The walk didn't last to long. We had spent 2 weeks helping her mom settle in, arranging support agencies, arranging her cottage so she could move about with her walker and celebrating Christmas with her family.
Before we left Mazatlan on December 21st, there was time to decorate the boat and do some celebrating with fellow cruisers.
Several nights out to the local restaurants for dinner and drinks. One Friday we went downtown to the Mazatlan art walk. This is an activity where you walk around the old town of Mazatlan and visit up to a dozen art studios. In route along the walk, we ate dinner at the El Tunnel, an old famous Mazatlan Restaurant. Of course along the walk there is the opportunity to buy some art. All in our party picked up a bobble or two. One our favorite places we stopped was the Nidart studio. They do amazing things with leather and we have in the past purchased a piece.
January continued to be a cold and often foggy. That was ok because we were working inside while it was cool. However our flannels and fleece got a work out in the AM's & PM's!
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
In mid-October we left Oregon heading east and south. This season we decided to travel in the RV (Dirt Boat). Some friends of ours (From the boat Seatern) were returning to Green Valley, so they tagged along with us in thier own car, but sleeping in the RV. It was great fun to have company along on the trip.
All went well until we were crossing Idaho one early morning when we had a tire blow out. Its a real unsettling feeling to hear a loud bang while driving down the freeway. We pulled over to see what had happened or to verify that we'd had a blow out. Our traveling companions were already on Google (1-800-466-4411) on the phone locating a near by town with a tire store with our sized tire. Half hour later we limped into the Jerome Les Schwab store and spent the next 2 hours getting two new tires (you can't just add one new tire as they would be different sizes and not wear well together) put on the RV. Of course this prompted the discussion of replacing the other two rear tires as a preventive measure. This was something we had wanted to do anyway but hadn't budgeted for. Somehow logic won out over costs. However the nearest store with two tires was in Provo Utah. So off we went in search of the next Les Schwab store. By 4 PM we reached the store and they promptly put on the new tires. By 5:30 we were done and it was time to find a campground. Fortunately one was near by and it was a welcome sight. Getting into the spot proved tricky but that's a story for another time.
The next day we left early to get to Cedar City Utah early enough to park the RV and go out to see the Parowan Gap Petroglyphs 15 miles NW of town. We made it to the site in time to see them and take some photos. This must have been a favorite trail back when these were done as they were a lot of them in a small area and it was in a gap between two valleys. Sort of a facebook and travelers blog rolled into one!
The next day we were off to "Sin City", Los Vegas to visit some friends that had recently bought a home. We visited them in the afternoon and then took our traveling mates on a drive down the "Wild and Crazy" streets of the Vegas strip. We didn't even park and walk around. We were all tired and it looked crowded so we opted for a drive by.
Off to Mesa Arizona to visit friends and family. Pat's youngest daughter had just moved to Phoenix. After two days we headed to Green Valley. Once there we prepared the RV for storage and then headed to Anna Texas for a visit with family.
After a week plus visit it was time to leave and head back to Green Valley. However there was a stomach flu bug going around and it grabbed the skipperette and sent her to the emergency room for help. Ouch!! $$$$$ She spent 3 days in bed recovering. We drove back to Green valley without incident except by the time we got to Tucson the skipper was sick with a viral infection and had to visit the VA ER. After a six hour wait we got his meds and were off to finish the trip. The Skipper spent the next two days in bed recovering. After another two days it was time to head to Mazatlan.
We stopped in San Carlos over night and went out to dinner with some friends from Rosebud. On the way to San Carlos we passed through the city of Hermiso where we were stopped by a friendly cop who wanted a early xmass gift so we settled on $500p ($40US) and continued on our way. The next day we left San Carlos and headed out to Mazatlan. We arrived safe and sound.
Since arriving we've been working on projects to make the boat livable and addressing any issues that have come up. So far there been few real problems.
Now to the cold part. This is a La Nina year and it has been cold and nasty up north and down here it translates into cool nights and mild days with low humidity. We have had to add extra blankets at night and wear sweat pants in the mornings and before bed time. Burr! Its not what we're used to for sure!
Since being here we went on an art walk in old town which was fun, everyone had to pickup something, there were no exceptions. We ate at the El Tunnel restaurant which we've eaten at before the food was great. We've had our teeth checked out and medical exams and did some planning. That's when it hit us square in the heart that once again we're not going to be able to go for a lengthy cruise.
It turns out that the skipperette had made commitments to her mom to help her transition out of rehab (she had fallen in October) and back into independent living. This event has been delayed due to her recovery and isn't going to happen until right before Christmas. Who wants to be alone at Christmas so the skipper is going along too. (PA will be so cold!!!) Ok so that puts our return into January and we could still go for a cruise except we also had made another commitment to help the skippers daughter after her thrid child is born in mid-March. OK that cinches it! What with getting the boat ready and looking for weather windows (going and coming back), getting there, spending time there, getting back and then putting the boat back to sleep and then getting to Anna Texas by mid-March that leaves almost no time for a cruise. Rats! It looks like another condo on the water winter. All is not lost however, we can still take mini cruises to the islands near by and we're looking into taking a road trip in January to visit the vacationing Monarch butterflies who migrate to Mexico, much like us each winter. Also we're looking into another road trip to visit the near by town of La Noria, and the Blue Agave farm and distillery (Tequila) located in the area.
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
10/03/2010, DBBB (Dirt Boat Beach Base)
Our intention was to spend a month in Anna, Texas visiting family. We had a wonderful time including Pat's grand daughters "Bumble Bee" dance recital. We went to the Dallas Aquarium with the family and had a wonderful day on Pat's birthday. This aquarium is more then a bowl of fishes. The adventure begins at the top of the Orinoco - Secrets of the River rainforest exhibit. Then it wines its way down along a path through a rain forest with birds and other critters lurking about and then down under the water to see a wide variety of fishes. Very nice unexpected exhibit, stop by if you're ever in Dallas.
My visit was interrupted by news of a dear friends' sudden death, then before I had time to fully digest this, my father's health failed dramatically over a short few days. I flew to St. Paul, Minnesota but I arrived to late, my father past away one hour before my arrival. This time I was able to stay for the funeral. While there I went with two of my brothers to my Dad's old cabin on Devels Track Lake north of Grand Marais, Minnesota. Forty years ago I helped my dad build his cabin. We had a good visit while we got the place ready for their summer activities. On the way back to the Twin Cities we stopped at a Lake Superior view point. Quiet a specular sight indeed!
After my birthday we made plans to head to the northwest. We wanted to travel on some new ground in order to traverse the country. We decided to head for Amarillo and then NW to highway 25 then north through Denver and then follow the interstates back to Portland.
On the way to Amarillo we listened to the radio and kept hearing of rain storms ahead and north of us. We did end up driving through a few rain squalls, as we approached the Oklahoma border we ran into a true "cats & dogs" down pour. We slowed down and had to drive at reduced speeds for 20 miles as one and then another squall came at us. We decided that we were in the squall birthing zone because the radio was reporting lots of hail in the storms 50 miles to our east, and we didn't have any. Whew! Soon we drove out into just cloudy skies and reached Amarillo easily.
We'd been through Amarillo a couple of times and had heard of the Cadillac's that were planted in a field. We decided to go locate it. After a quick Google search we had our directions. There is indeed 10 Cadillac's buried in a field. Visitors are allowed to bring spray paint and paint away. Unfortunately they didn't "Pack their trash out". Regardless these were incredibly painted, junked cars, poking up out in of the ground in the middle of a field.
We cruised on through Colorado and Wyoming, as we were passing into Utah we decided to stop and see the Golden Spike Historic site. On May 10, 1869 the Union and Central Pacific Railroads joined their rails at Promontory Summit. Golden Spike National Historic Site commemorates this incredible accomplishment of this nation's first transcontinental railroad. The day we visited the site there was a full scale reenactment occurring so we stuck around for the presentation. The museum and the presentation was very informative. The only down side was the fact that the location is 29 miles off the freeways so it a bit of a drive out and back. If you're into history and trains its worth a stop. The remainder of the trip to Portland was uneventful.
The summer has been spent visiting with family and friends, spending time at our place at the coast. Oh ya and waiting for the new grand baby the 12th and the 1st great grand baby to arrive in August. There was a lot of time spent bemoaning the crappy weather. Oh well! We had several visitors at our place this season which provided a lot of fun for all. We made time to get the RV serviced for our trip in the fall. We were able to attend a couple of Longbeach events this summer too.
One event was the Sandcastle building contest. We all always amazed at peoples imagination and the sand sculpturing skills required to create their master pieces. Another event was the Washington State International Kite Festival. There was an amazing amount of kites being flown the day we visited the festival. They had many roped off areas containing a variety of events. One had large kites, one had a contest to see if they could set a record for the largest number of kites in the air at once, and there were many areas stretching south along the beach for various kite acrobatic events. Of course there were vendors selling everything kite related including food and drinks.
In August the grand babies arrived as expected and all concerned were OK. We spent over 2 weeks in Portland visiting and helping out as best we could. In late August we attended the annual Baja Cruisers Rendezvous. This event is held in Cathlament, Wa. the last weekend before Labor Day. Its not much more then a very large pot luck dinner with 80 or so friends. The part that is wonderful is that as on the seas, the wondering nomads starting arriving all week long in the their RV's and trailers. If you get there early, there are many hours spent catching up and reminiscing with friends. Coinciding with our event was the annual long board down hill race going on. So the small town was packed and the streets closed during the races. We watched the finals on Sunday afternoon and saw some exciting downhill runs and some great wipe outs right in front of our seats behind the hay bail barriers.
The rest of the summer was spent at the DBBB. (Dirt Boat Beach Base) One weekend was spent in Portland for Susan's son's 40th birthday party, otherwise we were at the coast. There were logs to be cut and stacked up for the winter. There was chores to be done before we headed back south later in the fall. A few friends came out for visits and a card game weekend was a big success. The last visitors had just returned from a vacation in England, Ireland, and Scotland. We helped them decompress!
Susan had decided to travel to Pennsylvania to visit her mom for a week. Pat stayed at the coast and started final preparations, on the DBBB and the RV and the car, that were needed to be done before casting off on the trip south. After a weeks visit in Portland, the Dirt Boat will way anchor and turn her bow southwards.
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
05/05/2010, Anna, Texas
On the way out of Mexico we stopped in San Carlos to spend a few days with our good friends on Sea Tern. They were there getting their boat ready for a quick cruise. It was fun visiting with them and helping them where we could on their projects. We meet up with some other friends on Rose Bud too. They were busy putting their boat to sleep for the summer. We all went out to dinner together. We went to a restaurant with a view of Bahia San Carlos from the second floor seating area. We all had a great meals and a fun get together.
The next day we left for the states. It was an easy drive up highway 15 to the crossing point. We then had to wait an hour before having the privilege of having the border guards search through our car and ask us the normal questions. Once through the border dance we beat feet to Tucson.
We spent several days visiting of our boating friends. This included a couple up and back to Mesa Arizona. Next we headed to Benson Arizona to visit more friends, then onto toward Anna Texas to visit my daughter and her family.
When we reached Las Cruces, New Mexico we reevaluated our driving route and decided to divert north and see some sights. After some research we discovered that just north and a little east was the White Sands National Monument, White Sands Missile Range Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Space History and finally the Three River Petroglyphs site. Plus it meant a nights stay in Roswell (The UFO Capitol) New Mexico. It was an easy decision to take this detour!
The first place on the route was the White Sands Missile Range Museum which was on an Air Force base. This required our identies to be checked out and the car searched because we had to enter the air base to go to the museum. The museum was excellent. It covered the US history of the development testing of missiles both for war time and space exploration. It started at the end of the WW II and is still going on. There is even a full sized German U2 rocket in a building by itself.
Next we continued up the valley to the White Sands National Monument. The 275 square area is totally white except for the vegetation. It was surreal to drive into an area that has white sand dunes larger then a house. This also reminded me a lot of bring in Minnesota in the winter after a good snow. Some mounds were glistening in the bright sun light to the extent it hurt your eyes. There were folks sliding down the slopes, cycling and off on walking hikes into the dunes. It was 85, too hot for us to go anywhere except in the car.
We got our room in Alamogordo, NM and decided we had time to visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History. The Museum is located NE of town and up on the side of the hill. This was an interesting museum with exhibits on different floors covering the evolution of space exploration. Outside there were several rocket examples of this evolution.
We had a long day ahead of us so we left early and headed to the Three River Petroglyphs site. It was good that thing we did as the day turned out to be quite warm and the petroglyphs were up on a rugged ridge and represented a one mile round trip hike up and down the trail. A guide is provided at the visitor center after paying the admisions fee. The guide indicates signposts along the trail to key Petroglyphs.
We headed out to Roswell, along the way we stopped in Fort Stanton and tour the forts meseum and watched a video. Also we stopped briefly in Lincoln, but it was more of a tourist trap then a historic site. We made it into Roswell late in the day. We had a early dinner and got inside before the UFO's came out!
We headed to Abilene, Texas spent the night and then hooked up with the interstate highway system and soon reached Anna, Texas. We plan to stay at my daughters for a month.
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
We decided to head to the states on April 15th. In addition to the normal projects to put the boat to bed we always have a few extra surprises. This season in addition to to getting the refer back in order we discovered some dry rot around the pilothouse door and a few small cracks in the fiberglass deck. Neither of these were very big projects just time consuming and an unneeded interruption.
The refrigeration worked out very well. The repair guy cleaned and repaired the unit, reinstalled it and got it running great after only one call back checkup. The remaining projects took to the end of March, Then we had to get down to business and get the boat ready to leave.
Next came the engine fresh water flush. During this task I discovered that the water intake value could not be closed. Plus during the investigation I punctured the intake hose. I left this project in the hands of my service provider to replace the value and hose. I had my summer boat care giver keep a close eye on the engine room bilge until it was fixed, which was done in June.
We left on the 15th and headed to San Carlos, one long days drive (545 miles).
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!