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Autobus vs airplane Part ISteve
07/20/2011, Houston, Tx.
While I was on my way up Mexico on the autobus Monday I decided I would do a blog post comparing travel by autobus vs travel by airplane. I was going to wait until I got to Washington DC to do the post, however since I missed my connecting flight and am now stuck in Houston....I figured I'd do the blog now. So...why did I miss my connecting flight? Well everything was going good until they got us all on the plane (funny how they do that). The Captain then came on the PA and said we would be delayed 10 minutes or so (why do they always say 10 minutes), he gave a two part reason for the delay. The first reason was that the First Officer had worked the night before and couldn't check-in for 10 more minutes (again 10 minutes). The second reason was that the only lavatory in the plane had a problem with a motor and there was a repairman on the way to fix it. So there we sat, the repairman came in and left, the Captain informed us that the lavatory was taken care of and the First Officer was at the airport and checking in and should be there in 10 minutes (again 10 minutes). So there we sat, the repairman came in again...and left again, I knew there was another problem with the head....oops..I mean lavatory. The Captain came on and told us the First Officer was there and they had to do some procedures and checks and we should be on our way in 10 minutes or so...(again). So there we sat...they closed the door and then after a few minutes they reopened it, in came the repairman and in my opinion... things were not looking good. The Captain came on again and told us that originally the lavatory wouldn't flush, and then it wouldn't stop flushing and now it wouldn't flush again. It was decided that they would completely shut down the lavatory motor and place some bottles of water in the lavatory (see pic), we were instructed to bring the empties to the flight attendants and they would replace them, we were also instructed to "please don't pour to much water into the bowl..only a little with each usage. I am now rebooked onto another plane and as of now should be in Washington about 2 hours later than originally planned....so here I sit.
07/19/2011, Tucson, Az. USA
Yesterday I left San Carlos and returned to the US on a Tufesa autobus. It was a VERY emotional day for me. To be leaving Si Bon in a foreign country for at least two months in order to escape the summertime heat of the Sea of Cortez was difficult. I am REALLY happy to be visiting both my Uncle Ross and his Wife Carol in Maryland and Shaybo and her family in Vermont and then going to San Diego to see the kids and my friends...but it was still difficult. Although it is unlikely that San Carlos would get hit by a major hurricane...it is possible and in fact did get hit pretty good in 2009. I have been busy the past two weeks preparing for a hurricane...just in case. I removed my roller furling jib, I cleaned, deflated, rolled up and stowed away the dinghy and I have removed most of the jerry jugs and other items from the deck of Si Bon. The last hurricane preparation was to tie Si Bon to the dock like she's never been tied before. I spent over an hour Sunday night doing a job that usually takes me 5 minutes to do. I have doubled up all of the dock lines, attached my 3/4 inch mooring line to port bow, attached spring lines bow and stern with special chafing protection and secured three dock fenders to each side of Si Bon. I've tugged, pushed and pulled on Si Bon trying to simulate what would happen in a tropical storm or....God forbid a hurricane and I feel comfortable that she will be fine.
07/15/2011, Los Angles, Ca.
No I'm not back in Los Angles...thank God. When I was driving up "The 405" to Ashley's graduation, and was approaching UCLA in very heavy traffic (see pic on 6-13-2011 post), I marveled at the fact that the freeway still had construction going on in the same place that it was going on when we moved Ashley into her dorm four years earlier. I remember thinking to myself...."WOW, my daughter completed her four year college degree and they are still working on this stinking freeway...four years later.
Vacation is overSteve
07/14/2011, San Carlos, Sonora Mexico
When I first arrived in Marina San Carlos two weeks ago I decided to take it easy for a few days. I had been on the go for most of four months and wanted a break. When you tell most people that you live on a sailboat in Mexico their response is something like "oh lucky you, you're living the dream". As anyone who has cruised with me can attest to, there is ALOT of work involved with this lifestyle, most crew members have become overwhelmed with the amount of physical activity involved. How would you like to go up and down these stairs (pic) 75-100 times a day? And that is only the beginning, there's getting the dinghy into the water, getting the 80 lb outboard onto the dinghy, getting out of the dinghy once to the beach and dragging it up on to the beach and thats all so you can take your morning walk. There is constant cleaning, maintenance and repairing to be done...it some times seems like it's never-ending ....oh wait a minute....it is never-ending. Now don't get me wrong I'm not complaining (yes I am), I love this life and right now I wouldn't trade it for anything. I could never retire and sit on my ass all day, I love the constant moving about, the constant lifting, pulling and climbing that's involved. I love having to troubleshoot some kind of problem with one of the many systems on Si Bon..and then fixing it. When you see some old cruiser, who is in unbelievable physical condition and then find out that he/she is 75 years old, you can see first hand the benefits of this lifestyle. I told Shaybo the beginning of the week that my vacation was over and I needed to get stuff done this week, she laughed at me and said "how can a guy on vacation have a vacation", but she quickly corrected herself as I believe that she is aware of the work that lays ahead of her when she joins me in on Si Bon in October.
Navigating the waters....or land.Steve
07/12/2011, location unknown
There are reasons why a good mariner uses multiple systems to verify his/her location. This photo of the GPS located at the helm was taken as I was leaving Bahia Concepcion. The little triangle is Si Bon and the yellow area is a land mass known as Punta Aguja. As you can see Si Bon is clearly on land...or at least according to the GPS she is. I was warned about the inaccurate Mexican charts before I left to go cruising, a GPS uses a chart card that duplicates the information from paper charts. Now I'm pretty sure that there is someone thinking right about now "gee Steve, you need to get some better equipment on that boat". Granted that both of my onboard GPS's are 10+ years old, but I also have a brand new handheld GPS and all three GPS's showed the same information and since I have seen similar pictures from other cruisers I have no intention at this time of spending thousands of dollars on new GPS's just so I can have a larger, more colorful picture of Si Bon crossing a point of land. Sooo what do you do? Well the GPS is a still a wonderful tool and one that I still use extensively, but I also do pencil and paper navigation, I use my radar, my depth sounder and of course my eyes (and a good set of binoculars). When you combine all of the sources available there is little chance that you would actually be on the yellow land mass as the pic shows. Well since all three GPS's currently show me in the parking lot here at Marina San Carlos I think I'm going to hop off Si Bon and go ask for a refund on my slip fees, adios.
Congratulations Mexico U-17 Soccer teamSteve
07/10/2011, Marina Cantina
Sooo since I've been in San Carlos I've been catching parts of the U-17 boys world cup soccer tournament. I actually didn't realize that it was the U-17 until just now. I decided, after Mexico just beat Uruguay to win the championship, that I would get all the facts before posting this blog. I was SHOCKED that these were kids that were playing. Both the level of play and the excitement of the Mexican fans had lead me to believe that this was the Mexican National team. Whenever they played the cantinas were packed with yelling, screaming, fist pounding fans. It has been fun watching the team play and now that I know that they are the same age that I watched my own daughters play just a few years ago...makes it even more exciting. So congratulations to the Champions and also to the other teams that also displayed a huge amount of talent.
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