Back to work
09/04/2012, San Diego
Part of the reason I came back to San Diego for what will probably be most of September, is that my friends Kim and Paul asked me to house sit/dog sit for them. This morning I dropped them off at the airport for a three week trip to France....and the work begins. Yes, everyday I will take Ginger (pic) out for a 20-30 minute walk, once in the morning, and again in the afternoon. When we return from the walk I will prepare her gourmet dinner complete with some bottled water. Most of the rest of the day Ginger will probably nap.
While Ginger naps I will be busy taking care of Kim and Paul's 2000 sq. foot luxury townhouse. Yes, I will have to keep the free wireless internet up and running by playing online, keep the 56 inch hi-def TV in good working order by watching sports and reruns of Two and A Half Men. I'll have to open and close the large side by side refrigerator several times a day (especially around happy hour) to make sure it stays operable, oh and a couple of times while they're gone I will have to let the cleaning lady in.
Another part of my job responsibilities will be to keep the cars in good running condition. At least several times a week I am required to take either the Lexus IS 250 or the Ford Ranger pick-up out for a drive around town. I have this funny feeling that when they return the Lexus will have a few more miles on it then the Ranger.
Well I've been playing on the free internet long enough, time to take care of the Lexus. Boy this job thing is a lot of work, maybe when I get back I'll join Ginger for a nap.
getting ready to leave, speaking spanish and other tid bits of useful although perhaps boring information
I've been busy getting ready to go back to the states for a 3-4 week visit. There's lots to do before leaving Si Bon for that length of time. Top off the fuel tank, top off the water tanks, top off the batteries, do laundry, run both the main engine and the generator for an hour each, clean the boat, charge the batteries, get rid of all non-canned food, take care of a few repairs, blah blah blah.
One of the last things on my list was to go to Home Depot and buy a bunch of anti-moisture things, it is getting REALLY humid here and I don't want to come back to find a bunch of mold. Since I had not been to Home Depot coming straight from the marina, I told the bus driver in perfect spanish (hey, at least he understood me), where I was going and I also, again in perfect spanish, confirmed that I would need to get off the bus before we actually got to Home Depot. Sometimes it is better to not speak any spanish than just a little, as the driver then went on in rapid fire spanish about something that I still have no idea what he was talking about. Oh well, I got off where I was supposed to, and luckily in my spanish class I learned to say "que dijiste?" which translates to "what did you say?".
predicting a hurricane..what did you say?
08/28/2012, hurricane alley
As a sailor from Southern California most of our forecasts are for "night and morning clouds followed by afternoon sunshine,winds out of the northwest at 5-10 knots". So now that I am entering the heart of the mexican hurricane season this is what I have to decipher;
WTPZ44 KNHC 282032
TROPICAL STORM ILEANA DISCUSSION NUMBER 5
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP092012
200 PM PDT TUE AUG 28 2012
THERE HAS NOT BEEN A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE OVERALL STRUCTURE OF
THE CLOUD PATTERN IN CONVENTIONAL SATELLITE OR MICROWAVE DATA
DURING THE PAST SEVERAL HOURS. THE OUTFLOW REMAINS ESTABLISHED AND
THERE ARE CYCLONICALLY-CURVED BANDS WRAPPING AROUND AN AREA OF DEEP
CONVECTION NEAR THE CENTER. T-NUMBERS FROM BOTH TAFB AND SAB
REMAIN AT 3.0 ON THE DVORAK SCALE...INDICATING THAT THE WINDS ARE
STILL 45 KNOTS. ILEANA IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN WITHIN A LOW-SHEAR
ENVIRONMENT BUT WILL BEGIN TO REACH LOWER SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES
IN ABOUT 3 DAYS. GIVEN THESE CONDITIONS...THE NHC FORECAST CALLS
FOR ILEANA TO BECOME A HURRICANE IN A DAY OR SO AND THEN WEAKEN
THE BEST ESTIMATE OF THE INITIAL MOTION IS 295 DEGREES AT 9 KNOTS
AROUND THE PERIPHERY OF A HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM CENTERED OVER
WESTERN MEXICO. ILEANA COULD TURN A LITTLE MORE TO THE NORTHWEST AS
A MID-LEVEL TROUGH APPROACHES THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES.
HOWEVER...SINCE ILEANA IS FORECAST TO WEAKEN BY THE END OF THE
FORECAST PERIOD AND BECOME A SHALLOW SYSTEM...IT COULD TURN MORE TO
THE WEST AS IT BECOMES STEERED BY THE LOW-LEVEL FLOW. THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST IS CLOSE TO THE CONSENSUS AND LIES IN BETWEEN THE ECMWF
WHICH IS NORTH OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE AND THE GFS/HWRF PAIR TO
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INIT 28/2100Z 16.3N 110.7W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 29/0600Z 16.9N 111.9W 50 KT 60 MPH
24H 29/1800Z 18.0N 113.2W 55 KT 65 MPH
36H 30/0600Z 18.5N 114.0W 65 KT 75 MPH
48H 30/1800Z 19.5N 115.0W 65 KT 75 MPH
72H 31/1800Z 20.5N 117.0W 55 KT 65 MPH
96H 01/1800Z 21.5N 120.0W 45 KT 50 MPH
120H 02/1800Z 22.0N 124.0W 35 KT 40 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
WHAT U SAY???????????????????
Resort cruiser vs "real cruiser"
As I eluded to in the last post, we resort cruisers don't get much respect from the "real cruisers". Never mind the fact that we have all brought our boats thousands of miles through a foreign country.....the fact that some of us have decided to spend the summer in a marina seems to make us wimps...at least in the eyes of a few. Yes, while the "real cruisers" are anchored in a peaceful cove watching another boring sunset in the Sea of Cortez, I am sitting in an air-conditioned auditorium at the Paradise Village resort watching another exciting welcome reception (pic). While the "real cruisers" are watching the afternoon sky for signs of a developing chubasco or elefante (both extreme wind events), I am looking for the waiter to bring me another free margarita. There are times I wish I was seeing whale sharks swim off my bow in Bay of Los Angles instead of watching coconuts float by my stern in the murky waters of the El Salado estuary. Then I go take a shower in the air conditions ceramic tiled bathrooms of the Paradise Village resort...and I'm glad I'm where I am.
I did spend some of last summer in the Sea of Cortez, and I do have a lot of respect for the men and women who have decided on that itinerary. Who knows, maybe next summer I'll be one of them.
Yesterday my friend Jim and I took his boat, Liebling, over to La Cruz so we could both get enough fuel to top off our boats. Being out on the water made us both realize how anxious we are to get back to being "real cruisers" come November and the end of hurricane season.
Reflections of a road trip
After an uneventful all night Autobus trip from Mexico City, I arrived safely back to Si Bon early Thursday Morning.
Part of the reason I decided to do this cruise thing was to become immersed into other cultures. It's difficult to be immersed if you stay along a narrow costal strip of a country. There was the added benefit this time of the year in going inland to higher altitudes and cooler weather.
All in all my road trip was a huge success, I saw a part of Mexico that I had not seem before. There were miles and miles of agriculture, along side miles and miles of modern freeways. There was the beautiful paseos and squares of Guadalajara and the continuous activities of charming San Miguel de Allende's Jardine (pic). The big surprise was Mexico City, which I hadn't even planned to visit. Even the local mexican's who have never been to Mexico City look at you funny and say "really?" when you tell them that you loved it. But the people that have been there all smile and say "isn't it wonderful". At some point in my life I hope to return to the large city for a little longer visit.
Everyone has a different idea of cruising. Some people rush from one anchorage to another never really spending much time anywhere. Some people sit in deserted blazing hot anchorage and rarely ever move. Some people do 6 months on the boat and then leave it somewhere and go home for 6 months. Since I've been here in Paradise Marina since late April there are people that would say I'm not a "real cruiser" anymore.
So far this summer has played out well for me. I have had time off the boat to visit friends and family, and I've been able to take some time away to explore areas outside of the costal strip. When I've returned to Si Bon I am kept busy doing things which are necessary to maintain the systems for when I return to being a "real cruiser" in November.
Ciudad de Mexico
08/21/2012, Mexico City
While visiting my Friend Sharon Milligan in San Miguel de Allende she made the suggestion that we go to Mexico City from San Miguel. Mexico City was never in my travel plans, but since I had never seen the city and she had spent quite a bit of time working there, it seemed like a great plan. So we book our rooms, hopped on an autobus, and yesterday afternoon we arrived here.
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico, it is not a part of any of the 31 states in Mexico, but rather stands as it's own entity...much like Washington D.C.. Mexico City metropolitan area has a population of 21.2 million people making it the 3rd largest metropolitan area in the world. It is the 8th richest city in the world and has the 30th largest economy in the world.
The amount of history and culture here is amazing. There are large metropolitan parks which are home to many famous Museums and art galleries. There are beautiful tree lined streets with cozy sidewalk cafes and chic shops. Yesterday we ate lunch at a small Itialian cafe in Colonia Roma.....and If I didn't know better I would have thought we were actually in Rome.
This morning we visited the Museo Soumaya with its super modern architecture, and this afternoon we went to the long ago buried ruins of the Templo Mayor, built by the Aztecs in the 1400 A.D.s.
Yes, Mexico City is a wonderful combination of modern and trendy, ancient and historical. I can not imagine why I did not have it on the very top of my places to visit while in Mexico. Perhaps ignorance?