Our Ever-Changing Backyard--Sailing with Scoots

27 July 2019 | Tavoro Waterfalls, Taveuni Island, Fiji
15 July 2019 | Viani Bay
23 June 2019 | En route to Savusavu, Fiji, from N. Minerva Reef
20 June 2019 | North Minerva Reef
17 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
14 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
13 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
12 June 2019 | Marsden Cove Marina, Ruakaka, NZ
06 May 2019 | Paradise Taveuni Resort
04 March 2019 | Koro Island
05 December 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
01 December 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
30 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
29 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
28 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
26 November 2018 | Port Denarau Marina, near Nadi, Fiji
18 November 2018 | Makogai Island, Fiji

Another week in the Marina

12 August 2015 | Santa Rosalia
Vandy
Momentous things happened during our third week in Santa Rosalia. First, we found what we consider to be the BEST taco stand in town: Tacos El Poblano. Located in an alcove next to the Panaderia el Boleo (desde 1901), a large pink building about halfway up the main street that's hard to miss, this little gem of a place has tasty, fresh food at the usual low, streetfare prices. Besides tacos, they also offer vampiros (like tacos but on a crispy toasted tortilla), huaraches (a shoe-shaped tortilla piled high with meat and fixings), quesadillas, and more.

Though we were initially drawn in by the roasting hunk of pastor meat (that's spiced pork, not a clergyman) on a spit out front, we were immediately charmed by the abuelita (little grandma), who took our order and made the tortillas for our tacos on the spot. A young man who could have been one of her grandsons assembled our tacos, and a young woman who might have been her granddaughter brought it to our table. The tacos al pastor were fabulous!

The next night, we returned for more. If we ever visit Santa Rosalia again, we'll go back there. If you ever visit Santa Rosalia, I strongly suggest stopping into Tacos El Poblano for dinner and a cold soda.

Then, last Friday morning, as we were sitting in our cockpit in the marina, enjoying our coffee, a fire truck came screaming up the road and stopped at the marina's fueling station, a stone's throw away from SCOOTS. Two bomberos jumped out and started hosing down the station's dual 40,000 liter fuel tanks. Hmm, we thought. Should we be untying our lines....

When the Navy moved their boats from their usual position at the fuel dock, and tied them up across the dock from SCOOTS, Eric asked one of the crewmen if there was a problem. "No hay problema," he replied. "Es un desastre simulado."

Oh, ok. A simulated disaster. It might have been nice for the marina staff to warn us.

Knowing that it was only a drill, we enjoyed our front row seat for the next hour's activities. It was a really big deal, involving the fire department, police department, Navy, Army, paramedics and ambulance drivers, the marina staff (simulated casualties) , and even the environmental quality department. Who needs DVDs for entertainment?

While we were in the marina, we got to know the crews of s/v Summer, s/v Azul, and s/v Raindancer. A National Geographic crew has been going out on a large motor boat every day, hoping to film some Humboldt squid in the deep water off of Santa Rosalia. I hope they succeed. It would make a great documentary.

Monday, August 10 was a particularly momentous day for us: our son, Nick, flew to Hawaii to begin his second tour of duty with the US Army; and our daughter, Kelly, flew to Australia to begin a semester of study abroad. It's great to see them doing what they like doing, and going where they want to go. I can't imagine where those two get their desire to travel...

Also on August 10, our air conditioner was delivered. Yes, that's right, we bought an air conditioner. After two months of stinkin' hot, sweaty weather, and with another two months of stinkin' hot, sweaty weather ahead of us, we decided to spring for some temporary relief. Ship's engineer Eric did the calculations and measurements to determine what specs an air conditioner would need, in order to fit in our companionway OR our hatches AND could be run off our generator, should we decide that we needed some coolness at anchor, rather than just in the marina, where we are attached to shore power. What do you know, the local Coppel department store sold an air conditioner that fulfilled all those requirements. We walked there and ordered one.

Five days later, our air conditioner arrived from the warehouse. Before the delivery guy had even gotten back to his truck, we had that puppy unpacked, on the deck, aiming into the forward hatch (over our bunk), plugged in, and running. Not having a fancy air dam, we threw a comforter over the whole thing, which did a nice job of projecting all the air into the boat. Then we sat back and reveled in the coolness that spread throughout the cabin. Ahhhhhh!

We enjoyed having air conditioning for the next 2 days, while we were still in the marina. Not being hot and sweaty all the time really improved both our comfort and our moods. Just knowing that it would be cool when we arrived back at SCOOTS after running errands in town, made the sweating and heat we experienced there more bearable. Doing boat projects and sleeping at night were so much more comfortable. We were glad that we had finally decided to do it. But we also both hoped that having an air conditioner wouldn't "change us," from people who prefer to anchor out, where they can snorkel and swim in beautiful water, to people who prefer to be in a marina, where they can plug in their air conditioner. Time will tell, but we're going to be vigilant so I don't expect it will happen.

As you can see from our GPS coordinates, we finally broke free from the Santa Rosalia marina. We enjoyed our time there, 25 days in all, but we're glad to be on our way again. We left yesterday evening, in a tiny breath of wind, hoping to find some wind, once we got on the Sea, to push us north toward Bahia San Francisquito, about 75 miles away. Alas, there was no more wind outside the breakwater than inside, so after bobbing around for a few minutes, we pulled down our sails and motored a few miles south to the Sweet Pea anchorage on Isla San Marcos, figuring that we would anchor there until the wind was more favorable for a northward journey.

It was SO NICE to be back in an anchorage! Fresh air, open spaces, wildlife and solitude. I didn't realize how much I'd missed it. Last night, after a late dinner, we set up our comforter on the dodger top and lay down to watch the sky, this being the peak of a meteor shower. We saw a few meteors throughout the night, but as usually seems to happen, the paltry number of shooting stars didn't even come close to the hype. Maybe tonight's show will be better.

Sleeping up there was quite comfortable, though...even without air conditioning.
Comments
Vessel Name: SCOOTS
Vessel Make/Model: Able Apogee 50
Hailing Port: San Francisco, CA
Crew: Eric and Vandy Shrader
About: We've been living aboard full time since September 2014. We sailed to Mexico with the 2014 Baja Haha and had fun exploring Mexico until April 2016, when we turned SCOOTS west and headed to the South Pacific. As of late Nov. 2016, SCOOTS and her crew are exploring New Zealand.
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