Back from the Dead
31 December 2010 | 24hrs of Death Watch
It started sometime in the early morning hours of Thursday 29th and for the next 24hrs I was sure that I was dying. What's come to be affectionately known as "Boren Drama" doesn't just apply to my blog posts. In fact blog post drama can't hold a candle to how handle being sick. I'm not sick often, but when I am, the world certainly is coming to an end. Some type of Bug has been spreading around with our friends on Hotspur and Just a Minute also getting hit. So as we wrap out 2010 this morning I can quite honestly and literally say that perhaps for the first time in a while, I'm not full of shit because my entire digestive system is completely empty.
Depending on how people feel later this afternoon, our New Year celebration is planned with Hotspur and Just a Minute but since cruiser midnight is known to be 9PM, we will be back on our boats and sleeping before most of the real partiers even hit the streets tonight.
In the next few days, I'll pull together our 2010 Cruising Costs and post those in summary form to see how we did compared to 2009 but as a guess, I think we were able to shave about 30-40% off our 2009 numbers while still living what we consider a pretty opulent lifestyle afloat.
Things are still looking on track for us to depart Mazatlan on January 5th and head for our Mexican home port of San Blas in the state of Nayarit. We are all looking forward to the home coming and seeing our local friends again and seeing what we can do to help them in the repairs of their house that was damaged in last summer's rains.
You Can't See the Teak from the Top
30 December 2010 | of the Mazatlan Lighthouse
Despite rumors to the contrary, I survived the hike up to the Mazatlan lighthouse and it wasn't really that bad compared to the hike up the mountain overlooking Conception Bay. Views from the top are well worth the hike and while we were enjoying the view we watch a group of four local teenagers made three complete trips up and down for a workout!
View of the Old Harbor
Looking over Old Mazatlan
So there's where all those tourists are coming from!
These Tug Boats make THIRD DAY look like a toy at anchor
We are enjoying our time just relaxing and taking leisurely trips to the market and discovering some great restaurants within walking distance of the old harbor anchorage. I keep telling myself that I'm going to get started on a little (ok Big) varnish project, but then before I know it the days is over and I didn't even take the sand paper out of the locker. I have been doing some computer work but the longer I wait to tackle the varnish project the more work I will create for myself. So tomorrow I think I will start or should I say continue on the never ending job of varnishing the exterior teak trim on our Force 50, A.K.A Teak Forest.
29 December 2010 | But I Wish I hadn’t!
After months of many happy laundry loads with the Splindide 2000s washer/dryer combination unit we have aboard THRID DAY, this morning I finally found the answer to the dreaded question: How much water does it use per load? The owner's manual doesn't say, so I've been spending my time in that warm happy place of not knowing and telling myself, that it didn't use much more water than our old way of doing laundry the 5-gallon bucket. But as usual when the feel-good lies we tell our self are exposed, reality is not just cold and harsh, but is a water hog! In 0.03 seconds the folks at Google told me that my Splendide model 2000s uses 16 gallons of water per load of laundry while using about 20 Amps of electrical power at 12 volts. Now considering most watermakers aboard cruising boats are in the sub-20 gallon per hour size range, using that much water and power for a load of laundry could easily justify the expense and hassle of hauling dirty laundry to shore and picking up a bag of nicely folded laundry for about $5US per load.
We do sometimes run the washing machine off our ships battery bank through the 3000W inverter and besides pulling about 20Amp hours out of our 900Amp hour battery bank it works well. However, the typical way we operate the washing machine is to only run it when we are running the generator while also charging the battery bank, as we are doing at the moment. The Honda EU2000i generator is purring away on deck putting 75-80Amps into our batteries while the washing machine is pulling about 20Amps out, so it's a fair trade!
As for water, with 460 gallons of water held in 4 tanks along with our 35 gallon per hour watermaker, as crass as it may sound to other cruisers showering with a garden sprayer or doing dishes with salt water, we frankly don't worry about our water usage. We primarily use the Honda to run the watermaker, but at least once a week we run our 8kw diesel genset. With the genset we can make water, do laundry, charge the batteries, make hot water electrically, and run the microwave all at the same time. We don't "like" to run the diesel genset because it uses about 0.75 gallons of diesel per hour compared to the Honda that can put out 75Amps or run the watermaker for 5 hours on a single gallon of gas, but with the Honda we can only run one piece of 120v equipment at a time. Sometimes it is nice to be able to run all the 120v equipment and charge the batteries all at the same time, but convenience always comes at a price on a cruising boat.
The interesting thing is that even with all the Honda and Diesel genset running our "utility bill" for water and power is still far lower than the average American and our "evil" carbon footprint doesn't even show up on the graph of the average American living in the average house back in the States. With a former life as a scientist and inventor in the air pollution measurement and abatement field, I can't help but chuckle at the Man Made Global Warming (MMGW) hype and hysteria, so I love to tell my MMGW believer friends that my carbon footprint is smaller than theirs, which must make me a better person and love the earth more, according to the latest Pop-Culture mantra.
[Editor's Note 1:
I have a feeling I should turn off the Blog Comment ability for this post after my modern day "eco-heresy" comment regarding the MMGW scam, but Lori's dragging my up to the top of the lighthouse here in Mazatlan today, so I might as well go out with a bang if the hike kills me (or she pushes me over).
Note 2: The photo of the washing machine sideways was intentional, turning things on their side, so to speak. So just send the scathing emails about me being a MMGW Denyer and not about the photo please...ha ha ha.]