We’re not bored!

DSCF1582So, We have spent the last two weeks docked in Puerto Vallarta. Well, actually in a marina in Nuevo Vallarta, cradled by the beautiful tropical mountainside. It is magnificent! We have explored the local town, been to the farmers market, met folks at the Vallarta Yacht club, attended a few Spanish classes and basically kept ourselves fairly busy.

DSCF1579The actual city of Puerto Vallarta is an interesting 35 minute bus ride on local transit from our location. We have travelled there twice to wonder the cobblestone streets of the Zona Romanica, appreciate the beautiful statues of the Malecon, and taste the culinary delights of some local cuisine. Our first trip was on the 11th day of the Festival of Our Lady Guadeloupe. DSCF1591We got ourselves to the blvd across from the church to watch the procession just in time for the sky to light up with sizzling lightening and rolling thunder. Followed by 3-5 inches of rain upon our blessed heads. Unfortunately, we had left our boat completely open, including the forward hatch which is situated directly over our bed. Thankfully it only took us about 24hours to dry everything out and get our home back in order. Yet other than a few raindrops and lightening bolts, we think Puerto Vallarta is amazing. Its filled with art, lovely people, great food and rich history.DSCF1595

IMG_0894Here at the marina we are a part of the Paradise Village Resort, where we get to partake in the swimming, dining, and shows offered to those on holiday. The pool and beach are practically daily hangouts even on work days. And while dinning and shows is not typically our thing, IMG_0939there is one show that caught our attention. It was a tribal storytelling performance put on by a local dance troupe in the form of the Mexican natives. The staging and costumes were wonderful and it was quite delightful. This resort life gives us the sense of being on permanent vacation. Which is fun, at least for a little while.

DSCF1672DSCF1620Behind our marina is a series of canals that flow into an estuary filled with wild life. Steve and I have been on a few safaris in search of birds, iguanas , and crocodiles. We have identified birds we have never seen, photographed a book load of pictures of enormous iguanas basking in the trees and yes, we have seen one crocodile. It was just a baby and at first I was so excited. Then it DSCF1667hissed and I realized it was probably calling its mother. Seeing as we were in an inflatable boat, I suddenly felt very vulnerable. It was quite exciting and beautiful. The wonders of this tropical world are so tangible. To float down the canal and listen to wild tropical birds and smell the musty mangrove swamps makes one feel in rhythm with the earth.

DSCF1657I realize its probably hard to believe, but we don’t spend all of our time goofing off. There have been a few work days. Repairing some minor leaks, cleaning house, reorganizing lockers (read closet) that don’t quite suit our needs and removing the boom for repair. At some point in our journey, actually we think we know the exact timing, we damaged our boom, well, we bent our boom. There are a few theories as to how it happened and I really don’t care to go into all the details, lets just say we broke the boom. So we have had the pleasure of getting know the wonderful, hardworking rigger Jorge and the welder Pedro. They will fix us up and make it better than new. The lessons dealt out by the old man of the sea are harsh lessons indeed! Lets hope our future lessons will be less expensive. We are just grateful no one was hurt.

me in PVIn just a few days we will be flying back to the USA to see our children and grandchildren. All of whom we miss terribly. We will get to hug our family and friends and share our stories, catch up on their lives, show off our tans, and try to get enough love to fill our hearts for the next few months of our journey. When we get back the boom should be repaired and we will set off for another location, yet to be determined. Its hard to believe that we sailed out of Moss landing almost exactly 3 months ago. So much has happened. Wow, what a life!

 

 

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Welcome to Bahia de Banderas!

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We sailed down the west coast of Mexico from Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta, carried by a soft 5-10kt breeze and gentle seas. The nights were warm and starry with the occasional blaze of a shooting star. We were visited by two Humpback Whales which I suspect saw our Santa Cruz homeport and just wanted to see if they recognized us from Monterey Bay. The sky was full of Blue Footed Boobies, Brown Footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigate birds. Sometimes it appeared that they might land on the boat for a visit as they would circle us looking with a discerning eye at our mast. Forty four hours later we arrived in Bahia de Banderas to an escort of dolphins just as the sun was rising over the mountains. Ahh, this is it! The sailing experience we have been craving.DSCF1558

Pablo is docked at Paradise Village Marina (not Paradise Cove Mariana as stated in my previous post). The resort is lovely, although a bit like Disneyland. Swimming pools with dragon and alligator slides, cocktails served beachside, and a zoo of sorts on site. The last few days have been spent getting acquainted with the local laundry and tienda, figuring which shower is our favorite and getting a general lay of the land. Of coarse we did manage an afternoon at the pool, I mean hey who could resist a little luxurious RnR.

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In a few short weeks we will head to Santa Cruz to visit family and friends. Since our blood has surely thinned as we have gotten acclimated to the balmy temperatures they will have to listen to us whine about the freezing weather. Cold weather withstanding, being home for a bit will feel so good. I miss everyone terribly and I really need a GOOD bacon cheeseburger!

As a side note, there were many who asked how we would get along being on a small boat together twenty-four-seven. I can report that while there have been moments when each of us wished we could trail the dinghy far behind us as a doghouse, we are doing great. We are still friends, we still love each others company, and the flame of romance is still burning on s/v Pablo.

IMG_0831                                               Still loving this crazy adventurous life!

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Relaxing in Mazatlan

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Our escort into Mazatlan.

We arrived in Mazatlan ten days ago, two exhausted sailors caked in about ¼ inch of salt. The passing from San Jose del Cabo across the Sea of Cortez was a rough ride with a the first day giving us 8-12 foot seas on the port beam. We had about 18 hours of waves crashing over the port side, sending spray over the whole boat. A minute later the boat would rock to starboard, picking up several buckets worth of water which rushed down into the cockpit, swirling around us like a whirlpool. By day two the seas had calmed a bit but salt was overing every inch of us so we could not get dry. So we sailed the rest of the second day in extreme discomfort. Our skin actually hurt from the salt. After 41 hours we were grateful to see the skyline of Mazatlan on the horizon!

DSCF1420We headed into the Estero Sabalo and took a slip in the El Cid Marina. An old cruising haunt that has been a place of refuge and relaxation for many. El Cid is a resort with swimming pools, restaurants, bars, and a whole host of daily activities put together by a friendly staff. They have a small Marina which has about 40 slips and as a Marina guest we were able to take advantage of the many delights of the resort. What a special treat that was!

DSCF1440Upon arrival it was our intention to stay for a couple of days, get ourselves recovered and rested from the passage and then keep moving southward. However, we had a hurricane by the name of Sandra heading our way. There were a few days of nervous tension on the docks and in the resort as everyone prepared and then Sandra petered out and became little more than a few days of so-so weather. Meanwhile, Steve and I got quite settled into the resort lifestyle. Bus rides to old town, dinghy rides to photograph birds in the estuary, sampling various restaurants, meeting new people and of DSCF1449course lounging by the pool. Life here was so easy going and laid back. There were many on the docks that had made this their winter home, having already done the cruising circuit. Some for only a few years, and others like our neighbors Bub and Fay (in their 90’s). They had cruised for 20 years and were now just happy to use their boat as a winter home in paradise. We DSCF1458needed to go and get some cruising miles under our keel. Although we think we will definitely return. Everything about the place is wonderful, the people, the food, the price, the weather, the birds, the fish, the town…. But there is so much more we want to see. So today we leave and start heading further south.DSCF1477

Unfortunately, Sandra and the weather that followed her has us way off schedule for our arrival in Puerto Vallarta. We had planned on spending a few slow weeks visiting various remote locations along the way to Paradise Cove Marine, which is were we will leave Pablo for our visit back to California. However, the Marina has informed me that they cannot hold our reservation for more than a few days. So we will race down the coast, doing a 44 hour passage straight to Paradise Cove. So off we go again!

Looking forward to another passage full of stars, dolphins, flying fish, full sails and calm seas.

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Moving on!

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After having spent two lovely weeks in San Jose del Cabo the time has come to move on. We have met some friendly and helpful locals, found a few favorite haunts, made IMG_0749meaningful friendships with a few fellow cruisers, and gotten some much needed down time. Our earlier plan was to head up to La Paz from here but the Sea of Cortez will have to wait as the Northerlies have been coming through every few days which makes a journey north too difficult. However, a good steady breeze from the north is perfect for a trip to the mainland. So we will go where the wind blows. Besides, we really do want to spend the winter months further south.

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Our time here has been such a joyful surprise. The days are spent watching wildlife, snorkeling on the beach, napping, and doing small boat maintenance projects. Often we have heard the scream of an osprey as itDSCF1301 calls out to its neighbors and watched as it dives and struggles to carry a freshly caught fish. Like Moss Landing, there are a variety of herons, cormorants, and terns. Unlike home we have seen the beautiful Magnificent Frigate birds with their stark sillouette gliding through the skies above us. Their beautiful red or white throats clearly visible to the naked eye. There are tropical fish, an occasional sea lion, and we have even seen a few leaping stingray. However, we have not seen the illusive sea turtles which we hear are frequent visitors to the harbor.DSCF1311

DSCF1372Everyday the fisherman come in followed by a crowd of lazy pelicans who wait for handouts which the men toss to them with glee. These same fisherman have befriended us and have given us great advice despite our language barrier. Yesterday I had the funniest conversation with a gentleman who somehow let me know that the seas where so rough that if we went out sailing we would throw up. Helping us to decide to stay another day as leaving yesterday was No Bueno!

Unlike the mad dash down the coast of Baja where we did not really get to spend time with DSCF1328fellow sailing comrades we have spent hours dinning, shopping, drinking, exploring and sharing stories with a few great people. All of which we hope to see again at some point in the journey. I have to say, I have read about the difficulty of always saying goodbye to people you befriend. Now I have felt it first hand and I can say it definitely is not one of the highlights of cruising.DSCF1362

We will most likely spend Thanksgiving somewhere out at sea or in some small anchorage. It all depends on the timing of our travels and the weather. However you can be sure that we take a few minutes everyday to give thanks for the blessings we are receiving. So for us everyday is Thanksgiving. And as Steve pointed out, we had our Thanksgiving feast last July in Germany.

Our most immediate goal at this point is to get the boat to Puerto Vallarta where we can secure her in a slip for our journey back to Santa Cruz. Just this morning we made our plane reservations and we hope that our friends and family will clear time on their calendars and make room in their homes for a few homesick sailors. We don’t require much room, after all we are use to living on a boat. Any old closet will do. 😉

Looking forward to our next adventure, a few days on the water, a new place to explore and new friends to let into our hearts.

We send Love, Hugs, and Blessing to all of people back home. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Can you see me now?

In our last blog post we put several photos into a slideshow format. I am not sure folks are seeing them.

Need some feedback ………..

And just in case you didn’t, here they are in a different presentation.

Love, Hugs, and Blessing to you all

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Journey down the coast of Baja Mexico

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Our twelve day journey down the coast of Baja Mexico was an adventure that we will never forget. The vast array of experiences varied so much that once we arrived in Cabo San Lucas we referred to the trip as “The Good , The Bad, and The Ugly”. There were nights with a moon so full and bright it was as if we were sailing in daylight. On the contrary we had nights so dark you could not see your hand in front of your face and a bazillion stars stretched across the horizon. Those nights were particularly spectacular as they brought some of the most amazing sightings of shooting stars. We’re talking falling stars with rainbow tails and sparkling star dust as they crossed the sky. The winds were everything from none to perfect to blow the hair right off your head. The latter providing for some wild rides with sleepless nights and aching bodies. We have met some really great people both Mexicans and fellow Baja Ha-Ha cruisers that have all been wonderful, interesting, and kind. Above all our skills and stamina have been put to the test. We have discovered our limits and sometimes been pushed beyond them. Living full time on a boat while traveling the open seas is magical yet challenging. With each wonderful blessing we have received we have also been tested with some new difficulty. I think our mighty crew mate Ralph said it best “Sane people don’t do this”.

The adventure began on October 26th. We left the San Diego harbor with the Baja Ha-Ha fleet in a spectacular fashion. At the shot from the America’s cup starting shotgun the fleet of 130 boats paraded out of the harbor past the cheers of spectators and fire boat cannons shooting plumes of water into the air. Once past the chaos and into the open waters of the Pacific Ocean we put the months of work behind us and sailed into Mexican waters through the Coronado Islands. With light winds we were able to sail all day using our light wind jib and full mainsail and our Aries windvane steering the boat steadily to course. As evening fell we dropped sails, started our motor and easily fell into a night watch routine of three hour shifts. We relaxed, laughed and reveled in the fact that we were finally underway. As with so many things in life, the beginning of this adventure marked the end of a long trail of hard work and planning.

The first challenge presented itself while eating breakfast on day two of our journey. During the night a Kraken had eaten the servo rudder off of our Aries wind vane. There would be no more self steering while under sails for the remainder of the journey. We have a tiller pilot auto steering device, but it uses power faster than our solar cells can produce it. Therefore we only use it while the motor is running as the motor recharges our batteries at a much faster rate. That meant that we would have to take turns hand steering the boat for the rest of the trip unless the motor was running. There would be many days when this was no big deal and there would be others when this would be taxing on our already exhausted bodies.

The second frustration discovered on our second day out was that our DeLorme communication and tracking device had died. We had spent months testing the unit and here it was barely twenty four hours into our trip and the damn thing was dead, dead, dead. Worry gnawed at me for the next two days until I could get a message out that we were safe. I had visions of friends and family members watching us disappear off the track on MapShare and the concern that they would feel. Once I got the word out that we were safe my concern over the loss of the device was little to none.

Light winds remained on our stern quarter for the three day journey to Bahia Tortuga. A point of sail that frustrated us most of the time. It seemed that no matter how we adjusted our sails we could not keep our jib full. It was not until latter in the journey that we would realize the correct sail plan for our boat under these conditions. This was only one of the many lessons learned on our trip and learning became one of the most wonderful parts of the journey. We discovered new ways of sailing Pablo. We put theories to the test and found out which ones actually worked. The phrase “Let’s see what happens if we do this” was used many times over the days to come.

In addition to bettering our sailing skills with Pablo we got to test out a variety of methods for showering, cooking, dish washing, cleaning, and boat maintenance. Most things worked as planned. Other things that worked great while anchored or on the dock just did not work while under way. Dish washing was a perfect example. There was no way anyone could reasonably wash dishes in a sink the size of a soup bowl while underway. We soon adjusted the plan to gathering a bucket of salt water, doing a pre-wash in the cockpit and a wash n rinse in the galley with fresh water. Likewise showering inside the boat became impossible, so all bathing had to be done in the cockpit while underway. Chores like these are never simple while underway so adjusting was necessary to our sanity and each new discovery proved to make life easier and more enjoyable.

After three days and nights at sea arriving at in port was like waking up after a dream. We had left San Diego with all its modern facilities and arrived in Bahia Tortuga, Baja Mexico. This small beautiful fishing village has limited resources and amenities, but the entire town turns all of its attention to the Baja Ha-Ha fleet as we arrive. The annual event brings a flood of money and no doubt a bit of entertainment to the local population. The fishing stops and the entrepreneurial locals get creative with the many ways they work to meet our needs. All the pangas are dedicated to serving the newly arrived sailing fleet. Locals stop by the boat all day offering local fresh fish, 5 liter jugs of fresh water, garbage disposal services, and water taxi rides to shore. There are three restaurants of sorts in town which cater to passing boats. The menu is simple but the food is good and fresh.

After 750 nautical miles of travel most boats need to get more fuel, as sailing the entire trip is very difficult. Other than hauling your jerry cans up the hill to the Pemex station the only one resource for fuel is from a man named Enrique. You can either med-tie up to the rickety pier where he will send a hose down and pump fuel from a tank or have a panga bring fuel to the boat. We opted for the latter which was a wonderful local Mexican experience. After a six hour wait and repeated communications with Enrique, two smiling teenage boys showed up to pump diesel into our fuel tanks. They had a semi-sealed fuel barrel and a generator on board. When the panga first arrived we noticed that the rope they were using to tie up to our boat was threadbare and sure enough half way through the process their boat broke free. We quickly recovered the boat without much incident and the hardworking young men poured the fuel into our tanks without too much spillage. As a parting gift Steve and I gave them some old rope we had from our staysail sheet replacement project. They were quite delighted with the gift claiming the rope was like new. We were happy to help and grateful to have found a home for the rope we had carried from Long Beach.

The two days spent in Bahia Tortuga were too short for our liking. I think we could have easily stayed a week or more. We got some minor repairs done on the boat, fueled up, attended a beach party organized by the Baja Ha-Ha folks, had a fun evening of trick-or-treaters visiting the boat by dinghy and we were off again. This time headed for Bahia Santa Maria.

The first day of the trip started out with no wind but as the day went on the wind rand the swell rose making for a rough night. With swell up in the 10-12 foot range there was no way to use our auto pilot which meant we were taking twenty minutes shift on the tiller. Thankfully the conditions changed shortly before midnight and we were able to re-institute our watch cycle and get some rest. Day two of this leg of our journey however provided zero wind and swell. The day was hot, the water was clear and our spirits were high. We had all gotten a good nights sleep and eaten a good breakfast. At some point during the afternoon we stopped the engine, pulled out the swim ladder and took a swim some 50 miles from shore.The water was so clear we could see a lone fish swimming in the shade of our boat. It was surreal.

Bahia Santa Maria is 11miles long and 4 miles wide. There is a fishing camp at one end of the bay and endless miles of white sand and mangroves. This is another of the annual stops for the Baja Ha-Ha fleet and once again the locals gear up to make the most of our visit. A rock-n-roll band that plays good music and a family that brings beer and food to sell travel all the way from LaPaz on dirt roads sometimes having to hand cary their instruments and supplies over rivers. The fishermen from the camp offer water taxi rides to shore and fresh fish for a small negotiated price. The Ha-Ha fleet partakes in one of the most secluded beach parties of all time. We dance, laugh and celebrate the long journey behind us and the glorious weather of the lowering latitudes.

After a short two days we left for what would be the last leg of our journey south. It proved to be the most difficult and taxing on our bodies and spirits. We spent 16+ hours in 20-25 knot winds with gusts of 30-35. High swells changing to mixed swell that made it difficult to keep the boat on course. Because we had to hand steer we switched from our one man three hour watches to a cycle of two hour naps each with two men on deck at all times. By the next morning we were exhausted and our bodies were aching. We were pleased to have managed the difficult passage so well and relieved to drop the anchor in Cabo San Lucas where we all slept for 12 straight hours. Which was pretty amazing considering the level of noise coming from the beachside resorts all night long.

Today Ralph flew back to the United States. I don’t know how we would have done the trip without him. He was mellow and easy to get along with, even when I was at my hormonal worst. He was quick to help and eager to learn. We are forever grateful for his help, friendship, kindness and good humor.

Steve and I are now in San Jose Del Cabo waiting for a good weather window to allow us safe passage to La Paz. We are still a little stunned that we are in Mexico and a bit amazed that this new stage of our lives is unfolding. We have found a cantina with great margaritas, fabulous fresh seafood and wonderful people that has become our favorite local. We never wear anything more than t-shirts and sandals and we have no concept of time other than day and night.

It has been quite the adventure. Sometimes Good, Sometimes Bad, and Sometimes Ugly, but always Grand.

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Ready, Set, Go!

IMG_0297Ready, excited and prepared, we leave this am for Mexico.

You can leave messages on the “Where’s Pablo” map found on the menu bar. We should be able to receive them through satellite.

I’ll post pictures once we are back to civilization.

Squeeeeeee………..

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One month on a boat

Pablo

Pablo

We departed for our “Grand Adventure” exactly one month ago today. So I thought I would share a little of what our life looks like from the inside. I mean beautiful pictures of sunsets and smiling faces only tell part of the story. There is the everyday living on the boat, whether we be at dock, at anchor or underway, we are in a way a floating island. We are completely self reliant when it comes to water, electricity, plumbing, and maintenance. Therefore our everyday life only barely resembles that of our life on land.

There are so many things to love about this life and most of them are obvious. Visiting different ports, meeting old and new friends, sailing in the warm sun, and the romance of a sunset while cuddling with your one and only. Here are a few things that may not seem so obvious.

Things I Love….

Showers in the cockpit – There are only a few options when it comes to showering and bathing. One is taking a shower in the marina facilities when in a harbor. These facilities are always clean, mostly convenient, and provide lots of wonderful hot running water. However, while underway or at anchor our showers must be taken on the boat. Pablo has two water tanks and carries 76 gallons of water. We have a carefully rigged shower stall that we use inside the boat which must be assembled and dismantled with each shower (can I say Pain in the ….). While this certainly works it can be a bit of a hassle. Which brings me to my favorite showering situation above all…. The cockpit shower. On beautiful warm sunny days when no one is around Steve and I lathering up and hose down under the clear blue sky in the cockpit of the boat. This can be achieved either at anchor or while underway when the auto pilot is engaged. No mess, No walking to a semi-public shower, no set up or breakdown. Ahhhhh….. Happy clean sailors.

Sunset over Paradise Cove

Sunset over Paradise Cove

Sun rises and sunsets– I know this is obvious, but the awe inspiring gift of watching the dawn of a new day while sitting in the middle of the ocean is an absolute treasure. And I cannot describe the beauty of watching the closing of the day with each sunset. These two things always remind me to count my blessings and give thanks to God.

Everything is so slow– The pace at which we now live our lives is measured in nautical miles and we only travel at about 5.5 knots per hour when we are going really fast. So to say that our lives are lived at a slow pace is an understatement. One might think that this would be irritating, but actually it is a wondrous thing to slow down. We laugh longer, talk more, reflect deeper, and take time to contemplate.

Night passages– Riding the waves and wind in the stillness of the night is breathtaking. Perhaps it is simply because you no longer rely on your vision to take in your surroundings. Instead you breath deeper, listen harder, and become more in tune with the boat. It is simply magical.

Mama Otter carrying her babe

Mama Otter carrying her babe

Wildlife– Steve and I love to observe living things, be they people, plants, animals, fish,mammals, or birds. The multitude of all of these things on a daily basis is astounding. However, my favorite by far is the dolphin. Having dolphins riding on the bow brings me to unbridled laughter and squeals of joy every single time it happens.

 

Dave and Stephanie

Dave and Stephanie

Larry, Ken, and Kay

Larry, Ken, and Kay

Community– The people who live this life, have lived this life, or want to live this life are a community and breed of humanity all to themselves. From the fabulous friends who helped us launch ourselves from the dock in Moss Landing, to the selfless friends who have not hesitated to give us time, help and supplies, all the way to the strangers who share stories, advice, and information. These folks have a clear understanding of the value of life and are not concerned with the wealth, politics, and petty side of society. Reminds me a bit of the original creed of the hippy. Live and let live,help when you can, and share what you have.

Holly, KC, and Charlie

Holly, KC, and Charlie

Small spaces– The beauty of living in a small space is you can’t own much, it is easy to clean up your mess, and you spend more time looking at the outside world. I will admit that there are times when the challenge of moving from one end of the boat to the other while crawling over your partner who has decided to do a project in the middle of the salon can be frustrating. However, the way we see it is this… the boat is our bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. The whole world is our living room. And when you look at it that way we have a great big living space.

OK now for the list of Not so much…..

Cant get things really clean– For some odd reason that I cannot explain I can never get anything as clean as I like it. This holds true for the deck, my dishes, the floor, our clothes, everything. It is something I am trying very hard to either get better at or simply accept.

The drone of the engine– One of the biggest things we have had to accept is that there are times when we simply have to run the motor to get where we wish to go. Either because the wind is not helping us get where we need to go fast enough or not getting us there at all. The result is that we have to run our motor, sometimes for hours. The drone of the engine in these circumstances is mind numbing.

Lower back pain– One of the things that I am having issues with is back pain, lower back pain specifically. This probably has more to due with my flabby stomach muscles than anything, but it has been an issue. Be it from fighting against the constant motion of the boat while under way or the lifting, hoisting, pushing, pulling, and other work that gets done on the boat. I have back muscle pain most almost daily.

Everything is so slow– I know I said I love this, but sometimes I don’t. Internet is slow, getting from here to there can be very slow, cooking takes twice as long (actually, everything takes twice as long as it did on land). This is not a bad thing, it is just frustrating at times.

the Galley

the Galley

My tiny kitchen sink– As with all things on the boat the galley sink is much smaller than one found in a kitchen. Whenever we wash dishes water gets everywhere. My plates, pots and pans do not completely fit in the sink so you have to do some odd maneuvering to get them washed. Perhaps this is related to the “I can’t get things really clean” listed above. Needless to say doing dishes has become one of my least favorite chores.

All this having been said, overall everything in our world is very peaceful. Each of us is happier than either of us has ever been in our lives. Obviously we have made some major changes to our lives and accomplished some big things. We have passed a few milestones and come up grinning every time. We are truly proud of ourselves.

Arriving in San Diego

Arriving in San Diego

We dared to dream the big dream and

then summed up the courage to make it come true

and we are so happy we did.

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Making our way south with a little help from our friends

I would love to post pictures of beautiful sea creatures, fabulous sunsets, and lazy days spent riding the wind. However, I cannot. And I won’t bother posting the pictures of our newly installed chart plotter/depth finder, our newly wired flexible solar panel, or the wiring Steve completed for our secondary auto pilot. Additionally I will not bore you with pictures of our new running rigging, newly sewn covers for our jerry cans, or the new fans we have acquired to help with the heat.

Steve and I have, as you may have guessed, have been extremely busy while in the Alamitos Marina near Long Beach. We have spent our days working and our evenings visiting. We are eternally grateful for all the assistance we have received from our friend Holly. She has loaned us a car, let us use her tools, and shared her wealth of knowledge and experience. The only way to repay her kindness and generosity is for us to pay it forward.

Today we continue our journey down the coast. Next stop is Dana Point. More visiting with friends. Hopefully some sailing and relaxing and then we will be headed to San Diego.

Almost to the border!

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Living life

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October 4, 2015 departed Channel Islands Harbor @ 11:50 am headed for Prisoners Cove, Santa Cruz Island. Light winds from the NNW no swell to speak of.

We pulled out of our slip and headed over to the fuel dock to fill our tanks and our diesel and gasoline gerry cans. As we approached we spotted a Baja Ha-Ha burgee. The first one we have seen on our journey south, which is surprising as 119 boats are headed for San Diego to join the flotilla so we expected to see more. It was exciting for us to meet another Ha-Ha couple and easy to see that they felt the same joy in coming across like minded sea gypsies. Unfortunately, the visit was all too short because they were coming into harbor and we were going out. So we shared some information on discount berthing, along with the lowdown on the free wifi at the coffee shop and the yummy foods to be found at the farmers market, said our “see you in San Diego’s” and off we went. Steve and I were just glad to be free of the dock and we were so looking forward to sailing off to a quiet anchorage.

Its only a little rain

Its only a little rain

Before our departure we spent considerable time consulting various forecasts and knew that there was a 50% chance of rain for the remainder of the day. So when it started to rain about an hour into our sail we were not surprised. It was just a light rain that made us hunker under the dodger.We still grinned from ear to ear as we were finally on our way to experience a piece of cruisers paradise, Santa Cruz Island. What we did not expect was the deluge that continued for the next 3 ½ hours. Within a short amount of time we were dressed in full foul weather gear with rain pouring

It's pouring! No Bueno!

It’s pouring! No Bueno!

off the bills of our hats. Visibility dropped which meant that one of use had to stand in the rain to maintain a watch. Needless to say, we were soaking wet and the grins were not quite so wide. Actually, our smiles had kind of morphed into scowls. However, as with all things we took this in stride and appreciated the fact that this is all part of our experience and now we know what sailing in a down pour feels like…. Wet, Cold, and uncomfortable. Yet we are learning with each

Taking watch in the Rain

Taking watch in the Rain

difficult task there comes a reward and boy did we start smiling again. About an hour before coming into our anchorage the rain stopped, a rainbow appeared and we could smell the sage like scent of the freshly washed vegetation of Santa Cruz Island. Only one word……Magnificent!

Promise!

Promise!

We approached the cove and circled twice, perusing the possible anchoring spots, checking out the three other sail boats, referencing our cruising guide and finally selected the perfect spot to set the hook. We only had one minor problem, our depth sounder went kaput. That’s right. No way to really know how deep the waters below the keel actually are. Without many options for depth sounding, we consulted our chart plotter to at least give us an idea of the waters depth, which in the area we had selected looked to be about 40-50 feet. We slowly let out our carefully marked chain and our anchor set without much problem. We let out some scope and ta-da she’s done! It is our practice to watch our visual land markers for at least an hour after setting the anchor. So we watched as we went about wringing out our clothing, putting on dry socks and preparing our evening meal. Wouldn’t you know it, just as we sat down to eat we realized that we were dragging anchoring and that we were about to become a bit too friendly with our neighbors. So we pulled up the anchor and relocated to a new position and then we did it again, and again and again and again. (THANK YOU Ken Gardner! That electric windlass was a God send). By 9:45pm we were convinced we were stuck to the bottom so we set an anchor alarm and went to bed. Each of us having considerable success at sleep considering the earlier events.

Glory of a new day!

Glory of a new day!

By morning the world looked bright and wonderful. The sun rose over the island and we ate breakfast surrounded by water, nature, and only a few other humans. Our concern over the lack of real depth soundings nagged at us. We were concerned that we did not really know our scope and the forecast of stronger winds for Tuesday night brought us to the decision that we needed to relocate again. So hoist the anchor and here we go. The depth sounder was still broken so we go old school and make a lead line so we can do our soundings manually. Again we anchored and re-anchored until alas we found good holding in a spot that satisfied our worrisome little hearts.

The rest of the day was spent in pure bliss. Reading, napping, and appreciating all that we have and all that we have achieved. Tomorrow we will assemble the dinghy and go exploring….. if the anchor holds.

 

Baby seal posing for us

Baby seal posing for us

Mermaid cove. OK I made that up.

Mermaid cove. OK I made that up.

Cont……….

Never Never land

Never Never land

We approached the folded dinghy with some trepidation as dinghy assembly and launch has not always been easy for us. With our old dinghy we would often look like Laurel and Hardy on the foredeck, spending at least an hour scratching our heads, flipping it this way and that before finally getting it inflated and into the water. Afterwards we usually needed a nap so adventure was soon forgotten. However, we got our new dinghy into the water without much fuss. Yay for us! So we loaded up some snacks, water, our dinghy fixit bag, and off we went exploring. The day was beautiful with blue skies, calm waters and light winds as we scooted in and out of little coves visiting the wildlife, being awed by the beauty of the land and wishing we had snorkel gear. Our journey eventually took us back to the beach at Prisoners harbor. We beached the dinghy and went ashore for a hike to the top of the hill so we could look down on the cove. The view was stunning and I finally got the classic photo of our boat anchored in some remote , serene location. Unfortunately, we had to leave almost as soon as we arrived as the winds were predicted to rise steadily throughout the day and we needed to get ready for a morning departure.

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The winds began to increase we motored to the boat. We were feeling a little concerned as we still needed to get the outboard motor hoisted onto the boat, the dinghy back on deck, and everything disassembled and stowed. Increasing wind and swell was making the task difficult, but with a bit of effort all this was accomplished much to our satisfaction. Earlier in the day we had visions of a romantic evening with dinner and a sunset in the cockpit, however this was not the case. The wind and swell continued to rise and we rocked and rolled for most of the night. We had purchased a “flopper Stopper” for just such conditions, but by the time we thought about it the night was dark and it was not a good time to be out on deck figuring out how to build and deploy it safely. So we rocked and rolled and rolled and rocked. Somehow, each of us managed to sleep very deeply despite the constant motion.

Tomorrow we will leave this lovely place. I think I could stay here and explore these islands for a year or more. What an incredibly lovely place. As for us, we are enjoying the Grand Adventure for all its, highs, lows, beauty and frustrations. We are truly living life to the full extreme.

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Here we go again

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We have spent a lovely week at the Channel Islands Marina in Oxnard. Along with getting some work completed, we have had the opportunity to visit some of our old haunts and even spent some time with our previous dock neighbor, Steve Fox on s/v Sparrow. We really love this place and hope we will be back again.

The refrigeration is working beautifully, our two banks of house batteries are performing well, and we’ve picked up another solar panel to increase our power input. The boat is washed and stowed. Last night we had one last dinner out and now we are off!

We will spend the next few days touring Santa Cruz Island, exploring some of the coves and hiking the trails. From there we will make our way down the coast to Long Beach, where friends await us.

Looking forward to being unplugged for a few days.

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We did it!

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WhooHoo! We have completed our first passage. As with all undertakings, there are big steps and there are small ones. For us this was one of the BIG ones.

We left Moss Landing on 9/22/15 @ 12:20 pm. The first twelve hours was a bumpy, downhill slide past the Big Sur coast. We had winds and rolling seas from behind that literally pushed us along, resulting in a very uncomfortable ride. However, at about 4am the seas calmed and the winds shifted making the rest of the passage calm and pleasant. What a joy it was to be on the 3-6am watch and see bio luminescence in our wake and the green silouette of dolphins as they were darting and playing about the boat. We had a beautiful moon set and a blanket of stars that made you feel like you could sail right into the sky. It was magical!

IMG_0422We arrived at Morro Bay on 9/23/15 @ 10:50am and with the help of IMG_0412a friendly guy named Tom tied up to the guest dock at the Morro Bay Yacht Club. The facilities were great! We took badly needed showers, we walked to a local restruant and inhaled some food, then returned to the boat and promptly passed out, enjoying a five hour nap. By nightfall we were discussing plans for the next leg of our journey. Weather forecasts were showing some high winds around Point Conception (further south) to begin on Friday and stay around for about five days. That would have us sitting in Morro Bay for a week,which was not what we wished to do. We could clearly see a small 36 hour window that would have us rounding the fabled Point in calm conditions.

Although we would have enjoyed staying for a few days, we still had some work to be done on the boat and we really wanted to get those things done further south were we had access to better facilities and resources. We knew when we left Moss landing that one of our battery banks stopped giving any output, and that our new refrigeration and solar system was not working correctly. These items have to be addressed before leaving the country. I know some people may be wondering why we would leave Moss Landing if we knew we still had items to be repaired. The truth is there will always be things to fix and if you wait for it all to be perfect you will never leave. So we made sure the boat was sound and that all our safety gear was in place and working properly, set a date, stowed the boat and left the dock. All that being said, here we were needing to move on to our next destination so we set a departure time for 1:30 on 9/24/15.

Soup for the journey

Soup for the journey

We spent the morning of getting ourselves resorted and Pablo re-stowed. I made some soup for the journey, cooked up some boiled eggs, sliced up some cheese and salami, got snacks organized and we were off the dock by 1:50. At first the swell made for an uncomfortable passage, but soon we changed course and were moving with the swell. Unfortunately, we had zero wind. We did however see a million different dolphin pods, witnessed a fantastic sunset, and enjoy comfortable sea conditions for the first 10 hours. IMG_0455In contrast, by midnight we had NE winds of 10-15 knots and 3-4 foot swells at 8 seconds giving us a big push past point Sal and point Aguello. We reached occasional speeds of 10 knots during that stretch as we surfed down the swells. Shortly before Point Conception the winds calmed a bit and we passed without much ado. However, once around the bend we hit a head wind that was so strong we had to tack back and forth across our course line for about an hour. There were actually times when I thought we were going backward even though my instruments told me we were doing 3-4 knots.

Blue waters of southern California

Blue waters of southern California

After passing the famous Point Conception, AKA the cape horn of California, we spent 10 LOOOONG hours motoring in zero wind on flat seas all the way to Channel Island harbor. As before, we were exhausted. We took showers, ate some food, zoned out on the internet and crashed around 8pm, sleeping soundly through the night.

I believe we will be here for a week as we finish up these last few things. Then we will go offshore to the Santa Cruz Islands for a while. Once there we will anchor, swim, explore and relax (I hope).

Not once did Pablo shutter during our passage. Our mighty boat took it all in stride. Steve and I never once feared or had concern for our safety or the reliability of our sailing vessel. We chose this boat specifically for this task and it holds true to its sturdy reputation. In the beginning of this whole adventure, when comparing our abilities to those folks who cruise the oceans, Steve and I would always say “they don’t seem like super heros”.Well, they aren’t and neither are we, but I have to say when the passage was complete I sure felt like a Rock Star.IMG_0486

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Let the “Grand Adventure” Begin!

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Over the course of the past two weeks we have been racing toward our goal to leave Moss Landing and start our progression to San Diego to meet with the Baja Ha-Ha fleet in late October. People keep asking me if we are excited……

Yes, we are excited. However, coexisting with our eager anticipation is sadness, loss, and emptiness. While we are chasing our dreams we are also leaving behind our loved ones. Thankfully we have had the opportunity to visit with all of our local family and most of our friends. We have collected hugs, had cherished conversations and moments, and made promises to stay safe and post lots of pictures. Our little sailing vessel not only holds most of our possessions it also holds a boat load of love and good wishes. Our hearts are as full as our storage lockers and so we are now ready to set sail!

Our Delorme InReach tracking system will be activated today and we have added a new page to the blog to allow people to follow our track. We have not had much opportunity to test the system, so please do not be alarmed if it does not work properly.

Captain Steve and I are ready. We have worked hard for two years planning, learning, building, replacing, repairing, installing, and dreaming……

The time has come….. We cast off today……. Let the Grand Adventure begin!

Captain Steve and I are ready. We have worked hard for two years planning, learning, building, replacing, repairing, installing, and dreaming……

The time has come….. We cast off today……. Let the Grand Adventure begin!

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Almost time……

IMG_0059Time is passing quickly and the projects continue to be checked off the list. Pablo now has
new solar panels, a refrigeration system, 200 feet of new anchor chain, a mighty new electric windlass, the life raft installed, the Med kits assembled and Picaso (the dinghy) has 8 horses to carry us through the surf. The sun shade is almost complete, the batteries are coming this week, and the motor hoist will be installed shortly. The paperwork for our entry into Mexico is complete, insurance forms are finished, important papers have been completed and our personal affairs are all in order.
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More importantly, in the midst of all the frenzy and moments of chaos we have found time to sail with loved ones and spend precious moments with friends and family. Those are the moments when the reality of our departure become most most tangible.

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The list is getting shorter……we have begun to watch the weather forecasts more closely and the winds look to be in our favor. I am afraid to predict a departure date, but it is coming soon, very soon.

I have to remind myself to breath……….

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The List of 27



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With every endeavor there comes a time when you have to pick up the pace and the time has come for us to get seriously focused. We are scheduled to depart San Diego with the Baja-HaHa rally on October 27th. With that date looming over our heads and our desire to get some much needed sailing time around the Channel Islands, we have decided to make a “Hit list”. What we are lovingly referring to as the “List of 27”.

The list includes 27 items that we have identified as action items needing to be completed before we leave Moss Landing. Some things on the list are small like putting a new screen on the bilge pump, carving the USCG documentation number onto the boat, and installing a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. Other items on the list are quite large like installing the solar panels and controller, the refrigeration system, and electric windlass. Add to that the multitude of sewing projects completed and still ahead of us. The list has become our task master, our compass, our chart so to speak. Each day we pick items off the list that will coordinate well with whatever doctor appointments, laundry, etc. that happens to be going on. Those items then become the daily todo list. We eat a good breakfast and armed with our plan for the day, off we go! We spend the day fully engaged and focused on the work from the daily list until dinner or exhaustion. Whatever does not get completed gets put on the top of tomorrow’s todo list.

We have now been operating with the “List of 27” for the past five days and we have already completed 7 items, plus a few extra mini projects thrown in. While this may all sound chaotic and tiresome, it actually has made our lives much more manageable. We have even managed to host a dinner for friends onboard, get oral surgery, and deal with a mini plumbing crisis with our head. All while still getting items checked off the List.

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In addition to working on projects from the List there are the final details of various insurance needs to attend to, which include life insurance, health insurance, boat insurance for foreign waters, and emergency evacuation insurance should one of us be serious injured or ill. We have been ordering supplies and equipment such as a new dinghy and motor, which is essential as it is our car when we are cruising. It is our means of transportation to shore to replenish supplies in addition to exploring beaches, towns and villages. We burn up the free wifi minutes at the local coffee shop researching products, ordering equipment, refining and retuning software systems, and catching up with friends through social media.

In the very near future “The list of 27” will dwindle down to zero and while that certainly does not mean the work will be finished, as work on a boat is never, ever finished, we will have completed what we have deemed most important for the first leg of our journey. At that point we will start preparing for departure. We will start looking for the best weather window for the trip as well as plotting our course down the coast. We will gather food supplies, top off water and fuel tanks and wait for the perfect wind wind to carry us south.

The time is getting closer. Steve and I both feel the electricity in the air. We can almost hear it crackle and sizzle while the the boat gently lulls us to sleep each night. We are excited, We are motivated, We are getting it done!

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When it is time…….

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One of the questions we are asked most often is when we will be taking off. After all, we have been in the “getting ready” stage for almost two years and the boat must be ready by now. In those early days when I knew exactly how all this was going to play out my answer to that question would have been a definitive date of October, 3 2014. However, life happened, we got distracted for a few months and we missed that departure window. It was all for the best anyway as it allowed us to spend much needed time with our daughter, the opportunity to help a family member in need, and the joy of spending more time visiting with friends and family, all of which made our lives so much richer. And truth is neither we nor the boat were ready anyway. Funny how things work out.

In all my naivete I put another date on the calendar, still living under the illusion that we have control over the events of our lives. Some lessons are just harder to learn. So if you would have asked me at the beginning of this year, I would have given you the drop dead departure date of September 7, 2015. Ha! Life is an ever evolving series of events that we must weave into our plans, desires, and dreams.

A few months ago we made the difficult decision to sell our home and make the full leap into this life, giving away most of our belongings and moving full time onto our boat. That life event is now behind us, but it took quite a bit of our time and our energy. Then two weeks after moving aboard we were graced with an unexpected trip to Germany. While there Steve taught a seminar and we made the time to visit with good friends in both the regions of Bavaria and Swabia for a few days each. We would not have wanted to miss the two weeks spent in Germany as it was truly memorable in so many ways. However, a European trip combined with two months of house selling chaos has us way behind schedule. I am beginning to understand the concept of “Go with the flow”

We have been back on board Pablo for the last four days and we are just now starting to feel our energy return. We have gotten back into the swing of boat life and have begun to tackle new boat projects, complete old ones, and get to those todo lists that relate to leaving land. Now when people ask us when we will be taking off. My response is simple……

When it is time.

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One week as a live aboard!

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IMG_3053Well, the exit from our home on land was difficult, exhausting, and sometimes emotional. We gave away most of our belongings and kept the most important stuff; photos, things our kids made when they were little, and a few precious things that have sentimental value and not much else. We kept what we thought we would need to be comfortable on the boat. However, Once we got the “small” pile of stuff onto the boat, it seemed like we had a mountain of stuff. We were immediately faced with the task of finding a place for each item and even reducing the pile in some cases. I mean really, why did I think I needed four cutting boards? And the spice situation is still an issue.

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When cleaning out and packing up our kitchen I managed to toss about 20 bottles of spices, reducing the lot down to what I thought was absolutely necessary. Guess what? I still have too many. My new spice inventory includes: Italian blend, Curry blend, Mexican blend, freeze dried garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. It will just have to do.

IMG_3100Our saving grace has been the small storage unit we decided to temporarily rent as a staging area. It was possibly one of our most brilliant ideas. It has allowed us the room to slowly get ourselves and our stuff moved into the boat. I can’t imagine what it would be like otherwise. Even with the slow trickle of stuff coming aboard, things are in complete disarray at times. Simple boat projects become an explosion of towels, shoes, tools, cushions and clothing.

I have had my first trip to the laundry mat which was, oddly enough, a nice relaxing time to just sit and read. We are still operating off of an ice cooler for refrigeration and that will be the situation until we install the compressor and cold plate, which won’t get completed until we install the new solar panels. Needless to say the projects are stretched out before us. The good thing is that there is no longer the distraction of selling a home and dealing with a lifetime worth of stuff.

Even through all the chaos, we still managed to anchor out for a few nights off of Santa Cruz for the July 4th weekend. We sat in the cockpit and watched fireworks being set off on the beaches. It was a small glimpse into the life we will soon be enjoying.

We are tired, our bodies are achy, and we are still in a bit of shock. But we are happy and embracing each days challenges with a smile and a giggle. Its hard to believe……

We live on a boat!

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3am musings

Its 3am and I can’t sleep. Excited? Yes. Nervous? Yes.

Overtired, Overworked, and Over it!

Steve and I have spent the last two weeks working with engines full throttle. We have managed to get a three bedroom home pared down to a 32 foot sailboat and a 10×10 storage unit (truthfully a 5×7 would have been sufficient). In the short span of just 36 hours we will move onto the boat.  Once we get settled in, we will be able to finalize the work that needs to be done there without disruptions. Im looking forward to having all my energy focused in one place for a while. We have spread ourselves too thin for last several months.

All this work has been difficult, but I fear the hardest parts are yet to come. Saying goodbye to the people. Even though Steve and I plan on visiting every three to four months, we will still be too far away to have lunch, a quick walk, lend a hand, or just spend time with loved ones. Its such a trade off this cruising life style. However, with so much technology available, the nautical miles will hopefully seem like a short distance. We shall see.

For the time being we will get settled into our new home. We will take her out for a few days this weekend and spend some time at a lovely anchorage.There we will Regroup, re-prioritize, and recuperate from this exhausting process.

Sometimes I just can’t believe we are actually doing this!

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Two weeks at the spa

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Pablo spent a few weeks at the spa and my does that boat look pretty!

DSCF0302We splashed back into the water after two long and dirty weeks at Gravelles’ Boat Yard in Moss Landing. I cannot say enough good things about the folks that work in the yard. It has recently changed hands and is being cleaned up, updated, and improved in every possible way. Andrew runs the place, sharing his vast knowledge and experience. You see him all day going from boat to boat lending a hand and giving advice. He is kind, fair and easy to work with. Tall Paul the painter, who apparently has been there for years, is now a contracted employee. Paul is an artist in his field, mixing gel coat tints to match just so. While walking past one afternoon I heard him mumbling to himself as he was working on fixing a bad spot on our hull… “a little more yellow maybe…. no I think a bit more red”. He held a palette in his hand and mixed in various tints until he got just the color he desired. Steve and I were not willing to do an entire paint job on the hull, so we asked that the rough spots be buffed out so she didn’t look so shabby. What we got was a beautifully buffed out gel coat and some paint and repair work that is so perfectly blended  I couldn’t find it without knowing exactly where the work was done.

While Paul painted the bottom and buffed and beautified the hull, Steve and I got to work on other areas that needed to be addressed. Steve removed and serviced all the seacocks. He also took apart, cleaned, and changed the pitch on our feathering prop. I took apart, cleaned and repainted the bilge. Then came the nasty job of getting the Aries windvane to work. This lovely apparatus is much need for our cruising future as it will help steer the boat to course without using any of our precious electricity. And so far we had not been able to get this puppy to budge. It was so corroded that it was locked in place.

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When we purchased Pablo the Aries was about 90% installed and we were told had been recently rebuilt. In the year and half that we have owned the boat we have not tried to use the windvane or get it to work, which undoubtably made the situation worse. This was a task we knew was going to be difficult and the idea of taking the monster apart while bobbing around in a dinghy was not very appealing. So having the boat on the hard was a great opportunity to tackle this project. At first I tried taking apart and cleaning the accessible pieces while the Aries was still in place. It soon became obvious that we would need to remove it from the boat so that we could safely and easily get to all its parts. So using a halyard we carefully lowered  70 lbs of corroded metal to the ground. Starting at the top we began the process of dissembling the windvane. Some pieces came off easily, but most of it came off with a bit of wrenching, grunting, and a few swear words mixed in for color. The final pin had to be removed with a hydraulic press. All pieces were cleaned or sanded, and greased or oiled and then resembled. I make it all sound so neat and easy. The truth is this whole process took several days and the unit needed to be reassembled several times due to our errors. In the end we have a complete, working windvane that has been named Viento (Vinny for short), which means wind in Spanish.

me and the windvane

 

DSCF0299With the remaining time in the yard Steve designed and fashioned a long line/crab pot/kelp deflector for the boat. The Westsail, like so many other full keel boats, has a gap between the rudder and the keel which can be a perfect spot for lines to get caught in and cause some real problems. We have talked to quite a few people and read more than a few postings on this subject. We got some help from one of our dock neighbors and buddy Ken Gardner and as you can see from the photos we were able to come up with a good solution.

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We had a few hours to spare while we waited for the lift to be repaired on our splash day so Steve and I got to work mounting the propane tanks. This was a big bonus because it was so much easier than it would have been trying to keep everything steady while we worked from the dock. We are quite pleased with the location and will get the solenoid valve and lines run in the next week or so.

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IMG_2964There were a million little things that got completed during this time like making a template for our new V-berth cushions, putting the hailing port on the stern and sewing what Steve is calling our Fender pajamas (covers for the fenders so they don’t get the freshly beautified hull smudgy). We received, countered and accepted an offer on our house and I had oral surgery just to keep things interesting.

 

In the weeks to come we will move from land to boat. We will continue to get our projects done and spend as much time as possible sailing and adjusting to our new reality. I know I should feel tired and perhaps even intimidated by the tasks ahead. But the truth is, when I look at all we have accomplished the work ahead seems like no big deal.

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The day of 1000 dolphins

Steve and I were out sailing with our friend Ralph. I suppose I should not use the word sailing as there was zero wind and we were pretty much bobbing around in beautiful, flat, calm waters enjoying the sunshine. Off in the distance I could see a wind line moving toward us, so Steve decided to start the motor and bring us into the wind so that we could get that rush we were so desperate to feel. As we approached, I realized that the leading edge of the wind line was boiling! Holly crap! What is that?!?

From one end of our horizon to the other there was what appeared to be a boiling sea heading straight at us. Sounds silly and maybe I have seen too many movies, but thoughts of the Kraken came to my mind. As we watched in absolute fascination we realized it was a HUGE pod of dolphins slowly making their way across the bay. The dolphins moved through us and then turned and came back past us three times.

We never did find the wind that day, but we were moved by the beauty of the sea just the same.

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