Friday, April 24, 2009

Off to the islands!

We plan on making our way out to the islands sometime soon. Maybe today. Maybe maƱana. Either way it is going to be nice getting away from the dock life that becomes so easy to mesh back into.

I will miss my precious internet, but my eyes will regain some of the moisture that they have lost from the lack of blinking.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

If you want to charter a boat in SF...

We have some friends that charter their boats in SF. So if you are looking for a day out on the bay and don't have a boat of your own check these out:"Bay Wolf" is a Santa Cruz 50 and there is also "Flying Tiger" which is a 36-foot Soverel sloop.

Click here to check out the site for more info!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

David returns to Mexico...finally! :D

All is right in the world!

David finally made his way back home to the boat after about a week and a half. There were some things to do in the states like Chloe having her 16th B-day and the prom. I am a little bummed that I didn't get to be there and give hugs and all, but David sent me pictures which was great.

The engine parts we were waiting on for about six weeks now still have yet to grace us with their presence. We are waiting on about a dozen bearings. That would mean that we would be able to get the engine up and running again if we get those parts...hopefully.

David got down and dirty yesterday by disassembling the engine yet again. We got it outdoors and now we wait for a call from a Universal dealer to see if we have any parts to look forward to anytime soon. So there is nothing else to be done at the moment. We wait.

The cute thing is how clean the boat was and how quickly it gets transformed back into our proper bachelor pad once the engine comes out. It was getting way to tidy for my tastes anyhow.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bored? Not me.

This is how I keep myself busy while alone.

Of course I read, watch way too many movies and go play with Patsy, but this was my latest obsession. From all white to that. Sharpies are fun.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to walk up the mast with a kitty costume and boots on

Observe the tail out the back for comfort.

Thank you to Laura of Cirque for the photos.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sea of Cortez Sailing (half)Week 2009

So if you read the previous blog you would know that we were a few days late joining up with the Sea of Cortez Sailing Week fleet. If you didn't read that then go do it right now. I'll wait...

Okay now that we are all on the same page lets get on with the show!

From Caleta Partida we were to sail to Isla San Francisco. The wind worked in our favor allowing us to set the spinnaker for the 21 mile race. It was a beautiful day for sailing and a beautiful day for some fun with friends. Glenn of Beach Access volunteered his service as not only a great friend, but also dinghy shuttle. We joined Beach Access, Serendipity, Capricorn Cat and Talion aboard Profligate for a low key potluck dinner. Well, it was going to be low key until we all got into the sangria that Beach Access made and it turned to a dancing and general enjoyment party.

The following day was a layday. We had some serious cleaning to do. After a week of living and being comfortable on our floating home we had to get things stowed away. A little bit of heeling over reminded us that stuff gets stowed for a reason. We took the morning easy and cleaned at a leisurely pace until we were ready to go play some beach volleyball. Something we learned early on in the cruising life is that things are always subject to change. Volleyball never happened, but we had a great time drinking and socializing on the beach with our friends for awhile. But there was no time to dilly dally by 4:00pm since we had a costume party potluck to take place on Profligate at 4:30.

Richard is a crazy mofo. He invited the entire fleet onto Profligate for a sunset cruise along with the potluck/costume party. The entire fleet was about 85 people and 45 boats! the key was to keep everyone spread out. There had been a scare when a bunch of people went to one ama and the other ama started to lift out of the water. Oops. Richard dubbed me the official Latitude 38 photographer and sent me on my way. I have to say I was super impressed with the costumes that cruisers pull out with little warning. The cruise was a success but it was going to get better...I was going to go up the mast for an aerial photo! It must have been a sight since I had on my super sexy black boots. I am hoping someone got a picture of that spectacle. Once back down on the ground I had a sad beloved boots (that should belong on no boat) died. Mast walking split the zipper. Oh well, it was worth it.

The next day it was back to Caleta Partida. David and I decided not to set the spinnaker and just use the 155. It was a pleasant sail, but where we finished was a ten mile reach into the anchorage of Partida. The wind piped up and it was blowing 20 or more which was a little much for the big genoa, but we managed. Once set in sand we were to have another potluck followed by movie night on Beach Access with the Don Quixote girls.

The potluck was yummy and fun as usual. For the movie we watched Twilight the vampire movie. Everyone hated it but me and that is fine since it is my movie and they never have to see it again. I will say that the books are so much better than the movie, but that is usually the case in that situation. It was fun to hang with the girls, Beach Access and of course David.

The next day was the last day of organized fun. We raced from Partida to Roca Lobos outside of La Paz. The wind was light and the waves constant, but we set the spinnaker and went. We managed to stay in the wind the whole race which couldn't be said for everyone else. About 20 boats went into a dead patch and we watched as they limped along some even moving backwards. Suckers. We had the breeze all to ourselves...until Profligate, Cirque, Talion and Escapade came into our precious wind. We were about the fifth boat to finish and thankfully Talion gave us a tow into La Paz where we anchored.

Night brought us all to Rancho Viejo for the delicious arachara tacos, awards and socializing. While people are chatting I looked up to see a beautiful blond come racing in...MERRY! The look on David's face was priceless. His eyes glassed over and I could hear his heart thumping and I was across the room. There were big hugs and exchanging of stories before we moved on to Tequila's bar. It was a great night that couldn't have been better. Life is sweet.

The seven day crossing (that usually takes three) or Everything is Eventual

We left Friday evening to head to the Sea of Cortez. The motor happily putted along for the night until we got the sails up. We sailed on as much as possible until the wind was non-existent. I turned on the motor and went to the foredeck to drop the sails and the motor got funky sounding. David tells people that I have a heavy throttle foot and burned the bearing out. Whatever the case was the motor was no more. Again. Oh well, nothing to be done out at sea. For the first three days we saw the Tres Maria islands. Three days with no change of scenery. Stupid islands. We had one mile nights and we did good if we had twelve mile days. Painfully slow. Suprisingly it didn't really bother us. Sure we wanted to make it to the Sea, but it was beautiful, warm and calm.

The wildlife was neat when it was present. We had some Black-vented shearwaters flying by the boat for a long time. We saw tropicbirds, a masked booby and a pomarine jaeger. A couple times we were fortunate enough to see some long-snouted spinner dolphins and they played at our bow after showing us some spectacular aerial displays. They have definitely earned their name. The spinner dolphins are the only dolphins that spin on their longitudinal axis. They can get up to seven full rotations with one jump! Truly an amazing sight.

By the fourth day we managed to sink the Marias. We even thought our wind would stay (silly us). We had 15 knots of apparent wind (9 true) and we made a big 24 mile day! David and I realized that we were excited with 6 knots of wind...sad, but true. Another day of bobbing. And another. And then...wind! We were able to fly the chute for a while as we progressed towards our destination of Caleta Partida. By then we had already missed two days of racing and fun of the Sea of Cortez Sailing Week and we started to get excited that we might just make it before the event ended on the sixth. By the night of the seventh day of our trip we were in the San Lorenzo channel. The wind was blowing like stank. Some 26 knots spitting us out of the channel at eight knots of boat speed. That was a change!

By 1:30am we were at Partida. Sweet relief. More than two hours of sleep just an anchor away. I went to tend to the windless as David led us screaming into the bay. Wouldn't you know the windlass wouldn't work. Some sprays of WD-40, many hopeful clicks of the remote and 10 minutes later it still refused to cooperate. We decided to loosen the anchor windlass with the wench handle and send it flying over the bow. As we were ready I let is go stopped as soon as it hit the water. Seriously, this wasn't happening! We got the little stern anchor out, rigged, tossed over and brought to the bow and set. Of course by the time it set we were now one boat length away from the catamaran Don Quixote. We went to inspect the windlass electrical box to see if we would be able to use our proper anchor since it was still blowing 23 knots in the anchorage. After some hitting, cursing and prodding we got the windlass to work. YAY!.

Now what to do with the little anchor? David muscled up some rode and no we were two lengths from the the large cat. Ugh. We debated pulling it up, but it seemed set so good that it would never come up with it blowing so much. Hmm, bundling the remaining rode and tossing it over with a fender attached so we could retrieve it tomorrow? Too iffy. We settled on David wenching the anchor up until we were a more comfortable distance from Don Quixote. The rode kept getting stuck between the roller and the big anchor so David devised a plan: He'd let out 20 feet and I would grab the slack, run it through the chalk and around a cleat. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong. He let it go and I hadn't been ready. I grabbed it but the rode had gotten full of tension by then. It did lift off the roller like desired, but it pinned my leg to the lifeline...not good. I weaseled my way out of that fiasco sending the rode to the side of the boat almost ripping a stanchion out of the deck before David got it under control. Well shit, now we were anchored from the stern back to a boat length away from Don Quixote. I did have a mental chuckle thinking if they were to look out* from their salon that it would bring panic to see nav. lights pointed directly at you 36 feet away. Not funny ha ha, but funny terrifying.

*I did talk with Toast and Dean the next day and they saw it all with a bit of worry not knowing it was us a.k.a. the awesome sailors.

David decided to turn on our poor little motor and use that to try and retrieve the little anchor. The motor will run for about two minutes before it poops out so we hoped that it would last for us. It did. We got the little anchor up and the big anchor down. Whew! What a trip, but we had finally made it.

The next day it was really touching to hear from so many people that they missed us and hoped for our quick arrival. We have great friends. We hailed Profligate and got their generator fired up and running on Eupsychia. We were amazed that the batteries lasted a week, but we weren't going to push it another day if we didn't have to. Richard asked us if we were going to sleep in or race to Isla San Francisco. I laughed and told him we sailed for a week to make this event and there was no way that we were going to miss one more minute than we already had.