Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yes the bearings were exactly what we needed until...

Back up to a few days ago: We got the engine out and David got it disassembled in hundred degree weather. He is that good. The following day was the start of the bearing project which was no problem for our master engine man. The next day was the day that we planned to move the engine back into the boat, start it up and celebrate.

Ha, ha. Cute right?

David got everything all taken care of and we moved the engine back down into the boat. As the moment of truth was upon us David attempted to start the motor and...nada. Yes it turned over, but after a few moments of tinkering he found that the fuel pump decided to stop working. Great timing. So another trip out to a few places and now we have a pump. The moment of truth (part two) is quickly arising.


The little engine that could! The engine fired up and works! Today is the day of provisioning and preparing to go north. We may leave tonight or tomorrow, but we'll see. Hopefully Eupsychia will be back in Monterey soon! WHOOO HOOO!!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

To celebrate or mourn???

Finally! The bearings that David ordered two months ago have arrived. We heard word from David's sister that they were on the way, but we weren't going to get overly excited until we had them in our greedy little paws. Which now we do.

So the way this bearing situation had played itself out for us was this: If we get the bearings between dates-A through Date-B then we will assemble and bash up the coast. But if the bearings never arrived or during dates-C and dates-D then we would play in the sea for an additional week or two before leaving the boat here and flying home. So wouldn't you know that it came at that special spot between AB-CD. Neat.

The current plan is: David does some ass kicking on the engine (he is doing that this very moment), gets it put back together proper and then we bash. If the motor poops out at anytime then we say screw it and sail south to points unknown now. I think the biggest thing is that we are just going with the flow.

So there you have it peoples that is the current deal. Things are always subject to change so we will update the blog a few more times before we make it back to the freezing place called Monterey. So now we play as much as possible while getting as much work done as possible. Tough, but I think we can manage.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Exploring the Magote

So yeah we took a walk on the Magote. I was not impressed. Maybe we went at the wrong time of day, but the coolest thing aside from the tri (Prometheus) washed up on the shore was seeing an osprey.

The spit of land was like a lot of other places. Sand, Cactus, prickly trees and shrubs. And biting flies. Yes those evil effing flies bite hard.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mohawks, fixing computers with rubber bands and the joys of electrocuting bugs

The boy was starting to look a little shaggy. So I got the clippers out and went to town. David has a mohawk now heehee. I had to do it.

The computer I use has decided to be uncooperative. It used to tweak once in a while, but that soon turned to more often than not. David tried to repair it, but it still wasn't happy. I had to sit pushing on the screen and twisting it lightly to see the screen contents. If I let it go for a minute the screen fades to white. So I used some innovative technology. Rubber bands. Ghetto, but it works. I see a new laptop in my future. Good thing I have a job lined up!

Glenn is awesome (duh). Our friend Glenn from Beach Access just came down for a visit and we have been hanging with him for the past few nights. It has been great to see him again as he is a partner in crime for us. He even brought us one of the best things ever. An electro-shocking fly zapper. It is so satisfying to hear the POP and watch the fly fall to the ground (or disintegrate or even burst into flames). My kill count is steadily rising and David is yet to catch me and my evil streak. Good times.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Musings on swine flu, zombies and spankings

Who woulda thunk it??? Of course I am referring to us being (relatively) sober on Cinco De Mayo! Amazing, no? Apparently Cinco De Mayo is not a big deal here in the non-gringoized parts of Mexico. The Battle of Puebla...huh? I am sure there would normally be some stuff going on in PV and Cabo, but with this Swine Flu deal going on...

On the swine flu deal: so far there are no confirmed cases here in Baja. That doesn't mean that people aren't wearing masks, gloves and a look of panic on their faces and all that (which they are), but so far no problema. Though David has had crunchy muscles lately...possibly signs of a virus. Hopefully not, but if he starts coughing I will be weary. I have read many zombie novels and I know how it all starts. First crunchy muscles, then a cough and soon he wants to eat my brain.

We took today as a catch up day for interweb nonsense and friends. Good thing that our friends are more reliable than the internet otherwise they might just pause mid sentence and then stare at us blankly while we repeatedly asked what next. Yes as you may have guessed from the previous comment, the internet connections have been "eh" lately. Whatever, there is always manana. I have been known to be a procrastinator (hard to believe I know) so why do today what you can put off till tomorrow, I ask?! I mean really, what is the hurry right?

We met up with some pals for cocktails and dinner. We did some catching up with Jake and Sharron (s/v Jake) while aboard John and Gilly's boat (Destiny). It was great to chat about everything from anchors fouling, whales, where to provision and even on to spankings deserved (all of us) and who was going to dish them out (Gilly). Not bad dinner talk in my opinion.

Flashback to two weeks ago: Teeter-totters, ice cream and pizza with Bay Wolf and Boomer

Sound like kid stuff? Well, don't hate cause we still know how to have fun in our old age. We met Bay Wolf (a Santa Cruz 50) and Byron of Boomer while we were still tied up at Marina Palmar. The Bay Wolf family consists of Kirk, Sachi, Miya and Romi. Like usual, I am at that special age where I am not sure weather I fit in better with the kids or adults. So I dabble in both.

We would all go to dinner and I would be involved in the adult conversation (not that kind of adult you pervs). And soon the girls would convince us to go get ice cream at the polka dot tree. Romi would hold my hand and talk non-stop (really non-stop. How that much chatter can come out of something so small still amazes me) and Miya would regal us with stories of times past. David would be one of the grown ups while I indulged my inner-child. We even did some fun teeter tottering in the dark of night.

Another night we ventured to a snazzy pizza joint called Rustico. We dined outside battling the flies for the slices of pizza. Oh man, the thin crust pizza was delicious but the entertainment was better. Romi who is eight and cant weigh more than 60lbs got into a bet with her dad. The bet was Kirk bet Romi 7 pesos that she wouldn't finish three pieces of pizza. Boomer stepped in said he'd give her 20 pesos if she didn't finish the third piece. After some basic math got figured out Romi took Boomer up on the deal and had to pay up 7 pesos to her dad. Good times.

I have to say it is nice to have some young company around. So much of the cruising community seems to just sort of...die here. I mean La Paz has the black hole that constantly sucks people in. So many people come here and don't leave. They grow bitter as the new and budding cruising community moves in. So it is refreshing to see such happy faces and let me tell ya, kids always seem to be happy. That is good times to me.

Most of the boat kids that I have met are strong arguments against birth control. And no my maternal clock is not ticking yet so don't ask.

*Teeter totter pictures courtesy of Bay Wolf

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Want a cat?

So this isn't exactly a sail blog here, but wtf, it is my blog.

I am trying to find Maui, the cruising kitty, a home. I refuse to take her to the ASPCA. I want her to have a good home. So she either will find a new home or she will stick with me. But if you know someone that is looking for a laid back (read: lazy), furry, loving, eating machine please, please, please let me know.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Does swearing up a storm act as bug repellent?

Blurting out a string of unrelenting profanities (that would be sure to make your local sailor blush and maybe your mom disown you) does absolutely nothing against the evil little buggers that are called no-see-ums. I can personally vouch for that one and I have a pretty extensive vocabulary of profanities. But man oh man does it feel great to smear their little bug guts all over whatever part they happened to be biting at the time. After a week out and about we are covered in welts that itch like nobodys business. David got plenty of bites, but it seems I got more. Why must I taste so good I ask?!

And I say unto thee bring me your...whales?

Two days of relaxation and nudity. The proper way of getting back in the swing of things. We contemplated blowing up kayaks during that time, but naps seemed a better idea. My back healed up over the two days of workout free days and so we decided to set sail for Ensenada Cardonal. It wasn't like it was some huge journey...it is the next bay up from Partida. It is maybe a mile away.

As we were sailing off I swore I heard a blow. Low and behold...two humpbacks were chilling in Partida! Of all the time we have spent in Partida (which is to say quite a bit) we have never seen such a sight. We see shy turtles on a daily basis, rays, fish, gulls, terns, frigates and even ospreys, but this was our first ever whale sighting. We sailed back to say hello and the whales met us halfway. They surfaced a couple boat lengths away and dove with a flash of white flippers and flukes. They seemed to be following us out of the mouth of Partida, but we said our goodbyes as they went south and we headed north.

Cardonal. Wow. It is beautiful. How we managed to skip this place so many times I am not sure, but now we are here and hope to make the best of it. The water is aquamarine with good visibility. A turtle makes its rounds trying to float under our radar. A family of the most adorable grebes swim around calling to one another. One head pops up from an underwater scavange and soon 26 more heads join the first on the surface. Ospreys, turkey vultures, frigates, pelicans and gulls all circle overhead.

Motivation to enjoy our surroundings finally caught up with us...or with David at least. He blew up the kayaks and we launched soon after. We paddled back into the lagoon before making our way ashore. The water was thick with spongy corals and grasses and as we approached our landing we were lucky enough to see a jackrabbit on the beach. Those guys have ridiculously long legs!

Once ashore we did some bird watching/photographing and hiked to the other side of the island. The hike was about a mile and not too tough on us. But seriously, I am sooooo done with all things bitey in bug form. Being back in the desert draws everything to sweaty tasty bodies apparently.


"How many days were you here?" The marina employee asked us.

"Uh...I dunno. 17 days? Maybe. I am not sure." David replied.

"Oh, ok." The marina guy gave us the total for 17 days and said if we wanted to pay with a credit/debit card that we'd have to wait an hour for the other employees to come in. They know how to work the charge machine and he doesn't.

This is typical of the Mexico way of things. No demand for immediate cash. No hurry. No worries.

We paid and sailed off in search of an internet free existence.

We were welcomed back to the life of water by a whole bunch of common dolphins jumping, splashing, tail-slapping while herding fish into an edible buffet ball. The dolphins had bigger company though. Two huge humpbacks were close by with two more off in the distance. We'd lost track of the humpbacks as we watched the dolphins coordinate their movements. All of this sudden we heard a loud FWOOMP-SPLOOSH! One of the humpbacks decided to do a tail-slap about two boat lengths from our starboard side. The whale repeated the display and its friend surfaced with gusto. We were surrounded by such amazing hulking beasts and nimble dolphins and it was a good feeling to be back.

The day wore on and the sun blazed down on our now 'pale' skin. David summoned me from my reading to check out the ray ruckus. I looked around and saw Devil Rays (they look like small Manta rays, but they are a different genus) leaping from the water. The more we looked around the more we noticed that they were everywhere. We must have seen fifty of them flying from the water flapping their wings and landing with a SPLAT on their white bellies. It was very cool to see so much life in a short time.

The wind slowed as we were about six miles from Caleta Partida. It was flat calm, still warmish, the sun was setting. We made dinner and enjoyed the relaxing pace. Eventually the wind kicked up enough to get us close to the mouth of Partida. The breeze that usually exists in Partida seemed non-existent, but there were enough puffs to get us going. We were tacking back and fourth when I stupidly decided to muscle the sail in with no winch handle. My back did not like that decision one bit and loudly voiced its disdain with shooting pain. David, being the trooper that he is, took over all of the duties of tacking, dropping sails and anchoring as I stood hunched over in the only position bearable for me.

We finally made it. No marina. No clubs blaring mariachi. No halyards slapping abandon boats masts. No squeaky docks. No noise other than the gulls cawing to each other over who gets which rock. Sleep comes easy in such a good environment.