Crossing over: 26 Nov, 2012
We crossed the Sea of Cortez this week, 320 miles without a stop if you don’t count Sunday morning the 25th of November. We had to host a Ham Radio Net (Sunrisa net, 0200z, 3.968 Mhz LSB) on Sunday morning and the wind was so light and nobody was at the helm so we actually did slow down to .5 knots or about the speed of a toddler crawling across your living room rug.
The crossing was our second longest single trip that we have made in Beyond Reason. It was special since we sailed 250 miles without starting the engine. Breezes were running about 15 knots over the first 200 miles and our average speed was around 6 knots or 8 MPH. We are often asked if we ever sail out of sight of land or more than 20 miles out to sea, in this case we were as far as 150 miles from any land for at least 24 hours. Of course our trips pale in comparison to many out there that cross big oceans and are out for 70 days at a time. Not our style but everyone is different. As the third and final day of the trip dawned on us, both Lisa and I realized that a 4th or 5th day at sea would not be bad at all. You start to develop a rhythm at sea and around 2pm on Sunday we found that the days were getting short on us and we didn’t seem to have enough time during the day to do everything we wanted. Both of us wonder what it is that we really do but mostly it seems to be read, cook, eat, sleep and occasionally look at the GPS and radar to see if anything is going to hit us or we them. I imagine time goes by quicker at sea since meals take hours to fix and clean up after due to the gyrations of the boat. Actually everything takes longer at sea. I have found myself re-reading passages in books because we have caught a fish along the way or seen a turtle, whale, dolphin, and giant boat eating squid (just checking your attention) and somehow I misplaced were I was so you re-read several pages just to catch yourself up.
Nothing special happened while we were out, the boat ran perfect, the sails did what they were suppose to, the generator made the power for Lisa to dry her hair and have a warm shower every day, and Sparky just relaxed like the Bark-a-lounger that he is.
We are now at the La Cruz anchorage just outside the city of Puerto Vallarta and adjacent to the city of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (Cross of the Huanacaxtle tree). We have been here before but many millions of dollars or peso’s have been added to the economy in the last couple of years and Lisa wanted to see how the “village” had changed. We have not completed our explore yet, but from the anchorage it looks like a couple of larger hotels have sprung up plus, the marina that we just opening four years ago has been completed and is pretty well filled up at this time. Most of the boats of course are American or Canadian, and I am always surprised that people are willing to pay premium stateside prices for the marinas here in Mexico. As you know we do sometimes but we try not to do it on a long term basis. Talking to some of the folks in the marina would suggest that most tenants are very long term.
Well, I can’t say that we will update more frequently now that we are about to move into some knew areas of exploration for us, but I will say that the updates should be more exciting. We are both ready for new cruising grounds and can’t wait for next week to come around.
Another Oil Change: 18 Nov, 2012
La Paz has never kept our hearts for very long. As a tourist town I guess it has everything a traveler would want from Mexico, beautiful hotels, a hot night life, site and cultural events to see and plenty of hawkers looking to trade your US dollar for some trinket or service. All good from my point of view, but really to us La Paz means provisions and plenty of them. We have cruised the sea for months and now are at our first major provisioning area since, well, La Paz back in April or May. Living has been pretty cheap until this week where we have spent the equivalent of one months cruising in less than a week. Everything has been necessary with the exception of the marina stay here at the former “Virtual Marina” which is now fully functional and called Cortez Marina.
Staying in the marina is a combination of convenience and pleasure. Eduardo, the marina manager has been exceptional in providing service and the surrounding restaurants that line the marina shores have provided excellent meals at a very reasonable prices. Being able to use all the power you want is also nice as is the ability to hop off the boat at any time and be right down town next to boat shops, groceries and unlimited beer. We have two more days here before we need to clear out so our days are busy spending money, changing oil (outboards, main and generator), running for that last minute item that we think we just can’t leave harbor without. We’ve completed many projects while here, some of which have been scheduled to complete nearly 6 months before. Our bathroom remodel was completed yesterday. We expected to complete the remodel way back in March but the simplicity of re-plastering (epoxy) and repainting eluded us till now. Total time involved in the completion was approx 3 hours of which we could have completed while at anchor anytime during the summer. So much for doing projects in remote anchorages.
We should be casting off this Tuesday, which means we will spend Thanksgiving somewhere out in the Pacific Ocean. This will be the first time Beyond Reason has strayed into the Pacific for at least four years and I think we are all looking forward to it. Our destination is still slightly unknown. If we catch a favorable wind we will be looking to make Puerto Vallarta by Friday. If the wind is not to our favor we will extend the trip and look to make landfall in Chamela, about 100 miles south of Puerto Vallarta. Why the longer trip you say? Lisa is looking to upgrade her Ham License and if we can catch a good wind we could arrive in PV by Friday night. On Saturday there is a General Ham License test being given at the Vallarta Yacht club and we would like to make that. If not, we will just continue to new cruising grounds (Chemala) which is our ultimate plan anyway.
There are a number of boats moving from La Paz to the mainland just about the same time as us, so it is possible that we could have company for Thanksgiving but we are not putting too much faith in the that probability as it is a big Ocean out there. Lisa is looking for a ham to cook and I am sure we will have yams, peas, corn, homemade stuffing and perhaps even a glass of wine to celebrate the first holiday of the season.
Well, got to get back to preparing the ship. One more oil change and then wash the boat down, pack the bacon and raise the rags (sails).
Video promises: 5 Nov, 2012
Three weeks ago we indicated that we would have video posted of the puppet show that Lisa starred in. Unfortunately, Jim on the vessel Ann Marie had to move quickly and we are chasing him through the Sea of Cortez now. It is likely we will not see that video for weeks.
On the good side of things we can present the video, Beach Party Uke’s, which has just been uploaded. Click the underlined links (Beach Party Uke’s) to see just how good a bad band can sound to a bunch of cruisers with nothing else to do all day.
Another promise: 4 Nov, 2012
I will once again promise to bring more video to the website. We are working on producing our first Music Video. It really is not much but we did have a little get together the other day and put 3 instruments together that sort of sounded in tune. Aside from that we have updated the Chicks, Dudes and Dogs section, yes, even Sparky has come out of his summer stupor and graced the pages once again.
Have fun with the updates. I will leave you with a Pre-hurricane picture of Muleje. Sadly after hurricane Paul visited these homes now have 3 feet of mud in them and will need rebuilding for the 2nd time in 4 years.
Having too much fun: 15 Oct, 2012
We have been having way too much fun lately. After leaving Santa Rosilia we met up with our friends Bob and Sherry and traveled to San Marcos Island and then on to the Bay of Conception. In Conception we met up with our land based friends from Montana, Moreen and Pat, for a couple days of hilarity. We are now anchored in a small bay within the Bay of Conception, called Santispac where Lisa performed duties as a puppeteer in front of a packed bar (more to come on this), and Bill helped her drink her earnings which was free booze from the bar until the show ended. All in all not a bad way to spend our retirement dollars or hours.
The Dudes page has been updated and if the Hurricane Paul doesn’t wipe out the boat next to us on Wednesday we may have some video of Lisa’s part in the puppet show to post on Veoh later in the month.
Hope your days are shining and warm.
The Rum gods are smiling again, 27 Sept, 2012
Over the last week or so we have run out of just about everything. We were down to our last $20 in Bahia de Los Angeles and without an ATM that meant there was no way we were buying more rum, fuel, eggs, soda or tomato’s. Although things were looking bleak we did have plenty of rice, the wind was free, and hate it as we might, we could always make water and after all the freezer still made ice cubes so all was not lost and we set sail for points south.
After about seven days we finally arrived in Santa Rosilia under a hurricane watch that fizzled out yesterday but has now been re-newed with a new hurricane (Norman) today. During the past couple of weeks we have been able to get a couple of new postings completed and they are now up on the appropriate pages.
The Rum gods and the ol’mighty dollar has been kind to us here in Santa Rosilia so we are 100% and ready to hit the sea’s again. Of course it will be a while before we re-update again as the Bay of Conception is calling and there is little if any hope of finding internet there. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Ours has been extremely warm but temps are coming down and the nights now are just a comfortable warmth that envelopes you in it’s arms while you watch the stars move about overhead before you pass into a nice slumber, or stupor depending on the night. Enjoy.
Back in Bahia de Los Angeles: 11 Sept, 2012
We have made it back to Bahia de Los Angeles. B of LA as it is politely known is the biggest city I have ever seen that does not have a bank. Strangely we went to SanFelipe last week to get money but once we completed all our grocery rounds, medical attendances and fuel fillings we found we still only had a couple of hundred dollars in our account. So we are broke again but leaving BLA today for other areas of Baja that do not need money.
Lisa is having a lot of fun trying to shoot fish, and Bill is keeping the refrigerator filled with seafood so we are not starving. The weather although rough is beginning to get cooler so Sparky is starting to enjoy the travels as well again.
Seems like we have entered the full on Chubasco season as daily thunderstorms and rain have been the case over the last couple of weeks. We really have been picking our anchorages and travel days carefully to avoid the ugly weather, so far so good.
Internet is poor in BLA so not much in the update department, but check the Dudes and Chicks site anyway.
Ready to head south again, 31 Aug, 2012
We we are just about ready to begin our trip south. San Felipe has been good to us and so today we will drop another couple of hundred dollars into their economy. Groceries and fuel are on the list as well as the payoff for the marina. We see a nice weather window opening tomorrow so will try to move our around midnight (Saturday night, not morning) and head for Peurtecitos or Gonzaga Bay. Peurtecitos is preferred as we haven’t been there. The anchorage has nice Northern protection which is the wind we are hoping to find to move us south. If we can make Peurtecitos we will also visit Isla Incantada just to the south as well the following day.
Lisa has updated the Chick’s Version. The story is quite long so be sure to get a new cup of coffee if you intend to read it from start to finish. We will post pictures throughout today but wanted to get something posted before the internet get’s funky again.
New Video added: Aug 25, 2012
We have added another video. This one was a bit to short to add all the bells and whistles too so it is pretty basic. Lisa saw a shark go by the boat one day and decided she needed to swim with it. Although the video is called Shark Bite, Lisa still have most of her toes and fingers. You can view the video using this link or you can go to the Beyond Links to see it.
100 miles south of California: Aug 22, 2012
We are now in San Felipe, Baja Norte. The last 15 or so days have been a whirlwind of fun, excitement, fright and first for us. Lisa has started spear fishing and killed her first fish the other day while in Bahia de Refugio, Bill has been perfecting his BBQ technique on Leopard Groupers and Sparky decided that seals really aren’t that big and 20 lbs of fur with attitude are an even match for 700 lbs of bull seal (lucky for Sparks his dad can swim a little faster than he can).
Most of the operating systems are working well although the water maker finally sprung a big enough leak to require medical attention. The Dude’s site has been updated and with a hope and perhaps a deal with the devil the Chick’s section will get an update later this week.
Fun in B of LA, August 9, 2012
Well, last night was a bit fussy. Up until about 4am, we had nice breezes from just about every direction of the compass and a very nice lightning storm off to the east to accompany it. For the most part we just slept but periodically we would wake up to watch the sky light up across the flat peaceful water. Just as we figured we would escape any real action the winds piped up to 38 knots (about 40 some odd miles an hour) and the waves began to build to over 4 ft in the anchorage. We felt confident that our anchor was well set but that still didn’t relieve the nagging devils in our heads that said we would drag, or the chain or worse would break under the pressure. As a result we added a second rope bridle to the anchor chain (the bridle relieves the quick jerking that a taunt chain to impose on the boat as each wave broke across the bow) just in case the first one parted. In hind sight we should have set the second bridle to begin with instead of the light bridle we set up two days ago. Setting the second, or bigger bridle would have allowed us to just stay put in the cockpit instead of hanging over the water trying to get it attached in a storm.
Once we felt we have the anchor all set for the remainder of the night Lisa noticed that the dinghy line had parted and now the dinghy was only attached by it’s “theft prevention chain”. The chain is attached to the back of the dinghy so the outboard engine on the dinghy was hitting and chewing up the back of the big boat. Bill had to climb over the stern and drop into the pitching dinghy to get the outboard down (it is left up at night to help prevent corrosion) and then hand Lisa the dinghy rope so she could re-secure it up front. With all this accomplished we really did just sit down and enjoy a cup a coffee in the cockpit. The boat rode out the large waves very well, and if you didn’t hear the wind you might have just thought it was another peaceful night. Thank goodness our boat is so heavy and rides through waves like a fat lady plopping down in a beanbag chair.
The wind is dropping now and we are putting in for a little nap.
Bahia De Los Angeles: August 8, 2012
They say that the true hurricane window has opened in Mexico this week. As of today we are tracking one hurricane (Gilma) and 2 other tropical depressions that formed over night. Never a worry here though as the refrigerator is full of beer, the fish seem to be falling all over the decks and we think we have propane for a month.
We have made the landing in Bahia De Los Angeles. Not much has changed since we were here 4 years ago. As usual we came up here hoping for an ATM and finding there is no way to get money other than take a 2 hour trip inland to Guerro Negro. We have some cash but after totting 30 gallons of fuel from the gas station that is ½ mile from the beach, we will be low on funds. Our options are either taxi to Guerro Negro or take the boat North, East or South. We are working on a decision.
An update has been added to the Dudes View and the “Chick” has promised she will finish a long update tonight, so perhaps in the AM we will find the time to publish. Sparky is in full lounge mode as the heat is really getting to him. On the favorable side, we did get a good down pour of rain today. It was sure nice to wash the boat and clear off some of the salt crust that has dried on the hull not so much from sailing but from the splashes created as we dip into the sea every morning, noon and evening to cool off.
Loaded up and ready for the next segment: July 27, 2012
Well we are back in the saddle again after a quick trip to the states to attend my daughters wedding. Today we areall about shopping and filling up the tanks. Tomorrow we should be moving north to either Trinidad or San Francisquito which is close to Bahia de Los Angeles. If we have done everything correctly the engine, generator and outboard oil have been changed and are good for another 50 hours of travel or so. Doesn’t seem like a long time between changes but really we are talking about 3 months worth of island hopping. If we didn’t do it correctly we will be fixing leaks somewhere along the sparsely inhabited Baja coastline.
While we were in the states we did purchase a new radar. The new unit includes real “Google earth” style photos of the entire Central American coast line. The pictures overlay the charts that are loaded on the display as well as over lay across the radar image that is being actively mapped. What this all means is that we have a very accurate charting program. Today we can see a real image of the marina we are in and the unit places us exactly in the berth that we occupy. Can wait to give it a real sea trial.
The next update should include lots of pictures as we are coming to our favorite part of the sea. The only trouble is that there will be no internet service till we reach BLA sometime in mid August.
Sparky and the crew are all looking forward to getting back into the water and enjoying the beaches. Bill of course is finally looking forward to his new (to him) spear gun which we finally got parts for, and Lisa will be happy to just chill out, snorkel and read books all day.
That’s it for now. Will update when we get the chance again.
Back to civilization: July 15, 2012
We are back in Santa Rosilia after spending the last 7 days in the area around San Marcos Island. Essentially we have just been treading water till Tuesday the 17th when we will rent a car and begin the trip back to Northern California for our daughters wedding.
San Marcos has been good to us providing several fish dinners a couple of stories and memories of how nice Mexican towns can be. We have a large list of things to complete here in Santa Rosilia along with another list of items for California. Having said that we have posted a couple of updates in the Dudes view and the Chicks version. Not really looking forward to the traffic from San Diego to LA, but what can you do.
By the way, Esquimoles are Ant eggs, mmmmmm…and only $0.70 US. Got to love the Mexican economy.
Scurrying along: July 8, 2012
Hi all, we have been moving at lightning speed again. Having just left the Bay of Conception we are currently in Santa Rosilia. We arrived yesterday and after picking up some cash, $14 in vegetables, making reservations for a trip home and parking place for the boat plus more propane (yes, propane again. We had another fitting blow out the other day and lost a whole tank. I swear we are trying to keep this boat safe, but if we blow up you will know it was not from lack of trying…We hate propane), we are on our way back to San Marcos Island for a little relaxation.
Sorry no pictures today, give us a couple of more days. Lisa has put an update in her section so if you have time to browse that would be a good place to start.
Happy early 4th of July: July 3, 2012
It is really tough finding good internet lately. We are currently in the Bay of Conception about half way down the Baja California Peninsula and although we can find internet just around the corner the bandwidth has not allowed us to update pictures as often as we like. Our other issue is that when we do get internet we are so disorganized that we can’t get all our updates together with all the pictures and you have to suffer through the effects of late posting or none posted pictures. Sorry.
With all that said we are having a great time. Everything appears to working well, the money is holding out, and we are evenly tanned from head to tail. Our currently true location is El Burro Cove. We are here for the Fourth of July holiday extravaganza with about 30 other boats. Once it is over we will leave and move to more remote areas, but for now it is fun.
If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, there are updates in the Dudes View, Sparky’s pages and the Recipe area. Have a great Fourth.
Enjoying the loneliness; June 15, 2012
It seems like a long time since we have written anything down, but the real truth is it has just been a long time since we have had internet. We are sitting on the North side of Isla San Francisco today. We spent last evening in the Southern anchorage here and due to the wind and waves that were influenced by that wind had a pretty rowdy night of rocking and bobbing about. All in all it was really a good day yesterday despite what we might have thought of the evening conditions.
We had left Caleta Partida that morning and had a fine sail across the 20 or so miles to San Francisco. To top off the sail we caught our first Dorado in over 3 years and quickly made a mess of the deck filleting it. We have caught a lot of big fish on this boat but the little 22 inch Dorado we caught yesterday bleed more than any fish we have ever caught. When we were completed we had blood from the gunnels to the top of the cabin roof and spread out about 15 feet from the front of the boat to the back. We ended up closing all the windows and just doing a general scrub down of the boat to clean up.
We pulled into a place called the Hook and after setting the anchor dove into the nearly 80 degree water to cool down from a fairly warm day.
Today we moved about 2 miles to try to get out of the wind and put us closer to a small village of fishermen on Isla Coyote. After we anchored Lisa and I worked on our forward sail which during the sail the previous afternoon had torn free from the top part o the mast. Mostly this just entailed pulling the sail (Jib) down, hand sewing some nylon strapping to the top and then re-installing it. Not a bad job or way to spend the morning and it sure felt good to work on something outside instead of in the bilge or in some tight corner of the boat. When we finished we fired up the dinghy and roared 2 miles across the bay to the island of Coyote and the small village.
We were greeted by Manual, one of the village elders and he promptly helped us to the beach and tied our dinghy up. Manual was not pushy but asked if we would like to see his village, which we promptly agreed that we would. The town contains perhaps a dozen homes, each is attached to the hillside of the island with very nice cement foundations and most have a thatched roof, though some are not as nice as others. The whole village was remanisant of the hamlets that you might see or read about in old England. Although there is not a lot to see in a village this size they do have a small museum of whale bones, a church and a small bead or jewelry industry.
Manual asked if we would like to see the beading work and of course Lisa said yes, so we strolled up the dirt path to one of the last homes on the hill and were greeted by Contessa who made the necklaces and other stuff. Lisa spent a good 15 minutes looking around and eventually we walked away with $7 worth of bracelets and neck jewelry. The nice thing was there was never any pressure to buy anything so it was relaxing. The other thing about this town is it is the first time I have ever seen any Mexicans lying about in Hammocks.
In the Jewlery show room there were two people in other rooms relaxing in hammocks and on the way down the trail there were at least 3 others keeping up the image. It all added to the charm of this town and although we soon jumped back into the dinghy it was a great diversion for the day.
Sparky was waiting for us on return and so we motored to the beach for a little stroll in the sand. We are cooking up the last of yesterdays catch tonight, The freezer is keeping up with our ice needs so there should be some cool rum and cokes about to help wash down fish.
Time to leave the Pearl City: 8 June, 2012
Well it is time to leave La Paz. The Radar didn’t get fixed completely but we might have a workable solution that will need to be tested out over the next couple of week. Seems there just are not many qualified technicians for radars in La Paz. At this point we think that educated guesses for which part might or might not work is just not in the cards for us. No trouble, we are happy and that tanks are all filled, the bacon is nicely frozen and the sea is calling for us to come out and play.
We have put up a couple of new updates in just about every section so if you have time, take a look around.
Two weeks in La Paz: June 7, 2012
When we first woke up this morning we wanted revert back to our original mail from San Carlos where we had recapped how well we made out while having the boat up on the hard (parked in the boat yard) for 3 years, but have decided against it in favor of just putting a list together of the type of upkeep that has to be performed when you come into port. One of our moms believes we are bored out of our minds while we wait for repairs or part
deliveries, but we contest that thought with this short list of some of the stuff we had to accomplished over the last 14 days.
Of course we all know that the primary cause for coming to La Paz was for the goat tacos, but aside from that we did remove and re-install the transmission, while we were at it the entire bilge was cleaned by Lisa which really is a big undertaking. If our memory recall is correct she woke up at 4 am and was cleaning till almost 10 am. It was not so much the dirt and grease but the access is extremely difficult. Lisa also painted the bottom of the dinghy with anti fouling paint and while she was at it repaired a bit of Hypalon fabric that was lifting. We had a number of sewing projects going on during our stay which included sewing a new sunshade for the front of the boat, making new pillow covers for 7 pillows, covering the dinghy seat, engine and wheels (used for beach landings) and while we were at it, new covers where made for the auxiliary dinghy engine propeller, the towable generator propeller and all the boat fenders. We mentioned the varnishing that was done at the start of our stay. In all we put 1 gallon of new varnish on the outside of the boat, changed the engine oil, replaced a broken outboard propeller, repaired a broken scupper drain (teak grate for those in Winters), fabricated a new fiberglass anchor chain hawse hole for the dinghy, and washed the boat (after the varnish was dry).
With all the above fun we still had time or made time to watch a company called Yacht Path deliver several large boats from the Caribbean to La Paz plus we were able to attend a Scout outing where they were having inter-city inner tube races on the bay. If this was not enough Lisa was able to join a jewelry making class while still having time to attend several swimsuit fittings for her new beachwear and of course the skate board park where she practiced her old moves.
As we had 14 full days to fill there was still time to walk to the market several times, get hair cuts, do 8 loads of laundry by hand, vacuum seal 3 weeks worth of meat, chicken and bacon, plus re-wire the entire engine and run to the bank to drain 1 months worth of cruising funds at $300 per trip for repairs.
We still have another thing or two to complete before we can actually leave La Paz but it will be nice to get back to the daily grind of walking the dog, fishing, swimming and deciding what is for dinner.
And you thought it would be easy: June 6, 2012
So the transmission went in OK, took a bit more effort than one might think. The biggest problem is the limited space inside the boat. Ultimately it took 3 people to load the trans into the cockpit, then a couple of 2 X 4’s strung across the companion way to and strung with a line to hoist and drop the transmission into the boat. From there we drug the thing across the floor with a sled of leather to the middle of the boat where we had a Spanish windlass setup under the sink to help us control the fall of the 150 lbs chunk of steel into the bilge and then again back up about 7” to the engine where it was mounted. You might think that was a run-on sentence but really it was kind of how the process went.
Now we hired a professional to help us but during the process of pulling the gearbox, Bill did some of the intermediate work which included unbolting and rebolting the adapter plate from the engine. The adapter plate has both the whole pattern for the engine and the transmission built into it, so there is a chance it has to go in with a certain orientation. Of course the orientation was not correct so the bulk of the iron tranny had to be dropped again to the bilge, the adapter plate oriented correctly and then the transmission could be lifted once more and bolted home. Job complete, 2 hours later. The shaft was reconnected without any trouble an then Collin left for another job leaving Bill with some electrical items to complete and the reconnection of the heat exchangers and adjusting the stuffing box which decided to begin leaking when the shaft was moved.
The stuffing box is the item that the shaft goes through to get to the outside of the box and the water below. Its job is to keep the water out of the boat but sometimes needs to be adjusted after long trips or apparently when the shaft is moved in and out to accommodate transmission removal.
An hour later we were ready to start the engine and test the resulting repair, nothing. We had power, could see gauges start to move when we turned the key but still the starter motor would not turn over.
At home with your car it might be an easy task to track down why the starter won’t go, but on a 30 year old boat with 30 year old wiring, it is another story. 5 hours later it was discovered that the 30 year old wiring had a lot of poor splicing done to it over the years, and we had to re-wire almost the entire ignition system and gauge set to the motor. Job complete we started the motor and ran the gearbox for the first time. Except for an initial overflow of ATF oil, everything went well.
The boat is now wired and ready to go, somewhere.
Another bolt back in: June, 5, 2012
Our transmission is finally back, no radar yet, and it has been coupled back up to the engine. The final testing should happen later today so we are all fired up about whether it will all work correctly again. So far the work looks good, although we had originally went into the project thinking we would just sit back and drink cold Pacifico’s and eat goat taco’s while Collin did all the work.
Unfortunately Bill was easily conscripted into helping remove a lot of the equipment that surrounded the transmission and then because of the placement (down a deep narrow hole) of the transmission he was needed to pull and replace the unit as well. The testing of the transmission, replacement of seals, painting, consultations and what not were all performed by Collin at his shop.
We have been here almost 2 weeks so the excitement of having all the grocery stores, taco stands and tire shops available to us at any minute of the day has kind of worn off. There have been a couple of standouts, Lisa’s bikini shop which she never tires of and of course the Golden Goat taco stand or as it is officially called, El Chivo de Oro, located on Rosales e/Gomez Farias and Independencia streets. Both of these places have made our stay in La Paz a bit more livable.
Later today we hope to hear information on the new Magnetron for the Radar. So far we do not have a really good opinion of the service we have received for this unit. The Magnetron was about double the cost of what we had originally thought it might be and the first leg of the trip from Costa Mesa to San Diego has cost us $50 for another overnight delivery which moved on Friday and so far as we can tell has not reached San Diego yet. We believe the two cities are about 15 – 30 miles apart. We want to blame UPS for this delay but it might have been SeaWide distributors not putting the package out for delivery, either way the $50 charge is over the top again. The charge is from SeaWide Distributors which is a wholesale firm that our technician is using.
That’s it for now. Hope to have the engine fired up in about 4 hours or so.
2 for 1: May 29th, 2012
We had the beginnings of a good day today. The Transmission guy came by early to ask us what color we would like the transmission to be be when he finished (pink), then he asked us to pull the damper or dampener for the transmission, which should have been 4 bolts but ended up being 10 bolts, a reposition of the engine jack, the use of a hammer and finally a crowbar, but everything was good after that.
We completed 4 coats of varnish on the bulwarks and a new custom canopy for the front of the boat and then went out to get some two for one margaritas. You will have to read about those in the Dudes view as we don’t know quite how family friendly the review will be. We also found out that Chalupa’s are more than just a nice snack at Taco Bell and Lisa picked up a couple of fancy custom bikini’s at Bikinis Alessandra’s which is a a high class Made to Order bikini shop.
Things could be worse.
Languishing in La Paz: May 26, 2012
As Hurricane Bud bears down on Mexico we are here in Baja contemplating not how we will survive the next hurricane but how funny it is that you can go to an internet café looking for a connection only to find out there are no electrical outlets once you have ordered so you are stuck drinking the $5 cup of Joe quickly only to have to walk to another café in search of power for the computer.
You’ve got to hand it to the San Javier public works departments for thinking outside the box. Now if only they could set up an internet café on this sidewalk.
We are in La Paz, and although we are at a marina we don’t have full time access to internet. We did find a bit of time to put up a couple of additions, even Sparky has decided to take time from his daily naps to write a couple of lines.
Bitter sweet: May 17, 2012
Well, as tropical storm Aletta bears down on us (plus or minus 600 miles, we are counting our blessings and thinking about the good things we have instead of problems that keep coming up. After all we did catch fish this week, there is cold beer in the frig, bottles of rum and coke in the locker and Sparky continues to “hold it” until we have our coffee each morning. On the other hand we could be working towards retirement at a unsatisfying job with a large commute, amongst 1000’s of people that would be just as unhappy as us waiting on retirement and a chance to fill our our medical reimbursement forms.
I think we will stick with rusting parts, leaking transmissions and the occasional trauma of deciding which tequila really makes the best margaritas.
We are putting update into the site today and tomorrow so have a look while you are waiting on that red light to change.
Hurricane Eve , May 14, 2012
Tomorrow begins the Eastern Pacific Hurricane season. We are really looking forward to a great season and started it off with some really fun destinations. Lisa and Bill have both updated the sections of the web that pertain to them. Spark’s has just been so exhausted from running on the beach that he did not have time to put anything up.
Hope your summer is going well.
It feels good: May 5, 2012
Ah, Cinco de Mayo in Mexico. We are really having a good time now that the major projects are done. Lisa has put up a big update that tells the story of the last two day. We don’t have pictures but one of the high points was actually seeing the International Space Station transit the sky just at dusk 2 days ago.
We are leaving you with a picture from the top of the volcano on isla Coranado, Enjoy the day.
Leaks Fixed: April 28, 2012
Finally…our leaks are stemmed. We had a friend of a friend bring the leak down gaskets to us yesterday and today we got them installed and finally we have a boat that does not leak diesel into the bilge. To build on our good luck we also had Patty (our new best friend) bring down a new capacitor for the generator and now we are seeing 70 amps of charging power from the generator, something we have not seen in 3 years.
It’s been a good day. Updates to come.
Another $100 down the drain: April 24, 2012
Still waiting on washers to arrive via donkey and with Christmas looming just 200 or so days away I can’t thank of anything more I would like to have. Being veterans of Mexico we did induce a contingency plan just in case “Brown couldn’t do any thing us”, so we are idling our time till the brown truck shows up or our parts mule from the US flies in on Friday. Either will work, but I am putting our money on the courier from the USA.
The weather is near 100 which I think is unusual for this part of the summer, but we are making large ice cubes in our new freezer, so as long as the ATM keeps belching money and Ron Castillo keeps fermenting rum, we are coping very well. Hope to have pictures of our engine running soon.
$40 copper washers: April 20, 2012
The price of parts.
We have been relatively unsuccessful in procuring the needed washers that are required to keep the diesel from dripping fuel. I say relatively since only yesterday we did find somebody that actually knew what we wanted and thought they had the parts. Mark at DFIS Injectors in Portland has been very helpful and we hope his help will lead to the successful quelling of the leak.
The folks at JESCO, though helpful unable to complete our order, so after a trip to Constitution, Baja Sur ($50 plus parts) we were without anything other than some advise to sand the connections and hope that would solve the issue. I can sand with the best of them but really all we could think was that after sanding the mated parts the leak would only be worse so we are saving that for the final Hail Mary.
Mark called this morning regarding shipping the washers (Leak down gaskets is the official name, but really they are fancy copper crush washers). He was concerned that 4 washers were going to cost $99 via UPS and that was not even for overnight service. I imagine that $99 is very unreasonable but in the grand scheme of things we are paying $25 dollars per day to stay in port and the nearest town (which everyone say has no diesel components) cost $60 by taxi to get to and return. Ultimately $99 may be a bargain especially when you plug in the cost of beer and chips at the local restaurant. We are no longer in Palapa”ville” so the costs have easily doubled. To make matters worse there are no ATM’s so even getting cash is a major undertaking (another $60 for taxi, or hitch a ride 30 miles into town).
All is good and we are having a good time running around in the dinghy to some of the closer anchorages outside the harbor.
Video Update: April 18, 2012
We had time over the last couple of days to put together a couple of snippet videos we have taken along the Baja Coast. If you follow this link you will be directed to Veoh and can view it.
Living the Virtuous life: April 17, 2012
Well today we made the trek to Constitution, Baja Sur. This is the only city within our proximity that has crushable copper washers. Crushable copper washers are what all the experts are saying is our problem with the leaking diesel we have been futzing with over the last 60 days or so.
I made an arrangement with a local here in Puerto Escondido to drive me to Constitution for $50. At the time I considered this a bargain since the cost of shipping washers overnight from the US is probably the same.
Two hours into the morning I returned (well actually it was one in the afternoon, but the trip was suppose to be 2 hours. We secured the washers and I kicked Lisa out of the boat so I could cuss in private as I disassembled the diesel to put the new “snake oil” washers on. It didn’t take long to see that the washers in our case needed to be very special and the whole morning became a wash of time, not a waste for I had learned something, but a wash.
I have been beaten down so much by the diesels now that I took a bit of solace in the fact that I have today learned that no amount of adrenalin will cure our problem, and only time will bring us peace, so I had a beer, waited for Lisa to return to the boat then when for re-enforcements at “Margarittaville”.
The parts are on order (the really special parts), and we will be stuck here for a week or so. Life has been worse, so una mas margarita por favor, for us.
Enjoy your commute.
Hans Christian for sale, $1: April 12, 2012
It has been a great couple of weeks with just a few tough hours of insane repairing and wicked sailing. We have posted a number of updates in the appropriate sections. over the last 11 days we have seen some incredible sights and really enjoyed ourselves at a number of different anchorages to include some that are way off the beaten paths. a couple of maintenance issues continue to nag us, but that has been expected. What we have found infuriating are the issues that just won’t go away.
Generator: We are charging at only half our normal rate so we have contacted the manufacturer and they suggested checking voltage and hertz which we have done dutifully. the opinion was to change out capacitors which we happen to have in a hermetically sealed bag from the factory. As with all boat items the actual part replacement is never a factor as most systems are well designed and made with repair in mind. The issue lies with accessing the parts, enter the generator. While only 4 bolts need to be removed in order to pull the generator from it’s hole access to the bolts is not a rewarding experience. We attacked the issue and an hour later we had access to the capacitor and the exchange was made. When we fired up the genset an hour later we had zero charge so we figured we had put the capacitor in incorrectly. Neither of us know if there is right or wrong way to replace a capacitor, so we undid the 4 bolts again, moved the genset from it’s hole and tried to exchange the wiring, unfortunately while doing it somebody dropped the wires, so we could tell which wires had started out where. We marked the wires prior to installing again, replacing the generator and lining up holes for the 4 hold down bolts. When we fired up the generator, nothing again, of course we must have just put the wires back in as we first had. Mulligan.
On the third try we were much better so we had the genset out and prepared in less than 45 minutes. With the wires marked we were sure the unit would work this time. Pushing the button, you know we got the same results. At this point Bill was in a fit and very close to selling the boat. Lisa was upset with Bill and the dog was upset period.
We replaced the capacitor one more time with the old unit and after about 30 seconds of engine run the unit started working at 50% capacity again. A fine waste of time.
So a couple of beers later we dissolved the thought of selling the boat and began a whole new adventure of evening sailing in near gale conditions but you will have to read about that account in the other sections.
Internet at last: April 1, 2012
Wow it seems a long time since we have had any internet at all. We are in Playa El Burro today and found a slow connection. There are new updates in the Dudes and Chicks section but no pictures for now. Having a great time winding down.
SNAFU: March 22, 2012
SNAFU is an Air Force acronym for situation that are normal but normal is just another way of say things are not as they should be. We have added a couple of updates but for the most part things are puttering along San Carlos. It really is amazing how much nicer it feels to be underway to someplace rather than to be stuck at the dock or the dry storage in San Carlos.
System update: 18 March, 2012
I have added an update in the Dudes View about the cost to repair everything and bring Beyond Reason back into reasonable sailing shape. There is nothing technical but I thought that some might be interested in the costs required to get a boat back into shape after such a long hiatus.
No adults home; parental guidance should be required: 16 March, 2012
Alright so I will be 51 tomorrow so you have to give me a bit of space. My wingman, Sparky, had a good day today and is so exhausted after playing with a Chicana dog today is unable to write. To his tribute I have added an update. We should have more in the Chicks Version soon when Lisa returns. 80 degrees in the cabin today, no clouds and the new refrigerator keeps our Kool-Aid in slushy form all day. Enjoy your commute on Monday!
Preparing for a return to the USA. March 12, 2012
Lisa and I are both getting ready to return to the USA to update our visa’s for 6 months in Mexico. We don’t expect any trouble but the if I don’t return in 24 hours somebody better come look for me. Until that time Lisa has updated the Chicks Version.
In like a lion: March 8th, 2012
Check out the new updates in the Dudes, Chicks and Sparky’s World. It has been a busy beginning to March
The Maestro of Maintenance: March 2nd, 2012
In San Carlos there are only a number of diesel mechanics that are recommended. I can now add another to the list, Hansell and his brother Cristian have done an excellent job getting our boat back in working order. Contrary to what most might think of Mexican work he is very prompt, works through lunch, works Saturdays and does the work on time and within budget. I use this website to promote the good and bad experiences we have had in Mexico and Hansell is definitely one of the good experiences.
The oil pan has been swapped out and with it the new engine mounts have been re-installed.
Check out the Dudes view for more updates.
Customs and Courtesies: Feb 29, 2012
Back in the 1960’s my brothers and I use to swim on an AAU swim team. In those days pool water was not always heated at the supporting high schools during the winter time. Now we lived in California, so it is not like the water was 30 degree’s and we had to clear the Zambonie off the ice before using picks to make a hole to swim in, but the water was not warm. As kids we quickly found out that if you jumped into the say 65 degree pool, then quickly jumped out into the 50 degree Winter temperature and stood for a while before jumping back into the pool, viola’ the pool suddenly felt warm and you could start your practice.
Our marina has showers and each night we try to time the showers just right to get the warm water. I don’t know if inconsistent shower temperatures are a cultural thing in Mexico or if it is just a customary way to treat Gringo’s at the Marina, in either case it is a game of roulette to pick just the right time. We continue to play the game because we know there are times that you can get a warm shower, our neighbors tell us about them all the time!
The real problem is not just getting to the showers when they are warm as we could take showers in the afternoon and most likely be guaranteed warmth, but locating the time when the water heater has water in it and there is pressure in the water system as well, that is really the trick. Just the other night Lisa was enjoying a shower until I jumped into one of the men’s shower stalls and turn on the water. Coincidentally Lisa’s water pressure suddenly dropped and before we could rinse our hair, the water pressure and for all intents and purposes the water was gone.
I try to shower early in the morning when nobody else is around and the water tanks have had time to fill. This morning at 5 AM I was up and prepared for a nice warm shower, after all it is 63 degree’s here in the AM and our heater is not working. I walked into the shower, stripped down and turned the Hot water handle, nothing, not a drop. I have had these issues before so I turned the other handle and then to make sure went into the other stall and did the same. Same results.
Refusing to be discouraged I smiled, thought to myself “Isn’t this great”, and under my breath “this hotel sucks”, and readied myself to go back to the boat and get some coffee. Our marina does have 2 sets of bathrooms. One is for 90% of the slip owners and the other is about ¼ mile away on the other side of the marina near the restaurants. Figuring the water must be on at the hotel and such, I decided to take the walk.
The fun thing about Mexican plumbing is that not all the standard that apply in the US have caught on in this Latin American country. We have seen open wiring in showers, electrical outlets just above shower heads, and even what we call suicide showers where you plug in an electric shower head that heats the water at the head with glowing coils. I am sure it is all safe, but your knees go weak the first time you step into one of these places.
Anyway the most fun is that the “H” and “C” handles and for that matter pipes containing hot and cold water are not always on the left and right as they would be at home. Generally you turn the water on first anyway, so this is not a problem. Today on the other hand was more of a dilemma. I turned on what should have been the H handle and as a little sigh came out of me, water began to flow, but it was cold. I gave it some time to flow while I got undressed for the second time this morning. When my patience had expired I turned the other knob thinking perhaps it was just the plumbing. Again water flowed violently out of the shower head, but again, nothing resembling warm. Standing naked in a cool shower room, I began to get cold as well. I turned on both knobs, to see if anything better would happen.
I stood there for another couple of minutes while thoughts of defeat ran through my head. As I trembled, I wondered how long it would be before hypothermia set in and then a little thought popped into my head, “you know, I think the water is warmer”. I figured I could just duck my head in, wet it and wash my hair at least.
The 1960’s swim practice technique slowly crept into my mind and I dipped in then out. Lathered up, and dipped in again, only this time I lingered a bit and even did the “repeat” as instructed by the shampoo. I am not going to say I really enjoyed my shower, but refreshed I am, and I don’t think I smell that bad either, at least not as bad as I might have.
Engine work continues: Feb, 26, 2012
It has been a struggle this week to get stuff done on board. The inside of the boat has been pulled apart most of the week with either engine access panels undone or settee cushions out of place to work on water conditioning parts. In any case both of us have been a bit put out of place trying to adjust to the unpredictable nature of life in Mexico.
Tuesday morning there was no fresh water in the marina, and last night the water suddenly shut off in the showers. Both of us had expected to have a nice evening shower but apparently the water tanks fill at night and we were just a shower or two late so “Nada for you”. We came back down to the boat to finish up. No trouble though, Lisa just came out of our bathroom saying “Isn’t this great”, smiled and put some popcorn on for a nice evening of watching movies.
See the new update in the Dudes View if your boss is not looking.
We have added a link to the boat launching video that Lisa took the other day. See the link in the Beyond Links area or in the update just below “Love the internet”.
Love the internet: Feb 22, 2012
I am writing this as we sit in the Marina Cantina here in San Carlos. A lot has happened over the last couple of days. Most of the happenings have helped to enhance the Mexican economy and make us feel slightly suspicious of what the next 30 days will bring our way.
In the latest Dudes update you will see that we launched and had a pretty good day when all was said and done. Unfortunately the next day when we caught up with our mechanic, Hansell, we discovered that the engine had leaked about 3 quarts of oil into the bilge, the generator fuel system was froze up and of course the head (I am really tired of typing TOILET) seals all seem to have folded up thier tents and headed off for retirement.
Today, the engine is still dripping oil, the head is still broke with parts stuck in Wisconsin or some place, the generator fuel injectors have been reworked but now the fuel injection pump is broke so it has been shipped off to Guaymas for repairs. We keep chanting to ourselves that “Everything is still great” and sometimes we believe it, but regardless it beats 2 hours of San Francisco traffic.
So now that everything is broken and waiting on repairs we sit in the San Carlos Marina Cantina because the Internet connections are excellent, the beer is less than a dollar per bottle and the chips and salsa are free. I love that we don’t have internet on the boat!
Boat Launch Video: Late entry
If you would like to see the boat launching please click on this link. Maybe not the funniest video of the year, but the the 30′ cable that connects to the trailer that holds most of our possessions is kind of an interesting concept.
Launch Day: Feb 20, 2012
We will see how the day goes today. We have had a run of good luck, so if it keeps on we will motor to our berth under our own power. If not we will be towed by Panga’s. Either way we will be wet again and can then start planning the next trip.
Lisa has made a new update, take a venture into the Chicks Version. We will see what the next few hours bring.
Cleaning up: Feb 16, 2012
With the engine turning over we have moved on to preparing the bottom of the boat for the up coming trip and doing a little detail on the hull to bring BR back up to standards. As you can tell it takes a good bit of supervision to get anything done in Mexico.
The hull color was not our first choice but now that it is on i am happy with the choice. The prep work was the worst, most of it was completed on Wednesday, with just some minor touches on Thursday. Completing the painting was really quite easy with Lisa working the detail areas and Bill handling the roller and the hard to reach areas.
More on the other pages.
Beyond Reason, Going Green: Feb 14, 2012
Well we actually went green years ago by using less water to wash, solar power to fire up the laptops and stereo and drinking beer from only aluminum or glass, never plastic. Today Lisa took the extra step of doing a bit of beach cleanup in San Carlos. I think she was just bored or tired of hearing me complain about the electrical wiring and needed an outlet, but in either case the beach in San Carlos is now lots cleaner thanks to her and about 25 other people.
The real upside for me was that she won a raffle while being away from me and came how with tickets for free Margarita’s (fiesta!). Nothin’ says green to me like a little alcohol, ice, lime and salt.
Feb 12, 2012: Slowly lovin’ it
We are starting to get into the swing of life down here. Mostly it is just that we are tired so daily seista’s are the norm, and cocktails at 5 pm are beginning to come out of the galley. We’ve dropped a couple of updates on the Dude’s View, but mostly it is just reports on how the re-commissioning is going. I will say that Lisa and I had perhaps our very best meal EVER 2 days ago for lunch.
Just North of Algondones there is a fishing village. Because the village is just north of a very touristy area every house is a restaurant of some sort. We decided to take a time out for lunch and headed to the village. Stopping at Restaurante’ Gaviotta de Rico (3 tables outside in the open air) we though a bite of Marisco’s were in order. There was no menu, but the lady that owns the place told our gringo ears what was available. Hearing Fillete, Frita, Camaroons, Jiaba and caso, I was sure there was something good on the plate that I would like, though I was not sure what we would end up paying for. To our delite, we had the freshest Red Snapper filet (no bones), which was stuffed with Cheese, Crab, whole shrimp all fried together and served with a side of coleslaw (At 50 years old, this is near heaven), and a coke. Total price tag for Lisa and I, $15.00.
A beer would have gone well but for some reason many of the small stands do not sell beer, and there are now Deposito’s (government beer shops) in the village.
Feb. 9, 2012: More Chick updates.
We have settled into the dry storage marina in San Carlos, Mexico and are adjusting to the daily grind of cleaning, hoping and then repairing the things that 3 years of storage have taken a toll on. We have had a couple of real positive days to include today. Although we had setbacks today with pumps and engine solenoids Lisa was able to pop out her bongo drums and join a drum circle on the beach. To much fun.
Jan. 15, 2012: Chicks version update and News
December came and went in a blur for us. With visits both to and from our families it was tough to put anything down about all the work we actually accomplished as well.
Lisa and I decided it was time to start purging a bit of the two and a half decades worth of stuff we had accumulated or we may never be able to launch another voyage, so that is what we did.
In late November was purchased a 20 foot Ocean Container and have placed that into long term “parking” or storage. It has taken weeks but we are finally able to see all the walls and floors in the house once again.
During this “cleaning” period we did have a visit from our grandson and his parents (our son and daughter in law). It is probably one of the greatest parental dreams to be able to see mush filled head of your son solidify just a bit in a spark of genius or talent. On the night of Dec 11th, just one day before Lisa and my anniversary, Hans and I sat down and strummed a little Ukulele.
Ukulele is not going to save the world, and most likely not going to feed Han’s family, but it was nice to see what had taken me nearly 2 years to learn, he was able to pickup in a short 30 minute session. I believe in the picture shown we are actually playing “Sheena is a punk rocker”. Lisa, Shane and Anya all seemed pleased when we stopped, but the sound of the adjacent neighbors slamming there windows shut near the end of the song sounded like Beatles fans at Shay Stadium in NY, or for you Spinal Tap fans, the audience at Xanadu Star Theater in Cleveland incessantly clapping and screeching.
It was a nice way to end the year. Lisa and I are looking forward to the coming months of more sunshine (Winter Solstice was 21 Dec.) in our lives and a chance to shake off what has been a cold (daily temps dropping into the 50’s) winter for us.
We have added a video that Lisa and I made up from our trip to Alaska last month. We booked a flight on a De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver for a flight over the Misty Fjords in Ketchikan. Lisa enjoyed the ride but I was ecstatic. Truly this the next purchase we will make if we ever sell Beyond Reason. Of course neither will likely come true, but it is good to have a plan if you live to 100.
You will notice that we are using Veoh instead of Youtube. Youtube has actually become quite restrictive and from my point of view unfair. We had originally posted the video on Youtube, and you can still view it there in an abridged version. You will notice that there is no background sound track as Youtube forced us to use their studio background music or none at all. If you look closely on the Youtube site you will also notice ads at the bottom and an advertisement from Warner Music Group on the right hand side with the link for the original music we had added as a second track beside the roar of the Beaver’s engine. I am not averse to WMG’s ad and in fact think it is fair advertisement for the music we enjoy, but Youtube requiring us to take the music off and accept the ads is just wrong. Veoh does not have the restrictions so you can hear and see the video in it’s original form.
Anyway, enjoy the content. The website is alive and well and we hope to add a bunch more current content in the upcoming months.
Feb 20, 2011: Holy Smokes what happened to the pictures!
Holy smokes is right, it has been nearly a year since we posted anything on the website. As you can see we have made some minor changes. We have moved the original website to http://www.beyondreasonarchive.us. All the original material is there. New travel fun and challenges will be posted here in the near future.
Watch for changes as we expand some of our pages and input new content.