Now that’s entertainment:

While sitting and waiting forSantiago bay beach sites (11) our package from Garmin to arrive from UPS we thought about some of the entertainment experiences we have had here in Mexico and especially in Santiago.   Though the video we are posting is not a full fledged “Curious Productions” videos, we thought it made a good addition to the library of video’s we have on line.   As usual all you need to do is to go over to the side bar (that is just to your right of this article) and scroll down to the Beyond Reason Video Gallery.   Click on Entertainment Santiago Style.  If you are still challenged you can just click here as well and it will take you to Veoh which is were many of our videos are also posted.

 

The video will be best if you turn up the volume and turn down the lights.   It is short so you won’t have time for popcorn, but if you are watching this at work you will most likely have time to view it before you boss comes back around.

 

Enjoy the video then think of why you spend $60 to $100 to go to a Jimmy Buffet, Tom Jones, Van Halen or any other concert.   Ritchie Valens eat your heart out.

Update alert

La Hadas Submarine com

Guess what Bill wants for his Birthday?

Both the Chicks and the Dudes sites have been updated.   We are both surprised that Sparky has actually beat us to the punch as the most recent updater, but then again he is sneaky and although we guard the amps used by the computers closely, he is home alone on Pirate Watch a lot more than we like to admit.   Enjoy.

Delays in Paradise

Still waiting on the Garmin Package we had expected last week.   The card is currently in Guadalajara but expected to deliver into Barra de Navidad sometime tomorrow.  That means that Bill will be taking a Bus into town and then a bus into Barra to pickup the card and return via Bus back to Manzanillo and then by bus back to the boat.

 

We are not expecting the new map card to do much as we have tried the Chart Plotter both with and without the card and we still have the same issues.   Las Hadas comWe are troopers though and if Garmin wants us to stand on our heads, we have nothing better to do than do so and then ask them for another new chart plotter to replace the bad one that we have.  We both have are fingers crossed.

 

On the positive side we are in a lovely anchorage free from most bugs and less rolly than some others we have been in.   The liquer locker is full and we have a chicken in the freezer so how bad can waiting really be.

 

Sparky has updated his page and Bill is sure to do the same soon.   Lisa is working on a novel so keep your eye’s peeled for that.

 

Diving has not been good on the Mexican side so nothing more to report there.   Enjoy your day commuting can be fun.

Another day in Paradise

paradise 2 com We had to move venues today.   The local establishments did not have internet or big screen TV.   Today we are in Las Hadas.   We moved to get the football play-offs tomorrow and because we thought the local color was a bit nicer for Sunday morning.

Had a bit of a scare today when our main water line broke.   Bill was trying to locate the leak and when he touched a plastic elbow that had a drop on it the whole thing just sort of exploded. la buena vida com Typical stuff for us, so Lisa shut down the water and then we both began looking for replacement parts on the boat.   15 minutes later we were ready to depart.  When we coupled that episode with the morning dive we did on an old freighter wreck in Santiago Bay we figured we deserved a bit of a change.   It’s a tough life but somebody has to do it.

WL2K /Crab Cakes anyone?

“Yup, he’s in there how should we get him out?!” Sometimes I just have to laugh at the things that happen to us on a day to day basis. Today was just another day in Mexico.

We woke up very early today and I don’t know why. Lisa couldn’t sleep and then with all the lights on in the boat, I couldn’t either. When eight o’clock rolled around Lisa started the Amigo net. The Amigo net is a Single Side Band net that has a primary purpose to pass along weather information to mariners and people in Mexico that care about such things. Lisa has been doing this net on and off for several months filling in for controllers that are absent or in marina’s which normally means that their transmissions are a bit light on the radio.

I cooked breakfast for Lisa while she did her radio duty, then took Sparks out for a walk and finally returned back to the boat around 9:30 am. Lisa had already started doing laundry and when she saw me return put me on notice that today was “clean the boat day” and she would not stand for me giving her any unwanted attention or moping about the house trying to get her to go do something “adventurous”. I know when I am beat so I looked around the boat for something to do and finally figured it was time to clean the bottom of the old girl.

Last February we put a new coat of paint on the bottom of the boat and up till now we have done very little to keep things clean and smooth down there. The Mexican Comex bottom paint has held up well and as far as I can tell with a little maintenance we will get another good 6 months or more out of this single coat. I would not say that is typical, so a small golf clap for Comex is probably in order.

I got out my tools which consisted of a plastic putty knife for most of the things I would find attached to the bottom and a metal putty knife for those pieces of real hard stuff that sometimes find themselves attached to the prop. The biggest part of the job was actually the line of green fur that extended about 1″ under water and the barnacles that had attached themselves to the very bottom of the keel. Up until the time I attacked the big barnacles I was pretty much injury free, but not free from other pests.

In the past we have cleaned the bottom and when I came up at the end of the job I have been covered in small shrimp and sometimes a funny looking worm or two. These are dealt with by just rinsing off with clean sea water and then a quick shower to freshen up for Lisa. This time it was miniature crabs. I will post a picture that we took later, but since this will be posted first by Ham Radio, I won’t include any, so use your imagination.

No sooner had I appeared over the gunnels that Lisa was telling me I had a crab on my arm, on my legs, in my hair etc. I believe that most of the crabs came from the 1″ layer of grass near the water line, but then again I was under the keel for quite a while with a steady rain of barnacle chips, seaweed and what not falling on me for at least a full 30 minutes. The crabs flicked off pretty easy and I sat in the cockpit dripping dry in the warm sun while sipping a cool Indio beer. Eventually my ears started to drain (being underwater does that sometimes) and I dabbed at the moisture with my towel. Lisa had just taken notice of all the scrapes and cuts that I had successfully added to my body when I told her I though I might have a crab in my ear. “Yup, he’s in there, how should we get him out!” she said as she smiled and giggled slightly at my misfortune.

Lisa thought we crabs comshould us needle-nose pliers, but I opted for the less obtrusive formula of a warm cup of clean water. It didn’t take long before not just one but two crabs popped their heads out of my right ear. Taking a lesson from Sparky I shook my head and both appeared on the cockpit floor, fine. A couple of minutes later and the other ear started to tingle as two more crabs came out of the left ear. I can’t say for sure that they are all out even now but if they remain all I can hope for is that they trim up a little of the old man hair that has started to appear in there.

Always a good time on the Gold Coast of Mexico.

WL2K /Explained and other news

Tenisol comTypically we do not write the home page from a singular standpoint but Lisa asked me to explain why the //WL2K was showing up on some of our posts. The mails (//WL2K) are from our Ham radio. This is the same process that the replica of the HMS Bounty used just a couple of months ago during Hurricane Sandy to contact the US Coast Guard when their ship foundered off of Cape Hatteras. 14 Lives were saved because of this protocol and we are using it today to send updates as we cruise down the coast of Mexico. Be assured there are many radio waves just dedicated to emergency traffic and we avoid sending over those channels.

Today we have spent the afternoon on Carizel cove diving the living coral reef there. For me it was quite an experience as I left my spear gun behind to just enjoy the diversity of fish life that live here. Amongst the reef fish were many Sturgeon fish, Banded Butterfly’s, Moorish Idols, Damsels, Blenny’s, Sergeants and Trigger fish. Unfortunately we saw very few large fish, but perhaps that helped me along so I didn’t get distracted and was able to just enjoy the afternoon snorkeling and lavishing the 80 degree water.

On the Garmin front we have received no emails from them today (Monday). We tested the GPS today and while I was writing this update the unit failed again. Garmin is starting to put them into the category of ICOM radio. No response and a failed product (2 units, 2 failures). I will write more about this tomorrow but for now we are sticking to Santiago until the unit performs correctly. That’s it for updates.

We have dinner tonight on Harmony, our friends from Anacortes Washington. We will pick up the GPS woes in the morning. Enjoy your commute; we will enjoy the water, the warm air and the sunset with cocktails.

Santiago Mexico, fresh air again

We finally pulled away from the bottom of the Barra de Navidad lagoon. We gave up, temporarily, on Garmin, picked up our skirts and wandered across the pond and out the entrance.

No sooner had we left the lagoon and all our troubles seem to just vanish. We both know that big cities or large marinas make us a bit on edge and leaving just proved the point. Santiago Ramadas comSantiago is only 20 miles south of Barra but it feels miles away. We have already been in the water, which is something we haven’t done in almost 2 months. Additionally we are making clean, fresh, reverse osmoises water again.

Everything is well and we are looking forward to another great day. This is being sent by Ham radio, so no pictures today.

Garmin Radar Chart Plotter woes

Normal screen before brown out com

This is the Chart plotter when it is working correctly, you can see we are in the water and the shoreline as well.

We really do like our Garmin Chart plotter when it works.   The only issue with the system is that when it goes down we loose everything, Radar, GPS, maps the whole works.    A month ago we had problems with the brand new unit we bought in July 2012.   The unit appeared to overheat then loose all of it’s map information.    We were still able to navigate as the Radar worked and the GPS still gave an accurate signal of where we were.   This information could be transcribed onto a paper chart with ease and away we would go.

After involving a sales manager and an ex-marine electronics guru, we were able to have a new unit sent to San Diego and then brought down to us in Mexico.    It has worked for just about 30 days, most of that at anchor or in the marina.

Today, after fixing the problem with the “advertising screen” yesterday, the unit developed a new issue.   Although the unit is not warm, it is losing it’s map detail once again.    We called Garmin this morning and it looked like they would ship us a new unit.   3 hours later we received a mail from Garmin asking for photo’s and suggesting that it might not be an issue with the unit, but perhaps with the Garmin data card that shows all the mapping.

brown out of normal screen cvom

This is what the screen looks like when it doesn’t function correctly. Notice the shoreline is gone but the old track remains, as does the GPS position in the right lower corner.

As requested we sent photo’s.   Both of us have worked in customer service and what we are seeing now from Garmin is a failure to communicate even basic information back to us.   We have sat in the boat waiting for emails confirming that the pictures were received or that a new unit is on the way and have yet to see anything.  We are not yet ready to add Garmin to the list of Bad Companies to deal with (ICOM) but it is getting close.    It is frustrating to have 2 units go out, more frustrating when you are eating up time that could be enjoyed elsewhere, and double frustrating when you have checked out of a country and can’t leave or even tell when you will leave because you are waiting on a simple email.

Hopefully Garmin is working in the background so diligently that they don’t have time to keep us informed.  Hopefully.

 

More Radar issues

We should have left today.   We both woke up early to get the boat prepped for departing south and eventually getting out of Mexico (per our exit Visa requirements).    The propane tank that we dropped off yesterday was still in Colimilla so Bill  had to fire up the dinghy early.  Sparky hoped in with hopes of visiting the beach one more time before we made our way south.   All was well and both Bill and Sparks’ returned about 30 minutes later.   Bill had additional good news as he had checked with the local fuel pump and they did indeed have diesel.

With the tide high we pulled the anchor which had been sitting in mud for the last week or so.   The mud casing required flushing off so retrieving the the 160 feet of chain took about 45 minutes to complete.   With the anchor up we turned on the GPS/Radar/Chart Plotter that we had just had refurbished by Garmin just 30 days earlier and after the Splash screen came up with the advertisement about it being a Garmin product, the unit froze.

garmin comTypically we may not have been fazed by this but the trail in to the Barra Lagoon is pretty tight and veering off of it by just a couple of feet could put us into trouble, so we fiddled with the unit and eventually gave up.   The decision to drop the anchor again was made and frustration started to raise it’s head again.

We decided we needed Internet to try to solve the problem and 2 hours later we had discussed the issue with Garmin and had a potential solution.   Apparently this happens to some of the units so it was explained that if we held a glass of water in one hand, hit the up error with another and pressed the on button with yet another hand the unit could be forced to skip the Garmin Advertisement and move into functioning mode again.

Back on the boat, we put all our hands together and performed exorcism which appeared to work, but the last thing the Garmin rep had told us was to download the latest software (again) before continuing.    Of course this required a second trip into town for more Internet as the file was 107 megabits large.    Another 2 hours go by (Mexican Internet is not always quick), and Lisa decided to take the dog back to the boat and return with refreshments.

After 3 hours Bill was down to the last couple of megabits when his friends Jim and Susan came in to say hello, sort of.    What they actually wanted to tell him was that Lisa had hit a sandbar on the way back to the boat and the dinghy engine might have a bit of a problem (at this point the engine would not restart).   Unfazed Bill completed the download and then hitched a ride with Jim back to the boat.

Lisa was welcoming, in a shy way, with cold beers to try to keep tempers down, after all it was nearly 2pm now and the troubles looked like they were just starting to appear.   Ultimately the dinghy engine just had a bit of sand in the intake and it roared to life without any issues.

We did get the latest version of software loaded onto the chart plotter and it does appear to be functioning correctly but because of the late hour the tide had shifted and we no longer have enough water in the lagoon to exit safely so we will remain for one more day, or at least till we see what Garmin has in store us in the morning.

Invisible updates

Barra butterfly comWe have been working for weeks now on updating the site.   After the switch to the new hosting company we have slowly been rebuilding the archives.   I am fairly sure that most people have never looked at the archives unless you have been with us for years.   They chronicle the previous years that we have sailed either the Sea of Cortez or the waters of Northern California.

 

I am happy to say that we have completed all the updates from 2006 to present.   The archives include all the original pictures that have been posted on this site over the years.   For us it was actually great fun to re-visit the areas that have been buried deep in our memories.   We are still not done as the Maintenance log still is not complete, but will soon be.

Sparky has also updated his site with a new beach log.  He doesn’t write often but when he does it is usually a fun read.

The picture posted is from a walk we took on the golf course the other day.  The colors look enhanced but really this photo was not touched.  Enjoy your commute.