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Spreading Peace and Love to all Humanity…. The Archives

Who are we?  Bill and Lisa from Winters, California.  Our dog is Sparky a wild Wire Haired Fox Terrier.  We have been sailing together on the San Francisco Bay for about 15 years.

Beyond Reason, a 1979 Hans Christian 43 Ketch is our second sailboat.  While initially looking at her we thought there was no way we could afford a boat of this size.  We made an unreasonable offer and it was accepted.  To this day we shake our heads and say “WOW”.  This was our dream boat and still is.

We have two kids.  One is in the Army as an MP and the other is attending Sacramento State University to become a nurse.  We are not rich by any means (you should have seen Bill’s car) we just have saved some money for retirement and decided to spend some of it before it is too late to enjoy.

We hope you will get a chance to read about our adventures while at work wishing you were somewhere else.  It was us doing that very same thing that helped us to decide “let’s just set a date and do it”.  We will make it work some how.

Latest Update

 

Another year gone by…..August 5th, 2009

 

 

_wsb_335x234_Hassle2Bfree-comIt has nearly been a year since we have put the boat up on the hard in San Carlos, Mexico.    Lisa and I are doing fine and have found new jobs to help re-build the cruising funds.   The first few months were very stressful as we watched our savings plummet, the job market fade, and while still dealing with the same old issues we may have been having on the boat only in a less tropical and relaxing atmosphere:  I am talking about car troubles.

 

On the Chic’s page is a picture of Lisa’s new to her $5,000 car.   At the time it seemed like a good deal to us, even though it was a quick reminder of how fast the debt adds up in the USA.   Within the first 3 months we added another $5,000 to our local debt in the form of a new transmission and the bills continue to roll in now on a nearly monthly basis.   Just looking at the first two numbers reminds us that we could have kept cruising for another 8 months just on what was spent on the car!

 

Aside from the car, everything is fine and functioning here.   Our employers are good to us and we are enjoying some of the things we missed the first time around in California; weekly bike rides on the local paths and dinghy rides around the delta and bay waters that surround the San Francisco area.

 

On the boat front we did get a chance to visit our boat just a couple of weeks ago.   It was a whirlwind affair that took us to the Grand Canyon, San Carlos Mexico, Santa Rosilia in Baja California and finally back home in 8 days.   The boat looked great but the tarps we had covered the boat with were a little worse for wear.  In our evaluation the boat looked no worse than if we would have left it for a month in our old marina on Alameda

island, only cleaner

since there is no freeway

 

in San Carlos.

 

After a quick look at the boat on Monday we drove downSan2BCarlos2Bvaca-com

to the local hotel and paid $27 for a room with a jacuzzi just

outside the door

and relaxed for a couple of hours before heading to bed and eventually waking to a perfect 100 degree day in Mexico, perfect for re-tarping the boat and building a good beer thirst!

 

The work went a little slower than we had thought so our plan of renting motor scooters quickly went out the door as we had a ferry appointment on Wednesday.   By Tuesday night we had finished the work and thoughts of a nice dip in the jacuzzi were swimming in our heads until we got back to the hotel.   I don’t know how this happens but the jacuzzi had been invaded by no less than 20 kids with blowup dolphins, Shamu’s, water wings, Kool-aid, Candy bars etc.  The air conditioned room was almost as nice.

 

Wednesday through Saturday went by in a flash, but I will have to tell you about that later as work is calling and I am writing this real time.

 

40 Days and 40 Nights….November 11th, 2008

 

I included the picture of paradise here because a picture of me at the kitchen Nice2Bshots2Bof2BAnimas2Bslot2Bat2Bfull2Btide2B242882429-comtable working on the job board just didn’t seem to have any artistic appeal and those of you who have jobs certainly can’t dream of leaving it all behind with me staring at you from a computer terminal all hunkered down for battle with job applications.

 

It hasn’t really been 40 days and nights either, but I liked the title so used it with a little poetic license.  If you really need the truth we have been officially unemployed for 38 days.  Of course if you are reading the national stats on unemployment, those stat’s only include people who have been laid off, fired or furloughed; it doesn’t include those who decided to take a break and enjoy life.

 

With the advent of companies like Monster.Com and Careerbuilders.Com, the application process for work has appeared to become easier than ever. In the span of a couple of hours you can now apply for jobs both near and far which might have taken a full day or more to do just 10 years ago. Some of the websites even allow you to save a selection of resumes which makes it that much easier to apply for multiple jobs types at the click of a button. In my case I have a resume prepared for my normal work as a glorified forklift driver and for the more demanding work as a Varnisher, painter or bilge scrubber. Additionally there is room on these sites to prepare a number of cover pages to send to prospective employers. After sending out resume after resume it has finally dawned on me that even though the ease of applying for jobs increased the job of the Human Resource professional must be overwhelming at times. Heck if I can send our 5 – 10 applications per day, there must be others that are even more proficient (or at least think more highly of themselves so they can apply for jobs they may not be qualified in the least to do) at sending letters out. The competition, although perhaps no larger than before has now been clouded by so many resumes it appears that pure luck reigns in getting your resume noticed.

My guess is that 1 in 10 of my applications gets a screening, and of those perhaps half get a follow up phone call. So there is interest out there. Another thing that I am finding is that the number of applicants must certainly slow down the process of selecting potential employees. With a single exception most calls come 10 to 15 days after the initial application. This is not to say that I apply on the day the job description comes out on the web. Many of my applications have been put in a week or more after the initial job offering. I have to guess that some employers are just testing the applicant waters and have no real intention of hiring; others I think are just bogged down in the surge of applicants.

Once an offer is extended it is funny to see how the next progression occurs. Many companies require drug and alcohol screening, while others don’t require either. The type of job doesn’t seem to make a difference as they all vary. The most absurd check we have seen happened recently while my background was being checked. Having lived in the same home with the same wife and children for nearly 20 years and having less than a handful of jobs in that same time usually leads to a fairly speedy background check. One company added a twist to this by asking me to document our last year in Mexico. Their concern was that I may have left my job in September of last year and spent the past year in a Mexican jail!!

We asked if this website was enough documentation to prove our “innocents” but the company would not accept it as proof so more documentation was needed. The company official gave me a number of choices: Contact the Mexican police and get a non-existent criminal record or I could contact one of the following to get a letter of reference attesting to my lawful entry and exit from Mexico: My Clergy, a Judge, A police officer, or someone in a management position who can write a letter of testament on company letter head. Not trying to be difficult I had to laugh at the last offering. We have a multi-page listing of our activities for the last 2 years on our website that is in-admissible, but yet if I find a previous employer, employee or contact that has access to company letterhead and holds the title of “Manager” that would suffice. The Official stated that my summation was correct so I sent a letter off to my good friend and previous work partner John and hours later sent the letter off to the official. I am still waiting for confirmation of my innocents but feel it is just around the corner.

So we continue to wait. The days click off the calendar, work around home is pretty much completed or at least has come to standstill due to income issues and I look forward to each day in anticipation of any email or phone call that might bring the magic words of “we are happy to extend an offer..” My Mexican training in Patience has paid off in spades as I use it on a daily basis.

 

One step forward..26, October 2008

 

We have taken the first step towards re-entering the American dream.   Lisa has secured employment and is very nearly the happiest person in the world.   Bill is still highlighting the T.V. guide trying to coordinate viewing of Public Television political programs and Dr. Phil.

 

We both feel that soon everything will turn around and we will be securely ensconced in the American Dream, commuting hundreds of miles each day to make money to pay the mortgage, pay taxes, pay for fuel, pay for garbage, pay for water and at the end of the month invest what remains in stocks that only seem to go down in value.   On the bright side we know there is light at the end of the tunnel because both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barrack Obama have told us they are concerned for our plight and as soon as they take office everything will be better…Really, they have a plan.   We are voting though I don’t know that either will get our votes.

 

Lisa has updated her side of the website so if you have time take a look.   There are no pictures to accompany the text yet, but we will update as soon as we find something to photograph.

 

New Update in the Chicks Version..18, October 2008

 

Lisa2Bhappy2Bin2Bwhoville-comLisa has put an update on to the  Chicks Version page.    She swears she has been busy putting stuff away and making the house hers after her long absents so you will have to forgive the tardiness of the new writing.

 

Lisa also has promised that there will be more writing later this week to bring her section completely up to date.

 

I think we made a video!   15, October 2008

 

With all the free time we have lately we thought we would give movie making a try.   Actually we have a large stash of pictures from the trip and over the last year have made a number of “videos” using the stills we acquired at the time.   The videos were sent out to close family members and so we thought maybe instead of stories of woo and despair we would try to project the happier image of past times and share a little of our treasure trove of artistic talent.

 

If you clink on this Link it will take you to  You Tube where the video/slide show is stored

 

October 14th,  Turn the page…

 

When we started our trip a little over a year ago I thought I would never tire of hearing how brave we were to just quit our jobs and head off to sea. Many people were amazed at how calm we were to drop everything, dig into our savings and sail into the great unknown and the harsh environments that mother nature could dish out at a moments notice. For Lisa and I none of this really phased us, we had made some calculations, the economy was good; not great but how bad could things really get anyway; our children where either in school or married and toiling through a life of their own, so why not enjoy the fruits of our labor. What we hadn’t actually calculated was the cost, danger and isolation of coming home with bills chasing our heels and no income to support a life that seemed so normal when we left.

I still don’t believe we are gifted, spoiled or live a life that most people could never expect to achieve, but slowly (it is now day seven since we have arrived back home) my mind is changing and leaning towards the spoiled theory. What I took for granted as a normal everyday middle management job seems to have been the exception. For lack of better terms I consider myself a glorified forklift driver with a knack for leadership. Leadership is a talent that probably most of us have, and if you are raising good kids your talent for leadership is definitely better than some, but yet many people like to hide behind their “follower” traits as it is just easier. Heck if I didn’t need the money, or rather if I didn’t have dreams that require money I would hide behind my follower as well. Unfortunately Lisa and I had ideas of owning a small house outside the hustle of the big city, enter Winters, California. For the cost of 1/3 the price of homes in San Jose, California we were able to purchase our house. We have lived in the home for 15 years and are now on our second 15 year loan. 5 years ago we were able to purchase our boat by refinancing our home for a little more than our original purchase price. Our home loan is well under $2000.00 per month and with no car loans, credit card bills, college tuition, child care or any other recurring bills we are still having a difficult time finding jobs that will pay the bills and leave a small bit of change left over to pay the cost of storing the boat in Mexico.

What we failed to consider when we left was that the same jobs would not be available, the cost of living would go up but working class salaries would not keep up with it, unemployment insurance would not be available for us because we didn’t get fired, laid off or leave for good reason (what better reason could you have), and nearly all of our networking partners have left for other jobs or were a part of some company consolidation. I think the scariest part of leaving on a cruising trip is coming home and finding out the facts one at a time as they pop up in front of you like lawmen at the O.K. Corral.

Obviously we didn’t believe we would come back and step right into jobs as if we had never left, but our recent view of employee compensation looks like this months stock market charts compared to last year. We just weren’t prepared to hear the salaries offered but over the last week have developed a whole new attitude towards “less is more”.

 

With a full week of job searching completed we are now more prepared to tighten our belts, suck in our pride, give up the perks of times gone by and grovel at the feet of future employers for just enough to keep the backyard green and the fuel pumps tallies spinning like never ending slot machines.

 

It’s a brave new world out there, wish we were prepared.

 

 

October 3rd, 2008…No Job, no money, no beaches, we’re back in the USA

 

We have made the transition to the USA and as usual we ran into some interesting pitfalls that we did not expect.  We will need to re-wind a bit to get the full story out so stay tuned and we will get an update into one of the sections before the end of the week.

 

Lisa and I are deep in the job search process and hope to land something quickly before we have to get into the un-employment lines.   Sparky is happy to be home and has quickly moved from Pirate Watch Captain to Haranguer of Possums and all things furry in the back yard without missing a step. The house itself is in fine shape after being watched over by our daughter for the last year.   There have only been a few minor things to clean-up and repair but we are still trying to figure out how the foot prints got on the ceiling!  Kids.

 

 

September 30th, 2008…Boat at rest, people exhausted


A quick update to let you know what we are up to. Normally we would put up a picture to go with the text, but today we are just a little too busy to download the pictures of the boat being hauled on the hydraulic trailer. The process went very smooth although we still felt nervous about the process till the trailer delivered the boat to the hard stand area about 1 mile away.

If anyone thinks that putting a boat to bed for 1 year is an easy process let me be the first to say it is not. The physical work is not bad even though I strongly dislike folding sails, cleaning and putting things away in tight places, but the emotional tension is pretty overwhelming. Both Lisa and I are on edge. I imagine our edginess is more from not knowing exactly how to proceed than missing the boat when we leave. There are so many little things to attend to and much of the work overlaps other processes so we are constantly getting in each others way as we try to finish the job in just a day or two. I am glad that we started de-rigging the boat last week as it has helped quite a bit.

To compound issues a bit further it seems that everything that I was worried would fail after long term storage is breaking now. The water maker quit working yesterday when we tried to put it into storage mode. I took it home (the hotel) with us last night and hope that the re-build did the job. We also had the generator shut down on us while trying to flush it with fresh water. We haven’t checked into the generator problem though we suspect it is due to the water intake being below the generator water pump now that we are on dry land. Lack of water flow would have increased the exhaust temperature and the generator has an auto shutdown mode for just this type of thing. We will check the generator when we return.

Today we will complete covering the boat and putting up the “tin windows” to keep excess heat and sunlight off the interior. We expect to leave Mexico before midnight tonight and carry on through Arizona and California early tomorrow morning.

 

Will try to get pictures later today or tomorrow.

 

Thursday, 25 September…Calling all Employers!

 

The days keep clicking off and Lisa and I continue to work on the boat to make her (the boat, not Lisa) ready for storage.    We have contacted a number of friends and mechanical guru’s for advice on shutting down the engine and systems and have tried to incorporate as many of the ideas as seemed rational.  At this point we are left with just the mainsail and a couple of small ropes that will be pulled on Monday.

 

During our off time we are busy running to town to fill propane, buy another days worth of food, dreaming up lists of things that we have missed, calling credit card companies to re-instate our cards that haven’t been used in a years and sorting through rental car companies to find the best deals.  We think we are ready.

 

Lisa has provided another update so it might be fun to take a look at her page today.  I will be headed to the states for the first time in a year on Saturday evening to get the rental car and then early Monday morning we haul the boat.

 

The future of this site (updates anyway) is up in the air.   We will most likely add a couple of comments over the next month just to provide and update on our “re-entry”, but after that updates may only come every 6 months or so as we re-prepare the boat for further travel.

 

Last item of interest is employment.   Both Lisa and I have been searching the web, searching past contacts and bugging friends for jobs.  It looks like everything will be ok from the responses we have gotten but if you happen to need a fantastic Executive Assistant or someone to run your warehouse or transportation company please don’t hesitate to give us a call.   Honestly we haven’t forgotten much and our experience over the last year has probably made us better employees than had we just stayed home.

 

For those who couldn’t care less about our jobs we apoligize in advance for the shameless advertisement but it is our website and so far this is about the only ad that has ever been placed on it.

 

9 Days and counting…September 20th, 2008

Time keeps marching on and we keep adding to our plan for departure. We have a rental car set up for the 28th of September, our haul date has been set for the 29th of September and we have an apartment rented for a couple of days while we work on the hauled boat.

 

The apartment is a bit decadent with a hot tub, king size bed, air conditioning, hot shower, clean towels, freezer and refrigerator all for $28 per night.   Yes, nothing but the best for us.

 

We have purchased most of the supplies needed to de-commission the boat and hope to start working on pulling sails and halyards tomorrow.

We continue to add to all the different pages on the site, so take a look if you have time while at work. We will be joining you in the vicarious life soon.

 

September 15th, 2008…Waiting for something to happen


The site is just about fully up to date. We have added some new items to the Dude, Chick and Sparky pages. Details on our eventual haul and how we get ourselves back to the US are still forthcoming. The cushions should be sent later today but that still needs to pan out as well.

The weather has been fine lately with average daily temperature ranging in the mid eighties. The water remains warm and the clarity improves daily. I was actually inspired this morning by the clarity and dived on the boat to clean the bottom. Unlike previous cleanings there was minimal growth and being able to see the whole boat while underwater was a nice change of pace. Lisa has been inspired as well by the temperatures and baked some enchiladas last night. As usual she does best when she has limited resources to work with and the meal was just scrumptious.

Enjoy the reading.

 

September 10th, 2008…Hurricanes 0, Us 2.


The Chicks Version is once again updated!   We have been working hard at aligning all the stars to get our boat hauled and put to bed, the dog home, a job lined up and still enjoy the treats of hurricanes and Tropical storms.   So far things are working out well.   The perfect job offer has not come in yet, but we figure that is just around the corner.

 

This week we were to get hit by Tropical Storm/Him-a-cane Lowell.   The storm made a hard right turn yesterday and was set to track directly to Guaymas/San Carlos, but even though the track has not changed the storm has now been downgraded and we don’t expect any wind over 25 knots so there is little to do except get soap on the boat and find a clear day to wax.

 






Sept 6th, 2008

 

 

The dudes View has been updated with more pictures and a travel log that will get us into late August (I know it’s September already).   We also added our thoughts on what has worked on the trip and what needed a bit more thought.   Enjoy the reading.    Lisa is working deligently between naps, feedings and relaxing in the warm Mexican air, on her updates.   Should be up soon.

 

 

September 2nd, 2008…..1 year later

 

 

Well we have passed the 1 year mark and now find that it is time to return to work.   Lisa and I have been enjoying San Carlos while sending out feelers to prospective employers over the last couple of days.   If everything goes as planned we should be returning the boat to the US during the most active time of the Hurricane season.   Lucky for us there have only been about 4 Hurricanes in the last 40 years that have transited up the West Coast of the Baja Peninsula during this time of year.

 

We had a chance to rent a motor scooter the other day and visited the Nacapule’ Canyon.   What a treat this was to get out into the open and find palm trees and gurgling streams within just a few miles of town.   When we get a chance we will detail the entire trip but let us say this is “must see” area if you happen to be in San Carlos.   While on the subject we have been in town now for almost 5 days and I can’t find a thing negative to say.  The beer is cheap, the marina allows us to tie up the dinghy for free, food is reasonable and everyone appears to be happy to be here, Lisa and I included.

 

We updated the Dudes View the other day so if you haven’t taken a look in a while it might be worth the view.

 

Lisa and I will try to put up the requisite “What works and what you don’t need for the Trip” a little later in the week.   Seems every website has this topic but I think we may have a bit of a different take.

 

Tomorrow we should resolve our upholstery issues and hopefully by Monday we will have the replacement cushions from Tapics and Peiles in Mazatlan.

 

 

 

August 29th, 2008, San Carlos, Sonora Mexico
After a long drought of no internet service we have finally located an establishment that can provide fast internet with plenty of bandwidth to update the website.   Over the last month service like this has been hard to find.

The Chick Version is once again update with many of the stories that we have compiled over the last month or so.   We should be here for another week or perhaps a bit more.  Honestly this place is beautiful both in hospitality and in the natural landscaping.   The recent rains have turned the surrounding hills green and everything has a fresh feeling.

Enjoying the dream

 

August 3rd, 2008..


New updates and pictures in the Chicks Version.  Our time has been short in Santa Rosalia but we will be moving on in the morning for Bahia Trinidad and then Bahia De Los Angeles.


There is internet coverage in the Bahia De Los Angeles so we should be able to add updates through out the next month.   We are told BLA (Bahia De Los Angeles) is the holy grail of Baja so are looking forward to some fascinating photo’s and adventures.

 

 

 

 

July 30th, 2008…Computer is working:  Now that didn’t take long!


We finally got the computer up and running, almost correctly.   We have moved to Santa Rosilia and will be here for a couple of more days before moving on to the Northern Sea of Cortez.


Lisa has added a bunch of updates, though pictures are in short supply due to the hard drive crash.   Hope to have more soon.

 

July 9th, 2008…Y2K strikes!!

In Texas they have a saying that if you don´t like weather just wait a couple of minutes and it will change. We are not in Texas! We have spent the last week in Bahia de Conception where the weather pattern is static. Much like the “Deposito´s” that I spoke of before where you can get anything you like as long as it´s beer, weather in Bahia Conception is perfect if you like it to be 87 degrees outside, 87 degrees inside, 87 degrees in the water and 87 degrees at night.
The fans on the boat are on day and night to try and moderate the temperatures but quite honestly blowing 87 degree air around the room just makes the boat 87 degrees anyway.

The water hear is beautifully clear and each day we enjoy a different morsel from the sea. Living is cheap and the days go by lazily as we look over the blue green water and across the white sand beaches. Lisa has even motivated me to blow up all the pool toys so we dip into the water every couple of hours and float from boat to boat visiting others who are doing the same.

On a bit of a sour note we have lost the use of our computer. The computer loss includes many of our most recent pictures so we are a bit bummed.

We hitch hiked into Muleje´ a couple of days ago and wrangled up a computer whiz head who has now located a new hard drive for us in
La Paz and guesses he can fix our laptop by Wednesday. Until then, no pictures.

We will be heading out of our current anchorage tomorrow morning and heading for the lower portion of Bahia Conception where we are told there is a place that makes a mean hamburger. When we return we will try and update once more before pushing on to Santa Rosilia which should take a week or two.

One last thing before I end this segment. While coming around Punta Conception last week we experienced our first “Wild” weather. We were sailing happily along most of the night and just as we were within 10 miles of our destination we got hit with 38 knot winds (approx 45 MPH)..The boat handled the weather in stride and after shortening sail just a bit we pressed on to a tiny cove that we thought would offer some shelter. 1 hour later we arrived in the cove and the winds dropped to a pleasant 15 knots allowing us just enough time to anchor before the wind piped up again and shifted directions to allow 4 foot rollers to enter the cove! This was the most dangerous situation we have been in since leaving California.

The boat pitched hard into each of the incoming seas and then reared back on her quarters as the wave passed and another one approached. The bucking was so wild that our anchor chain jumped out of it´s chain gypsey (for those in Winters that is the chain holder thingie that keeps us secured to the chain and anchor) causing us to rush up on deck to mend the trouble. Alas it was all over in 1 hour so call it just another adventure in paradise.
June 26th, Puerto Escondido, Baja Sur
We have arrived at the hidden port of Puerto Escondito, Baja. The last 7 days have been filled with fabulous sailing (no motor necessary), snorkeling, exploring for hot springs, fishing and just some general beach combing.

Lisa and I have updates with all the details, we just have to put the documents on the website. We expect we should have most of the updates done by tomorrow and then we will depart for the upper Sea of Cortez tomorrow night or Saturday morning. Our expected itinerary for July will be Conception bay for a week or two then north to Santa Rosalia for the conclusion of July.

In typical Baja fashion, as I write this the power has gone out and there is no estimate on the amount of time it will take before the power comes back. This may never get published.

 

June 26th, Puerto Escondido, Baja Sur


We have arrived at the hidden port of Puerto Escondito, Baja. The last 7 days have been filled with fabulous sailing (no motor necessary), snorkeling, exploring for hot springs, fishing and just some general beach combing.

Lisa and I have updates with all the details, we just have to put the documents on the website. We expect we should have most of the updates done by tomorrow and then we will depart for the upper Sea of Cortez tomorrow night or Saturday morning. Our expected itinerary for July will be Conception bay for a week or two then north to Santa Rosalia for the conclusion of July.

In typical Baja fashion, as I write this the power has gone out and there is no estimate on the amount of time it will take before the power comes back.   This may never get published.

 

 

 

June 15th, Hotel California

 

The words to the song Hotel California by the Eagles never rang truer than today; “You can check out, but you can never leave”. Since Friday we have been promised that the cushions would be installed and we would be on our way. So far we have been hit with delays due to the added work of having to shave the leather thinner for the buttons, delays due to the curvature of the corners on our settees, and finally last night a delay in the cushions not fitting correctly.

Peiles and Tapices has been working hard all this time to get the cushions in. Each trip I make to the factory ends with me seeing the guys sweating hard at the sewing machine or punching holes into the upholstery for the buttons. Last night they worked till about 8:30 PM then delivered the cushions only to find they needed to be refit just a little short of midnight. Today we are doing the Mexican dance of waiting as nobody knows when the cushions will finally be released.

The good news is that the cushions that do fit look fantastic and our weather window for leaving is extended for another 90 hours or more, so it is just a lesson in patience that Lisa and I are both still trying to come to grips with.

We hope to leave tonight, but without the cushions we have nothing else to do but wait.

June 9th, 2007….The cows are about to come home.


 


As it turned out Luis (the guru of tapestry) was back on the job on Tuesday and invited us to take a look at the progress on the following Friday which we did. Lisa and I are very Happy with the cushions although we still have not seen the finished product with buttons.

The project is moving along fine and we expect to install the new cushions on Friday the 13th (Holy smokes!) and then raise the sails to head north for some much needed rest and relaxation. It seems like it has been months and months since we have seen anything new in Mexico.

 

The Green Cows finally arrived last week (31 May), so the interior cushion work has begun. It was kind of worrisome when our Sales Guy (Arturo) from Peiles and Tapices showed us the new leather and the proffered that the upholstery maestro was very sick and would not be able to work on project for an indeterminate period of time. Of course we are excited to get the work underway and completed so we can continue our journey, but the real stress point is that our insurance coverage for the boat is questionable if we stay in Mazatlan as it lays about 5 miles south of the tentative coverage demarcation line which is Cabo San Lucas. The weather had been just fine up until about the 30th of May when Tropical Storm Alma was born in Honduras. We are actually hundreds of miles from Honduras, but a Hurricane is a Hurricane and we are just a bit jumpy.

Over the last couple of weeks weather has been in the mid eighties with mild humidity and the winds have turned southerly (meaning they are coming from the south) along with the waves and swells. This is good news as now we will be able to sail “down wind” as we head north up the Sea of Cortez. Both Lisa and I are looking forward to the 48 hour trip to Topolobompo which will be our next stop.

 

May 29th, Leaving Carlos Yacht Refinishing


We have splashed again. The completed work was wonderful and the actual cost paid was just what we expected when we left. Of course we were not without incident…

What we didn’t tell you during the last week was that we had a fire erupt      very near our boat which, if it had gotten out of hand could have endangered the boat. Ultimately it gave us a chance to use our first aid skills and re-familiarize ourselves with our medical kit.

Thanks to our friends on Masquerade, we have pictures of Lisa and I trying to provide some comfort to the person who was working on the boat at the time of the fire. From what we know, the fire was sparked by a manual bilge pump being connected to a battery inside the boat. The spark from possible miss connected wires was enough to ignite the cleaning agent and subsequently the diesel fuel aboard. Quick action from the folks at the boat yard

 

extinguished the fire and the resulting injuries to the person in the photos where minor in comparison to what could have been done.

One launch day we did have an issue with Singlar Marina that really surprised us. We had already paid for the travel lift (for those in Winters that is the big machine that lifts the boat and transports it from and back to the water) days earlier, but on the morning of the launch we were asked to go see the marina manager who informed us that we would owe $67.00 USD for every day we had spent having the work performed on the boat. This was a $670.00surprise.

After almost 45 minutes of “discussion” we left the marina paying just what we had originally expected for the work performed. Both Lisa and I are still aghast that a state run marina could try to charge double the cost of a normal slip fee for staying in an industrial yard and having to climb a 12’ ladder in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom.

We are slowly learning our lessons in Mexico but this was one of the most difficult as customarily all yard fees are included in the US when a business is performing the work.

 

May 25th, work continues


The work continues at Carlos Yacht Refinishing (CYR) here in Mazatlan. The work on the bottom of the boat has just about finished up with only the last coat of paint left to go. All the heavy sanding is done now so we are once again able to enjoy the cockpit sunsets without worrying about tracking the red dust throughout the boat. During previous haul-outs we have had plenty of dust throughout the boat by the time we launched but this time the mess has been limited as each day after sanding the CYR crew did a quick wash down of the boat and the surrounding area. We are still glad to be done with the sanding as living on a closed up boat all day in 85 degree weather with 70%- 80% humidity is more than these California Natives can stand.

 

Many Hans Christian Yachts have voids in their external gel coat and ours is no different than some and perhaps worse than others. Living on the boat 365 days a year gives you a long time to examine your boat and during this haul-out we decided to get the voids filled and smoothed over. We recently noticed a gorgeous fishing boat that had left the yard. We discussed the work with the owner and he explained that the boat had come into Carlos’ yard looking pretty haggard. Carlos had redone the pits and dings and then repainted the boat to the point that Lisa and I thought it was new. This was enough of a recommendation to get us to contract CYR for the gel coat work.

Yesterday the work started in earnest on the gel coat and we should be completed sometime tomorrow. Of course the pricing was exceptional.

Lisa and I are currently working on small projects that don’t get in the way of the workers, so when we leave we should have fender covers (rubber bumper covers for those in Winters CA), a clean dinghy, repaired dinghy chaps, extended sun covers for the cockpit, new fittings for the propane barbeque that tie into house propane, installed knot meter, new zincs and a tuned outboard. Not to bad for a 1 week haul-out.

 

May 22nd, Life on the hard


Wow, it has been a fast 20 days since we did an update to the page. With Lisa flying to the states and us updating the interior of the boat with new upholstery we thought is was time to haul the boat and have the bottom done as well. It has been 2 years since the last haul out and the waterline has been a problem since we left. The waterline much like our waistlines has gained a couple of inches so we are now in the process of removing all the old layers of bottom paint raising the waterline to allow less organic growth and more groceries to be added to the boat and then add a new epoxy bottom sealer and finally new bottom paint.

We surveyed 3 yards in Mazatlan which resulted in wildly different estimates. Ultimately we chose Carlos Yacht Refinishing not only for their price, but also for the enthusiasm that he showed in wanting the work. Carlos did not try to hide any costs under the heading of “moving stands”, “security fees” or hourly rates to sand and paint, he simply stated that for all preparation of the bottom plus primer and paint the cost would be $1600! In the states 2 years ago we had a quote of $3800 for our sister boat to do the same thing. If you would have added paint and primer to the estimate it could have easily exceeded $5000.00.

We arrived early for the haul out and were happily greeted by the Travel Lift crew at Singlar Marina. Shortly there after we were lifted from the water and the process of removing two weeks of new growth (seaweed and barnacles) began. I am not sure that Mexico deals with the type paint we use often as when they began to power wash the boat everyone stood aghast at the sea of red paint which bled from the bottom of the boat. Two years ago we had added 6 gallons of ablative paint to the bottom. The theoretical motive for this is that the paint will slough off as we slide through the waves resulting in a continuously clean bottom. Apparently we added to much paint, didn’t sail or motor enough or the paint just didn’t slough. Within minutes of seeing the 25’ growing circle of red in the bay, the wash down pump was turned off and the boat was turned over to Carlos…I don’t know if Carlos realized the amount of paint on the boat when he did the estimate, but he hasn’t complained yet.

The amenities that are provided at this haul-out facility are amazing. Daily Lisa, Sparky and I don our bathing suites and head up (to the second floor) for a dip in the Jacuzzi and lap pool! If were still not content when we finish, there are beautifully clean bathrooms and shower along with an air conditioned internet room and a do it yourself Martini Bar! This is living the decadent life.

 

The work has continued on the bottom of the boat now for about 4 days. Friday and Saturday were half days for the crew and Tuesday was a down day out of courtesy for another boat that was getting a full paint job done on their topsides. During the first day or so things progress relatively slowly or so it seemed: I believe Carlos was just trying to finish some other projects and only had a partial crew to doing the sanding. Come Wednesday we had a crew of 4 and today we have 6 guys sanding the bottom with 36 grit paper trying to remove all the paint, the boat is looking fantastic!

The yard we are using actually has 3 competing businesses in it. This is probably good for the consumer but the competition during the slow season has apparently seeded so ugly rumors about the work done by Carlos Yacht Refinishing. We did discuss what we had heard from some other cruisers but certainly have not seen any evidence of poor work practices, inferior products or any other items that some folks have said they “heard about”. We still have another 2 days here before the work is done, but if the work continues like it has Lisa and I will leave with huge smiles, a lighter boat and most likely much faster passages in
the future.

 

May 2nd, 2008, Bachelors in Paradise


Well, Lisa has flown back to the states to renew her visa and is currently in Winters, CA while I tend to the boat and dog. Both Sparky and I are bachelors again so we should have a good time visiting the Mexican “Adult bars” and enjoying movies with a rating just a bit higher than PG: or so you would think.

Last night was our first night as bachelors and were tried to enjoy it in fine style. Sparks lay out on a cushioned chair after filling my pipe and cocktail glass with my favorite tobacco and liquor. I was happily reading a new (to me) Dan Brown Novel and slowly roasting myself in remnants of the warm Mexican evening sun. We remained this way until the last bit of light extinguished for the day and it was time for dinner. In true bachelor style we fired up a big bowl of popcorn and shared it while sipping a good bottle of $4 Chilean wine, a perfect evening was at hand.

The wind started to pipe up a bit after the sun went down but being securely hooked to the bottom we didn’t give it much thought until we heard a bit of conversation and commotion outside. Peeking our heads above the companion way we saw several dinghies and boats moving around. In the US this may not have provoked any investigation, but here in Mexico there is not much activity in the anchorages after dark so we ventured up on deck to discover what all the hubbub was about.

Surprisingly we discovered that at least two boats were slowly pulling their anchors through the soft Mazatlan mud. One of the boats had been left unattended by the owner as he helped another boater take his boat south. This boat was tended to by several of the cruisers in their dinghies was quickly was re-secured to the bottom of the sea. The second boat was actually drifting towards us, and though not an immediate issue, Sparks and I decided to get in our dinghy and try to help the errant craft.

After starting the dinghy we made it about 20’ from the boat and the engine stalled. This has happened before so we tugged on the starter line a couple of times before we figured we should paddle back to the boat lest the wind push us out to sea. Attached we pulled for another 5 minutes before we gave up. During this time, the Sea Tub (I’m not making up the name) re-anchored and didn’t even come close to hitting us.

Sparks and I were a bit upset at the new issue with the dinghy motor, but figure we could fix the problem in the morning and still have time to visit all the bars in Mazatlan without any issue, we were wrong. As with most things on this trip, when an opportunity presents itself (i.e., free time) a situation also pops up to counter the opportunity.

This morning we spent a couple of hours re-working the carburetor only to find out a priming pump flange had failed. This is not a big deal till you figure that a $2 piece in the US would now cost us $35 in Mexico, plus shipping and the added delay of transportation.

After taking the bus downtown, we paid the charges and left the store with little money in our pockets and plans to delay our cavorting for another day since we are still on a budget. Hopefully tomorrow will leave us time for movies if nothing else.

 

April 18th, 2008…Spend some time in the Chick’s Version


Lisa has spent some time updating the Chicks Version.   Spend some time reading her updates to find out what we have been up to since leaving Banderas Bay.


April 1st, 2008…


Well the time has come for us to leave Banderas Bay. Today will be our last day here which we will spend taking the bus to a beach town called Sayulita. I have a feeling I am going to like it there. We will keep you posted on that. The plans to go further south at this time have been scrapped. We will go to the Tres Murrietta Islands tomorrow followed by a day in Punta Mita where Bill will do some surfing and I will lay on the beach drinking Pina Coladas and eating chicharrones. After that we will stop at my little paradise Chacala.

 

From Chacala we plan to go to Mazatlan. Once we get to Mazatlan we will take turns flying home to renew our visas. I will also see a doctor in Mazatlan for the pains I have been having in my stomach. Nothing to worry about, it is probably just scar tissue. I am just getting checked out.

We may get some internet coverage in Chacala but other than that we will most likely be out of touch with everyone


March 29th, 2008….Fun times in PV


What a fast couple of weeks we have had since the last update. We have had friends come down from the states, entered into agreements with Mexican Nationals that were not honored, strong armed the same Nationals to get what was due to us, made some money working the Time Share marketing in Puerto Vallarta and lost some money doing the same.

One of the highlights of Puerto Vallarta has been the Cheeky Monkey. Our friends Cathy and Dino from Alameda, California joined us to share $1 Margaritas and enjoy a little of Puerto Vallarta’s tourist camaraderie. By the end of the day the bar bill hit a little over $100 US. To be fair we did not drink the entire $100 worth, as we did meet a bunch of local college students who enjoyed toasting California, Jalisco, Sacramento, Winters, old friends, new friends, the coming of spring, the leaving of winter and who knows what else.

Lisa got over her fear of heights while Cathy and Dino visited when we attended the Canopy Tour at Las Veronas in Mismoloya. Las Veronas has about 17 zip lines that you hang from as you fly over the jungle canopy below. The toughest part for Lisa was the 5 story flight of stairs that she had to climb to get to the first line and then the 3 foot platform that forms the staging area for her first flight! Lisa was almost in tears, but to her credit she did not stall and arrived safely at the other side with a smile.
Much of the last weeks involved traveling from one anchorage to another. Punta de Mita was the only anchorage we visited that was inhabited, but each had its own special charm.

During our last voyage we did see our first confirmed sea turtle. Both Lisa and I have been expecting to see a turtle for the last 1500 miles so it was pretty exciting to see a large “tire” floating in the water. Lucky for us the turtle stayed around until we got a good look at him.

Currently we are staged at La Cruz. We have completed a much needed oil change with the filters that my daughter sent down and are hoping to depart for Chacala, Isla Isabella and Mazatlan in the next week or so. Our plan from Mazatlan will most likely include a trip back to the states to renew our visas, a trip to the doctor for Lisa to get a check-up and then on to Northern part of the Sea of Cortez for the summer. We have been warned about the heat, but since we have been complaining about the cold for so long we figured we may as well soak up the heat and sweat out some of the margaritas we have been drinking.


March 2rd, 2008…Some things never change


After a fantastic time in Yelapa we headed for Tres Murrieta Islands. The islands were very interesting and it looked like we would have some great snorkeling. As we were looking for the perfect spot to set anchor we noticed there was very little water coming out of the engine. We checked the engine temperature which was still okay. At first we thought we had picked up something in the water intake. No such luck. We have yet another broken (different) bracket. This time it is the water pump.

We sail the 12 miles back to La Cruz. Along the way we saw some awesome 12 foot manta rays and two whales that were very close. The wind was warm and consistent which made for a great sail. We decided to set the engine worries rest and look at them in the morning. So, it was margarita time. Shortly after that our friend from Triple Stars came into the anchorage and we all went into town for some cheap tasty tacos.

At the moment Bill has his head in the engine and the water pump is off. The bracket is broken and he still does not know if he can get the second half off to take it in to be remanufactured. Some things never change…..

 

 

February 23, 2008….Puerto Vallarta

We finally found some reliable internet, but the beers are vary expensive here.   Philo’s is the new internet cafe’ for us.   Unfortunately beers are costing nearly double the going price of $1.20 or so…Oh well, call it trouble in paradise, but we are dealing with it.

 

Having just left Chacala, we will put up and update about our exploration of this small town.   There was plenty to do and keep us occupied for more than 7 days.

 

Currently we are located in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.   This town is just a little bit of America, Mexico and a 1970’s B western movie.  If we can adjust to Sparky waking up early to yell at the whales it should be a good stay.

 


February 19th, 2008…Lot’s of Chick updates

 

We have added lots of updates in the “Chicks” section.   We definitely have  internet connection, but it appears the site is getting so big that without high-speed connections it takes hours and hours to update.


Currently located in Chacala, Mexico.   Great little town with a couple of super nice hotels if you have a hankering to come spend some time on the beach just a little off the normal beaten path.    Average rooms around town go for about $60 per night with a kitchenette, or you can go the gourmet way an spend time at the Majahua hotel for just a bit more.

 

February 13th, 2008


After a rough night at Isla Isabella sloshing about like a pudding can going down a storm drain and five days fighting bitting bugs in Matachen Bay near San Blas, we are finally anchored in a nice peaceful cove just outside the city of Chamala.   We have internet email but have been unsuccessful at location an internet cafe’ with a connection strong enough for all of Lisas Updates.

 

We will be scouting again today and hope to bring you some of the pictures and stories that everyone has been asking about.

 

 

January 16th, 2008


Lisa has added some of our older updates to her page.   These updates include our Christmas travel accoss the Sea of Cortez and some of our adventures in La Paz.

 

January 12th, 2008

Updates and photos have been posted in the Dudes view.   We are having a blast in Altata where life is easy.

 

 

January 1st, 2008, Happy New Year.

 

We are spending this time in Mazatlan. Thinking about moving to Altalta at the end of the week. Altalta is a small village north of Mazatlan and south of Topolabompo, good luck finding it.

We have dealt with all the broken parts from the last trip, so ready to move on to another port, another issue and more fun, no really.

Internet coverage is sketchy again so not sure if we can get any pictures on the web or not, but fear not we are having fun here. Actually we went out on the town two nights ago. Pre and post dinner drinks plus dinner for Lisa and I cost just short of $30…NICE.

The town square came alive around 9pm with several bands, outdoor dining and venders all around. To add to the fun the atmosphere was family oriented so everyone could have fun.

Mazatlan may be the best place we have stopped so far that is populated. Lisa and I even looked at a home near the waterfront just for fun. $140,000 US gets you a view of the water 2.5 baths and several mostly square rooms. The craftsmanship needs a little help, but what would you expect for $140K

December 23rd 2007…..Christmas Wishes to all

 

I don’t know that we have read or even listened to the news in 3 months, but as Christmas Day approaches we hope that people will think of those less fortunate than themselves. Over the last 3 months we have shared our thoughts and rants which on reflection amount to mostly nothing as we have been so fortunate to afford our trip thus far. We interact with people everyday that are just trying to make ends meet and have also met some of the folks that had there whole lives go up in smoke during the fires in San Diego.

My guess is that much has happened in the world that is not good while we have been gone. It is our Christmas wish that those effected have a little less suffering in the next year, and that those that can offer charity do so when they can, life if too short to not care.

As we shove off for the next coast we wish all our new and old friends a very Merry Christmas and hope the coming year will be peaceful and prosperous for all.

 

December 20th, 2007


Apparently the Christmas spirit is among us now. We had an opportunity to leave today but when we actually gave it some thought the thoughts were just to stay put in La Paz, what’s the rush anyway.

We have been here for about a week and the website has been pretty void of updates, sorry, it just seemed that we hadn’t done anything recently till we looked at the pictures on the camera. Now I see that we actually have been out and about and even when we have been boat bound something is always going on. To prove so, I am leaving you with this picture of negotiating with the locals for god only knows what.

See the dudes update for more.

 

 

December 17th, 2007


We have pulled into Marina La Paz for the next couple of nights.   This is the first marina we have been at since Monterey several month ago.   We are now much closer to internet service so hope to update a little more.

 

December 15, 2007


Finally some updates.   Sorry about the lack of pictures but the internet here seems awefully slow.   Will post when we can.

 

December 5, 2007

 

This morning we will be leaving La Paz for the island of Espiritu Santo.  The trip won’t take long as we are only moving about 20 miles.  It appears that the weather will be clear for about a week so we plan on spending some good “down time” out there.


Unfortunatately we still do not have a good working VHF radio as Industrio Electronico was unable to get the part we needed during the last week.  No matter we have plenty of radios and to be honest the only one we really need is the stereo so we can play all our Christmas music while swinging in our hammocks.

 

It seems that we did a lot in La Paz, but when we get right down to figuring out what we did the only thing that comes to mind is shopping for groceries and doing laundry, no wonder people get stuck in these marinas.

 

I have put a new update into the dudes section and Lisa swears she will write while at the Islands…

 

  

November 28th, 2007… New updates


You will notice that we have combined the Home Page with the updates page.   If we were not so cheap we would contact our website host and pay the additional fees to expand the number of pages on our site, but we are cheap so instead we have combined them.

 

As a result we have added a Chicks Archive page which we will begin moving the oldest of Lisa’s entries into.   It is our hope that this will make the site move a bit faster and keep the latest information infront of you.
We are currently in La Paz and working on updates from Los Frailes and Muertos as well as happenings here in La Paz.   Over the next couple of days we are expecting some pretty hairy winds so we should be “ship bound” which hopefully will result in getting us caught up.  The winds we are expecting have been generated by a tropical cyclone off the western portion of Baja.   The winds will be spun off of this cyclone and are expected to reach 40 knots over the next 4 days, should be really fun.

 

The last couple of weeks have been pretty great, intense sun sets, good diving and facinating scenery.   We again have lots of pictures which we will share throughout our updates.

 

 

November 23, 2007…Lost south of La Paz


We are still in slow mode here.   We are in an anchorage named Los Muertos and are having an excellent time.

 

Having visited the coral reef in Los Frailes, we moved here about 4 days ago.  The photo on the right is one of many we took with our underwater camara gear (Thanks again Dino and Cathy).  I hope you can see the detail in the left hand lower corner.

 

The snorkling, hiking and local folks here at Muertos have been terrific. The net is a little slow but having finally put most of our chores behind us we are finding time to send mail and do updates.

 

Our plans will lead us to Ballandra Cove in the next couple of days and then at some time we will head up to La Paz for some reprovisioning.

 

November 16th, 2007…Updates and departure time


Updates have been added with pictures.   Cabo was a lot harder to get internet due to everyone or every establishment wanting some sort of cash for everything imaginable.   Coffee shops and resturants alike all wanted to charge to E-net service.   This is strictly against the budget so it limited our time and phone calls.

 

We plan to depart later today for Los Frailes (the Friars) and the famed hard coral reef just to the north of it.   We hope to explore inland just a bit before finally taking off for La Paz where we plan to be for Thanksgiving and to recover mail and parts.  Chances are we will not update for the next 5 – 10 days due to the remoteness of the area.

 

November 11th, 2007.  Cabo San Lucas

We have made it to the bottom of Baja Sur, Cabo San Lucas.   The weather has finally cheered up and we are just starting to unwind from the past 14 days of so.   The Baja Ha Ha was not quite what we expected but as with everything it is how you look at it that makes you realize the trip was either and adventure or torture.

 

If you had a chance to go on the Latitude 38 website you will know that this was the most blustery Ha Ha in Ha Ha history with winds

over several days exceeding 30 knots.  Also if you checked you will know that we were stranded overnight in Bahia Santa Maria with 68 of our closest friends and no accommodations to speak of, now that’s fun no matter who you are…

Lisa will be updating her pages soon and I will add what I can.  Surprisingly the internet in Cabo San Lucas is difficult to find and expensive when you get it, so please be patient.

 

We plan to remain here till the end of next week so we can get some laundry done, a couple of repairs completed and some much  needs down time accomplished.

 

As usual the pictures will be put up as we find time, but we have lots to share from the kick-off party to the final awards event.

 

October 28th, 2007, heading to Mexico

Quick update to let you know that we should be on our way when you read this (

unless you stay up all day looking at emails and websites). Everything is working on the boat which is a big relief for us, most of the meat is either frozen or cold, the watermaker should work when we plug it in and the generator is pumping out plenty of water.

Our trip will take us down the west coast of Baja California for the next 10 days. We don’t really expect to have internet coverage as we travel but stranger things have happened. Don’t worry about us we have a number of cases of beer on board, plenty of rum and tequila to keep the pirates at bay if not drunk and there are another 170 plus boats for company as we travel down the coast.

If you are really worried, check out www.latitude38.com for updates, otherwise we wish you a great 10 days and hope to update you with photos and stories around the 9th of November or before.

We wish we would have had more time to update the site but things just got moving too fast and the web has fallen behind a bit, but then you didn’t need to hear any more a

bout the trouble we have had in San Diego.

 

October 23rd, 2007.. San Diego, a little bit of everything


We have updated the site with some new pictures, both new and old.   Lisa has added another installment and Bill has done a bit of house cleaning to get himself back up to date.

 

 

Sparky has sounded off and the countdown continues towards our departure to Mexico and beyond.

 

October 16th, 2007.  San Diego

San Diego, one of California’s largest cities and we are trying to work out the logistics of being so isolated.   I have been able to place a group of updates on the website today.   We are a little short on pictures as I have left the camera back on board the boat.   We will try to get more pictures posted in the next couple of days.

 

Lisa and I have been working on boat projects over the last 4 days and the more we work, the more that seem to pop up.   Currently we have the watermaker out of the boat and sent to back east via

mail and also have some parts into the local machine shop for customizing, it will be an expensive week.

 

Everyone is doing well and we are anticipating seeing Stephanie this weekend and being rejoined by our 4th crew member, Sparky.

 

October 11th, 2007.   Back on the mainland


We just got back to the mainland last night.   Had a terrific time in Catalina exploring the crystal clear waters and carousing with the Pirates during Buccaneer days and then yesterday had a super spinnaker run from Emerald Bay to nearly Dana Point.

 

Having just found an internet signal we will be putting up updates throughout the day today.

 

October 2nd, 2007.   Welcome to Southern California

 

Lisa has been writing like crazy over the last couple of days and I am trying to get all the humorous updates loaded while we are in beautiful Oxnard, California.   We don’t plan to spend much time

hear, just enough to get a couple of small projects completed.   We hope to be in Catalina by the weekend to enjoy the Buccaneer days on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Watch the Chicks and Dude sites for more updates to come.

 

 

September 25th, 2007

 

We have moved on to Morro Bay, CA and are now hanging off a mooring in a perfectly calm anchorage.   When we started off yesterday from Monterey yesterday the weather was projected as near perfectly calm and every was running perfectly.  Check out the latest updates in the Dudes view.

 

September 22nd, 2007

Sparky and Lisa have updated thier sites.   We are currently in Monterey, CA after a successful trip to Santa Cruz, CA.   We had not had any further anchoring issues since Capitola, so keep you fingers crossed as we set out for Morro Bay.

 

 

September 20th, 2007

Several new updates in the Dudes and Chicks versions.

 

September 13, 2007

New Sparky update, click here to read

New Chick update, Click her for chick stuff

September 11, 2007

We are currently in Capitola, California.    We have quite a bit of internet coverage here so we hope to get some good updates.   Yesterday we made the passage from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz, then decided to move to Capitola since the anchorage was a bit crowded and holding with our primary anchor was questionable.   We will most likely move back today since the anchoring

ground at Capitola is poor and the moorings are about $25 per day.  We

have included a picture of the Santa Cruz Lighthouse for our DIL(Daughter In Law), as she has requested and if nothing else we certainly provide her with pictures she asked for.

 

September 6th, 2007

 

Welcome to cruising 101. The fun at Richardson Bay continues in the weather department. Today we had a nice breeze coming through the anchorage that tended to knock down the waves that come off the main bay. It made for a nice afternoon and looked like it would continue into the night.

 

Sometime around 8pm the wind picked up to as much as 39 knots intermittently with lows back in the single digits. I can live with 40 knot winds and I can also enjoy single digit winds while at anchor, but winds that are not constant add a lot of strain to the gear as i

t is constantly slackened and then tightened again. When we add a counter current tide it really effects the boat. Tonight the wind is cross ways to the current, as the wind decreases the broadside of the boat is turned to the wind by the pressure of the water moving past the hull. When the wind comes up again the boat is thrown into

a spin until it comes up tight against the anchor rode. We use a snubber (a light line the absorbs the shock of the chain tightening) to help avoid any undue stress on the rig, but it only helps the boat, not the nerves.

 

The weather we are feeling is localized in that everywhere else on the San Francisco Bay, winds are only reported at about 10 knots of so. Again I have to question our choice of anchorage and we will certainly be looking to leave here on Saturday as we have a doctors appointment on Friday that we must attend.

 

The good news tonight is that the anchor system is working well. The bad news is that when the wind does finally quit we will most likely be hit by some incessant rolling for an hour or two.

 

 

September 1st, 2007

  

We have finally made it out of the slip and have progressed about 8 miles to Sausalito.  We picked this anchorage for a couple of reasons not the least of which was to get used to the motion of the sea after so long sitting at a marina.   My recollection was that the anchorage at Richardson Bay was quite calm and motionless, or at least as motionless as you could expect a bay to be. 

 


 This theory has not panned out quite as well as I had thought, but at least we’ve had a chance to visit the Art Festival here in town.

 

While the view is pretty that endless procession of ferry boats has put a little “edge” on our new home.   The rocking never quite seemed to end last night, and while the holding ground is good, both Lisa and I have woke up with some muscle soreness do to the constant balancing we do to counteract the waves.

 

I’m not really whining, just mentioning the fact that even being on a boat has some disadvantages.  

 

Mr. Murphy obviously got on board just as we were leaving the slip for the last time.    By the time we had dropped anchor the refrigerator has quit working and there was a small moment of concern that we would have to hire someone to come aboard and fix the thing before we even had much of a chance to use it.   Before getting all steamed over the refrigerator, I decide to take a personal moment with my beer and pondered what could have happened.

 

During our crossing of the San Francisco bay things got a little jolly.   We were expectiong some wind in the area between Treasure Island and Angel Island, but as we moved across this area there didn’t seem to be much reason to trim down the sail area.  The boat

was moving nicely in about 15 knots of wind and normally we can

carry full canvass up to about 25 knots.  As we closed on Angel Island the wind picked up a bit and we were just about burying the rails of the boat. This sailing went on for about 15 minutes, nothing scary or out of the ordinary, I just mention it to get to the root of the refrigerator trouble.

 

Our Friend, Robert Webster, who use to own this boat had told us several months back about a problem he had had while crossing to Hawaii in this boat.   Seems the refrigerator oil and coolant mix when the boat is healed at a heavy angle for a period of time.  When this happens the refrigerator shuts down.    We haven’t seen this happen before, but it could be that we just never used the refrigerator immediately after sailing like this.   Anyway the oil soon separates and the refrigerator works again.    The process lasted about 2 hours, so when I was done with my beer everything was back in order and dinner was ready.

 

I will have to look into an oil separator as I can’t afford to have warm beer when we enter an anchorage after a hard sail.

 


Sept 01 2007 Overdue!


We have been just a bit delayed but all systems are go for tomorrow AM.

Read the latest update here.

 

Aug 14th 2007 `10 days to go!

 

 

My brother John reminded me today that it has been a while since we last updated this page.   Lisa and I are down to our last items on the lists and it has been pretty hectic getting those completed and still keeping the website updated.   To bring you up to date here is where we stand.  Last week was a big one; Lisa had her final day at work on August 1st along with the party and hangover the next day to prove it. We sold two of our cars during the week which was a big relief and an even bigger eye opener. Our daughter officially took over the house and refused for turn the air conditioner on the night before we left the house which ultimately forced us out and down to the bay where the weather was much more acceptable than the high 90’s we were experiencing in the Sacramento CA area.  We packed, emptied and repacked lockers on the boat trying to fit all the stuff we felt was important into them, and finally we paid the last satalite TV bill and separated from the phone company, I think we are about ready.

 

Moving on to the boat is with some mixed emotions.  About a month ago Lisa found out that she would have to have surgery before we left. Initially we thought the recovery period would be about a week which would put us right on schedule for a departure of the 20th of  August, we had to push that date out by as much as 6 weeks up until just a couple of days ago.  Lisa has now had the surgery required and is recovering nicely.   Our date is now set

between the 23rd and 29th of August, but it is understood that this is still a soft date that could change.

 

The mixed emotions that I eluded to above are due to my current unwillingness to accept life as a live-aboard. This might change later in life if our financial status evolves in a negative directioin but I assure you I have a firmly stamped line in my mind that separates Live-aboard and traveler.   For the last week I have felt like a live-aboard and still have some reservations understanding the draw to that life style.   There are certainly some events that happen in the harbor that I can not imagine in a normal neighborhood.   For one, the sence of community is certainly much stronger.   It is without exception that each day I come home (to the boat) there is interaction with friends and neighbors that we would never expect in a normal residential location.   People are much closer, more giving and certainly are more apt to drop what they are doing to help out where they can.   I certainly hope that my close freinds and those that we relate to daily don’t miss understand my thoughts here, but even on our boat which I consent is much larger than some and certainly roomy enough for two to live on comfortably I have felt cramped and boxed while at the marina.  This may just be a reality check for me, or the reflex of moving from shore to sea, but it is a reality that one must get use to.  

 

Given our options today, I would have a hard time moving aboard and continuing to work while renting the house.  This is a typical scenerio that

some cruisers choose to save money,  I think the house would become a distraction that would not otherwise allow us to enjoy the freindships that can be attained at the dock.  The constant lure of space would be such a draw I just don’t think I could enjoy myself, so let’s get ready to cut the lines.

 

Lisa had now received a partial permission slip to start the cruise and my focus has returned to making the final preparations.  Although there are still a number of tasks to complete I am enjoying checking them off and have relaxed a bit at work allowing time to delve into the excitement of the trip we have planned with co-workers and even start to shead a little of the responsibility I have at my current job.

 

Lisa will return to the boat this Thursday, 8/16/2007 and for anyone that wants to attend we are still planning on having a dock party, Saturday the 18th.  If you have time come on down to have a drink or snack with us.  We are located at Grand Marina in Alameda CA.   Dock A-65.

 

 

July 3, 2007 `44 days to go!


 

Well,  no real update today within the normal bounds of this site, I have just decided to herald that both Lisa and I have given official notice to our employers that we will no longer be working for the companies after our

respective dates in August.   For Lisa this has been foretold for almost a year, I on the other hand have held back the secret since the inception of this site.  

 

 I have struggled for the right date since my current boss and the Exel company have done nothing but right for me in the years that I have been employed with them.  I can’t say that I am sad to leave the company, but it has certainly had it’s emotional ups and downs, ultimately we are able to achieve things that we have never thought possible so in the end both Lisa and I are thrilled to have started the process of cutting the lines….  44 days, a party, disconnecting the “yellow snake” as a friend of mine calls the power cord and we are off.   Too Sweet.  

 

 Special Thanks to the Mariani Nut Company , Marty, Jack and Dennis for supporting Lisa (come on you Jericho supporters, if your gonna buy nuts, get them from Mariani).  Additionally Thanks to my team at Exel as well as Steve, Ahmad, Doug and especially Tina for keeping the secret.  Your support will be remembered for year to come.


June 21, 2007 `53 days to go!


The Chicks Version has been updated.   Lisa gives insight into the last couple of weeks of work as she know it.

 

June 14, 2007 `60 days to go!


We realize it has been a long time between updates.   We have been busy

and the schedule is still more or less intact.    We have updated some pictures of the solar panels and added a bit of what we have been doing to the Dudes view .   We are should get better at updates as August comes

around.

 

March 5, 2007 148 days to go!


We have finished the installation of the solar panels.   Over the last weekend we had a chance to test the new systems and found they performed as advertised. You can read about the installation in “A Dudes View”

Lisa has update the Chicks page to include her 20 (almost) most asked questions.

 

January 13, 2007 199 days to go!

 

Solar madness is the best word to describe the last month of activity.   We continue to get the boat ready and figured we needed another way to suppliment thirst for electricity and power.  Based on the temperatures we will see in Mexico and beyond, cold drinks and ice cubes will be high on the list of REQUIREMENTS!

 

Perhaps I should start at the beginning with some information on Beyond Reasons electrical needs and our various ways of making power. We are fitted out very similarly to the average house.   We have hot water (too hot sometimes), a refrigerator, freezer, stereo gear, radio gear, and more lights than we know what to do with.   To supply an endless amount of energy, we can rely on two types of

generation, mechanical (engine or generator) and water driven (a generator towed behind the boat when sailing).

 

This last summer we spent about 20 days in the California Delta at anchor.   Being at anchor eliminates our towed generator, so each day we need to either fire up the main engine or the noisy generator.   Because we draw the batteries down so far while just sitting idle, it takes up to 3 hours to charge the battery bank.   After a couple of days of listening to the generator, we decided we needed another way to charge batteries, Solar.

 

Inviting solar energy on to the boat has created a whole new set of issues to wad through.   There is the sizing of the panels, voltage concerns, optimizing the space we have available, and then finally selecting a controller that will manage the energy effectively so we get every ounce of energy out of the sun rays that we can.

 

This weekend we made templates to determine which of our choices would work best, and this coming week we should be able to decide which panel(s) will be selected.

 

I promise to update the dudes section with my results and some reasoning behind my choice.

November 29, 2006  245 days to go!

We have been busy getting the boat ready for our trip. In the last month we have replaced the glass in the butterfly hatch (sky-light over the dinning room table).  We can now see the stars at night. This projected included replacing some of the wood frame, varnishing and Lisa’s favorite thing to do, “BLING” up the metal parts.

Lisa also whipped up some covers for the new outboard engine and generator that tows a propeller to make power.  We call this generator “Walter” from the famous book “Walter the farting Dog”.  It’s a must read.

The wifi “wardriving” panel is functional now.  Lisa was able to catch an open signal log on to the net and make a free phone call to her mom in Arizona through Skype.
Bill installed a cold cathode light in the fridge and freezer and cut open a door behind the couch for more storage. Let the real estate wars begin.

October 24. 2006.  282 days to go!

New pictures of the boat interior are posted.  Additionally we know that there are some folks just learning about the site.   In the pictures section you can set the pictures to play automatically (slideshow).  The button at the center bottom of the photo album when “clicked” will play each of the photos automatically.   When in slide show mode you get the BONUS of additional text that will help you to understand more about the photo you are viewing.

October 4th, 2006

It is official!  Bill passed the Morse Code portion of the HAM Radio License test.  He is now an official HAM Operator!  Way to go Bil!!

Sept 25th, 2006

The Archives have been completed with pictures.

Sparky has added comments!

Sept 17th, 2006

We have begun adding Archival data in the “Dudes View”.   Pictures for the content will be next…