Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Window !

Well, my goodness.... Here it is November 30th already. We put Rikki to bed last night. Stored him at "Ed and Dorothy's Dog Boarding". I know, I know... Only in Mexico :-) Seems Ed passed away a few years ago and I've never seen Dorothy, but a very nice guy named Rodolpho runs the place and it's great...for vehicle storage.

Now why would we say good night to Rikki? You might ask. It's been so long you've likely forgotten what it was we came here to do... Go sailing, of course!!

We (well Kathy really, with her diligent attention to about seven different weather aps and broadcasts and websites... ) has identified what we in the frustrated and waiting group of Marina San Carlos groupies call.... A WINDOW !! Yippee!! Yahoo!!

We really, really think that later tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday are offering us reduced winds (seas still a little lumpy but hey... Gotta go) enough such that we're going to take the plunge and head off. If we don t leave now, we'll be here yet another week waiting.... Soooo, here we are, Wednesday morning, all paid up and just stuffing those last minute things into tiny crevices ... Where ever there's room. When we run out of space (which we have) we'll tie things to the deck... We already look like the pioneers must have... With their pots and pans clanging away on the outside of their dusty wagons. Hopefully ours won't clang too loudly :-)

Once we're finished with last-minute stowing, showers, and farewells... we'll be on our way; all the way to the anchorage just outside the marina. It's like a waiting room, where boats go to anchor, get their sea legs back, and make sure everything you think you fixed is truly and actually working. All being well, we'll hoist anchor and bid San Carlos farewell tomorrow afternoon at 1600 hrs. It's an 18-20 hr. crossing (best guess) from here to San Juanico which is our destination (check it out on google. It's supposed to be beautiful with good holding grounds, great beaches, and lots of hiking trails). We've never been there and it's top of our list of places we want to see.

I must leave you now; still lots to do before departure.. Will write again when I can. Once we leave the marina we'll be using SSB for email so messages will be more succinct (lucky you! :-)

Adios for now... Until we 'write' again. CJ and Kathy aboard SV Shannon's Spirit

Sent from my iPad

Monday, November 21, 2016

Moving day!

Can't believe it! After three years including two seasons; after a dog attack, an emergent return home with a broken dog, weeks and weeks of hard hot labour, and after narrowly missing a disastrous outcome from Hurricane Newton..... Shannon's Spirit sits... waiting patiently... for us.

Today... we move aboard with the last of our belongings. Now, I'm not saying everything's neatly tucked away in our copious amount of storage base (cuz there isn't... great storage)... but I do know whatever makes the final cut (stays vs. goes) will find a home somewhere... tucked into some nook or cranny :-). We've done it before. It's amazing how much stuff can sift down and away into a small boat. It's also surprising how, on a small boat, you can lose things.... Some, never to be seen again until you sell and have to empty it. That's why we keep an inventory; lists and lists of bin numbers and locker locations... places like "port side, under V berth" and "centre, under aft berth". Now if only I could find all the notes and put them together :-). Anyway, we're pretty excited.

As you might correctly imagine, this will be a big change. Not only will we finally have all our belongings under one roof, but we will be leaving our rather spartan but familiar 'home' at Adlai Apartments. And, after three years, we'll finally be moving forward and committing to the plan of setting sail. That's pretty big, even for us. I have no doubt that excitement will rule over apprehension and by tonight we'll be sitting in the cockpit... thrilled we don't have to drive back to the other side of town, and sharing dreams as we gaze at the stars...yippee!!!!

The weather forecast is calling for rather high winds starting Wednesday, so we likely won't be crossing the Sea (over to the Baja side) until after they abate. But, we will... live on board at the dock for a few days (while we settle in, get our official papers organized, put the truck in storage, and provision for a 3-4 week journey down the Baja coastline). Then we'll move out to the anchorage where we'll spend a couple days making sure everything goes up and down like it should (anchor) and hoists and unfurls properly (sails) and performs when it's asked to (heads, water, electricity) and... when the weather Gods permit... we will set sail and head west. We are very happy to be moving forward.

Some of you have asked how things are going here given the highly publicized and outrageous 'reality show' unfolding to the north. The best way to describe it, I think, is that everyone seems to be in a 'wait and see' mode. That there will be change seems pretty obvious. How much and in what direction remains to be seen. There's not much we can do really, except wait and see how things go and keep an eye on the general mood.

With that, I must leave you... got a truck to pack. We hope all is well with each of you and will write again when there's a story to tell. Adios for now CJ

Sent from my iPad

Monday, November 14, 2016

OK, just one more...

Yup, couldn't resist posting this photo.  It feels so good to stand on your own boat, floating on the water.  She's looking pretty good, I have to say.  Just a few more things to set up and we'll be on our way.  Phew!!

TTFN. (tatafornow)

And then there's the bilge....

Boat bilges.... Yuk!  Usually dirty, greasy, smelly, collectors of all what-evers you can possibly imagine.  Right?  Not ours....  :-). Kathy has worked very hard and the result is stunning!  Not sure how long SSpirit's bilge will look this pretty..... But here it is.  Just had to brag a little bit :-)

That's all for tonight.  Hope all of you are doing well and enjoying every day....  Adios for now. CJ

Kathy and Salvador - new batteries and fancy caps

Water-Misers... That's what they're called. If you have wet-cell batteries, take a look at their web-site. We've been told they will really cut down the water loss, which will help our new batteries stay healthy. Will have to let you know on that, but it all sounds good so we're giving them a try :-)


Surprise visitors...

As some of you may know I have written a few magazine articles about our adventures. One of them is about "putting your baby to bed in a Mexican boatyard". The last chapter of that piece talks about re-commissioning your boat after its 6 month hiatus all bundled up against Mother Nature's summer horrors... beasts... and vermin.... and all that is capable of surviving the horrific weather of mid-summer Mexico.

Well, I lived to test one of my own theories last week! While inspecting one of the boats that had suffered major damage during Hurricane Newton, I pulled away the tinfoil that still covered the vessel's roller furling. I had already walked away, when a 'not so wee' creature popped out to protest the invasion of his privacy. Yikes!! Having already met his larger cousin on the patio where we are staying... I was more curious than petrified (and I have since learned that Tarantulas are actually quite friendly). Needless to say, I just had to share this photo... This guy (or gal) would have filled the palm of my hand.... (ok, that's a little close.)


We are so close, we took the evening off.... :-)

But, did you hear about the Super Moon last night?? Closest the moon has been since 1948... And it won t be this close again for about 30 years. Last night, we were SO tired, after days of work.... but we sucked it up, turned right into La Palapa on the beach, dragged two of their white plastic chairs down onto the sand (almost to waters edge), accepted two glasses of lovely L.A. Chetta wine (mine crisply cool and white, Kathy s red).... And watched that beautiful "Super" moon rise over the horizon. That's it in the background behind me (and yes I wear my hat and, yes, I wear sunscreen...the photo was taken at dusk).

We had a lovely, ever so romantic, evening watching the moon rise. Even more exciting was the fact that a kazillion small (baby) sardines came galloping ashore right at our feet! One of our waiters (er... Service providers) realized it first and put out the call... The staff rushed down to see (as did we) and we stood in awe as clouds of schools of thousands of little fish... turned the wave crests black with their numbers and succumbed to being washed up onto shore in the wave crests....only to be sucked out again with the next wave. It was awesome to watch. Even the restaurant cat came down to dream?

So, that was last night. Tonight we changed focus and joined the San Carlos Yacht Club for an evening of soup, delicious bread, and salad. We were even joined by the Commodore of same (who we think came to see if we were party crashers... And then decided to let us stay). In fact Kathy had been befriended by the bartender who invited us...and now we're invited to attend any time or event we want!!

So, that's the social news. On the work front... well, we can see the light! Most projects have gone well... really well. Others? Not so much. I'll show you photos in a series of follow up posts. The only "not brilliantly happy" news is that we had to order a new depth sounder... Did so... And included a shoot-through transducer (as we were already in the water). After three days of crawling around on our hands and knees, we have had to accept the transducer was not going to work on our boat. SO.... Tomorrow we have to get hauled back onto dry land, and back into that dusty dry work we can drill a hole in the bottom of our boat (I have always hated that part!) and install a through-hull transducer that we have tested and know to be true. We'll be back in the water on Thursday and, hopefully, will move on board on Friday and Saturday.

So that's enough yakking for now. Temps have cooled to a brisk 16 in the morning and a 'suggestion of siesta' 28-30 in the afternoons. Evenings are perfect (75 or so), and the wind fills in every afternoon at 1335 hrs. precisely.

So, that's the news from our little world.

Adios for now. Talk again momentarily. CJ