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Archive for January, 2014

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January 15, 2014

Today we are going to be confined to the boat for awhile, wind is blowing, lots of waves with whitecaps, we are rockin’ and rollin’. But the worst part is I made a beef stew last night then went to play darts so didn’t get to eat it, so thought it would be perfect for a hearty breakfast on the  water.  I tasted it but it needed something to kick it up a notch, so upon opening the fridge, I saw something red in the door, I think it was a pasta sauce I made some time ago, tasted it, seemed a little sweet, but should be good(course as you remember my fridge has had problems) can’t go wrong, guess again. I threw it in the stew, stirred it up & started to heat it, but my stomach was already acting up, I had tasted a good big teaspoon full, but then I tasted some more with the stew, and that did it. For the next hour or so I leaned over the head, pumping out and adding to, I tried several tums, had terrible stomach gas, a glass of water caused a violent reaction, when it started to calm, I was very weak and not going anywhere. I am starving now but a mouthful of water started it all over again. So will stay onboard for awhile and not eat, even though I am starving. Now better feed the stew to the fish, hopefully they can stomach it better than I can.

Yesterday I got on a project in earnest, I have been trying for sometime now to learn how to make a loop splice in a 3 strand line. And I did it, being a little dyslexic, which I never discovered until the last few years, it took me awhile. Two different instructors, three youtube videos, and two sailing books on “how to”, the last being Chapman’s Piloting, which made it all finally come together. I was excited, especially knowing the first project (I did a couple of practice runs) was to make loops in the end of the lines that fasten me to the mooring, which is kind of important. I accomplished the first one yesterday, and did a fine job, I slept well and it’s holding with all the wind and tide action, no longer a virgin. Finished the other one today, two fine loop splices.

And then the wind turned, and the tide went out. To explain, there can be several ups and downs in the tides every day. When the moon is full they tend to be higher, consequently there is a lot of current, sometimes in excess of 5 knots in or out, a lot like a big washing machine with the water back and forth, but today the tide was going out and a norther coming in blowing up white caps against the outgoing tide. Now it gets interesting, my boat has a fairly shallow keel but a lot of structure above water so the wind likes to blow it sideways with not enough keel to keep her straight in the current. Now we face northerly, and back up into the sand bar in the middle of the bay. At first I think we are dragging because it seems like an intermittent bounce, but quickly realize that being hooked to a 750 pound concrete block stuck in the bottom sand and fastened with 60’ of chain/rope that’s not possible. I then check the depth sounder, sure enough it registers zero water under the keel. We are about to settle onto the bottom, it’s not a real problem as we are sitting in soft sand and with a single engine there is a keel so we don’t sit on the propeller or shaft, but boats are supposed to sit on water not sand. And so we stay in place for the next couple of hours waiting for the tide to come back in. Now I must put together a couple of more thousand pesos or so to move the mooring about 40-50 feet so we won’t have this issue in the future, fortunately it has only happened once as tides must have big swings coupled with opposing high winds for this to happen.  Normally I swing with the tide in or out, the only sand bar issues then are taking the dinghy to shore at low tide. I know a cut through the bar and with engine on partial tilt we pass through, although even then I have run it aground twice.

The up side to this story though is we are really living in a big aquarium and with the tide flushing at least daily, the water is clear and we get to watch the fish below us swimming in schools under the boat. On calm sunny days, we see the bottom and can watch manta rays squirming around on the bottom, swimming and feeding. When the water warms, (a wuss I know)it’s only high 60’s now, I will go swimming off the boat and see even more sea life.

More dock parties happening, they just seem to break out, but always with good reason, this week it was friends leaving as they just got their permanent visas. They have been here longer that Caesar and I and occasionally he has had a sleep over on their boat. Caroline and Meri are both animal lovers and as a result Caesar loves them both. They will be leaving to head down the west coast of Mexico and further south towards Central America. I know they are glad to be going further on their adventure but we sure will miss Jim and his family, they were so friendly and helpful.

Time to publish, add some pictures and get on with more boat projects here, stay warm!

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