Optometric Check Up on a Sailboat

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Jonathan works here at the marina. He helped us hoist the chain out of the evil mud when it was detoured.

He had an eye surgery (ptrygiectomy) a few months ago and wanted an assessment.

Of course, my chain hoisting brother!

Went well!

We looked at a few of his coworkers too.

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Insurgent Pirate

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I went into town to participate in a class on Celestial Navigation. I need to know more about that.

On the way back I rode my bicycle through a neighborhood that maybe… maybe it wasn’t… the best.

And then I came across this intersection and I knew I was in trouble! Thankfully one of the local Pirates offered to take a picture for me on the corner. Maybe he understood that I was a little bit of a pirate too. Arrrr!

Painting the Anchor Chain

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Yesterday I painted reference marks on the anchor chain every 25 ft so I would know how much chain I’ve put out.

Things were going so well until one of the ends of the chain slipped off the dock and into the marina. Down to the bottom. All three hundred feet of it. Buried in the mud.

Retrieving it was an… aromatic task.

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A day later, here’s all 300 ft of chain in a grocery cart (likely over its designed capacity). Then I loaded it into my dingy.

Then I loaded into the anchor locker at the bow of the boat. You can peek in if you like.

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Then I went swimming. Whew!

 

To Market

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This guy rode his bike to Home Depot to buy a punch tool. They did not have a bunch tool at all. They did have a chisel but it just wouldn’t do for my purposes.

In the meantime it was hot, so I came back to the marina and went swimming.

Seemed reasonable to me…

My New Dancing Gig

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Nancy and I went to dinner Thursday. Nice place. A/C! Then this troop of dancers came along and started dancing up a storm. Costume changes, the works! Then they wanted to dance with customers. They all said no. Unacceptable.

When The Big Pink Head asked me I said yes. And off we go.

So if you are ever in San Jose del Cabo, look for me at my new dancing gig.

San Jose del Cabo Arrival

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Job one, chase birds off the bow before they “tag” my boat. Hooligans! Or Frigate Birdigans as it were.

Dawn finds us on a wide open Sea of Cortez. Fried eggs, bread, grapes, coffee. Ready for the day! Bill and Barbara toss out the Meat Line. Will we have fish or steak tonight? Or both? The Egg is hungry! Steak it turns out.. We stopped to go swimming after snacking a lunch. At 86 the water is quite nice. Steaks, sauteed bell peppers with onions, ice cream.

A sliver of a moon is going down at midnight as I write this. So long Pal, it sure gets lonesome here!

Motored through the night. Sea state was just right to create a big crash as STW fell off the face of a wave occasionally. Sometimes so dramatic that it sounded like we hit something. But nothing there.

October 7, 2016:

Just at dawn about 8 black dolphins came to join us. Diving and rolling at the bow. Then it was time for breakfast. Eggs bread honey grapes coffee. I love breakfast! Wind picks up to about 8 knots for a beam reach. Still motor sailing but motion is better. 30 miles to go.

Should get to SJD in 6 hours at this speed. That would be at 3pm and in time to check in.

And it was so. Reports Barbara: “Made it to San Jose del Cabo, 4 day crossing, light winds. Sailing at night was enchanting, did 3 hour watches, stars and the Milky Way were awesome.”

And dinner at the marina cafe was tasty!

Exploring Isla Isabel in Mexico

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At dawn we are very close to Isla Isabel and soon anchored. Barb fortifies us with scrambled eggs with bell peppers and tortillas. We inflate the dingy, put the motor on, and schlep the crew to shore.

We walk the beach for a bit. This place should be called Isla Iguana! Plenty of those in all shapes and sizes. There is a caldera on this island from historical volcanic activity. Fishermen live in huts on the beach. We ask them about where the trial might be and they are very helpful and get us pointed in the right direction.

We try not to step on too many iguanas as we make out way through the huts. Then we are hiking through the low jungle. Bill steps on a fair sized snake on the shady path. Ooops!

This is a bird sanctuary island. Frigate birds are a big part of this. Many of them are in constant motion wheeling over the jungle canopy. Those that are perched in the trees make the most ominous croaking sound as they notice our passage.

Blair Witch Project audio and visual. Spooky place to visit. Thank you Naomi for the suggestion!

We find out way to the caldera. Which means fresh water. Which means mosquitos… Oh well. At least they are friendly. In a mosquito kind of way.

We soon find our was back to the beach and swimming behind the boat in the cove. The shore excursion… did I mention it was hot. Perhaps a little humid! Familiar conditions by now. And this all makes the swim that much sweeter!

Then we are hoisting anchor and off to the west about noon. The wind is not from the ideal direction, but there is enough, so we sail towards the sun on a zigzag path.

Chicken roasted on the Big Green Egg is on our near horizon. Always something tasty on STW!

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There is a prison island in our path this night. We make sure that we steer clear of that. Bad place to pick up hitchhikers probably…

I took the 1am to 4am watch. I pulled out my electric guitar. It is hard to tune for some reason. Nothing new. Been like that for 25 years. But I have a little box that makes it play into headphones. So no noise to disturb my crew.

A little hard to play in the dark but worth the trouble to play for the stars.

 

Bob and Barb and Bill Come to Visit

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Bob and Barb arrived in this afternoon and I met them at the airport. We retired to paradise village and let them catch up from travel. We hid out in the mall for dinner and studied the weather. Trying to figure out whether to go straight to San Jose del Cabo or whether we should go north first, then west, or west first, then north… where are the winds more favorable.

There are programs that will offer you opinions and options based on weather predictions. But sometimes they bring up as many questions as they answer.

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October 3, 2016:  

The crew makes a run to Costco to provision in the morning. Supplies stored on board. The fridge is FULL! Big cooler with ice is also part of the formula. Won’t last the trip but by then maybe there will be more room in the fridge.

Bill arrives in the afternoon. I met him at the airport with a small cooler under my arm… Nothing like a cold drink upon your arrival in a HOT place!

Crew gets acquainted and we do more puzzling over what the weather offers. Still no obvious path. I stopped in to see Andrew and Naomi for a review of what they have seen in the Sea of Cortez. They recommend visiting Isla Isabel about 75 miles North. Now we have a path!

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October 4, 2016:  

We clear out with the Port Capitan and pull out of the slip at 0940. Andrew and Naomi come down to wave goodbye and gave us a couple loaves of banana bread made from bananas from their yard. Tasty and wecome! These are delightful people well met.

We sail by Trident and Dennis pops out of his boat to call “Good Luck Young Man!” He keeps calling me that. Gotta love that guy!

We motored North in minimal wind all day and keeping watch in shifts through the night. Barb sets us up with delicious shrimp tacos.