Sunday, November 29, 2015

Much to be thankful for!

Wearing our new Pura Vida hats - gifts from my brother's
visit to Pura Vida Cafe in Vallecito CO
We launched on Thanksgiving, a day to be thankful for and we are happy to be on the water once again after 18 days on the hard in the dusty dry yard. All the boat prep takes more time than you’d like but for us, everything must be done for our launch and prep for a nice liveaboard experience.
We couldn't bring our new dinghy south with us (always stories...),
so scored a great deal on a small dinghy here

On Thursday, while we did not have turkey or the fixin’s, we did score a couple pieces of amazing homemade pumpkin pies. Other than that, the holiday passed without much fanfare. We both got food poisoning 2 weeks ago then got somewhat better. Shortly thereafter, we did a major cleaning project which did me in and apparently set off something in my system. I contracted salmonella! So the idea of sharing a potluck with our associates in the dry yard on American Thanksgiving wasn’t in the cards for me.

The mural in Dr. Sanchez office - nice welcome!
I haven’t been this sick since 2002 and now believe much of my pains, aches and limited abilities are due to the prescribed antibiotic, Cipro. It’s been a tough series of 8 days since diagnosis and while Dr. Sanchez says my “hemoglobins are better”, my symptoms are not. I did not know I could sleep this much and still be this achy tired. OK, enough of my whining, I am just used to having a ton of energy and not being sick. I am on day 8 of 10 of the antibiotic and hope for the best once day 11 begins: reduced swelling, redness, achiness and all those really appealing characteristics one seeks out in a life / boat partner!

It’s such a great experience to have amazing, supportive friends who are helping out.
Some of our amazing friends! 

It must be holiday time here. The stores are starting to blare loud music, they're bringing out the sky high lard and turkey hot dog displays, and don't forget your tequila party in a box, complete with Squirt and a bag o' chips. Si, si si - let's party! 

We are waiting for a few days for the boat to settle into the water and Mike will tune the rigging before we head south on our journeys. We are deciding whether we’ll cross over to the Baja or do a straight run down the mainland coast. With my job, I need to have internet access most of the time so that will limit where we go.

And go we will, where the winds take us!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Road Trip? Check. Adventures? Check.

Well, when you're ready for a road trip, why not drive to Mexico? We've begun our travels south to reach Pura Vida. She safely awaits us in Guaymas, Sonora, having been spared from the rains, hurricanes and big winds. Like so many boat owners in Mexico this fall, all eyes anxiously on Hurricane Patricia, a huge relief when it curtailed.

We are ready for some sailing, fun and sun in the Sea and this year, we'll go as far south as Puerto Vallarta to pick up our new mizzen sail.

Summer was fruitful and hectic with 8 jobs between the 2 of us. We both worked pretty much 6-7 days / wk and moved 3 times, continuing the ordeal of living out of duffel bags for the 4th year. We did unpack a bunch of boxes from our storage unit, downsized even more then happily moved into a great floating home we'd rented before. Alas, the home sold in 3 weeks of our moving in, so we moved yet again but it did allow us to enjoy and sort through some sorely missed belongings. We are very thankful to our incredible friends who helped us through our living situations once again.

As fall arrived and we started thinking about sunshine, we lucked out amazingly with an unplanned opportunity to purchase our own floating tiny house! It's in a nice moorage on Hayden Island. We signed docs just last week and will now have a place to return to when we head back to work in the spring. Let the projects begin.
Sunset from house 2 of 3 we lived in

Great reminder (thanks to Ang & Don)

We actually went sailing a couple times

WI capital building
Our 8th wedding anniversary

My brother's back yard in WI on 20 acres

Bounty at the Farmer's Market in Madison WI
Mike's sister & husband and 143# Zeke
under the grape arbor
at sister Joan's
In the Sierra Nevada mts - great vistas

A keeper - 1st hint of our home purchase

Our next quest: fixing up our tiny home on Hayden Island

Monday, June 22, 2015

Getting to ‘Normal People Mode’

Mike drove to Seattle to buy our dinghy!
Life on the river - it's good!
It’s been an adventure or two since we drove north to Portland getting back into what I call “Normal People Mode”, joining the ranks of working people trying to fit it all into 24 hours. It’s a serious transition from boat life to traditional work life, as many know.
Portland Fireboat from our deck
We started work the day after we arrived (April 14th) and we both have worked at least one job every day since. We are super thankful that we have so much work, quite different than last summer.

We gleefully moved into our friends' fabulous floating home on the Columbia River while they are in Fiji, and we set up for summer transition

Our daily heron visit
After a bout of giardia we contracted in early April, thanks to careless water consumption in Mexico, we are both doing better after a round of antibiotics followed by probiotics. A reminder that hot water and careful washing of all food is critical especially south of the border.

And on to life in Portland! Thanks to our amazing friends, 6 months of mail was picked up and purged, my car was well cared for in a garage, we borrowed a truck to move our stuff, had our old grill delivered(!), have access to a pontoon boat to move up river, and even enjoyed a few evenings with flexible friends working around our wacky schedules. 

Mike is busily selling sailboats and teaching ASA sailing lessons. He's just listed our friends' boat currently in Mexico. If you know of anyone who's ready, check out this listing:
Cool sunset after our
 gig at West Marine
Mike sold a boat to this nice family
Our 6 months' of mail - thanks to Ilene

The Clampett's - moving our stuff again

Our new place ready to move in
The new U-Haul! upriver we go - Mike with Chuck at the helm
We’re now moving on - up the river a mile to our new digs (which are actually our old digs from 2013, this time unfurnished but our place, nonetheless). Lisa’s dad Chuck lives in the same moorage so we’ve been fortunate to spend some time with him, and he and Mike worked together to fix the pontoon boat for her season starting voyage. I was escorted upriver like a princess to see our new place. It was pretty darn magical.
Our new place for 4 months

Friday, April 10, 2015

Whale Sharks, Sunsets and Haul Out

16' whale shark & Baja coast reflection-Photo courtesy of Avant 
Bahia  Concepcion - courtesy of Avant
For the last couple weeks of March, we thoroughly enjoyed great days at Bahia Concepcion, moving from one anchorage to another for different experiences. Whale sharks and babies graced the bay at Coyote Beach and we kayaked alongside as they grazed on plankton. We kayaked over to Burro Bay to try and meet Gary, the Sea of Cortez weather guy we all rely on. From Santispac Beach, you can walk the beach, enjoying wicked margaritas at Armando’s, get a ride the 13 miles to Mulege from locals or RVers who frequent the area. In the bustling town of Mulege, there are two places for internet access, four small grocery stores and wandering streets where it’s easy to get lost. They had a lot of damage from Hurricane Odile. 

Sunset colors astound
Bahia Santispac - another great sunset
Then it was time to head out as Semana Santa (Holy Week) approached. Thousands of Mexicans flock to the various beaches to enjoy the long weekend, and banda music is sure to keep you up into the wee hours.
Sunrise at Guaymas marina
We'll miss these sunsets!

We moved north to begin our voyage across the sea to Guaymas. Our passage was very pleasant, sailing (and motoring) on a beam reach across 78 miles in 16 hours.

Getting Pura Vida ready for haul out
Back in our hangout, Guaymas, we’ve spent 10days prepping Pura Vida for the hot summer on the hard and for our future projects (more, you say?!). Lots of work to set things right, which we think is important – we spend much more time than some to prepare.

the unnerving process of haul
out, getting straps ready

Setting up the ladder in the yard
It’s been a lovely time on the sea. Sometimes systems don’t work as we wish and that’s all part of what makes this rewarding and challenging. We met up with friends and made great new ones. We leave tomorrow heading for Portland where family, friends, work and new adventures await!
The Dougout: Cocteleria de mariscos (seafood cocktails)

Icy cold Indio
& seafood cocktail

Guaymas as we prepare Pura Vida for haul out across the bay. 
Navy yard across from Fonatur Marina

Huge fish at El Chayon seafood roadside stand.
We bought flounder & bbq'd w/
red pepper jelly glaze

Playful dolphins w/ WELCOME sign at the bay in Guaymas 

covering the furlers
from summer sun
Another whale photo, can't get enough.

Agua Verde bird patrol

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Blue Whales in the Emerald Sea

In Loreto Bay, departing from Puerto Escondido
Blue whale surfaces 50 yards from Pura Vida

Time to dive
 As we make our way north along the Baja coast, we’re gliding in and out of magical anchorages that defy photos or words. We stop in the late afternoon or when winds are directly on our nose from the north.  Since leaving La Paz after a great week of exploring and seeing friends, we’re sharing experiences ‘buddy boating’ with new friends on SV Gosling. After 9 remote days, we have a brief time of internet access until we head north from the Loreto area.

Shrimp trawler arrives early morning - we score fresh shrimp 
Cormorants drying their wings on cardon cactus
Got these scallops from the trawler
in exchange for some JB Weld
Right now, we’re anchored safely on the south end of Isla Coronados, tucked in from the 16-27knot winds that made our journey a bit choppy. After an aborted attempt yesterday at the roadstead anchorage that Loreto offers, we returned this morning to load up on veggies and walk the town.( With the amazing exchange rate of 15.41/1USD, we made a haul. This is the ‘best’ the exchange rate has been since we arrived in 2011.)

Aptly named anchorage: Agua Verde (Green Water).
That's us in front of Gosling

All along the coast, our eyes are peeled for the various types of whales that grace these waters in winter and spring. Yesterday, we hit pay dirt sighting plenty of the largest animals in the world, the great Blue Whale, reaching lengths of 105 feet. Considering their size, they are very graceful as they skim the surface before diving, leaving a swirling wake as their tales lower into the sea. It's pretty darn amazing.

Gosling in front of amazing rock formations

Rock formations at Puerto Los Gatos

Incredible rainbow effect at sunset!

Tonight, we'll enjoy a starry starry night that's reflected perfectly in the bioluminescent scene that plays out below the water around our hull. Tomorrow, we'll continue our journey to new ventures, hopeful that the predicted decrease in north wind comes to fruition.