Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cheese, Shrines and Projects

Enjoyed 2 wonderful concerts
at the church: chamber music, tenors
and choir from Sonora

Pelican poop isn't good for our solar
panels, in case you wondered

Eggs and honey
fresh from the market

My mom's 1950's vintage Mexican tray
is put to good use
Good friends sharing our splash
Our deluxe marina, easy walk to market

Pretty rich cheese 199.00
but, hey, we found it!

Fully decorated
roadside shrine

Mike folded
into the lazaret!

Judy not-so-folded into the lazaret
to document the new install

Wow - in the lazaret, newly installed
engine room blower vent to
hopefully cool the engine room

Upgraded stern anchor!

Pre-rust treatment
Pre-treat emergency tiller

Cool new anchor bridle 

Pretty excited about
our new fender step

a borrowed work table makes projects
easier to manage
Enjoying a tequila in our cockpit, the last
sunset in the dry yard before launching

Neptune rules

Our marina in downtown Guaymas
The Sea is the master and we, her servants, can pass gently at times and at others, a more exciting or perhaps challenging, journey awaits. So it is that we chose our departure Thu 19 Dec for our 400 mile journey from Guaymas to Mazatlan, estimating 3 ½ days’ transit. Having checked Passage Weather and UGrib for the latest weather and winds plus reading Gary’s weather on the Sonrisa Net, these great resources provide the best to help mariners make their way. However, unbeknownst to us, we think Mother Nature and Neptune apparently had a spat.

Our departure wasn’t without delays, as often happens with boats, and we headed out into the midday sun. After a long day and night bashing into southerlies on the nose with no reprieve, and 10 hours of slow transit time toward Mazatlan, we were burning a ton of fuel and not having the times of our lives, let’s just say.

We continued on, as hearty sailors do, into the darkness. Although almost full moon, a heavy cloud layer loomed and lightning strikes all around served as our only illumination, along with the halogen spotlights of shrimp trawlers. At 9:30p, El Capitan made the wise decision to follow Neptune's guidance and do a 180. After 10 hours and only 35 nautical miles traversed, it was going to be a lot longer journey than estimated 70-80 hours. Best to head back and start again later.

Sunset over the malecon / boulevard in Guaymas
With our mail sail reefed, we turned swiftly in the darkness and made haste northbound. Ironically, at midnight, the winds turned from S to W, then to NW (as predicted before we left) and we ended up bashing north against the wind through choppy seas with stuff a flyin’ in the salon. the winds clocked north, we actually pondered turning south again. For a moment. Then a lightning strike reminder: oh yea, big storm southbound.

The welcome view of the Guyamas harbor upon our return
After a long night, we waited until daylight to reenter the Guaymas harbor (bright freighters passed and unlit trawlers lurked in the early morning darkness). The slip we’d left 18 hours before welcomed us back to safety and a well-deserved nap.

And so, we are happily back in Guaymas, where we shall spend Christmas with our many friends.

Mazatlan will wait until Neptune permits and a safe, and hopefully enjoyable, passage can be made – after Christmas!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Guaymas, Sonora!

Self-serve Mexican (yellow) and
American (white) chicken
Please eat some turkey, gravy and pie for us! We shan't experience Thanksgiving in the traditional way...

Our first two plus weeks have been amazing and we're enjoying life in a great Mexican community. 
Oh yeah, let's have lard

Holiday wine display - don't
forget the Boones Farm!
Yea! Judy rethreads
the main halyard

Sunset tonight...behind our neighbors

Mike installing
our new port

Mike installing our new portlight
On the hard with our 'front door' ladder
Judy up the mast 3x - what a view

Mike climbing down the ladder,
heading to the shower
after a day in the engine room
...Our 4 sails on the bowsprit, awaiting
Judy projects: clean up and paint
stern anchor and emergency tiller
Loud music, crisp school uniforms, dangerous sidewalks, sky-high lard displays (especially for holiday cooking), riding in the back of pickup trucks (ah the freedom, whether entire families eating ice cream cones, full work crews, or machine gun-toting camouflaged Federales). It’s all good and now, familiar.

Plus, this year we have our car and the responsibility of being part of what I call anarchy driving, where there are apparently no rules, few street signs and optional stop signs. You have to remain keenly aware of buses, motorbikes, dogs, and the oft unlabeled “topes” (serious speed bumps).

Potluck fun: Ulla (in red) made margaritas
for the ladies (with Ziggy from Poland)
We enjoy connecting with old friends and meeting new in the dry boat yard, where we live onboard, up and down the ladder. We’ve attended two potlucks with people from Canada, England, Poland, Argentina and of course, the US. Such a melting pot of adventuresome individuals, it rocks.

In the boatyard, we are working on Pura Vida projects so she’s ready for a full season of cruising. Progress! We are thankful for Gabriel and Arnulfo, the yard managers, and have hired Gama, the stainless steel guy and Chaba, the electrician for small repairs.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

One path, two schools of thought –

We are dedicating this post to our friend, Mike Vokoun, who left this earth too soon and is watching over us from heaven. Mike lived life to the fullest, laughed a lot, shared his 'joie de vivre', and truly lived by his mantras: it’s all good and no worries. He applied those life philosophies long before the sayings became popular. We will miss his warm smile and zest for life. And we’re looking forward to his soulmate and widow, Cathy, coming to visit us in Mexico!

Dinner at Omar's, Judy's fave restaurant -
in Ashland OR on our way south
View from the ramp at our rental floating
home on the Columbia River
Quotes from two famous people with two distinct schools of thought motivate us on our path of adventure:
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do
than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe
harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover" - Mark Twain
“Well if anything's going to happen, it's going to happen out there.” - Captain Ron

Early morning walk along the dock
Mike delivered this sailboat from Newport
to Portland OR with our friend Lisa
The drive from Portland in our fully loaded car has been good. Brief stops in Alameda and Phoenix to see friends and buy some goodies that are hard to come by south of the border: good butter, blue cheese and our kind of bacon... Now the next chapter of our sailing adventures has begun. Our Mexican auto insurance policy is in effect and once we splash, we’ll store the covered car in the same dry yard where the boat is. We secured our annual Mexican fishing licenses via mail, as we plan to catch our dinner as much as possible and improve our skills.

Tony carved 'Wilson' for our deck
We intend to spend about a month preparing Pura Vida for her next voyage, then hopefully head to Zihuatenejo, around 1,100 miles as the crow flies, SE on the Mexican mainland. At a max of 6 nautical miles an hour, you’ll quickly see that this will be a long trip. We're stoked.

During the summer we had several jobs both working at West Marine and Passion Yachts on Hayden Island where we lived in two fantastic floating homes on the Columbia River. Additional jobs also kept us hopping and working almost every day. We were able to get by with one car, having sold Mike's truck to a friend last year. And, we rode our bikes to work or walked on the island.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Six years ago today…

I married my best friend. Today is our wedding anniversary and we’re so thankful for each other! When I think about it, I would never have imagined a water-focused lifestyle nor the idea of living on a boat but since I’ve known Mike, it just makes sense for us. Thank you to everyone who made our day so special in 2007!

We’re gearing up for our return to Mexico and excited that we are heading out for unknown adventures. Just gave our notice at the lovely floating home we’ve been renting since July so we’ll be out November 1st. We’ve decided we’ll drive our Rubia-mobile to Mexico! Driving down will give us some flex on what we bring and remove the Mexican bus from the travel mix. While driving my BMW in Mexico makes me a tad nervous, I am getting over it.
View to I-5 freeway from our floating home

Sunset from our moorage
We look forward to spending about a month getting Pura Vida ready for her big splash. Then, we’ve decided we’ll head south to Zihuatenejo on the Pacific side.

Happy Autumn to all.

Judy & Mike
Girls outing via pontoon boat to a floating restaurant!

Jody & I before our High School
Reunion in Oconomowoc WI in Aug

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Summer on Hayden Island!

Sunset beyond the railroad bridge across the Columbia

Pretty cool sunset on Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice moonrise
We have been reintegrating ourselves into life in Portland since the end of May – not the easiest transition from life in Mexico to the hustle, bustle of a growing city and associated traffic. Now, it’s already early August and we are settled into a wonderful floating home on Hayden Island. It’s on the Columbia River which divides Oregon from Washington, upriver from where we lived last summer.

Mike helping our neighbors with their dinghy
Waterfront Blues festival - 4th of July wkend
View across the river from our home - floating dry dock
Here we are: new employees at the
West Marine grand opening
Our friend Chuck's pontoon boat
moved our stuff up the river
It’s been a transition, for sure, and we are thankful for our friends old and new who help us on our journey to enjoy life on the water. We moved from our friends’ houseboat to another moorage in mid July – upriver via pontoon boat!

We are both working multiple jobs including West Marine at their new flagship store on Hayden Island. It’s a fabulous store and we are glad to be part of it.

We’re biking and walking to get around on the island, getting by with one car, and enjoying summer on the water. Still hoping to bring our kayaks to the river.

We both wish you a fabulous summer!