Thursday, February 1, 2018

Catching up.

Well its about time I suppose. Been two years and maybe 10,000 miles of Pacific since I last made an entry. This will be a compressed catch up version. Left Mexico ( La Cruz) Alril of2015 heading down the coast slowly teaching yet another gal how to sail. Susan and I started by day sails and worked up to overnighters. Stopping along the way at Alcapulco and many others and finally arrived at Hualtaco where we provisioned, fueled and hung out for a few days waiting for a weather window to get down to Los Barillos. Arrived there late April and will say it is just like many Central and South American Bars. Dangerous and not something you would want to do during inclimate weather or a even slightly  weak boat. You are sideways to the surf and about five minutes from being on the beach if anything went wrong. The so called Pilot is as usual nothing more than a native in a Panga who has a bit of local knowledge and wants his 50 bucks, and is responsable for nothing. The guide book makes light of both of the bars into El Salvadore as do others who run the El Salvadore Rally and such. These bars are not to be taken lightly.
By early May We had done a bit of ElSalvador Travel and fueled and provisioned. Use your Baja Filter as this was some very ugly fuel. So we left and as it was late in the season had lots of lightening activity. We went out 200 miles which got us outside of most of it and headed for Bahia De Caraquez Ecuador something like 1100 miles away. We had sent an email to the Marina telling them of our ETA and called on the VHF. Seems like it was Channel 12 but there are new owners of the marina so check that before you dept. The next morning a panga showed up and guided us in. Turned out they were just fishermen looking to make an extra buck and the real panga with the pilot showed up halfway in and they both wanted to be paid. So lesson is get a discription of the actual panga the pilot uses before you arrive. This bar is another case of making sure of the weather and your boats steering and other systems before attempting. I did touch down having been caught on a wave that surfed me 500 yards accross the entrance. This is a SC 39 with a round stern which doesn’t easily surf. So the long shallow entrance presents forces I could never explain. 12 to 14 kts for 500 yards on a 6’ swell is enough to get your attention let me tell you. we arrived in to the marina and secured. We were checked in the next day and all was well. They use the US dollar for currency there and here is a bit of advice. Buy your hard liquor before you go to Ecuador. A bottle of Johnnie Walker Red is about a hundred bucks. We found some chilean reds almost reasonable.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Life in La Paz while reading the boat for the next leg

From left Augustine, Abarora Elder, me Lenke the Sodidadore/Welder and Jesus Yard Worker On Sat.afternoons we amigos had a taste of Aguave

Father and Son laying in the new blue tile on Galley Counters

Kim taking my ease on friend Crit's boat. Crit came down on Jazdip on the 2010 Baja Ha Ha She is a good buddy.

I installed a cover over the inflatable floor to protect. Got a Mayday call from a boat just upwind of me an hour before daylight. Someones derelict ferro cement mast less boat had broke loose from its mooring and had slammed into "Banjo Jane" and entangled in their anchor chain. This twenty ton monster was breaking handrail stanchions and cracking the caprail in the 20 knot winds with 3-4' seas. I got up and put some warm cloths,lifejacket and portable VHF radio on and went out to see what I could do. In les than 20 minutes there were myself and 5 other skiffs helping. We finally got the derelict on a towline and a couple boats pushing away from the rest of the anchored boats. This kind of thing happens more frequent than you might think. Somebody with a dream, little money, buys an old ferro cement boat for little or nothing manages to get here somehow and realize that the hole in the water to throw your money in was going to cost more than they ever imagined. So they put it on a mooring with a old engine for an anchor and some old line and head back to the States to earn money and gradually forget their dream and eventually this morning happens. That was the 5th time I have been around for it in La Paz. I have to say it did get some adrenalin going and I got to use some of the skills learned in the towing industry abiet a much smaller scale.

Monday, January 7, 2013

In La Paz for yard work, improvements and Fun

 Had to repaint the bottom as the Barnicles thought the previous paint was candy. I used the same yard as last time and must say  The Victor Abarora Yard did a fine job at a great price. It was great to catch up with their family. I was especially glad to see Augistine Abarora one of the few elders still alive whom shared some fine Tequilla with me and has become a good Amigo. Lots of activities during the holidays with many parties to go to. Almost too many parties. Thats what happens when you stay in one place so long. Many friends Mexican and Norte Americanos alike. I will miss them when I leave for the next leg. I decided to show some of the interior of Philiosophy this blog.....




Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Play in The Bay of LA.

Flying thru the EstuaryAdd caption

Cocktail hour on FireflyAdd caption

Ted and Brendadd caption

SushiAdd caption

Looking for the chennel the fast wayAdd caption
Philiosophy has been in the Bay of La for three weeks now. I am learning how to snorkle as a prelude to diving. My friends Ted and Brenda on "Firefly" are experienced divers and when I am ready will teach me when I have properly prepared myself with the books and other diving knowledge. In the meantime Ted caught a couple Sierra which we promptly made into sushi. We will be heading out to the Islands near here tomorrow for fishing, snorkling and diving.
The weather has been in the mid 90's with a nice cooling wind.
The provisioning is good tho expensive by Mexican standards and there is Wi Fi available in the Motels which you can use if you have a meal and there is a pool. We like Villa Vitto as we can land our dingy's on the beach near by.. Life es muy tranquillo.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The end of The Long slow Hard,My Buddy Gary, and departure from La Paz

Well looking back at my last blog entry I see I have a fair bit o catching up to do. Please note that I sometimes have some space of time between internet connection. Not always a bad thing. OK the last 10 days on the hard were well lets just say hard! As you recall my buddy Gary Favor had had a trip to the hospital and after being back just 4 days indeed did have a massive heart attack. I was still up on the hard and his neighbors Stephan and Fred called me about 1230 on Saturday night saying that Gary was calling for me and to come quick as the ambulance was there and they needed help getting him out of the cockpit and down the dock. I threw on my long pants and nice shirt with closed toed shoes as is the custom when visiting the hospital. I got over there in time to carry the oxygen bottle and make sure we went to the hospital Gary wanted. I want to tell you a ride on Saturday night in an ambulance in La Paz Mexico is one to remember. 0-70 and back to 0 so many times I wasn't sure we were going to make it. Cars full of drunk 1st generation drivers pulling out in front or almost into the side of and about everything you could think of other than pull off the road and let the ambulance go by. I don't think there is any ill intent its just primitive 1st generation drivers. Many without drivers license,insurance, and very very few with any drivers Ed. All the way to the hospital the EMT was telling the driver to andele as Gary's vitals were thready and weak. The ambulance was equipped with all the equipment you could ask for and the paramedics were well trained and professional. We got there and they rushed him in to the emergency room and I just followed them in. I just naturally hung in to answer any questions I could when needed. We weren't there 2 minutes before Gary's hands went slack and he was gone. One of the doctors jumped right up on his chest and started doing CPR and after 6 minutes got him going again. That is with drugs and machines doing his breathing. About this time one of the nurses started giving me the eye and pretty soon they made me go to a waiting room.
Four days earlier I had made Gary give me the contact info for his older brother Al. So armed with this I started making the late night call from Hell. All I had was a land line number in Goodyear Arizona which didn't answer all thru the night. Finally at about 0730 I had a brain flash to call the cops in Goodyear and have them go to the house, which after explaining the situation they did. Turned out Al and Ann Favor were on the road at Eugene Oregon but thankfully a neighbor who had their cell number talked to the police and they got right back to me. Because I was the person who was with Gary the administrators came to me each time there was a medical decision to be made. I just kept telling them to do anything they could to help him and I was trying to get a hold of his next of kin. Al and Ann arrived the next day and did all they could including a angioplasty but to no avail. Gary passed on the third day in the ICU.
Gary on the left with a good friend Will

Finished Fairing Block This one won't come off easily
Finishing touches by Jesus the morning of the launch

Jesus putting two barrier coats on

My friend Roberto having just painted the name

Yup I built that Fairing block and attached it muy fuerte

Here comes the Travel lift to put Philiosophy where she belongs after 6 weeks

This snake like structure is the smoke runway to the big stack on the hill. It comes from the smelter to keep the smoke and debris away from the population

And here is the stack on the hill

Meanwhile while all this is going on I am not staying on top of the last few days of the bottom job and shortcuts are being taken. I had to make the yard redo some things but in the end got a very good job for a very reasonable price.
Turned out that Al and Ann Favor were really nice people and so appreciated all I had done. Stephan on Veriazon had done a lot too including putting the first emergency room and such on his credit card.
They had Gary cremated and since Gary always wanted to go up in the Sea of Cortez I am taking him there. Gary's drink of choice was Early Times whiskey and water so I stocked up and headed out of La Paz with Gary aboard on his last voyage. Every time I go in somewhere nice I put a little bit of Gary there.
I am presently here in This cute little mining town Santa Rosalia. There was a big Copper Mine operating until the late 50's. It was french owned and operated and there is some definite french influence in the local architecture here. Eiffel built a prefab galvanized church and was the designer of most of the tall smoke stacks around Baja mining industry of the era.
I was up at the very good Hot Dog cart with some friends last night when I struck up a conversation with a young mining engineer from Tijuana whom answered several questions about a new mine being constructed near the old. This one is targeting predominately copper as well as I think molybdenum, gold and something else. A couple interesting points are the mine is 30% owned by Koreans and 70% Canadian.  Most of the mining engineers are American, the workers are mostly from elsewhere in Mexico and the quarters,commissary,entertainment centers are all built underground near the mine. They even serve alcohol on weekends. I think I might go up to the office here in town and see if there are tours.
I am planning to be here until Tue morning at 0400 as the wind is forecast to come back out of the south and I have 78 miles to go to San Fransiscito the first leg until I catch up with the rest of my friends on Ted and Brenda Firefly,  Tom and Jeanne on Eagle and others. Life is good and I don't miss work even a little bit.......

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Long Slow On the Hard Continues

I can just barely see the light at the end. Maybe a week more. Did any of you Norte Americano's know that manana doesn't mean tomorrow. I means in the future. This is a very important part of living in Mexico. The people also have a different expectation of life. I don't think its all that romantic. The people just expect less from life and that means what is acceptable to them in regard to work done on me barco........Well lets just say they expect less. I stay right with them and sometimes we have to do it over. Thats ok tho as it lets me get in the middle,make changes etc.
Five days ago at 0715 I got a call from a friend Gary on Gratefull Heir. Gary is 69 and well he drinks a bit. He asked me if I could come over and help him as he thought he was having a heart attack. I hustled over,got him laying on his back,feet slightly elevated,comfortable and an aspirin under his tongue. I put the pressure cuffs on him and called the Red Cross Ambulance. The paramedic arrived about ten minutes later and after he checked Gary's vitals he decided Gary didn't need a ambulance. So we took him to a Dr. Tuchman who is the hero doctor of the cruisers. He said gary needed to go to the hospital immediately. He called ahead and they got him right in. Turned out Gary had an ulcer that perforated and allowed air into his abdominal cavity. This was caused by Gary taking 8oo mg ibuprofen frequently. He had a three hour surgery,stayed 5 days and paid 7500 pesos and they sent him on his way. By the way 100.00 us gets you 1400.00 pesos. Do the math. Gary was in a brand new hospital. This would have been free if he would have had Security Popular which is the national health insurance and costs 1400 pesos (100.00us) Doctors in Mexico don't expect to be millionares and health care in general is not big business here.

Thats all for now......Kim

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On The Long Slow Hard in Mexico

Add caption
Boy did she ever need new bottom paint

Kim learning to laminate and fibreglass and fit

Believe it or not that is a Gori folding prop. There is a lot of life in the Sea of Cortez. The most concentrated salinity in any open Sea in the world. Some of the teaming life is growing here

Here is where the Capt is mighty nervous. That boat ain't supposed to fly 

                                              Here is the Fairing Block formed by me and now there will be a bunch of laminating and fibreglass overlay. I am learning tons
Yes I know that title could be a line in a certain type of movie. Just a chuckle from a man who has never been known to be especially patient. I have been up in the air as it were for three and a half weeks with no real end in sight. Best guess two more. This job would have been done in oh say maybe 10 days in the States. Then again it would have cost a lot more.That said this family owned and operated shipyard lets me get my hands in the middle of the project,works with me and even lets me use their tools for some of my own projects. Way cool I say.I keep my trusty steed/bicycle locked up close by and may I just say this is one fine flat city for biking. I have put over 700 miles on it since I got it here in Dec. There is a huge abundance of really great live Rock and Roll here. There is a great music department at one of the local colleges that specializes in late 60's and 70's rock. These kids play perfect renditions of all those bands right down to Janice Joplins screaming in key.Its really something. I am going dancing at my favorite Palapa Bar La Costa tonight. Music starts at 7.Yes they even accommodate old fogies that like to be in bed early The band specializes in Southern Rock. Just right for shaking a leg. Life is good......Kim