Archive for July, 2009

Going Back To Cali

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Days in the work yard were not as bad as we’d expected. Sure, it was hot, but there was a breeze. In the evenings, though, the mosquitos came out, so we had to cover our hatch with netting. Unfortunately the netting we had was for no-see-ums, which are tiny. The net stopped the mosquitos, but it stopped the breeze too! We survived by putting wet washcloths on ourselves, and sleeping under fans.

We planned to get an early start to beat the heat on our drive from San Carlos to Tucson, but with last-minute details and our farewell breakfast of huevos a la mexicana, it was 10am when we hit the freeway. After just a few minutes on the road, our air conditioner gave out. We’d had problems with it occasionally blowing a fuse, so we’d stocked up on fuses, and just popped a new one in every once in a while. Well, after pulling over twice (having blown 3 fuses in a row), it became apparent that our solution was no longer cutting it.

We decided to stop in Hermosillo (about an hour from San Carlos) to look for a garage. As the temperature crept up in the car, we sat in silence, contemplating the misery that lay ahead of us. I checked the clock; 10:24. An eternity later, I checked it again; 10:28. The drive to Hermosillo turned out to be one of the longest of our lives! But happily, the Pemex guys directed us to a garage, where the mechanics quickly diagnosed a short. They had to pull the alternator to get to it, so it took a couple of hours. Final cost: $22! We were on our way with A/C baby! (more…)

Almost Famous

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Check it out- my article on solar cooking was just published in Cruising World magazine!

Crossing the Sea and Hauling Out

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

As North winds were in the forecast, we decided to stay another day at Agua Verde. We talked to a couple of boats via the VHF, and though one was Northbound and the other Southbound, both reported wind “right on the nose”! We scratched our heads a bit at this, but then again, we’ve often suspected that winds in the Sea of Cortez have a magical “noserly” component!

So the next day, despite our 3.2 knot average, we were pleased to be able to sail most of the way to Bahia Salinas on Isla Carmen. With such light winds, there were no seas to speak of, so en route I used my solar oven to bake a huge chocolate chip cookie. All the while I chanted the tongue-twister that Koiya made up for such occasions: “Slowly solar cooking Susan’s solar cookies!”

The Sea is teeming with life here (near Loreto), and we saw countless mantas jump and flip themselves. We also watched a humpback whale surfacing and diving nearby, and suddenly, it exploded into the air in a full breach! The sun sparkled off its grooved white belly and long flippers, and it hung in the air for an impossibly long moment. We both cried out “Whoa!”, but our voices were drowned out by the whale’s splash. Amazing! (This isn’t our photo, but it gives you an idea of what we saw. “Our whale” went more vertical than this!) (more…)