Wasting Away in Marinaville

DSC05200“Nothing lasts forever,” I mouthed to myself, noticing the soles of my pink flip-flops definitely wearing thin.  Most gals would have ditched the faded beauties a long time ago. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I behold them to be simply beautiful…and functional. Neon pink and cheap ($2.50), I wear them to scruff around the marina. San Diego or Mexico, easy on and easy off, they are hands down the prettiest one’s I’ve yet to see worn into a marina shower. So, when I blew out my flip-flop (right one), on my way back home (A-Dock at Marina San Carlos) I couldn’t help but smile, borrow Jimmy Buffet’s song, and turn it into a title. Yep- hanging out in a Mexico marina has that effect on me….random bouts of creative energy spinning non-consequential moments into titles for Seamore Nautical Spirits.

The true story is that the Captain and I aren’t actually wasting away in some gosh-awful marina, drinking ourselves silly with blender concoctions, and getting tattoos while dreaming of sailing away. Give us 6 months and that might become the case, but for now, marina life has a different sort of purpose. It’s being in Marina San Carlos that I’m learning the ropes of seasonal sailing. Silly mwa  assumed that once we returned to the boat, after being gone for 10 months, that two days max is all it would take to wash off the pelican poo and tinker with a few simple boat projects; we would be sailing, sailing, sailing in nothing flat. Interestingly enough, that is not how the “grown-ups” do it. San Carlos is a cruiser’s haven.  Boaters come into San Carlos, leave for a few months/years, return, get back on their boat, and either cruise the Sea of Cortez or head south to the Pacific. This happens season after season, and year after year. What I’m learning is that most of us cruisers aren’t racers, that tinker projects always turn into major refit projects, and if the boat never, ever leaves the marina that’s more than OK. Because living on a boat, in Mexico, at a marina, getting to know other boaters creates random bouts of creative energy. And yippee for me, there are random opportunities when a 2 minute dance party interrupts my job of maintaining the teak; that’s when crew from one of the huge yachts cranks a stereo, sending hip-hip dance tunes out for my enjoyment (no one else seems to appreciate the loud music). Sometimes, it is so loud it cracks my toenail polish.

What has Seamore Pacific been up to besides wearing out flip-flops and dancing through boat chores? Well, there have been potlucks and dock parties to enjoy, hiking, and trail running.  Also, she has a brand new water efficient shower/faucet (one full day of work) and a new energy efficient-6 gallon hot water heater (3 full days of work). Both jobs required serious crouching and twisting in tiny spaces.   I can now identify what projects other boaters are involved in by watching how they walk down the dock. Hunched over and leaning to one side, face contorted is not a good sign. Grease under the nails? That means engine work. Sun kissed shoulders? That means sanding, varnish, and stainless steel polishing. Mumbling with eyes rolling? That means the wife insists on having a cat on board. Head nodding up and down, side to side, and cross ways? That definitely means an attack of creative energy is about to happen.

In reflection, I’d say what I’m gaining from our experiences this year is an ability to turn plain moments into moments of gratitude. Through daily chores I’m using my hands in ways not common to them. The clutter and chaos that ensues with most projects has been a healthy challenge to my practice of turning all the cans in the fridge so that each one faces identically.  Days where the wind whips through the bay, squashing any hope of going out for a day sail; days where finding the exact sized wrench, means, dismantling a quarter of the sole to access where tools are stored; and days, when snail mail is faster than the Wi-Fi at the marina would have irritated the heck out of me last year. But this year is different…probably because I only have to look out my hatch to see others modeling what it means to live in the moment as a sailor. Like my flip-flops, wasting away in marina-ville has an expiration date…I want to enjoy this moment.

So, excuse me, while I go round up another pair of flip-flops…a shaker of salt…and some dance tunes.

Bahia San Carlos

Bahia San Carlos

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DSC05250DSC05239Bird on Panga

Sunday drive to Miramar

Sunday drive to Miramar

Good place for a stop light?

Good place for a stop light?

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Sunday's Dinner

Sunday’s Dinner

The wood pile used to cook Sunday's dinner.

The wood pile used to cook Sunday’s dinner.

Peek a Boo!

Peek a Boo!

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Chaos and progress go hand in hand sometimes.

Chaos and progress go hand in hand sometimes.

A-Dock at Marina San Carlos

A-Dock at Marina San Carlos

Seamore Pacific with the 2 blue sail covers

Seamore Pacific with the 2 blue sail covers

Tienda on the way to the beach club

We like this Tienda, we pass it on our walk to the beach club

Marinaterra Beach Club

Marinaterra Beach Club

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Marina dockage includes access to the beach club.

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View from Marinaterra Playa

View from Marinaterra Beach Club

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…a little bit of dancing makes working on teak a whole lot more fun.

The End

The End

PS.  Seamore Nautical Spirits is looking forward to celebrating parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary in the coming weeks. 

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The Color of Gravity

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In the cruising world, boat chores are sometimes referred to as either pink or blue.  Pink being those chores pertaining to galley duty, bright work, bilge cleaning, and canvas repairs.  Blue jobs typically include engine work, climbing the mast, and going bottom side to scrub the hull.  For as much as the nomenclature of categorizing boat duties sounds sexist, life on a boat is anything but.  It’s always about getting the job done, sometimes requiring a  “suck it up cupcake” attitude.

The color of work on our boat is Mauve.  Captain Chameleon cleans the bilge and I go up the mast.  We both tend to the bottom side.  Not so much on Seamore Pacific, but when we lived on a trawler in the Florida Keys, our once a month fun-day was to take her out Sister’s Creek, drop anchor, and spend an hour scrubbing every inch of her hull.  To give my arms and neck a rest from the awkward position of scrubbing, I’d take a 5 minute snorkel break, out and away from the boat.  Break time was sure to reveal some kind of marine life; tarpon, starfish, parrot fish, and sometimes harmless species of small sharks.  Most of the congregating fish were probably curious about the dime-size barnacles released with each successful swipe of the scrub brush; some would drift away with the underwater current, while others sank to the bottom of the ocean floor.  Back to boat chores…I loathe mauve.

Mauve reminds me of a time in my life when fabric came in every shade of mauve and was paired with cream colored lace, to make blouses with puffed up sleeves and shoulder pads. Gag.  If that isn’t horrid enough, what about having wallpaper with ducks and geese wearing yellow bow ties?  Not to be critical of mauve, lace, ducks, and geese, but the whole Country Gal style just wasn’t me.  But, I didn’t know that at the time.  Literally everywhere I turned, something or somebody was shrouded in the stuff and so I assumed it was who I was.  As destiny would have it(a.k.a. as coming to my decorating and fashion senses),  I became aware of another world and other colors.  Imagining all the possibilities and options that lay before me, was…well, there really are no words to describe how wonderfully liberating the feeling was.  Pre-move to Florida and pre-Captain Chameleon, I view those precious days as when my color wheel started moving, taking me in the right direction.  I didn’t know where I was going, but I was fully content to finally be underway and waving good-bye to Mauve; and all her foo-foo cronies.  Content to experience new color, but a novice at creating them.  With paralyzed excitement, my white knuckles had to find the mojo to open up and let go…White.  Green.  Yellow.  Red.  Orange.  And BLUE.

“Ready?”  He shouted.

“Yes. Wait, NO!  Ok. Yes.”  I shouted back in staccato fashion.

In the time it took for my heart to beat one more time, I let go of the strut supporting the wing and went into free fall.  The color of gravity was blue. Beautiful BLUE.

 

That was my one and only static-line skydive.  Something about an unforeseen change in wind direction and speed caused me to have what they categorize as a “miss landing.”   Enjoying the blue of the sky and to be alive, I was puzzled by the tiny specks of people waving their arms and jumping up and down on the ground.  Coming in fast but still very high, I sailed past them and way, way past the drop zone they were jumping up and down on.  My travels that day took me past a highway, past a grove of trees, and past a farmer’s fence and pond; eventually I plowed his field using only my outstretched legs that were locked tight at both knees.   Blue skies became brown dirt, which thankfully turned into black and red.  Two gentlemen driving down the highway in a red corvette, seeing jumpers, decided to pull over and enjoy the pretty parachutes.  The first 2 chutes fell out of sight just as they had expected.  What about that one?!  Geez-o-Pete it’s coming our way.  Oops, there she goes.  Hope she misses the power lines…

Having just found a new appreciation for brown, I sat there stunned, staring at Farmer Brown’s dirt. Hearing shouts, I looked up to see two men dressed in black running towards me.  Asking me if I was ok, checking for broken bones, and muffling profanities, they helped me unharness from my chute and gather it into a puffy cloud of silk….it could have been the color of mauve for all I know.  To far to walk, one stayed behind, while the other gave me a lift in the red corvette, back to the deadbeat skydiving school.

 

~OTV63TI001F_2

Packing Chutes

Packing Chutes

Final drill before going up.

Final drill before going up.

 

It was my skydiving debut that has earned me the chore of going up the mast on Seamore Pacific.  Technically a blue job by boater standards, but one that I’m best suited for, over Captain Chameleon.  It’s not often I have to go up the mast and it’s never because something really great just happened.   At the top of the mast is a job that requires tools, ingenuity, safety-mindedness, and scheming.  Scheming on how I’m going to get Captain Chameleon to put on a pink apron and clean up the galley.

Soon enough I’ll be rummaging the lazarette for my bosun chair.  Seamore Pacific, by all accounts, came through Hurricane Odile unharmed but she has a non-functioning antennae at the top of her mast that needs to come down.  Otherwise, the antennae serves as a roost for birds, giving the fate of gravity a whole new meaning and color.

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Serendipity Dance

At Sunrise.  Coming into Sunrise Aid Station 24 hours into a 100 mile run.

If you get the choice…I hope you dance. Lyrics by Lee Ann Womack. Photograph by Seamore Nautical Spirits.

In some ways, my ITunes playlist resembles my land based closet. It contains more songs than I really need.   I go through phases where I only listen to the same songs, over and over. Then by serendipity a song I haven’t played in a very long time catches my attention and it’s like uncovering a forgotten pair of sandals or an old favorite bikini. I hit the play button and our attachment to one another is rekindled.

The song, I Hope You Dance, by Lee Ann Womack is one of those songs that had dropped off my playlist favorites. Back when I downloaded the song, the inspiring words and tempo took the edge off of an otherwise intolerably long, lonesome, and blazing hot Phoenix summer time run.   Preparing my legs and mind for a 100 mile endurance race, the simplest way to log a bunch of miles was to run close to home rather than use time driving to a premier running location up in the cool, crisp air of Flagstaff. But, it was inevitable that 6-8 hours of running in an oven would lead to fixating on quitting. A cool comfortable house with a backyard swim has a mighty pull over gritty, hot, asphalt pounding.   Resisting the voices in my head to skip the miles, go home, and chill out were overcome by the voices of Lee Ann Womack, Jimmy Buffett, Lady Gaga, Guns and Roses, and Cher. Oh, and the boys at Circle K.

A very hot afternoon of running, I stumbled into the store and was greeted by two guys who took a cross eyed look at the sweaty, scarlet faced, salty heap coming through the door. With one finger on the 9 of 911, the other suggested I cool off in the Beer Cave with a Big Gulp of Mountain Blue Blast Power Aid. Hallelujah!  Lee Ann’s words, “When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance,” were my cue to leave the cave for another round of craziness; reluctant, but none the less willing to keep running.   I credit the Beer Cave and a host of songs for helping me keep it together that summer.

Mexico Photos by Gail 022This summer my runs are too short to warrant time in the Beer Cave; my closet is in need of major organizing; and I’m rediscovering songs on my ITunes playlist. Still replaying the events of sailing Seamore Pacific with Captain Chameleon, from San Diego to the Sea of Cortez, I listen to the words of I Hope You Dance and relate to it differently than I did as a Beer Cave tenant. “I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean” is a humble reminder that ME, MY, and I are trivial… at a comical level. There is nothing that I bring to the ocean or take from the ocean that tops another. My affinity for the ocean and a seafaring life is teensy tiny potatoes. Yet, with social networking and the attention that comes with it, I can be fooled into thinking that what I am thinking and doing is super interesting. But it took years for Captain James Cook to map the Pacific Ocean, disclose the discoveries that he made, and receive “great job!” (a.k.a Facebook Like). His life and accomplishments are truly amazing; in the super spud category.Trail

 

So why the deep thought about social networking, potatoes, and the lyrics of I Hope You Dance? Well, just after I found the song buried on my play list, Captain Chameleon and I met up with friends in California for old fashion, face time. Enough Facebook visiting, I wanted person to person visiting. The event was the San Diego 100 mile Endurance Race. A special friend was there to run her fourth 100 mile race and a friend I met through her was also going to be there. It was a choice to be with friends and enjoy life outside the status quo.  To be in Cleveland National Forest at 3 am, looking up at the stars, waiting for frayed, tired runners ascending from a canyon in search of boiled potatoes for nourishment, blister relief, and encouraging words like “great job,” was a rush. I silently thought to myself as I looked around at fellow star gazers, “We are out here dancing to one of Life’s tunes.” Instead of sitting it out, we were here in Cleveland National Forest, under the stars, feeling small beside the ocean.   I don’t own a smart phone so I couldn’t share with the world what I was doing at that very moment. So, undistracted by any gadgets, I simply sat there under the stars, listening for my friend’s voice and shuffled steps to announce her arrival from the canyon.

Until my friend crossed the finish line, I had time to marvel at others choreographing their own style of dance; volunteers, parents, spouses, and children cheering the runners onward. Some danced with experience, others not so much. I came home from our weekend in California with a renewed conviction for simple kindness, simple adventure, and simply being present.Haul it

 

Three days after meeting our friends in California, Captain Chameleon and I drove to Missouri for my cousin’s daughter’s wedding. It was great to be in the presence of family and friends. Facebook time had afforded me information about what was generally going on with each person but I had missed their voices, their expressions, their nuances. At the reception, before things started winding up on the dance floor, I had a rare chance to visit with Uncle Blondie, a quiet, hardworking man who married my Aunt Blondie. The mother of the bride and I were little girls when Uncle Blondie married our Aunt in the city park. We thought the wedding was SO romantic and that Aunt Blondie looked like a princess in her baby blue wedding dress and Chantilly lace veil. Catching up, after talking about blue wedding dresses, and before the evening’s champagne toast, he talked about a recent stressful event in his life and the ire’s of going from working for himself to working for someone else. He referenced a line from Lee Ann’s song; “Where one door closes, I hope another opens” as a belief he holds onto. There you have it…serendipity.

Blades of grass

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Others who I admire for their dancing:

  • My brother and sister-in-law for shuttling their kids to practice and private pitching lessons, and cheering them through hours, and hours, and hours of baseball and softball games. They have beautiful tan lines and great kids to show for it.

 

  • For Maw and Papa for driving 8 hours because their eight year old granddaughter really (really, really) wanted to go to the wedding. She looked beautiful dancing with her Papa. If you ask her what the best part of the evening was, she would say that besides dancing with Papa, she got to talk and dance with the bride.

 

  • Our friends Geo and Ni, they plant trees, a garden, and fruits of love with their 18 month old daughter.

 

  • Our sailing friends Happy Dance and Magic Carpet, both are scattered about the Sea of Cortez. We enjoy reading of your adventures. Unless we see you before then, make room for Seamore Pacific in 6 months.

 

  • Running buddies.  Without them…I’d have sat it out and missed the dance.

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Francis and Henri Matisse

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Nature’s dance

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Drilled Beach Glass

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No Running Back

beth4Once both feet are outside the door, it’s anybody’s guess as to if the short 3 mile run will free up my thoughts. To keep it simple and because it’s one less thing to have to make a choice about, I always leave my house, turn right and run to the end of the park.  When the park meets the road, I hop from the sidewalk to the asphalt pavement, twisting left, in one smooth Nike leap.  I am now heading south.  Once I reach Circle K, I pause, cross the street, and head home.  Maybe it’s the predictability of my running route, or maybe it’s because I grew up on a farm with two brothers who joined me in “make believe” in the alfalfa fields, but today’s 3 mile run took me back to the day I graduated from nursing school (25 years ago today), then to how much things in nursing have changed, over to Florence Nightingale, eventually to Pitbull, and finally…this is where it gets strange…imagining Pitbull singing about Florence’s accomplishments in the advancement of professional nursing and healthcare improvement.  Sure, I’m bias because I’m a fellow nurse, but Florence rocked it!

FlorencePitbull_2,_2012

 

 

Florence drove change.  She saw the value of making rounds at night to check on her patients, to modifying the patient’s surroundings to promote healing, and to lead a reform for improving sanitary conditions.  She is a hero for saving lives and believed, heart and soul, in the vocation of nursing. Wikipedia Florence Nightingale

Today, it took only a mere 3 short miles to figure out that Pitbull and Florence are a complimentary match.  They understand each other.  The Queen of Nursing let herself imagine what would happened if nurses mixed art with science.  She termed it: The art and science of nursing.  It’s what fuels my passion for nursing. Pitbull on the other side of the century is what I love to dance to.  I appreciate his musical talent.  I smile that often times his vocals and influence are meant for back-up to the main artist, but in the end, without Pitbull it isn’t much of a song to dance to.  Wikipedia Pitbull

When I left the house for my typical 3 mile run, I wasn’t thinking of Flo or Pit, but rather how some nurses in healthcare are dismayed by ever constant change.  I’m challenged with that notion.  Why on earth would one remain in Healthcare and be reluctant over change.  At that crazy moment a new song started and I had my answer….”To understand the future we have to go back in time.”  Pitbull, strutting the lyrics were an easy leap for my highly imaginative mind….he might as well be singing about nursing, the fight against germs, saving patients, and the Lady with the gun…I mean lamp.

Music video by Pitbull performing Back in Time. (C) 2012

Wouldn’t you have made the same conclusion?

 

 

Pictures from the past:

Yardsale find

My Lamp

 

Old vice

Faded Icon

Generational

Wasted Caffeine Fein

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The same yesterday, today…and hopefully tomorrow.

Found on Spring Break

Found this while walking on the beach

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Pretty doesn’t mean perfect

No Shoes No Shirts on Spring Break

Leave your shoes at the beach, please.

Nurse Graduate 25 years ago

Nurse Graduate 25 years ago

 

 

“Turn around and run…

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…back to the sea and the sun.”  The song, Turn Around and Run, by Kelly McGuire [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H1WPZ3Emug], is a Trop-rock favorite of ours.  Back in the late 80’s, he and Captain Chameleon became friends while living at the same marina in Kemah, Texas. A sailor and dreamer, his music strikes a chord with us because it is entertaining, inspiring, and familiar.  Turn Around and Run is about going on vacation to a tropical paradise, the inevitable end of vacation, and then a last minute choice to skip the flight back to Rat Race Central; turn around and run back to the sea and the sun.

The Captain and I left San Diego Harbor last October (October 28, 2013) and after many highs and hardly a noticeable low (breaking my ankle January 2, 2014), our time of fun and folly of cruising aboard Seamore Pacific comes to a seasonal close this week.  This next Monday I return to work.  It is what I refer to as collecting sand dollars.  Get it?  Our last week of 24/7 companionship, simple living, and being aboard Seamore Pacific couldn’t be better spent than being at Marina San Carlos.  We arrived last Friday to begin the long, arduous process of hauling our boat out of the water and putting her “to bed” in Marina Seca (dry dock).  It is a pretty amazing site to behold, hundreds of white sailboat masts rising from a field, a couple of miles from the ocean.  Hundreds of cruisers each year go through the same routine; floated onto a hydraulic trailer at high tide, their boat is pulled out of the water and up the hill to dry dock.  It’s quite impressive and so far, we have never heard anything but raves about the whole process.  Safe and secure, she will be waiting our return for more Sea of Cortez cruising.   That is, once we have collected enough sand dollars to spring her bail.  Get it?

Just to jar the memory, we would have preferred putting Seamore Pacific to bed back in late January.  But with my injured ankle, I was not capable of dismantling her canvas, plugging her thru-hulls, running lubricants through her systems, stowing the outboards, stowing the inflatable dinghy, and shrouding her in tarps while she is perched 12 feet off the ground.  Turning limes into margaritas, we instead let my ankle heal by changing up our plans and traveling to Missouri to visit family.  After several large- square meals of delicious country cooking and doing little but sit and visit, my ankle was given the chance to heal.  I’m oh, so happy, so very happy to report that I went for my first run today.  Literally, I turned around and ran…back to the sea and the sun.

To keep with the theme of turning around, running, the sea, and the sun, Captain Chameleon just reminded me of the two black kittens that I happened onto this morning.  Hunkered under a car, one of the little cutie pies, turned around and ran, just as I came up to feed him some left over roasted chicken.

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Besides our love for the sea and the sun, the other reason we are reluctant to return to Rat Race Central, is that we have been able to shelter ourselves from news.  We both disdain superficial drama.  Seeing last week’s headline of “Kim Kardashian’s Has Buttocks Implants” had me running to the closest latrine to upchuck.  Fortunately, I don’t have to do that.  Choosing to not follow 99% of mainstream news, we are instead graced with real-life celebrities, like Jeanne Socrates [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362101/Jeanne-Socrates-70-oldest-woman-sail-solo-round-world-non-stop.html].   At 70 years old, she is the oldest female to solo-circumnavigated, non-stop.  Last night, she quietly sailed into Marina San Carlos and is berthed next to Seamore Pacific.  This afternoon, eagerly excited for my inaugural run, I stopped off at her boat to lend a warm handshake and tell her how much I admire her accomplishments.  Genuine and real, she brushed off the praise, and rerouted us back to being simply neighbors.  Can you imagine Kim Kardashian doing the same?  She actually might, but her publicist probably wouldn’t.  Having approximately 1400 nautical miles under my belt (With Captain Chameleon to lean on), Jeanne’s accomplishment has my complete and profound respect.

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That wraps up this post, except for one last important point; my work.  I am blessed to have the life that I have and a job that I truly enjoy.  When I’m not sailing, I’m a nurse.  Collecting sand dollars is both an honor and a privilege.  Satisfaction has less to do with how many sand dollars I collect and more about patients and their families having a caring outcome (high-quality care).

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A Walk on Blue Friday

DSC00810Black Friday.  I understand the ‘why’ behind the name but the words Black Friday is a bit prickly sounding , and especially this year being that we are far removed from any post-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza.  Instead of Black Friday, today will go down in history as Azule Friday.  We woke to a beautiful day in La Paz and were hopeful that the 5 day forecast would be favorable for sailing to Isla Espiritu Santo.  Isla Espiritu Santo leads us to Puerto Escondido and it happens to be popular with whale sharks (they can grow up to 60 feet and live 80-100 years).  We would so much like to see a whale shark in it’s true habitat.  With the wind forecast of 15 by this afternoon, with 20-25 knots in the bay, we discussed alternative plans and remained steadfast at being mindful of all that we are thankful for, in spite of not getting our way with the weather.

If not a sail to Isla Espiritu Santo then how about a drive to Todos Santos on the western shore of Baja?  After tacos and a few minor errands (done on foot) we went in search for a rental car for tomorrow.  For $790 pesos we found one car…maybe.  So, whether we will get to visit Todos Santos tomorrow or not, just depends on if the car gets returned on time, no one else beats us back to the counter, and the sun-moon-and tides all align.  Life is still good. Ironically this morning, it came to me that we are three months into my LOA from work.  As much as I enjoy my work, I must say that I enjoy walking with Captain Chameleon.  Besides sailing and managing to remain safe and sound, we walk.  And walk.  And walk.  Returning to work in March means we have only three more months to walk.

Just as laughing and smiling leaves untradeable marks on body, mind, and spirit, so does walking.  Just ask Carmen.  I walked past her lovely boutique, and although I was not in the market to buy clothes, I was captivated by the romantic display of resort wear with a Bohemian flair. I ventured in and began to peruse; touching the fabrics, noting price tags, and taking in the alluring scent of new merchandise.  While I could certainly justify purchasing a dress of washable linen, I couldn’t quite make the leap to squeezing another clothing item on the boat.  So instead, I was content to enjoy the shopping  without purchasing experience.  But, Carmen had me figured out and was keen on how to make a sale.

“You live on a boat, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do.  It shows, huh?”

“Yes, your feet are haggard like someone who lives on a sailboat and walks everywhere.”    This part she didn’t really say.  But, she was thinking it, correct?  How else did she know I was living on a boat?  DSC00802

What happened after this, I barely recall because I couldn’t stop looking at my feet as we walked back to the boat.  Painted nails did little to mask the telltale sign that I was on a hiatus from work.  Happy to be on an adventure but not so happy about the pitiful state of my feet.  In need of a cure, but not open to a salon, I returned to Seamore Pacific with a concoction in mind.  What is that old saying… “needing something brings out the best in us”?  Anyway, to bring this long story to a close, I mixed up a batch of boutique style foot balm.  Olive Oil, Organic Sugar, and Tea Tree Oil.  I slathered it all over the footsies, enjoyed a glass of Chardonnay, and reminisced about the past with the song, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).  Yes, these feet have seen a lot of miles, and  thankfully, it has been alongside special friends, family, and Captain Chameleon.

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Boutique Balm works!

I’m Gonna Be by the

Proclaimers 

What I’m thankful for this year, that I didn’t have a clue about last year:

  • A Global fix GPS Epirb (Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon) and the women/men who make getting rescued possible.
  • Microdyn solution that cleans our veggies.
  • A kettle to heat water for the sun shower when the sun is taking a day off.

EpirbStore bought Stuffing

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Singing Lodi

Dolphin fence

John Fogerty probably wasn’t thinking of a windy day in La Paz when he wrote “Oh! Lord I’m stuck in Lodi again.”  But the catchy phrase fits the mood of sitting out a second day of blustery winds streaming down from the north.  The blow is enough to keep us “hunkered down”, which is lingo for not going ashore.  It very much has the feel of a snow day, where everyone is shut in until the roads are cleared.  Fortunately it isn’t cold, so neighbor watching, stretched out in the cockpit is hunker down-central.  I’m watching for the first neighbor to jump in their dinghy and take to shore.  So far, only stretched anchor rode, bouncing boats, and drenched dinghies that are tethered to their mother ship like something out of a Dr. Seuss movie.  How does one go from singing Creedance Clearwater Revival music and imagining Dr. Seuss characters in a single paragraph?  Two days of hunkering down has that effect.  Watch out if this rolls into three.

Hunkered Down Day #1:  Yesterday had been reserved for shuttling diesel to the boat in color coded geri-jugs.  Fuel provisioning had began the day before and a sense of accomplishment was looming on the horizon with only one, maybe two more trips to go.  Ok, not to be.

Fuel shuttling includes positioning jugs for the 1/2 mile or so ride to shore, tying up at the dinghy dock, walking three blocks to Pemex, having sympathy shoulder pain inflicted by watching Captain Chameleon carry a 50 pound jug in each hand, stopping at the Super M for a cold drink, loading the dinghy, going back to the boat, and carefully lifting the jugs to the boat…losing them overboard would certainly foul the Captain’s cheerful nature.  Ruby couldn’t be happier because fuel shuttle equals dog walk.  Proudly sporting her yellow and red lifejacket, she garners spectacle attention from the Pemex workers.  Maybe it’s because her lifejacket matches the red and yellow geri-jugs (red for gas and yellow for diesel)?  Ok, no walk today.

It turned out to be a suitable day to prepare three square meals, wash dishes three times, make the bed, take a 2 gallon sun shower, tidy up the boat, read Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankel, and compare my shower water consumption to what I read other cruisers use.  One proud blogger has it down to 0.5 gallons of water per shower.  She showers with a bug sprayer.  No thank you, but she deserves a medal.

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Hunkered Down Day #2.  Today seems to be going like this: feeling the effects of yesterday’s three meals, minus any robust activity; consoling Ruby on the prospects of no dinghy ride to shore again today; rereading and pondering Man’s Search For Meaning; and studying basic meteorology.   Brimming with information I read in yesterday’s reading fest, not only do I waste 1.5 gallons of water showering, but I know little about weather prediction and how to forecast breaks in foul weather.  This skill will come in very handy as we journey further north and use weather windows to crossover to mainland Mexico.  Thus far what I’ve determined about forecasting the weather, is that it is very bad to ever let the words, “the wind seems to be dying down” pass from my brain to my lips.  It is a sure way to find myself facing day #3 of Hunker Down.  ” Hm. Hmm. Hmm, Oh,..stuck in ole Lodi….”

Lodi by Creedance Clearwater Revival

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