I woke up at 0540, feeling refreshed and with no sinus or nasal congestion! I was beginning to think that day would never come.
I did not use Dristan or antihistamines last night, but I flushed with saline solution multiple times during the day. I did a flush just now and nothing nasty-looking came out, but the flow afterwards is still pink.
BG: 6.1 BP: 118/65
I see it is bloody cold at home, and snowy -- windchill minus thirty-four and visibility at 1.4 km -- but monitors show that all is well at the Old Schoolhouse. The cold there is not predicted to break for three days. Sudbury is minus six with precipitation expected all week and rain tomorrow at plus seven. It'll be a mess.
Here in La Paz, it is currently plus nineteen before dawn and we expect plus twenty-four as a high and no sign of rain in coming days and weeks.
What to do today? Well, maybe a shower and a swim in the pool. I have not done either since arriving. Then maybe a ride downtown to get supplies. I have some paper to shuffle this morning though, and am waiting on some legal advice on tying up loose ends on the boat acquisition.
Well, there is a free shuttle going to town three times a day, but of course I am not carrying anything in that direction. There is not shuttle back, and that is when I am likely to be burdened.
I received an email this morning, and seeing as the honeybeeworld.com list has been a bit active over the past day, I replied and also posted there.
I planned to go uptown, and decided on the shuttle, seeing as I get a lot of walking downtown, but before I went, I called the yacht broker multiple times, chasing the paperwork. Finally, when I was going to the shuttle, I got a call and it looks as if there is progress. So I am back on the boat waiting.
Nothing happened, so I walked to the gate and called Uber. Uber was right there and I got a ride down to Pingo Marine. I spoke to Arturo by phone and arranged a meeting at my boat tomorrow for him to assess repairs on the dinghy. I then went to Lopez Marine and arrived just in time for time to spend five minutes before they closed. From there I took Uber to Soriano Hiper and bought groceries, then took Uber home, arriving just after dark.
I never did hear from Hugo's daughter. I'll be glad when this is all over and I have proper papers, can rename the boat, and participate in the club without raising questions.
I went to bed at eight, feeling dog-tired, but did not sleep. My feet were hot and I thought, oh-no diabetes? Then I realised that I had been lying in the cockpit after lunch, resting, and had fallen asleep for an hour. While my body and face were in the shade, I guess my feet were in the sun. I do that very so often -- sunburn my feet a bit. They don't get red, but they feel hot afterwards. Otherwise I don't seem to be burning this trip, but have not been out in full sun much.
I'll see if I have enough free Internet tonight for video. The marina Internet comes and goes.
I slept fairly well but woke three times during the night. Congestion was minor to none. Each time I roused, I found I was repeating and pondering Spanish words and phrases in my mind. That is probably a good thing. I am determined to become fluent and am far from that now.
I got up at 0455, made coffee and got on with the day.
BG: 5.9 BP: 121/68 Pulse: 58
Weather continues cold at home. Here, the days do not seem to change much -- sunny, plus twenty-five during the day and maybe fifteen at night with light breezes here on shore.
I have been looking in lockers and should go through the boat, examine everything, throw some things out, catalog the rest, and continue to photograph devices, find manuals, and learn the systems.
I have two appointments this morning, and hopefully a third this afternoon. I dream of finishing the paperwork. It is now over two months since purchase and the paperwork is still incomplete.
Here is another new discovery of something we already knew: Agricultural Fungicide Attracts Honey Bees, Study Finds. We are also finding proof that fungicides are definitely harmful to bees, something observant commercial beekeepers knew from the get-go but was widely denied by extension and growers. I recall sitting in meetings...
It is going on ten and I still have no contact to get the papers done.
I recovered the papers from Yolanda at eleven and kept nagging Tom by email and phone Two months is a long time to be in limbo.
Soon I received a call from a woman who gave me the address to her office. Uber could not understand the address, but I made a guess and hailed Uber anyhow. I got a lift to the address I had figured out. As it was, I was bang-on, but it took me a few minutes to locate the house.
I was greeted on the street, then led into a back room office, and sat down with another woman who looked over my papers and had me sign two forms.
She said she would deliver the papers tomorrow and I was done. Two months waiting and all done in ten minutes. I was elated!
I could have called Uber to go somewhere but this had been job one for so long, I didn't feel like going anywhere. Besides my phone was running down and I rely on it to get around and, eventually, home. So I walked down to the Malecon and north until I was tired of that and caught Uber to the boat. I put my phone on fast charge and, since was tired, I had a nap.
Yes, I should have walked more, but I have only some really old Birkenstocks and a mile or two at a time is plenty. Fit says I did 6,079 steps and the day is still young.
I was still tired and had supper, which was a can of black beans. Very tasty, but very gassy. Usually beans don't give me gas, but it is amazing how much gas can be an a can of beans sometimes.
I had a good long hot shower and returned to the boat and began watching Orphan Black again, but lost interest as the plot is getting more and more sketchy and went to bed at eight-thirty.
Am I getting old or am I still affected by the tail end of the nasty Christmas cold?
A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy,
that scientific truth is not determined
All models are wrong but some are useful.
It's minus thirty-one at home and plus seventeen here, before dawn. Everything looks good on the surveillance cameras at home so far.
I slept fairly well, but woke up five times during the night and finally got up at 0333. No congestion, though. Curious.
I went to bed at 2030, so I got about seven hours. Add my one-hour afternoon naps lately and that gives me eight hours +/-.
BG: 5.5 BP 122/69 Pulse 54 (after coffee)
Tomorrow, I'll have been here a week and finally things are falling into place. I should have the proper boat papers today and trades are coming by to look at the dinghy and changing the boat graphics. Luis the diver came by yesterday afternoon and cleaned the hull. Next thing you know, I'll be clear to go cruising.
At six, I was sleepy so lay down and slept until seven-thirty.
It may be cold at home, but I don't see much snow.
I'm tidying up on board and waiting for the papers and the trades to come by. There is lots to do -- lots of devices to understand and I'm reading the instruction sheet in Spanish for entertainment. Wow! There are a lot of words to learn.
I am finding things that are almost decades out of date, like the flares. They were made in 1994 and expired in 1997. They may still work, but would anyone care to count on it? I'm not sure what the legal requirements for safety equipment on board are here in Mexico. I'll have to ask.
I did, and apparently there are few rules anyone is aware of. At any rate, prudence demands the usual Canadian safety supplies, so I'll need to stock up on a few things.
I was tired and had a nap, but felt poorly after and then had a migraine. I almost never have migraines and it is usually something I ate. I had a can of Mexican baked beans with spices for lunch and maybe that was it. At any rate, the migraine was just an aura and blurry vision and a general feeling of weariness.
The ladies showed up with the papers and now I am legal, I think. I'm never sure. It is all strange. The dinghy guy never did show and the graphics guy says mañana. Actually he said "tomorrow", but I've learned to translate. We'll see.
I had bought tomato juice and steaks. Although I am almost vegetarian, I was in the mood for something different. The steaks were thin and tasteless, but maybe were what I needed? Who knows? The tomato juice was labeled 'puree', and was thicker and a bit saltier than Canadian tomato juice, but very good. Diluting with a little water made it more like what I am accustomed to, too.
I was too tired for video and went to bed at eight. Besides Orphan Black was getting too preposterous and I have yet to find something better.
I've been up for an hour and had a banana and an orange. Time to crawl back into the sack.
It's up to minus seventeen at home and in spite of the windchill BS in the forcast, the day will be quite warm, at minus seven -- just breezy some places.
After going to bed around eight, I woke up several times and finally got up at half-past midnight for a while.
I got up for the day at 0635. The day is a bit cooler so far and I am using the cheapo electric heater I had the foresight to buy the other day. Soon after I first used it a few minutes, the fan blade began tapping the cowling, but a few deft jabs through the grating with a butter knife quieted it down.
So far, I feel pretty good today and I have nothing scheduled yet I'll also take a ride downtown for some items like tools, too. I suppose I'll also continue to ransack the lockers and see what is what.
I gave up on Pingo ever coming to look at the dinghy and looked up Baja Inflatables. They are listed on the services page of the Cruceros and I hear him every day on the net. He answered the phone and will be here in an hour to take a look. We'll see, but that may be one more thing crossed off the list.
Exactly two hours ago, Bob, the inflatables guy who said he would be here in forty minutes is a no-show. I have heard nothing from Arturo either. He was to be here at eleven. I'm also expecting Erik, the graphics guy. So far none have appeared.
Bob came by accompanied by a friend and quoted me prices that seemed a bit high. He would re-glue the pieces that were falling off and clean the dinghy for $150, and recommended chaps for $300. All US$.
After Bob left, Erik came by, pretty close to schedule, and gave me a very reasonable quote for the graphics. It costs half again as much to have him install them, but I decided it is worth it, especially with the risk I could foul them up or get them crooked. The total is about $100 CAD, for stern, two sides and the dock step, too, so it is quite a good deal compared to Vancouver where I last bought boat graphics.
After Erik left, I still wanted a second opinion on the dinghy, so I went through my phone, figured out Arturo's number and called him again. This time, he said he could come right over so I am waiting. In the meantime I took out the trash and walked a few steps to the tienda to get a five-gallon jug of water. Seems I go through a lot of water here.
Arturo showed up and we looked at the dinghy. He was not so sure about price and said he would have to examine it on shore and advise me as to eventual cost. They can get chaps, but don't make them. He has oars at the shop so that is next on my list, that and Ferre Mar.
I never did get to his shop. I went to Ferre Marr, which for all the hype I had heard was a pretty small shop, focused on fishing. I had been told it was a hardware store. They did have decent snorkel gear but my size only came in black. It cost $1,000 pesos and I paid the price. That is around $66 CAD I reckon.
From there, Uber took me to Home Depot where hoped to find an all-in-one homeowners tool kit of the sort Canadian Tire sells. As I wandered around the store, I realised that I was still feeling much as if the migraine was returning, and wondered if I should leave right away, but it did not. I think the virus is still tinkering with my workings.
Anyhow, I did get a lock cable for the dinghy and tool box and some tools, but not a whole set. By then it was getting on, almost six and dusk, so I called Uber and a car showed up on my app, but although I had a clear field of vision, I never saw the car and he did not call. Then the order was canceled.
I ordered again and another driver came shortly. He drove me clear across town to the Marina and we chatted in a mix of English and Spanish along the way. They want to learn English and I want to learn Spanish. It's fun. The fee was about 99 pesos or around $6.50 CAD. (right|)
I got back to the boat and found I was charged 25 pesos for the cancelled Uber. I didn't cancel and I was standing with my cart out in the open, exactly where I called from and could see all directions. The driver never called. Others always did when they were not sure where I was (because the app leaves something to be desired in locating the car and the passenger). So I appealed and the charge was reversed.
Now I have an evening ahead of me and I am not as tired he past few days. I'm not going to have a suppertime coffee as that may have been waking me up. I doubt it, but something was, and the effects change from brand to brand and from week to week.
I laid down for a nap after supper, dozed a bit and and realised I am excited about what I am doing these days. I need challenge and I'm having a good time! I got up, did a few things and I'll go to bed early again and try to sleep through. No coffee until morning -- or midnight if I cannot sleep.
A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy,
that scientific truth is not determined
All models are wrong but some are useful.
As of last night, I have been here one week.
I'm still waking up several times every hour or two before midnight. and again a time or two later.
It is now two am and I am up for a few minutes -- or hours. Even though congestion is minimal I am still not quite back to normal.
I'm giving up on sleeping for the time being. If/when I am tired, I'll lie down again.
It's a little chilly and it seems that my cheap electric heater has quit working already.
I turned on the ham radio and made a breakfast of oatmeal, raisins, cranberries and cinnamon, and a pot of coffee. Tuning the bands, I found a roundtable of dubya six and seven nighthawks on 80 meters SSB and I could hear all parties.
The band was not hot, but signals were clear enough to listen for a while. There was a little hash on the signals and not much fade. They are all prolly running a KW, or more if truth be told, but none was over S9.
About then I turned on a tap and the bow water tank ran empty. The pressure pump then ran steadily. I went looking for the crossover valve to turn on the stern tank and gave up until morning and turned of the power to the pump for the time being.
After an hour and a bit, I went back to bed and slept until seven-thirty. I'm still not quite right. It's been since the 18th of last month, now, with the worst of it in the first week and tapering from there.
When I got up, I tore the cabin apart looking for the crossover. I should have known where it was, having found it before, but I had a lapse. Each boat is different and I have three similar boats. Of course it was under the last cushion I lifted. I turned on the bow tank and now have pressure, but the pump cycles, so I guess the cushion tank has lost air. It cycled a bit before when using the hot water. There must be a restriction somewhere as well. The work never ends on a boat. That's the good thing about boats and also the bad thing.
I discovered that the swap was at 0930, not 1000 as I had thought, so walked to the gate and called for an Uber. After three tries, I took a cab that cost me 70 pesos where Uber would be forty.
When I got up, I filled the water tank using the new hose I bought yesterday.
I arrived and looked around. There was not much of interest except a kellet and I figured that would just be more ballast, even at $20 asked. I assed it over and then, on the way out found B&D cordless drill for 350 pesos and snapped it up. One always needs a drill. Now I just need bits
An hour later, coffee hardly changed my BP. It is still 113/62. This peculiar.
From there, I bought a sausage on a bun at the gate, sat around Cruceros patio a while, bought some chips and ate them, then walked through Marina Don Jose and Marina Cortez and on up the Malecon. I walked out on two of the three piers and sat at a sidewalk cafe. Where I would have ordered a beer in the past, I ordered a coke. When it was done, I called Uber and was whisked back to the marina, arriving at 1345.
I was totally beat. I noticed my walking was slow and not a positive as usual and when I got back, I crashed for twenty minutes.
A BG check I took out of curiosity on my return said 5.9. BP sitting here writing is 108/60 Pulse 60. That is bordering on low. I took it twice and got the same result +/- a pound and beat or two. Maybe four cups of coffee will fix that.
I have not reported steps for a while, and frankly, sometimes I think Fit is imagining things, but it is the best I have and after all, this diary is for entertainment, not science.
I plan to take the dinghy out for a ride later today, oars or no oars. I'll take a radio and cry for assistance if the engine lets me down. Cruceros listen on 22A and are looking for something to do, so saving a stranded boater is just the thing to fill an otherwise dull afternoon of lying in the sun drinking beer or save someone from the drudgery of crawling around in the bilge trying to fix some elusive but non-critical problem. Rowing an inflatable more than a few hundred yards is an exercise in frustration anyhow.
I'd take Baja Magic out but I am still intimidated by the rules about moving around in the harbour. I'll have to get someone to explain them in simple enough terms and some method that does not involve announcing departure and arrival on channel 18 in Spanish and not understanding the reply. Been there, done that. I'll figure something out, I suppose.
I walk by and through the cruisers lounge here at the marina as it is along my path often, but no one seems very friendly or I'd strike up a conversation and ask. On the docks, though, especially three dock where I am, it is a different story and people are chatty. I'll have to go hunting.
Oh, one thing, though. Nobody seems to go out from the dock much. These boats are like on-water condos it seems. The real cruisers are out there somewhere, not paying monthly big bucks to tie up in this floating trailer park. I've wondered about that. So far, I am paying for the slip whether I am here or gone, and so far, I am here, not gone so it has worked out.
I wrote and puttered a bit, then realised it is less than two hours until sundown, a bit late to go for a spin. I'm better, but still tired, so I'll just take it easy. Maybe I'll tidy and organise the boat interior. That needs doing. Then study Spanish a bit.
In my ruminating about not drinking that came up recently, it crosses my mind that some of the physical effects and tiredness could be related. Drinking used to be a way I took pressure off myself and I have noticed that I have been tense at times lately.
Today, out walking, I became aware that I am not relaxing. I'm just moving on the next thing. Maybe I should relax. Totally. I'm also expecting a lot of myself. Realising that, I may back off a bit. Of course, I somehow imagined I would go out to some anchorage and just chill. Has not happened yet.
I got up for the day at 0655, after another night of waking up every two hours.
BG is 6.1 BP is 131/75. Pulse 54.
It's warmer at home and predicted to go above freezing as the week wears on. Here, it continues in the twenties during the days and upper teens at night
I have some bookwork to do today and may get out in the dinghy.
Javier showed up at nine to take off the rest of the markings. I lent him a razor tool I bought at Home Depot the other day, then left in the dinghy for town.
Along the way, I decided I don't need to have someone service the inflatable. In spite of several places where the glue is not holding, it works fine and is safe. I can order what I need to glue the several separated spots and do the work myself on the beach somewhere.
I skipped coffee but walked through. Frankly, the club patio looks like an old folks home, but where everyone has all his/her marbles. Me? I don't know how old I look. People say they think I am fifty, but I think they are just blowing smoke. Anyhow, I got into one conversation and went across to La Paz Yachts to see if Tom was around. He was out, but Cindy was there and I asked her if she thought my papers are satisfactory (I had sent them a copy). She said yes and we chatted about how easy it was when we did not have to get Hugo to do anything and just dealt directly with the ladies who do his work.
I walked up to Pingo again and met the men Arturo had said would help. We looked through their catalogue and could not find what I need, but said to look online and they can get it brought down if I can't.
I walked back to the dinghy dock, and stopped at the Dock Restaurant right nearby and had burritos de pollo for lunch. It was more than I needed and now I am full.
I motored back to my marina and the outboard seemed grateful for the run and smoothed out somewhat. It is a six, but runs like a nine. The dinghy and motor are a good combination. I'm back on Baja Magic now and not too tired, but I may just have a nap anyhow.
I lay down a while and the rumbling of a nearby diesel and shouting got me up. Just the divers getting ready to go. I may try again, but I am relaxed today. Finally I am hitting my goals: dinghy to town, attend a Cruceros coffee klatch, walk to Pingo's, eat at the Dock Restaurant, dinghy back, see that all the former name and ID marks are off the boat and new ones coming Wednesday, fresh, and I have the boat's legal papers on hand and verified by people I trust...
I think I'll just chill this afternoon and putter. I'm far less tired today. Fit says I did 3,510 steps and that sounds about right. I wonder what Fit thought of the pounding in the dinghy. No mention in the record.
The graphics are ready for the boat and should be on some time Wednesday.
I borrowed an air compressor and added air to the cushion in the water pressure tank so that the pump would no longer cycle, then spent hours looking for oars online. It is amazing how hard they are to find. Even if I find suitable oars, they are in Canada or the US it seems and then getting them here is the next problem. It can be done, but when and for how much? I'll keep looking locally.
When I went to raise the dinghy for the night, I discovered it has lost more air than expected. It usually gets softer when the day cools down, but it is softer than usual.
I am much better today and live in hope that I will yet experience a night without waking.
I received some preliminary docs for the United Beekeepers of Alberta Council and that plan is coming along. I expect that within a few years if they play their cards right, they will be the go-to bee organisation for Alberta. With over 1,000 members and all the municipal organizations in the tent, they will be the all-inclusive voice of Alberta beekeeping now that the Commission has drawn away from that position, leaving a vacuum.
A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy,
that scientific truth is not determined
All models are wrong but some are useful.
I woke up every hour or two all night -- again -- but without congestion, and I got up at 0430.
I made coffee and an omelet and checked on things at home. All is well there. It is minus eighteen, but a warming trend is underway that should result in melting in coming days. Days are getting longer there, too. Here also, but by less since I am right at the Tropic of Cancer
Here, the weather never seems to change much although winds are predicted for the weekend. Mid twenties during the day and upper teens at night. Sunny most of the time. It is almost warm enough to demand a dip in the nearby pool around three each day, but not oppressive the way it sometimes was in October and early November.
BG today is 5.7 BP is 132/78 Pulse is 55
My new electric heater quit working suddenly the other day and I suspected the little heat fuse that is found in most appliances these days. It is hardwired in and if the device overheats even a bit and even for a moment for some reason, it blows and renders the device useless. More often than not the otherwise perfectly good appliance is then thrown into the trash for the sake of the $1 part. (See also Dec 7, 2016).
At any rate, faced with hauling the device over to Soriana and trying to exchange it in Spanish and with an unknown returns policy or jury-rigging it, I simply took my new screwdriver, removed the back and moved a jumper to bypass the safety device.
Today: look at the dinghy further and tidy the boat. Take a shower and do a wash. Study my next excursion out of the marina this Thursday after the graphics are applied.
I'll probably take a run out to Isla Del Espiritu Santo and Isla la Partida, a thirty sea mile trip taking five hours to the end point. I'd stop in bays along the way and maybe never get to the end point. It'll be my first real adventure, if we don't count my very being here in La Paz as an adventure, which it has...
These hills and islands look barren and rugged, and they are, but they are also filled with desert plants and animals and the sea is full of fish and sea life.
La Paz Sea Temperature
La Paz average January sea temperature.
There is a Cruceros club meeting at four at Marina de La Paz followed by a presentation about a fire and sinking. I might go. We'll see.
Surprise, surprise. When the sun came up, the dinghy was as full of air as before. It is amazing what a small temperature difference can do.
I did laundry and had the steel dinghy cable ends spliced into loops while the load ran. The cable is for locking the dinghy to something solid when on shore in any questionable area and for any length of time. I have a lock, so now I am set.
I have yet to hoist the Canadian flag, and the Bluewater burgee, but that should only take a few minutes. Next, I have to decide whether to take the shuttle downtown or go out for a sail.
I did neither. I missed the shuttle and decided to ride the dinghy into town. When I got into the dinghy I discovered the pontoons were not as firm as they looked, so I'll have to check for leaks sometime soon.
The dink was firm enough for the trip down to Marina de La Paz and back, though. I wondered about the trip back if the sun got low and the day cooled, though.
I arrived at the meeting right on time and sat through the first half. Everyone except a few kids were over sixty and some over eighty. I wondered what I am getting myself into. The group sem to be pretty much exclusively world travelers who pulled into La Paz with their boats and never left. Me, I bought a boat here. Hmmmm.
The meeting dragged on and it was pretty trivial. As it turned out there really was nothing to discuss except housekeeping and much of that should have been done in committee.
People -- one apparently demented guy in particular -- argued endlessly and pointlessly about process, and after he finally sat down the topic turned to the daily coffee klatch, the price asked (nothing like Starbucks), and whether everyone attending the klatches was paying. I could not see the issue.
Several people got upset and left. Others just got bored and slipped away. After a while, I followed, seeing there was nothing there for me except the presentation which might or might not be worth suffering through the meeting for. I also wondered if the dink would deflate if I overstayed and the day cooled, leaving me in a half deflated raft driven by an outboard.
I had some questions for the nearby broker, and wandered over there. Specifically I wondered who could help me change the boat's official number, an unique number that is supposed to be engraved permanently into the hull, but is usually in my experience is just gouged into boards and screwed onto the boat in several places. After the graphics are applied tomorrow, that is the only legal requirement remaining unmet. I received a suggestion to follow up.
After I returned to Baja Magic I looked in the cupboard and decided on a restaurant meal seeing as I have no greens on board, so I walked a few steps to The Dinghy Dock Restaurant and had soup and a salad for $170 (pesos), tip included. It was supposed to be a chicken Caesar, but it is a good thing it said that on the menu as I would hardly have guessed. The soup was good though and the service excellent.
Now it is seven o'clock and I am back on the boat, feeling bored. I have lots of research to do, but little inclination to do it. I'd watch video, but would have to find something worth watching and that has been proving difficult. The other day I downloaded more Orphan Black -- the only way to be sure Netflix will stream here on intermittent wifi -- but can't bring myself to watch it. The last bit I watched was beyond unbelievable and I was repulsed.
I sure hope I sleep well tonight. It has been a long time since I slept through. I keep hoping.
I woke up every two hours or so but, on the whole, slept better. Maybe I am getting over this virus. I hope so.
The nights here are noticeably cooler and I am grateful for the electric heater in the mornings. At home it has warmed up to freezing and the days are now eight hours and twenty minutes long, increasing by two and a half minutes a day. Here the days are almost eleven hours long and hardly changing.
These strips can occasionally give a sizeable error (See sheet at right from this online pamphlet) so I checked again and got 5.5. Both are quite decent morning readings and uncharacteristically low for me, but I'll take what I can get.
I have nothing pressing today beyond seeing the graphics applied and changing the official number. I want to find the leak(s) in the dinghy.
Maybe I'll provision and plan on going out cruising for a day or two. Frankly, the idea has become somewhat daunting after all this delay. It's been two months!
My dinghy shows minor rub damage from -- I'm guessing -- washing up on a rocky beach at some point and has a slow leak somewhere and the pontoons get soft over twenty-four hours. Otherwise, the little boat seems quite sound but it does need a little work.
I found a spray bottle and wet down the dinghy with soapy water and found a slow leak. On examination I found also that some of the patches are peeling but the patches underneath seem sound.
My preliminary exam indicates I need to pull the dink out of the water and check it all over or have someone do the job. The glue required is not cheap. The good stuff costs almost 2,000 pesos (C$135) and comes in a size far larger than I need.
Erik came by with two men to apply the graphics. After they had applied the first to the hull, he noticed that one letter was peeling. I asked if he had washed the surface with acetone and he had not heard of doing that. Of course, that is standard procedure as it removes any oil or wax that might be there. `Boats are always waxed at least once a year. We decided that the sun and time would improve the adhesion, and we were careful to get acetone and clean the surfaces before doing the other two decals.
All the excitement was over by one and I was tired enough I considered having a nap, but the shuttle leaves at 1330 and I wanted to go to town, so I caught the shuttle and was dropped at Lopez Marine. I looked around and then walked down to Abasolo and along to another shop, looking for an inflatable PFD. Abasolo merged into Obregon and I continued northeast to a dive shop. Still no luck, so I walked up to Ferre Mar to look at oars again.
They have nice aluminum and plastic oars, but they are six feet long and cost 630 pesos (C$42) each. I have to check to see if they are to long to stow neatly in the dink. Otherwise they may be the best I can hope for. My main worry is that they are so nice, they could be stolen when I leave the dink at a public location. I can lock the boat and motor, but I can't see how to protect the oars. This not to say the risk is great. No one seems especially worried about dinghy theft and most locals are very honest.
I started the Uber app to get a ride to Soriana and found surge pricing was in effect with a 20-305 upcharge. I declined. I suspect that Uber may just be feeling for price sensitivity and if a higher price is okay, then I'll find prices go up. There have been reports of various online companies using personal data and responses to adjust prices to whatever an individual will bear.
I had yet to catch a bus here, so I watched a few go by and flagged one with "Soriana" in the list on the front. 20 pesos and before long I was at Soriana. Uber would have been more like 50. No big deal.
At Soriana, I stocked up since I plan to go sailing and need enough that I do not get hungry and have to return early.
I have also tried drinking Coke the last two days to see what the effect is. From looking at my BG later, maybe it is not so awful after all. When I think about it, I was drinking wine and the wine contains alcohol and sugars that are probably comparable metabolically. My digestion has been a bit off lately and I'm thinking that maybe I need to alter my diet a bit. I also looked at the label of the tostados I have been munching with refried beans and decided they should probably be an occasional thing, not a staple as they are largely made of corn flour and oil.
I also bought some Metamucil, which I have used daily for years to improve my digestion and for its medicinal properties. The container size here is tiny and the price triple the price in Canada, so I had put off buying it. I would have brought more, but the TSA has now reduced the amount of powders one can carry to a small amount.
From Soriana, Uber took me back to Baja Magic. It was near sundown by then. I stowed groceries and called it a day.
I need to decide when I'll fly home or wherever. I have been away from Canada for 12 days now, including today and my health insurance is good for fifteen days so it runs out on Saturday. I don't want to go so soon, so I need to extend it.
Today is the end of the Westjet winter sale, so that is another reason to decide today. Decisions, decisions...
I did not decide. I could save a few dollars during the sale, maybe, but if I have to make changes, then I lose any advantage. At this point, I am still in flux. I have adjusted to the city, finally managed to get my boat legal and properly marked and my larder full, so am ready to go cruising, but have run out the clock on my original plan and need to reconsider and generate a new plan.
I was dog-tired and went to bed at nine. This was a full day.
All models are wrong but some are useful.
I'm up at 0500. I plan to take the boat out today, and maybe anchor for the night. We'll see.
BG is 6.1. BP is 127/71. Pulse is 56.
Lance came by and knocked. He and several other guys are going out for supper tonight and he asked me along. I said I plan to sail today, but, yes, I am interested and will try to be back.
Well, if I am going sailing, I need to organize the boat. Sailing tilts the ship and things fall off counters and roll around so everything has to be stowed. I've been up for two and half hours and all I've done is make coffee and breakfast, read and write.
Time to get a move on.
I left the dock around noon and motored out to the end of the channel, then up to Caleta Lobos where I dropped anchor for a while. I dipped a toe into the water and decided not to snorkel. The water was not cold, but it was not warm either and I was cool from the wind. In spite of 25 degrees C, the wind was cool.
After a while, I hoisted anchor and sailed up to Puerto Balandra with the intention of going in and anchoring, but I noticed the time and decided to turn back as I wanted to be in by five to join Lance for supper. I arrived at the marina at 4:58. Seems I have an instinct.
Several others joined us and we drove over to a fish restaurant Lance knew about on Abosolo. We ordered a large dish of clams, oysters, fish and chicken to share. Apparently it was suggested for two. Even with five of us there was a bit left over. Others had beer. Tom had water and I had a Coke.
From there, we went uptown for ice cream. I did not need it, but figured that once in a while, a dose of sugar can't hurt. I ate most of the bar I chose, but threw the last of it into the trash.
I was back at the boat by nine and went to bed after what turned out to be a big day.
I did not find myself tired at all during the day, but did not walk much, seeing as I was mostly on the boat. Fit counted 2,253 steps, probably from our walking downtown
All models are wrong but some are useful.
I slept better, but was still up several times. The awakenings were less frequent, though and I think the end may be in sight. My goal is to I got up at five, had coffee and breakfast and went back to sleep until about seven. BG was 6.2
I see the snow is melting at home
I have an itch to get out of harbour and go sailing, but had some chores to do first.
Web and advertising work were top of the list, and extending my health insurance. I also have to nag CRA about a refund. This has been ongoing for a year.
I got all that done around noon and asked the marina office to inform the port captain that Baja Magic was leaving for Espiritu Santu for two days.
I stowed anything that might fall and untied the lines. My neighbours jumped to help send me off, but I said I do it solo all the time, so they said they would watch and learn.
I made a perfect exit and motored out the channel to the entrance and unfurled the jib. After a while, I decided to unfurl the main, too for little more power and thrust upwind, seeing as the wind was coming from where I was headed and I had to tack.
I started unfurling the main, but soon the roller jammed. I played around a bit with lines and then went forward and poked some of the sail back into the mast where it had folded on itself and jammed. I then pulled out the rest of the sail and was fully canvassed. I can see why roller mains had a bad reputation back in the 90's. This 1995 one is not nearly as simple and reliable as the one on my 2005 Bavaria, but I'll learn its tricks.
I set the autopilot and everything was fine until auto suddenly disengaged. The pilot light was out, so I wiggled the plug and it seems that fixed it for the time being. Investigating is a job for later, not when moving fill tilt at six to seven knots.
Sailing close to the wind on auto had proved to be problematic on an earlier trip. Whenever we set it close to the wind, a wind shift would cause auto to turn the boat through the wind, an apparent overreaction to the gust. I have concluded the cause is that the settings are too aggressive. I've seen this before. It is easy to fix, but a job for later as well, not while the device is in use underway. This rudder goes stop to stop with one turn of the helm. Most boats take two and a half and that is the factory auto setting.
I sailed until three-thirty and then estimated my ETA at the nearest sheltered anchorage on Espiritu Santo.
It is possible to boost the sailing speed and point farther upwind by adding a little engine power, so that is what I did. We picked up speed and at times, Baja Magic was almost 'rail under' -- heeled well over and moving at top speed upwind -- 7.5 knots. The boat sails well.
I arrived in good time, and the first bay I came to looked to be perfect -- and it was totally unoccupied. I dropped anchor and it set as soon as the chain played out.
My guess is that this anchor won't drag tonight. I'll set my alarm anyhow.
I took out the BBQ to cook the steak, but found that A. I did not have a propane wrench and B. The mounting bracket bolts are broken. I fried the steak in a pan. Somehow it did not turn out to be the treat I thought it might be. I save half for later.
Fit says I did 1,751 steps today. Hmmm. I wonder how I did that?
At any rate, I am anchored all alone here in the middle of a huge shallow bay, with no phone and no Internet. That is what I figured 'd be doing two months ago and it has taken me this long to get my ducks in a row..
I do like this boat and I also like La Paz. I extended my insurance for one more week, adding up to three weeks this trip. Westjet seems to still be offering the same deals as last week.
Next visit, I think I'll plan on a month.
Speaking of sleeping soundly, one thing I did not count on was the wildlife. This Sea of Cortez is one of the most densely populated areas in the world with diverse aquatic critters. As I sit here writing, I hear splashing and occasional thumping against the hull. I think I have attracted the attention of the locals. Local critters, that is, and they are initiating me.
Another thing that came up just at bedtime was that the topping lift decided to sing. All the vertical lines resemble the strings on a standing bass (or a washtub in a jug band) and the wind can strum them so loudly one wonders if an airplane is taking off nearby. Usually the lines and shrouds are damped enough that they don't sing, but I had tightened the lift and the vang to prevent boom swing and the lift turned out to be resonant. I turned on the deck light and went out and adjusted things until silence returned.
Here in Bahia San Gabriel, La Paz and its expat and cruiser community seems far, far away tonight. In sooth, La Paz is only twenty miles away. The gringo community there can be very captivating. I could easy become one of the regulars at the morning coffee and get involved in all the various activities.
All models are wrong but some are useful.
With the rocking, the wind humming softly in the rigging, the groaning of the boat and the slapping of occasional waves, I slept well, but was up three times during the night. That is not a bad thing when anchored out as it pays to be aware of the surroundings.
The anchor alarm batteries were showing half charge, sometime after midnight, so I changed them but the replacement rechargables were dead by morning. Good thing I was well anchored. I'll have to test these batteries. They may not have been fully charged, but they've been recharged many, many times and maybe they have lost capacity.
I woke up feeling refreshed for a change, dozed a while, then got up a little after five. It is still dark and will be until about seven. It is warm, though. No need for the heater today.
My quiet anchorage, rated highly in the Sea of Cortez guide and sheltered from the predominant Northers, turned out to be wide open to a southwest wind and swell that developed overnight. Must be the famous Chubasco. Fortunately, though, most of the the swells came head on and the rocking was a mostly a comfortable slow forward-back motion, not a bothersome quick side to side tossing.
What's next? I have a blank week ahead. I'm living the dream. All I know is I should be headed back to Alberta by Saturday. Last time I checked, the shuttle and Westjet had space.
I think I'll circle the islands today and maybe tomorrow, then head back. I'd like to snorkel, but have to look for a good spot.
I have to start the inverter to make coffee and it raises hob with the ham radio but I can still hear these guys over the hash. I have yet to try transmitting on HF. I suppose I should, but am uncertain of my license status here in Mexico.
When the sun comes up, I'll either dinghy into shore or sail out beyond the bluffs to get Internet and check for messages. I still have a bit of work to do that requires contact with the outside world.
At 0635, I am seeing first light and eighty is shortening up as the sun comes our way. I think I'll head out and circle the Islands and save the shore expedition for the afternoon. First, though, I'm listening to the nets, starting with the Amigo Net on 4149 (USB) at 7 AM local.
Apparently there was a 6.5 earthquake 77 km from Loreto last night. No tsunami. Weather prediction is... ooops. As soon as my area came on, a telemetry station started upon frequency and blanked out the report. Basically the gist was north and NW winds up to twenty-five at night. I'll try for a better report from Sonrisa. Oops, I missed Sonrisa at 0630.
I readied to cast off and continue around the islands. Once things were stowed, last thing beforee startup, I did the daily engine check and my plans changed abruptly. There was yellow water under the engine and lots of it.
No, that is diesel fuel! Oh, oh!
The previous owner had mentioned a drip from the pump and I had not seen much accumulation before, but now, the pan was full. Nonetheless that was not much fuel, but seeing as I have few tools and this is getting worse, my day would be spent heading back to the marina for repairs, not my long awaited trip out around the islands -- and I might not be able to run the engine much if I could not find and repair the leak. Bummer.
Then I got to thinking. The pan has fiddle holes to the main bilge and we had been heeled over yesterday. I wondered if there might be more and sure enough there was. By the time I was done, two hours later, I had sponged out five gallons of fuel.
Not only that, but here I was in the middle of a national marine park with a serious fuel spill. I can't just throw it overboard although many would. I had some gallon water jugs and filled them all. The fuel will likely be waste. No one wants to risk injectors and pumps with dirty fuel.
I'm gad it was not gasoline or I might be in heaven now or on the way accompanied by a bunch of flying boat parts. Diesel burns, but is hard to ignite and will go out oftentimes if there is no wick. Gasoline ignites quite easily and will burn without any encouragement. Gasoline fumes are highly explosive. Diesel can be explosive, but only under ideal conditions.
Finally I had the mess cleaned up and took another look at the engine. My prime suspect was a fuel filter as it looked wet and had a fuel drip on it bottom. I was bout to figure how to tighten or change it and had to move a hose that was nearby. It was not connected to anything and when I touched it, it dripped fuel. Odd, I thought and then realised it was the return hose from the fuel rail and had come off, even though it had two clamps. I'm guessing someone loosened it to bleed the fuel lines and had not tightened it well or even forgot. I put it on, but it wouldn't go on far, so |I cut off the need to expose fresh hose and clamped it well. Now I was good to go.
I raised anchor and sailed out of the bay and around the point. It was lunchtime when I arrived at Puerto Balena, so I found a sheltered spot, dropped the hook, and here I am, writing. Beautiful spot. There is a small fishing camp near here and a few fishermen and tour boats go by and otherwise it is almost unpopulated.
Pictures at eleven or whenever I get free wifi. I have quite few.
All models are wrong but some are useful.
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