May 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Background image: The Cardon cactus forest at Punta Otiones

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Monday May 10th 2021
Weather at The Old Schoolhouse.

East side, Isla San Francisco

I slept my eight hours but somewhat fitfully.  I had chosen my location well. The boat swayed and yawed in the wind but swells were minimal.  The anchor held well and there were no alarms.

It is interesting having a blank slate.  No plans. no commitments, full fuel, full larder, fresh water for two weeks or more... No internet, though and that is an interesting change, and in many ways, a change for the better.

I checked into the SSB nets and ran into Wiley. He was chatting on a nearby frequency and spilling over onto the net. I called him and we chatted.

Dave has been here at Isla San Francisco for two days and is going to San Evaristo later to try to get some Internet as he is working remotely. He said some of the boats on the west side had a rough night so I had made a wise choice of locations. Here on the east side of the island, also, I am better positioned to cross to Bahia Amortajada to explore the lagoon at Punta Ostiones.

Dave has been to Amortajada and had some advice, especially about the flies.  He later said on VHF that he learned that the restaurant in San Evaristo is closed for Mothers Day so his hopes of Internet there have to wait a day.

Before raising anchor, I set up my cellphone with the OpenCPN charts from the laptop since I use the phone for navigation and the laptop takes a lot of power in comparison.

The day began calm, but by the time I raised anchor a south wind was gusting and I ran on the genoa until I rounded the Island and went along the backside to explore.  It was surprisingly calm back there.

From Isla San Francisco, I ran down and around the tip of Punta Ostiones and sailed to the entrance to the lagoon and anchored nearby.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I had lunch and am contemplating a nap before launching the dinghy and going in to explore.  The tide is down so I may have to drag the dinghy over the sandbar.  We'll see.

I lowered the dinghy, had a swim and entered at lagoon at low tide.  The current was strong coming-out of the lagoon and the entrance was shallow in spots but I got in and took a quick tour to the far side and back.

Back at BM, I had another swim and a rest, then raised sail for San Evaristo.  Although this is a good anchorage in south winds, the flies are legendary.  They are reportedly not a problem if one anchors far enough out, though.

San Evaristo was about two hours away and I had a leisurely sail, listening to my downloaded favourites on Spotify.  I don't often listen to music, but was in the mood today.

I arrived at SE and anchored in the shallows near the restaurant.  After a while, Dave hailed me and we agreed to meet on shore for a hike.

We landed near the water plant and I met Reena, his wife and we proceeded through the village and up the hill past the school to the salt ponds (yellow line), then walked back.  They were going to hike the beach but I launched my dinghy and returned to BM. 

I was warm from the walk and figured a swim would be nice,  I was about to dive in whe  i noticed some suds and suspicious floating brown specs passing by on the current and thought better of it for the time being.

Cruising boats generally release sewage and wash water overboard and most of the time it is not noticeable as there is so much water and current but if you happen to be nearby and downstream before it disperses...

I watched an episode of Deep Water and went to bed. This series looks very familiar.  I have watched it before.  Some people remember films and series clearly down to names lines from the script, but not me.

*   *   *   *   *   *

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Tuesday May 11th 2021
Weather at The Old Schoolhouse.

San Evaristo

I woke at four and got up. 

It is 24.7 C in the salon and on deck, with only a slight breeze and that is about perfect for comfort. No clothes required. 

The sky is pitch black and the stars are bright. My neighbouring boats have kept their proper relative distances through the night, even though we have swung west and north and east and now south. 

Low tide was at 0312 and I still have 7 feet under the keel. 

I don't have any plans other than to go ashore when the restaurant opens and catch up on my email and maybe post this page.  Then, maybe I'll go to the north cove and snorkel.  Will I sail farther north to Nopolo or Los Gatos?  Dunno.

I went back to bed at six and slept another hour, with strange dreams, then got up again feeling groggy and with dry eyes and foggy vision.  That cleared up after a while.

I've been gone from La Paz for two nights.  The winds are expected to continue from the south until Thursday and turn north, so that would be a good time to head back.  I'm now 50 sea miles from home.

Dave called on 22 and is waiting for the restaurant to open.  I've been watching and nothing is happening there.

At  ten we went in and bought an hour of Internet at the tienda for 50 pesos.  It is amazing how much junk accumulates in email over two days.

I had a message from Taralee and called her, then called Mom.  Ron had slipped up to visit Mom on Mothers Day and that is a bright spot.  He is staying at Pine Hill for a week and says that Vancouver is a real mess. I knew that and that is why I am here and not imprisoned in a hotel quarantining in hopes of going on the planned cruise at the end of the month.

Civil rights are suspended in Canada and I am free here, so will stay that way as long as I can.

We put on masks to enter the tienda out of politeness, but soon no one including the proprietor was wearing one.

Looking at the news, it appears that the Canadian public is slowly waking up to the fact that the lockdowns have nothing to do with the virus but are actually counter-productive and also the 'vaccines' are turning out to be problematic for far more people than initially revealed.

When I returned to my dinghy, it had been claimed by the gulls.

Where from here?  Snorkelling this afternoon and maybe Nopolo tonight.

When I got back on board I made a stew and then had a nap. The others were still on the shore when I looked.

I moved to the north cove to be closer to the snorkelling and went for a long swim.  When I returned to the boat Dave called and was coming over in his dinghy.

He arrived and we both went swimming along the shore.  I had gone out to the point the last time and so went toward the beach this time. 

All told, that was about as long a snorkel as I have ever done.  By the end I was getting tired but there is nothing to fear.  The current is nil, the water is warm and the water is so salty here that I float with my chin above water. My knees did not bother me at all since I learned not to bend my knees much.

Reena called on the VHF from the tienda and said the restaurant will open in the morning and the tienda is open from 0830 to 2100 daily. We agreed to stay the night here and cross to Punta Salinas tomorrow.

Dave left.  I had supper, watched some video and went to bed.  I slept in the cockpit for a while then went below and slept well.

*   *   *   *   *   *

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Wednesday May 12th 2021
Weather at The Old Schoolhouse.

North Cove, San Evaristo

I woke at 0640  The day is just brightening.  It was 24° C and damp.   Everything inside out was damp and clammy, so I went for a dip.  That wakes me up fast.

On the shore I heard sounds that made me wonder and when I looked, I was surprised to see a herd of goats on the hillside and on the shore.

I had breakfast, and when I turned on my ham radio I was greeted by a squeal.  The audio section was acting up, possibly due to the dampness.  I fiddled a bit and it is now behaving.  I really should move the radio from above the stove where steam and grease fumes rise by the radio.

I checked into the two SSB morning nets and called Dave on the VHF.  We decided to go to Punta Salinas according to plan.

I raised anchor and had a nice sail across.  I anchored near the abandoned buildings on a  gently sloping sand bottom.  Wiley was close behind and we went ashore in dinghies.  It is always good to have company.  These outboards are unreliable and if they won't start or quit it is easy to get blown far offshore, so we watch out for one another.

They offered me breakfast so I went over and then we went ashore and walked around the old salt ponds, and explored the buildings.

 

Next, we returned to the shore, had a swim, and returned to our boats. I raised anchor and pulled out the genoa.  The wind was blowing hard from the north and once I passed the point, I was making six knots close-hauled. Wiley was close beside me.

By then I had pulled out the main and the sail across was exhilarating. The boat heeled more than I had heeled this boat before and I found water came up in the galley sink, but not high enough to overflow.

My highest course close-hauled was straight for San Evaristo so if we were going north as planned, we would be tacking.  Wiley started falling behind and was not making as good time or as high a course but I carried on.  After a while he called and said that he figured that we should go into San Evaristo again and wait out the norther.  That suited me.

Frankly, I had figured that would be the case when we left in the morning but Dave always has big plans and believes the weather forecasts. 

I downloaded at least seven forecasts yesterday and listened to the nets this morning and the forecasts all disagree. I don't think even one predicted the wind we had today that reached twenty knots blowing from the north. W

without starting the engine I sailed in and anchored in front of the restaurant. The restaurant was still closed.

Half an hour later, Wiley came in and anchored up the beach. I raised anchor and went by, chatted a bit, then decided on the north cove again and I am anchored there now

Dave is working on his watermaker and Reena wants to go ashore so I offered to take her in but have to charge my devices first, so here I am waiting on full charge.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I picked up Reena and we spent an hour at the tienda.  I tried downloading more video but was only able to do some browsing and get email. I dropped her back at Wiley and am back on BM. 

It is six o'clock and the wind is dying off.

  Covid Heretic
  Covid-19
  The Secular Heretic 

Lots of great excerpts and links.

It’s the COVID-zero zealots who will howl against reopening

Bombshell Salk Institute science paper reveals the covid spike protein is what’s causing deadly blood clots…
 and it’s in all the covid vaccines
by design

According to government published VAERS data, vaccine deaths in 2021 (so far) are already nearly 4,000% higher than all the vaccine deaths of 2020, combined.

Ontario pausing use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to safety, supply concerns

Alberta Government’s own data shows hospital bed and ICU utilization at five-year low

The Israeli People’s Committee Report of Adverse Events Related to the Corona Vaccine, April 2021 | by Doctors for Covid Ethics

Let doctors speak freely even when what they say is unpopular

Manitoba Chief Microbiologist and Laboratory Specialist:
 56% of positive “cases” are not infectious

*   *   *   *   *   *

    

I sorted my pictures for a while, watched Unauthorized Living on Netflix and went to bed around ten.  It was dead calm and I started off in the cockpit but sometime around midnight a cool breeze stirred and I moved below.

*   *   *   *   *   *  

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Thursday May 13th 2021
Weather at The Old Schoolhouse.

North Cove, San Evaristo

I woke and looked at my phone: 0459.

I got up, made coffee and sat in the cockpit in the dark.

In the dark sky I could see a glow to the south.  La Paz is 50 sea miles away but the light can be seen this far away.

The lighthouse on the point south of this little town flashed its three shorts every seven seconds. A goat could be heard on the hill nearby and a dog barked occasionally across the bay.

Before long, I heard a panga leave the far shore and head out of the bay. Shortly after another left as well.  I could only hear them in the dark but only one was briefly visible with dim running lights.

I went back to bed and slept until after seven, then checked into the Sonrisa SSB Net on 3.965 Mhz.

I had breakfast, then Dave called and suggested pulling out for Napolo. I lifted the dinghy and by the time I was raising anchor, Wiley was passing by.

We motored on calm sea to Nopolo and cruised by the beaches. It is a good-looking little fishing village with brightly painted houses and sun shelters on the beach.  The only access is by water.

Wiley went back to the first beach to anchor but I carried on and after I passed the main village, I decided to drift out on the sea a while. 

It is getting hot now at 10 AM and I am thinking I should drop the dinghy so I can swim. 

With the dinghy up on the stern I cannot get back on board as it blocks the swim ladder and transom.  This is a bit dangerous and I really need a secondary ladder but have not figured the best way to rig one.

Dave called on the VHF and said they are anchored at Caleta Nopolo so I think I'll head over and anchor, too.  I'll lower the dinghy and swim. Maybe the water is clearer here for snorkelling.

It is Thursday now and I've been out four nights.  Time to think about heading back?  Or time to simply wander on?

Los Gatos is only 21 sea miles away and Agua Verde another 17 beyond that.  I have to keep in mind though that I have return and am now already 12 hours of steaming at full speed from La Paz.

As I drifted, I heard what sounded like a shotgun. I wondered.  Word was that early in the covid nonsense, locals had stoned a cruising boat for being too close. Had they moved to firing shots in the air?

It was not a shotgun.  It was two whales breaching as they fed so I was treated to a show as long as I cared to watch.  The others missed out as they were in Bahia Nopolo, but I, by chance, had chosen to drift right in the centre of the action.

I sailed into Caleta Nopolo and dropped anchor beside Wiley and had a swim, then lunch and a siesta.

After  a while, I went snorkelling and found this bay to be unusual in that there was not much coral, but some underwater rocks were covered with what looked like colourful lichens. There was no slime and few weeds.  I saw a variety of fish and starfish or two and lots of sea urchins.  I tried to take a video, but somehow the camera did not activate and so that is for another day. I really must get my GoPro going.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I have an old pair of runners I keep here for walks like the one at the old salt works and after that hike I noticed the soles had become detached. 

It seems that on plastic boats.  It seems the fibreglass off-gasses just enough to weaken the glue on rubber things and boots and shoes sometime fall apart, especially on newer boats. The glue softens and rubber feet come off laptops.  If there is enough solvent to cause shoes to fall apart, I wonder what it does to the people who own them?  No ill effects have been reported.

I used Goop to repair them. They are hardly worth that much effort, but they are the shoes I have right here right now.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I re-anchored deeper and let out 175 feet of chain in 30 feet of water.  That pretty well guarantees secure holding.

At six, Dave and Reena asked me over for dinner and we had a pleasant time.  At seven-thirty I returned to BM.

I watched another episode of Unauthorized Living and went to bed in the cockpit. I did not need covers.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Canada Beyond 150 - Capital & Debt Report
A government think tank report

*   *   *   *   *   *

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Friday May 14th 2021
Weather at The Old Schoolhouse.

Bahia Nopolo

Around midnight, the wind started and turned the boat various directions. Wiley's anchor light was extremely bright and bothered me enough that I put on my sleep mask. Around three I went below and slept a while, then at 0430 got up and made coffee.  It is 30°C in the cabin.

I'm undecided what to do next.  I'm now gone five nights and had figured on seven. I'm fifty-seven sea miles from La Paz.

Without Internet, my Spanish studies are at a halt.  I wonder what is happening in Canada.  Today would have been my last day to return to make the 29th boarding for the cancelled flotilla. Will I ever be able to return?

I'm wondering who is crazy: me and the rest of the nonchalant cruisers or the rest of the world?

Of course I don't think it is me.  It can't be me. At the same time, though, I tend to think there are some good things in the craziness out in the world. Time will tell.

I had a swim and checked into the SSB nets and then cleaned out under the engine and washed it down again. 

It is clear that there are a few oil drips around the edges of the oil pan and I imagine that the gasket is seeping, especially when running hard and the oil gets hot and less viscous. There was a bead of water with the oil. Curious.

As I was finishing up, I heard Wiley on the radio.  They had left without telling me in advance and were a mile out already. I followed along and never did catch up in the entire four hours until Bahia San Carlos, AKA Timbabiche where we anchored.

Along the way I read The Roster Bar by John Grisham. It is more entertaining than the Barbara Kingsolver book I started on the previous trip but never finished, but is equally preposterous.  Maybe all novels are?

*   *   *   *   *   *

I anchored, dropped the dinghy, and was swimming before Wiley was anchored.  I went ashore and then followed the beach to the point east in the dinghy and decided to snorkel among the small rock islands off the point.

This snorkelling was most unusual.  Random rocks in twenty feet of water off the shore reached almost to the surface and I saw quite a variety of fish.

I returned to the boat and made a stew with the last of my chicken, then Dave and I rode the dinghy across the bay to the arroyo where the old house is located.  We started walking in but a was wearing sandals and found we were walking on loose dry sand.  I have learned from experience that I did not want to rub my feet raw from sand getting under the straps of the sandal so I turned back and swam in the warm water off the beach while waiting for Dave who was going to go the rest of the way. 

However, Dave came back shortly and we decided we'll return tomorrow better prepared.

I dropped Dave off at Wiley, went back to BM and had supper. Next I knew it was seven.

I decided to catch up my notes so I opened the engine hatch to take a picture and was surprised by what I found.

I had not noticed anything unusual on arrival here at Timbabiche but I found, in addition to the usual ounce or so of oil, a fair bit of clear water under the engine.  At first I thought the hoses were leaking and needed tightening, but on more careful examination with a mirror and a camera I saw the shaft seal on the fresh water cooling pump was dripping.

:

This is not much water now, but could become serious if the leak gets worse fast. The pump may just continue to drip, start to gush, or fix itself. Getting worse is the most likely, but how fast? 

The pump has been hinting for a while and I missed the cue.  I saw a few drips in the sump now and then but had assumed a hose clamp needed tightening.  Wrong.

I may possibly have an old pump in the junk box, though, and will check tomorrow but if not, I'm now thinking I'll have to go to Loreto which is 50 miles away north or at least Puerto Escondito which is 39 to get the pump repaired or replaced, or turn back to La Paz which is 73 miles away to the south.

Worst case if the seal really starts leaking, the bilge pump can handle the flow of water, but I'll have to run the engine at slower RPM and I will worry. 

Worst worst case I'll have to push Baja Magic with the dinghy and outboard.  I've done it before back in April 2018.  That push was 37 miles from near Isla San Francisco to Costa Baja.

When will I return to La Paz?  Good question.  Sometimes I think right away and at other times, maybe never.

I have a few things from Amazon waiting at MLP and the steps for my boat are on the dock, but that is small stuff.

When will I return to Canada? Good question.  Have they come to their senses, or is Canada becoming even more a police state?  Being out of touch, I have not heard the latest.  The hoax seems to be being exposed more daily, last I checked, but too many 'important' people are too deeply invested in the lies to let this debacle end easily.

     

The water pump issue and writing has taken me to 9:30.  I had intended to watch video, but maybe not...

 

*   *   *   *   *   *

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Saturday May 15th 2021
Weather at The Old Schoolhouse.

Timbabiche (Bahia San Carlos)

I'm up at 0430. It is calm and the temperature is 24.6.

The wind blew offshore from the southwest until after midnight, but the sea was quite flat since there was not much fetch in that direction.

I looked under the engine when I got up and I see a few ounces of new water.  I hope the leak stops when the engine starts but I'll dig through my junk box and hope to find a replacement.

I looked and don't have one, not that I can find, anyhow.

Wiley and Baja Magic had agreed we were going to Agua Verde, so I raised anchor and sailed out of the bay, then realised that Wiley was not following.

I sailed back and we decided by VHF that we would instead go to Timbabiche village on the beach. Wiley was worried he owed a fisherman money for a fish the kids brought by his boat last night and I wanted to walk in to see Casa Grande and the village anyhow.

I sailed in close to shore and anchored.  Wiley followed and anchored nearby.  I lowered my dinghy but theirs was on deck and they did not want to splash it due to the hassle.

My system takes a few simple and easy minutes for one person but theirs mean a lot of work for two.

The wind was gusting hard offshore and I decided there was no way I wanted to risk going anywhere in a dinghy without a second boat to act as a chase boat in case of a breakdown.  There was no way anyone could row against that wind and next stop was a the far shore 100 miles away.

Dave was quite cavalier but I said I don't want to drift around for days or weeks offshore burnt to a crisp in the sun and drinking my own urine for water until some fisherman chanced across me, or my body.

It think Reena talked some sense into Dave and we finally decided we would abort and we headed back out. 

The wind was strong at the beach, but died as we went north and they decided to go to Los Gatos.  I had already changed plans six times by then and said I'm going back to the original plan and I continued to Agua Verde.

I motored most of the way and arrived around five, anchored in the north cove and dinghied in to the beach then walked to the tienda and bought peanuts and bananas and an hour of Internet for my phone. 

I checked messages and nothing was important.  Jose is finding the critters on BEE-L are getting troublesome. Two in particular are a nuisance. I'm inclined to ban them.

I had two fish tacos at the beach restaurant and two cruisers from El Gato, the cat anchored near me came ashore.  I offered to share my table and we chatted.  Marshall and Jeff had been at the same table as Nelson and at Two-for-One Taco night at Quacamayyas in La Paz last Tuesday. It was a long table, so we had not spoken.

I went back to BM and noticed that I was swinging into shallow water with rocks and although I was certain no harm would come to us, a cruiser nearby was running a generator and had bright lights on for no reason and I decided to move. 

I anchored off the beach restaurant and a spent a quiet night. It is a weekend and folks were camping on the beach and one group had a bonfire.  I fiddled with my notes and lay down in the cockpit for the night and dropped right off to sleep.

*   *   *   *   *   *

3945.1 hours.  That looks like a lot of water and oil, but three paper towels were more than enough paper to soak it all up.  It totalled maybe two ounces. No big deal.  I'll just have to watch that the pump does not start drawing too much air.  I think I'll squirt some lubricant into the seal, too.

I'm realising now that the water leaks only when the engine stops and the pump is not running and why.

When running, the seal is under negative pressure and if it is leaking then, rather than water being expelled, a little air is being drawn in. After the pump stops, the water in the strainer exerts slight pressure and a little bleeds down.

So, I don't need to worry about gushing water seeing as the leak seems to be on the suction side and is above the waterline. 

The worry if this gets worse is that the seal will allow enough air to enter to reduce the pump efficiency and result in engine overheating.  This happened on Just Do It! when I was going down the Fraser after a haul-out at Shelter Island.

The engine would overheat, trigger the shut-off, then cool enough to start and run a bit before shutting off again.  Limited in my ability  to motor and without a favouring wind I wound up anchoring in an exposed location off Galiano overnight.

*   *   *   *   *   *

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It takes years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it
If you think about that, you’ll do things differently
Warren Buffett

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Sunday May 16th 2021
Weather at The Old Schoolhouse.

Agua Verde

After midnight I was feeling cool and went below to sleep.  All told, I had the best sleep in a while and woke at 0645

In the morning I listened to three SSB nets.  I checked into the Amigo net and Wiley called me after.  They are still in Los Gatos. They intend to come this way but who knows when or where I'll be?  I don't.

I'll go ashore and get more internet.  I see that the wifi carries out this far so maybe I can use it on this boat while anchored.  If so, I'll post this but it looks weak to my laptop so I'll move in closer.  My cellphone sees it at -90 dBA, though.

I found the connection went in and out and after a while I went  ashore and bought three days Internet for $150 MXN.  That is five times the one hour rate.  I also got eggs and chicken and went back to the boat.  I tried but could not connect and gave up.

I went back to shore with my phone and could not get a connection until I was right at the tienda and even then it was very slow.  The people are very nice though and brought me a table an chair so sitting outside the little shop would be more comfortable.

I had a message from Rick and he says that Colin sold 75% of Cooper Boating to Northwest Adventures and is worried about the owners.  That's me.

I knew Colin was in trouble and quite distressed, given the cancelations and personnel changes, and there were hints of big changes but nothing definite.  Now I know.

While I was sitting there outside the tienda a couple walked up and we introduced ourselves.  They are Neil and Cheryl from the sailing vessel Phoenix I.  We chatted and they invited me for Happy Hour at 5:30.

I spent the afternoon napping and reading up on the operation details of my SSB radio.  It is a little box with only a relatively few controls but many, many hidden features and a powerful radio transmitter.

I checked into the nets this morning and also the Maritime net  on 12.300 in the afternoon. Radios work well out away from electromagnetic noise of 'civilization'.

At 5:15 I set out to find Phoenix and located the boat up in the north cove.  

I was welcomed aboard and met two other guests, Joel and Laura on Companiero.

Our hosts had set out snacks and poured red wine generously.  We all chatted in the cockpit until dusk when Joel and Laura departed.  I was about to leave too, but my hosts said to stay and we went below and chatted another hour or more.

Phoenix I is a 1991 Hunter 42 centre cockpit model and very beautiful inside.  I had looked at these boats back before I bought Cassiopeia and admired them greatly, especially one at Ladysmith.

I boarded my dinghy and in the darkness headed north, not south, seeing as we had swung 180 degrees while I was aboard.  I soon saw the error and headed south in the dark  I had not left any lights on seeing as I had not expected to be out after dark but found BM without any problem. 

I went aboard and went to bed in the cockpit, falling asleep in an instant.

*   *   *   *   *   *

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Monday May 17th 2021
Weather at The Old Schoolhouse.

Agua Verde

Around midnight I woke and went below to sleep and slept there until 0345. 

At 0345 I lay in bed for a while and got up.  I was thinking about the implications of the changes in Cooper Boating ownership and possible effects on me and my boats.  I was also thinking about my other assets and the Canadian government and wondering if I need to be making some adjustments.  I knew I was starting to worry and there is no point in worrying, so I got up.

Worry. Worry. Worry. I'm here miles from nowhere with only painfully slow Internet.  Should I be getting to a place with better communication to check on my investments? 

I'm also thinking about when my FMM Mexican visitor visa expires exactly and where I should leave this boat when I go. 

I've been in Mexico since January 6th, so 180 days takes me to July 6th, plus or minus.   I can fly to the US border, cross, renew, and return but then the hot weather arrives and I really should be going home. 

What will happen in Canada by then? Will our Charter rights be restored by then or will Canada remain a permanent police state?

Strangely, the US, which looked about ready to blow apart a while back seems to be returning to some semblance of sanity with some states almost normal but Canada looks to be stark raving mad, coast to coast.

At present I can enter the US without tests and quarantine, but not Canada. In Mexico, I am hardly aware of the 'deadly scourge'.

*   *   *   *   *   *

It is quiet here in the bay.  There is no wind and only a very slight swell.  Temperature is 22.7 C which is very comfortable.

The sliver of moon that was visible last night has set and it is pitch dark except for the anchor lights on top of masts, a few dim lights on shore, and the light pollution from some jerk in a big power boat in the middle of the bay with his generator running and exterior lights on. 

I'm drinking coffee, catching up on these notes, and wondering.  Where next?

I had planned on staying here a day or two more, then maybe going north to Puerto Escondito and/or Loreto or returning south to La Paz.  I have food and fuel and at least a tank of fresh water and 7 gallons of RO drinking water, so I am good for another two weeks or so without a major stop but I am concerned about my sea water cooling pump which is leaking.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I'm a glass half full sort of guy but I realise my glass is also half empty and consider that it is not likely to get fuller. I'm an old guy.  My travel health insurance ran out months ago and I am in a sort of self-exile with a 'bad' atitude.

My health seems good and my mind is reasonably sound although I can see lapses at times. 

The thing is that I always had lapses and probably, looking back, was not as smart as I thought I was--or as smart as people said I was. 

So, maybe I am smarter now in some ways but less in others.  Regardless, I seem to be able to make good decisions and enjoy life that is what matters for the moment. Tomorrow can take care of itself.  Assuming, as always, there is a tomorrow.

Playing chess, I was always more a position player than a strategist, and it worked for me in casual games. Against a serious strategist, not so much.  Life is much more complex and unpredictable than chess but positioning works well in life in normal times.  However, it appears we are not in normal times, so maybe a strategy is called for, but which strategy? At this point it seems waiting will reveal the answer, but maybe too late?

*   *   *   *   *   *

It's 0500 and maybe time to go back to sleep if I am going to sleep more before the day.

I lay down for five minutes but was not sleeping, so got back up. I must have consumed a bottle of red wine last night but am unaffected.  In fact I feel great.  No aches and pains.  Clear head.  Wide awake.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Lying there, I realised that the one thing I am short of is outboard gas.  When I left La Paz, I had no idea I would be here now and since Mexican gas goes bad in the heat if not used, I had only a few litres with me. Dave gave me a gallon or so the other day but I like to have lots in reserve when at distant locations.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Gas is a vital item since if the main drive quits, the outboard is the alternate mechanical propulsion to get to a destination. (see April 2018). Sails are unreliable.

Additionally, the dinghy is the only practical way to get to shore from an anchored sailboat and it can also be a lifeboat, so a dinghy is a vital accessory.

In any kind of current or wind, dinghies are almost impossible to row any distance, so a reliable outboard is a must.  This old Nissan 6 HP four-stroke has not let me down for a while so I am gaining confidence in it. Seems Jimmy did fix it well and that $300 was well spent.

I can beg some gas off local fishermen if I need to, but that is an imposition I would prefer to avoid. I really should get a jerry can and keep some reserve in the locker where it is in shade and will keep better.

*    *    *    *    *    *

It's 0549. A ribbon of light is appearing in the east and the breeze is starting from the southwest. I'm eating three of the local eggs I bought yesterday.

I wonder what they feed the chickens.  I had expected a different taste since the feed affects the flavour but I'm guessing they buy commercial feed based on wheat or soy, not corn.  The eggs are tasteless and the yolks are light yellow.

I think I have decided to return to La Paz. I checked the route and it is 98 sea miles and twenty hours at five knots.  At five hours a day that is four days travel.  San Evaristo with decent wifi is 38 miles.  At the same time, I am wondering why I am going back. I wonder a lot.  About everything.

I think I need reliable Internet because things are up in the air at Cooper Boating and generally.

*    *    *    *    *    *

I left around ten, meeting Cheryl  who came alongside in her kayak to hand me my thumb drive containing the Migration charts I had lent and I gave her the balance of my local Internet subscription.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I motored over calm seas as far as Los Gatos and dropped anchor beside Wiley.  I then immediately dropped my dinghy so I could swim and dove in.  I had been hot on the way down and I was glad to hit the water.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I had entertained myself enroute by finishing off The Rooster Bar and playing solitaire on my phone.  I also made macaroni with tuna, onion, and peppers.

I seldom read novels and find them a curious and interesting phenomenon.  I don't really have words for my impression. Movies and dramas are a similar phenomenon.  There is no way they represent reality but appear to and many think they are real.  In a way they are in that we experience the events described or portrayed and I doubt that on some subconscious levels can distinguish.

Narratives, realistic or not, truthful or not impress us and I wonder about the effect of watching fake relationships, fake  police actions, fake violence, and fake sex on us and, in particular, the young and society.

*    *    *    *    *    *

Looking at the oil and water pooling under the engine, I also had had the clever idea I should spray T-9 into the water pump seal and bearing in hopes of stemming the flow, but if anything, it made it worse.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Once I cooled off I climbed back aboard and paddled the dinghy over to Wiley.  They were happy to get the oatmeal I had promised Reena and the thumb drive with the charts.  While Dave copied the files, I drank a beer. They invited me for a potluck supper with them and the crew from Brainwave, a ketch anchored nearby and another crew as well.

I demurred.  I'm not in the mood for potluck.  For one thing, I really don't have anything suitable to offer.  I have my idiosyncratic chicken stew and the macaroni, neither of which are typical fare.

I returned to BM and, as is so often the case, the beer had made me sleepy so I had a nap and next I knew it was almost six.

I checked into the Maritime Mobile Net on 12.300 at 6:30.  Propagation was good.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I had already figured I am here for the night.  San Evaristo is six hours away and even leaving after my meeting with Wiley, I would arrive after dark.  I'll set the snubber.

Will I leave at dawn or stay and enjoy this amazing spot?  Dave says the snorkelling is fantastic and I believe him seeing as I had snorkelled just a quarter mile or so away a few days ago.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I'm in  a weird space.  My raw water pump is leaking, my engine seems to be leaking more oil, my SSB radio seems to have a resistor breaking down, hurricane season is coming, my FMM is due to run out in July, and return to Canada looks costly and unattractive.

I am realizing I really need to improve my Spanish and I have found that I can't use my current Spanish lessons without reliable Internet. Moreover I should get to somewhere I can learn more about what is likely to transpire with my boats in Sidney.

Back home, Canada is a police state with no credible opposition to an out-of-control naive prime minister with a chief medical official who is a Chinese national making policy, the charter company has a new majority owner so I wonder about my boats in BC, my grass at home is growing, inflation has been set loose on us and is intended to destroy our money and the savings of those no longer in the workforce...

*    *    *    *    *    *

I'm headed back to La Paz just for the normalcy and contact. I wonder if I'll be back in time for darts Thursday or Captain Wayne on Friday?  I wonder if Nelson has finished his solar and boat wiring...

*    *    *    *    *    *

  

Engine now shows 3949.0 hours. It is 45 hours since the last oil change. The top 90 litre tank is now empty. Last fill was March 31 in Puerto Escondito at 3872.1 hours.  In 57 hours I used only 90 litres? Seems too little.

Nope.  My record keeping's spotty.  I filled to almost full at 3908 from Pemex.  That means about 90 litres went 41 hours and calculates to a bit over 2 litres per hour.

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Tuesday May 18th 2021
Weather at The Old Schoolhouse.

Bahia Los Gatos

I slept well and woke at seven. The night was mostly calm, with gentle rollers from the north. Sometime around midnight the wind switched 180 degrees to SW and and blew hard enough to swing us around and stretched out the chain enough to trip the alarm. I simply extended the allowable distance and went back to sleep. It is only 20.6°C in the cabin today.

My destination today is San Evaristo, 28 sea miles to the south. That trip will take about six hours, and I will then be 52 sea miles from La Paz and have Internet good enough to call Mom and Rick.  If I leave around noon, I should be there around six.  Again, the tide will be running against me all day, slowing me a bit.

Dave thinks I should stay here and snorkel.  He has been here three days and this is definitely a beautiful spot.  Maybe I will stay a while.  Does one day really matter one way or the other?

I'm realising that I am worrying abut quite a few things so have to ask myself whether there is anything that I can affect by communication or any other decision.  The answer is not much.  Maybe contact with the charter company would be beneficial but it is not time-sensitive.

I suppose I should research the various ways to send and receive email from out here on the sea using SSB.  I do have a Kantronics modem but have never looked into operating it.

I checked into the Sonrisa and Amigo nets.  The Baja net starts in a few minutes at nine. 

My radio has developed an crackle that likely indicates a resistor breaking down.  It works most of the time, but worries me that it will fail at some point. This TS-50s is an oldie but a goodie and I get consistently good signal reports.  I may have to troubleshoot but am not confident that the issue will be easy to locate or fix.  Maybe it is a bad solder joint and that is easy to find and fix.  Here is hoping.

The Baja net was mostly unreadable.  Dave hailed me by VHF.  They are going ashore for a hike. I am undecided and at present am unpacking and organising the Migration files. I realise I should be able to digitize Shawn and Heathers' hand-drawn charts, too, although with the Bing overheads, they are less useful than previously.

I decided to stay another night and got to work trying to repair my hand spotlight.  That took and hour with no luck.  I did some laundry and ran out of water in the seawater tap and thought that's odd. Has the sea gone dry?  Then I found I had drained my afte freshwater tank thinking I was pumping seawater and threw the valve to the correct position. Checking the forward thank which had been my main source I found maybe four inches left and decide dit is time to head back.

I recovered my thumb drive from Dave, lifted the dinghy and raised anchor.  Before I was out of the bay, the sails were up but the wind is weak so I am adding drive with the engine. I decided to runa t 2600 and see if that reduces the oil leakage.  I still have to figure where it is getting out.  It is not enough to matter, but it's enough to be annoying.  We'll see about the watre leak.  It is not serious but means I'll have to have the pump rebuilt in La Paz before it fails badly.

I had picked up three paperbacks at the book exchange at Club Cruceros before I left and I have mentioned that on the previous trip I started the Barbara Kingsolver one and it I am not inspired to finish.  I did finish the Rooster Bar though and it was okay but pretty dumb.  I opened the third  and it is a book of short stories by Neil Gaiman called 'Trigger Warning'.  The introduction was the best part although I found it dull and skimmed.  I read one story and it was so pointless and stupid that I was tempted to throw it overboard, but didn't.

Hours of motoring in a straight line over a calm sea with land a mile or more away and no boats in sight gets boring but I realised that I can use the laptop while on watch, so I brought it up and set it up.  With the engine running, electrical consumption is no problem. 

When sailing, things get too rough and sometimes the sun is too bright for the screen to be visible, but today, this is working perfectly and I can do the tasks I would do sitting at shore or anchor, freeing up some time there.

So, I have OpenCPN running while I work at other things.

My GPS says I should arrive at San Evaristo right at sunset. There is also a 45% moon, so visibility should be okay although at Agua Verde the night before last it was pitch dark when I dinghied home from Phoenix I.

*    *    *    *    *    *

It is 5:23 and I am approaching Nopolo. Looking at the Sierra la Giganta range that lines the western shore I am reminded of one of the first oil paintings i did when I tried my hand at painting back in 1968.  It was of red, smooth mountains with with intense blue water in the foreground. 

Everyone said, "Mountains don't look like that!".  These do.  Almost exactly.  Someone stole that painting.

*    *    *    *    *    *

5:39.  My GPS says I should arrive at 8:30 +/-.  Sunset is at 8:04.  Nautical End is 8:58, so I should squeak in with enough light to avoid collisions.  I imagine the restaurant closes about then.

*    *    *    *    *    *

6:51.  I have passed Napolo and am on the home stretch. I got tired of work, so tried some recorded Netflix and what I have left is awful, so I dug into my movie stash.  I am watching Austin Powers - The International man of Mystery and it is just as terrible and tasteless as I recall, even now in the depraved and decadent 2020's.  I wonder if I'll make it to the end this time.

*    *    *    *    *    *

San Evaristo is not too far ahead, 7.4 miles. I finished the Austin Powers flick and began Anchorman.  I had seen it before but forgotten how horrible and unfunny Anchorman is.  Anyhow it passes the time.  Dave offered me some movies but I did not get around to copying them.

*    *    *    *    *    *

7:47. I have three miles to go at five knots and the sun just went behind the mountains.  It'll be dusk by the time I get to the anchorage. I turned on the running lights.

*    *    *    *    *    *

8:45. It was 8:30 on the dot when I dropped anchor in the bay a few hundred yards off the water plant.  Darkness was just falling but I could see well enough in the last fading light to find a space in the clear.

 

I put out 125 feet of chain and by the time I was done it was completely dark despite the moon overhead. A surprising number of boats are here.

I am now 10 hours from La Paz.  Today I did 28 miles in ~5-1/2 hours and that was just in the afternoon. 

How badly do I want to be back in La Paz?  And why?

I'll have been gone nine nights including this one.

*    *    *    *    *    *

I ran at 2600 instead of 2800 RPM this trip and I see almost no oil or fuel or water under the engine.  I'll look again in the morning. Full means empty on that tank.  It reads backwards.  Here at right is the lower tank reading and it seems to be down a bit.

Actually the engine hours calculate out as 3954.65-3948.95=5.7hours from starting the engine to raise anchor to engine shutoff after anchoring and testing the anchor.

Everything is dead calm. It's 10:20 already and I am off to bed.  Tomorrow is another day and I have no clear idea what I will do.

*    *    *    *    *    *

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Wednesday May 19th 2021
Weather at The Old Schoolhouse.

San Evaristo

I slept well and woke at 0442.  Swells are coming into the bay from the east and the boat is yawing at anchor, so I am rolling side to side at times. There is  no wind.

I have decided I am laving at first light.  MY destination, possibly La Paz, 52 miles distant. My ephemoris app says Nautical start is 0544 and that is now.

I see no water and very little oil under the engine!  Seems that 2600 RPM is the charm?

I raised anchor at the break of dawn and motored out into the southeast swells. I followed the shore to Punta Cabeza Muchuda where I was just in time to check the Sonrisa Net at 0730. I shut off the engine and raised the sails so I could hear better.  At this distance, the net gets faint but I did check in.

From there I sailed upwind as close to Isla Partida as I could and still trim the sails.  Winds were light so I assisted with the engine. The most wind I saw was twelve knots apparent and that means maybe 8 knots true wind.

At the Islotes I turned south, killed the engine, rolled up the sails and brought the computer up and began writing.  The autopilot is steering.

Ooops.  Writing is distracting and I went closer to a small island than I intended.   No harm done, but distractions can be deadly.

Not only that, pangas are coming and going. This is a popular spot, tourism is back in full swing, and the high-powered pangas move fast.  They can change from a dot on the horizon to a passing boat in what seems like a minute  and pangas can seem to appear out of nowhere.

The thing about distractions is that time becomes compressed when a person is concentrating and the same five minutes that seems an eternity when nothing is going on can pass like a second or two in time when occupied.

For some reason I am only moving at four knots at 2600 RPM.  I guess the current is against me.  Here's hoping it favours me a bit farther done the route.

I looked under the engine and see no water and sopped up maybe two ounces of oil. It happened after the boat was motor-sailing--motoring with the sails driving, too--at the same RPM and the difference from yesterday may be be due to the fact the boat was tilting under sail.

I saw a drip off the oil pan so assume the pan gasket needs tightening and/or replacing.  Can this be done with the engine in place?  Good question. So far I have just tolerated the drips.

12:36. I am just passing Caleta Partida at the moment and 24 nautical miles from home. My GPS estimates I'll arrive about6:30, but that is at the current speed.  With luck, my speed should change from four to at least five with a change in tide at San Lorenzo Channel.

I'm thinking I should change my prop. I do have a spare in the hold.  This boat should motor much faster at 2600 RPM.  I'd expect six knots, not five or four.

The sea is glassy now, with a slight swell from the south, making for a smooth ride.  The day is about 25 C and as always, bright and sunny.

1:00.  I see now that we are up to 4.5 knots at times, then drop to 4.

2:17.  The ETA is settling around 6:15 PM. That is at this speed.  We'll see if things speed up once I cross the channel. and join the inflow to the Bay.

3:05.  The wind picked up in my favour and the tide is going my way, too.  I'm up to 5.6 knots and with 13.3 miles to go the ETA is now 5:30.

4:14.  I am passing Bahia Falsa so am one and a half hours from home.

I've had Internet for a while and been able to call Mom and also talk to Rick. Since I have Internet, I did some browsing and have a few links, but things seem to be settling down and I am not seeing anything new or unexpected

Ivermectin crushes Delhi cases

Doctor who said Canada doesn't need COVID vaccine calls online critics 'hyenas' in $6.8M libel suit

5:45.  I am tied up at my dock.  The return was uneventful and no one came to catch my lines. No problem.  I made another perfect landing and stepped off in no rush to tie the lines. It helps when the wind and current are not fighting me.

I walked over to see Nelson and we agreed to go to El Che at 6:30.

At 6:30 we walked over and had supper.  As we were finishing, Kenny came along with his dog Allie and joined us.  Dogs are welcome in open air restaurants here and the waiter brought here a dog bowl of water.

Kenny and I started out for La Costa seeing as it is dance night but nelson headed home with the second half of his Junior Burger. The Junior Burger is huge.  Don't ask about its big brother.

We got to La Costa and Kenny joined friends.  I did not see anyone I know so I left and went back to BM. 

I downloaded some Netflix, watched some of The Coroner, and went to bed at midnight.

*    *    *    *    *    *

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Quote of the Day
There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbours will say
Cyril Connolly

Don't forget to go back and see the additions and corrections
Read Yesterday's Post

The world has changed and not for better
Go back a year
Two years.

Images on these pages are best viewed with the Hover Zoom Gold browser extension
Note: This  is not the malicious extension recently reported. .

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