in Ensanada Mexico

Hello All!

We are in Ensanada Mexico, we had a great trip except for being COLD with lots of dolphins, a few whales and a boarding by the Mexican Navy for a safety inspection. The boarding went smooth and they where very pleasant. We had a great meal at our favorite Italian restaurant here, when we got in and settled. The guy that runs the place remembered us from when we were here the last time. when we got in and settled. They have the best garlic bread and he kept bring more for us, it was amazing that we had room for the food which was really good!

It's really nice to be somewhere again that you can walk to most places that you want to go. On Saturday we walked down to the Port Captains office and checked in. It's real easy to do then over the the supermarket to grab a few things then back to the boat. All without taking a bus many miles just to do the basics.

All and all we have to say it's nice to be back in Ensanada at least for a little bit.

Mike & Bryan

There and back again

Alot has happened, or hasn't happened depending on how you look at things.

The marina that was supposed to open in September didnt'. They delayed until December. We worked with San Diego Harbor, and they extended our cruising permit so that we would not have to take the boat out of San Diego before the marina opened. However, The marina is now delayed until mid-summer. Harbor said that they would be unable to extend our cruising permit again.

So, we took a look at the various options, and decided to go to Dana Point (where we were told by Dana Point harbor that they have moorings that we could tie up to for up to 60 days). We could hang out in Dana Point, and visit LA and Newport Beach as well for the remaining time.

We arrived in Dana Point to discover that there are no moorings, and oh by the way the anchorage is only allowed 5 days, and someone has to be on the boat all the time.

After reviewing our options, the best one is to sail the boat to Ensenada. So, tomorrow we sail for Mission Bay.

Wednesday we check out of the U.S. and sail for Ensenada.

Ultimately, this is our best solution. The marina will cost a little more than the average running costs of the boat at anchor. We will both be able to get off the boat, and visit San Diego on occasion. So, all in all, this isn't bad.

Twas the day before Christmas

Twas the day before Christmas
and all through the boat,
All the transducers were working,
Except one of particular note.

With Mike in his birthday suit
and I in a shirt
crawled in to the engine room
praying not to get hurt.

Off came the seizing wire,
and twisting the cap.
Out popped the offending transducer
as water spurted in my lap.

As quick as can be,
I pushed the plug in.
But not before
20 gallons of cold water came in.

As I bent to my task
of tightening it up
Mike noticed a leak,
and that was over the top.

We loosened and tightened
and twisted and turned
finally the right pop.
My how our muscles burned.

With the transducer in hand
I exited the room
Mike followed quickly
bellowing for me with a boom.

Come get the tools,
and trace the wire
You would have thought
that Mike was on fire.

Our job now done,
The adrenaline is gone
We really thought it had a flap
But it really had none.

As we sit on the boat
happily a float,
We wish everyone a Merry Christmas
and to all a happy boat.

This is a true Christmas story. Our Depth transducer's temperature gauge started reading the water temperature as 102.3 degrees! So, we knew that it would need to be replaced as it was only a matter of time before the depth gauge stopped functioning. And since it is still under warrenty, we needed to remove it and send it back to Larry Smith Electronics who will handle it for us.

This was a different sort of experience for us as this is the first time we have removed a transducer in the water (without me being on the outside of the boat holding something over the thru-hole to keep the water out of the boat (and off of Mike)-- wasn't going to happen this time, the water temperature is about 60 degrees).

I came in to the engine room from the access door through the starboard head, while Mike went in through the main door aft. Mike unscrewed the transducer and popped it out, and immediately got sprayed with a whole lot of cold water. He's amazed that he really didn't notice the cold as he watched a whole lot of water pour in to the boat.

Meanwhile, I was wedged between the generator, its exhaust tube and the wall of the fuel tank with the transducer plug trying to get it in. It's rather hard to do when you can't see what you are doing because your life is flashing in front of your eyes! I managed to get it in, and Mike tightened it up. There was a leak. As the story says, we loosened and tightened and twisted the plug, finally getting the notch aligned, and no more leak.

Now we are (more or less) done, the adrenalene is seeping out of our bodies and it is time for a long winter's nap!

Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night.

Allergies or how over regulated is the U.S.?

On Monday, after coming back from Mexico -- We have always passed through Tijuana, but never actually saw anything there other than the bus station, so we decided to take a look around --

We stopped by the pharmacy to purchase some Claritan D. We knew that the Claritan D is behind the pharmacy counter, since we saw the commercials saying so.

Ok, no problem. We went to the pharmacy counter to buy some Claritan D. They only allow you to buy 1 box per person per visit! This wouldn't be so bad if you could buy Claritan D in 30 day allotments, or even 2 week allotments! We both prefer the 12 hour version. In the 12 hour version, they only had a 5 day box! Sheesh! Ok, in the 24 hour version, they had a 15 day supply. So, we bit the bullet and bought the 24 hour version.

Then, we had to give them our driver's licenses, which they took and entered information in to the computer system. Then, we had to fill out a form with our names, address, and sign! -- we've never had to do this for even heavy duty pain killers!

So, instead of dealing with the drug addict problems they have, they make everyone else suffer by forcing us to jump through hoops just so we can breathe! Come on!
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed

Month 3

We just completed our third, and theoretically final renewal of our anchoring permit.

The marina that we were planning to go in to had to push back their opening until January. The last time we talked to them, they were planning to send out a mailing about this. We need to call them to find out where this letter is and what is going on!

The anchorage we are in, I've said it before, is a nice anchorage. We have met a few of the other boats anchored here, and a few people in the mooring field that is on the other side of the Coast Guard base.

On another note, our 24 volt bank is slowly loosing strength (ok, at this point it is getting close to dead!). We have started exploring purchasing a new set of batteries, but with our current plans we want to purchase a smaller set for 24 volt that will allow us to go sailing when we want to, but since we plan to hang out in a marina for the next little while (and get some work done on the boat), we don't want to do a full replacement until we are ready to leave again!

The goings on in San Diego

It's been a while since we last posted. We have been in San Diego approximately 6 weeks now. We have been through one renewal on our anchoring permit, and it turns out to be fairly easy. It just requires a phone call to the Harbor Patrol office. That's a relief, because getting there is a long walk from the closest bus stop, and we are talking about a mile or more!

While the bus and trolley system can be mildly aggravating, for our purposes, it is working out very well. The biggest thing to get used to is the timing of everything. Most buses travel on a half hour schedule! Trolleys, in theory run every 15 minutes for most of the day, but I think they actually run on a 20 to 25 minute schedule. That is probably mostly impatience though.

We are settling in here. We will see how it goes when our anchoring permit expires though. The marina we were / are planning to go in to has had to delay their opening until January! They were originally going to be opening in September. We were told that a letter is coming out. As soon as we receive it, we will know more.

That's about it. As always with us, it is just the same old thing. :D

Life in San Diego

Tomorrow (Saturday), we will have been in San Diego for two weeks. We are learning our way around the city, and public transportation isn't quite the horror we were dreading. Though, it certainly makes us wish we were in Washington, DC again!

We have found that we can get around to most places (with a bit of walking involved at times). Now, we have to find out the places we want to go!

More on San Diego

San Diego has done quite a bit to make the folks that have their vessels on moorings more comfortable. They have a number of dingy docks that are easily accessible to the mooring fields, and this, coincidently is convenient for the Cruiser's anchorage where we are now.

There's just one problem -- they have a sign posted that limits the size of the dingies to less than 12 feet! Well, ours is just over 13 feet. Once again, we are a foot to big! It was much easier this time. I called, and explained our situation. Harbor was understanding, and told us that since it is clearly labeled on our dingy that it is the Tender To Nightwinds, there should not be any problem. If, by chance, something does come up, they will certainly call us to advise us about it. However, she does not believe that the situation will come up.

This time, I can truly appreciate the rule / law that Harbor has posted. And while we are over the size limit, and this could pose some issues in getting to shore, I do applaud the concept behind this. In many of the places we have traveled that have free public dingy docks, we can't tell you the number of times that boats that are obviously NOT dingies, or even tenders to vessels are occupying anywhere from part of the dock to all of the dock. Though, most of the time the docks were large enough to accommodate everyone.

Ok, enough of that. There isn't much to write about today. Our 24 volt battery bank is having issues. These batteries were weakened in the lightening strike that we had last November. They are starting to fail, of course, they are also 4 years old (ancient for the way we use the batteries -- our typical lifespan of batteries is about 2 to 2 1/2 years). From what we can tell at this point, it appears that the batteries simply can't take the inverter shock loads when equipment turns on. So, we shifted things around, placing our refrigerator on 12 volt and shifting our main solar panel array so that it is also feeding 12 volt. Hopefully, this will keep our 24 volt battery bank functional (if barely) until we are able to get in to a dock. It will be easier to change out the batteries there.

The only other thing of interest that happened was that we got the two new Eileen Quinn CDs. She is a singer that cruises the East Coast of the U.S. and Caribbean. You can learn more about her at her website .