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Our Slog (Ships Log) with a Satelite View

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Cat is doing better!

Posted on Sunday Jul 17, 2005

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Two days after her surgery she's doing a lot better. I'm sure she'll be causing trouble in no time.

Day in HELL -- Cat has Surgery

Posted on Friday Jul 15, 2005

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This day was our target day to be in Bahia de Los Angeles, but we are still in Santa Rosalia, about 130 miles south. Why spend 3 weeks in a noisy harbor where we can?¢â??¬â??¢t swim (too dirty) and each night we get about 100 high speed squid fishermen racing by 10 feet from the boat? Why? Cat vomit.

A few posts back we talked about getting blood tests for the cat because she hasn?¢â??¬â??¢t been 100% for a while. The results came back showing an elevated white blood cell count. Trying to follow the pathology of her chronic vomiting as a clue, Dr. Manual, the vet, guessed that she might have a form of Lymphosis. He also felt a small lump near her kidneys. He recommended exploratory surgery and a biopsy

After much thought, we decided to do it now while her health was still strong and she could recover from the procedure. However if she was riddled with tumors, then we decided to have her put to sleep instead of suffering more and dieing where we would be unable to get her help.

So at 8 am Jezebel went under the knife. At 10:30, almost an hour longer than the Dr. anticipated the surgery would take, he gave us the news. Jez had a large collection of hairballs in her intestines and colon: 10 big ones. He had to cut her intestines to remove them and from the size of the hair, we knew that they hade to be over 4 weeks old because we have been keeping her hair short for over a month to help keep her cool.

There was a funny discolored spot in her intestines, and he took a biopsy of that for analysis. But apparently she has been having these problems for some time. Now we are going to be extra careful with her!

We waited for the anesthesia to wear off, and waited and waited. After 6 hours, we finally saw some signs that she was trying to stir, so we decided to take her home and keep an eye on her. We had to roll her around every couple of hours to help with her blood circulation; unfortunately the most we could get out of her was a growl.

Worried about her getting over the dosage of drugs, we kept an eye on her in 2 hour shifts all night. Sherrell had a cat once, which was weak from an illness, suffer a stroke after an exploratory surgery and went into paralysis but later recovered. That memory fueled us to try to get Jez to snap out of it. Especially when the Dr. thought she would only be groggy one hour after the surgery! After 12 hours she finally started to try to move around. She was dazed, and staggering, like a zombie. It was tough watching her suffer.

After about 20 hours she finally seemed more normal, but she hadn?¢â??¬â??¢t slept and spent most of her time fighting against the stupor. A full 36 hours later she?¢â??¬â??¢s back! The grogginess is gone and she is starting to show some of her normal habits again. Manual, came down to the boat to check on her and give her an antibiotic injection (because her immune system is weak). He?¢â??¬â??¢s been great at helping us find Jez?¢â??¬â??¢s problem and very understanding.

Now she has to heal for about 9 more days before the stitches come out and we get the results of FIV and FEV tests on her blood. Hopefully the problem has just been with the hair blockages and she?¢â??¬â??¢ll continue being the happy cat we know for another 10 years.

So we?¢â??¬â??¢ll be in Santa Rosalia for another 10 days, much later than we planned. Keep your fingers crossed that no hurricanes head this way!

Some projects and cat litter

Posted on Monday Jul 11, 2005

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While we are here waiting for the test results on the cat, we built a new sunshade that attaches to the back of our Shade Tree.  It’s great!  Now the entire cockpit is out of the sun and we stay that much cooler.  We bought some screens to add to the sides of our covers, making the entire boat “sun proof”.  We haven’t been able to finish the project because we can’t find grommets anywhere.

 

We also can’t find any cat litter.  Anyone know a good recipe for a truly “natural cat litter”?   We’d like to hear it.

Las Cucarachas

Posted on Saturday Jul 9, 2005

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I saw its beady eyes looking back at me. I made a quick grab for it. As I was reaching, I thought about the wisdom of trying to grab an insect that is almost as big as my head, but bravado pushed me forward. Unfortunately, survival motivated this monstrous bug more than my glib disregard for reality -- I found myself clutching thin air.

I was afraid to tell Sherrell about it. We?¢â??¬â??¢ve sent many days on shore spotting this large cat like bugs sneaking around in the shadows. Smugly we congratulated ourselves on how careful we were with food items, not bring boxes on board and inspecting the produce for hitchhikers. We were also anchored out away from the docks, where surely they climbed dock lines in droves.

But reality is not my friend. I told Sherrell about my near miss with the dog-sized bug. ?¢â??¬???What?! You?¢â??¬â??¢re kidding me? Where? How big? I can?¢â??¬â??¢t be as big as a lion!?¢â??¬ Nonetheless, I had seen it and there could be more, if not now, then perhaps a fresh brood is on the way.

So we dug into some books and found a recipe for a homemade potion that is harmless to people but unpleasant for horse-like cockroaches. Now we just have to watch and wait. There?¢â??¬â??¢s nothing worse than a boat full of bugs! It?¢â??¬â??¢s too crowded already!

Cat Vomit

Posted on Thursday Jul 7, 2005

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Bet you didn?¢â??¬â??¢t see that subject coming, did you? Well it is what has been holding us up here: Cat Vomit. It happens about every two days or so and we get a nice treat from the cat. This has been happening for about 4 months. If you remember, we took her to a vet in La Paz because of this problem and they did a blood test and declared her, ?¢â??¬???Hypothyroid?¢â??¬.

Well, we talked to our vet in Seattle and did some research and found that hypothyroid is very rare in cats, especially in cats that have been treated for Hyperthyroidism (note the use of Hypo ?¢â??¬â?? too little and Hyper ?¢â??¬â?? too much). Apparently there is still quite a debate about proper thyroid levels and our old Vet said, don?¢â??¬â??¢t try to treat it without more testing, because the results didn?¢â??¬â??¢t make sense. She did have the same symptoms with hyperthyroidism, meaning vomiting, but she also had a few other subtle symptoms that she doesn?¢â??¬â??¢t have now.

So as part of trying to find out why the cat has been sick so often and has no other symptoms of anything, we decided that the heat and her shedding has been bothering her. Thus the lovely photo of our cat getting a hair cut. Well, that didn?¢â??¬â??¢t help. She still gets sick and doesn?¢â??¬â??¢t really have any significant hairballs.

As a last ditch effort, we found a vet here in Santa Rosalia who has been looking at her. We tried a combo injection of anti-nausea, laxative and anti-acid and she perked right up. All the sudden she seemed to feel better. So we backed off to just the anti-acid for the last two days and she seems to be doing well. Tomorrow we take her in to do another full blood work up. Our best guess right now is she probably has IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and perhaps some kind of addition to her diet might help. We?¢â??¬â??¢ll keep our fingers crossed on the blood results. If all goes well, we?¢â??¬â??¢ll have a healthy kitty and be back underway soon.

SSB Nets

Posted on Saturday Jul 2, 2005

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If you have the means, you can contact us on the following marine SSB nets:

 

Amigo Net, 1400 UTC, 8122 Khz

Southbound Net, 0045 UTC, 6516 Khz (sometimes 6224 KHz in the winter)

Some more updates to the site

Posted on Saturday Jul 2, 2005

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We?¢â??¬â??¢ve revamped the FAQ, added a couple more photos to the gallery (don?¢â??¬â??¢t miss ?¢â??¬???Floaty Time?¢â??¬ and added another book to Our Book List. Go nuts.

Calvin

Posted on Tuesday Jun 28, 2005

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6/28/05

We?¢â??¬â??¢ll, we?¢â??¬â??¢ve got another Tropical Storm called Calvin. This one didn?¢â??¬â??¢t quite make it to a hurricane, and it?¢â??¬â??¢s pretty far south about 100 miles off Acapulco. Calvin is expected to dissipate soon, but there?¢â??¬â??¢s a 4th system developing already. According to all the historical data of hurricanes, none have ever come up the Sea of Cortez in July; only 3 tropical storms have made it up the Sea in the last 80 years. So July is pretty safe, but that doesn?¢â??¬â??¢t make hearing about them any easier. August and September are the much more dangerous times of year. The Bahia de Los Angeles area is very protected and on the edge of the belt, as we keep reminding ourselves, so we?¢â??¬â??¢ll be just fine.

If you want to follow Hurricane developments yourself for the NE Pacific try the national hurricane center:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Santa Rosalia

Posted on Monday Jun 27, 2005

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6/27/05

We spent the day exploring the sea caves at Los Arcos, where the snorkeling was amazing. There were lots of large trigger fish, puffer fish, parrot fish and wrass. Now we are sitting inside the harbor at Santa Rosalia. Our wireless antenna almost got us a connection, but we just couldn?¢â??¬â??¢t quite pull in the signal, so we?¢â??¬â??¢ll probably have to hike it into town to finally send out all our updates.

OCTOMUSH!

Posted on Sunday Jun 26, 2005

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06/26/05

I saw it hidden among the rocks while we were snorkeling ?¢â??¬â?? a flash of color and a slight movement. At first I thought it was a plant of some kind, so I watched its strange movements. Then the blobish looking object unfurled and changed from a round ball, to an 8 armed little octopus! It snuck around the side of a rock and before I could blink my eyes, it changed into a jet black color to match the shadows.

I immediately screamed through my snorkel, afraid to take my eyes off the sneaky bugger, ?¢â??¬???HEEYAM DER ANNN OCTOMUSH DEER!, HEY TAMAN OCTOMUSH!?¢â??¬ Sherrell translated snorkel speak and rushed over, saying, ?¢â??¬???Don?¢â??¬â??¢t take your eyes off him!?¢â??¬ She called out to the two other couples snorkeling with us that I found an octopus, and I could hear their fins shredding water towards me.

The little guy was probably no bigger than a large softball, but he was lighting fast and could change through a rainbow of colors and patterns in an instant. As everyone gathered round they struggled to spot the 8 armed sneekster. Just as they were beginning to wonder if I?¢â??¬â??¢d been in the sun too much, he moved, eliciting a ?¢â??¬???DER HESSS! MOVN THERR LOOOK?¢â??¬

He unfolded his arms and felt around the rocks and came out into the open, changing from jet black, to red, then to green with yellow spots, then deciding better of it, yellow with green spots. Out in the full light of the sun, he changed to several shades lighter and blended in with the background rocks instantly. I was mesmerized watching him lurk around, looking for food, and changing colors at will. A fish was pestering him, and with a causal lighting fast whip of one of his 8 arms, he sent the fish a message and the fish bolted. We watched him creep around looking for urchins that were easy pickings as he went from rock to rock, until finally Sherrell had to tell me to back off and leave the little critter some space.

It was definitely, by far, the highlight of my day!

I should mention we?¢â??¬â??¢re still at Isla San Marcos in a place, dubbed by gringos, ?¢â??¬???Sweet Pea Cove?¢â??¬. It isn?¢â??¬â??¢t really a cove, it?¢â??¬â??¢s more of an open bight. Tomorrow we are going to Caleta de los Arcos (Rings Cove) where there are several sea caves, then on to Santa Rosalia!