Our Slog (Ships Log) with a Satelite View
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Eric & Sherrell
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Posted on Friday Nov 17, 2006
We’re finally getting ahead of the game. After stripping the carburetor for the 11th time on the beach, cleaning the fuel tank and using some nasty chemical called Power-Tune, our outboard runs better than it EVER did even when it was new. We also found the source of our low battery bank problem – a loose cable. Phew! The final problem that’s been plaguing us is the new in-line water filter we installed on our fresh water tanks. While it was supposed to be a low-pressure charcoal filter, it has slowly stopped working and only allowing a dribble of water when we pump it with the foot pump. After a lot of experimenting we decided just to swap the filter out even though it was almost new. Surprise! The new filter works 10x better than the previous on ever did. Weird, but hopefully fixed.
The real problem facing us now is Hurricane Sergio, which recently was down graded to a Storm. It was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded this late in the season and there hasn’t been 2 named storm in Nov. since 1961. We made reservations at the local marina in case we need to seek shelter. But now that entropy is decreased on Sarana, it has to increase for Sergio, right? I don’t know, I never liked thermodynamics.
Posted on Wednesday Nov 15, 2006
We’re anchored off the larger town where they’re scurrying to build another fancy marina for the gringos. It’s quite a construction with a large breakwater. There’s lots of live music here and some good places to eat and we have some shore-side friends here from last year.
I got the outboard running only to have the sheer pin break or fall out or something. It’s a mystery because we haven’t hit anything. And in truth the engine only runs with the choke 2/3rds of the way on. So I need to find some powerful chemicals to try to show this Honda who’s the boss.
Posted on Monday Nov 13, 2006
Oh yeah the surf's here! The bad side is we've been stuck trying to fix things and find parts. We spent the whole day looking for a spark plug which included 2 hours on the bus.
We really like the anchorage here and there's only a couple of other boats nearby so it feels pretty peaceful. But my arms are going to look like popeye's from all the rowing if we can't get this stupid outboard going. I guess stripping down the carburetor 7 times, changing the plug and cussing a lot isn't going to do the trick. We're going to have to consult someone else for some help on this one. It seems to have fuel, spark, compression and air, it's only lacking mojo.
Posted on Thursday Nov 9, 2006
"All of us are travelers lost
our tickets arranged at a cost
unknown but beyond our means.
This odd itinerary of scenes
--enigmatic, strange, unreal--
leaves us unsure how to feel.
No postmortem journey is rife
with more mystery than life."
--The book of Counted Sorrows
I read that passage and it just seems to fit the strange journey we've had this past year. At least the scenery in Chacala is superficially beautiful and the anchorage is calm today. We're heading to Punta de Mita early tomorrow morning. Our little plastic boat is anchored in a beautiful little cove and we're overjoyed to be free again.
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Posted on Wednesday Nov 1, 2006
We’ve spent a lot of time wondering if we would even see the day we were able to set sail again. There were times when things seemed very bleak and our sailing future seemed impossible. But despite all the setbacks, Sherrell has really bounced back strong and there seems to be no stopping her. We recently had a full checkup with the oncologist and he was happy to see all the progress Sherrell made over the summer and gave her a clean bill of health.
Now that we’re wrapping up the last of our projects: sewing a rain-catcher, a waterproof cover for the towed generator, a new hatch cover, mending some clothes. We put the sails back on the boat, provisioned our dry goods, loaded up on diesel, cleaned the decks and ordered some parts for Sherrell’s mom to carry down in Dec. We’re itching to go. Just some more laundry, some more provisioning, a few errands and we’re off this Saturday.
Depending on the swells we’ll try to stop at Isla Isabela and we’ll probably go to
By the way, I did some web work for http://www.probillfish.com which is a sport fishing charter company that has a good environmental policy and I really liked the owner. If you like sport fishing, check them out. Also, I did an overhaul of http://www.marina-mazatlan.com adding some new features to their site. Too bad the marina was recently sold to a new owner who is probably going to replace our beloved harbor master Antonio. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for him and the staff!
Posted on Sunday Oct 22, 2006
We are almost done with getting the boat ready. At the last minute, I traced a problem in our fresh water system down to a corroded pickup tube. Tomorrow we have to go on a hunt for some material to make a replacement. We still have to wire in our experimental water towed generator and while IÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢m doing that IÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢m going to finally wire in our solar panel now that we are happy with its location. Then weÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢ll have to finish off the to-do list, but each day we get closer.
The weather still isnÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢t cooperating yet. Since
Anyway, part of our philosophy of life is to leave a place better than you found it. It could be anything from picking up plastic debris from the water, to volunteering time to build/teach/help do something. Here in
HereÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢s a picture of
WeÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢re really looking forward to the peace and tranquility of hanging on the hook.
Posted on Friday Oct 6, 2006
Sometimes the “to-do” list seems endless – it can even get depressing at times. Since we’re getting ready to depart in a few weeks, we’ve been working extra hard and it seems like there’s not enough time. So I went over the list of things we’ve accomplished so far and now I feel a little better. I know I missed a few things but I thought I’d share the “done” list here.
Repaired broken dinghy wheel
Replaced 2 thru-deck fills
Emptied/Removed/Cleaned/Installed Fuel Tank
Installed new fuel fill hose for tank
Repaired/Painted manual bilge pump
Installed new filter system for drinking water
Designed/fabricated new dodger frame
Had new dodger and bimini made
Had new lycra suit made for Sherrell
Designed/fabricated water towed generator
Cleaned jerry cans
Fiberglass/Painted area behind Stove
Polished Stainless Steel fittings
Sewed bag for surfboard
Sewed bag for anchor chain
Sewed 3 new pillows
Sewed bean bag pillow
Sewed covers for our new cockpit chairs
Cleaned/repaired fittings on toilet
Caught/Fixed/Released/Adopted 24 wild cats
Uninstalled electronics in event of lightening strike
Removed roller furling jib
Sanded/finished all external teak wood
Worked on two website design projects
Volunteer work for 3 websites
Added insulation to icebox
Added insulation to galley food lockers
Cleaned all shelves/teak oiled interior
Designed new LED anchor light with more lights
Sherrell had gall bladder removed
Ok the last item wasn’t really on the list, but there’s no time like the present to deal with a medical problem that could become deadly like gall stones. So if you’re counting, that’s 5 surgeries in 9 months for poor Sherrell – that’s a lifetimes worth.
Posted on Tuesday Sep 19, 2006
The flood waters have all dried up and much of the debris is gone. I saw some blubs on CNN about Mazatlan that made it sound worse than it could have been. If the catagory 3 had hit us directly, it would have been a real mess. There were only two or three fatalities in Mexico from Lane and they were related to flooding. There were lots of places where trees were knocked down.
And a boat next to us was intent on saving his pet tree, much to the amusement of people on the dock.
But all the boats were stripped and the hurricane was far enough away to make the conditions feel like a normal Pacific Northwest fall storm, but we were in shorts and it rained about 10x more.
Hopefully the hurricane season winds down quickly. I'm predicting we'll see two more hurricanes and maybe one more depression/storm before the season's done.
Posted on Saturday Sep 16, 2006
Everyone got down to business yesterday getting ready to get our asses kicked by Hurricane Lane. We totally stripped our boat and helped strip several other boats whose owners werenÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢t around. At 3:30am Lane turned more right and towards Mazatlan and to make things even happier, it built to a category 3 hurricane.
By about 4:30am we braved the flooded streets to get down to the marina and prep SherrellÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢s dadÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢s office and put some more lines on the boat. By about 6:30am we realized we got a very lucky break. Lane continued past Mazatlan missing us by about 30 miles and making landfall north of us by about 60 miles.
Instead of 127 mph winds, we only saw about 45 mph and a TON of rain. I couldnÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢t even guess how many inches of rain weÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢re getting, everything is flooded. Amazingly we still have power and by 11am the winds have shifted and hopefully in a few more hours everything will settle down.
Some Independence Day for Mexico! Looks like we'll spend it cleaning up all the debris.
Posted on Monday Aug 14, 2006
Ray & Jeannette wanted to do something fun for their day off. They thought a trip to see the petroglyphs would be a nice break from the monotony of work. And they were half-right.
The trip started out normal, but the summer rains had really bogged down the roads in some spots. We found one particularly hungry spot that ate the front-end of RayÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢s mini-van, creating the rarely seen mini-van glyph.
We tried all sorts of things to get the car unstuck. ItÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢s surprising how hard it is to dig with your bare hands, digging with a old spoon would have been faster. Oh why didnÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢t we have an old spoon?! The goop we were suck in was powerful. I even tried jacking up the front-end to get something solid under the tires but it would sink faster than I could work.
So we called the rescue team: Scott & Liz. While we waited for them to arrive, we washed off in the ocean and looked at the petroglyphs. When we returned to the car we found weÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢d created a traffic jam. Two Mexicans and I went about trying to free the mini-van glyph so they could get by in their car. All of our digging, rocking, pushing, shoving didnÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢t work. So they sent a kid off on a bicycle to find a guy with a 4x4 truck.
The truck arrived along with Scott and Liz. And Scott and Liz brought a backpacking shovel, which is basically a large spoon. After some more digging with the spoon, we made an attempt with the truck. Bam! The old rope broke. We doubled up the rope. Bzzzzz! The truck tires started spinning. After a few more attempts with the truck, we called in the heavy guns and tied the mini-van glyph to the Jeep. A little more digging here and there, then POP! Out came our monument leaving a massive trench scarring the road.
We waited until the other car passed through the muck successfully, then had a round of beer, killed 10,000 mosquitoes and hit the road back home Ã?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â?¬Å? tired, muddy and hungry.
Maybe they should have just gone into the office? Maybe their idea of fun is a little wacked...?