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Moving again

Posted on Thursday Dec 20, 2007

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Despite all our setbacks we are underway again. For some reason we keep running into problems:

Leaky exhaust system: 4 days and about 10 attempts before it was fixed
Leaky raw water pump: 6 hours and 3 attempts before fixing the seal (hope it holds)
Roller furling extrusion loose: Can't use the foresail, need a day without wind in a calm anchorage to repair (also need some metric set screws -- who carries metric set screws onboard?)
Engine running rough: No idea why. Was running great leaving San Juan, we adjusted the alignment and did lots of basic work to it, but now it's running rough.

Fortunately we've been able to sail most of the time so far in strong winds, so the staysail and main are enough and we can keep the disabled foresail rolled up (we can't even get it down due to the extrusion problem).

The good news is we're still going and we've seen some rarely visited spots in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Right now we are in the famous Bahia Santa Elena that is in the heart of Costa Rica's largest nature park. Lots of birds, monkeys, and we even had a humpback whale greet us as we sailed into the bay!

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Free!

Posted on Monday Dec 10, 2007

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The trying times are over. Today's $15 ultrasound shows the stone has left
the body. I'm still trying to absorb the fact that after almost 6 weeks of
drinking gallons of water and jumping up and down, we're free!

We'll need a few days to work on the boat, replenish the stores, say goodbye
to friends, do our official paperwork, but we're free!

"In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved."
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Speech, September 22, 1936

Back on the water

Posted on Friday Nov 16, 2007

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We've officially moved back onto the boat. That means the cats are here too. We're trying to get things organized and recover from the trauma of living on land.

We went to Managua yesterday to consult with my doctor about the Kidney stone. He was very positive that it should pass on it's own in about a week. He gave me some diuretic pills and some pain pills for when it tries to pass.

A cruising boat arrived here today, which is a rare event. It's nice to see some fellow travelers, however they seem to be in a hurry and we haven't had a chance to say hello. Not much else to say, I just really just wanted to send something from the boat to announce our return!

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Rolling Calcium Oxcalate Stones

Posted on Tuesday Nov 6, 2007

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The weather has finally improved dramatically. Lots of people say that
Nov. 3 is the magic day when the seasons switch. This year it was Nov. 4
when the winds did a 180 and the seas died down.

We returned from Managua yesterday after having an x-ray measurement of
the kidney stone. The X-rays show it to be 4mm x 6mm. The smaller 4mm
dimension helps improve my changes of the stone passing on its own. It's
at the bottom of my ureter right now and once it exits the ureter I'm
basically homefree. Most people are surprised to learn the ureter is
actually the most painfull and difficult section of the body for passing a
stone. Our fingers are crossed, but I can't shake the depression and
agony of just waiting.

Photos from splashing Sarana

Posted on Wednesday Oct 31, 2007

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First get two old russian cranes and put some straps around your boat (that's me on the left).

For an added bonus, the yard can swipe the ladder away from you and leave you and two other guys trapped on a potential death machine as they rotate the boat slowly out over the water.

Fortunately there were no equipement failures and we had plenty of water depth to escape without touching bottom.

After a crap load of work, we're now out in the bay hoping this stupid kidney stone passes quickly so we can get to sailing.

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Green Coconut or Avacado?

Posted on Saturday Oct 27, 2007

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There was only one avacado in the market today and we almost needed a forklift to bring it home.

Two Cranes are insane

Posted on Saturday Oct 27, 2007

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Today we helped splash Ocean Lady back into the water. You can see the old cranes and the amount of extra man power needed to rotate the boat out over the water. It's a risky business but everything went without a hitch, there was even enough depth that they didn't touch bottom!

7mm shy of freedom

Posted on Saturday Oct 27, 2007

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Stress mixed with terror. That's about the only way to describe standing
on the deck of your boat while two 30 year old Russian cranes try to
rotate it 90 degrees, lift it out over the water and set it down. All
this, without tangling the mast, banging the hull or flat out dropping it.
It wasn't my intention to be on this death ride. I would have preferred
to watch the cranes from a distance, but while I was on deck helping
attach the cranes, they started moving it -- leaving 3 of us to figure out
where to jump if thing went wrong.

The story of getting our boat out of the yard is quite a drama. The boat
can only be put in during a narrow window during peak high tide.
Otherwise they'll just set you down on the dry beach. One of the crane
operators showed up 30 minutes PAST high tide, so we scrambled to get the
boat in the water before it was too shallow. Somehow inside of 20 minutes
we had the boat in the water, straps coming off and engine running. We
only lightly bumped the sand once, but another 15 minutes longer and we
would have been stuck there high and dry.

Somehow, someway, we escaped damaging our boat and got ourselves anchored
safely. After 5 months of sitting around in a house, it felt really good
to be on the boat. It was like we had never left.

You might be wondering about the subject of this post. Well, 5 days
before we were set to launch I had a minor kidney stone attack. It turns
out I have a 7mm stone (not too big). We debated about not launching the
boat, but due to the size of the stone, and how we'd have to wait 30 days
for the tides to be right again, we decided to splash our boat.

As soon as this stone passes we'll feel safe to head back into the wilds.
I'm trying to look at our long string a bad luck as a payment for the luck
of a safe transit in and out of the yard.

I thought I was crazy

Posted on Monday Oct 15, 2007

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The new railway in San Juan del Sur is in full swing hauling fishing boats and even two sailboats. However this second sailboat is a bit of a monster and they don't really have the right car for holding sailboats. Nonetheless this boat from Playa del Coco (Costa Rica) hauled out and is working on the bottom. Hopefully one of the local sailboat owners will get his car built that fits the shape of sailboats soon. Then cruisers will have a very convient place to paint their boats.

One big blur

Posted on Friday Oct 12, 2007

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We finally received everything we needed to get the rudder back on the
boat. It took a lot of work and even more waiting for parts but, our boat
is officially a boat. I also received the parts to rebuild our wet
exhaust system and now in addition to being a sailboat we can also run our
engine.

There is one big catch though, the boat is still on land. The weather
turned really bad and looks bad for many days. We hope it calms down
around the 25th when the tides will be right for putting the boat back in
the water. Right now it doesn't look good at all.

Instead of thinking about the weather, we've been working in between rain
squalls every day, all day. Everything has blurred together and I hardly
even know what day it is anymore. We are almost at the point of putting
the bottom paint on the boat! Oh to be able to sail again!