Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Leaving for Cabo!

I'm leaving tomorrow to head out to Baja. I should arrive in a week or so, I am hoping by November 2. I just got food and water and a new Ocean Kayak, the Malibu 2 version, which takes two people or maybe three. Or even possibly 4 or 5 if you try. It has some leaks in the bottom, so I will have to patch them up, but they don't leak that fast.
So if you don't hear from me for a while, don't worry too much.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hiking along the shore

I went hiking along the shoreline a little while ago with one of the families of the boats that are here. We went to the south side of the bay, where the fauna is more lush and green. Also there were lots of spiders, and these big octopods had some nasty looking fangs. They were as big as my hand. On the way back we went through Old Town in Puerto Vallarta, and I saw the La Fonda sign. Its not spelled just right, but I appreciated it. And so does LaFawnda, sitting on the back of the boat.
I haven't got a new kayak yet. I'll keep looking for a little while for mine, but with little hope. Then I'll have to buy another. Sheesh.
And after that I'll probably get cracking on actually going across the sea to Baja. Really. Honest. Dad might fly in then and I'll have to be there or else.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Need Nu Nucanoe

I lost my NuCanoe. Either it came unhooked, which I think unlikely, since I tied the knot myself and I am sure it was good, or some fingers untied the knot and let it loose for me. Now I need a new one.
Aside from that, I am doing fine. There isn't much swell, so the surfing isn't very good, but I went yesterday just before losing the canoe. I've been going sailing around the bay a lot, and that is nice. The wind comes up every day in the afternoon. Another boat took some pictures of Altair while we went sailing together.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Post Jova

Jova has passed, and I didn't even feel anything more than a whisper of wind. The rigging never shrieked with agony from the passing of a storm, the waves never broached the safe haven of the harbor walls. The weather wasn't any worse than I've seen on a normal thunderstorm, and actually it was much better. I could have been at anchor out in the bay and been just fine. But I wasn't. I went in to the marina and tied myself to the dock with the strong electrostatic force of rope and chain.

It was actually quite fun to tie the boat down with 12 lines and make them all in the strongest configuration possible. I got out things that I haven't used in the whole trip so far and gave them a job to do. All lines performed admirably. None were lost.

So the skies greyed over before the storm, and are still wet, but the sun has given notice of shine today. There is some blue that is growing. We got a sprinkling that reminded me of Bellingham, for most of Wednesday, and one rain that wasn't really even qualified as a tropical rain. No lightning, but some distant thunder, and the maximum winds were probably less than “Small Craft Advisory” winds. I think the maximum was about 25 miles per hour.

I was really surprised, but the mountains to the south of PV were the mighty wall that the storm broke upon, and I haven't seen (since I still haven't been able to get internet) but some people have told me that the storm split in two, and part of it just went up the coast, outside the bay. The other part headed inland from where I am. So it split and went around me. How nice. I'd like to hear reports about how the other places fared, since Melaque was near where it made landfall. I liked Melaque. I hope it isn't destroyed.

Ok, I wrote that when I didn't get internet, now I have it. The totals for wind speed were 28 knots and 5 inches of rain where I was. Not quite storm force...

No videos, sorry. The camera wasn't happy.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I write this post hoping that there will be another one in the future. There is a Hurricane out in the Pacific, to the south of me, named Jova. He (I believe it is a boy) is looking to be rather nasty, with winds now of 125 mph. He'll come ashore in Barra de Navidad (where I was last year) and probably do lots of damage to the town, and then go overland and come near Puerto Vallarta. And I will be waiting there. I've done a huge amount of lashing things together, and I still have more time tomorrow to do more. The mountains to the south of PV I am hoping will make the storm less severe, but I won't know until it comes. So wish me luck.
Because of the storm, there was some really big swell out at the point that I surf at, so yesterday I got the best surfing that I've had in a long time in. The waves were head high or overhead and loads of fun, though they don't break too fast because of the direction relative to the point. I was halfway in a small barrel of one of them once, which was nice. My feet were in the barrel. And the speed! I love going fast on a surfboard.
So, hopefully the internet will stay up after the storm and I'll write something about how it was. Maybe even a video. But the internet might go, because that happens, so don't worry too much if you don't hear from me immediately. That means you, mom.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Close encounters with animals

First of all, there is a tropical storm that is supposed to come very close to PV, and I am in the "cone of death" at present. My first interaction with severe tropical weather is coming up in a few days. I'm planning on heading into the marina to hide when it gets closer. The forecast puts it to come in tuesday night or wednesday now.
I've had a few very delightful sails around Bandaras Bay, and it is always nice to see the wildlife that comes around there. I made a little video of the things I've seen. A Brown Booby was trying to land on the boat and I stuck a camera in his face like the jerk I am. He hit the camera with his wing while he's flying. And a few days ago I caught a nice big Dorado, and here he is hanging behind the boat.

I've been working on projects, which is somewhat unusual for me in Mexico... As usually I just go from place to place and fish and surf. But now I am reluctant to make a big trip while the tropical weather is around, so I'll do my projects.
The first one, which isn't complete, is my Dodger. I made it a long time ago in two days, for about 60 bucks. Successive attempts to make a second one as a replacement have been tough, since I never get the sizes just right, and I'm always sewing somewhere other than the boat. So this time I am making it out of fiberglass. I already have put the top on, and am waiting to get another sheet of the glass to make the sides with. Its quite handsome, I think, and stronger than the cloth one was. When it is complete, I think I'll make a post just about it.
The second project I just made is a lightning rod. Lightning tends to strike the highest point, right, so I don't want my shiny metal mast to be the target, and I certainly don't want my radio antenna to get hit and then fry my radio. So I stuck a piece of wire on the top above everything. I frayed the ends of the wire (its actually a stainless cable, like what the rig is held up by) so there are a lot of small points, which will help to dissipate the charge and make the strike less likely, but then I ran the cable directly to the grounding in the water, so the lightning will go around all the sensitive electrical things and also around me. I hope it works, but lightning is a slippery fellow.
I then moved the radio antenna from the top of the mast to the back of the boat, and the cable was bad, so I had to make a new one. I used the connections from old cables I have found in different places. I think most of the connections are supposed to be used once and thrown out, but I figured a way to re-use them.
I've also re-done my storage in the boat. There is a lot of room now. I've hung my speargun from the ceiling, and have two hammock pouches that hold things on the starboard wall, so tons of things are stored out and away from where I used to just have headroom, but never used it.
It is fun to work on a project all day long and then to have something to show for it at the end of the day. Its much better than working on something I don't care about, though I've been thinking more and more about how in a year I'll probably have a normal job again.