Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mexico Trip

 I just got back from a fantastic trip in Mexico, where Wes and I went out to Isla Isabella, then surfed for a few days, and then sailed around Bandaras Bay and visited Puerto Vallarta.  I saw lots of old friends on their boats during the trip and tried out my new D7000 camera.  The previous post is a video of the island, and I used the new camera a lot on that.
Wes has a Tayana 37 Ketch, which is a rare boat, being that it is a Ketch and not a Cutter.  (the difference is in the number of masts)  It is a cruising boat and designed for any weather, but Wes is a very careful sailor and is working his way up slowly to going out in that weather.
Mexico was merciful on us and we had nice conditions the whole time.
Here are some pictures of his boat.

 Night watches are rough on me, but they also are nice, because you get so much more out of a 24 hour period, just because you are up more.  The sunrise comes like a blessing after a long watch of watching the stars slowly move.

 We practiced Celestial Navigation on route to the island and I was very happy with the results.  Wes hadn't used a Sextant before this, and was shooting sun sights quite professionally and then we found noon.  We made a few mistakes and didn't get the angles just right or calibrate the sextant, so we were off by 45 miles of lattitude, but our longitude was 15 miles off the GPS reading.  Also, we didn't have an almanac, so we could have been closer if we had better data to work with.  Instead, we used the little approximate almanac in the sextant case.  Not as good.

 Isla Isabella has a few little islets off the side, we anchored near them.  Apparently there are seven craters from the volcano, and they all make crazy walls and things all over.  The islets are an old wall.

 After we got back in the bay we got to see a nice sunrise, shining over a friend's boat. 

 Here is a picture of me being tied to the tiller.  That's what happens if you don't have a wind vane as good as LaFawnda. 

 Rob (above) had his birthday, and we went into Puerto Vallarta to celebrate.  We ended up going to Senor Frogs, a place for the cruise boat peoples, and I'd never been inside, but in we went.  They made us a great dessert with flames. 
 And more flowers.  I love the blooming things in the sunshine down there.  Now that I'm back in the cold I have to wait for springtime again.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Return to Jurassic Park

I flew down to Mexico for a short 11 day trip, and my friend Wes who has a boat here has kindly agreed to take me around for the duration.  We went out to this island that is one of my favorite places in Mexico.  I have made a video, and pictures will follow when I get more time on the internet. 
Being in the warm climate again is really nice, and swimming in the warm ocean is like heaven.  I want to bring Altair back down to the southlands again.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Night Fury

The stove is to be called Night Fury.  The name of a type of dragon in the animated movie "How to Tame your Dragon," this is applicable because of the dark complexion of the stove and how small and generous it is. 
On to other business.  I made another video, which I will put here, about the inside of the boat.  I was working on adding new LED strip lights, which I have now that run in the V berth, along the sides and on the ceiling, when I decided to make a video of the progress.  I should have cleaned up more beforehand, and this isn't my finest work.

I shot the video with my new camera, a D7000, which is a super snazzy machine, I got it yesterday.  It can do anything.  I am sadly retiring my old workhorse, the D70 I've had for many years.  Its seen salt water and desert dust and snow and ice and even lava.  My poor D70 is amazingly tough and has lived a difficult life in the elements.  Here is a picture of the old beast...
The new camera has lots of press about it, you can read some of it here.
Other than that, I'm going to Mexico for a short trip and when i get back I should have some more content for this blog.