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May 12, 2007

Photo albums from the last few months

I finally got around to posting all my photos from Barra north. I just downloaded the latest version of JAlbum so the layouts a little different. I'm not sure whether or not I like it quite yet.

Here's the haulout and road trip north pics:

Here's the pics from fixing up Phoenix and some of it's subsequent sailing:

And here are all the pics from Barra, Mazatlan, La Paz, the Sea of Cortez and San Carlos:

Back home in Bellingham

After dealing with much separation anxiety I left Guaymas in company with Mark from Folie Deuce for the northbound trek back home for the Summer. It was hard leaving Bodhran sitting in the yard, but I've done all I can and will have to deal with any problems that arise when I get back next Fall. The drive north to the border took about 5 hours and was uneventful except for the fact that the heater was stuck on and we were driving through the middle of the Sonoran desert to Nogales. We got searched at the border, but it was quick and painless, and mainly due to the fact that a guy from Washington and a guy from California were driving a van with Nevada plates on it. Once across the border it was time for culture shock to start setting in. We decided against fast food and so sat down to one of the most expensive bad meals of my life. Ahhhh the land of 6 peso tacos is just back across the 4 foot fence at the border, if only I didn't have to go back to work. Of course there's also the prospect of 120 degree days that's chasing me away from my Winter paradise.

The Mexican border with the alternating wall and 4' tall backyard style fence:

We drove through Arizona and across the south end of California to meet up with Tate at his field site (33°25’.55N, 117°11’.35 W) a little ways north of San Diego. We didn't get in until midnight, but Tate, his friend Ashley, and some of his co-workers were up waiting for us with a fine selection of IPAs. Ahhh to taste that bitter bite of hops again. Naturally music ensued. We woke in the morning, drank coffee, collected firewood, picked oranges, tangelos and avacodos from the groves around the field site and Mark, Tate, Ashley and I all took off for Joshua Tree National Park. It was Saturday morning and of course the park was packed. We drove around 7 different camp grounds until we got so frustrated that we just went and set up camp at a site that was already taken (34°00’.06N, 116°01’.15 W) , but did not have their ticket posted showing that they had paid. It turns out that they had paid, but the site was big enough for all of us, so we shared. The wind was blowing like crazy and the fire pit at our campsite was unusable due to all the embers that would fly off towards our neighbors tent. So we started walking around the campground and found a couple from LA who had a little fire going, but were low on wood. Naturally they wouldn't mind if we warmed ourselves by their fire right? Oh, let us bring over a truck full of avocado wood from Tate's field site. Oh and you don't mind if we bring chairs, beer and instruments right? Pretty soon we had started a party and were picking late into the night. The next day involved more music, watching all the climbers, hiking Ryan Mountain and another campfire, but this time in our own site as the entire park cleared out by Sunday afternoon.

Mark, myself, Tate and Ashley on top of Ryan Mountain:

My van with the Joshua Trees:

Morning pickin session at the campground:

Mark and I left Tate and Ashley at the campground and took off for Oakland. Amazingly we were able to skirt around LA with no traffic, though we almost melted from the heat. We had a nice uneventful drive up the PCH and arrived in Oakland late Monday night. It was too late for Mark to arrange for a place to stay, so we had a beer and watched the last quarter of the Golden State Warriors game and then spent the night in the Van....Down by the River (37°46’.46N, 122°14’.23 W) . In the morning, we found Mark a place to crash while he gets himself established for the Summer and I took off after the traffic had cleared out to try and make Portland.

Beth and Jason in Portland:

Driving north, I began to feel more and more at home. Finally trees, mountains and Mt Shasta glistening with snow. All through Oregon, the smell of pines and crisp Spring air. I'd become so acclimated to 90 degree weather, that I was shivering in the frigid 70 degree air, but ahh to see evergreens again. I got into Portland around 9pm and was able to get a signal from the Metro free wi-fi signal. Both Jason and Beth had emailed, so I looked up Jason's address on Google maps and 10 minutes later, I was hanging out at Jason's house (45°30’.4N, 122°37’.23 W) driking more IPA and playing music into the night. A lazy moring of drinking coffee, eating bagels and playing music turned into a lazy mid day of more music and Tamales at a local taco place and then it was off northbound before Portland traffic hit.

I got into Seattle around 6:30 and went to my brother Alex's place up on Capitol Hill amazingly finding a parking space right out front. My car-ma was great all the way north, no traffic, no tickets even though my spedometer is broken and now a parking space in an impossible neighborhood. We went out to Sushi and then hit a local pub where we met my youngest brother Trevor. I crashed out at Alex's place and slept in until the morning traffic had cleared and took off north for the last 100 miles of my 2500 mile drive up from Mexico. It's surreal, after all the last 8 months entailed, it seemed perfectly normal to be driving up through the Chuckanuts again and down Holly into town(48°45’.08N, 122°28’.17 W). I met up with my parents for the afternoon and then it was off the Boundary Bay for the evening to catch up with everyone's last 8 months and the next day hangover that is pretty much a given after too many local beers when you're used to Pacifico. It's good to be home again, but now it's time to look for work and save money so I can do all this again next year. I'll still update the blog if anything interesting happens, but it's going to be in semi-hibernation for the Summer.

Back home in Bellingham:

May 3, 2007

Hauled out for the summer

Nothing to do with hauling out, just a nice picture from the marina in San Carlos:

I don't know what happened, but my blog entry on hauling out in Guaymas disappeared. So here goes again. After spending a couple of days on the hook in 6 feet of water (Bodhran draws 5), they were finally ready to pull Bodhran out of the water. Gabriel isn't done building ramp at his yard where the gringo yachts are stored, so he's been using the massive 150 ton travel lift at the commercial yard next door. Unfortunately they'd be rebuilding the lift next door. When they hauled me out they figured that it was in good enough shape to haul my little 10 ton boat, but that they wouldn't haul one of the shrimper's with it....very reassuring.

The travel lift at the commercial yard:

I dinghy'd Gabriel out to Bodhran and he led me through the shoals into the channel to the travel lift. It was shoal the entire way. We never had more than 3 feet under the keel, but we never hit bottom either. The yard guys were concerned over how to fit my little boat in their gargantuan lift. Fortunately I had pictures on my laptop of a previous haulout up in Bellingham so they could figure out where to place the straps, but they tied and retied lines connecting the straps together 3 or 4 times to ensure that Bodhran wouldn't slip down between them. Once I was in the lift, it was no problem. They pulled me out and drove me up the road and next yard to the gringo yard.

Bodhran coming out of the water:

Going up the road to the gringo yard:

Bodhran and my new land yacht in the yard:

Then it was time to “Summerize” the boat. Heat, rain, UV and bugs are the enemy. It regularly gets up above 120 degrees in the summer and there are torrential downpours when it does rain that overwhelm cockpit scuppers and fill boats with water. I removed the pinrails, boom gallows, running rigging and anything else that would come off to protect it from UV damage. I filled all the thru hulls with scotchbrite pads to keep the bugs from nesting in them, taped bug screens over all the vents, and taped the seams around the companionway and cockpit locker. Finally I bout a section of billboard covering to use as a big tarp and tied it up to cover the aft half of the boat. There was much anxiety leaving, but I think that Bodhran will weather the Summer just fine.