Thursday, January 31, 2008

Toketie on the move!

We have finally slipped the lines from the dock at Marina Vallarta and after a lovely two hour sail in company with our friends on 'Tarun'....we are anchored once again in La Cruz.  No noise from the bars, no city dirt in the air...whales blowing, manta rays idyllic sunset and a farewell visit from Andre on 'Symbiosis'.  Peaceful, quiet and gently rolling to the Pacific swells which will soon carry us south on our journey!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

latest news from mexico!

Well, the first mate has returned.....and the captain is very happy to see her!  Our friends on Tarun arrived carrying a wind generator and the poles to mount it from San Diego for us....also a welcome sight!  Hectic days and muggy nights....the heat and humidity have finally returned here....planned the installation of the wind generator today....lists of things to do before leaving Puerto Vallarta at the end of January!  Mucho provisioning, much route planning, scrubbing, painting, fixing, stowing......give me a quiet anchorage....soon!  Cheers

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

another day in paradise!

Last week it was the fuel tanks to scrub out!   Yesterday, I removed all the batteries and cooked them on the dock for the whole day!!  Its called 'Equalization'.  Got them boiling pretty good actually.  After cooling overnight, I tested them today and am awaiting interpretation of the results!!  Voltage is good, specific gravity is good but load test has some questions!!  All part of a day's fun for a cruiser!  Attended first meeting of the "puddlejumpers" group two days ago.....very similar to our "fleet" group in Blue Water Cruising, where people who are planning to make the passage to Fr Polynesia this spring get together and share information and resources. 
Rice, beans and eggs...maybe I'll have fish for a change!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

philosophical musings!

We have lived on board for going on four years now.  We sailed down the West Coast of North America from Victoria in 2006 and spent the winter in Mexico.   We debated going down through Central America to Ecuador but have now decided to head directly for the Marquesas and New Zealand in the spring of 2008.

It is a very seductive lifestyle.  Free from any 9 to 5 constraints you once had, you become attuned to the sun's rising and setting and meet people with a common love of the sea.   Occasionally you cross paths with someone who has never sailed but have that 'romantic' gleam in their eye when it comes out that you live and travel on a sailboat.   I try not to discourage them or dampen this enthusiasm for I believe everyone must come to their own realizations about their hopes and fears and dreams.  For some, it simply becomes a matter of learning the ropes, organizing the voyage and setting out before it seems that they are back home sorting through the thousands of memories they managed to capture along the way.   And others are truly seduced by the lifestyle and become a modern form of gypsy, maybe returning on occasion to that 'other' world to make contact with friends and family.  

It's not always an easy life.  There are times when you are exhausted or nervous or perhaps even frightened by what the ocean can do.   Those who do it for long seem to develop a kind of humility that you learn to recognize in the gentleness of their manner and softness of their voice.   Rarely do they leave more than footprints in the sand.  And when you need a hand, they are seldom far.

I had this dream my entire adult life but what with careers and mortgages and raising children, it remained a dream, nourished constantly by reading the experiences of those who were living it.

You will never have enough money; there will always be ties to family that hold you back even while encouraging you.  There will always be choices to be made.  But we can no more hold back the sands of time than we can stop the tides.

So pick a heading and take a small step in that direction or risk losing those memories and being marooned with regrets for chances not taken!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

January in Vallarta

About time for another update!  Fuel tanks scrubbed out....what a job!  All fuel filters changed!  Maybe next time my kids come to visit....I'll be able to take them out of the harbour.  Last week we bounced around at the entrance, blocking any cruise ship egress....till the Capitaine de Puerto came out and yelled at us...didn't offer any assistance or anything as I got the anchor down to hold us off the rocks....fortunately the good ship 'Symbiosis' came along with Captain Andre to tow us in...well the universe was in a perverse mood at the time so after we hitched the tow line to him...his engine failed as well!!  So not sure who was rescuing who but it all turned out for the best in this best of all possible worlds as the good Dr. Pangloss would say!  Engine now running....awaiting return of first mate.....good ship Tarun on the way to deliver wind generator....meanwhile one day melts into another....sun shines hot and roving mariachi bands interfere with attempted skype....more to follow.....