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 February 2018

 

 

 

 

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Background image - Tours snorkeling and swimming with sea lions at Los Islotes

 

Tuesday February 20th 2018

  Today A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming northwest 20 this morning. High minus 12. Wind chill minus 36 this morning.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this evening and after midnight. Clearing before morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 24. Wind chill minus 26.

I'm up at 0330. The anchor alarm went off several times. I had set it too short, at 100 feet.  We have about 100 feet of chain out in 20 feet of water and the wind swung us 180 and stretched the chain out, so we moved at least 150. I'm not tired, so I made coffee and an omelet.  I may nap a bit later.

The weather continues cold at home, but when I check my surveillance cameras I see my house is warm and safe today.  Here, It is cooler today and is expected to be for the next few days, but still shirtsleeve weather.

I don't recall Alberta Februarys being so continuously cold in the past.  Cold, yes, and down to minus forty, but with warm spells.  There have not been many zero days in this month this year.

Maybe I was tougher back then because I recall being out skiing and on Ski Patrol all winter.

I went back to bed around four and slept until daybreak.

I got up at sunrise and made an omelet and coffee.  Don was up a while later. 

First thing, I Skyped Rogers to see what happened to my phone replacement seeing as it had not shown up in Swalwell. 

After the obligatory long wait on hold which would be bearable on speaker except for the blaming music, I reached an agent who blamed UPS and forwarded my call to UPS.

When UPS answered, after some confusion, I arranged to have it delivered to Carolyn's home.

There had been the usual mix-up with UPS.  Apparently the address given to the courier was my mail address which is not a street address and of course, I had no phone to call and they did not bother to send an email. 

Don and I sat around for a few hours, then motored out of the bay, set sail, and drifted back to La Paz.

The diver's son was on the dock and introduced himself, then cleaned the marine growth off the bottom of the boat.

If the bottom is not scraped and scrubbed monthly, marine growth gets quite thick and sea grass will even take hold.   Unless removed regularly some critters will actually begin to to digest the surface.

Once back to our slip, I walked to La Paz Cruisers Supply, which is now open, and bought some better water hose, this time making sure it is hot water rated.  This hose looks the same as what I got uptown, but is stouter and a different plastic.

Returning to the boat, I replaced the ballooning hoses and turned on the water. Bingo.  No leaks.  If the shop had been open last week, it would have saved me doing the job twice.

I then did a few more odd jobs and reversed the line for the furler end for end, seeing as the section that is in the clutch was showing wear.

I also resealed the fittings on the top of the forward cold water tank.  I suspect there will still be leaks at the seams, but this is a start and remaining leaks will be easier to spot now that these leaks are sealed.

Around five, I suggested to Don that we visit Tom to look the trawler he is selling, so we went to Dock 2, knocked and were given the tour.  Tom has covered a lot of territory in that boat, from the Great loop, to the west coast, but is tired of cruising and plans to get a motorhome.

Then I suggested that we all go to Tailhunter for supper.  Don and I already had planned to go, and Tom is good company.  As it turned out, Tom has a van at the marina, so we saved the Uber fare.

I prefer to eat onboard and cook mostly plain food.  Restaurant food here tends to be salty and greasy. As much as I don't like restaurants, Don likes to eat out and Tailhunter is one place that has a good view of the bay, is usually not noisy, and serves food I don't mind too much. 

After, we returned to the boat and I turned in at eight.  I think Don stayed up and read.

Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Wednesday February 21st 2018

 

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. Clearing this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 12. Wind chill minus 32 this morning.
Tonight Increasing cloudiness early this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 20. Wind chill minus 25.

I'm up for the day at 0410. Don got up briefly and went back to bed.  I went to bed at eight last night, so I've had my night's rest but I think he stayed up reading.  He has a cab to catch at 0600 for his 0830 flight, so he'll be up again before too long.

BG: 6.2  BP: 126/78 Pulse 52

Don has gone thorough several novels while here.  I haven't read a novel for decades.  I suppose I should.  Maybe.  The best novels contain a lot of information, but a lot of it can be bogus or slanted and how would we know? 

The public conscious is shaped by fiction as much or more than fact. Fiction is much more freely available and can be selected to suit one's tastes.  Fact, on the other hand is often hard to find, and when found may not be what we would hope. People tend to believe what they want to believe and are able to ignore or deprecate even the most obvious facts.

The National Post had a good article on how history is being twisted in 'historical' novels. In my mind, this is a serious issue that can lead to some dangerous beliefs and lead to bad decisions. 

Our current government's tendency to place undue emphasis on rather tenuous and wishful trendy memes is having a negative impact on our current economy and may do long lasting damage to both our economy and reputation.  Initially regarded as somewhat of a marvel, already our Prime Minister is increasingly being seen as a shallow, naive fool and a Pied Piper.

I'm sure nothing can be done about it.  The tendency described in the article to play fast and loose with history and mix fiction with fact, as annoying and dangerous as it may be, is a feature of literate societies. 

I suspect this 'artistic license' would not play well in societies that depend on oral tradition to pass on history and can accurately recall events from centuries in the past.

Don leaves this morning early.  At nine, my boat wax and polish guys will start on the stainless and then the exterior surfaces, ending with a waxing from end to end. This process protects the gelcoat from sun and staining and also make the boat shine and look sharp -- sheds salt and dirt and makes the boat easier to wash.

I wrote my sailmaker yesterday to see when he will work on the genoa and he says he had a flu bug and will get at it soon.  I said I don't care when, seeing as the sail is working and I am using it.

I have a busy day ahead.  At noon, Fabian will examine the dinghy. 

He was the first recommendation, but I was unable to locate him and tried two others, neither of which worked out.  Then I found out that he is a relative of my boat polisher and also the diver.

I have things to get uptown and then Jon, Steph and Brendan arrive around five or six. 

Figuring out accommodation will be interesting. Brendan is the wildcard.  The other two get the aft cabin.  I'll have to decide if Brendan gets my cabin and i sleep in the salon.  That seems to be the best solution at this point, seeing as I am up and down at night and if he sleeps in the salon, I'll be disturbing him.

Don washed up, packed and was gone by six, leaving me alone for the day.  After over a week of having a companion, it will be interesting to be by myself for the day.

Although I enjoy company, I am quite happy to be alone much of the time.  When I was younger, I liked to be with people all the time, but now I like being undisturbed with my thoughts and projects. 

As for companions, some people are good company and not intrusive, but others are attention seekers and constantly interrupt the flow with questions that could be answered by just watching and with general pointless babble.

It is not yet sunup, but it is time to get on with the day.  I have a laundry to do, but Don reported that when he went to the showers there was no water.  I'll get a wash ready and check in a while.

Don left before sunrise. I had a shower, defrosted the fridge/freezer and hosed down the bathroom.  The boat waxing guys came and washed the boat.

Somehow, the morning is gone.  I have yet to do a wash and go uptown and I expect Fabian shortly.

*      *      *     *      

It's one and he was on the boardwalk nearby but has not come down.  I'm wondering how reliable he is.  We'll see.  I've been waiting all morning and still have laundry and some other chores to do.  I had thought I'd get uptown, but that is looking less likely.  I think we'll provision tomorrow morning.

Fabian eventually showed up and examined the dinghy, then said he would give me a quote tomorrow by email.  He seems quite confident and capable, so we will see. He is the third person I've consulted.

I did the laundry and folded the wash and while that was happening, tidied the boat interior.   Meantime, the crew continued to shine up the boat and eventually finished around five.

No sooner had they left than Jon and his gang appeared at the gate. Once they were settled in, we walked down to the Dinghy Dock Restaurant and had supper, then returned to the boat, carrying doggy boxes of the excess for tomorrow. 

I changed for bed. They are playing Uno.  I'll be turning in soon. 

Seems they will all three sleep in the aft cabin.  It is a huge bed.  So, I can get up in the middle of the night, as is my habit, without disturbing them.

When Steph was making the bed she discovered that Don had left his cargo shorts and underwear.  I had found several pairs of socks earlier.  He must have been groggy when he packed this morning, or maybe subliminally plans to return.

Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Thursday February 22nd 2018

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 9. Wind chill minus 25 this morning.
Tonight Clearing this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 20. Wind chill minus 27.

I'm up at 0400.  The others are asleep and will be for a while.  Weather at home continues to be below freezing.  Reports are that this has been the coldest February in twenty-five years in Calgary and area, and I believe it.

BG: 6.6 BP:127/73 Pulse 46

Plan for today: Provision in the morning, then go out around noon and anchor somewhere not too far away for the night.

The others are up now at 0830.  They all slept in the big back bedroom and slept well, it seems. We're undecided about provisions.  Brendan is the question.  He is a fussy eater and Steph wants to find a sandwich or something but maybe there is no need to go shopping downtown.  We have food left over from last night and I still have some soup from a few days ago.

We decided to go shopping as I originally had thought and took Uber to Aramburo.  We loaded up with food and Ubered back to the boat.  It turned out the gate was locked and we had to wait because they were working on the electrical system, but soon were aboard, packed the food away and pulled out for Balandra.

The wind was against us and around noon, we decided to settle for Lobos and then after a wind shift, Pichilinque.  I had enquired on a local mailing list about spots to snorkel and it happened that Pichilinque was mentioned in an email that came in right about the time Pichilinque was dead ahead, so that advice was quite timely.

We dropped anchor off Punta Base in 12 feet of water near shore and Jon and Brenden snorkeled from the stern of the boat and reported seeing a good selection of coral and fish.

The wind picked up and we moved around the corner and Jon and Brenden took the dinghy in to Playa Pichilinque to look around. I started to move Baja Magic closer to the beach to anchor for the night, but about then a motorcycle gang was seen arriving at one of the beach bars and very loud music started up.  Although my crew had been reluctant to go further today, at this point we had no difficulty deciding we were moving on.

I've learned that when traveling with others, as long as we are moving along, continuing to a destination down the road is agreeable, but if wed stop long enough for people to settle, then obtaining consensus to move on again is difficult, even if the more distant location was agreed in advance and is far more favourable.

We see this with swarming bees, too.  If a swarm lands somewhere and has to stay there due to weather or indecision, they will often build comb and if they do, the queen will lay and the swarm will then stay -- on a branch, in the open.  Democratic decisions are often sub-optimal.

We motored over to my usual spot at Caleta Lobos and dropped anchor.  Jon and the gang got into the dinghy and were about to go to the beach when the outboard began stalling and being hard to re-start.  We decided it was too risky to go far with a strong offshore breeze and an unreliable outboard, so they disembarked and I did some cursory troubleshooting.

My conclusion was that I need to check the fuel system further.  Don had bought fresh gas the other day and I had not used the outboard since then, so fuel is the prime suspect.  I looked in the tank and could see a little water -- only a few drops, but that and the carb will be a job for manana.

So, having no other entertainment, I went swimming off the swim platform for a while and then showered off.  The water is a bit cooler every day, but still okay without a wet suit.

We had a light supper and the others are playing cards again.  I'm catching up on correspondence. 

I'm dead tired again tonight.  I'll be in bed by 8:30

Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Friday February 23rd 2018

Today Sunny. Increasing cloudiness this afternoon. Wind south 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this morning. High minus 8. Wind chill minus 27 this morning.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries late this evening and overnight. Low minus 17.

I'm up at 0530.  Jon was asleep on the couch.  The others in the back room. By 0630, Steph and Brendan were up, and Jon was asleep in the back.  Musical beds. Brendan kicks and talks in his sleep.

It is minus eighteen at home and plus eighteen here again this morning.

BG: 6.5

It is a bit foggy this morning, but the fog should burn off shortly, as the sun rises. Today, we'll motor over to Balandra and anchor, then snorkel and maybe hike a bit, then return to Marina Palmira.  They fly tomorrow around noon the next day so we want to spend the night at the marina.

By 0730, the fog had cleared and the day brightened.  This looks to be another day like the last. Everyone liked it here and now nobody else wanted to leave and go to Balandra -- or do much.

I had the outboard working after siphoning out the drop of water from the tanks (left) and clearing the carb, so Brendan and I took a tour around the bay looking for good snorkeling spots.  We decided that the shore near the island -- the first place I had chosen to snorkel here on the Baja -- looked best.

We returned to Baja Magic and then, since the outboard was working again, Jon decided to take the others to the beach.  However, the outboard would not start again so we gave up on that.

I then said we really really must go to Balandra for the beach and the snorkeling. Nobody was anxious to move, but I insisted and we motored out past Roca Lobos to see the tourists and the seals.

Fifteen minutes later we anchored off El Hongo, the famous rock at Puerto Balandra and we paddled the dinghy towards shore.

Once we reached the sandbar that reaches across the bay, I stopped a while and managed to get the engine to run, then pulled the dinghy through  the shallows to shore.  We climbed up the dunes for a spectacular view of the bay and then returned to the shore.

Earlier, I had spotted a reef across the bay that looked lie a good snorkel spot, so Brenden and I ran back to Baja Magic in the dinghy, got my gear and then circled the reef.

Jon and Steph had walked across the sandbar to meet us at the reef, but we did not see them.  Brendan and I could see that the reef was a disappointment, so we circled the bay and found nothing particularly good, then sat on the yacht, looking for them.  We finally spotted them and picked them up.  They had done a lot of walking.

We decided to return to Caleta Lobos to snorkel since we had found nothing here and motored back.  We anchored in sand close to the island spot I had snorkeled previously.  We lounged a bit, then Jon and Brenden swam in, snorkeled, and reported lots of variety, including starfish and eels.  Apparently, they found this to be the best spot yet. 

After a while I decided to join them and sure enough, the conditions were much better than on my previous dive there and the water was quite clear.  I also saw much more variety.

We wanted to be back in La Paz well before dark, so after a rest we set sail for a downwind run and returned to Marina Palmira.  I let Brenden steer in the channel and into the marina, then I docked and tied up.

The others wanted to go out for supper, so we chose Mariscos los Laureles and summoned Uber. At the restaurant, we were seated outside looking across the Malecon at the bay, and supper was fantastic.

The Malecon is a local attraction all day, and especially evenings and weekends, so, after supper, Brenden and I walked down to Zona Central along the Malecon, watching the people and the various activities.   The others were to catch up, and they did after a while.

Brenden was quite taken by the recumbent tricycles that kids were scooting around on, so Steph rented one for him for a hour.  After twenty minutes of watching him, Jon and Steph went looking for a washroom. 

They disappeared into the bus station, but fifteen minutes later, they had not come back and Brenden grew worried.  Eventually, they returned, but by then Brenden was not happy and got pouty.  We took the scooter back and called up Uber.

Once back at the marina, Brenden walked ahead, then went into the aft cabin and closed the door.  Steph and Jon decided to go for a walk and maybe check out a bar.  I didn't know where they went and when they would return.

Minutes later, Brenden came out and wanted to know where his mom was.  I said I don't know and he asked for the gate key to go to the washrooms in the marina building.  I had one key and said I had to accompany him since we have one key and because it was after dark.

As suspected, it was a ruse and he stalked the boardwalk looking for Steph. Of course she was not there.  He decided to wait outside the washrooms and I pointed out that there are various ways she could return and that was only one.  The best place to wait was on the boat because that is where she would be certain to return.

He would not be convinced and I could not just leave him out there, so I  sat andwatched him and eventually convinced him to come back through the gate onto the dock, then went into the boat and watched through a portlight. I figured the others could be hours if they went to town.  My only concern was that someone might let him out the gate and goodness only knows where he might wander off to.  Otherwise, on the dock, he was within observation. 

He was clearly panicked, angry, and irrational, and he was also clearly playing me.  If he was unhappy, he would make sure everyone else was, too. I wasn't, but I am sure he won't get a chance to do this to me again.

Fortunately, Jon and Steph returned shortly.  They had walked down the dock to the pub.  They came in, but Brenden still was refusing to come aboard.

It was clear to me that he had been planning to give Steph a hard time when we first returned by hiding in the back room, and when he came out and found she was gone, he was really mad, so now he was intent on working her over.

When Steph came in and he didn't, I told her that I don't put up with that kind of manipulation and Brenden owes me an apology if he ever hopes to come back. She went back up and there was a lot of talk between them, then Jon went up too. I kept out of it and went to bed.

After a while, there was a knock on my door and I said I was in bed and talk to me tomorrow.

I don't play or acknowledge anyone's games, especially when they are rigged.

Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Saturday February 24th 2018

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries this morning. Clearing near noon. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High minus 2.
Tonight A few clouds. Low minus 18.

I stayed in bed until 0635 today, to let the others sleep, then got up and made coffee and an omelet.  Steph was on one salon couch and Brendan the other. Jon was in the back bedroom.

They have to be gone by 0930 to catch their flight back to Tijuana.  Jon slept a while, then they all packed.  Brenden was pretty quiet and glanced at me sideways from time to time, but said nothing, but after a while, he apologized.  I said, "I understand", and I do.  Very well, and from many points of view.

I left it at that.  Anything more would just start a conversation and take off the pressure.  For him, talking is too easy.  That is how he spins people. He needs to think, not talk.

He is used to sucking people into trying to mollify him and getting a lot of attention and sympathy by playing on the adults tendency to feel guilt. While, yes, there is some underlying pain, it is mostly a game and best ignored.  Rewarding it only makes it worse.

I turned on the VHF right at 0800 and listened to the net.  At the end, Swan offered dinghy oars for sale or swap.  I had been asking around for oars for some time now but another boat jumped in to claim them before I could respond.

Swan is two boats from me on the same dock and Jeff and I are friends, so I walked right over and knocked on his hull.  While the other guy was hemming and hawing on the radio, Jeff stuck his head out and gave me the oars, gratis.  Bonus!

Jon et al could have left early and spent some time in town on the way to the airport, but they seemed reluctant to leave and we sat in the cockpit.

At 0915, I walked up to the road with them and they ordered an Uber.  Their ride appeared and off they went.

So, now I'm alone and back into my own world -- one of them -- after two weeks of constant company. Now have to find and pick up the thread that was interrupted by the presence of visitors.  I'll probably do next to nothing all day until I get back into the flow.

It was fun having people here and I got to show off my local knowledge.  I had not realized how well I've adjusted to this place and how comfortable I am  going downtown and cruising the bays and islands. Everything is making sense, but at first it was all a giant puzzle.

My visitors have all fallen in love with La Paz and I know they will be back. Even Brenden, but I owe him a hard time <G>.

Today is very windy.  The boat is rocking and moving in the slip, even here in the innermost dock of the marina.  I checked online and the wind at the airport is only twenty knots.  I'd have thought it was at least thirty.

A cooling trend is predicted -- perhaps down to twenty as a daytime high, much to everyone's surprise.

*   *   *   *   *

It's 1500 and I am awake after a nap that may have been two hours long. 

I'm exhausted after the visits.  I keep thinking I'll walk up the few hundred yards to La Paz Cruisers Supply, but so far, I have no energy. I may lie down again.

I did go up and bought a joker valve for the toilet and some Sea Foam for the outboard.  It was not exactly what I want, but may do. I need something to condition the new gasoline and clear any water and varnish from the system.

On returning to BM, I took the carb off the outboard motor and disassembled it.  It appeared to be perfectly clean, but I removed the jets to be sure. 

Once the carb was reassembled, I reinstalled it, started the engine and adjusted the idle mixture.  I found the screw to be less responsive than I would expect, but his motor is a four-stroke and I have less experience with them than with two-strokes.

It ran acceptably but the real test will be to take a run somewhere, a safer proposition now that I have oars. 

I'll also get a fogging outboard treatment.  They clean the carb, free the rings and decarbonize heads as well.   I've had good luck with them.  I should also torque the head bolts.

I snacked for super and went to bed just after dark.  I'm beat.  Company can be exhausting.

Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Sunday February 25th 2018

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light early this morning. Wind becoming west 30 gusting to 50 late this morning. High minus 1.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40. Low minus 15.

I slept until 0630, giving me almost twelve hours of sleep last night, plus the nap yesterday.  I was that tired. 

6.2 122/73 55

I now have nine more full days before I leave for home.  During that time, I hope to make plans for this boat for the coming summer.

Summers are hot here and there is the risk of a named storm -- a hurricane.  The last Pacific hurricane to affect the area seriously was the Pacific Hurricane Odile in 2014.  Some anchored boats dragged anchor and were thrown on shore.  Three sailors died. Some boats on the hard (on stilts on land storage) fell over but boats in the marinas were mostly spared.

Keeping the boat in the water is much more expensive but allows me to visit in summer r anytime. Although summers are oppressively hot here, I should visit at least once.  

Leaving the boat where it is now is also much easier than finding a location on the hard and moving there.  I can simply tie the boat well, leave someone in charge, and go, then return when I please.  I won't lose my slip, or my discount at the marina.

I should, however, at some point, decide if I want to keep La Paz as my base or cruise the entire Sea of Cortez and find a base elsewhere.  There are cheaper marinas farther north out of the hurricane zone and new places to explore.  Just the same, I like it here and have not exhausted the novelty or learned all the intricacies I should before I venture further afield.

Reaching La Paz by plane is fairly easy and the area is good for cruising. If I move to another location, I have to consider how I will get there and back from Alberta, BC, and Ontario.

From the above ruminations, I think I have concluded I'll spend at least another year here.

*   *   *   *

The heat and sun are hard on boats as well and particularly so on the hard.  On land, the heat is even worse than in the water as contact with the water moderates the heat but boats bake in the sun when on the hard.  Should I remove the sails?  Apparently that was not been the process in the past.  So much to learn...

It is Sunday and here stores are closed, but I am not sure about Chedraui and Walmart.  I am quite sure the marine stores are closed.  I need a few things, but they can wait.

It seems Chedraui is open today.  The website says Lunes a domingo 08:00 hrs a 21:00 hrs PST.  I gather that Monday to Sunday is inclusive and means 'every day'. There are subtleties in language, culture, and local usage that can be ambiguous, but this looks pretty clear, even if it could more easily be said as "Every day of the week".

My exhaust has a 'bark' and I suspect the muffler is not getting as much water as it could.  I also notice that the strainer drains back when the engine is turned off, causing me to suspect an air leak in the suction side.

I could work on that or go downtown. The shuttle leaves in fifteen minutes and Uber goes anytime.  I don't really need anything, so I think I'll putter here for the morning.  It's another beautiful, breezy day, but cool.

I was getting started when a boat began calling for Bercowitz on the radio.  It is Sunday, so there was no answer. He called again several times.

Eventually we learned he had run aground somewhere on the sandbar on a falling tide and was looking for a tow.

He was not clear on location, but I started the outboard and took a run out to look.  I found him  on the outside of the sandbar.  That is an unusual spot.

A 90 HP runabout was there already, attempting to assist.  It seemed neither the captain or the powerboaters knew what they were doing. They were towing with a line attached at the bow and their boat was only a bit more powerful than the sailboat's own auxiliary and propped for speed, not power so it should have been clear to them that this would not work.

I circled them in the dinghy.  Waves were too rough to get very close, but they were accomplishing nothing and I suggested pulling on a halyard or topping lift to tilt the boat.

That is one of the standard ways to deal with grounding.   (See image for example).  Pulling on the top of the mast tips the boat enough the keel comes off the bottom and the captain can power the boat off -- if the boat is not too badly grounded which it was not yet, but soon would be as the tide was predicted to drop two more feet before rising again.

They did not understand and persisted in their futile attempt, so I left.  The tide will drop another two feet before it returns to the level it was when he grounded and not exceed that enough to lift the boat (assuming he has not been carried farther onto the sandbar by the swells) until 2000 hours.  So, the captain will have to sit it out.  He'll be on a slant, but should be okay. In fact, judging by what I could see, he may be better on the sandbar that loose on the sea.

My dinghy stuttered a bit at first when I headed out, but is running well now.  We'll see how long that lasts. I took a chance going out, but was careful not to stall and had ensured in advance that the winds were onshore and would just blow me back home if I had a breakdown.  Besides, I had my handheld VHF and the whole neighbourhood was standing by on 22A, listening to the unfolding drama of the grounded boat.

|When I returned, I had lunch and pulled the cover off the water pump on Baja Magic's Perkins diesel. I'll need a new gasket as the old one tore.

I examined the cover plate and spent time cleaning it. Then, as I worked, I realised I had seen a brand new pump among the spares.  The cover in the one in use had some significant corrosion (which made me wonder about the rest of the engine) and I imagine that there could be some loss of pressure due to the increased clearance that caused.

I pulled out the new pump, and installing looks like a simple matter of removing four bolts, pulling the old pump, and installing the new. Hope so.

It was. The new pump is installed, but in the process, I discovered a hose needs changing and the antifreeze is low. I started the engine and still see less water coming out the exhaust than I expect. The new pump makes no difference, but at least that job is crossed off the list.  I suspect the heat exchanger needs flushing.  I wonder if that can be done locally.

I also have to track down the cause of hard starting when cold.

*   *   *   *   *

I finished my last batch of soup today, so I made more this afternoon.  I think I am going to have to be more careful about my diet.  Eating tostados and chips is not good for me.  Too many fast carbs and too much of the wrong oils.

*   *   *   *   *

I had supper, then spent the evening contemplating the next job -- de-scaling the heat exchanger, with the aid of YouTube videos. I went to bed around nine.

Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Monday February 26th 2018

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this morning. Wind becoming west 20 gusting to 40 this afternoon. High minus 3.
Tonight A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness before morning. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40. Low minus 14.

I'm up at 3AM for a little while. I was under a cover rated at minus three and the cabin about plus fifteen but I felt chilly.  I decided to get up for a while and turned on the heater.  I'll go back to bed in a few minutes.

I was dreaming someone told me there was an online book sale at ten. Why exactly I would care escapes me since I certainly do not need any books -- and besides even asleep I knew it was already after ten.

I stayed up a half-hour and then went back to sleep and next I knew it was 0735 and the sun was up.

I'm up for the day and thinking I'll probably go uptown for a few things.

I started by filling the forward water tank. I ran it right dry first and wiped it out, then filled it while watching the level.  I see I fixed the major leaks, but there is seepage where the lid is screwed down, so it is just a matter of sealing that seam now.

When filling a tank with a hose, the pressure of the water coming from the hose into the filler spout is maybe forty pounds per square inch.  That pressure is not applied to the tank if the air and any overflow can escape freely. 

However, if the hose blocks the filler and the vent is not large enough, that forty pounds per square inch is applied over the tank's entire inner surface which is around 25x25x30=18,750 in2, resulting in a total force of 750,000 pounds over that surface unless/until it is released. And it will be released suddenly, as no tank short of a pressure vessel can withstand that force. If there is little or no air, the lid will just lift slowly and leak.  If there is air, compressed by the pressure, the release can be explosive.

That is why the seams are seeping.  Someone sometime blew the lid off. I've seen it happen on another boat when the owner was not aware of the risk.  Fortunately, the Beneteau designer built a plastic tank with a screw-on top that is fairly easily resealed.  The other captain blew up an aluminum tank and that repair will not be cheap or easy,

It's 9:47 and that is my day so far.

People think yachting is glamorous and maybe for the rich it is, but for the rest of us, it is more about fixing boats with limited supplies in exotic places.  When I go to a get-together of yachties, it sometimes looks more like a meeting of street people than a group of high-powered executives (which many are or were).

I measured the hose and decided to look at the back of the heat exchanger and the fuel filters.  getting the cap off was hard and I had to remove other items to get access, then I noticed a relay lying on the sole and when I moved it, it sparked. 

Then I noticed the wires to it were melted and one burned off. Maybe that explains the hard cold start.  I checked the coolant level and it was down. I poured in a gallon of water and it just kept going down.  I checked the oil and the engine had used a little.  About then, I decided I should consult Rob at Cross Marine Works.

I walked over and as it happened, Rob was there.  Kim was trying to send him off to a job, but he was interested in my project and decided to send Carlos over to look while he went to do the promised job elsewhere.

Next thing I knew, Carlos was in the aft cabin pulling off the heat exchanger and I'm sitting here writing.  This job is going faster than I expected.  I was imagining sitting here in the marina until the 6th.

I joined him and held a light while he worked.  We decided that the wiring harness has to be rebuilt and went back for supplies but  it is quitting time, so they scheduled the rest for later.  Seems Carlos is booked tomorrow, as is Rob, but if I hang around and beg the supplies, I think they'll move me up or give me what I need.

Now I have the evening ahead and a day or two when I'll not be able to go out.  I do want to go to the islands one more time this trip.  I'll be back in La Paz at least once before summer, but I don't know when.  I booked Will to go up the mast Thursday morning.  That is March first and I'll have only four cruising days after that.

I received a few calls and emails today that commit me for dates next month and beyond.  One is a cataract consultation and another is a speaking engagement for the Calgary Beekeepers.

At home, there is still a lot of snow.

After supper, a bowl on my stew, I decided to go to Chedraui again. This time, I chose a closer one and when I arrived, it looked strangely familiar.  It was the store I visited several times with Lisa and had thought to be a Soriana. I liked that store and had tried to find it ever since, but of course, I was looking for a Soriana.  I like Soriana, too, but was pleased to find my old favourite store once again.

I had wondered if three hours was enough time to go shopping, but as it happens, I was back home by eight-thirty, so that was ample.  In fact, going shopping after supper is an efficient way to use that otherwise oft-wasted time when I am uninspired to work on anything demanding. For me, shopping is relaxing and not at all demanding. 

FWIW, it cost me $1,520 (pesos) for food and hardware items and $102 (pesos) for Uber, total.  Exchange at present -- 18.5 pesos/USD and 15 pesos/CAD.

Speaking of wasting time, I have not watched video since I have been here, if we don't count the YouTube videos I watched for tips on repairs.

This has been a productive day, and a lucky one, too. I found a fifty peso note on the sidewalk and I also found the short circuit before it did more damage or stranded me out at the Islands or some remote spot.

Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Tuesday February 27th 2018

Today Mainly cloudy. Clearing near noon. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40. High zero.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 15.

It's 0345 and I'm up. 

BG: 5.8.  BP: 140/89 Pulse (Taken again 30 min later -- 75 118/77 64)

I woke up a few minutes ago and was undecided. I could go back to sleep or get up.  I'd only slept a bit over six hours but my mind was busy and I was not particularly sleepy.  I decided that I'd get up and if I was tired later, go back to bed.  I often sleep better if I get up for a while.

At one time, six hours was enough, but lately I've tried for eight, partly due to the colds and being ill, but now I am recovered. I sometimes nap in the afternoon, but have not lately.  My policy: sleep when tired. Get up when not.  I have no definite bed time.  For a while it was midnight, then not too long ago, as early as six PM, and the last little while around nine. Although it breaks all the rules, it works for me.  I usually am asleep minutes after going to bed.

Of course that is my mantra: Beak all the rules.

I've mentioned before that the daily showering habit that has crept up on us over the past decades may not be healthy.  Here is an article that confirms my bias.

Quote: "There really isn't a magic number that is right for every person. But, there is a general consensus among dermatologists that as a society we shower too often. ..Dermatologists vary in their recommendations, so advice runs the gamut from showering once or twice a week to once every two to three days." 

So, there! 

And I love this: "Have a compulsive need to shower? If you feel the compulsive need to shower multiple times per day or stay in the shower for an excessive length of time, to the point that it's interfering with your day-to-day life, you may have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Let your doctor know. There are treatments that can help you."

I've had people on my boat that absolutely need to have a morning shower and it is weird, but real.

I bought a trouble light and a headlight last night.  This morning, I discovered that the trouble light has no bulb and the headlight does not work at all. Bummer.

*   *   *   *

I was sleepy again about dawn and lay down and napped.  I think I was only out for fifteen minutes at most, but awoke refreshed. I have a big list for the day.

At 0930, it is cool, overcast, and we have a south wind.  I'm staying inside so far and trying to figure out the charging system  There are three chargers -- the alternator, the 110V charger, and the solar system, all made by different companies and connected to the same batteries.  There are two monitor panels. It is simple, but complex at the same time since I don't know how they are calibrated or how they interact.

*   *   *   *

I'm actually not feeling great today.  My eyes are sensitive the light and I am a bit groggy.  I also have slight headache. Nonetheless, I am making some progress understanding the charging system.

I went up and had a shower (I was due) and made sure the marina has copies of the boat's papers. 

I don't want to find myself in the kind of hassle that some owners did a few years back when the Mexican authorities decided to do a sweep of the marinas to find boats without proper papers. If the owner was not around to provide them with the documents and the marina did not have copies, boats were impounded, resulting in bad press and chaos.

As it happened, these actions caught the attention of the owner of Latitude 38 magazine who publicized the event widely and the tale was picked up and amplified in the North American boating community.  As a result, many boaters, including me, decided to avoid Mexico.  For Mexican tourism, It was a costly blunder, but it could happen again.

After lunch, I laid down and slept an hour or more.  On getting up, I don't feel much better. I read through the charging system info again and think I understand it.

Now, I need to start on the engine problem.  I have a melted wiring harness that needs to be cut open and rebuilt.  Then I need to flush the engine and fill with new anti-freeze.

Dennis will come tomorrow for the genoa. I decided to let him finish it while I am here so I can pay him before I leave. Will promised to go up the mast Thursday.

I bought an LED bulb for the trouble light at the tienda.  It cost me 90 pesos or about five times what I paid at home, but it was worth it just to have it now.  I now can see well in the aft cabin and around five  was feeling better and got to work on the wiring harness. I'll cut out a section, make a replacement piece to match and crimp it in.  As for the function of the wires, some are obvious, but if I just duplicate the others, all will be well.

The amount of damage is surprising.  I would have expected a fuse to blow before this got so bad. The insulation is entirely melted off the main power wire and the hot wire melted into the neighbouring wires enough they cannot be trusted and the damaged sections must be replaced.

The picture from yesterday (right) hardly shows the full extent of the melting.  The melting extends several feet forward to the starter and alternator.

I was tired and decided to watch some Netflix.  I chose Babylon Berlin and found it acceptable.  The sets and filming are impressive.  The plot is still a bit vague.

I quit before the end of episode one and went to bed sometime before nine.

Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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Wednesday February 28th 2018

Today Mainly sunny. High zero.
Tonight A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness before morning. Low minus 10.

I slept until 0735. It's another dull day and high winds have been predicted.  At home, temperatures have moderated, but we still have  a lot of snow.

I'm feeling better. My boat is still disabled, so dealing with that is Job One.  Dennis is coming by to take the genoa for repairs so that job can be finished before I leave.

Listening to the net on 22A, the wind warning  is cancelled.  I hear that Steve, former owner is back today on his boat on this same dock.

Dennis came by for the sail and says he will get Fabian to get back to me.  Steve was walking his dog and dropped by, too.

I am feeling better, so I hope to get things done today and maybe get off the dock one more time before I go back to the cold.

I was looking at flights and planning to come back in April. It is too early though to make definite plans.  I do want to be back for at least another three weeks.

Jose and I correspond from time to time and the latest topic is bears. 

I wrote:

Once a bear gets a taste of brood any yard in the range is at risk,
although the original site is most likely to get return visits.  And
sows will teach cubs.

Baiting every corner (of an electric fence) and maintaining the bait is
essential, too, as much of the bear is well insulated against electricity,
but the nose and mouth are not :) 

Once bears get a taste, if they are hungry they may just walk through a
fence regardless of shocks. There are a number of interesting YouTube
videos
of bears being stung, rolling and returning until the hive is
destroyed.

So, the best approach is to get everyone local involved and even help
those who are less able to defend their sites.

Solar is a real boon.  In the past, fencer batteries would run down and
leave a site undefended, potentially allowing a bear to enter and get a
taste.

Let me add that as much as it is an expense and nuisance to beekeepers, it is unfair to the bears to allow them to get into hives.  The ultimate result of a bear getting into hives is that someone will shoot the bear and maybe leave orphan cubs.  Bears don't know better and insects are part of their normal diet.  If we leave good food undefended in their territory, what can we expect?

I pulled the harness apart and only the hot wire was severely damaged.  The neighbours will be fine with a little liquid tape.  On close examination, I found the fuse that should have been in that circuit was in a useless jumper that paralleled the main ground cable from the alternator to the engine block.  Odd, indeed!

It seems all I need now is wires on the relay, splicing connectors and some tape.  I'll re-route the wiring a bit, too.  It is a rat's nest near the block.  Otherwise it is fine.

I went up and got some supplies and antifreeze, but don't much feel like doing anything more tonight.

After supper, I was too tired to do anything serious, so I watched another episode of Babylon Berlin.  Compared to a lot of current stuff, it has merit and a definite European feel.

Then I remembered a Westjet sale and hemmed and hawed over whether to reserve flights to Sudbury and back here.  I tend to be very indecisive about making pplans because it means I have to be somewhere definite on a definite date and I hate that. 

I already have an eye appointment for April the 6th and it wrecks that week and oh, damn, I just remembered I promised to speak at a meeting on March 16th and I just made a reservation to fly east on the 14th.  See what I mean?  I'll have to cancel the flight.  I have 24 hours to do that without penalty.  I also booked a flight back to SJD for the 8th of April, right after the eye appointment.  That should stand.

It's after ten and time for bed, but maybe I should cancel or change that flight while I think of it.

I did.

Good night.

Yesterday's post

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined
by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be
accepted without question. -- Dr. Frank Schnell, PhD.

All models are wrong but some are useful.
George E. P. Box

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