I set an alarm last night for six this morning, then slept well. This morning, I roused, laid there a few minutes waking up and was about to get up when the alarm went off. Interesting. Maybe I'll set an alarm more often.
Apparently Environment Canada was the more correct forecast compared to the Window 10 forecast (see yesterday). Today is predicted to be well above zero, so we should see some significant melting. Still, so far, there is no water on the pond (right).
Carlos is coming sometime after nine to flush the cooling system so I have to get ready. That mostly means tidying up and getting the bedding out of the aft cabin.
The flushing took a couple of hours and was probably worth it. The engine is an expensive piece of equipment and changing the antifreeze is important. Diesels have sufficiently high compression that they force contaminant right through the cylinder metal over time.
I brought my battery tester to verify the condition of the batteries as determined earlier by will. The meter cost about the same as an hour of Will's time. And indicated that the good battery is better than Will measured and the bad one is worse.
Now that is done, I have nothing left to do that is pressing except get the books to the accountant.
After that, I left for Caleta Lobos, arrived, and anchored.
I had supper, then slept an hour. I was exhausted after all the travel and the afternoon of sun and wind.
After I woke up, I watched the sun set and then watched more of Seven Seconds.
I went to bed around ten and slept well, except when a wind shift triggered the drag alarm.
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I slept until eight. I'm at Caleta Lobos this morning. Overnight the wind shifted, turning me 180 and moving me closer to shore. That set of the drag alarm twice, but we did not drag. I just set the trigger too short.
I have some bookwork to do today and then return to Marina Palmira. Luis goes up the mast tomorrow morning, early assuming the wind is not too strong.
Where I am anchored, I am swimming distance from the shore and a coral reef. It is not the best one I've found, but is pretty good. I plan to go at high tide when there is enough water to swim over the best parts. At low tide, there is not.
At home, there is bare ground showing where Patrick plowed, but no runoff water on the pond yet. (Well, maybe there is just a hint.) We are now approaching one month after the normal runoff date.
At noon, I called my optometrist about the surprise I had received at the Red Deer specialist and she agreed to contact my regular glaucoma specialist and they would plan where to go from here.
Then I checked the WIndy app and saw that if I wanted to sail back to La Paz, I had a two-hour window before the wind was to turn south again, so I went snorkeling right away and then set sail. The snorkeling nearby was less than spectacular and the tide was down enough that I had to be careful not to contact the coral in the shallow spots -- which is where the best specimens are.
The sail back was very pleasant and easy under the genoa alone. (Note the new green UV strip).
At Punta Prieta, I snuffed the sail and fired up the engine. The old Perkins sounds great and I notice that it revs to 3,200 now and maybe a bit more.
By the time I returned, the sun was lower and I mounted the outboard on the dinghy. It is still running rough and stalling.
For the first time here, I am noticing a few flies, large, and small both at Caleta Lobos and here at the dock. They don't bite, thank goodness.
I noticed the new restaurant by the pool was empty and took pity on them. I ordered a hamburguesa de pollo y agua sin helio. My Spanish must be awful because I got strips of beef covered with cheese with tortillas, beans, and guacamole and water with ice. It was good.
I'm back at the boat trying not to do anything at all important. It is dusk and cooling down.
It is good -- very, very good -- to be back and the rest of the world can wait.
Have I mentioned how good it feels to be back?
My Spanish is improving, too. I still cannot say anything much, but I am having more of a clue what is being said around me. Considering I started with nothing, anything is a big improvement.
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I woke up right at 0600. Dawn is still half an hour away. At home, being farther north, it is already light. I see a hint of water on the pond ice darkening the snow cover. I hear that in Calgary this morning snow and freezing rain are causing issues.
Today I am expecting Luis's crew to show up to work at the masthead. I have several issues up there. The halyard sheaves seem to be seized, the wind instrument is rotating but not sending data, and the Windex is bent.
Speaking of things not being what they seem, I notice that everything here in Mexico seems to have sugar in it. In Canada, I eat plain Greek yogurt and I managed to find some here that claims no sugar added, but it seems watery and really sweet in comparison.
I took a look at the label when buying, but it is in Spanish and unclear. I looked again later and guess what?
Compare the ingredients of the Mexican product to the similar Canadian product at right. Click to enlarge.
The truth is apparently hidden in the words, "Lactosa y cultivos lactios" Lactose is milk sugar and the label says "This product contains only the sugar of milk (milk sugar)", so they tell us the truth but in an obscure way.
If you look at the nutritional profile, it is obvious that a lot of lactose must have been added to get to where this product has only 9g of protein vs. 18 in the Canadian, and 10g of sugars vs. 5g in the Canadian product. For some reason the carbs seem comparable at 10g and 12g, but the carbs are listed in a separate panel from sugar in the Mexican product, so maybe the sugars are not included in the carbs here whereas they are in the Canadian declaration.
Ingredients list for the Canadian Product: Skim milk, bacterial culture.
Here is the Mexican Ingredient panel:
It's 0830 and no sign of the riggers yet and it is getting windy.
Fortunately, the line was only slightly chafed and it will just be a matter of replacing the sheave. At the moment, Luis has gone looking for a long Philips screwdriver and his man is waiting at the masthead.
I am understanding more and more of Spanish conversations, but still am at about maybe five to ten percent. I get the odd word here and there, the common words. In English, my native language, if truth be told I probably get about eighty-five percent, so ten is something.
It is like being a child. Do you recall listening to adults talk and only getting bits of what they were discussing and realising that most of the time it does not matter? Just nod and smile.
After Luis left, I caught the shuttle downtown and bought some things at a hardware store, then Lopez Marine. From there, I walked to Club Cruceros and strolled through the patio. They were setting up for wine tasting tonight. That I can skip.
Walking back to Abasolo, I noticed the bar where I suffered the concussion (as I realised much later) back on November 4th is now a vacant lot. Hmmmm. Some sort of karmic lightning bolt? I doubt it.
I stopped at Sea Mar and bought nothing then walked a boating dealer on Abolsolo where I found the line I need at half the price at Lopez but put off the purchase.
Uber took me to Chedraui where I bought groceries and noted that all the 'natural' yogurt here is high in sugars and low in protein compared to what I would expect. Uber then took me home to Baja Magic.
I tried the outboard. It started, but gas overflowed the carb and I had to stop it. I was intending to spray in some motor fixer aerosol I bought at Lopez to solve such problems, but due to the leak I had to pull the carb off first.
Once apart, I found the float was stuck. The needle was glued down with varnish from evaporated gas. I'll have to remember to drain the carb when leaving for a more than a short while each time. In the heat, gas evaporates quickly and it does leave a surprising amount of sticky varnish residue. It could be this Mexican gas is different? I have never seen this before in many years of working with outboards.
After reassembling and fogging with the de-carboniser aerolsol. the outboard runs as well as ever. We'll see if that lasts on my next long run. I think it will. I suspect the float has been sticking all along since the beginning of the problems.
Then I spent some time reading Is it Time for a New Alberta Beekeeping Organisation? in the forum. It takes forever to read. How did I ever find the tie to write what I did?
Now it is time for bed.
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I had planned to head back to the islands, but I don't want to miss this. I also have bit more shopping to do. I need mousing wire for the radio and glue and supplies for the dinghy repair.
At home, the snow continues, along with a very slow background snow melt. Here in La Paz, we can expect another typical day with a comfortable 28 degree high and 18 low.
I showered, then called Uber. I got off at Marina La Paz and walked to La Costa Restaurant where the speaker turned out to be my Marina Palmira neighbour, Will. His talk was followed by a talk on the sculptures -- statues they were called -- on the Malecon.
I had not expected much, but it turns out that the work is by noted Mexican artists. I had noticed that it was varied and of high quality, but had not really given the matter much thought as the setting is casual.
Anyhow, I walk the Malecon with new appreciation.
Next was a talk on diving in the area by a young woman who is a guide and instructor. Her talk was exhaustive and after she covered the topic, I could see she was only halfway through by the slide count showing on the screen. Next, she began a description of all the critters we can see on a dive. She obviously loves and empathizes with them all because as she got into it, she unconsciously began moving and making expressions as if she were the critter whose habits she was describing. It was delightful but an hour was all I could take and I wandered off.
I walked to Sea Mar looking for wire, then realised that there is debris lying around in vacant lots, found some wire, and decided I would like best to be back at Baja Magic. I had things to do. I walked up to the Whale Museum, then called Uber.
Back at the boat, I fixed the front panel, reassembled the transceiver, hooked it up, using the dummy load and the power meter I brought. A quick test showed that transmit works, so I attached the antenna and pushed the mic button. The tuner works too it seems. I saw the SWR drop to near 1:1, so that radio, the tuner, and the antenna are all AOK and now the transceiver has all its buttons in and working. Bonus!
The remaining task was to test the outboard to see if I had found the problem. A quick tour of the marina proved I have. Another issue solved.
I would have left for the bays and islands by now, but the winds are high and the sea is rough according to the reports and the forecast, so I'll be here at the dock another night.
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I checked the Sonrisa net this morning and was able to hear some of it although much of it was hidden in the local noise. The radio is working well.
At home, I see water seeping up through the snow on the pond and it seems things are on track for runoff exactly one month later than normal.
I went to the seminars at La Costa again today. One was about refrigeration by another neighbour here at Palmira. I don't have problems yet, but best be prepared. Then there was a seminar on sail repair.
After, I returned to Baja Magic and see by the blue and yellow flag that the port is closed and I cannot leave under penalty of fines.
I decided to lie down for a few minutes and next I knew it was going on six. The wind is not strong, but the blue and yellow flag continues to fly at the office, meaning I am trapped here. Windy says the wind is blowing twenty knots out the and on the nose for my route to Lobos, Ballandra, or Espiritu Santo so maybe that is best. I'd be waltzing around the anchor in some ensenada.
The wind picked up again, rocking the boat here in the innermost part of the marina while I watched the last episodes of Mechanism available on Netflix.
I'm burned out. I've accomplished a lot in the past months and I've hit the wall. I need to get out to the islands again and just veg out. I have ten more days here before I fly out home.
Colin is delivering a new Catalina to BC from LA to Vancouver and asked me along. He is short-handed as the original plans got scrubbed. He was driving down and has arrived in LA now I think.
I'll consider it if he is stuck, I suppose, to help a friend, but my dance card is already full.
I notice that here in La Paz I am at about the same latitude as Havana Cuba and the Bahamas.
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I woke up in the middle of the night in the dark forward cabin and wondered what time it was, so I thought about it and decided, maybe 0215.
I got up and looked at at the chronometer. It said 0210. I turned on lights and listened up and down the ham bands on the TS-50.
I wondered the temperature here in Baja Magic's main cabin. I guessed 19.3. I looked and the thermometer said 19.4. So, on a roll, I decided to guess my blood sugar. I could not decide, but went with 5.8. The meter says 5.5. Oh, well. Two out of three isn't bad.
I turned on the computer and made coffee. I'm up for a while.
When I woke up I was thinking about Ron Miksha's post to the Calgary beekeepers pointing out that the Calgary group had become inactive at some point in the 1990s when he arrived in Calgary. He had resurrected it.
I had forgotten, not having been involved at the time. That was after border closure, a very difficult time in Alberta beekeeping, a time when people were under financial pressure and when divisive and toxic personalities exploited the divisions to cause rifts in the beekeeping community.
I was going to write more on this topic, particularly after re-reading the thread on the forum and this post in particular in the context of toxic personalities and their effect on communities, but I am tired again and should sleep when I can.
I went back to bed and slept until 0845. The day is sunny and bright. I'll check to see if the port is still closed. Regardless, I have a laundry to do and should do it soon to get it done and over. Bayfest continues, but nothing listed interests me.
Here's an article that shows the change in diet over
decades and obesity trends.
Although the discussion concerns nutrients, I wonder personally about food additives and their effects on gut flora and fauna. Additives have changed and increased in use over the same timespan.
Once I got moving I did laundry and while I was waiting on the machines I got the boat ready to leave for Espiritu Santo. By two, I was ready to go, so I motored out the channel and set sail. The wind was north again as I had left later than planned and missed the south wind for the day.
I had a good sail to Caleta Lobos, making the bay in one tack. I still have not learned the knack of getting this boat upwind as well as I would like, though, and I make less than 90 degrees on each turn. (yellow line). The boat has a shoal keel and does not point as well as Cassiopeia does.
I picked a spot near the south shore here at Caleta Lobos as Windy suggests we will have a wind shift during the night and I'll be sheltered from the expected south winds.
Cell signals are good here and I am in a good spot for ham radio, too. Right now I'm listening to a group of guys up in LA on 40 meters. One is in an RV in a campground somewhere at 4000 feet altitude in Utah.
Forty is wide open to Ontario from here and I am hearing a fellow from Argyle, near Lake Simcoe. I called Bill since he wanted to try contacting me by ham radio from Sudbury, but he was not home.
I see there is more water on the pond and maybe the water will continue to run under the snow all night. We'll see in the morning.
I was listening to VE3VCV for an hour working stations from all over on 7.208 MHz and dropped him an email. He listened and I contacted him but he reported my signal was light there at 4 by 4 due to local noise at his QTH. I'm running barefoot at 100 Watts and he is probably running the legal maximum power at 1000 watts and that makes a big difference, too. Just the same, I made my first contact with this radio.
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I'm up at four. Wind shifted overnight as predicted.
I have one job today and that is to finish the bookkeeping file and get it sent off. High tide is at 1030 and plus 2.4 feet so that is my best chance for snorkeling today. If I finish this job by midday, the winds are favourable for the passage to Isla Espiritu Santo. If not, I can spend another day here. I'd also like to go ashore and hike, but I can do that anywhere, here or on the islands.
Weather at home continues cool and cloudy but I assume the melting will continue at a slow pace, which is a good thing as a slow melt allows the water to soak in and also reduces risk of flooding.
I've followed Dr. Mirkin for quite some time as he reviews current literature and reports on the ones he considers to be meaningful. He is an older guy, so his interests tend to matters of interest to those of us who are over the hill. For quite a while he has stated that eating fruit is not a problem for blood sugar due to the fibre that accompanies the natural sugars. I've had a different opinion after observing the effect of just one banana, but he had a recent epiphany, so this is a good read -- Can You Eat Too Much Fruit?
Yup. The water ran all night and is accumulating on top of the ice, but the pond is not rising much yet. It looks like a dull day there and there is a weather warning for the area.
Here, we expect temperatures near thirty and sun, with moderate winds.
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During the night the wind shifted and the anchor chain began rumbling, but we had not moved. I got tired of the noise and moved to the couch and slept until 0730. In the morning I found that the chain had made a knot on the snubber. Never had that before. Live and learn.
The radio is working well and signals are clear out here away from civilization. I listened in on a number of nets but did not check in.
I'm in a cellular shadow here today and shall move across the bay to re-establish communication as there are several ongoing matters I need to stay in touch for.
At home there is a bit more water on the pond, but still no major runoff. We are now one month late for melting.
I pulled out of the bay to get Internet and am now drifting along offshore, rocking in the waves. No wind to speak of, but steady swells from the south.
This turned out to be quite a day. After dealing with messages, I returned to a bay on the island and swam, then ran around in the outboard.
I got a message from Luis that he has the parts, so i am returning to my slip to get the repairs done. The sail is not quite all the way up and jams a bit and the topping lift is not tight, so with the parts installed, things should be back to normal, only better.
I was already at the top of Isla Espiritu Santo, and there was no wind, so I took my time and watched on Windy for signs that a north wind would pick up and sure enough, it seemed if I started out, the wind would pick up in my favour later, so I got underway.
It was not long before the wind was carrying me south as I followed the coast. I wanted to see Bonanza Beach, so I tacked up Lorenzo Channel, an area I had been afraid of in the past (the blue area are shallower, but rocks are marked -- that I was not sure of in the past -- but now found understandable in light of having used these charts for a while and having learned their ways.
As I approached the marina, dolphins joined me for a while, frolicking off the stern.
I was tired and by the fact that my eyelids were puffy, realised I was experiencing a mild allergy. I noticed that the boat is filthy, too, so I gather that desert dust was carried on the winds that carried me home and perhaps affected e a bit.
When I arrived back here I was tired and hot, so I had a dip in the pool followed by a shower then returned to write and rest.
I checked the cameras at home and see the melt is proceeding slowly with no signs of flooding. Melting is now exactly a month late and still not here. By the forecast, maybe Friday will be the day.
I was up until midnight, and when I went to bed I woke again at one and stayed up until two.
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It was warm here overnight. I forgot to close a hatch and the cabin is still nice and warm. I woke up at eight and I am waiting for Luis to come finish repairs. Then I'll wash boat off and do some shopping, I suppose.
At home, water continued to run off overnight and the pond shows more water on the ice. The heavy snowpack is melting slowly, reducing my fears of flooding.
Luis came with his helper and installed the parts. That took and hour and 6,100 (pesos) or $426 CAD, but it is done.
It is noon now I am free to do whatever, and whatever means a trip downtown for food and a few other items.
I've been eating quite a bit of fruit as recommended, but know that even one banana can send my blood glucose up to the safe limit, as can an orange or an apple, so I think I'll cut back on fruit. Oatmeal also sends up my BG, so I have gone back to omelets which hardly move the meter.
First, though, I have some websites to update for clients. Yes, I still do that a bit.
After that, I was tired and had a nap. I still need to go to town for some supplies. I heard that a fellow I want to meet up with will be at the dock here at six, so may stick around. In the meantime, I opened the engine compartment to see how things are. I see that the engine has blown out a bit of oil and that is to be expected when I have been running it full out some of the time. Engines get glazed and develop blow-by if they are not run hard once in a while and blow-by can force oil out of the breather. It's ugly, but not a worry.
I volunteered to run the Veleros de Baja website. The group organizes informal races monthly and the Yahoo! site has fallen into disuse. That should be interesting.
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I woke up just before eight. I've been going to bed late and sleeping in the last few days.
I'm still in La Paz this morning. I had intended to shop last night, but did not so still have that job to do today, and then will go to some nearby bay for the night.
The snow will go fast now at home. Plus ten and SE winds will see to that. I see the pond has more water and is melting with no sign of overflow.
I went to Waldo's (the local dollar store chain) for a few items, Chedraui Colima for groceries, and a nearby plumbing shop for hose and then returned to Baja Magic.
Having nothing more to do in town and finding it oppressively hot in the marina, I cast of the dock lines and motored out the channel. Once clear of the last buoy, I pulled out the genoa. Winds were light, so I pulled out the main, too, and discovered it was jammed. Whatever the riggers had done was not right. I played with it and it only got worse.
While I was trying to get the sail out of the mast I hear a "chuff", and two whales surfaced near me several times, then disappeared. The wind dropped, so I snuffed the genoa and motored to Pichilinque where I planned to anchor overnight.
When I arrived a Sea-Doo was racing noisily around the bay and I could see a large group had set up camp near the boat launch. Motorcycles were coming and going and I could see that there would be no peace there, plus the bay is fairly open to the expected overnight south winds, so I motored on to Caleta Lobos, my favourite cove, and anchored in twelve feet just before dark.
I called Bill and we met on 40 meters. He could hear me fairly well, but he was very weak. This radio setup is pretty good and having it on board, with morning nets to listen to for weather and scuttlebutt is encouraging me to become more active. I also have a new station call: VE6WI -- Victor Echo Six Whiskey India.
At home, the snow has receded and spring melt is finally nearing the end. All it will take is one or two hot days and these are predicted tomorrow and the next day.
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