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 April 2018





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Background image - Some of our fleet anchored at Caleta Partida


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Friday April 20th 2018

Today A mix of sun and cloud. High 13. UV index 8 or very high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy overnight. Low minus 1.

The wind picked up and Baja Magic rocked gently all night, but hardly moved.

I slept until 0730 and on checking the cameras at home I see there is little change in pond level from last night, but today is expected to be warm and sunny, so we'll see a big change by tonight, I'm sure.

My mainsail is still stuck, but as often the the case, I had an insight overnight.  I had noticed the riggers had tensioned the main to the point where there is a vertical wrinkle near the mast.  That is right for a conventional sail, but caused the in-mast sail to roll up larger than normal and jam.  I'll let off the main halyard and play with it and see if I can get it out now.

Today is the race and I was planning to meet up with the group at the starting line, but have decided I'll watch for them when they pass and join up here.  After all, I don't have a working main at the moment.

Regardless, we'll all meet at Caleta Partida and have a meet-up and beach party.  That should be interesting.  I'm a bit of a loner, and don't drink anymore, but find these folks to be about my speed. One does not get to be a long distance cruiser and expat in a remote area of Mexico by being inflexible or conventional.

As for drinking, I have not touched  drop since November, but have been increasingly tempted lately.  After all, what harm can one beer do? 

A lot really.  I often don't much care for the effects of one beer actually.  One beer often makes me tired, but two wakes me up, and two can led to three...

So I continue to abstain, remembering that the evidence now supports the conclusion that any alcohol consumption, no matter what good effects are claimed, does carry risks.  In my case, one drink (after several others) damn near got me blinded or killed, and I don't need that.

I seem to have a slight cold today unless it is an allergy.  I noticed it late yesterday.  let's hope it does not develop into something nasty.  I've had two bad colds over winter and it took months to fully recover.

Around 0945, I heard voices and went up top to see.  A group of Mexican tourists were out snorkeling nearby and were swimming near the boat.  We smiled and waved at each other, but my Spanish is not up to casual conversation yet -- although I am getting to where I understand a little.

Seeing as I was up there, I decided to try the main and found it was totally jammed in the fully furled position.  That could be serious. No amount of pulling would move it in or out and too much force could break or rip something.   Applying the insight I acquired while asleep, I eased the main halyard and -- presto!-- the sail runs in an out perfectly without effort.  Simple.  And the riggers did not know.

It's funny how my mind works.  It is a mystery to me.  Like an iceberg, most of it is out of view. I don't understand it or how, but if I don't think too hard my autopilot keeps me running on track.  My only worry is that I cannot see the programmed route.  Does it go through hazardous areas?  Should I worry?  What would be the point?  Can I change it?  If so, I don't know how.  And it brought me here, and I'm alive and happy...

So, now I have a fully functioning boat. and on channel 69 I hear it is five minutes to race start. I'll go out to join up but they'll be a while getting here.  They are five sea miles away (right), so I have around an hour, depending on wind.  So far it is southerly, but dying.  I imagine the trimaran will get here first, being twice as fast as the monohulls.  I'm the red triangle top right.  They are the blue ball at bottom of the line.

Actually, the wind is dying now and will be coming back hard from the northwest and then northeast.  I probably should have gone first thing on  the strong southerly.  I'd have had a sleighride all the way.

In fact, I'll leave now and not wait.  I should have checked Windy earlier.  This is going to be an upwind fight all day by the looks of things.

It started off with a downwind run. As the wind tapered off, I put up the spinnaker. That got me to the Lorenzo Channel where I became becalmed in a backwind eddy for a while. In the sun, with no wind, it was hot. I was about to go for a swim when I noticed whitecaps out further and could see strong wind coming, so I scrambled to snuff the 'chute and got ready to go. 

Being in an eddy, the wind initially came in fits and starts from various directions.  Meanwhile I saw the fleet further out and realised I had made a strategical error.  While my track had been fine with the south wind, when the wind shifted north, I was left in a vortex and lost an hour or more. 

Finally I got into wind and found it was very gusty and I was overpowered, then backwinded.  Then the outboard dropped from the travel position to vertical and I had to heave to and fight with that problem in heavy swells.  Underway again, I found i had to reef and was making up to six knots, but could not get upwind.  I seemed to not make more than about sixty degrees on a tack where I would have expected ninety.  That makes a large difference in distance made good each tack and I found myself at San Gabriel, two hours by direct route at the time I should have arrived. I started the engine, furled the sails, and motored the rest of the way. 

When I arrived at Caleta Partida, the anchorage was fairly full.  I tried anchoring among the other boats, but was not happy with where I swung and elected to go out into 35 feet depth and anchor away from the other boats.  There was some chatter on the VHF, but I was not in a social mood and I don't know anyone.

Without Internet, I decided to read a paperback, Humans Bow Down, that happened to come with the boat.  I almost never read fiction, but decided to try this one.  It bragged about being a number one best seller, whatever that is.  I read over half by bedtime at ten-thirty.  It was shallow, but entertaining.

 Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want,
 drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.
Mark Twain

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Saturday April 21st 2018

I slept poorly.  The other day I bought too much cheese and I decided to eat some last evening to use it up and eating before bed is a bad idea.  At any rate, I was up around one for a while before going back to sleep and slept until seven-thirty.

I'm not exactly sure why I am here ay Caleta Partida.  I am not in contact with the Veleros de Baja group so far, but I suppose I have to be somewhere, and I have volunteered to try to reactivate the Yahoo! group.

I'm about out of Telcel data, and also out of Internet coverage here, so I don't know how things are at home.  Seeing as yesterday and today look to be the big melt, I'm curious what is happening there, not that I can do much.

The morning was overcast and cool. I had thought to do some swimming or snorkeling but decided it was too cool.  I took a trip in to the beach, then a tour around the bay looking for coral.  The outboard is running well, but occasionally gets a little balky. I found some coral on the south shore for future reference and returned to the boat.


The beach was quite fascinating, teeming with life.  Especially active were herds of tiny crabs that were running up the beach as the tide went out and scattered when I came along, sometimes diving into holes in the sand.  They seem ludicrous with one giant claw, sometimes bigger than the crab, but I suppose it must serve some useful function, but one I cannot imagine other than maybe fighting other similar crabs.

It was a lazy day so I decided to finish reading Humans Bow Down.  I really don't know what to think.  Language is so one dimensional and this sort of narrative is very narrow.

That took an hour, then I had a nap.  I awoke to hear Jimmy calling me from his dinghy, just off my stern, reminding me about the potluck beach party and bonfire tonight. I'm not a fan of potlucks, and don't have much suitable food on board, but decided to make chicken fried rice.

My brown rice on hand called for six cups of water and one cup of rice to be simmered for forty-five minutes, so that is what I did.  I knew better, but figured they must know.  They didn't.  The water was three times too much and twenty minutes would have cooked the rice nicely.  What I got was mush in the bottom of a pot of murky water.

I had bought a sieve at Waldo's, so I poured off the water and fried the mushy rice.  To that I added diced chicken, onion, broccoli, and celery plus pepper.

The beach party started at 1800 on the west end of the beach.  Over the next hour dinghies arrived, tables of food appeared and a bonfire was lit.  I did not count but figure there were forty people. Surprisingly, no dogs, but this is a park and this group is law-abiding.

As usual for a gathering of non-Royal Yacht Club yachties,, this group does not resemble a bunch of ex-execs with boats worth big dollars.  We could pass quit e easily for a congregation of street people, with very casual dress, worn clothes, and shaggy beards.


I left around nine and returned to Baja Magic, then went to bed.

 Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
The tax collector must love poor people, he's creating so many of them.
Bill Vaughan

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Sunday April 22nd 2018

The night was calm and the morning is warm here in Caleta Partida.

The fleet leaves today with a race back to La Paz scheduled for after lunch as near as I can tell.  Communication is mostly "Clear if previously understood".

I have three more full days before I fly home and the prospect of leaving seems strange.  I'm settled here and living day to day with everything I need and more. 

In four days, I'll be back in Swalwell with Swalwell priorities and thoughts of Ontario and the West Coast.  I'll be checking my bees to see what is left. I'd like to sell the whole mess, so we'll see.

Being here, out of contact with the world, I have not been able to monitor the melt.  I should know more in a few hours when I motor out of this cove into the sea and into cell coverage.

At eleven, the 'race' back to La Paz began.  Three boats went out and it is flat calm, so they won't get far under sail.   The rest either are motoring back, staying here, or going farther north.

I'm planning to go snorkeling across the bay before I poke my nose out.  I have no need to return today and will wait for a north wind to carry me back south to La Paz.  Looking at the tides, though, I see we are at low tide and minus 0.7 feet, meaning the water will be too shallow to get in over the coral, perhaps, but I suppose it is worth a try.

I decided instead to leave the bay and catch some Internet to see if I have any pressing business.  There was a breeze out of the bay, but it was almost dead calm once outside on the sea.  I sailed and drifted while I caught up on email and then found myself at the north end of Isla Partida with a decision to make.  I could turn and go back, continue around the Island, or... looking north, I could see Isla San Francisco 16 miles away and the sea was dead calm. 

A quick calculation and I could see I could be there in three hours for twenty dollars worth of fuel (return trip).  The trip was bound to be comfortable as there were no swells and no north wind to fight.  I has always intended to go there and had not so far, but going there would add another three hours to my return trip back to La Paz, and I do have to be there by Tuesday, preferably fairly early so I can get ready to leave for home.

I don't have a plan for the summer.  I'd love to be back here for another three weeks or a month but I also have a home to deal with, an aging mother to visit, boating to do in Ontario, and of course, two boats on the west coast to think about, although there is talk of a buyer for Cassiopeia. 

I'm told summers are hot here near the Tropic of Cancer, but the weather right now could not be nicer.  Apparently August and September are the worst for heat, and I have experienced the end of October.

As I approached the island, dolphins were surfacing near the boat and for a mile or more north of me, feeding.  There must have been a hundred or more.

By five after six, I was anchored in the south bay at Isla San Francisco in thirty feet of water.  The anchorage is quite full and I am the last one in. This is a very popular spot.

Looking ahead at Isla San Francisco                            Looking back at Isla Partida           

During the crossing I had noticed that there was no water pressure in the basin and turned off the fresh water pump, and on arrival, I found the floor mat was wet in the main cabin.  Sure enough, a water line had burst and emptied one water tank into the bilge.

I knew where to look. It was the new hose that Richard had sold me, assuring me that it was made for hot water. On the trip over, though, engine heat had warmed the water tank to maybe 90 degrees C and pump standing pressure blew the line.  Boats run hotter than domestic hot water tanks.

I cut out the blown section and reminded myself to turn off the pressure pump and bleed the pressure on the return trip --- and have a talk with Richard.  I ran the bilge pump ran for a while and I hung out the carpet to dry.  I noticed that the automatic bilge pump had been turned off and made a note to remembered to leave it on.

Fortunately, I had decided to fill the aft fresh tank for the trip before I left La Paz.  Normally, I have been leaving the aft tank empty as the weight on that one side causes the boat to list to port, but my offshore training taught me to always carry spare fresh water in a separate container when far from home on a salty sea. 

"Water, water everywhere, but nary a drop to drink!".

Of course I also have drinking water in two separate five-gallon bottles, since the town water in the tanks is not considered potable but this fresh water is for wash-up and showers, but very necessary for domestic chores.  I add a half-cup of bleach when filling the tanks to make it safe for brushing teeth, etc.

I was hot after the crossing, and as soon as I dealt with the leak I went for a dip. I soaked for a while before getting out and rinsing off and a neighbour passing by in a dinghy asked if it was cold, but I replied, "Just perfect for cooling down."  For many, according to what I hear on the radio nets is that at 20 C it is too cool for swimming, but it's not for me, not after a hot day.

La Paz is roughly fifty miles away.  That is ten hours of motoring at five knots, and I have twelve hours of daylight tomorrow.  Of course, ten hours is assuming flat water, favorable tidal currents, no wind, and no heavy seas running against me.

Then, since I still had two hours until sunset and should leave tomorrow fairly early to get back near La Paz by dark, I started the outboard and headed for the beach. I got a hundred feet away from the boat and the outboard stalled.  I squeezed the fuel bulb and saw gas drip out from under the cowling.  The carb float was stuck again. 

I rowed back, much appreciating the oars a friend had donated a month back. The next hour and a half was spent taking the carb apart again and sure enough, the needle was glued again.  I cleaned it and the jet again very carefully and reassembled the motor.  The outboard now runs well again, but by then it was dark..

I don't know where the varnish came from.  I was quite sure I had cleaned the needle and jets out well last time, but here it was again, varnished up just like before, but maybe not quite so badly.

Could there be some varnish upstream somewhere like the filter or lines?  I had added Sea Foam which should dissolve that stuff, but maybe it didn't -- or maybe it did and loosened up a chunk?

Sea Otter Jimmy says that the yellow Mexican gas (Nova) is terrible for varnish and to only buy the red (Extra).  That advice came too late for me unless I dump this bunch of gas.  I had no trouble until I bought gas at Baja Costa when Don was here.  Is it the gas, or just a problem that was already there and showed up coincidentally?

I wrote a bit and went to bed just after ten.  The sea was dead calm, with no wind.

 Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
Get mad, then get over it.
Colin Powell

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Monday April 23rd 2018

I woke up just before four, wasn't tired, and got up.  I realised that yesterday was the deadline for extending my medical insurance, so I'll have to be careful not to get injured or sick for the next few days, not that I would not be careful anyhow.

I see the boat has turned 180 degrees at anchor, but has hardly moved. There is now a gentle swell and a slight breeze from the south.

Morning winds tend to be south, then change to north around noon.  A north wind would favour my trip back as would the incoming tide after 1205 today.  A strong north wind would be perfect.  A strong southerly could alter my plans a lot and mean waiting or even night travel. We'll see.

For example, if I left now, I would be motoring into calm seas. but with a slight tidal current against me. Whereas I would avoid night travel in the Pacific Northwest due to logs floating around, here there is very little in the way of floating hazards.

Navionics says the trip is forty-one sea miles. Motoring non-stop in a direct line at five knots would take eight hours.  Sailing and making six knots -- or four -- and especially tacking off the rhumb line could alter that significantly. 

First light is 0631, sunrise at 0655, sunset at 1945, and last light at 2008. If I want to explore, the early morning makes sense since the wind and the tide will be running north until noon, if the predictions I have are are any good at all.  We'll see what the Sonrisa Net predicts this morning -- if I can hear it.  The forecast often fades in and out or is covered with radio noise.

I've been up an hour and am going back to bed for a while.  After a dead-calm night, now, just before dawn, the boat is beginning to rock.  The morning southerly is starting up on schedule.

I woke up at 0714 and got up again.  By now the sun is shining in and the boat is rocking more definitely in a forward/back motion.  I turned on the radio to hear the Sonrisa Net and found very weak activity on 3968.  The net begins at 0730 local.  I'd like to hear the forecast when it comes on at 0745.

Signals were poor and I missed Garry's forecast on Sonrisa.  The forecast on Amigo was no better. but I did hear a lot of Northwest five to fifteen mentioned which is good and only a bit of southwest which is less good.. What I get is what I get.  I'm on my own. 

I made an omelet while I listened and coffee.   I did not bother to check in.

The batteries are holding up well, even with the one disconnected.  With all the motoring, they get a lot of charge.  Sitting at anchor, they might prove inadequate although they did last two nights and the day at Caleta Partida.

Up top it was warm already. I was planning to swim and maybe snorkel, since I had only arrived last night and not done any exploring, but a glance at the water revealed bits of foam and I was also thinking of the trip ahead and my deadline, so I lifted the dinghy, outboard and all, lashed it and raised anchor.

I still have not figured the best way to lash this dinghy on these davits to prevent annoying and destructive sway, but I am getting better.  I should really have a failsafe extra line, too since if one of the two fails, the dinghy would drop in a most inconvenient and potentially dangerous manner.

At 0909 I was underway, pointed for La Paz at 2000 RPM and making five knots with an ETA of about 4 PM. Of course I probably won't go straight in and the sea and wind conditions are bound to change.

By nine-thirty, the wind was picking up from the southwest and I raised the main, not that it made any difference in speed.  I raised the RPM to 2500 and maintained 5.3 knots.  The swells were building from the south with then increasing wind.

I took glucophage (Metformin) this morning, but cut the pill in half.  I had taken two a day years ago with no ill effects, but found that two now gives me neck pain overnight and I cut back to one taken in the morning.   I trust the glucophage is the reason my morning blood glucose has been lower.   Even one 500 mg pill was giving me acid reflux, so I am trying a half.

Although the web says that the half-life of glucophage is six hours, it seems much longer in my case. as the effects last twenty-four hours or more.

At ten-thirty, the wind has picked up a bit and the main is giving some boost.  I'm headed for Pichilinque as an initial destination with an ETA of 3:20 PM  Pichilinque is still an hour out of Marina Palmira but will be a decision point if I have not decided to divert before then.

We were motoring right along when at 1105, then engine suddenly just shut off. There was no drama, just a stop.  It could only be fuel.  One gauge said full. so I checked the valve connecting the tanks and it was open.  I tapped the top tank and it was empty, so I found the other tank and checked with  flashlight.  It was empty.  Just a little bit in the bottom moved with the boat. 

OK.  What now?  No wind.  No fuel. No time. I had to adjust my expectations and realised that I don't really want to go home anyhow, so worst case, I just postpone my flight. That's expensive, but doable.

I drifted around a while and considered my options.  I considered towing with the outboard, but that is awkward and I have limited fuel.  I considered finding a cove eventually when the wind picks up and running to town in the dinghy for fuel.  Doable, but time consuming and a bit risky. I finally decided that the northerly should show up on schedule and carry me to Pichilinque at least and that is near my destination and near roads.  I also figured I can try to beg fuel from other boats once closer to land.  At the moment, I was an hour from land.

The wind built a bit and I dropped the dinghy since there was no need to have it on davits and raised the spinnaker.   That sail makes the best of light wind and soon I was on track and going five knots again.

At 1330, I am pushing six and will have to snuff the big sail soon or risk a roll.

Our speed dropped a knot and a half and I regretted snuffing the 'chute but I also knew I would regret not doing so more if the wind builds any more on the next gusts. 

A big sail like that pushing a boat too hard can cause a 'death roll', which is messy and can be fatal.  I'd rather go a knot slower.  We weren't anywhere near the point, but in gusty winds, things happen suddenly and I might have had to dump the sail -- let it fly -- and it would have been shredded by the flapping.   Better it than me if it came to that , but better still, neither.

I'm twenty miles form  Pichilinque and moving at 4.6 knots.  ETA now is -- maybe -- just before dark unless we get more wind.  Unfortunately, the wind tends to die around six, so I have maybe four hours left before I have to anchor.

As soon as I snuffed the big sail, the wind dropped and soon I was letting it out of its bag once again. Now we are moving at 3.6 knots with 17 miles to go and it is 2:48 PM, giving me at most five hours in the day.  I've quit worrying about what comes next.  We are moving in the right direction.  Ideally, I'd sail up and anchor off Costa Baja, and dinghy in for fuel, but that right now is a dream and twenty miles away.

I have no Internet here although I did get two texts saying I have voicemail.  I see a spot which has worked in the past just ahead, but am slowing to 2 knots. The wind has died.

As I reach Caleta Partida, I see the fishing camps in there and realise I could go in and beg fuel if I were closer, but from out here, offshore, it would be a fight to get there.  Nonetheless if I make it to Pichilinque, I can beg a ride there or maybe some fuel.

The wind died to nothing again and I decided to put Baja Magic on auto and push with the dinghy.  It can push up to five knots, but I don't know how long the fuel would last. 

It's simple to do.  The dinghy is rubber and so is the rub strip on the Beneteau.  I just set the course, and tie them together and set the outboard speed and can walk back and forth between them. It's a way to get to an anchorage if the wind dies, at very least. 

No sooner was I pushing and the wind shifter 90 degrees to my starboard forward bow. I hopped back onto Baja Magic and fought the spinnaker down, then set the main and jib.  Soon we were making five knots under sail again, right on the rhumb line.

I've been out of touch for over a day and now I'm looking at the forecast for home, Wow!

Tue, 24 Apr Sunny. High 21. UV index 5 or moderate.
Night Clear. Increasing cloudiness after midnight. Low plus 3.

That is tomorrow's forecast.  The bees will be out working, assuming I still have some alive.

It's now five and I am nearing the San Lorenzo Channel.  Who'd have thought I'd have sailed this far through fading, gusting and shifting winds?

Right now the wind is from the south against me, but I am making four knots.  The day is beautiful and warm.  I'm in my bathing suit.

At the Channel de San Lorenzo, I hit the back eddy again and was drifting but I could see wind ahead, so I pushed with the dinghy until I hit the wind line and was once again going three and a half knots under sail.

While I was sitting there, two boats approached and I could see they were whale watchers and they had spotted two whales.  The whales breached and then dove.

Out in the channel, the wind picked up and I sailed until the speed dropped to 1.8 and then started pushing again.  It is an hour from sundown and an hour from Caleta Lobos, plus another ten minutes to Pichilinque.  The last light is twenty minutes later, but there is half-moon tonight and it should be overhead at sundown, so I may carry on.  We'll see.  For this pushing to work, the sea must be flat and it fortunately is right now.  It might not be later.  This is quite an adventure and one I will not forget soon.

We'll see how the outboard gas lasts. My Hunter gets six miles to the gallon as I recall and I have about a gallon and four to five miles to cover until I anchor.  This will use up this gas and hopefully clean out the carb,   I added extra Sea Foam last night seeing as what I had added before had not done the trick.  So far, touch wood, the outboard is running fine, but it was balky when I tried to get it going a little while ago to start pushing again.

*   *   *   *   *

By 8:30, just after sunset, I was anchored in twenty feet of water at Pichilinque, but after running into zero depth without incident due to the outboard being a bit remote and hard to control.

I pushed at least six miles at four knots and more and still have gas left.  I hope the push was good for the engine and cleaned out some of whatever has been making it flakey.

I'm now six miles from home and near where I can catch a taxi to Costa Baja for fuel tomorrow. I'll need to find a jerry can maybe at the chandlery at the marina and buy five gallons. That should take until noon if all goes well and I can be in my slip by two, with luck.

Then I can start packing.

 Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know.
W. H. Auden

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Tuesday April 24th 2018

 Today Mainly sunny. High 22. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Clear. Increasing cloudiness overnight. Low plus 3.

I woke up at five. The boat was rocking on a gentle swell and something tapped on the hull occasionally.  I could not guess what.  When I got up a half-hour later and went out, I still could not figure it out unless the boat was coming up against the chain. My depth gauge says 9.8 feet and that is below the keel, so I'm not touching the seabed.

That would be bad since right about now the tide is starting to go out and will drop two feet in the next six hours.  If I were touching now, and did not or could not move deeper, the boat would be stuck on the keel, then gradually tip over to the point where it would be at a crazy angle and could take in water through fittings and vents, potentially sinking the boat if I did not duct tape all openings that could be below water.

Wind is from the south, directly from my destination today.  I'm still out of fuel for the diesel, but have several litres of gasoline for the dinghy outboard.  There is a small marina here and a hotel across the bay so maybe I can get fuel. 

Either gas or diesel would help, but diesel would be best.  Then I can either continue to push Baja Magic to Costa Baja, some 5.3 sea miles away or simply start the diesel and motor back to the fuel dock. 

Either way, I'll dinghy in the the marina/hotel and ask around.  I can also catch a cab to Costa Baja and back.  Things don't get going around here until nine generally, so I'm having breakfast and tidying up.  We'll see.

At home, the snow is almost gone and the pond is almost thawed.

*    *   *   *   *

Its 1539 and I'm back in La Paz, tied up at Marina Palmira.  It has been another one of those days.

I did dinghy over to the marina and they kindly sold me some fuel, even though they are not permitted to.  I can't believe how nice people here are, and relaxed.

I took it back to the boat and siphoned it into Baja Magic's top tank, then tried starting.   I almost got the engine to go, but it seemed still to be out of fuel.  I looked at the tank and could not tell for sure, but it looked pretty empty. Another attempt convinced me that the 20 litres had not been enough to raise the level enough.  I had run out under way, so the shaking and sloshing would empty the tank beyond what might be available sitting still, so I was back to pushing to get to the fuel dock at Costa Baja, five miles away.  I doubted that I had enough gas, but figured to start and hope for wind -- and luck.

I did not get a breath of wind, but I had good luck.  The gas held out and I even had a litre left when I arrived, so I could have pushed faster, but I had kept it down to three knots to conserve, I managed to pull nicely into the fuel dock

While underway, I phoned Mom.  She reported that her furnace had gone off and was waiting for a part. In the meantime she was getting by with electric heaters.

I also got a call from Colin. He is still looking for crew from San Francisco to Victoria and offering all expenses paid. I said, "No thanks." I don't really want to motor day and night up the west coast with three aboard.  He is not going, but I know one of the other two on board from the instructor clinic last year.

At the fuel dock, I was met by three hands and we filled the top tank.  It took ninety liters and that was it.  I went below and the bottom tank still looked quite empty but I could hear trickling, and after a while the top tank took more.

I called Steve, the former owner, and he said that maybe the moisture collector he had just installed was restricting the air escape, slowing the flow.  He also said the other filler, direct to the bottom tank was untrustworthy so I should stick with the one I was using.

After a while, I paid the bill for the diesel and three litres more of outboard gas. It came to $150 and I tipped ten dollars because the three dock hands were so helpful, but afterwards wondered.  If it was at ninety, then took twenty more and the fuel was a ninety-some cents a litre and gas was a dollar a liter +/-, how did that get to $150?  I did not get a written bill, so maybe they had already tipped themselves. 

I have known for twenty years that in Mexico to make sure the pump is zeroed at the start and to see the meter and also to beware of overly friendly and helpful people.  I was not thinking.  Oh well.

It took me a while to start the engine and I wound up having to bleed the filter, and the injectors, probably because I had injected air when trying before the tank filled.  I had to loosen the connections marked and crank the engine, turning off the cooling water while doing so, but turning it on as soon as I got the engine to run.  The arrow points to the manual pump lever that moves fuel through the system without needing to crank the engine.

On return to the marina, I was hot.  It is oppressive here, out of the breeze.  I was weary, too, and things were looking a bit washed out.  Mild heat prostration? I turned  on the fans and had lunch then a nap.  It was a great nap, lasting an hour, with dreams.

When I awoke, I did not want to get up or do anything, but figured I had rushed back here to get ready to go, so should get moving, but first I needed a soak in the swimming pool to cool off.  The pool here is always cool.  I did that and then felt more energetic.

I received an email to check in for my flight tomorrow.  I didn't. No rush.  I already have my seat reserved and leaving here is not something I like to think about.

I walked up to the tienda and got drinking water. 

I used five gallons in five days this trip. Th, Fr. Sa. Su, Mo.  That is good to know and I see why people have watermakers on board.  I have one but have not tried it and I expect the membrane is shot from being unused too long. I can see |I need to carry at least fifteen gallons if I want to go far and stay out long.

On the way back, I cooled off in the pool, then went back and got to work closing up.

I also walked up and checked out water systems and got preservative for the fuel.  Then I lifted the outboard and dinghy, but first I ran the gas out of the engine.  I was surprised that the outboard ran for several minutes with the fuel line disconnected. With luck this should prevent varnish in the needle valve next time.

I put in a wash and the washer quit before it finished, requiring a wait for it to release the load.  Then the drier did not finish. In both cases, the staff were very helpful.

 I still have a few hours work to get ready to leave but it is 2030, so I'll do the rest in the morning. Sunrise is at

 Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.
Malcolm Forbes

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Wednesday April 25th 2018

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers this morning. Clearing this afternoon. Wind north 20 km/h. High 15. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Low zero.

The alarm on my phone woke me at five with gentle, insistent chimes and a surf background.  I lay there a while, not wanting to get up.  I have a shuttle to catch at nine or a cab at nine-thirty to be at the bus station at ten for the three-hour ride to the airport and should hustle, but...

Being slow rising is most unusual for me on a flight day.  I'm usually up before the alarm, but it is clear in so many ways that I really don't want to leave.

I ran Malwarebytes yesterday on this laptop and found nothing.  I'm running ESET now.  It has been running almost eight hours overnight and reports four items but has not finished. 

After a while ESET finished and reported it had removed four nasties, well, semi-nasties -- some sort of browser toolbar fro  Google, apparently.  That's fine by me.  I recently removed Ad Blocker Pro and installed Ghostery, mostly because when watching the calls passing by on the status bar when loading pages, most of the URLs  were for trackers and ad servers.  No wonder my browsers were getting slow.  Web pages these days are loaded with junk that eats data and slows browsing.

I finished getting ready to go and walked towards the taxi stand and on the way encountered Tom, and he offered me a ride.  Soon I was at the Terminal Touristica and three and a half hours later, here I am at SJD, waiting for my first leg, to Vancouver.


Our flight took us over La Paz and the Islands I frequent, then up the Sea of Cortez and I was able to see some of the destinations I expect to visit some day.  The shots above are La Paz itself, and Isla San Francisco.  (the red dot is where I anchored in the cove).

At YVR, It was a long walk to the next flight  and I had to go through security all over again.  In Mexico, I went right through, but in  Canada they always have to tear things apart because of the computer and other devices and wires in my gear.  Carrying a Nexus card makes no difference, except sometimes it gets me top the front of the line.  All these are good reasons to take the direct flight.

Eventually, I landed in Calgary and my taxi was waiting. In Airdrie it was too late for grocery shopping. 

There are too many grocery stores for the amount for the amount of business and as a result they are forced to economize.  they constantly watch and match one another.  None stays open after eleven.  If one did, then they all would have to, it seems.

I was home by twelve and went right to bed.

 Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
Emo Philips

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Thursday April 26th 2018
209.4 6.2

Today Sunny. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High 23. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Clear. Low plus 1.

I woke up a little after seven and got up.  I'm groggy this morning after all the travel.

The sun is shining and the light is brighter and bluer than at sea level.  The house is at 21 C or 70F and that feels cool.  I'm used to 26 or warmer.

I have a headache today and am not up to much.  I went back to bed and slept another hour and will nap again, I expect.

I need groceries, so I may go to town, but we'll see how I feel.  I reinsured the Grand Marquis which had been reduced to fire and theft over winter and that will be my ride to town.

The red car is back on the road again, so I drove to town and bought groceries and picked up cigarettes for Carolyn while there.

The afternoon is warm and sunny and it is 25 in the house so I am right at home.

Although I hated to leave Baja Magic, once I am here, it feels good to be home.  The coming weather may make me reconsider though. 

By evening, I was feeling much better. I hope tomorrow I'll feel like working outside.

I don't see bees buzzing around and on a hot day I should.  I wonder if I have any left.

 Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 Never regret anything because at one time it was exactly what you wanted.
Marilyn Monroe

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Friday April 27th 2018

Today Sunny. Wind becoming south 30 km/h gusting to 50 this morning. High 24. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Clear. Wind south 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low plus 5.

I was awake at 0245 and got up, had breakfast and coffee and stayed up until about five, then went back to bed until eight.

I'll go outside today and take stock of the yard and bees. Last time i was here there was too much snow to do anything, but now almost all the snow is gone.

I see the EU is going to ban neonics. I have mixed feeling about this as I am not sure what will replace them. Farmers are not just going to sit and watch insects eat their crops.

Years before most in the bee world were even aware and before environmentalists raised an alarm about these chemicals, I established a section on Imidacloprid, which was the first major  neonic coming into widespread use. 

I monitored European discussions and posted translations.  I commented elsewhere when Cynthia Scott-Dupree did a rather superficial study which failed to find harm in Canada and remember other situations where superficial and flawed work failed to find the harm we knew must be there.  Later studies have discovered issues, possibly partly because detection methods have become better and cheaper.

That said, In many regions, such as here on the prairies, hundreds of thousands of hives thrive on land treated annually with neonics. The harm to managed honeybees is difficult to pin down and depends on many factors converging to greater or lesser extents.  The harm to soil dwelling fauna and to native bees is more consistent and observable.

Although many would like to see a total ban, here, too, cooler heads realise that some sort of insect control is needed often and that of all the 'bad guys', in some, if not many situations, neonics are the best of the bad choices.

One big complaint, though, is the overuse and preventative use that is promoted. It has come to the point I've heard that it is impossible to buy seeds for some crops that are not pre-treated.

At noon, I went out and looked at the north hives and can see that I have three out of seven alive there.  I did not do more than lift lids. 

My plan for the day was to deal with small items like the tractor stalled on the driveway, blowing up the flat tires on the black truck, charging batteries, and maybe get the red truck going. (That's a propane tank being used as an air tank for inflating tires.)

I came in mid-afternoon and fell asleep in my chair, slept a half-hour, then went back out. 

I got the tractor going and I am not sure if it was because I fiddled with an interlock switch or just put the pedals in the right configuration.  At any rate, it is out of the way now.

At five-thirty I came in and cooked a salmon steak for supper.  The house is warm now from the sun, 27 degrees C.

I have three daylight hours left but not much ambition.  I also have deskwork to do, so maybe I'll do some of both.

I ended up watching an episode of The Paper and went to bed early.

 Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
 Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do
Elvis Presley

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Saturday April 28th 2018
6.0 209.4

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. High 26. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy overnight. Wind becoming north 20 km/h gusting to 40 before morning. Low 10.

The pond ice has melted and the ducks are back. Only a few small patches of snow remain, mostly where it was piled by plowing or drifts in the shade.

I am still not feeling very energetic, but should get the bee truck running and check hives. Ideally, I should work through them and remove unneeded boxes. I doubt any are starving.

I decided to change the oil in the van and went looking for my ramps. I cannot find them anywhere and I did look.  Whatever did I do with them?  I looked everywhere.  Did someone steal them?  hardly likely.  They are old, ugly, and very heavy.

Than  I decided to wash the van and in the process, discovered my 2009 T&C Limited is starting to rust.  Oh. Oh!  Oh, well.

It's a beautiful day and I then began washing my front walk.  It's heaved and I have been putting off repairs, but will have to something before long.

I walked over finally and looked at the hives in the south and there may be five alive.  I did not open any.  Thing is, I just don't care any more and that is the problem. I should have sold everything last year, but didn't.  Oh, well.  Now I have a lot of equipment to sell.

 Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute,
the man who does not ask is a fool for life.

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Sunday April 29th 2018
209.2 6.4

Today Cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers this morning. Rain beginning late this morning. Amount 5 mm. Wind north 50 km/h gusting to 80 diminishing to 30 gusting to 50 near noon. Temperature falling to 7 this afternoon.
Tonight Cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers this evening. Low plus 2.

I slept poorly and got up at 0725.  The day is dull and breezy.  Temperature is down around seven Celsius.  I am tired and feel crappy today, again.

I'm doing deskwork and tidying, plus a little ham radio.  Very little, though as the bands are dead.  I can't hear any stations so propagation is really bad at the moment.

I'm also looking at moving the Veleros de Baja group website from Yahoo!.  Yahoo! has some daunting terms of service now and also the groups don't work.  I posted a message last night and began uploading photos.  The message still has not posted and the picture upload failed with an error message.  This task is time-consuming since I have not found an exact replacement and if I do, can the previous content be transferred?

Calgary Beekeepers list is on Yahoo! Groups also and may soon quit working as well.

I spent a lot of time writing an email I'll likely never finish and trying to deal with the balky Yahoo! site.   Then I watched three episodes of The Paper and went to bed.

 Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
At every party there are two kinds of people - those who want to go home and those who don't.
The trouble is, they are usually married to each other.
Ann Landers

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Monday April 30th 2018
6.0  208.4

Today A mix of sun and cloud. High 16. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness overnight. Low plus 5.

I woke up at six twenty, got up, lay back down and slept another hour. Now I am wide awake.

Today I plan to go to Jean's for supper and stay overnight. Tomorrow, I have an appointment in Red Deer. Jean's and RD are both in the same direction.

Red Deer is an hour and a half from here and Jean's is about forty minutes past Red Deer, so this plan saves on driving. With gas back up at $1.30 a litre, driving gets expensive.

Today is brighter and promises to be warmer than yesterday.  I'll leave after lunch.

I left a bit late and arrived at five. We had supper, then went for a walk to the beach and back.

Everyone was off to bed early. These folks are early risers.

 Yesterday's post

 Quote of the Day
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

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