Out of Office Reply: Gone Cruising

29 Feb

I am off for 3-1/2 weeks on The Clipperton Project, a scientific/artistic expedition to an atoll in the middle of nowhere, and not on the way to anywhere…or I might be the unwitting participant in some bizarre social experiment or new reality show. At any rate, about twenty of us are off on three boats, leaving from La Paz, with the goal of having eight days on the island to carry out various studies on the island, the lagoon, and the surrounding reefs. Clipperton is a French possession, but closer to Mexico/Central America.

I arrived at about 10 p.m. ...

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Life Aboard: New Davits and New Teeth

23 Feb

22-Feb-2012 puerto vallarta, mexico.
Okay, seriously this time, the davits are done. Done done. The guys came by today to add a couple more hooks and a cleat on each one as well as clean up the caulk. They are done and they are awesome. Even Ali likes them and she was not into this project at all. I hauled the dinghy up with the motor on and the davits do everything I wanted them to do. Meaning basically that they hold the dinghy nice and tight and there is absolutely no movement side to side, back and forth, or ...

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Ultimate Cruiser’s Skill? Welding.

17 Feb

16-Feb-2012 puerto vallarta, mexico.
Here's a hot tip for the would be cruiser: Learn to weld stainless steel and you'll never be wanting for money or work in your travels. In all of our years aboard we have hired welders seven times that I can think of off hand. Mechanics, twice. Refrigeration guys, twice. Nope, welding is where it's at. If you can weld stainless you'll be working in every exotic anchorage the world over.

The davits are coming along nicely. They are big strong beasts and I'm pretty sure they bring Bumfuzzle's overall length to over fifty-two feet. We'll ...

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Davits, Refrigeration, Almost Cruising Again

16 Feb

14-Feb-2012 puerto vallarta, mexico.
Welders were out today to get started on the davit install. They basically came out, lined them up, tac welded them to the mounting plates, and took them back off to the shop to finish up properly. Back in a couple of days to install those and fit the two reinforcement bars. Hopefully a couple days after that this project will be in the books.

Bumfuzzle Davits

Lowe got himself a play station stand-up toy thing-a-ma-bob the other day. He's digging it. The house continues to be overrun by brightly colored Made in China toys. The nice thing ...

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Reefer Woes Continue

10 Feb

(Feb. 2) Refer guy was out to the boat again today. After a couple hours of work we finally determined that there is something wrong with the compressor. So I’ve got to remove that and get it into a shop to be repaired before we can finish that fun little project.

Got an e-mail from the welder. He sent pictures of the davits but said he wasn’t happy with one of them. Something about the bend. He had to have these tubes bent at some place in Guadalajara because he doesn’t have a machine big enough for this size tubing. ...

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Boat Life is Still Just Life

8 Feb

(Jan. 25) Went to the marine store today. Picked up stuff for a whole bunch of projects that I’m sure to not have time for. Bought a bunch of oil too. I wish while I was in the States and had access to buying this sort of thing at retail I would have figured out a way to carry a fifty gallon drum onboard. Oil is too damn expensive. That and caulk. Retail price about six bucks a tube, Mexico price twenty-five. But of course this is why people go so crazy buying crap before cruising south and then later ...

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Boat Project Complete – Another Oxymoron?

30 Jan

Finished the chain painting project today. Oh, who am I kidding, I finished painting, but three hundred feet of chain is still laid out on the deck. Maybe day four will see that one day project completed. Maybe.

Crawled down in the engine room today and got to work. Installed the alternator and took a look at the refrigeration. Oh, who am I kidding, the alternator is hanging there with me one bolt short of completion. Store will be open tomorrow. As for the refrigeration, I did look at it. Looked at it and then walked away from it. I ...

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Antifouling Revisited

29 Jan
 Anti-fouling paint chips on the ground in a tidal area on the French river Auray 

As I mentioned in my last post the environmental effects of copper-based antifouling paints are still a contentious issue. Some maintain that all this copper poses a grave threat to the environment while others brush it off as a drop in the bucket. I found convincing arguments across the board- that copper leached by boats is a naturally occurring heavy substance which quickly drops out of sight (US Naval Study), that copper is doing damage to our waters ...

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Circumnavigation – Red Sea Part III

29 Jan

Part Three of our Red Sea Sailing Adventure, Sudan, Africa – We are often asked, “What was your favorite part?” when people hear that we sailed around the world. And while the standard answer is that every country had it’s high points for us, the best area we cruised, or the best and most interesting memories at least, came from sailing the Red Sea. Which is why it is so disappointing to hear that these days, just six years later, cruisers are facing such a tough decision when it comes to choosing whether or not to sail these waters.

april 14 ...

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Our Only Real Scare During an Entire Circumnavigation

26 Jan

Back in 2005, during our sail around the world, everything was new to us, including river bars. They seemed harmless enough, especially after that first one in Australia that was smooth as glass. Well, the second one caught us. The Clarence River Bar. i'll never forget that one. It very nearly ended our trip and has given Ali an unconditional fear of following seas. If I have to hear one more time how the six-foot following seas are "huge!" I'm going to do something drastic, like have her hypnotized and her Clarence River memory permanently erased. If hypnosis doesn't work ...

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