12.6.11. our life. daily. puerto vallarta. mexico

5 Dec

We're just sort of wrapping things up around here. Today the boat got one seriously hard core washing. The first, really, since we bought her. Feels so good I just want to roll around in the cockpit and rub my cheeks on the coaming. The covered wagon sunshade came down today, got washed, and put away. I crawled around in the engine compartment a bit to make sure everything was good to go in there. That included tapping my knuckles along the fuel tanks to see if we had enough to get us where we're going. I'm super high tech ...

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12.5.11. our life. daily. puerto vallarta, mexico.

4 Dec

Be excited, be very excited. The dinghy is up and out of the water. Doesn't sound like a big deal right? But let's just say that was the last project that really needed doing at the moment. Now, just some washing up, filling of the water tanks, grocery shopping, and praying, and we can get out of here....

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REID STOWE: Sailing to Guyana

4 Dec

Crew of Schooner Anne

I haven't been able to confirm it, but at this point I have no reason to believe that Reid Stowe has not set out for the jungles of Guyana aboard his 70-foot schooner Anne. He announced via press release early last week that he would be leaving last Friday, and later advised me by e-mail that he in fact expected to depart Hoboken, New Jersey, for Guyana on Thursday.

Things have not turned out the way Reid hoped since he returned from his record-breaking non-stop 1,152-day voyage back in June 2010. He enjoyed a brief blaze of publicity, ...

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12.4.11. our life. daily. puerto vallarta, mexico.

3 Dec

Busy day trying to get the last of the boat projects wrapped up for now. The last of the things that actually need doing, not the last of the projects. There is no such thing as the last of the boat projects. Ask anyone.

Of all the stupid projects I needed to do, cleaning the bottom of the dinghy has to be number one. That thing has been in the water for about five weeks. In that time barnacles claimed every square inch of it and grass grew on the waterline. Ridiculous. Took two hours to get that thing cleaned up.

Not much ...

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Research, and a bit of humilty: Patching the old thru-hulls

3 Dec

I’ve just done a bit more research on fiberglass repairs and am feeling rather sheepish about my cocky post on grinding the boat’s hull. I’ve since learned that the essential aspect of the 12-1 ratio which we resolutely ignored is less about strength than it is about flex. I had assumed that due to the thickness of my hull we would get plenty of strength even when patching a relatively small area. However it seems there is a possibility of the patch failing precisely because it is stronger (or, more accurately, harder) than the rest of the hull.

The issue ...

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12.3.11. our life. daily. puerto vallarta, mexico.

2 Dec

Lowe touched American soil for the first time yesterday, decided that was enough for now, and walked back in to Mexico this morning.

We needed new visas. We could have easily risked becoming illegal aliens in Mexico, chances are it would have never become an issue. But one can never be sure, and seeing as both our kids are Mexican, and we have every intention of spending a good many years here over the course of our lifetimes, we just couldn't take the risk of being flagged.

So yesterday we flew out to Tijuana, on the least expensive direct flight we ...

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KARVER FLYING CAM CLEAT: Multiple Uses

30 Nov

Karver flying cam cleat

All the info I have right now on this new widget from Karver is what you see in these two photos. The concept is pretty self-explanatory. Presumably it was developed for dinghy racers who want to get a better grip on skinny control lines, but I find it’s not too hard to think of other things to do with it.

For example, I can see using it to help tie down gear real tight and in other situations where you want to pull real hard on something. But mostly I see it as a sort of instant rolling hitch that ...

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12.1.11. our life. daily. puerto vallarta, mexico.

30 Nov

Lowe is outgrowing his clothes at an alarming rate. It's pretty clear we're going to have big kids. We've cut the feet out of a couple of his six month-old pajamas to try and extend their life a bit, but mainly we're moving on to the nine month stuff. Ali is already having trouble carrying him for very long. Fortunately for both of us Ouest finally seems to be outgrowing the "carry me everywhere" stage and much prefers to run amok these days. Also, after a few days off Lowe went back into full rolling over mode again today.

We cleaned out ...

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Evil, awful fiberglass: Grinding the old thru-hulls

30 Nov

 It may be the single greatest advancement in making sailboats affordable but fiberglass is horrible stuff to work with! Here you see me emerging from the forward anchor locker where I’ve been grinding a 2sq-foot section directly into my own face. Even with a shop vac sucking air out of the compartment it would so rapidly fill with dust (which was also filtering into my foggy goggles via the ventilation holes) that I was doing most of this by feel. No doubt the wost job yet on the boat but we’ll see what’s to come…

This was just a quick ...

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Wings, the Next Generation

29 Nov

Wanna have some fun? Set Paul Cayard loose on the subject of America’s Cup 34, some re-imagined and surprising wing-control mechanisms, and the terrors of San Francisco Bay in full cry. The custom AC72 catamarans of 2013, he says, will be 30 percent more powerful but “much less stable” than the AC45s that sailed three events this year on the America’s Cup World Series circuit.

And occasionally failed to maintain verticality.

Cayard’s home waters, where the Cup will be sailed, are known to be a windy spot, and when the ebb tide works against the seabreezeone sixth of all the ...

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