Sunrise Leaving Isla Carmen Area
Now back in La Paz, I’m doing some repairs that are usual and customary after spending a couple of months out and about, bobbing and weaving through the briny blue. About a week prior to pulling into the harbor, I noted my marine head (toilet) being especially odiferous, and set out to find the cause. Well, I found it alright, and it’s not a fixable part. The large metal and plastic fitting that connects to the back of the bowl sending water into the head so it can flush had corroded and broken off the bowl. Trying to anticipate as many gear failures as I could, I brought down a head re-build kit for this specific model. Of course, this fitting is not included in that kit, so I resorted to the “bucket and chuck it” method of relieving myself. This was a common, tried and true system used often while racing, so it wasn’t a big adjustment.
The day after arriving in La Paz found me heading out early to the marine parts store. They had a couple of electric heads that flush with a motor and/or macerator, but I didn’t want that additional power draw. They could order my specific head, but they wouldn’t guarantee an arrival date. Additionally, there is an import fee, quite large, for wood and ceramic products here. They recommended another store to me, so I set out on my walk. There, I found a cheap version of my head in a “compact model,” so I took what I found and taxied back to the marina. I installed it in about an hour, and boy, was it nice to get rid of the sewer smell and be back to a nice, fresh smelling head. Yay, me! My ibuprofen intake will increase though, as it’s a shorter, lower-to-the-ground toilet and due to its base, makes one sit kinda sideways on it, wrenching the back a bit. Ahh, the pleasures of owning a small boat…
My next chore was to take down my dodger, which is my handmade canvas and plastic “windshield.” The Fat Red Boy Cat always loved to jump up on it and chase my finger underneath the fabric, or jump down to it after he raced along the boom and hid in the mainsail. With the advancing age of the canvas and the lack of svelte-ness of the Bad Boy, the inevitable occurred and the dodger tore along one of the seams. Jeanne from “Eagle” has a good sewing machine and builds canvas products here in the marina, so I threw that repair her way. It came back a few days ago, and should see me through at least another years’ service. Yay, Jeanne!
I’ve been spending a couple of hours each day cleaning and polishing all of the stainless fittings around the boat, as well as rubbing out and waxing the gelcoat. I don’t think I’ll have the opportunity to get to the varnish, but it’s in good shape, so it’ll probably wait until I get back from my ‘visa visit’ to the States. Also awaiting my return is to better insulate my icebox, and provide better airflow and venting for the refrigeration condenser, as that is just sucking the life out of my batteries here. If anyone’s considering traveling down here, my ongoing dilemma has been the refer and batteries. Get what you think is adequate at home, and double it for when you come down. If you think it’s working well at home, know it won’t here, so look into better ventilation (active evacuation for the hot air) for the condenser, better insulation for the box, and extra power to run it all. It’s pretty amazing the punch the summer sun packs…
Will Today Bring a Break From the Heat?
Today, Sunday, will find me taking advantage of the cloudy and hopefully rainy day, for however long it lasts, to work belowdecks on engine maintenance, battery maintenance and house cleaning. I have no need to go into town for anything until Tuesday at noon, so it’s good to do some of the necessary but mundane tasks. I must admit, I find a great sense of accomplishment when I do this work, knowing I’m ultimately responsible for the operability, safety and overall success of my little home…
During this visa-visit, the Monsters will be coming with me as there’s no way I could leave them aboard for a few weeks in this heat, being visited for ten minutes a day or so. It’ll be an adventure for sure, but I’ve got their carriers, they’ve been to the Vet for their health certificates, and I’ve got a ride to the airport. Hopefully, they travel well and safe, and it’s not too traumatic for them (or me).
I hope everyone is healthy, happy, and enjoying the summer. Take care of each other and do good things! I miss you all…
Hi Wendy, my friend used to sail out of San Pedro with cats with them. She wants to know how you control your cats when you dock Willow. ‘continued good sailing on your adventure. Great post!,, Robert Testerman
Bob, Thanks for the kind words… My Monsters are both leash trained. I made harnesses myself with the idea if they ever got snagged on something and then jumped, the load would pull from between their front legs instead of behind their neck. They both have about 25′ of line for exploring. The Bad Boy takes that to the limit, but little Kai rarely leaves the boat on her own. It took a little patience, but if you don’t let their dirty looks get to you, it can be done. There’s lots of info online on leash training cats, and I recommend it. Most marinas don’t permit dogs or cats to wander the docks at will, and you will gain the respect of your boat neighbors if you can show you can control them. That said, I wish I could say Makani never gets out of his harness… He’s a pretty sharp boy… Take care!
On Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 9:34 AM, wendyonwillow
It’s been great keeping up with and living vicariously till we can return to our girl in Nov. By the way I’m getting the mongo discount now I’m working at WM …….. living the dream staying in an RV cycling to work & when Cyn is home riding the Max Train downtown for music and cheap food cart eats.
Can’t wait to get back though travel safe stay in touch
Such a smart guy working there! I may need to give you a list! Good to hear you’re enjoying summer and the cooler weather. It’s truly beautiful here, but hot. I’d do it again next year if I’m still in the ‘hood. Glad to know you get to get together with Cyn and play a bit, but that must be hard on you both. Hang in there, have fun, and know November is just around the corner!! Give Miss Cyn my best, and you two Crazy Kids keep doing good things!
Hi Wendy.. I love reading all your adventures and love how talented you are in taking care of your boat..The part about the low head made me think (and sort of laugh), you could used one of those old/or handicapped plastic lifts they have for toilets here at home. Looking forward to all your future writings.. Have a safe trip home.
As always, each post is like a jewel of information filled with excitement (even the ones related to head issues)! We are looking forward to seeing you upon your return. Dinner on us in Ventura!
Leash trained! Ha ha! The Big Fat Red One That We All Love laughs at his leash, or at least did while we shared dock space in La Cruz! He wiggles like the Great Houdini and POW he is out of his harness. Have you since developed a more advanced harness system? Photos? Summer in the great PNW is advancing along, the blackberries are ripe, the corn is growing, the days are getting shorter….. Mexico is calling…..