What to expect

Rants, missives and occcasional updates about where Masquerade is located and what we are up to.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cutting the dock lines, and the first storm of the season.

We had a tropical depression form last week, and although it did not develop into a storm or hurricane it caused a bit of excitement here. Friday around noon it started to rain. Not one of our old Pacific Northwest drizzles but a tropical downpour. I went out for a moment to cover up a few things and was instantly drenched. A bit later strong winds started up and so we headed back out again. The boat was not quite prepared due to the brightwork/varnish we are doing. We needed to secure items stored on the dock, re-tie the dock lines, and take down our canvas shade covers. While we are doing this we can here loud crashing noises of awnings falling over, banners shredding and canvas flogging in the wind. The rain continuing to pour down the whole time. One of our jerry jugs and one of our large storage tubs that we used in the truck blew into the water and drifted across the bay. After an hour or so we had a few minutes of calm then the wind started again from the opposite direction. Another hour of strong winds and then it was all over. Afterwards people compared there wind speed readings so the winds were most likely in the 45-55k range. We had wind waves in the small harbor so those speeds seem pretty accurate. We were told that it was the highest winds in at least fifteen years. We were lucky and were able to recover most of what had blown away.


We were able to finally get away from the dock.  We got the boat cleaned up and stowed away enough to head out. Of course we only went on a short trip to Isla Venados, an island right off the beach of Mazatlan.  We thought that a short trip and a night on the hook would be a good way for everyone to get their sea legs. This could be important for the cats especially since blue has never been underway. If we can avoid sick crew and potential messes, it is worth waiting another day before heading out. Although so far it seems to be an exercise in futility as far as Blue is concerned.


Tomorrow we should be underway to cross the Sea of Cortez. We should end up somewhere between Isla San Francisco and Aqua Verde, all depends on the wind.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Boat commisioning

We are still in Mazatlan and have been joined by our granddaughter Mysti. She will be spending a month or two with us on the boat.

We are finishing up getting the boat ready to go. We had to put everything back together that we took down last year and do some cleaning. We also needed to make room for our new crew. We are getting some brightwork done by Rueben and that should be finished soon. Since we are off schedule we are getting the boat out of storage mode while most boats are getting ready to be stored for the summer. The good news of it is that we are getting lots of gifts of food that they need to get off the boat before they leave!


We drove down so we have a truck here now. Driving in Mexico and especially in the old part of town is a challenge. First off the speed is all in kilometers so that takes getting used to. In addition gringos are the only ones held to keeping the speed limit; last year many cruisers got tickets even though traveling at the speed of other traffic. Speed limits and stop signs are treated as suggestions not rules for the most part. Street signs are few and far between as are painted lanes. There is one main street that varies in width from about 2 lanes to 4 wide, however there are no painted lanes and traffic just kind of goes wherever. I usually try and follow behind someone and hope they are in a lane. There are many busses and they are the top of the food chain. They make sudden stops (in traffic) sudden lane changes (to get around other stopped busses), and often speed as well. You need to keep an eye on them and stay out of there way! Our truck is big (a dually) so the narrow streets of downtown are frightening. We barely squeezed through a few spots with inches to spare. The narrow streets don’t slow down the buses and trucks though. I try and stick to wider streets. I am glad I got a little driving experience in last year, using a smaller truck. That was a cruiser vehicle that once belonged to Nakia who sold it to Hooligan, who now sold it to V’ger. The car keeps getting passed around to new cruisers as the previous owner leaves Mexico for other countries.


We hope to leave the marina this weekend, weather permitting.