Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another Great Mooring Sunset

Sunset on the moorings with the bow of 'Dawn Treader' in the foreground. Beautiful winter nights.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Achilles Heel

Thought I would show you the Achilles heel of our boat: broken frames. Scary huh?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Temecula

Temecula is a funny place. To get there you basically drive directly away from the ocean into the arid desert-like area we call 'inland'. I normally try to stay as far away from inland as possible but this weekend was different. We were going to the dreaded Inland Empire on purpose. Our weekend trip to Temecula turned out to be super relaxing and nice. We chose Temecula for a weekend getaway destination mainly for the wine. The area is very well suited for growing grapes and there are vineyards everywhere.

However, before the white man settled here, this area it was inhabited by Native American Indians. Since we (the white man) raped, pillaged, and plundered the shit out of the Native Americans, they are now the only people in California allowed to own casinos (not sure how the jump from restitution to gambling happened but nonetheless) ... and they have definitely taken advantage of their loop hole. There are 2 very large casinos in the Temecula valley area, Pala and Pechanga. I forced M to go with me to Pechanga and very quickly waste money. I think his heart died a little after the experience but I had fun. We went to a really horrible club called Silk or something like that with a $20 cover. Once inside we found the place to be filled with desperately slutty looking girls and lots of single dudes. It was not really our scene but if you are into $15 drinks, gogo dancers, and Asian prostitute look-a-likes then I highly recommend this club.

Anyway, we had fun and it was a nice getaway from the boat. It seems that we spend every weekend doing boat maintenance. I like to remind M that everything needs to happen with a good balance. Otherwise, I will not be happy...and that is what really counts.

Vineyard in Temecula

Hills above the vineyards

Friday, January 21, 2011

Steve Dave and Shear Pins

Last night was not smooth. I rented a car for the weekend and picked it up last night. M and I are planning on going up to Temecula this weekend for some wine tasting and Indian casino gambling but had some last minute errands to do first. Well, when we got in the dinghy to go out to the boat after I got the car we were stalked by the elusive 'Steve Dave' (for anyone who doesn't know about Steve Dave, he is a giant sea lion that lives in the harbor wrecking havoc on anyone in a boat smaller than 7'). M had a especially strong sense of urgency and started the engine with full revs. He clicked it into forward from neutral and BAM, nothing happened. We were left with drifting with a running outboard not moving anywhere. Steve Dave quickly lost interest and swam away and we were left to waddle home.

We got to the boat after a short pit stop on the Cimarron and M sprung into action. He took the outboard off the dinghy transom and put it into the cockpit. It looked pretty dim so we decided to try our backup outboard. Our backup outboard isn't really a backup at all. It is mostly broken but works every few months. But hey, it was worth a shot and it was easier than trying to fix the newly broken one. We (M) took it off our rowing skiff and put it on the inflatable. He tinkered around for a few minutes and we crossed our fingers. He pulled once, nothing. He pulled twice, nothing. Third, fourth, fifth times nothing. Maybe it will work next time.... easy option- not going to work.

The next step was to investigate the newly broken 6 hp. All of our tools are still on land from the fixing the bike project so it was gonna be tricky to fix an outboard with no tools. However, M's bottomless pit he calls his pockets revealed 3 multi-tools. I don't know how it is possible that he has 3 multi-tools in his pocket at any given time but I was glad for it.  M took the prop nut off to find a surprisingly easily fixable problem. The shear pin snapped. Now to find something to use as a shear pin. Since we obviously didn't have a spare we needed to improvise. Broken off alan key=new shear pin. Volia! Problem solved. M put the prob back on and put the outboard back on the dinghy.

It is odd to think that all of that happened in a span of about 45 minutes. The life that we choose can be frustrating at times. However, while all that craziness was going on, I stopped to look around. The sun had just set over the horizon and the full moon was rising over the city. It was beautiful. Sure, if we lived in a house a lot of the day to day complications that we face wouldn't be a problem but we would give up a lot. At the end of the ordeal, I was sitting on top of 7 weeks of laundry as we rode to shore and M leaned over and kissed me. He reminded me that these things happen and they always teach us something, even if all I learn is just to be more patient.

All in all, we lost maybe an hour and still had time to get the things done that needed doing. Moral of the story; sometimes giant sea lions force you to break your outboard but don't get upset, these things happen. Well, I guess they don't happen to everyone, but you never know when the Steve Dave of your life will throw a wrench in something.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Transportation

Transportation is complicated. It is funny, our boat can take us around the world but it can't take us to Colorado, let alone the grocery store...until now...well, not Colorado but the grocery store yes. Many of you know that we have a Honda s90 motorbike and you also know that it has been out of service for the past few months. The bike is a great way to get around, make shop runs, pick up some veg, but all of that stopped about a month ago. Not sure what happened but it's old and there is a trend with old motors and not working great. Either way, the bike is in pieces and not currently running.

Anyway, we were running low on basics like ramen noodles, rice, and onions; staples of our everyday poverty diet. So we decided it was time to buckle down and go to the store. Getting to the local super market is not that tough. It is about 2 miles away, an easy walk or bike ride. Problem is, getting back with 100lbs of produce and canned goods is not easy.

There is a small waterway that runs under a bridge and around a corner. It dead ends near a sail loft and just happens to be directly behind the Vons grocery store. Ahhhh! We motored around the corner from where our boat lives, parked the dinghy on the beach and tied it to a rock. The whole process took about 20 minutes. It was the greatest discovery that has happened for us in food shopping since the farmers market moved to town (which deserves note but can be disappointing).

Bike all torn apart

In pieces

Hidden channel leading to Vons 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cabrillo I

Pictures from Cabrillo I. Sailed out San Diego bay around the Coronado islands and back on the Cimarron.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years 2011!

After spending a long day cleaning and installing the new head neither M nor I felt much like doing anything. Lucky for us, most of our friends felt the same way. We met up for some tequila at a local Mexican place with a few friends. Everyone was feeling the same about the evening using excuses like 'I don't want to drive' even though most of us don't have cars. We decided to have a low key night of rum drinking and eating popcorn. The Cimarron came and rafted up with us and we had some people over on the boat. It was a nice evening and I was in bed by 12:10. To be fair, I am still getting over this horrible cold and just needed to sleep. Not very Hollywood Rockstar I know, but a good ending to a busy year.
Sunset on the moorings