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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

More Life in Paradise

June 21, 2005
Ensenada Puerto Almeja (aka La Ramada)
About 40 miles south of Mulege

Last night during my usual getting ready for bed routine I noticed that the head (toilet) didn't seem to be acting like its normal self. John tried banging on some hoses and things which has helped get past the blockage before, but no luck. So we were up until 2 AM to get the job done right this time. Because of the nature of the problem it's usually best to do this when you're the only boat in the anchorage or in the dead of night. People don't really appreciate having sewage dumped into their swimming pool, even when it's a very large swimming pool. There wasn't a lot of it, but one of my jobs was to bucket brigade the stuff draining from the disconnected holding tank hose. So imagine me having to walk from the head (all the way up in the bow of the boat) past a big bucket of anchor rode, over tool boxes, up the companionway steps and out to the side of the boat where I could dump the contents over the side. The worst moment was when I inadvertently bumped the lifeline and splashed a few drops up into my face. Gross!

This morning John's doing some clean up since he had to empty out the space he was working in. He also helped the other boat anchored here fix a problem with their solar panels, which turned out to be a broken wire. I wiped down the fiberglass on the side of the boat which was still in the morning shade, wiped down the rusty salt water splash marks from our anchor chain in the chain locker, and lugged two five gallon water jugs from the bow of the boat to the stern to siphon them into the main water tank. I did all this before 10 AM and was sweating bullets the whole time. Yesterday morning it was 77.7 degrees at 7 AM, and the main problem is that the humidity has been high. Makes it kind of tough to enjoy that morning cup of coffee.

Yesterday we moved to this smaller anchorage (only a couple of miles from San Juanico) with our neighbor, Adios. We were actually the first boat here for a change and got to pick our spot. Is still breezy most of the day but not nearly as bad as the previous place. I swam to the beach and John followed me in the dinghy (he still has to keep his foot dry while his injury heals). I walked up a road in nothing but my bathing suit and reef shoes, with a swim fin for a shade visor, while he collected wood on the beach. Kind of nerve wracking to walk a rough dirt road out into the desert half-naked by yourself, but that's how desperate I was for the exercise. Kept imagining what I would say if I ran into anyone. The usual, "Hola! Buenas tardes. Como esta?" didn't seem like it would really be enough in this case! I swam back to the boat (paranoid the whole time about running into a jelly fish, but I didn't) and we went for a short dinghy ride to explore the shoreline. I still love seeing the ospreys and spotting their huge nests. After dinner at sunset we took all our paper garbage to an existing rock fire ring on the beach and burned it. This helps cut down on the amount of garbage we have to keep on board until we get to a town where we can dispose of it. Was nice to have an almost full moon to enjoy while we were standing around our little bonfire.

We keep hearing on the Sonrisa HAM net that Bahia Concepcion is even hotter and more humid so we're still in no hurry to get up there for the Fourth of July.

John Here:
If all this playing with the toilet stuff sounds familiar, see 'Head Games' from August 21, 2005. I guess it just goes to show that there are some things that are really hard to keep working on a boat. Personally, disgusting as it is, I'd rather have to work on the toilet plumbing over and over than have repeated problems with the engine. At least the parts are cheap and if you have a total failure you can use a bucket as an emergency backup.

Linda and John