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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

4/26/2011 - Still at Ensenada Grande

(note: this is being written on Wednesday morning but it's mostly about yesterday)

The coromuel winds that we usually start to get about 10:00 PM or so were nowhere to be seen by the time we went to bed. We were wondering if, maybe, they weren't going to hit for some reason. My understanding of how they work is that the heavy cooler air from the Pacific is drawn across a low spot on the Baja peninsula near La Paz by the space left as the warm air in the Sea rises. The effects are supposed to diminish the further from La Paz one gets but they're known to blow as far north as San Evaristo at the northern end of Bahia de La Paz. All this to say, "I wonder where the coromuels are?"

Guess what? About 0200 they finally kicked in. They blew pretty hard through the wee hours of the morning. But then, instead of laying down about 8 or 9 o'clock, they continued to blow. I had great intentions to install the new filter module on our fresh water supply but this wind was definitely going to postpone that. The project requires me to empty both cupboards under the sink and have at least one of the floorboards open. That means that Lulu is pretty much banished from the cabin for what could be most of the day. Not only did I not want to be doing plumbing with my head stuck in a cupboard when the boat was tossing around, but I also couldn't put Lulu outside in the cool wind all day. She volunteered to spend the day in the V-berth but I know that would get old quickly. So, instead, we decided to just kick back. We needed to run the watermaker so we at least did that, but mostly we sat and read all morning.This was the first time I'd run the watermaker without either being connected to shore power or having the Honda generator running. But, one of the reasons we paid the big bucks for a Spectra watermaker is because of its energy-efficiency. As far as I know, it's the only one that can make 1 gallon of finish water using only 1 amp of power. So, since it's a 6 gph unit, we should be able to make 6 gallons per hour on only 6 amps. I planned to run it for 3 hours for a total usage of 18 amps. That seemed well within our battery bank's capabilities so it was time to give it a try. We actually had to run it about 3/4 of an hour longer because we had to flush the pickling agent out before we started making water and had to make an extra 3 gallons to flush it with afterwards. I'm happy to say that, while the unit was running, we were still gaining on the batteries via the solar cells. That is, we were making more juice than we were using. YES! The only time we went negative for a few minutes was whenever the fridge kicked on.

While I was making water, I noticed one of the huge heads of cabbage that we'd bought and suggested to Lulu that we should make some of it into cole slaw. And not just any cole slaw, Corky's Cole Slaw (google it). She decided to jump up and start right then and, as long as she was up, might as well make a loaf of bread, too. Yeah, man, that's my wife.

By the time we were both done with our projects, the wind had finally laid down and it was starting to get hot. Lulu decided she needed a swim and I needed to row the dinghy around a bit. I stopped by s/v Dream Catcher (Berkeley, CA) and talked with Jeffery awhile. He pointed out that he'd seen a bunch of turtles swimming around and was surprised that we hadn't seen any yet. Of course, as soon as he pointed them out I started to see them but they were never close enough to get a really good look at.

After our excursions, we were hanging around the cockpit when Candy from m/v Katie B (Huntington Beach, CA) kayaked over and chatted a bit. Then she invited us over for sundowners. We gladly accepted. After the Katie B crew had a chance to get cleaned up from their afternoon swims and kayaking, we rowed the short distance over. They insisted that we not bring any beer or anything to drink as they were headed back to La Paz and had tons of stuff left from their trip. The one thing they didn't have were totopos (tortilla chips) which we were able to supply to go with the tuna ceviche they made from the fish they'd caught that morning.We had a great time visiting and ultimately were invited for dinner. Same deal: they had all this tuna that, if it didn't get eaten was going to go to waste. We couldn't have that! So we rowed back over to our boat to grab the cole slaw as our contribution. Excellent eats: mesquite-grilled tuna, beans and rice, cole slaw, tortillas, etc. Eventually the wind started to pipe up and it seemed like a good time to go home. We had a great time shooting the breeze with our neighbors. Oh, and a bonus: while we were chatting, we were discussing the pros and cons of life on a small boat. I mentioned that one of the downsides of having such a small boat was packing our garbage. We had a bag of garbage that had to live in our cockpit until we got somewhere with a dumpster. Well, they said, "Bring it over, we're headed back to La Paz and have plenty of room." How cool is that?

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