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Monday, August 29, 2011

8/29/2011 - A typical day

We're not really doing much of note these days so I thought I'd fall back on the old standby of describing one of our typical days here in Puerto Escondido.

For me, the day starts about 7:00 when I turn off my fan and crawl out of bed. My pillow and sheet are usually slightly damp from having sweated on them all night long. First thing I do is check the battery monitor to see how we're doing.

Our house bank holds about 400 amp-hours (AH) but it's not a good idea to pull the level down below 50%. So, if we get somewhere around -200 AH, it's time to fire up the Honda. However, I wait until Lulu is up before I start the generator.

After getting the coffee water started, I go out on deck and rig the shade awning and move the cockpit cushions back outside. During this chubasco season, I've taken to securing things from the wind when we go to bed at night, whether it's blowing or not. Much better than having to get up in the middle of the night in a panic.

By the time things on deck are back to normal, the tea kettle is usually just about ready to whistle and I can get my first cup of coffee going. The temperature at this point is usually in the high 80s already and often there's not a breath of wind. The fans below decks are lifesavers.

By 7:30, the decks are back in order and I've got my first cup of joe poured. At this point I usually go out on deck with my cuppa and my Kindle. Sometimes I can catch a small breeze now and again but, this morning for example, there wasn't a breath to be had. No matter. I read my e-book, drink my coffee and enjoy the sunrise.

Just before 8:00 I turn on the VHF radio, remembering to turn the volume on the below-decks unit off so as not to wake Lulu. At 8:00 the Puerto Escondido Cruisers' Net starts up and I sit in the cockpit and listen on the remote VHF. The net consists of emergency traffic, regular check-ins, arrivals and departures, weather, tides, rides and crew, local assistance, announcements, lost and found, swaps and trades, rumors-reviews-etc, peso watch, news from/of friends, and finally, jokes and trivia. This is how we keep track of who's where and what's going on. In the high season, the net can take awhile but this time of year it's often over within 15 minutes. After the net, I continue to read and Lulu continues to snooze.

Sometime between 8:30 and 9:00, Lulu usually gets up, makes the bed, etc. By this time the sun is starting to poke its way into the cabin and I've usually lowered all the shades.

The kettle boils a second time and Lulu has her first cup of coffee and I have my second. She fixes her breakfast which usually consists of juice, granola, and recently, a small bowl of frijoles since the granola just wasn't sticking with her all day. Once she's settled and eating, I make my breakfast. Lately my breakfast of choice is either a burrito or quesadilla consisting of frijoles, chiles, and queso. After breakfast, I usually do the dishes since I'm the one that dirties the most dishes.

Breakfast over and dishes done, we pack up the computer, fill our pockets with toilet paper (just in case) and dinghy ashore to check e-mail and use the "facilities". Once in awhile we also have to fill a water jug while ashore and, today for instance, get some gas in the gas cans for the generator and the outboard.

Our trip ashore can be as short as an hour or as long as several hours. depends on whether or not Lulu does any Skyping or whether or not there is anyone interesting around to visit with for awhile. However long it takes, we do eventually head back out to the moored boat.

At this point, we sometimes take on some sort of project. With the heat this time of year, these projects don't always consist of much but we usually get at least something done. The projects might be as extensive as re-sewing the dodger due to rotted threads or as simple as carting some more jugs of water from he API office to the boat or cooking a pot of beans. The dodger project was a good example of something we needed to do but weren't really looking forward to. The dacron thread that it was originally sewn with was rotting away. A little pressure would cause the threads to just break. At first, Lulu tried to sew it back together with her little Singer but there were just too many areas that were way too thick for a featherweight to handle. Ultimately, we ended up hand-sewing the worst spots.

One of these days, we'll have to re-sew the whole thing but, by then, we may need to rebuild the canvas pieces as well. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Whether the project is a big one, like sewing the dodger or cleaning house, or a small one like writing a blog or cooking some beans or going to the store, we make sure we're finished by early afternoon. After all, we didn't retire to be slaves!

Long about 3:30 or so, we pack up our shower stuff and head back ashore. Since we've moved to the waiting room and can no longer use the marina pool, we walk down the road to the Tripui Hotel/Restaurant/Bar. Probably 25% of the time, someone stops and gives us a ride saving us from the not-that-long but very hot walk. Once at Tripui, we order 2 micheladas (here they consist of lime juice, beer and ice in a salted-rim mug) and grab a couple of chaises down by the pool. After a quick dip to bring our core temperatures down a bit (not that easy in a pool with what must be 88 degree water), I swim a lap or maybe a lap and a half and Lulu swims 20 laps. Then we sit in the shade and drink our micheladas while letting the evaporating breeze cool us down more. We generally have a second round and another dip before heading back to the marina.

A sidenote: Although this is a heavily cash society, there seems to be a dearth of change available. Earlier this week I tried to pay our bar bill (around $180 pesos pre-tip) with a $500 bill since that's all I had. This was a problem since the restaurant at Tripui didn't seem to have enough money to make change. Finally, I offered to just leave the $500 on account and we would just charge our drinks for the next few days against the balance until it was gone. Tomás, our bartender/waiter was relieved at this suggestion.

After returning to Puerto Escondido, we hunt up whichever employee has the shower key duty so he can unlock the showers (regaderas) and let us in. We show him our receipt, he stamps it and unlocks the facilities for us. After our showers, we usually sit around outside of Ray & Jaime's shop for awhile visiting with whoever happens to be there. If Pedro's tienda is open, we'll usually buy some cold cerveza to take back to the boat as well as a couple more to drink while visiting. Eventually, it's time to head home for dinner.

We dinghy back out, hang our wet towels and such on the lifelines to dry, etc. And then it's dinner time. No telling from day to day what we might have but last night's dinner is a pretty good example:

Chicken quesadillas topped with guacamole and frijoles charros on the side. The thing between the quesadilla and the beans at about the 8:00 position on the plate are a couple of slices of chicken breast that slipped out of the quesadilla.

Depending on how late we eat, after the dishes are done, we sometimes have a little bit of time to read in the cockpit before it gets too dark. Long about 8:00 PM, we rearrange the cockpit cushions, set up the outside speakers and the laptop, pop a couple of cold beers and settle in to watch our shows. Currently we're watching season 6 of Weeds and season 4 of Dexter. Before the shows are over we've usually consumed at least one more beer each and shared a 2 liter jug of agua mineral (carbonated water).

After the shows, it's bedtime. Lulu takes care of moving packs, sails, etc from our bunk to the settee and I strike the awnings and stow the cushions below. Finally, teeth brushed, we climb onto (too hot to climb into) bed and turn our fans on HIGH and then read until we drop off to sleep, hoping that we won't have a chubasco wake us in the middle of the night.

Tomorrow we'll do much the same as we did today. May sound mundane but we're enjoying ourselves.


Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

sounds nice and very relaxing.

Anonymous said...

Thats what retirement is all about. Just do what strikes you that day and there will be another day to do something else. We are pretty much in the same position except we have this sideline business of quilting but even that can be different each day. Love, Mom

punkt A said...

Interesujące. Powodzenia. Pozdrawiam.