Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sailing Videos

Are we having
fun yet?
Here are a
couple sailing



I'm On A Boat


Blue Wednesday

Our friend Adam took us sailing on a Catalina 22 yesterday. She was a lot more manueverable than our boat and she heeled over much further... We left the dogs at home and cruised around south of the Coronado Bridge.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Story of My Life

"It pleased me after thirty-some years of life, the baggage I carried could be reduced to one suitcase."

One of our neighbors lent us a book, and luckily I grabbed it on my way out the door...err...companionway this morning, because my American Lit professor didn't show up for class yet again. I knew after the first paragraph that this book was written for me. For us. Possibly by Ben, himself. Unless something goes terribly awry in the next fourteen chapters, I'm sure this book will be placed high on my "Good Reads" list.

Sneak a peek:

"I have been called many things in my life, but if there has been but one constant, one barb, one arrow flung my way time after time, it is the accusation that I am, in essence, nothing more than an escapist. Apparently this is bad, suspect, possibly even un-American. Mention to someone that, all things being equal, you'd really rather be on an island in the South Pacific, and they'll look at you quizzically, ponder the madness of the notion for a moment, and say: 'But that's just escapism. Now would you kindly finish stocking the paper clips so we have time to rearrange the Hi-Liter markers? We need to make sure they're color-coordinated.'"

Monday, April 27, 2009

Come Monday

Today was a pretty big day... Ben put the finishing touches on his newly designed exhaust system and the Atomic 4 is purring like a kitten again. Now, we need to pick up the jib from the sail repair shop and we'll be good to go. I foresee a sailing adventure in our near future!!

This is Ben, tucked inside the lazarette, working on the exhaust.

Here we have the bowels of the boat. The white tubing on the left is the blower, which pumps gas fumes out of the bilge before starting the engine. The mechanism in the middle attaches to the tiller at the top and the rudder at the bottom, for steering. The black tubing on the right is part of the new exhaust, which attaches to the muffler (which is in the back lazarette and not visible in this picture).

For a little perspective, this is a view of the tiller in the cockpit.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Grunion Are Running

The grunion are running this weekend.
If you're in SoCal, check them out...

Saturday Morning on the Mooring Field

Here are a couple videos of a sea lion and some seafowl frolicking off the stern of our boat. Boy, that never gets old! Happy Saturday, everyone! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Photo Op

On our way home from happy hour/laundry, we cruised by Tater for a photo shoot:

Looks like Tater got a little crinkled

Full Circle

Ben, Lola and I ran into a dear old friend yesterday...


He was parked on the street less than a block from our old apartment in Ocean Beach! Just goes to show things really do come back full circle! It was great to see an old friend who took care of us so well for eight months. We miss you, Tater!

The Power of Solar

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I'd share these pictures of my "office". As many of you know, I work online, from the boat. I use a laptop, an additional flat panel monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. (I need the flat panel to read information that I then enter into the laptop. I use the extra keyboard because I need a number pad. The mouse is really just for ergonomics... so I don't have to reach across the keyboard to use the one on the laptop.) I use an AT&T 3G Wireless card, which I would not recommend to anyone but a desperate soul like myself. It's expensive, bulky, and moody. But it was my best option for internet. And I work entirely off of solar energy. Those of you who followed us in Tater have seen pictures of the solar setup on that blog. I usually work for 8 or 10 hours at a time (even after dark) using energy generated from two 6-volt deep cycle batteries and a 134-watt solar panel. And it's completely free (with the exception of the initial purchase price)! The whole system cost somewhere around $1000 and we've been using it for a year and a half already. Solar is really a cool concept. In the near future, we'll be revamping the system- adding more batteries and panels in order to run the reefer (that's refrigerator in "Pirate Speak"). But for now, we have enough power to live and work off of.

I also hooked up my new 5-watt solar panel on my dinghy on Earth Day. Here are some pics:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day 2009

Hope everyone has a Happy Earth Day tomorrow! Normally, Earth Day prompts me to take a look at my conservation habits and see where I can improve. Unfortunately, this year (week), I've been busy with school work and I haven't had time to consider anything but this research paper I've been writing. :(

I have determined that the 1.5 watt solar panel that I've been using for my trolling motor isn't producing enough energy, so I've been rowing a lot lately. I ordered a larger (5 watt) panel and it should arrive by UPS this afternoon. So... hopefully by tomorrow I can rest my oars (and my arms!) again!


I've been in a sort of forced silence the past couple of days, as I have been the victim of a "spirit crusher." I use this blog as a place to let friends and family know what we're up to, but also as a sort of online journal of my life... a place to collect pictures, poems, facts, memories, etc. that are interesting and important to me. I realize by publishing a blog I am opening myself up for criticism and judgment. I guess I just never realized how critical and judgmental some people can be, and for no good reason but to hear themselves talk. To be honest, it saddens me. I know misery loves company, but I just don't understand it.

"The more you know,
the less you understand...

...Those who know don't talk.
Those who talk don't know."

Tao Te Ching

Sunday, April 19, 2009


by Georgia Douglas Johnson (1922)

Don't knock on my door, little child,
I cannot let you in;
You know not what a world this is
Of cruelty and sin.
Wait in the still eternity
Until I come to you.
The world is cruel, cruel, child,
I cannot let you through.

Don't knock at my heart, little one,
I cannot bear the pain
Of turning deaf ears to your call,
Time and time again.
You do not know the monster men
Inhabiting the earth.
Be still, be still, my precious child,
I cannot give you birth.

Silence is Golden

I think most of us have heard of the Golden Rule:

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Religion aside, it is a logical statement. I do my best to live by the Golden Rule in the hopes that if I treat people well, I will be treated well in return. The tricky part is that everyone has a different idea about what it means to be treated well. For me, it means not having to listen to negativity. I don't need a Devil's Advocate in my life. Believe it or not, each of the decisions I make are very well thought out. Just short of sinking to the level of the Debbie (or Dick) Downers of the World, I wanted to share some things I've come to understand in my short 32 years on Earth:

If you want people to respect you and remain in your life:

Don’t try to teach them lessons. Don’t try to burst their bubble. Don’t speak negatively about their life choices. Don’t assume you know better because you’re older or wiser. Wisdom doesn’t come with age, but rather with experience, and that is precisely why people need to live and learn for themselves. Think before you speak... and even more importantly, think before you write. Writers have the invaluable ability to proofread and edit their thoughts before they present them to their audience.

And lastly, if you don't have anything positive to say to someone, it's probably best to say nothing at all.

Watch more Saturday Night Live videos on AOL Video

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Boating News

The Log is California's Boating & Fishing newspaper.

The Harbor Blotter is my favorite section of the paper. It's fun to read the Harbor Police briefs from around the area (in particular San Diego Bay and the Laurel Street Anchorage).

I also like the Dog Aboard Gallery. Maybe one day I'll submit a picture of Lola.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Windy City

Here in San Diego, we don’t really have weather. But that doesn’t stop me from complaining about it every now and again. I try to be thankful but this past week it has been way too windy. I feel as though I’m living in a wind tunnel. I sit protected in the belly of the boat… my little cocoon away from the real world. As soon as I stick my head out the hatch, I feel the Wind trying to decapitate me. I loathe Wind. Wind is probably the only thing on Earth that can actually anger me to throwing blows. But it evades my blows (which is why, I think, it angers me so much). It’s like a bully picking on the little kid. Pick on someone your own size, Wind! I’m just biding my time until we get our wind generator to harness you, Wind! Then you will be working for me! Take that, Wind!
(Beautiful photo: Courtesy of Ben)

Here is a quick video of the wind:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Reggae Sunday

Every Sunday is *Reggae Sunday* for me (yes, even Easter Sunday). This morning, I came across this song on Pandora and it spoke...err...sang to me. I thought it was worth sharing.

by Ziggy Marley

everybody's worried about time
but i just keep that sh!t off my mind
people living on twenty four hour clocks
but we're on a ride that never stops

hey mister bee the world change but you remain the same
and i wonder how you'll survive with the environment going down the drain
hey miss dragonfly i see you look at me with your beautiful eyes
you must be wondering what type of creature am i

a dog looked at me and said ziggy why can't we trust man
puss and me get together why can't you all just understand
an old tree stood there silently listening to every word we said
as a tear fell he cried what type of creature is man

i said hey mister tree the world change but you remain the same
and i wonder how you survive with the environment going down the drain
hey miss butterfly I see you look at me with your beautiful eyes
you must be wondering what kind of creature am i
you must be wondering what kind of creature am i

everybody's worried about time
but i just keep that sh!t off my mind
people living on twenty four hour clocks
but we're on a ride yes we're on a ride we're on a ride that never stops

hey mister bee the world change but you remain the same
and i hope you'll survive with the environment going down the drain
hey miss butterfly i see you look at me with your beautiful eyes
you must be wondering what type of creature am i
you must be wondering what type of creature is man

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mexico: Ensenada

Here are some pics from Ensenada. We spent one night there before heading back across the border. Some of the pics are a little blurry and I'm going to blame that on the margaritas!

Mexican flag flying over Ensenada

Me @ the waterfront

Ben & I

A view down the boardwalk along the marina

Ben in front of an old loch

Anthony's Discoteque

Downtown Ensenada

Street View

Notice the sign is in English?

Centro Social, Cívico Y Cultural
(hehe! I finally got a handle on those accents)

Lola ventures downtown

Full moon over Ensenada

The Road to Ensenada

Breathtaking views along Calle 3 from San Felipe to Ensenada.

The Road To San Felipe

15 Km on Calle 5

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mexico: San Felipe

We're back in San Diego. Some people expressed concern for our safety in Mexico, but to them I quote Public Enemy by saying "Don't believe the Hype." Since we don't have any connections to a drug cartel, and we avoided the larger cities, we really didn't need to worry about being murdered. The typical people of Mexico are some of the friendliest, happiest people and we really enjoyed the chance to practice our Spanish while relaxing beachside. The most troubling part of our journey (for me) was the drinking water. I didn't actually drink the water, but I do like my margaritas on the rocks, and that has caused me a bit of turmoil for the past couple days. However, a little queasiness is a small price to pay for a fun, cultural adventure.

We drove from San Diego south to Ensenada with a plan to cut across Calle 3 east to San Felipe. Unfortunately, the roads in Mexico aren't marked quite as clearly as they are here in America, so we made a detour to Tecate before realizing we were all the way back at the US Border. Once we got our bearings (the only map we could find was a shoddy painting on the side of the Circle K building), we made our way east to Mexicali and then south to San Felipe. We stopped for a margarita and some lunch on Avenida Mar de Cortez and then headed north to look for a spot to camp. It was a busy week for Mexican vacationers so we were lucky to find a palapa available for two days at Kiki's. We put up the tent and headed out to see what the town had to offer. Here are some pictures from San Felipe:

San Felipe is a fishing town...

Palapas @ Kiki's

Me & Lola on the Sea of Cortez

Sign at neighboring campground

Ben at Sea of Cortez

Lola enjoys the shade of a panga

A view towards the campground

Another view down the beach

Se vende nieve

Yo y la piña

Ben spikes the drink

Fishermen on the sea

Panga y los pelicanos

A view down the Avenida Mar de Cortez

A sailboat and a panga in the sea

The tide is starting to go out