Thursday, 15 May 2014

And now for something completely different: Skiing in May

Looking across to Whistler Mtn and the Black Tusk
Last-minute decision: how about a day skiing up at Whistler? The wonders of Vancouver: one can sail, swim, golf and ski all in one day (OK, we are just skiing and swimming....)  A bright, sunny, warm day -- 27 degrees C in the valley; 11 degrees C up on the mountain.

We're not in Mexico anymore Toto...

Short video of "first tracks" (OK, not actually powder...) down Glacier, Michelle is enjoying herself...

Heading down; last run of the day -- our thighs were burning -- heading for a swim in the pool (not sure if the lake is warm enough yet). Then drive back down to Vancouver.
Snow up top; very warm down in the valley

Great to be home!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Back home in Vancouver

After a long series of flights, layover and delays -- including an extra hour delay due to a "ferocious" cat which had to removed from the plane, together with its owner and the owner's bags from the baggage compartment -- we arrived home in downtown Vancouver around 2 am.

The temperatures are cool and comfortable (currently 11 deg C); all the trees and lawns are so green, and we have a great view of English Bay from our short-term apartment in the West End.

On the downside, our taxi driver in from the Vancouver airport was the worst driver (almost killed us while looking for his cell phone), and it is sure seems noisier here (compared to Mexico).

We'll get used to it.

Happy to be home.

[We will continue -- occasionally -- to post to this blog while away from Mexico -- time for posts about trips in the mountains!]

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Preparing Pelagia for a Summer in Mazatlan

Pelagia ready for the Summer (... we hope)
Bimini, dodger, solar stored...
We have spent most of the past 9 days "de-commissioning" Pelagia for the Summer in Mazatlan. We've found it very tiring, all the worse as it is hot and humid here in Mazatlan.

So, what did we do? In preparation for a Summer of heat, sun, humidity and rain, and possibly for a hurricane, we have done the following:

  • Removed, bagged and stored below all sails
  • Removed dodger and bimini (to be washed, dried, and stored below)
  • Removed solar panels (stored in v-berth)
  • double-up on mooring lines (a total of 7 mooring lines)
  • purchased additional fenders; all fenders covered by old t-shirts (for sun protection)
  • items on deck (BBQ, stern anchor, jerry cans, etc) removed and stored in anchor locker
The above items were done in case of significant winds (e.g., hurricanes)
  • put tin foil on ~ half of the windows
  • wrapped tin foil on nav lights, GPS antennae, cowl vents, and other plastic items that would be damaged by sun
  • reflective tarp put over boom
  • fluttering VCR tape place on lifelines etc, hopefully as a bird-retardant
  • drained fuel from outboard engine; covered with old t-shirt
  • engine oil & filter changed; transmission fluid changed
  • diesel fuel tanks topped-up
  • removed (gave away) all perishable food or tinned food nearing "expiration"
  • all other food (tins or unopened packages) placed in bin in refrigerator icebox (fridge turned off, washed, and lid left open)
  • water tanks topped up and biocide added
  • cockroach "bait" placed in many locations 
  • stuffed exterior vents with mosquito screening (metal) -- hopefully to discourage rats and other critters
  • Disconnected and stored (in plastic bags) major electronic equipment
  • Propane shut off at bottles and hoses disconnected
  • Shower sump flushed with fresh water
  • Toilet & holding tank thoroughly flushed with fresh water then "pickled" with treatment
  • Bilge washed; bilge pumps flushed
  • speedo removed and replaced by dummy plug
  • All clothes, linens etc washed; most bagged and stored
  • Cupboards, floors, etc washed to retard mildew
  • cushions moved to allow air circulation
  • cupboard doors left open for air circulation
  • AC fan purchased and left on
  • All seacocks closed
  • DC electronics turned off
Likely the above list has missed some things -- it has been a lot to think of and do.

We have arranged (i) engine work to be carried-out over the Summer (by Rafa') (ii) haulout, bottom work, minor welding, etc next October, and (iii) exterior woodwork and window repair/replacement.

Finally, we have arranged for Tony, Grant and Hector of Tony's Boat Management to watch over Pelagia, regularly opening up Pelagia's hatches for air, checking mooring lines, batteries, bilges, and looking for any bugs or mildew. They will also run the engine and wash boat monthly, as well as arrange bottom cleaning, zinc changing etc. This gives us significant peace of mind.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Noisy fish...

A few posts back, while up in the Sea of Cortez, we noted that there were hundreds (perhaps thousands) of fish around the boat at night, and that they often were quite noisy (hitting Pelagia's bottom, etc).

Here is a shot of them (caught with a flash) off our stern while anchored at Ensenada Los Muertos: