Monday, October 31, 2011

Docked in Ensenada

Keith called as they were approaching the dock, but I was on the phone with Steve's mom so we didn't really talk. He will call again with details of their first leg straight through from Long Beach to Ensenada in 25 hours! He sounded extremely happy and the relief I feel is amazing.

Almost to Ensenada

Steve's wife, his mom and I are all anxiousLy waiting to hear from our men!! Last Spot indicated they are closer to Ensenada timewise than they had estimated. So more just as soon as one of us hears anything.

I calm myself by playing cards with my Mom and Aunt Maxine here in SW Florida, reading and doing my shoulder exercises. I also think of all the women before us who often had no word at all from their men for weeks or even years when they were off somewhere on their boats. God bless technology which has given us satellites and the amazing gadget called SPOT so we can know their lat/long positions while they are out of phone range.

Passing San Diego

Chamisa continues her steady progress southbound with a SPOT msg around midnight (Pacific Time) passing San Diego. If you are on our distribution for those, the time stamps are in GMT or Greenwich Mean Time near London, so you subtract for your time zone accordingly. Confusing, I know!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Passing Oceanside

Chamisa is sailing along ~ 7-8 knots/hour (roughly = to mph!)and was off the Southern Ca coast just south of Oceanside @ 5:50 pm PT. No phone call or email yet since they left the dock this morning but I assume all is well and they have probably devoured the rest of Steve's amazing green chile casserole by now.

Underway again, at last!

Good news! Keith and our good friend Steve have left Long Beach on the trip downhill to LaPaz. More when I hear from them via our new SailMail account.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A change in THE plan...

Remember a few posts back when I explained about the wisdom of writing cruising plans in the sand? Well, I am in Florida at my Mom's to figure out what is wrong with my shoulder (again!), and how to get it fixed. Meanwhile, Keith and a good friend and proven Baja sailor, Steve, will soon be sailing our beloved "Chamisa" down south to LaPaz, Mexico. I will have more news to share as Keith shares their adventures. Check back early next week when we will have a plan for my shoulder and a progress report from Keith on departure preparations. In the meantime, you should know I was only in Florida a few hours when Keith went online to find a "stripper"! He swears it is a boat part and mumbled something about a gypsy and chain. What do you think?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chamisa's Topsides

Some of you reading this are long-time boaters so you may want to skip this post, but for those of you who are land-lubbers (I prefer the term “land-lovers”, but whatever!), this post is for you.  We thought you would appreciate some pictures of the outside of Chamisa, along with some explanations of what you see.  This will help you follow future posts and next time, we'll have photos of the inside for you.

Yuck - kelp under bowsprit.
To start, here are three side views of Chamisa at anchor this summer (2011) at Catalina Island, just west of Cherry Cove.  The first photo includes the big rock formation called Lion's Head at the west edge of Cherry Cove - a major landmark and so-named because looking dead on with your back to the north, you can see a lion's face.  Really amazing!  Hikers appear atop Lion's Head frequently, while snorkelers/divers show up below along with swimmers and kayakers - certainly an entertaining spot along the coast.
Sails furled for the moment!
Name/hailing port barely visible.

This photo shows the round white radar dome mounted on the backstay above the stern.  The orange blob is the float on the MOB pole (Man Overboard) - tossed into the sea the minute anyone should fall in.  We'd also hit the GPS's MOB button in the cockpit immediately to mark the spot, but better yet, we work constantly to prevent an MOB!

At left is the view from the bowsprit – the forward platform at the front of our boat.  The bowsprit extends Chamisa’s length and provides a point of attachment for the foremost sail called the jib. Moving the jib forward means we have a larger sail and more “push” through the wind (i.e., power).  The jib is behind Keith as he took this photo, so it isn't visible but it looks the same as the sail you do see furled around itself in the foreground – the staysail.  The white pole leading from the foot of the staysail toward the stern is the stay boom, or track, that holds the bottom edge of the staysail when it is unfurled.

The mainsail is furled up in the large white tube, called the boom (hard to see here, I know), which leads aft from the mast (the tall pole in the center) to the stern (back of the boat). That's it - three sails for now - maybe someday a large lightweight nylon sail for light winds in the tropics, called a drifter.

 This photo shows the mast with its crossbars – or spreaders – which keep all the rigging (cables that support the mast) a safe distance away from the mast.  Notice there are two spreader lights used to light the decks at night, if needed, and yes – those are steps going up the mast.

The steps are used, along with a climbing harness, to go aloft and make repairs, replace burned out light bulbs and take care of routine maintenance tasks.  Keith, our daughter and son-in-law, and multiple professional riggers have been up/down those steps many times, but not me – and that is something I pray won’t ever be needed either - I'm not a great one for heights!

This is our view forward from the cockpit.  You are looking through the isinglass, or windows, and standing under the bimini, made of white canvas.  The bimini and the windows shelter us from the wind, rain and sun to minimize skin damage as well as provide comfort. Just below the center window (which unzips and rolls up for breezes in hot weather), that rumpled roll of blue canvas marks the companionway, or opening, to the interior. 

And, this is our view aft from the cockpit.  You can see the blocks and lines in the foreground used to control the boom as it moves from side to side when we are underway.  The white square on the left rail is called a lifesling and is used along with the horseshoe on the right rail to retrieve someone if they fall overboard - something we work to prevent through use of safety harnesses clipped to the boat, crew briefings and constant safety-on-deck reminders.

Finally, the cockpit - party room/sun porch/outside dining/reading room - the fun spot on our boat!  Also, where we steer, watch the compass and spend as many waking hours as possible. On the back rail, under blue canvas are the BBQ grill, the outboard motor for the dinghy (our taxi to shore), and four fenders we deploy along the hull to keep from rubbing docks and banging into other boats.

So, we hope this gives you a basic idea of what the outside of Chamisa looks like.  Please ask any questions using the "comments" feature...we would enjoy hearing from you.