Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lee's amazing plans for the installation of two water makers.

The puppy's we nearly purchased. Two for $20.

Lee has been working out.
We're standing outside a church at the Riviera Del Pacifico which is a cultural center in Ensenada. Once a casino and hotel owned by famous boxer Jack Dempsy. Rumored to be backed by mobster Al Capone. It was a favored gathering place for wealthy Americans and Mexicans during the Prohibition era. Among the glamorous clientele were Bing Crosby and Rita Hayworth.
A lovely bush

The water maker is working after just two days of Installation and fitting. Here's Katie tasting the water. It tastes really good.

Dinner at Antares
The Crew. Lewis and Katie 
Mexican mixed grill, served with cactus

We met the boxer Daniel Ponce De Leon at the restaurant. He had just finished a fight  and was still a bit bruised swollen. Check out those knuckles!
Daniel Ponce De Leon

Bit late but here's a few pics from LA

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Installation of the solar panels

Finally had chance to get the solar panels installed in Ensenada. After much measurement we figured we could add a third solar panel to the two we originally had bought back in San Francisco. I ordered it while we were in San Diego and now have just over 700 Watts of solar for Solent. Should give us plenty of power.

I had some lengths of Aluminum cut for the panels to be mounted to and they installed relatively easily with help from Lewis. The structure isn't as stable as i'd like so i'm going to get some additional mounts and tubing to give it extra support.

Fitted the solar charge controller next. Went with a new product the Midnite Solar Classic which looks to be a great unit. It has web access and you can access the unit on the internet to see what power your producing remotely.

When we installed it the weather was cloudy so we haven't been able to see what we will get on a typical day, but was still able to get a peak of 250 Watts on cloudy days and had charged the batteries for the last days consumption by lunch time.

Anyway will post what we get on a sunny day once we have one, which should be tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just a quick one...
Today we went into Ensenada and were offered two newborn pitbull puppies for $25! I don't like pit bull's much but as babies they were adorable. The Mexican guy with no teeth placed one in my arms and the other in Katie's. We held them for a while but Lee wouldn't let us keep them so we gave them back. They were grey with big blue eyes. When we tried to give them back he started lowering the price!
We had fish taco's, pina colada's and marguerites in town then visited the civic center/museum/church/bar/restaurant/garden/theatre.
We have made amazing progress on the solar panels, invertor and water maker and Lee will blog about these tomorrow. I've got to go as Lewis has made us a sausage surprise.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Journey to Mexico
About to cross the US border to Mexico 
Officially in Mexico

We're in Mexico so I whipped up a south of the border stylie breakfast

Baby Raphael Louis Alfred Moreton is born and we receive the news via the Satellite  phone!

Hooray! well done Louise.

Uh Oh, some traffic. Hope they're not moving.
Surrounded by dolphins that escorted us for 20 minutes. 

I tried to convince them to stay

Captain Sparky

Lee puts shaving foam on his ball bearings...

We were told that fixing the sail would cost about 3000 dollers. Lee realigned the boom and replaced the bearings in the main furling unit and then retuned the rig so that it had less rake (bend in the mast) and now it is working fine. We're off out for a sail in the Todos Santos bay on Saturday.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

6.30am and we're off to the fuel dock and then to Ensenada, Mexico. We should arrive at around 5pm PST. Our Spot locator is on if you would like to track our progress.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On our first night in San Diego, I am busy drying my hair when I hear a noise. Living on a boat you become desensitized to the everyday boat noises but extremely sensitive to any other noises that you do not recognize and so I got worried when I heard a strange crackling noise. It was loud enough to hear over the hair dryer. I switched the hair dryer off and opened the door to see if it was Lee. He was on the phone and wasn't responsible for the noise. I went back to drying my hair but i kept switching the hairdryer off to listen. It sounded like burning paper - very worrying on a boat. I informed Lee and we spent the next hour trying to find the source. We were laying on the floor listening, walked around the boat with a torch, pulled up the floors, disconnected the shore power etc but no luck. Lee decided to look online and found lots of stories from concerned boaters that had experienced the same thing. It turns out that the noise comes from some giant clawed boat slapping shrimps! We've been here for over a week now and the things don't stop.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

San Diego

Cooking sausages for the captain
San Diego, our last stop before we head out of the US and into Mexico! We will be in San Diego for a few weeks while we finish getting the boat ready. We have been lucky with the weather here which has been in the late 70's which is great for winter!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Avalon, Catalina

We headed off toward Catalina Island just before sunset for an all night trip. We kept a good look out for crab pots until the light faded and then had to rely on lady luck. Our first waypoint had us negotiating our way through 8 oil platforms which were well lit and like Christmas Trees on the water. Once clear of the platforms we turned towards Catalina and ran in parallel to the shipping lane. This is normally busy as we are in the vicinity of Los Angeles, but we only had to negotiate 3 large freighters before crossing the shipping lane when no traffic was around. We also had to cross the Pacific Missile Test Area, but fortunately there was no activity.  The sun rose just as we were approaching Avalon and the view was outstanding.

Penny Lane with a Liverpool football club flag moored in Avalon alongside Solent
There are no real cars in Avalon, just golf carts

spot Solent