Our 2nd Year in Mexico, Mostly a Photo Album


The purpose of this page is to document the lost year, the second year of our cruise, from the point in time we left Spirit anchored in the waiting room at Puerto Escondito to returning to the United States, almost 2 years later. I had stopped updating my blog, we were just living it. We left Spirit in 60 feet of water, with 2 anchors on 360 feet of chain, the second anchor was shackled to the chain about 50' from the first. We left Spirit there to get away from the El Nino summer heat, and we prayed everything would be ok when we got back 2 months later, after the hurricane season ended.

We left Spirit in the hands of Jim, who's hailing vessel was a ponga named Sparta, and lived on the beach nearby. We paid him $60 per month to be responsible for Spirit to the extent satisfying the Port Captain. It just got too hot, so hot they were catching billfish in Seattle. We needed an air conditioned and his name was Harvey the RV.

We loaded Harvey up with all of the stuff we had stown on Spirit that we shouldn't have, to take back to the storage unit in South San Francisco. For example, we took every article of clothing we owned that was suitable to wear on a boat. In reality, we needed about one change of shorts every few months. This much clothing took up the entire V-berth, so when we returned, we would have another room back. It was mid July 97 when we headed north. We wanted to be back in time for the October diving season.

Much of the rest of this site will be links to photo albums, with brief descriptions. One sad event about most of the photos is I selected a Sony Mavica version one for a digital camera. I was lured by the 10 x zoom and the fact it wrote the pictures to floppy disk. Turns out they didn't do a very good job with the picture taking part. Some of the pictures are from Jim Hegland's Epson, which had no zoom but took much better photos, thankfully.

We made it back to San Francisco, but Harvey needed much attention from a mechanic, so we limped into Spitari's to do a thorough review. The print out of things with issues was several pages long. It was de ja vu on the boat list of things to do, but relatively speaking, everything was a whole lot cheaper than marine grade parts. Camping World became our new West Marine Products.

Brisbane Marina Summer of 1997

We visited friends Jim and Jo Callan, Lewis and Barbara Knapp, and Dave and Marcy Albert. One thing we learned about visiting friends from our travels so far is you can extend your welcome by rolling your gourmet sleeves up and working in the galley. We also were able to dry camp in Brisbane Marina as we were still members of the Sierra Point Yacht Club, and many had been following my web log so that was fun too.

Visiting Friends in San Francisco, CA

Both on the way up from San Diego, and on the way back down, we stayed at campgrounds in Pizmo Beach and Morro Bay. With Harvey all fortified with new parts, we headed back south around mid September but got delayed in San Diego because of a storm that washed out much of Mex 1 in Baja California Norte, one of 27 states in Mexico. This was the only road back down so we ended up in an RV park in a town a few miles east of San Diego called Santee. We would watch the TV news every night to get the status of the road and the weather. We were there 8 days before the road opened up. It was a pleasant place.

Long Beach to San Diego

We stayed the first night across the border in San Quentin, the same place Bob Connally and I stayed at when we first drove Harvey down to pick up Marsha and Cindy. I filled up Harvey's water tank with polluted water there. I made coffee with it, but the powdered creamer wouldn't dissolve. Marsha tasted it and spit it out, so we had to drain and clean the tank.

San Quentin in Harvey the RV

The next night was at some roadhouse farm next to an airstrip. We ended up driving down the run way before we figured out where it was. I remember the place being somewhere past Cativina. We decided to pass on Guerreor Negro, the state capital, as I had stayed there with Jim and Nancy on the way up and there wasn't much there besides a working farm supply community. I understand there is a whale watching operation just past there on the coast, and I also heard stories about people camping in their truck getting murdered out there, so we got some provisions at the grocery store and kept going on to San Ignacio, a wonderful small oasis town on the river that eventually leads to Mulege some 90 miles further on down to the Sea of Cortez. We had dinner at a Mexican Restaurant:-)

San Ignacio in Harvey

The trip from there to Santa Rosalia is fun because it is downhill and you are heading to Baja California Sur, the happy place. We tooled past the marina, then through Mulege, past Conception Bay, and on down to Loreto. We decided to drive through town and ran into Jim and Nancy Hegland from the sailing vessel Laughing Buddha sitting at a water front restaurant. To recap, these are the folks we were buddy boating with since we had left La Paz in May, and who I hitched a ride with up to LA to go shop for Harvey. Some margaritas later we made our way the 22 clicks back to Puerto Escondito and our boats.

From what I remember hearing from locals, we missed the last of the bad heat by one day. The hot summer bread some huge butterflies in the area, I remember one landing on my glasses and covering my entire face. The other thing the summer heat had bread was sea life on our anchor chains. There were blooms as much as a foot in diameter, with a wide range of color and types of growth, with small ecosystems of little fish and other sea life blended throughout. This was a job for the Snuba, 2 - 40' hoses connected to an air compressor and small honda motor, floating on an inner tube. Jim had lost one lung to something that happened while he was a pilot in the 1st gulf war, so he could only go down 15 feet or so. Nancy and I ended up teaming on both our anchor chains.

In and around Puerto Escondito

We learned a valuable lesson about how important it is to have your RV relatively level for the propane refrigerator to work properly. Because if you don't have it level, all of the USDA Prime Filet Mignon Beef you brought down from San Diego will thaw, lose all of its blood, ooze through the 20 year old door seals all over the carpeting and start stinking to high heaven. We learned that lesson...

When the chains were finally clean and all of the extra ground tackle was retrieved and stowed, we left Harvey and Old Paint, Jim's Jeep Cherokee in the parking lot and set sail back to La Paz. It was prime diving season, but we didn't want to linger too much on the way, we wanted to beat the new freshman class coming down with the 97 Baja Haha to the good slips in Marina Palmira. We had 90 or so days of unused time left on the block of time we had purchased. I think it was the fact we had that time left already paid for, and that we didn't particularly like the idea of doing the Betty Ford cruise to the mainland that we stayed in La Paz a second winter.

There was some good fishing on the way back. I caught my first Sierra Mackerel at the anchorage at San Evaristo. That anchorage was just teeming with all kinds of fish. I think it was on this trip that we caught a 40# Dorado, though the length of my hair suggests it was a later time. I do remember it being on the last trip to La Paz. We were trolling under sail and when it struck the lure, it went sailing out of the water, wiggling all of it's gorgeous colors in mid air. This was the sort of sight that you normally only see in the movies. We let the sails luff and started reeling it in. Marsha got the big net ready and when it was close to the boat, she scooped the net underneath the monster and lifted up. I took over the business end of the net while she took the other end to the starboard side of the cockpit and sat on it. I got out the baseball bat with the gaff hook on the end and proceeded to beat its brains out, then bludgeon it with the gaff hook to let it bleed out before bringing it on board. Mahi Mahi used to be my favorite fish but before we got through with that one, I'd had enough to last a lifetime. There was a seafood spaghetti sauce for 8 in there somewhere, once we got back to La Paz with it.

Aqua Verde

Caleta El Candelero with Laughing Buddha

We got a slip for the winter back at Marina Palmira, out near the end of Dock 4. Jim and Nancy were planning on crossing the Sea of Cortez sometime after Christmas to live on the hook Zihuatanejo.

Laughing Buddha's Photos from Zihuatanejo

We had our 90 days remaining balance at the marina, and didn't really have a plan. Neither of us warmed up to spending 4-5 days at sea. A few days after settling in, Jim and I took the bus up to Puerto Escondito to retrieve Harvey and Old Paint. I had just finished reading Steven King's "The Shining", and after the bus dropped us off at the roadside a mile away from the harbor at dusk, I remember hearing the voice of the one guy in the novel saying M O O N. It kept playing over in my head after we walked into the restaurant at the Tripui Trailer Park. There was meat on the grill, but nobody was in the building. After dinner, the guy running the restaurant was out back having a smoke, we crashed on Harvey. The next day we drove back with our marine radios for communications.

It turned out that Marina Palmira had a parking lot and it didn't cost extra to park your vehicle if you were a tenant, and they didn't discriminate against RVs. It turned out that was not an uncommon configuration for boat folks spending the winter there. It turned out, we now had wheels in La Paz, and that we could haul 10 people (if someone sat on the toilet) to a taco stand and have a bar and bathroom, which they typically didn't. It turned out we had a way to explore Baja California Sur on land. It wasn't in any plan, but it quickly became ours for the winter. Jim and Nancy were planning on selling Old Paint before crossing the Pacific. It had a bicycle rack that was no longer needed so I bought it from them for the back of Harvey, so we could take the two mountain bikes we had purchased the prior winter.

Marina Palmira 1998

Shortly after pulling into Marina Palmira, we were chatting with Ed Vargas, the harbormaster. The subject of the computer users group meeting hosts about to leave town came up, and we picked up on the vibe. Hey, we'll be around for a few months, we could do it. That was all I need to say, we had the job. It meets once a month in the annex building on the other side of the marina, behind gate one. We announced it on the morning marine radio cruisers net and people brought their computers off their boats onto shore as well as coolers with ice and cerveza. In a way, it seemed like the flip side of the universe from the Beer Can racing we used to organize for Sierra Point Yacht Club. Instead of taking a break from life in the computer industry to get out on our boat. Since it was only once a month, we could fit it in to be back from land yacht cruises.

Christmas was a fun time. We did a boat pot luck with Jim and Nancy on Laughing Buddha, Dave and Vicki on Adande, and James and Susan on Chrysalis. The festivities included a round of Ritz Cracker tossing with a tool Dave had received as a gift from his brother.

Marina Palmira Christmas 1997

The new year's eve party was at the clubhouse in Marina Palmira. That's where I learned how really bad flash photography with my Mavica was.

Marina Palmira Christmas Party at the Clubhouse

We explored the cape in two different trips. The first took us down the east coast to end up visiting friends Dave and Cheryl Bajaducks. We met them on Isla Carmen last summer. My memory is fuzzy on how we ended up walking down the beach by their house and taking pictures of the stone fish on their back railing some time before we met them. After we met them one morning walking Cindy, they invited us over to their power boat, Pantheon for cocktails. Chatting eventually let to us showing them the pictures of their house. It was quite a coincidence. Harvey parked nicely in their front yard for a few days. There are good wind surfing beaches on the East coast south of La Paz in and around Los Barriles. Los Barriles was an expat gringo community, with a pretty good selection of goodies in the grocery store you couldn't find in typical Mexican tiendas, like Jimmy Dean Sausage. We met some of Dave and Cheryl's friends, one of the guys was complaining about the landing strip in town about to be shut down for some reason. We learned a number of folks living down there have their own airplanes, and having a landing strip nearby was good for property values.

Friends Dave and Cheryl Bajaducks

San Jose Del Cabo

Another outing took us to the Pacific coast side, to the artist community called Todos Santos. There is a large RV park outside of town, with access to great surfing. The community is home to a place called Hotel California. Rumor has it it is The Hotel California that inspired the Eagles to write their song. Whether this is true or not, you can sit on the side walk patio drinking margaritas all afternoon and hear that song about once an hour. There is a great restaurant in town that serves a wonderful lobster ravioli with a cognac cream sauce. From there, we made our way down to Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo. In Cabo, we stayed at the Trailer Park, which is actually one of the better restaurants in the area. We had learned about it while staying in Cabo on Spirit. It turns out, they also have full RV hookups in their parking lot. That is where we met a mouse that had big ears just like Topo Gigio, the mouse puppet on the Ed Sullivan show. Cindy had fun chasing it back and forth while I had my legs lifted up. San Jose Del Cabo is a great place to get away from the tourist scene in Cabo San Lucas. There are many good restaurants and the beach next to the RV park is not too crowded.

Cape Trip in Harvey, Winter of 1998

The Beach North of La Paz with Dar and Michael Mimosa

One project we had to deal with on Spirit was the high output alternator was worn out. Friends Lach and Becky on the sailing vessel Zephyr were also staying the winter in La Paz. Their reason was they were having a new boom manufactured in the states and trucked down. Something about a failed gooseneck leading to catastrophic boom failure. Anyway, Lach had a truck scheduled to be bringing it down from San Diego when it was ready. He told all of his friends that pretty much anything we could have delivered to the trucker in time could be brought down, and for almost free. The 104 amp single pulley alternator had devoured several belts over the past year, so I decided to implement a double pulley and get a bigger alternator. The biggest double pulley alternator I could get in the same size package that would fit on my 58 HP Westerbeak Diesel engine was a 134. I ordered that from Everfair, from the guy that makes my wind generator. I got the replacement pulley for the engine from a Westerbeak dealer in San Diego, for a whopping $306. By the time I was done ordering things, there were parts being shipped to Lach's San Diego trucker from 5 locations.

Lach and Becky Z ypher, Pepe and Sue, and Ron

The parts all arrived safely, the same time as we had visiting friends from the states, otherwise known to cruisers as aliens. Aliens are people that take a few vacation days off work to fly down and hang out with cruising friends. Ours were Erik and Victoria Gilbert. Aside from the unusual alternator upgrade project, there is always an ongoing shopping list* of thing you want that you can't get locally. Eventually, by the time we came back to the states over a year later, we got to the point where we were satisfied with what we could get locally, but not yet. So Erik and Victoria brought down everything on our list and to visit for a week in April. I remember the day I was installing the alternator, Pepe and Sue were over visiting with Marsha, Erik, and Victoria in the main salon working on computer problems. Erik helped me figure out how to get the old engine pulley off and the new one on. The install went fine, it was great seeing the net charging amps go from in the 50s to the 70s, about a 40 % increase in charging capability. I had also ordered replacement diodes and a double pulley for the old alternator, and later found an alternator shop in La Paz that did the rebuild and install the new pulley for about $24. So it became a good spare. The mechanic ended up having to turn down his socket on a lathe to be able to get it into the pulley to tighten the nut.

Erik and Victoria's visit was great. We had made all of the arrangements with them for coordination via email. Erik was the person that first set up the web site for our journey and gave me the book about building AOL web pages. Now he is part of the content. We introduced them to Norm, the retired dentist power boater diver from a boat near ours. One thing led to another and we ended up anchored out with Norm at the beautiful Caleta El Candelero anchorage and he took them scuba diving. I used to work with Erik, and they joined our private class for the classroom and pool portion of the training when we were getting our PADI certification. Our group had fun finishing the dive portion of the training during a sailboat charter vacation in the Caribbean's Windward Islands, but didn't do too much more with it. Erik and Victoria went on to take all of the classes and that became their primary vacation venue, including a 4 month sabbatical from their jobs with round the world airline tickets. I didn't go with them on their dive with Norm. I started to but quickly realized my working with the Snuba system hadn't been giving me any experience with instruments. I quickly saw the gap in our experience level and didn't want to turn the day into Steve's refresher dive, so I was content to snorkel on my own. We did play with the Snuba gear later, around the large rock formation in the middle of the anchorage. I was down 30' with Victoria when it ran out of gas. She didn't like that. I got to witness Erik catching his first fish ever, which became part of a great dinner. One of the nights in the anchorage did get pretty rolley. Victoria became nauseated during the night. The moon was pretty full, the stars were magnificent and I remember her saying, "I'm lying here sick, and it's still beautiful!"

The other mechanical thing we did over the winter is swap out the primary engine heat exchanger and had the old one flushed out at a radiator shop in town. A growth of some kind occurred inside of it in the sea water sections, so the engine had started running hot. It was a very good spare to have on board.

Friday nights were usually fun at the Dock Cafe, Pepe and Sue, and many other cruisers and local talent with musical talent took turns cranking out the jams. One memory in particular was a really good rendition of Erik Clapton's "Before You Accuse Me" causing most in the audience to get up and do a line dance through the bar.

The computer user group meetings were fun. During the beginning of the first one, there was a blond woman sitting alone at a table. I tried starting a conversation with her but it didn't happen. When we started the meeting, I talked about the topic for the day was in these books, pointing at my Macintosh Bible, and Marsha's Windows manual. I opened my book and pulled out a floppy disk stuck inside of a prophylactic, computer security. People finally got it, then Betty started pointing at me and excitedly exclaiming, "You're Steve Sears". I had no idea where that was going. Then she told me she was Betty from "On Doing It". We had been chatting by email since she stumbled across my blog, probably in an article in the Seven Seas Cruising Association newsletter. We were usually able to help people with problems with their machines. The most severe problem with with a windows machine on board La Chesa, some kind of virus. They were on their way to Costa Rica to establish a charter boat and breakfast business there, and the computer problem was delaying their voyage. They had the machine shipped to the states for repair, but that didn't work. We stayed on their boat working on it for a couple of hours until Marsha finally got it fixed. That ended up netting us a nice dinner at the Italian restaurant on shore. There were 3 restaurants in Marina Palmira, all good.

What Was That Plan Anyway...

I can't exactly remember when I started thinking about the next plan, but somewhere along the line there was a thought that developed along the lines of, "OK, we know what this cruising thing is all about, we didn't retire and weren't done making money, and the longer we were away from working, the harder it would be to get back into it." With that thought, and our prior summer's experience of it getting too hot to have fun around early July, we settled on the notion of enjoying another spring of cruising the waters north of La Paz, then around June, crossing the Sea of Cortez over to San Carlos to get Spirit hauled out and trucked back to San Francisco Bay. The alternative to trucking was to sail back up the coast doing what we learned was called "The Baja Bash", something like skiing uphill being different that skiing downhill. We did spend a fair amount of cycles over the winter thinking about these alternatives, and talking to different people with different views. We did have the experience of having Moonshot trucked from Michigan to California and knew that was possible. We learned the cost of the trucking decision would be about $5k. When we weighed that against the thought of how much wear and tear a bash could be on a boat, and a relationship, we figured it wouldn't take much to end up costing more than $5k.

Spending the winter in La Paz living on Spirit, with Harvey close by was not bad living. The following is a list of additional topics that come to mind worth describing (in no particular order):

- EEB Mike the electrician

- Reggie the carpenter

- The guys working on Spirit

- Shakira and more generally, music

- The rhythm of the day, VHF net, grocery shopping at ISTEEE, the Cow Store and CCC

- The central market, pork ribs, OJ and fresh flour tortillas

- Pactor vs Packet

- Swapping Videos

- No Race Week participation, Club Cruceros politics

- Money and Time

- The Christmas party where we sat next to the family that had read our blog

- Pizza and cooking


What the heck, lets go north to Bahia Los Angeles for the rest of the year

We finally left Marina Palmira around Mid May, about the same time of the year we had left the year before. Our plan was to enjoy the spring in the anchorages up to Loreto, then when it started getting uncomfortably warm in July, cross the Sea of Cortez to San Carlos to get hauled out and have Spirit trucked back to San Francisco Bay.

Shortly after leaving La Paz, I was testing the new Pactor email system, and saw an email message in response to my Christmas email to friends from my buddy Phil Parker. While under sail, I was able to construct a brief message and send it out the back stay to Boston. He was on line and responded immediately, which I received while I was still in front of the SSB radio. That was my first email conversation while I was under sail. The future is on the way...

We had a great time with James and Susan on Chrysalis in the Isla San Francisco anchorage. James and I caught a bunch of different kinds of fish, and a 6 pound bag of something we ended up burying on the island and making a treasure map of where we buried it.

Isla San Francisco

We attended a 4th of July celebration up at the hot springs in the mountains north of Lorteo with many of the friends we had made with other like minds in the area.

Puerto Escondito Cruiser's Celebration, 4th of July, 1998

Memory of the details on how the hookup occurred, but Dar and Michael on Mimosa, and Sid and Manuela on Paradise ended up convincing us joining them for the summer up north in Bahia Los Angeles was a better idea.

Anchored with Mimosa and Paradise in Conception Bay

Santa Rosalia was a fun stop along the way, with a small marina and town with lots of good food and French architecture. Eiffel of the French tower fame was responsible for some of the buildings. However, I don't think the Palapa of Knowledge was his idea. As it turned out, Jim and Nancy were again driving north and agreed to bring Harvey up from La Paz to Santa Rosalia. This is where he ended up living for some months until we came back across the sea by ferry from San Carlos. You can see him in the background behind the Palapa of Knowledge.

Santa Rosalia

Before leaving Santa Rosalia, we drove south in Harvey with Sid and Manuela, and Dar and Michael to visit a couple that Dar new that had a house on the beach at Punta Chavato. Jim and Mary, their VHF marine radio call name was Moony Base. This is because he flew a Moony. We had to drive Harvey down the landing strip to get to their house. They started in the small concita(sp?) that was a bedroom kitchen bathroom and garage, then proceeded to build the big house. They have no electricity so the roof of the concita is covered with solar panels, feeding a wall of batteries in the garage. The refrigeration is propane.

Jim and Mary Moony Base, Punta Chivato

One day before sailing north, we visited a nearby island, Isla San Marcos.

Shopping Trip to Isla San Marcos

Getting to Bahia Los Angeles involved one over nighter as there is a pretty long stretch with no anchorages to speak of. Then there are several wonderful, remote anchorages. The first anchorage was in Bahia San Francisquito.We gathered sand dollars on one of the beaches in Bahia De Las Animas. I ended up making a wonderful pizza at Ensenada el Quemado by piecing together flat stones gathered in the surf to make a pizza stone for the grill. The salty steam seemed to help the flavor.

Summer of Love in Bahia Los Angeles

Paradise Under Sail in the Northern Sea of Cortez

We figured out how to net blue crabs in the surf on a rising tide. You could get a dozen in a single roust. That made for a feast for 6. To harvest the clams in Puerto Don Padre, you had to reach your hand into the sand in about 6 inches of water at low tide. We were alone once in an anchorage north of Bahia Los Angeles, so alone that I didn't bother to get dressed to take Cindy to shore in the dinghy. That day, a whale shark passed underneath Spirit.

The furthest northern ancohorage we made it to was Ensanada Alcatraz. We opted not to go one day further north to the scenic area of Puerto Refugio because people coming back from there were complaining heavily about no see ums. We had already experienced that off of Isla San Jose and didn't care to knowingly do it again. The conditions in the ancorage were ideal for generating power from wind and sun. We spent 9 days without having to run the engine, being perfectly energy balanced with the refrigerator and water maker running full time. The two vertical ice trays would freeze in time for the next day's coctail hour.

When we finally made it back south to Santa Rosilia, we still had the beef tenderloin in the freezer. We never got around to eating it because of all of the fresh seafood we were gathering and living off of. There were a couple of tiendas in Bahia Los Angeles that would have vegies driven in on alternate Tuesdays and Saturdays from Gurreo Negro. There was a restaurant and a liquor store. We could buy gasoline and diesel fuel from tanks in somebody's yard, which we had to carry in jugs in the dingy as there was no dock. We spent over 10 weeks without being tied to a dock with electricity and fresh water.

We buddy boated back to Santa Rosalia with Laughing Buddha, they had caught up with us later, and instead of the one over nighter, we anchored at a road stead like place along the coast, in Cabo Virgenes. After a brief dinghy tour, we all concluded we didn't want to eat anything from there. On the way back from there, I noticed small white dots coming from the exhaust water. I later discovered this was caused from sea water leaking though the heat exchanger into the transmission, and transmission fluid leaking out into the exhaust. We had been set to cross the sea with a passenger, a wine grape grower from Canada. I found the problem when checking the engine fluids the day we had set to depart. I ended up getting the tubes inside the heat exchanger welded at a radiator shop in town. By the time we were ready to leave, a northerly wind pattern picked up so we couldn't leave. So we went on a 10 day RV trip south to Mulege and read a lot of novels waiting for the weather system to subside.

San Carlos

We finally arrived in San Carlos around December 18th, 1998 shortly after sun up. It didn't take long before we looked around and said to ourselves, hey, this is a great place to get work done on a boat. We took the ferry back over to Santa Rosalia to get Harvey, then drove him to San Diego, Tuscon, then back down to meet up with Spirit. That took 3 weeks. We ran into Bob and Deborah Connelly at the west marine store in San Diego, so we camped for a week in the parking lot of the marina Amazing Grace was berthed in. Somewhere near Yuma, AZ we discovered the hatch over Harvy's bathroom had blown off, so we camped out in front of an RV supply store until we got that fixed. We visited Los Algodones about 5 or so miles from Yuma, where you can park your car and walk across the border to get really cheap dental work and just about any normally perscription drugs except narcotics, really cheap over the counter.

We ended up switching to Cetol on the exterior teak, then re varnishing the entire interior, including bowling alley polyurethane on the floor, and having an epoxy bottom job done on the exterior hull. We moved off Spirit once the varnish work got aft of the V berth, and lived on Harvey full time in the boatyard, Marina Seca. We did spend Saturday nights and Sundays at the new El Mirador RV park close by, overlooking the beach where they filmed Catch 22, and later a Zorro movie. We could also look down on the Club Med facility. It had a laundry mat, restaurant, swimming pool and jacuzzi. It also had a big satellitedish so we could pick up HBO on TV. We ended up recording 20 hours of video tape of HBO each weekend and would watch it bit by bit in the evenings after working on the boat and dinner. One of our favorate shows was Pippy Longstockings. We'd wake up and go what shall we do today, what shall we do. We also got to catch the beginning of the Sopranos.

San Carlos in Sonora, Mexico

This all took us until around mid April, 99. Then we had Spirit moved to the dry storage area to let all the new chemicals cure, and headed south to Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta for the next 6 weeks. We caught up with Simon and Lori Elphic as they were installing a new engine in their sailboat. Simon and I bought a machette at a local hardware store, and perfected the art of wacking coconuts. We had a great time at Michael's birthday party Dar put on at the local water park. A tree fell down next to us in an RV park in PV, missing us by about a foot. This happened in the middle of the night. The next day, 4 guys with machettes worked on cutting up enough of the tree so Harvey could be moved. We stayed there an extra day just to watch them cut up the rest of the tree. We spent several days camped out at Rincon de Guayabitos living off oysters, coconuts, and fresh pastries as they were all available from venders walking the beach.

Harvey goes to Puerto Vallarta

When it started getting too hot, we headed back north to prepare Spirit to be trucked north. That was hot work but we finally got it done, and lined up a trucker to pick Spirit up in Tuscon to take it to SF Bay. Marina Seca had trucks that would get it north across the boader. We pulled up in front of Jim and Jo Callen's house on June 22, 1999, 2 years and 9 months after sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge and turning left.

This last slide show is of the 1997 Race Week event on Isla Partida.

Race Week 1997

* Regarding the list, having said that, there was a point while we were working on Spirit in the boat yard in San Carlos that we decided we needed to make a trip up to Tuscon, a six hour drive, to get more supplies, varnish etc. As word spread through the boat yard that we were making the trip, one by one, people that we had met were coming up to us with a errand to pick up a list item. The yard manager needed a shop squeege. My varnish guy Edgar needed a good pair of sneakers. It went on and on. The guy on a neighbor boat project, Mystic Spirit, actually had his wife go with us to take and get their laptop computer repaired.


Re entry notes:

After a couple of years of not getting news from the US, it was a pretty strange sensation coming back to San Diego to buy some varnish, and hearing about the amount of taxpayer money the US Government was spending, and I've just reworded this, exposing Bill Clinton's sex life. And then, we looked around at what was happening with the dot com explosion, and I had to stop and say, "What must things have been like the day before the Great Depression started?"

And then I ran into Fritz Kunze, whom is the CEO of the company where I'm working.

Regarding living on a boat, the most difficult transition for me was the Starboard Hatch. I was accustom to having it be the place where I kept my fishing gear handy. There were a variety of conditions that would dictate what kind of gear I needed on a particular day, in a particular environment. It was all handy. Now, it's our wine cellar...

One of the most amazing sensations we experienced was crossing the boarder back into the United States for conceivably the last time, then seeing a really good seafood counter at a grocery store, and realizing that *YOU HAD TO PAY MONEY FOR THAT STUFF*. It was also surreal seeing all of the merchandise on the shelves in stores and not having to buy it because it would be right there when you needed it.

I was also blown away by what had happened to music. Eric and Victoria Gilbert had informed us about this new thing called mp3 during one of their extremely appreciated and helpful *re entry* visits. It took a while for that information to sink in, but then one day, my buddy Phil Parker was visiting from the East Coast, and he said to me. "Have you heard of Napster?"

It was a real sensation, an instantiation of the word, "juxtaposition", to slingshot from the only music I purchased was Shakira's first recording in cassette tape format, after finally comprehending it wasn't "Chakita" the locals were saying to me when I asked "Who is that singing"? being the only new music I learned about then bought in 3 years.

Then having someone show you Napster - just type in her name, and seconds later you had a file on your computer with a .mp3 extension that when you double clicked it, you had the opportunity to download something called Win Amp, and after you accepted that, your computer turned into a juke box.