Life in a Boat Yard

One week into round two of our Baja adventure, and we are happy it hasn’t been all work.

We left our Denver home and dog with my aunt and drove out Tuesday, Oct. 15, as planned. We got an early start – about 5:30 a.m. – so we could make it to Newport Beach by the end of the day. We crossed through the Eisenhower tunnel as the first snow rolled into the Denver area, making our mountain driving a bit icy, but beautiful as daylight broke.

Colorado roads

Driving through the Rocky Mountains on our way to La Paz, Mexico.

I felt like we were driving through winter into fall as we drove down the Rockies’ western slope. It was really a beautiful scene, and a pretty drive all the way from I-70 to I-15. We drove through mountain and canyons the whole way, periodically stopping to enjoy the view in Utah and Arizona.

Fall and winter mountains

We drove from winter into fall. You can see the snow at the higher altitude fade away.

Utah mountains

We so enjoyed the drive through so many types of mountains from Colorado to California.

Utah Canyon

This beautiful Canyon in Utah made us stop to admire it.

We had to drive through the Las Vegas strip, even though it was the middle of the day because I had never seen it. This put us at our day one destination about 8 p.m. to visit with our (pretty-much professional) sailing friends, David and Katie, who we met at Thanksgiving in La Paz almost 2 years ago.

They are always so welcoming when we crash coming or going from Baja. We delayed our morning start just a bit so we could meet their one-year-old daughter, Emily, putting us on our way about 7:30 a.m.

We crossed the border in Tijuana with no issues and booked it for our typical mid-way stopping point in Guerro Negro.

The mountains in Baja were more beautiful than we remembered because they were so green. the Baja had been getting a lot a rain and very wet season, actually washing out a lot of roads on the only highway that runs the length of the peninsula.

Luckily, in Mexico, they will happily divert traffic off-road.

Sunset in Guerro Negro

We arrived in Guerro Negro just at sunset.

Guerro Negro Hotel

This is the hotel we like to stay at in Guerro Negro. It is on the edge of town, always clean and the people are nice.

Broken Baja Road

The roads washed out just 2 days before we drove through here. Baja has had a very rainy season.

Green Baja Mountains

We really enjoyed how green the mountains were because of all the rain on the lower Baja.

We arrived in La Paz around 6 p.m. Our boat broker, La Paz Yachts was our first stop because we needed to get the key to our boat being stored at a local boat yard – Bercovich. Our second stop was Bercovich to check on the condition on the boat, and our third was dinner with our dear friend, Jasna, from the boat Calypso.

The boat was not in bad shape. She was a little dusty and in need of batteries and bottom paint, but mostly just how we left her. We got to work pretty much right away.

Day 1) Wash down outside and clean inside thoroughly. Remove old batteries, buy new batteries – about $450usd

Day 2) Install new batteries, unpack bags and ready v-berth for sleeping

Day 3) Power wash the boat bottom (we were able to borrow one from our boat neighbor, Pete, who came down from San Francisco to work on his boat too.)

Day 4) Had the boat bottom inspected by a local boat surveyor, Cecil – who did our boat inspection before we bought 2 years ago. He was a boat builder most of his life and will be 89 soon. We bought one gallon of ablative anti-fouling paint nearby for about $180 usd and supplies for painting. We got advice to just do a light sanding on the existing paint, power wash again and paint. So we did.

Day 5) Find cayenne pepper and put inside paint – old sailor trick to keep barnacles away. Had paint shaken again to mix all biocide and cayenne pepper inside. Now, we paint the bottom.

We are hoping to get into the water in a couple of days, in which case we would head straight to the islands to finish up the work on the boat. The boat yard has not been as bad as I thought it would be. I just had to accept that I would be dirty, sweaty and eaten by mosquitos every day. But there is unlimited fresh water and electricity, and we have the best spot in the yard with an ocean sunset view.

La Paz Sunset with boat

We enjoyed the sunset walking the ocean boardwalk in La Paz.

In the boat yard

Our boat “on the hard” in the boat yard.

Dirty boat bottom

Our boat bottom before any cleaning.

Clean the boat

Tim power washing our boat bottom.

Painting boat bottom

TIm painting the boat bottom. We went with a darker blue, and I really like it.

 

 

 

 

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Catching Up

As you may have noticed, I have been lazy when it comes to blogging for the past few months. I apologize. I have found myself pretty easily distracted in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

When I last blogged we were just arriving in Shaver Lake, California to work for a friend we met in La Paz. Our main goal, however was to explore, of course. Every day we were not working – Tim at the lake dock and me at the restaurant – we were out hiking. The area surrounding Shaver Lake is beautiful! Stunning views, streams and giant sequoias in Mckinley Grove. We really enjoyed our time working and playing in the central california area. And, Tim finally got sick of his long locks and buzzed his hair off while we were in Shaver (ironic, eh?).

Tim said he could sit and contemplate these giants for hours.

Us enjoying Huntington Lake.

Overlooking the valley near Mushroom Rock in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The top of Black Point trailhead overlooking Huntington Lake, I think.

One of our favorite discoveries in the Shaver Lake area was the Dinkey Creek granite pools. Over centuries, the streams of snow runoff running through the heavily granite Sierra Nevada mountains carving out pools in the rock. The “Dinkey Pools” are one such series of pooling streams connected by waterfalls creating natural water slides. It took us some time to find the trailhead to hike back to the pools because it is not a marked trail, but it is a popular destination with the locals. After hiking about a mile, we found the pools and went swimming.

We found the Dinkey Pools… not sure if we should get in.

Tim climbing one of the waterfalls at Dinkey Pools.

The views were beautiful, and the water was cold!

Although we planned to spend most of the summer in Shaver Lake, I knew I would be spending July in Colorado waiting for my new niece to be born. I went to stay with my parents and sister for most of July in anticipation of Cora June Gregory, who arrived a week late on July 20, 2012. Tim flew out for the week we thought she would be born and got to meet her about an hour before he had to be back at the airport. She came just in the nick of time. While we were waiting for her, we did a lot of hiking in the area with my family in Evergreen, Colorado.

Tim and my niece hiking ahead in Colorado.

Me holding my new niece Cora.

A shot from Cora’s newborn photos. I couldn’t resist sharing.

After the excitement of welcoming our new niece, we headed back to California to pack up and prepare for our ’round the country visits with friends and family. We added a couple stops along the way so we went back down to Newport to visit David and Katie – some good friends we made while in Baja. Then we headed to Oregon to visit my long-time-friend Lauren who had recently taken a new job in Eugene. From there we went back over to Colorado, and Tim flew to Texas and back for his sister’s graduation from nursing school. When we left, we drove over to Ohio, Michigan and back down to Texas. Yup, I wasn’t kidding about our U.S. tour.

We went to the Orange County Fair in Newport, California. You must have a corn dog at the fair.

There was a surfing competition at Huntington Beach, so It was packed. Nothing like SoCal beaches.

We drove all the way from Newport to Eugene, Oregon, seeing most of California. We went through wine country and tons of golden rolling hills. Northern California and Oregon are so green, which was a nice change from the Baja desert. We explored the town of Eugene, the coast directly west, and the mountains to the east. We saw a lot in a weekend.

The coast was foggy and chilly, unlike the beaches we were used to. It was still very pretty.

Our feet went numb in the water for this picture!

Sunset on the historic bridge.

Sunset on the Oregon cost. We climbed sand dunes to get the view.

Tim at the base of the huge Proxy waterfall we hiked to in Oregon. It was so lush.

Me climbing up near the lower Proxy Falls.

Evergreen, Colorado was our next destination, but we knew we wanted to break it up into a two-day drive. We stopped in Salt Lake City and explored a little bit that evening and morning before heading along our way. Tim loved driving on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Stopping at the Salt Flats.

Sun setting over the mountains surrounding the Salt Flats.

The Great Salt Lake was huge and strangely calm. It was weird for us for to see such flat water.

We arrived in Colorado and stayed with my parents for most of August before going to Ohio and Michigan during Labor Day weekend to hang out with Tim’s extended family. They are some of the sweetest people ever. We had a lot of fun enjoying everyone’s company.

Tim’s grandparents are the most loving people. Grandpa Yoder turned 97 on Sept. 30.

Walking the pier over Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan is so cool. It is just like the ocean, only no salt!

After Michigan came Texas, we’ve come full circle 9k miles. It had been a while since I had been there. It was 108 degrees when we arrived, but thankfully a cool front came through the next day and evened out the temperature for the couple of weeks we were there catching up with everyone. I got to meet my cousin’s new baby girl and play game nights with Tim and his parents.

I have to say, we really enjoyed getting to visit all our friends and family around the country. But we did find ourselves exhausted from traveling about 5,600 miles and living out of a bag for three months. I miss the homeyness of our boat, and we find ourselves longing for our own stability. We have been traveling for a full year now, which I am surprised we made it as long as we have. We still plan to go to our boat again early next year and sail the sea for a few months. Stability with freedom to travel is our long-term goal.

California, Here we Come

It was hard to see the Luckiest getting hauled out of the water. It was clear she didn’t belong on land, so my nerves were on edge as they steadied her on the trailer.

We hauled out a little earlier than we expected, so we still had a lot of closing work to do while she was “on the hard,” as they call it. It was hot and tedious work to make sure all the bug access points were closed, pack everything and get it out, foil all exposed plastic and tie everything down. We spent two full days working on it with the company of our friends Drew and Miya on Tie Fighter. They hauled out about a month before and had been working on the hull of their trimaran. Props to them for the intense heat and hard work they endured for six weeks — we couldn’t even handle two days of it.

Leaving La Paz felt a little exciting and a little sad. We knew we had a fun new experience to look forward to working in Shaver Lake, California, but we also did not know when we would be back to our home on the sea.

Here she comes out of the water.

Luckiest getting put in her place for the summer.

Driving out the Baja peninsula was just as beautiful the second time. The land changes so much throughout to make some dramatic scenery. We stopped once half-way up in Guerro Negro and then again in Newport, California.

The Baja HaHa is a yearly “race” of about 200 sailboats that make their way from San Diego to Cabo San Lucus. Many also work their way up to La Paz for the winter. That is how we met many of the friends we made in La Paz, including David and Katie on Stargazer and Rochelle and Steve on August Pearl.

David and Katie graciously invited us to visit them on our way up to Shaver Lake to work for Steve. We were so excited to see them again and really enjoyed visiting, we actually stayed for two days in the Newport Beach area. They were great hosts and showed us around town and the area beaches. We got our first taste of what the sailing community is like in the U.S.

That was a strange thing to see for us. It is very coordinated and crowded. There were tons of boats in the Newport Harbor in slips, on moorings and coming and going. Not one was anchored, haha. We spend almost 7 months at anchor, so that is hard for us to imagine not being able to anchor. David took us on a harbor cruise in a cute little electric boat, which are popular there. Everything seemed foreign. It was really busy and lined with huge beautiful homes.

We had an awesome time with David and Katie though, window shopping and just catching up. They plan to visit Shaver Lake this summer.

Getting on the electric boat for our harbor cruise with David and Katie.

David on the harbor cruise.

Checking out Newport Beach.

Walking the Huntington Beach Promenade.

It took us just over five hours to drive from Newport to the Trading Post in Shaver Lake. We were greeted by Rochelle, Steve and his son Saylen sitting outside. It was weird to see Rochelle and Steve out of La Paz and in their own community, but it was cool. They invited us in to sit down for dinner for the first time in the Trading Post. I had lamb, Tim had a filet and it was as awesome as they had said it would be. We were “home” for the summer. I am so happy to be in the piney mountains for a while. We have so much hiking and exploring to do, and summer is just beginning here.

Tim was hired to rent out boats at Shaver Lake Watersports, and I was hired to waitress at the Trading Post and do some graphics for Blue Sky Cafe — which is Rochelle’s Cafe across the street. We moved into a little lower level apartment within walking distance of everything in town.

When we aren’t working we intend to be hiking, boating, laying by the lake and anything else this beautiful town presents.

Driving into the Sierra Nevada Foothills.

Arriving in Shaver.

That’s where Tim works.

The side yard at the Trading Post.

Rochelle’s delicious Blue Sky Cafe.

Hiking near Shaver Lake – Across the street from our place.

Tim Hiking near Shaver Lake.

The towering trees on our hike.

Tall trees make big pine cones.

Beautiful meadow.

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