Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style ~ January – mid February, 2005



We never thought we would be living in La Paz for essentially a year, and we did not expect that work on The Cat’s Meow would be so slow. Every day we work on our boat, and every day we do see forward progress. What a HUGE undertaking! We have been working at this almost non-stop since June, and we are STILL working in the stateroom and head! Hopefully, the rest of the boat re-do will go much faster!


The year 2005 started out just like 2004 ended. We were living in the apartment, with our two cats, close to the boat yard, and we were working on TCM. The workers at the yard replanked the areas on the stern that needed to be repaired.


 Stern hull  replanked


Meanwhile, the interior was finally beginning to look once  again like our boat. Looking back on the earlier photos of the stateroom and head, it is a miracle that they could look this good!!                                                                          


 Stateroom January ‘05          


The walls have been painted, the tile in the head has been replaced. Thank the gods, the brand new bathtub, completed in Mazatlan just before the boat accident, was not ruined! However, the rest of the boat still looks like a construction site, which it is.           

  The lanai room, February ‘05


In late January and early February, Martin and Robin put Squeak and Toes in the borrowed truck and headed for Southern California. It was time for THE BIG SHOPPING TRIP. It was also a good time to break from the work on TCM, to get a different perspective. The drive through the Baja desert was just spectacular ~ the cactus were in bloom or about to burst into bloom, the floor of the desert was like a carpet of tiny wildflowers, purple and yellow, the entire desert was GREEN. It was a beautiful drive.



Big cordon cactus                                                                                  Desert green



Desert, mountain, fog                                                         Silly cerios cactus


It took us two long days to drive to Chula Vista, where we stayed a couple nights with friends Ron and Kathleen, and their 3 dogs. They had been our neighbors at the apartment until mid-January when they returned to California for an infusion of dollars into their cruising kitty. Martin flew to Oregon for a short visit with his mother, brother & family, and his two daughters. It was a great visit for him, and very good for him to see his family, especially his cute little mom!


 A Hardy family gathering


Meanwhile, Robin was beginning the shopping trip, and she was also enjoying the “land of PLENTY”, just agape at all the things in all of the stores…..  There was a long long list of things needed for TCM, and for life during the next many months in the Baja. This was definitely a “shop till you drop” excursion. Robin drove from Chula Vista to the Rancho Palos Verdes area and stayed with friends Dianne and Hans, who welcome us into their beautiful home any time we need a place to base our travels in the area.  Robin was out spending money like water, running around like the proverbial chicken…. Trying to find and purchase sooo many things, like the micro-convection oven, a mattress, the carpet, trim for the headliners, flooring for the galley, foodstuff, etc. etc. etc. It was the carpet that almost did her in……  This was all after she had already spent many hours during previous visits locating and pricing almost everything. Alas and alack, many things were not available at all, or the prices were much different!! GADS. It is a very good thing that good friends like Hans and Dianne are there when they are needed! During this time, Skip and Diane, some more friends, brought a whole load of goodies they had been stashing for us since the summer!! Some of these were items donated to The Cat’s Meow from people of the Hurricane Gulch YC, which we used to attend in the San Pedro area, and from people we don’t even know! Other items had been purchased with monetary donations and from our friends’ own  kind hearts, all such a big help! We thank everyone who has donated items or money, and especially their good strong thoughts for our cause!



                                     Dining with friends


One night, while in the RPV and San Pedro area, we had a chance for a quick get-together with just a few friends, Helen & Fred (who were the couple that performed our marriage ceremony in 2000), and Kathleen & Ray, friends from the aforementioned Hurricane Gulch Yacht Club. It is always so very good to see our friends, and we are sorry that we did not have time to see many more during this trip.

We packed up the truck, with the cats in the forward part of the bed, and headed south to San Diego area once more. There we stayed a few nights and days with other good friends, Sheri & George, in El Cajon.


 Martin & George problem solving


We continued our shopping spree, loading and repacking the truck at least twice while there. This was definitely not a trip built for fun; we worked each day to find the items we needed and we were pooped by the evenings. We did work in one evening of visiting with Dario & Erin, of Ballena and presently in San Diego.  And, Robin was able to find and spend a short time visiting with Dawn Wilson, our friend who endured almost 18 months in a prison near Ensenada and another 3 months in a minimum security facility in California. It was wonderful to see Dawn and to see how well she is doing, and what a great spirit that gal has! Diane & Pat, formerly of Springbok, joined Dawn and I for a quick visit, too.


                Seeing Dawn for the first time since her release  


Again, we wish we had time to see many more friends and to have more time for enjoying the area, but we did not.

One dark and rainy morning, with the truck completely full to the brim and very little room left for the cats, we crossed the border at TJ along with Dick & Judy of Corazon. They were driving their “new” 5th wheel and doolie truck, and had some of our larger items….. like the darned carpet…. in their rig. Well, every single vehicle was given a red light at the border ~ something very unusual, and obviously meant to “catch” everyone and anyone heading south with a “load” . We were tagged for the carpet, but after forking over not quite $80US, we felt lucky to be scootin’ through with only that much of a customs payment!! We buddy-carred down the Baja Hwy.1 together, stopping at the very dirty village of Guerrero Negro for a night, and a second night in Loreto.  We acted as the point vehicle for the Corazon folks while they carefully brought their big, heavy rig down the cuesta del infiernillo, which is a very steeeeep decline from the mesas of the peninsula to the Sea of Cortez


We arrived safe and more or less “sound” in La Paz, grateful to have the opportunity to see friends and family, and to be able to make our BIG SHOPPING TRIP. We were also very, very glad to be back in the city of peace and tranquility!!


Next: getting The Cat’s Meow back in the water! Read on for more of

Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style!