Cruising  ~  The Cat’s Meow Style  ~  October – mid-November 2005

The Bee’s Knees??



Hurricane season was thankfully a very easy one here on the Baja peninsula. Only once did a hurricane threaten us at all, and that was Otis, who eventually decided to skirt past Cabo San Lucas and to head northwest, into the Pacific. However, when there is a possibility of a hurricane coming close, everyone gets to work and prepares for a “hit”. We spent one entire day preparing The Cat’s Meow for a hurricane, or at least a big blow. Martin made new hurricane doors for the lanai room, we stowed and lashed-down any-and-everything, made sure we had plenty of fresh water in our new tanks, etc. Thankfully, Otis was a non-event for us, and didn’t even give us enough rain to wash the boat. Otis did, however, break the heat, and since then, the temperatures have been much more comfortable.


One of the major new changes in the boat has been the reclamation of our lanai room. Since our boat sank, this part of the boat has been a work room and a storage room, full of boxes, furniture under tarps, buckets of unrecognizable oily dirty stuff, an inch of sawdust and lots of machines filled the room. Robin tackled the cleanup of this room with gusto! She curtained-off portions and the contents of the room with tarps and power-washed the whole room, ceiling to deck. Stuff that had been stored in there had to find new places to live. The plantation style blinds were still brown from diesel and dirt, and they had to be scrubbed on the dock, slat by slat. We wallpapered this room about 4 years ago, which was no easy job, with all of the windows and doors that make-up the room, but since the entire boat had been wallpapered (before we purchased her), it was decided to do the same in the lanai room. Well, now some of the wallpaper was hanging from the walls, and one wall was almost bare of all wallpaper. Robin had spent months looking for the match to this paper, but of course it is not to be found. What to do? She decided to repair the wallpaper that was still on the walls, and to paint the one wall a complimentary color. This has all turned out very well. With the “new” rattan furniture (found in Prescott, AZ, by Stephanie of Summerwind – Thanks, Steph!!), some of the original decorative items back in their places, some carpet rolled out on the deck, our lanai room is once more a very comfortable place to relax and to enjoy with friends.






 We invited Susan & Dennis of Two Can Play, and Tanya & Mike of Amazing Grace, to celebrate and to “christen” this new accomplishment, since they had all been such a big part of the saving of TCM.  Looks purrrrty good, eh?! 


 Friends from Two Can Play and Amazing Grace christen the “new” lanai room



Along with the big boat projects, both Martin & Robin have their own smaller projects to work on. Martin is once again working at getting his SparePilot ready to market, which gives him a chance to do lots of programming on the computer. Robin had/has beads…….  Lots of beads!!! During the rescue of TCM, someone found and saved probably most of the beads she had, and when Robin found them and realized this, she was shocked and very grateful. Now, all of those beads had to be cleaned, and sorted. At one point, Robin considered pitching all of those nasty dirty beads and starting over, but finally she decided to tackle the job, and boy is she glad that she did, because in amongst all of those beads – big ones, small ones, tiny ones, of all shapes and colors - she found the pearls, many of them black pearls, that her friend Dawn had given to her a couple of years ago!! So, hours have been spent cleaning, sifting, and sorting through all of these beads. Robin hopes that someday fairly soon, she will have the time to return to the pleasure of making jewelry and shadow boxes with the beads and shells she still has, thanks to the kindness and care of so many people during the rescue of TCM. 


                                                   Beads in a pile (left side) sorted into individual styles & colors (whew!)



Well, here it is, November, and we are STILL in La Paz. Not that La Paz is a bad place to be, we just want to get back to our cruising life and to exploring new places, and being “out there” on the water. The inverter and the generator are working, the instruments are installed, the boat is livable and getting better each day, there is fuel in the tanks, and we have finally been testing-out the various systems. We had planned to be in Puerto Vallarta while former cruisers Pat & Diane (formerly of Springbok) were there, and to celebrate Martin’s birthday (the 25th of November) in PV.  Aaaaahhhhh welllllll…….


When we left the Abaroa marina way back in September, we finally had received and placed the new generator on the boat. Martin worked on the installation of that generator for about six weeks. The flywheel had to be practically re-made, since it was crooked, and unbalanced, when it arrived in La Paz. Then, the refurbished inverter (donated by Xantrex to replace the new one that went down with the ship) decided not to work any more, so he worked at getting that fixed, too. Our good friends Sheri and George in El Cajon kindly and greatly assisted us by putting LOTS of parts and other goodies on a bus in Ensenada headed for La Paz, so we could finally get much-needed parts to fix both of these important items. Thank the gods for good friends!


November 1st and 2nd are special days in the Latin culture. Unlike Hallowe’en in the USA, the Day of the Dead is a time for families to remember, and to party with, family members who have passed on. Families go to the cemeteries, clean the gravesites, and have a great time while there, giving the ones who have died the opportunity to visit and to celebrate with them. Elaborate altars are put up in houses for many days ahead of time. The altars include photos of the deceased, their favorite foods and drinks (tequila abounds), a path made of a certain flower to lead the spirit to the altar, a special bread made for the occasion, and colorful flags to decorate it all. A street fair was held in one section of La Paz, to commemorate the Day of the Dead. There were speeches, music, the Folklorico dancers, poetry readings, games for the kids, a huge altar – this one to honor the Revolutionaries – and food booths. Martin & Robin attended, along with some other cruising friends and had a great time. As long as we are still here, we might as well enjoy the local events, right?



                 The Day of the Dead altar to the Revolutionaries              Dennis & Susan (Two Can Play), Dan & Lee (Afroessa) and

              Martin enjoy the street fair



As we all know, The Cat’s Meow is so named because she really is quite a special, one-of-a-kind of vessel, and very much loved by her owners and many others. Well, on November 7th, she almost became “The Bee’s Knees”!  As Robin was at the bow, painting some boards, someone said to her “Look at all of those bees!” When she looked up, toward the top deck, she was shocked to see a swarm of bees all around the arch on the top deck, and all over the area!




Martin, and a mechanic who was onboard named Martin, went to the top deck and tried to get rid of the bees by spraying them with a fire extinguisher!




Well, that just made the bees mad!! A marina guard came by, said he could help once the bees had once again swarmed together. Robin said “Great!!” and hid inside. The guard returned 20 minutes later with his bee-spraying protection: a large canvas hat, a length of green shade cloth, and a jumbo spray can of Raid house & garden insecticide! He went up on the deck, with the shade cloth over his head and under the hat, and sprayed those bees until they left or were dead.




(“Bees” photos by Alex Hasenclever of Maitairoa)

It was sad to see all of those thousands of bees dying, but we really didn’t want to be renamed “The Bee’s Knees”!!!



There is always more to tell, more photos to show…….    Please continue to see what we have been up to, and thanks for checking out

Cruising  ~  The Cat’s Meow Style!