Cruising  ~ The Cat’s Meow Style ~ June - July, 2005

Still in La Paz……



Well……..   we are STILL in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mx.  We thought that by now we would surely be enjoying the cruising life once again, in the Sea of Cortez, but alas…..   we are still here. La Paz is a fine place to be when one needs to do major boat work, but, we both get quite tired of working on the boat and we are quite ready to be somewhere else! However, here we are….. 

So, here is the latest on what we have been doing recently:


One of the highlights of the recent past was our celebration on May 24th of the saving and floating of The Cat’s Meow. That was the one-year anniversary of the early-morning raising of our boat, thanks to the unbelievable work and tenacity of so many people. Martin and Robin announced on the local VHF radio net, and sent emails to many friends and family alerting all to the date, and asked everyone to join them on the evening of the 24th to celebrate such a wonderful event and demonstration of friendship and hope. Here in La Paz approximately 30 people came by The Cat’s Meow to celebrate with us. Many we knew, some had been there for the event, and a few had only heard or read about the adventures of The Cat’s Meow and wanted to see her floating. We received many emails from friends, stretched from Sausalito, CA to Panama and Florida, who also joined us on the 24th, celebrating our good fortune and the camaraderie between so many people. During that evening’s celebration, we had The Cat’s Meow Rescue slideshow running on the computer ~ tears were flowing, and cheers, too.  It was fun and a great way to remember.  Too bad Robin forgot to take any photos of the people celebrating with us here on TCM.


Another highlight was the visit from Martin’s daughter, Debbie and her son Jake, at the end of May. We had hoped to be able to take them out to the islands on TCM, but it was not to be so. In fact, Deb and Jake slept on a neighbor’s nearby boat, since TCM’s guest quarters were not ready. However, during the week they were here, we did do a lot of exploring, introduced them to some “real” Mexican foods, got in some good beach time, etc. 



Kayaking at Balandra, near La Paz                                       Jake & Deb snorkeling at Tecalote         


 Sailing away on Winsome


When we were able to get Jake away from his movies and DVD player, we got in some kayaking & snorkeling, they went on a SCUBA dive trip at the nearby islands, with Fun Baja, and we took a sail onboard our friend’s boat, Winsome. Both Deb and her son had a good time, and so did we!


Immediately after Deb and Jake left for California, Martin and Robin attended a dinner/fundraising event at a local German restaurant.  One of our cruising friends, Jaye of the vessel Winsome, was a member of the wind quintet that played a variety of music, from Brahms to Creedance Clearwater! This evening’s dinner and concert benefited the Fundacion Para Los Ninos, which provides all types of assistance to the poorest children of the area. It was great to get together with many cruising friends, and to see and hear Jaye play her flute, while doing a good deed as well. 



Benefit concert                                                                         Jaye playing her flute


Roberta, whom Robin met through another friend, Pat, visited here in La Paz for a few weeks. The three amigas got together for coffees, lunches, and wandering  about the city. It is always fun for Robin to take some time off from working on the boat to have fun with her girlfriends!


Roberta, Pat, and Robin enjoying La Paz



One day while working her way around the aisles at the local supermarket, Robin was soooo surprised to see a long-time acquaintance from the days at the Hurricane Gulch YC back in San Pedro  ~  Linda and her husband Frank, of the SV Interlude, were here in La Paz, which was a big surprise to us since we thought  they had headed off to the South Seas in April!! Well, after some minor health problems, Linda and Frank had returned to the mainland, took care of the health issues, and decided it was time for them to spend some time in the Sea of Cortez. They spent an evening with us on TCM, which gave us a chance to catch-up on all the goings-on, and to share some of our local knowledge about the different places to go in the Sea. Hopefully, The Cat’s Meow and Interlude will be able to share some anchorages together later this season.


Yes, we have been working diligently on the restoration of our beloved home and boat, The Cat’s Meow. She really IS The Cat’s Meow!! It truly gives us pause to look back at what our boat looked like one year ago, and to see how much she has improved, in many ways, since then.  Here are some updates on the interior work:  



Galley update                                                                                    View from galley toward salon, starboard side


Martin on the new salon cushions  



Martin and Robin, Toes and Squeak, all piled into the borrowed Dodge truck on about June 24th, for another trip to the States. We had lots to do, but wanted to return to the boat ASAP, in order to continue getting her ready for leaving the dock and doing some cruising. Our first order of business was to meet daughter Debbie and her husband Tom, in the LA area. There, we returned their truck to them, and purchased the Aerostar van they had driven down to meet us. While the truck was marvelous to have during our work on TCM, the van will be more comfortable to us for traveling, and generally driving around while we are here in Mexico. At the present time, we expect to leave the van somewhere in Arizona when we finally do head south of Mexico, and we plan to use it for traveling in the States. Anyway, after the vehicle trade, Martin and Robin continued to stay at he home of good friends, Dianne & Hans, located at Rancho Palos Verdes. When they returned from a weekend at Catalina Island, we were there to greet them!


 Enjoying Hans & Dianne’s deck in RPV


Next we drove to Las Vegas, where we stayed at the “resort” home of Barbara & Dwight, also former Hurricane Gulch buddies. We took care of the vehicle registration, driver’s license renewal, etc. Barb and Dwight have a very nice home, complete with pool….which Robin enjoyed…. and they have decided to name and decorate each of their guestrooms in a style of one of the large “strip” hotels. The room we stayed in is the “Ceasar Room”, complete with a round bed that came from the Ceasar Hotel!! 


  The “Ceasar”” Room



Our next stop was in Cottonwood, AZ, where we visited Janice and Ernie. Janice and Robin worked together for 10 years in the Special Services office of the local elementary school district in Cottownwood, and it is ALWAYS great to see her and Ernie. Squeak and Toes were able to stay in the guestroom, and made themselves quite at home. 


From Cottonwood, we drove the short distance to Prescott, and picked-up the furniture that had been waiting for us at the home of friend Bill’s brother….Bill and Stephanie of the SV Summerwind. Since our wonderful old rattan furniture had not survived the sinking of TCM, it was fantastic that Stephanie had found this rattan furniture in Prescott (of all places!) while she and Bill were living there last year. So, we loaded the van to the rafters with the goods, and took off for Phoenix.  Another good friend, another Diane, has another beautiful home which we were able to stay in, AND, she cat-sat our two felines, in her home, while we flew off to Oregon for a three day visit!!


One of the most important reasons for this Stateside trip was to attend the Hardy family reunion & birthday celebration for Martin’s mom, Laura. She is in her 90th year, and still going strong! The Winston, Oregon property of Jim & Ginny, Martin’s younger brother & wife, was a purrrfect location for this event. At least 50 people had plenty of room to roam, a creek & raft for the kids, lawn swings for the non-kids, and soooo much food that Ginny could have fed all of Winston!! All three of Martin’s kids attended + some of his grandkids. The weather was purrrfect, too, and a wonderful time was had by ALL. Thanks a trillion to Ginny and Jim for their hard work and energy to put this celebration together! While we are on the subject of Jim  ~  take a look at his Hot Wheel room, and this is only a part of it:



Mom Hardy with her 3 sons and their wives                         Horseshoes, again, during the reunion



The Martin Hardy family photo                                            Jim’s Hot Car room……   it’s HOT!


The Hardy reunion was held on July 3rd, and naturally July 4th followed, with the downtown Riddle OR parade!  Ooooohhh my. Small town USA, in red-white-and-blue!!  It was really fun to see the parade, and to find granddaughter Brianna with her mom, Robin, after the parade at the festival that followed.



                                                                     Riddle, Oregon 4th of July Parade



 Brianna & mom Robin at the Festival


It was back to Phoenix, where Diane, Martin and Robin dined with Pamela and Mack, and cooled off in the pool (it was about 112 degrees, daytime).


                                    Dining with friends in Phoenix  



Now it was time to head west, toward home, with a stop in Chula Vista (near San Diego), at the home of Kathleen & Ron. Ron was already back in La Paz, working on his boat, but we had a couple nights to spend with Kathleen as we did our last-minute shopping  ~  we had been shopping everywhere we went, all along!  ~  and repacked the van for the third or fourth time…..


At last, on July 13th, we crossed the border back into Mexico, headed for La Paz. We had a tire blow out at the end of the first day of driving down the Baja, but we were able to limp another mile or so to a place where we knew there would be a place to get a tire, of some kind, and we did. So, we made it to Guerrero Negro before dark, bought a new tire the next day, and returned home about dusk on the 14th. It is ALWAYS soooo gooood to return to our boat, and to Mexico. While it is hott down here, it has not been unbearable, and the evenings are still cooling off to the low 70s.


After two days of unloading and stowing away all the goodies we brought with us, we are now “back at it”, working on getting the boat ready to pull away from the dock.  Since we now have furniture that is to live in the lanai room, Robin has been spending her days working on cleaning out that area (refer to former photo of our lanai room….), and Martin has been working hard on the “monster exhaust” system…….                                                 


Life is good. We are happy. The Cat’s Meow is terrific. The cats are fat and happy. We are looking forward to being back “out there”.




Please come back to visit us at  Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style!