Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style ~ August, 2005

Poco a poco……                    



Poco a poco as they say in Mexico  ~  little by little……..

A lot has been going on here on The Cat’s Meow, still tied to a dock in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Some good, some not-so-good, but hey that just gives us more to overcome, right?! Within the last month, we have accomplished many things, we are closer than before to finally getting back to our life on the water, and we are both very appreciative of all that we have been able to do. The Cat’s Meow is truly a grand ole girl, stout and strong, very seaworthy, and she is itching to hit the waves again.  Poco a poco………


Some of the nice things about being here on the Baja peninsula are the gorgeous sunsets. There may be just grand sunrises, as well, but Robin does not see those…….   Here is an example of what we see while relaxing on our bow at the end of a day.   La Paz sunset


The month of August started out with not-so-good news about two very important items to the boat: the exhaust system pipes that Martin and Dick had worked so hard on leaked, and not one but both of the engines Martin had planned to use for the generator were bad, frozen, no good. (One was onboard as a backup.) Sooooo, after much gnashing of teeth and grumbling and looking all over La Paz and on the internet, which all took a few weeks, work on those two projects started. The exhaust system fiberglass pipes had to be removed and PVC pipe installed to replace them. This sounds easy, but finding the right amount of the right size pipe in La Paz was not…… After it was all newly installed, testing the pipes anew found only a few tiny little leaks that were fixed fairly easily. We actually fired up the ole engine ~ and she purred like a kitten! ~  turned the boat around and backed her into the slip. All went well with the exhaust system, yaaaaayy!! After finding a very good mechanic who verified that both of the generator engines were dust, Martin finally decided to purchase a new Yanmar engine, which will do the trick. It, however, was in Ohio. It had to be shipped to San Diego, to Tijuana, and then from Tijuana down here to La Paz. But, we are both glad that part of the re-do is mostly taken care of. Finally.


One of the many nice things that happened recently was the Samantha painting. Our very dear friend, Pat Riley, who lives here in La Paz, is an accomplished artist. Robin continually tells her that her work needs to be seen by many, because it is so very good. Samantha was a lion cub when we were at the marina in Pto. Vallarta. She was only 3 days old when TCM first arrived there, and we watched her grow for 4 months. Pat made this beautiful watercolor painting for us with Samantha as the focal point, which now adorns the wall in the

main salon.






Speaking of cats, Toes and Squeak are doing just fine. They spend their days sleeping in one of their favorite spots, eating, laying in the cooler evening breeze on the bow, and, well, more sleeping. Toes enjoyed getting his second hair cut of the season. He lets Martin clip away with the scissors, purring all of the time. Here is proof that the two cruisin’ kitties are pretty relaxed:


                                            Squeak      and         Toes


Robin celebrated another circumnavigation of the sun on August 3rd, and some La Paz friends assisted her. She spent a good part of the day with friends Pat and Shirley, enjoying a few nice spots in La Paz and surrounding areas. In the evening, about 12 friends joined Robin and Martin at a nice restaurant called Grille Campestre for a good dinner and company. Altho’ Robin had really hoped to spend her birthday anchored at a nearby island, it just was not to be, and spending the day with friends was a good way to cheer her up.


We have been spending so much energy and time (and money) working to get The Cat’s Meow back out on the waters. Every day is a project. We both work almost every day, all day. Exhaustion is the word of the month. Almost none of the cleaning gets done on the boat at all. Robin tries to keep the galley decent, and linens changed, but there is so very much dust inside and outside with all of the sanding going on….. She barely gets the market shopping done, and some cooking, but not much. We are both tired, and tired of doing this. But….. poco a poco….. things are finally looking like they are getting completed. Thanks once again to some very (!!) gracious friends, we had some funds to purchase work-time from a local person. During the rescue of the boat, there was a lot of damage to the newly painted hull and cabin. Carlos has been sanding and sanding and sanding and sanding some more on TCM. He sands, Robin fills, Carlos sands and Robin re-fills, Carlos sands again…. and finally between the two of them, the boat exterior has been made ready for painting. Robin has painted the hull, bulwarks, and cabin on the starboard side of the boat, and the port side is coming along!! The Cat’s Meow is starting to look like someone loves her, again. 




Robin’s other major project has been to get the guest quarters ready for visitors. Too bad there are no “before” photos to show of the room prior to the sinking, as it is difficult to describe the LOUD wallpaper that used to cover every, and we mean every, surface in that room. Well, continuing the new “tropical” theme on the boat, the guest quarters are now painted in soft cream, light yellow, and tropical greens, with new mattress and bedding of course. Ya’all come see for yourselves!!



    Guest quarters circa May  ’05….                                           ….and in August “05


Martin has been working at his list of projects too, besides the generator engine and exhaust pipes……  He has been redesigning the spaces under the instrument panel/dash, and wiring in all new instruments. This is a big and important job!! And not always comfortable…. 


                                              Martin hiding under the dash


When cruising off shore, it is important to have good communications. We have a VHF radio, which affords us the ability to communicate with stations and boats within a fairly small area, usually a few miles, and we also had to replace a ham/single side band radio which gives us the ability to communicate with stations all over the globe, and people who have a schedule of “nets” for checking in with each other and sharing information (like weather). Martin has finally been able to get the radio he bought via Ebay to work well. It took some time, but….. poco a poco……


At the end of August, the Abaroas shipyards (we are in one) hold an annual marlin tournament, and proceeds benefit the local DIF, which is a social services organization for families and children. This is a fairly big deal, with the winner’s purse in the $20,000US range. Food and beer tents were set-up, bands were brought in, tables and chairs were everywhere in the yard. The tourney was held for two days, Saturday and Sunday. Sunday afternoon, we could see all types of pangas and sportfishers and small fishing boats arriving, pulling up to the dock. Some of the marlin we saw, in the back of those boats, were quite small. It hurts to see such small specimen taken from the Sea. However, one very large tail was protruding from one small boat! A few minutes later we could see a LARGE marlin being hoisted up at the weigh station…. It was a BIG ONE. Then……  it fell!!! Right into the crowd!!! The crowd scattered…..  it was another pretty funny “Mexican moment”…. but of course the marlin was hoisted again, this time with two lines, and here he is, weighing in at 491 pounds:


                                                View from TCM                The winning marlin


A rather sad thing has happened to our friends Pat (mentioned previously) and Roger. It is a good reminder that life is to be lived and enjoyed NOW. Roger is presently in the Sacramento area of California, and has just been diagnosed with cancer in his throat. Roger is a crusty ole sailor, tho’, and we expect him to use all of the fight he has in him to get well again. Martin and Robin have one request of those who know Roger, and of anyone else who reads this:  PLEASE think good strong POSITIVE thoughts for Roger, and for Pat. The power of thought is immense, it is really strong stuff! We ask that each of you think of Roger as a happy, content, well person enjoying his home in La Paz, OK? It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t cost anything, and it will help. Thank you!


August, September, and October are hurricane season months here in Mexico. As boaters, we are continually on “hurricane watch”. Weather reports are given every day by a few different people, using satellite and other weather reporting sources. So far this year, we have not had any storms to worry about. So far. We have ordered a hurricane-free season, and hope it continues this way. The Atlantic side has had way too much weather and trouble with hurricanes, and we both send our thoughts to all of the people who are suffering. We hope their recovery is sound and swift.


One more thought: here is a quote taken from the Latitude 38 August (?) ’05 edition. It is part of an interview with William Peterson after he was rescued from his 40’ sailboat in June. He had just completed a nine-year circumnavigation. I think this says a lot about the life of living and traveling on a boat  ~  “Here it is – you pay a lot to live the gypsy life. You lose a lot. There’s a lot you have to give up to go cruising. But you gain a lot. You gain a LOT. So it’s always this for that. It’s a compromise. How you do it – compromise. Where you stay – compromise. I’d gained a lot and I’d lost a lot.”  Ditto.


That about raps up another update on what is happening with us, here on The Cat’s Meow. If you haven’t contacted us recently, please do… we love to hear from our friends all over the globe. Keep your thoughts peaceful and expect miracles  ~  we are proof they do happen!!!   Please do come back again for another look at  Cruising The Cat’s Meow Style!