Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style ~  April & May, 2007




The continuing saga of The Cat’s Meow engine…….  It goes on and on and on, but the Good News now is that it is getting DUN. This has been going on tooooo long, but when all is completed, we will have essentially, a new engine. Or, at least, almost. Along with the engine repair, Martin just couldn’t help also changing and/or cleaning-up lots of other things in the engine room: the watermaker, the “house” water system, alternators, an engine-driven generator, the hydraulics…… the list goes on and on. Robin thinks he has moved into the engine room for good. He sometimes comes up for air. And food. Martin is and should be very proud of this accomplishment. Getting this engine back together, piece by piece (and believe us, engine pieces were scattered from literally the bow to the stern!), is a big deal. And…. IT RUNS!!!  Yaahooo!! On or about May 10th, the ole girl was fired-up, and she ran quieter than she had before. You could almost see TCM smiling again!! Of course, there were still things to fix and tweak, but the engine was functional again, after almost one long year. Whew!!!                                                                 


Injectors had to be repaired, which took about three weeks including the time to order and receive the parts from the States. Then, more adjustments, more things to add and more small repairs to make. The engine needs to be run for about 40 hours before the valves will need to be torqued again. Engine oil had to be changed. The shaft and the engine have to be aligned, and re-aligned. It still is not completely done, but soooo much closer. We figure our old boat will run much more efficiently, as well, after all this work. GOOD. Here are some more engine photos for you engine buffs: 



                Martin putting torque to the valves                                                                                                                            The International Harvester getting assembled, piece by piece


Believe it or not, other things do go on here on TCM as well as the engine re-fit.

Easter Sunday crept up on us, and then there it was. Dave and Carolyn from Que Tal? And Dennis and Susan from Two Can Play joined us on The Cat’s Meow for a delicious dinner and a nice relaxing afternoon.


Easter Sunday with good buddies on TCM


Some of the other folks on the dock had their own party, as well, with pot-luck goodies. 


 An Easter Sunday dock party just outside our door


Mid-April, the La Paz cruising community puts on a fun-filled three-day activity called Bay Fest. Club Cruceros is the leading organization, and many volunteers come forward to put on different types of seminars, activities, music, etc.  Painting and beading classes, tug-o’-war on the beach, potlucks, a chili cook-off, lunches provided by some local neighborhoods, and music and dancing were all enjoyed by the cruising set.



     Watercolor classes, led by our good friend Pat (2nd from right)              Jeff (the blonde) and the other tug o’ war cheerleaders                             The Baja South band, getting’ us in the groove         


While Martin was living in the engine room, Robin was finally able to tackle the top-deck project: prepping the deck and painting it with the non-skid paint. Robin had planned to get this job completed during the winter months, but it was so very windy and cold, quite a lot cooler and windier than in earlier winters. It was not possible to do the work in the winter, so she got busy before the heat of summer started. The top deck (flying bridge) had never had good non-skid on it, since before we bought TCM in 1998. In fact, Robin was somewhat embarrassed when she saw some photos of the boat sitting at quite an angle on the rock before TCM was sunk and saved….the top deck mess was quite apparent. But hey, we decided not to tip the boat up again just to make a comparison photo for this update!!! The project of the deck took three months to complete, almost the same amount of time as the engine repair. The deck was in terrible shape, and had to be filled and faired (fill, sand, fill, sand, fill, sand…..) a LOT. Finally, as you can see, the deck on the flying bridge is done, safe, and beeuuuteeful!! We even had a little “dance floor opening night” with a few friends, to christen the deck, with home-made pizzas.  



         Robin repairing, prepping the flying bridge deck                                                          The finished product                                                                      The celebration for another project completed on TCM


During this time, Robin also was busy with other repair & painting projects on the exterior of the boat. Part of the time she was working on scaffolding that Martin had put up for her. 


Robin on her scaffolding, painting the roof and the upper side of the boat


May 24th will always be a special day in our hearts. That was the day that The Cat’s Meow was raised and saved, in 2004. We had a small celebration this year again, with friends on the dock and some others who “were there”. After a short dock party, we visited a local restaurant for some good eats, and many toasts to the boat and to the people who worked so hard to save her.


Celebrating 3 years after the saving of TCM, with Martin’s BIG one….torque wrench, that is….


Still, most of our time has been spent thinking about, working on, fixing, ordering parts for, and repairing the engine.


Lest you might think that all is either work or eating here on TCM, let us assure you it is not. There are beautiful sunsets to admire, quiet waters to gaze upon, friends to see and to chat with, and to fill the creative part of her personality (and to try to remail sane, as well), Robin makes jewelry, small purses, and some shadowboxes. Some of these items are made as gifts, many are sold at the local cruiser swapmeets. Here are some examples of her work:



                                          Little purses…                                                                                                           …jewelry…..                                                                                          …and shadowboxes.


As June approaches, we are anxious to get on the water again, meet up with our friends at the island anchorages, get into the water ourselves with kayaks and scuba tanks. Robin’s cousin, Sharla, is arriving mid-June to spend some time on the boat. We are both looking forward to that visit, and hopefully she will be able to explain what we all see along the Baja coast and in the Sea of Cortez islands – Sharla was a geology major, and we can’t wait to hear what she might have to say about what we see in the Sea!!


As usual, thank you for visiting us here, and please come back to see what we come up with next,  Cruising  ~  The Cat’s Meow Style.