Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style ~  January, February, March 2007

More amazing stuff



TCM’s engine in early February, 2007



The engine of The Cat’s Meow has been broken since late in June of 2006. The repair of the engine would normally be about a six-week job; however, nothing has been normal around here for a very long time. If you have checked-out earlier versions of our stories here on this website, you know that we spent a frustrating and hottt summer in the Pto. Escondido area, and we were towed to La Paz (thankfully) by friends Houston & Gail on their sailboat, Blew Moon.  That was late in November 2006. Since then we have been trying, and trying, to get the engine put back together. December found the mechanic “Marteeeeen” on TCM and working on the engine…… but……. for the fourth time, we had to exchange another engine part, which caused Marteeeeen to wait, again, for the boat to be ready for more engine work. This brought us into January of 2007. Jeeeez. Exasperating does not even come close to what we felt at that point. Well, Martin (Hardy, not “Marteeeen”) decided that if the engine was going to get put back together, he would have to do it. This is a very daunting job. This is a HUGE engine, a 1960-something International Harvester Marine, not your average Perkins engine!! Martin rolled up his sleeves, gave up getting anything else done on TCM for quite a while, and jumped in……


Also, Martin had been diagnosed with a very early stage of prostate cancer in late 2006. He receives medical care through the Veteran’s Administration system, and he has been quite happy with the care he has had. He flew to the San Francisco Bay Area in January for a pre-op visit. Daughter Debbie and family, who live in San Carlos (Bay Area), took her dad in and took care of him while he was there. Of course, Martin took advantage of being in the States to do some engine part and boat shopping while he was there…. In early February, both of us flew to the Bay Area and moved into Debbie’s home for a 10-day visit. Martin had minor surgery at the VA in San Francisco on February 9th at the VA in San Francisco. All went fine – he was “in by 10, out by 2”, and had very little recovery time.



        Martin’s bro, Jim, and son-in-law, Tom in California                                                                          Mom Hardy – isn’t she cute??!


 The most difficult part of being in the Bay Area was the weather: it was COLD!! Well, for us folks who have been living in Mexico for a while, it was cold. Debbie and her friends thought it was just fine…. Both of us had layers of clothes on at all times! Hats, socks, and even leather jackets. It was nice to be with Deb and her family; Martin’s bro Jim drove Mom Hardy down from Oregon, so we had a chance to see them too. We ate wonderful Asian food and fresh Dungeness crab (YUM!), treats we don’t usually get in the Baja. All in all it was a good trip, and Martin is just fine. Robin was able to get together with a couple of her friends she has known since high school – and that was a long long time ago!! Andrea & Kathy made room in their schedules to see Robin, and she is very thankful for that. Another really good long-time friend, Cinny, also drove “down from the mountain” to spend some time with Robin. Ya’ can’t beat those kinds of friends. (Note the winter-type clothing we are wearing…)  



            Robin with Kathy & Andrea – long time friends                                       Robin with “Cinny” – another long time friend


Soon after returning to The Cat’s Meow, we were once again privileged to experience and to be a part of some incredible cruising-community togetherness: As we were preparing to leave Billie & Ted’s boat Siempre Sabado one evening after a very nice dinner, we saw another boat at anchor fully engulfed in flames!! We wanna tell ya’, that is a scary and awesome sight. Billie caught some moments digitally, including the Navy guys on the burning boat!



               ShellyB on fire at anchor, Bay of La Paz                                                                           Mexican Navy personnel onboard ShellyB


 At that point we only could hope there was no one, including pets, aboard. Some cruisers raced out to the boat in dinghies, but pieces of the boat were falling into the water, aflame, and it was pretty dangerous.  Brian, the young man who owned the boat, Shelly B, was standing on another dock, watching everything he owned burn to the waterline. This was so sad. The next day, many cruisers came forward during the morning radio net to offer assistance – a place to stay, food, clothing, money, etc. The real surprise came the next day, when three of the cruisers presented Brian with his new boat: one that had been damaged three years ago during hurricane Marty, but was still floating, and: it was the same type of boat he had lost!! Brian had been blindfolded and led down a dock to see his new home only about 36 hours after losing the Shelly B! For the next 10 days or so, work was a’foot to repair the new boat – appropriately renamed the Phoenix – and to get her ready for sailing. Many cruisers pitched in with all the hard work. Robin participated in organizing a dinner-auction at Ciao’ Molino’s, a very cruiser-friendly restaurant, at which time well over $10K, US was raied!!! Now, that is a great story, isn’t it??! Here are some more photos:



           Brian on the “new” soon to be named Phoenix                                                                              Ted n’ Billie, of Siempre  Sabado fame



Well, that is a good point to rest on. Please come back, ‘cause we are finally (!!) updating our stories & photos for you. We hope you enjoy seeing and hearing about our ups & not-ups!! See ya’ next time, here at  Cruising  ~  The Cat’s Meow Style.


   Sunset on the malecon, La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mx.