Cruising  ~ The Cat’s Meow Style ~  October, November, December, 2009

Home again, home again… in Puerto Escondido



It took us some time to get everything stowed that we brought with us from the States, but once we cleared a path, we were sooooo glad to be back home. The Sierra Gigantes (hee-gahn-tays), the quiet of the harbor, seeing good friends again, getting into the quaint village of Loreto, eating sloppy yummy fish tacos on the street...... Aaaaaahhhhh, home again!


Some of October was taken-up with a trip to La Paz, by RV. Yep, we schlepped the cats and ourselves back into the RV and took off for the "big city" of La Paz. For us, this is about a 4.5 - 5 hour trip in the RV. Well......just like always, what we expected to be a 4 - 5 day stay turned into a 2 week stay...... Things just never operate quickly in this country! We took an engine that will become part of our generator  to Abel at the Bercovich boat yard. Martin needed some work done on it, thingy's attached, etc. etc. Martin went to the boat yard almost every day to check on the work, to coach the work, to prod the work along.... and it still was not quite finished after 2 weeks. Aaaaahhhh well........

In the meantime, we did some fun things, like getting together with people we had not seen for a while.


                               Look what Martin found at the segunda (2nd hand store)


One of the fun things we did was to attend the Day of the Dead celebration at the La Paz theatre site. Day of the Dead is celebrated November 1st and 2nd: a time to welcome the spirits of the departed, and to enjoy remembering their lives and good times. Altars are made in homes and in businesses to commemorate loved-ones, or special persons, and the altars include their favorite foods, drink, belongings, etc. Photos are included, candles are lit, and a certain type of flower is laid out to guide the spirit to the altar. At the theatre site, altars of all kinds were set-up for people to view. There was a contest between women dressed to the hilt as “Katrinas”, the symbol of Day of the Dead. Food and drink was available, loud music was being played, children were running all over, and everyone was having a great time. 



                                  A Day of the Dead altar for a loved one                                  A “real” Katrina

                                                         (photo by Susan of Two Can Play)

Finally, after waiting and prodding and waiting some more, we decided to leave the almost-completed engine at the Bercovich yard, and we drove back to Pto. Escondido and TCM. Now it was time to begin some of those winter projects! Martin began working on two of his favorites: building a new water tank in the engine room, and yet another design for the flopper-stoppers. Those are the "arms" that hang out over the water with gizmos that go down under the water and help to keep TCM from bobbing around much while we are at anchor: very good things to have on the boat. Lots of fiberglass material & epoxy & wood & other material was purchased and purchased some more, some work going on at the Singlar boat yard under the supervision of Elvin, and some work being done aboard The Cat’s Meow.


The “northers” started-up in November, bringing strong cool-to-cold winds down from the States for 2 or 3 days at a time. There really isn’t much one can do during these windy days, unless it is possible to work in a protected area. Still, unless the north wind was kickin’ through, our daytime temperatures remained in the low 70s almost every day!!


Ken & Rhonda Hardy, and the girlie-dog Penelope, drove from San Jose, CA to visit. Just in time for Martin’s birthday! And, just in time for Rhonda to meet a few of the boating community women while we all enjoyed a “day at the spa” in Loreto! The Loreto Spa is a full-service and beautiful place to get relaxed and beautiful J   Some of us had a massage, or a pedicure, or manicure……it was a lot of fun!



          Da girls (that is Robin by the window) being pampurrrred                                                      JJ, in “the turkey baster”


That was followed with a birthday dinner for Martin at a restaurant down the street from the harbor with a few of our friends. Good food, great friends, a home-made cake – purrrfect. 


 Da birthday boy


The next day it was time to celebrate again: Thanksgiving! The cruising community put their cooking skills together and had a truly yummy Thanksgiving dinner – turkeys, mashed potatoes with gravy, yams, and all of the other accompanying dishes. What a feast, and comfortable enough to feast outside!


   Some of the Pilgrims having a feast for Thanksgiving Day


Throughout our cruising life here in Mexico, we have seen and been part of numerous examples of boaters helping boaters. Here is another story with a happy ending: during this past summer, the 72-year old wooden ketch named Albatross sank at anchor off of Aqua Verde, a very small fishing village south of Puerto Escondido. Her owners were in the States taking care of a family emergency when this happened. Upon the return of Mike and Carolyn, the local cruising community banded together, once again. Albatross was raised and she was able to sail to Puerto Escondido for repairs. Extensive cleaning and repair work took place here in PE for three months. We empathized with the owners of Albatross, having experienced some similar boat woes. The good news: Albatross was launched in mid-December. There is still much work to do – Mike & Carolyn are doing the “as long as we are doing this, why don’t we just go ahead and do that” thing……. we know that one well…….  She is a grand ole gal, and will be a better boat because of her sad experience.



                           Albatross getting into the slings                                                                                                                   Splash!    



                             First, an offering to Neptune…..                                                  …then an offering to Mike & Carolyn!


And then there was Christmas! Puerto Escondido had a number of holiday activities to enjoy. One of them was the lighted boat “parade”.  Boaters were encouraged to decorate their boats with lights and to anchor off of the docks at the Singlar buildings the night of December 18th. Pedro offered a great turkey dinner at his Porto Bello restaurant for the occasion, and folks brought cookies to go with the cider and coffee at the Hidden Port Yacht Club for another measure of good cheer. More than a dozen boats came all dressed-up for the occasion, and after dark they were fun to see. Another good time!


Merry Ho Ho Ho from Martin & Robin,  beside the HPYC Xmas tree



          Some of us enjoying the meal & a birthday party, too                    Kinda hard to see, but the lighted boats were quite festive


Irwin and Jaye, our friends on Winsome, were driving down the Baja to La Paz, but stopped here just in time to enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas day with us. We all enjoyed yet another dinner at the Porto Bello for Christmas Eve, and the weather turned out to be purrrrfect, as did the leg o’ lamb dinner aboard The Cat’s Meow on Christmas day.



              Jaye & Irwin, Christmas Eve                                                          Robin & Martin too.


And there was yet another chance to help a boater this December. Footprints, a feral-cement boat (good and heavy!) went ashore in the bay of Juncalito, just outside of the Puerto Escondido harbor. It took us a multitude of attempts, on three different days, but The Cat’s Meow was finally able to pull Footprints free. TCM was the powerhouse, and Martin the tenacious captain, but it took a LOT of people all working together – from the beach, in dinghies & small boats, and aboard TCM – to make it possible. The towline broke at least eight times, we wrapped the line around the prop and shaft of TCM, and generally it was a really fun time. Finally, on the morning of December 31st, Footprints came sliding down the beach at a good clip – not out into the water, but parallel to the beach for a good 300 yards before she decided to get more water under her keel! Well, that was OK, because…..we didn’t leave any Footprints in the sand.   J  (Most of the following photos compliments of Tina, “Applefarmer”.)



        Footprints & that is TCM in the distance off of her bow                               A panga pulling Footprints over to get  a better angle to pull her



                      TCM giving a good pull…and we were in VERY shallow water                                                                     The work horse



                           Two “bowthrusters”, Neil & Ray (we couldn’t have done this alone!)                                           Water under the keel  - Hoooray!!



           Footprints snuggling up to The Cat’s Meow                                               Ray – our well-dressed “get-it-done” guy                                 


That was just about it for the year. Another wonderful, awesome, busy year full of wonderful, awesome, beautiful places and people in our lives. Wow – what memories we have made during 2009. Incredible. We are so thankful for all we have been able to do & see, and for all the great times we have had with such good friends and family. Let’s do it again next year, OK??!!


                                                     YIKES! A scary early morning sight!!


                                     Ya’all come on back and do some more Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style…….in 2010.