Thursday, January 18, 2007

On cruising

As far as I can tell, going "cruising" is not about living an idyllic lifestyle. I thought to myself, trying to wash the dishes last night in, or I should say around, our tiny sink equipped only with a hand pump. Is it really true that I find washing dishes on the boat more stressful than actually going to sea? Boats are made for sailing, after all. It would almost be more natural to throw our china overboard after every meal. No, living and traveling on a sailboat is not about living an idyllic life, free of the responsibilities of work. In fact, sometimes work starts to look very appealing. There is structure there, and in structure, there may be meaning. The point of this existence is that you cannot avoid yourself. Every single day is an unexpected adventure that may challenge what you believed to be true, and how you relate to the world. It may reveal you in the worst possible light. If you can't stand it, you step back, defeated, with nothing left but lost illusions. Begin again.

Three Head Park

Of course this isn't the official name of it; it's probably called something patriotic, and it lies below the second largest flag in Mexico, which is truly enormous. I have also found delights in Ensenada's grocery stores, the Gigante chain--in the big Gigante (there is also a small one--pequeño gigante?) rows and rows of brightly colored pastries shaped like fossils stretch toward the meat counter. In the aisles, I noticed chipotle-, poblano-, and cilantro-flavored condensed milk, and continue to dream of uses for them.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wreck of the Catalina

They say this was a ferry that used to service Southern California. Its wreck is home to sea lions and penguins, the smell of fish permeating it. You can hear the sea lions' barks echoing in the hull. They jostle for space, sneezing, strands of fish hanging from their mouths open in sleep.

"Vere is my kibble, you sniveling monkey?"

Friday, January 12, 2007

Comin' in hot

Leaving San Diego

Escaping the threat of 40-knot southerlies we pulled into Glorietta Bay, right next to the Hotel Coronado. Heading in, we rowed out of the way of a huge cruise ship which I had mistaken for a building, and then continued to row around aircraft carriers and past the late-night skyline of the city. We left before I could realize my fantasy of poached eggs with hollandaise sauce and coffee in the hotel. We followed another mammoth cruise ship toward Ensenada--the passengers were most likely playing slots and enjoying the midnight buffet while we blew south in the warm, midnight Santa Anas.

Monday, January 1, 2007

New Year's Day

So many tiny dogs!

Cruizing Tipz

We've been living aboard long enough now to have gained some insights on how to make this type of life easier, funner, less hasslesome, and generally better in general. And we wanted to share this "wisdom" with any and all who might benefit.

The top picture illustrates the result of a productive evening afloat, a dry-bag for our digital camera. Ingredients: plastic bag, bubble wrap, blue tape, rubber band, and your preferred attitude adjuster!

The second shot is, you guessed it, a fruit and vegetable stabilizer ball. It might look like the innards of your toilet but we've found a higher use for this item. It keeps food fresh up to four days longer or so.

Stay tuned for more tips that you won't find anywhere else!

Headlamp lifestyle

A design triumph in San Diego

It seems to have an almost Medusan quality.

Seals of approval

Leaving Santa Barbara with a decent 10-knot breeze, we passed "Mr. Clean," the optimistically named vessel that services the oil rigs off the coast, tethered to a large mooring ball upon which several seals were lounging. I took this picture even though I knew it wouldn't really turn out. We are all the time passing seals and sea lions on buoys and various sea balls, and they look up languidly, vaguely interested, more or less welcoming us, or so it seems, and their whiskered faces make me think of blubbery kittens. I love to see how sea life appropriates human technology. Once, sailing in the bay, we passed a bell buoy ringed with cormorants, facing the source of the rhythmic pinging as if in mute adoration of some ancient god.

The fabled "Ass Whisperer of Santa Barbara"

Adam came up with that caption.

(I never noticed that in sheep with horns, their ears are under the horns. I wonder if they ever want to raise their ears into a higher position. If they did, would they get wedged behind the horns? Would it take hours to work them down again?)