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Nothing Comes Easy

As I said recently, most days include a boat project or two and very few projects are completed in the estimated timeframe. If we think it will take two hours, it will likely take three or four and some can take days. That’s just part of boat work. IMG_0774 You never know what you are going to find once you get into a project. It could be corroded parts, loose wires, software issues or worse yet, the company you ordered your parts from sent you the wrong thing. We just replaced the main seal on the transmission and the dampening plate we picked up in San Diego was not the right one. Here we were several hours into the repair down in Mexico and we had the wrong part. Fortunately we didn’t need to replace it at that time so we put the old one back in until we can return it and get the correct part.

Sometimes you have to use your best MacGyver skills. We were replacing the water pump….another part bought from the same company, and the gasket they sent was incorrect as well. Thank God my man knows his way around engines and tools. I swear there is nothing he can’t fix. He created his own gasket and we were back in business. The thing is it’s things like this that add time to even the simplest of projects.

This week we got a new B & G chart plotter. Aside from having to modify the navigation pod to make the new plotter fit, this should have been a routine installation. You know change out a few wires, upgrade some software, a little minor programming and BAM, back in business. Yeah, not so much. We have now been four days working on our little addition.

The modification to the nav pod went swimmingly. Wiring the new plotter…a piece of cake. Upgrade the software…easy as pie. Then it came time to set it up. Power up and whammo, our radar wasn’t showing up all of the sudden. It worked perfectly just a couple of days ago. We didn’t change any wiring for the radar. All Dan did was upgrade the software.

IMG_0769This is when the real work started. Diagnosing the problem took three days, multiple calls to Navico, a few trips up the mast, borrowing parts and diagnostic tools from my cousin, wiring changes and a whole lot of frustration. All along we’ve been certain it was a software issue but of course the manufacturer claimed it was anything and everything else. Today after a final call to Navico where we were told either we have a bad radar scanner or a ghost (seriously…he said that…I heard him!), we resolved ourselves to the fact that we would have to send the radar scanner to them for repair and go without a radar for a month or so. This would require not one, but two trips back to the states because while they fix the scanner in Ensenada, Mexico you have to ship the item from the states via their shipper. Once it’s fixed they ship it back to the states. Yeah, don’t get me started on this….we will save that for another day and time! As my man always says…”Nothing is easy in Water World!”

Today we came back to the boat after having lunch and doing some provisioning and IMG_0770 Dan decided to upgrade the software to the auto pilot. Following their directions to the letter, he completed the upgrade. Guess what? Now the autopilot disappeared! Hmmmm….software glitch is seeming more and more likely. Then he uninstalled and reinstalled it again and you won’t believe it…the radar came back up and is running just fine. Of course now we have to get the autopilot going again.

Our original plan was to leave today to head north with my cousins, Dan and Nancy of SV Karvi but like I said, you just can’t count on things happening in the timeframe you have planned. Dan is up there working on the software issue as I write this entry. His frustration level is at an all time high but I give him major credit for remaining cool and calm. After all, I’ve known some boaters in my life who would have already thrown the thing overboard by now. Let’s just hope my guy gets this resolved quickly so we can put this fun behind us.

Of course, I’m the one who always looks at the bright side of things so I’ll leave you with this. Over the past four days I’ve learned a lot about boat wiring, navigation software, tools and more. Dan, through his extensive diagnostics has learned that all of the wiring between the nav pod and the radar is perfecto and that his instincts regarding this being a software issue were dead on. And we’ve been blessed to be able to do this in paradise and without the pressure of time constraints. So, I guess it’s not all that bad in the whole scheme of things.

I’ll keep you posted on the status of this repair…

Until the next time,


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Dazzler Days

Now that I’ve been here a few weeks many of my friends have asked me what it’s like living aboard a sailboat full-time. Well, first of all, it’s not all fun, cocktails and sunshine. Any boater will tell you that owning a boat is hard work. The salt corrodes things and it seems there is a never ending list of projects, maintenance and general cleaning to be done. And the dust…oh the dust! Just when I think I’ve put every little dust bunny on board out of its misery, I look around to find those little bastards have already started to reproduce. It’s like the tribbles from that old Star Trek episode. They just keep coming! But, when the work is done, there’s always time for a little R & R in paradise.20170515_170425

So what’s a typical day like on Dazzler? Well, we are usually up pretty early. Dan is the King of Coffee so he hops out of the bunk and puts the kettle on the stove. As I work my way out of the bunk I make it along the way. With the V berth, it’s much easier to do it on your way out than it is if you get all the way out first. And by the time my feet hit the floor I’ve already accomplished something! Bonus!

Before too long the kettle plays its magic tune to let us know the Nectar of the Gods is ready. My sweet man always pours me a cup of the heavenly nectar as I sit down at the table. For the next hour or two we chat, play on our iPads and enjoy the morning. If we have internet we check emails, Facebook, news and, of course, weather. When you live on a boat weather is THE most important thing to watch. This is one of my favorite times of the day. We do a lot of laughing. Dan is always making me laugh. It’s during this time that we also make our plans for the day.

At 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. the radio net starts. This is the ham radio net that cruisers use to keep in touch, get weather and learn of things going on in the cruising community. The net controllers are all volunteers. Dan participates as a controller quite regularly.

Most days include some type of project or maintenance.

Once the project du jour is completed its time for some much needed R & R. This usually starts with a beer or two. It could include a little fishing, a nap, a dink ride around the current anchorage, a pub crawl, more internet time if it’s available or just sitting in the cockpit marveling at the beauty that surrounds us.

And sometimes there are other boaters in the neighborhood that stop by to visit. The cruiser community is rather close-knit. It seems everyone knows or has heard of everyone else.

Brett from SV Liahona…This year’s recipient of the coveted Green Shirt Award for his dedication and work on the net AND his gift of gab!

Our evenings are never the same. If we are in a marina or an anchorage that is close to town we typically go out to dinner. In Mexico it is pretty cheap to eat out and the food is awesome! The other night we ate El  Mezquite Grill. Their filet was every bit as good as Ruth Chris and cost about $15! We have a great little pizza joint we like to go to here as well. It’s called Fuego y Lena. (Fire and Flame) Oh yes, and for the best fish tacos you have to go to this street taco stand. No beer there but they do have Mexican Coca Cola. It’s way better than what you get in the states.

IMG_0735If we are in a remote anchorage like Calita Partida, we enjoy a nice warm sun shower on the after deck followed by one of Dan’s amazing dinners and then either some ukelele music, a movie or both.

This week we’ve been in La Paz, Mexico and my cousins, Dan and Nancy of SV Karvi are here as well. We’ve enjoyed some nice family time together, had some great meals out and yes, we’ve even managed to get some work in.

In the next few days we will be leaving here and heading north. I’m not sure of our next stop but I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time…


You can check out more pics of our time in La Paz by clicking on the photo below.

La Paz ButtonLa Paz, Baja California Sur