Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

No work today or until Monday for that matter. I had planned to travel for the holidays but in the end decided just to hang out around the Central California Coast. I went to Avila Beach on Christmas to see the Pacific and do some reading while the surf crashed on the shore. Do miss the sounds of the ocean after the two months spent here as a grass combing lubber, oh well another couple of months and I will be back on the boat.

Avila was destroyed not too many years ago by an oil spill so has lost its old world look because the oil company responsible had to completely rebuild the town and beaches as compensation to the area. Everything is new in the downtown area and it is a shame as this town is a backwater with only one way in and out from US 101. Could have been quite interesting before the rebuild.

Drove to Montana de Oro State Park and overlooked Morro Bay. I am trying my hand at a video so take a look if you can work it. Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sea Lions

Here they are!!!!

San Luis Pier

Saturday in SLO dawned clear and warm so off to the beach at Avila! Lots of people here on holidays so the people watching was fantastic but came nowhere near to the antics of the animal residents of the bay.

As the fishing boats came in for the day the pelicans would hang around the fish cleaning station hoping to get some of the offal for dinner. Several tried to swallow pieces so big it took twenty minutes to get them down. While under the pier on the lower level the sea lions have taken over the wharf as their sleeping quarters. They are out of control here and have taken the lower pier for their own!


Well, down here in SLO working and unable to get to Anchorage so celebrated the holidays here. Purchased a nice 1/2 bottle of champers and called it a day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ocean Fix

Living in SLO I am about 10 miles from the ocean. Yesterday was a glorious California day. 75 degrees and sunny! Off to the beach to check out the boardwalk and the ocean. There are 5 cities in this this place is 5 Cities. Imagine that. They are Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Oceano, Shell Beach and SLO.

I went to the pier at Pismo.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

another kind of bird

Wandering around the craft booths I stumbled upon a woman who had raised a horned owl from a chick. The owl was 20 years old and was fascinating to observe. Well adjusted to people it calmly took in the whole scene without so much as a ruffled feather. It eats a mouse a day.

Turkey Trot

I drove out to Lake Lopez this morning to run in the 5K road race being held in conjunction with the Thanksgiving Craft Fair held in the park. It was the most gruelling road/trail race I have ever been involved. Up and down very steep canyon walls. Seemed like the whole 3.2 miles was uphill.

Afterwards there was live entertainment and of course the crafts and performers/bad actors.

Thursday Farmers Market

SLO has a farmers market every Thursday night starting at 1800. They close the main street down for six blocks until 2130. There are vegetables and fruit and local restaurants have booths and some street musicians. The turn out every week is really impressive and no signs of trouble at all considering the bars of which there are many and packed to capacity.

It is a real family affair as there are always lots on littlins hence the Punch and Judy Show.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Main Street

I have been in SLO Town for a week now. Been at the plant doing my CBT(computer based training) and my other required classes. Finally got my Nuclear Clearance so am good to go!

As my little house is only three blocks from downtown I tend to walk everywhere. Slo is a beautiful town with 44,000 residents, according to the sign as you drive in. These are pictures of the trees that line a lot of the streets here in town.

I have asked several residents what kind of trees but to date no answer. Will get back to you on that.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Back in SLO Town

Well made it back to the States last week and spent almost the entire week attached to the head. Picked up a nasty bug!!!

Now I am in San Luis Obispo(SLO Town) waiting for the first day of work to start tomorrow at the Diablo Nuclear Power Station. Will be here for five months if all goes according to plan. A great opportunity to fill the cruising kitty.

I am staying at a motel that appears to have been built in the 1950s. Detached from other units so I have my own little house. A little more square footage than the cat!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Party on the Cat

I had some other cruisers over for a chicken feed and rum fest. Cruisers brought appetisers and I supplied the pollo(chicken) and the golden nectar. It was a thank you on my part for the help given me when I arrived here in Venezuela. If you have been reading the blog you know I lost my dinghy to theft and these cruisers helped me when they could.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Big Weather in the Carribean

Last night the weather experienced here was exciting. Big rain and some wind associated with the moisture Omar is pulling through the area. We are south of the "Hurricane Zone" but are still effected by the weather these systems produce. The picture is the calm before the storm at 1600 so you can see how dark it was.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Streets of Playa Concorde

This is a view of the beach area of Playa Concorde. This is the anchorage for Porlamar. The big power boat has been here for a year or so and just sits half full of water when the tide is high.

Rainbow in Porlamar

Actually, a double but hard to see! It rained here most of the day. Unusual for Porlamar as there are succulents and cactus everywhere. All the boats had a good wash and several cruisers were able to add water to their tanks.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Cover

After buying the new dinghy and motor I felt I needed to purchase a cover. In the tropics the sun is hard on everything. Dinghys need to be protected if you want them to last. So I paid about US $300 for the cover for the gas tank motor and dinghy. Not a bad deal at all. Johnny and his helper did a fine job!

Doing the Weather

Henry on Windquest usually does the weather here in Porlamar. He went to the coast to haul out and have some work done on his boat. I volunteered as no one else was willing. It has been a great 10 days looking at the websites and gribs and predictions. Well.... I got it right this morning as a tropical wave was coming through at 0300. I forgot about the back end and had predicted 10 knots for today in the anchorage. Needless to say when the back of the wave came through it was almost 20 knots. A couple of boats dragged their anchors but no damage! Oh well live and learn!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hubble Space Telescope

I have included a link to the HUBBLE Telescope! There are some fantastic pictures captured by this orbiting telescope. Just click on the picture and it will take you to the gallery.

Pirates of the Carribean

Yesterday a cruiser came back from the North Coast of Coche, small island 20 miles south of here. He was boarded by armed men the night before at sunset. One was armed with a hand gun!

They stole computers and dive gear then departed. No injuries to the cruisers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The New Dinghy

Well it finally arrived and I am quite pleased with the dinghy although the unplanned for expense was a surprise. Nice to be able to get back and forth to shore under my own power. It is a 11 foot Caribe with a 15 hp Yamaha enduro.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday is a quiet day in Venezuela. Stores and most businesses are closed for the day. The Sunset Bar next to Marina Juans is closed but they allow the cruisers to use their facility. Today about fifteen cruisers gathered to play Mexican Train Dominoes. Paul on Quarter Deck and I played cribbage instead. A good time was had by all and I saw this little nina in her private pool!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Flea Market

Well Friday brings the cruiser get together and swap meet. I purchased 4 20 micron filters for 50 Bolivars. They were 50 Bs for one so did well!

The cruisers who are mostly German and English speaking hang around at Juans until dark drinking $.25 beer

Marina Juan

Thought you might like to know what the marina looks like. Marina Juan has no slips but a safe and secure dinghy dock, unlike the rum dock where my dinghy was liberated.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friday Flea Market /Piss up

Every Friday there is a flea market/cruiser swap meet here at Marina Juans. It starts at 1600 and the beer sells for 1.5 Bolivars. Currently about $.35. Not Bad for cruisers. We bring our 'treasures of the bilge' and have a few brews while the sun settles. Not a bad way to end the week!

Cruisers to the Rescue

I thought it appropriate to let you know who the cruisers were who lent me their Walker Bay dinghy when mine was liberated in the anchorage.

They are Shirley and Taffy. They are from South Africa and Taffy is originally from Wales long ago. Hence Taffy, a name given to Welshman. Similar to calling Irish Paddy

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The day dawned bright this morning over Porlamar. I have been on the boat since Saturday. No dinghy!!! I purchased the 15 Yamaha from the Swede and he let me borrow his old Avon until he was to make a new 11footer that he and a partner were attempting. Delivery was to be mid October....well ,Paul a Canadian friend on Quarterdeck contacted me and Vemascu,the local chandlry could get some Caribes for a couple hundred less than the Swede. The Swedes boat is an unkown commodity so I jumped on the Caribe deal. As I was not buying his yet unmade dinghy he took back his loaner. Fair enough. So now hopefully I will get my new dinghy to go with the new motor by Friday. Then I can get off the boat on my own power, other than the kayak!


Sad news today, a 61 year old cruiser was murdered by thieves at at an anchorage on the Venezuelan Coast. The details are available on

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sunset over Parlomar

Sunset was a spectacular show last night. Due to the temperature and humidity we often get wild electrical storms as well. I will try to capture a video if I can.

The Anchorage

This is the anchorage at Parlomar. The weather here is hot and humid. Think 90/90. Not hard to understand the concept of a siesta!

A new experience

After sailing across the Pacific and selling Zafarse , a Baltic 42,Alison and I am now living on a Privilege 42 Catamaran. It is located in Porlamar, Venezuela, the largest city on the isalnd of Margarita.

Margarita is situated off the Venezuelan coast about 40 miles.

Our initial trip to take possesion of the boat has been a trying time. Two days after purchase a gale developed in the anchorage. There are currently 80 boats here waiting out hurricane season. A Norwegian boat broke out the anchor and was heading for the beach. It looked like it was going to hit Le Chat Beaute. At the last moment his anchor grabbed and he veered away and missed us by .5 meter. A close call. The next day my dinghy and outboard were "liberated". Not an auspicious begining