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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Breast Cancer

Our cruising plans are on hold for a while.  Sherrell has just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer here in Mazatlan but not to fear, the initial prognosis is good and we feel very positive about a full recovery.  Right now, we are spending our days researching the internet, reading books, and getting as many opinions and recommendations we can about tackling this head on, with the best possible medical personnel.  We are currently searching for the best oncologist (cancer specialist) here in Mexico, which will probably be in one of the large cities such as Guadalajara, Monterey or Mexico City.  If we don’t find the person(s) we feel can provide the best treatment here, we will go to the U.S.  We are fortunate to have close friends here on another cruising boat, Ocean Lady, who just successfully beat breast cancer 1 ½ years ago who have been giving us invaluable moral support as well as information and recommendations.  They also have the name of an excellent oncologist in the U.S. so we know we have that option to fall back on.


Please don’t feel sad or worried – we’re not.  We are facing this as we would face any problem:  with determination, a positive attitude, and information, information, information.  Send your positive thoughts our way.


Sherrell & Eric



Monday, November 21, 2005

Self Steering Trim Tab Design

For those who are interested in building their own trim tab self steering system, we just completed part 2 of our design guide.  It’s a 60+ page document and is practically a book and I’m glad it’s done.  Also, we’ve revamped the page and added a couple of pictures.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Back in Mazatlan after 1603 miles

Yeah!  We did a 49 hour passage from San Carlos to Topolobampo and another 46 hour leg from Topolobampo to Mazatlan.  We were able to sail quite a bit on the first leg, but the second leg we had crappy winds and only sailed for about 10 or 12 hours.


Our “loop of the Sea” from Mazatlan up the inside of the Baja, then back down the mainland side, which we took a leisurely 7 months to complete, covered a total mileage of 1603 miles.  Wow!  And here we thought we were “just going up into the sea for the summer.”  It’s a little funny that it took us only 5 days to cover about 420 miles back down the main land coast and about 6+ months to cover the 680 or so miles (as the pelican flies) from Mazatlan to Puerto Refugio (with a billion stops in between).


So we’re going to visit Sherrell’s dad for Thanksgiving, make plans for future family rendezvous and try REALLY hard to get some more boat work done.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Topolobampo -- Say it!

Even if this bay wasn’t a great spot to rest on our way to Mazatlan from San Carlos, we probably would have come here just to say the name: TOPOLOBAMPO. Say it with me! TOE – POH – LOW – BAM – POH Yeah!

This little town gets lots and lots of ships and cruise ships so the channel and entrance are marked with navigation aids up the wazoo, including 3 separate sets of range markers. It’s a thing of beauty after so many comically charted entrances with no aids. Not that the charts here are any good, it still shows us anchored in the middle of town, but with nav. aids life becomes a lot less stressful.

The aids allowed us to enter the bay at 3:30am in the pitch black dark of dark and pitch black dark nights. Our radar punched through the night and lit up the marks like stars in the sky. We could also see the navigation lights really well too, until the fog rolled in.

We were swallowed by it! It swooped down and ate everything in sight. We couldn’t see more than 10 feet, even the well lit channel markers 30 feet away were a feint glow. It was really bizarre! Fortunately it cleared as we approached the town, and shortly there after we were saved by the rising sun revealing the glory of TOPOLOBAMPO.