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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Photos from splashing Sarana

First get two old russian cranes and put some straps around your boat (that's me on the left).

For an added bonus, the yard can swipe the ladder away from you and leave you and two other guys trapped on a potential death machine as they rotate the boat slowly out over the water.

Fortunately there were no equipement failures and we had plenty of water depth to escape without touching bottom.

After a crap load of work, we're now out in the bay hoping this stupid kidney stone passes quickly so we can get to sailing.

"{GMST}11|15.377|N|85|52.627|W|Fun place to surf.|San Juan del Sur{GEND}"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Green Coconut or Avacado?

There was only one avacado in the market today and we almost needed a forklift to bring it home.

Two Cranes are insane

Today we helped splash Ocean Lady back into the water. You can see the old cranes and the amount of extra man power needed to rotate the boat out over the water. It's a risky business but everything went without a hitch, there was even enough depth that they didn't touch bottom!

7mm shy of freedom

Stress mixed with terror. That's about the only way to describe standing
on the deck of your boat while two 30 year old Russian cranes try to
rotate it 90 degrees, lift it out over the water and set it down. All
this, without tangling the mast, banging the hull or flat out dropping it.
It wasn't my intention to be on this death ride. I would have preferred
to watch the cranes from a distance, but while I was on deck helping
attach the cranes, they started moving it -- leaving 3 of us to figure out
where to jump if thing went wrong.

The story of getting our boat out of the yard is quite a drama. The boat
can only be put in during a narrow window during peak high tide.
Otherwise they'll just set you down on the dry beach. One of the crane
operators showed up 30 minutes PAST high tide, so we scrambled to get the
boat in the water before it was too shallow. Somehow inside of 20 minutes
we had the boat in the water, straps coming off and engine running. We
only lightly bumped the sand once, but another 15 minutes longer and we
would have been stuck there high and dry.

Somehow, someway, we escaped damaging our boat and got ourselves anchored
safely. After 5 months of sitting around in a house, it felt really good
to be on the boat. It was like we had never left.

You might be wondering about the subject of this post. Well, 5 days
before we were set to launch I had a minor kidney stone attack. It turns
out I have a 7mm stone (not too big). We debated about not launching the
boat, but due to the size of the stone, and how we'd have to wait 30 days
for the tides to be right again, we decided to splash our boat.

As soon as this stone passes we'll feel safe to head back into the wilds.
I'm trying to look at our long string a bad luck as a payment for the luck
of a safe transit in and out of the yard.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I thought I was crazy

The new railway in San Juan del Sur is in full swing hauling fishing boats and even two sailboats. However this second sailboat is a bit of a monster and they don't really have the right car for holding sailboats. Nonetheless this boat from Playa del Coco (Costa Rica) hauled out and is working on the bottom. Hopefully one of the local sailboat owners will get his car built that fits the shape of sailboats soon. Then cruisers will have a very convient place to paint their boats.

Friday, October 12, 2007

One big blur

We finally received everything we needed to get the rudder back on the
boat. It took a lot of work and even more waiting for parts but, our boat
is officially a boat. I also received the parts to rebuild our wet
exhaust system and now in addition to being a sailboat we can also run our

There is one big catch though, the boat is still on land. The weather
turned really bad and looks bad for many days. We hope it calms down
around the 25th when the tides will be right for putting the boat back in
the water. Right now it doesn't look good at all.

Instead of thinking about the weather, we've been working in between rain
squalls every day, all day. Everything has blurred together and I hardly
even know what day it is anymore. We are almost at the point of putting
the bottom paint on the boat! Oh to be able to sail again!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Cloned Dog

Born 1,500 miles apart somehow these two dogs ended up looking alike, acting alike and almost having the same names. Lilly (the bigger dog) and Melly (3 months younger) are like twins. Melly ended up staying with us because of a bad infection she got after being sterilized. Our environment is better for her to receive treatment (she's been to the local vet 4 times with us). She's recovering but she'll need to stay another week with us. Once again we tried to help by getting a local dog sterilized but it's turned into another expensive painful process and a struggle to get the dog healed.

And it's a bit crazy having 2 puppies in the house.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Melly & Lilly

I'd like to stay we tried to help. Sometimes it doesn't work out that way. The plan was help get Juan's dog steralized so she wouldn't go into heat and have puppies. Melly is only 7 months and she was still young enough for the surgery. The problem is finding vets who use the correct sutures and medicine. We won't get into the whole issue with anathesia because what they use down here is pretty risky and a gringo vet who works in San Juan del Sur won't even perform the operation until his machine arrives from the states. So we did some research and found a vet who answered our questions with the right words.

However after the surgery we found he used the wrong type of sutures (silk) which in a couple of days had caused a bad infection. Since Juan didn't have a clean envirnment for the dog to recover from, we moved Melly into our house. She's had 3 minor operations to try to clean up and repair the damage from the infection and the sutures and she's finally closing up and 3 weeks later she is almost ready for the stiches to come out. She's a happy a puppy and LOVES playing with her new bigger buddie Lilly (Scott and Liz's dog).