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Friday, April 30, 2010

Cat in Training Photos

Tonight is our first night on the WTM. We are still moving piles of stuff around trying to sort it all out, but so far so good. We plugged into an AC outlet to hopfully get the fridge kickstarted....

Jordan is getting better at walking on her leash as you can see in the photos.

But she still hates it when it is time to go back home...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

WTM and Cat-In-Training

Our short list of things to "fix" on the RV turned into about 3 weeks worth of work. We found some sections of dry rot and had to remove several areas of the inside roof and replace two roof vents. This took a lot of time but the job was cheap and easy. Now the inside looks really good with new paint and roof fixtures. We also added a solar panel to keep the White-Trash-Machine green. And we put in an invertor for using AC power.

We also went through all the equipment and got everything working, from the fridge to the water heater. We even added a water filter so Sherrell can have her good tasting water.

Now we are about 90% moved on board the WTM. But what about the cats? Well Jordan has been learning the fine art of walking on a leash. She loves the outdoors so much that we have been trying to get her used to the idea of being outside but not being able to "go bonko". She is really good at maneuvoring on the boat with her harness and tether, but walking with her has been a real learning experience. Sometimes she gets wrapped up on things and panics, sometimes she sees other cats and gets feisty and sometimes she just has to be dragged back home. All in all she is doing pretty good and should be ready for the parks and the city. She is quite a crowd pleaser as everyone is interested in a cat on a leash. Jezebel on the other hand doesn't like change so we'll just have to see how she does...

Our plan is to spend a couple of days actually living on the WTM while "putting the boat away" for the summer. After 7 years this will be the first time we've left SARANA alone for more than a month. Fortunately, there are several people here to keep an eye on it for us. So we should be checking out the surf spots by next week and slowly working our way north along Mexico's coast.

Friday, April 02, 2010

White Trash Summer

I'm sure you're wondering why we've been so silient. We decided to tie up in Huatulco, Mexico this summer and go see our friends and family in the US. To do this properly (i.e. bring the cats) we needed wheels.

In addition to prepping Sarana to be alone, we have been researching RV's. Yes a full-on beater white trash machines (read: cheap). We found a class of 21' RV's that get about 16mpg (outstanding when it comes to RV's I'm told). So after scouting the internet ads we opted for me to fly to Phoenix, Arizona where there was the largest collection of these RV's. And as an added bonus I was able to crash at Sherrell's childhood friend's house and they even had an extra car for me to drive in my quest.

Well, I found it. And not only did I find our 6 wheeled (it has dual rear tires) WTM (white trash machine), I fixed it up, loaded it with Mirror Pond Ale, and drove it over 1500 miles from Arizona to Huatulco (not far from Guatemala). I crossed 12,000' mountain passes near snow covered 18,000' peaks in Mexico City. I crossed the desert, the forest, lakes, rivers, more mountains, more cities in an endless blur to return to Sherrell and our cats.

FIVE days of day-time driving and that has to be a speed record. I didn't have a single serious break down. In fact during my rest stops I spent time fixing things inside. The only problem was a $100 in bribes to some crooked cops near Mexico City and about 37 toll booths. (I took the paid roads because they are big beautiful smooth roads with emergency service phones and plenty of help if I broke down). It was a spectacular little trip to bring our WTM to Mexico.

The pictures make it look bigger than it is. This is a toyota mini-truck with a box on the back. In the box is a propane stove, a electric/gas fridge, bathroom, shower, sink, water heater, and of course the bed. It's smaller than our boat, but what the hell? This thing was built in 1986 and has retro all over it. One thing for sure is RV's and boats are worlds apart when it comes to quality. RV's are junk.

But we are fixing this one up. The engine and drive train are in great shape with only 80k miles. There are some issues with the hatches and the ceiling, but we've found materials here in Mexico and are starting to fix them. One hatch blew off when I crossed the area near the Tehuantepec. Ironic isn't it? The Tehuantepec is a nasty gulf to cross in a sailboat and here the RV is what takes the damage.

Got a parking spot for us?!