Looking for a Catamaran Cruising Blog?

If you found this blog via a link from a cruising site ~ we did cruise Mexico on our Ocean 49 cat for a season. See the first text box on the right for links to our preparations, trip down Baja, life in Mexico, cruising and trip back up to SoCal. Unfortunately we are back to the grind in the USA...

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Too many.

6 gallons of bottom paint.
A bunch of prep & repair materials.
Had done / Jim did (remember, I did nada):
Fiberglassed over a bunch (Jim would know the exact number) of through hulls.
Bottom sanded & painted with anti-fouling paint.
Repaired t-bone hole on starboard side.
Repaired tsunami crunch on port side.
Buffed hullsides.
Removed scum line from just above the waterline.
New strainer for generator & watermaker intake.
Removed old toilet plumbing because... we now have one and soon to be two composting heads (more on this later, but in meantime, check out Nature's Heads).
Uh, what else?
Not sure, but it was a lot.
We provided:
Money into the somewhat sluggish boatyard economy.
Money into the local hotel and restaurant businesses.
Rain shelter for golf carts.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Yes, we are back in the water!
Yes, our damages were repaired!
Yes, new bottom paint!
Yes, through hulls glassed over!
And on, and on, and on...

Then: Time to put the dirty boat back together!
2.5 million tools tossed about.
Dirt everywhere.
We are halfway there...

But first...
Time to celebrate our 16th anniversary!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Further Interruption

Complete and utter interruption.
Full-on life interruption!
Tomorrow we do this:
"Meerkat" goes to the spa.
Gets her damages fixed.
A bit of a face-lift.
A bunch of bottom paint.
A huge amount of cash out-flow.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Another Commercial Break

Once again, time to interrupt this boring, tedious, too long with too many pictures and details re-cap of vacation heaven for something.
No rescues at sea this time.
Well, except for Ed getting airlifted off of "Blue Max" a few weeks ago, but really we aren't going to talk about that!
This time it's a commercial!
"Thistle" is for sale again!
I'm sorry, but did I read that price right?
I did?
Holy crap.
I'm very curious as to what he did with the boat.
Did he rip out the interior and re-do it?
Install a new engine?
New mainsail?
Replace the countertops?
New cushions and mattresses?
He better not have taken out that table Ron Whately made us... grrrrrrrrrrr.
Install 24k gold faucets?
Really, what?

And on to Arenal!

Well the boots on the fan trick worked.
I was able to put dry boots on to protect my sprained ankle.
Yay for Jim's creativity.
And now off to Arenal!
Volcano #2 on the list.
A wise decision was to drive down the hill to the highway and avoid as many sharp pointy gravel roads as possible.
Remember, we had no spare tire...
Or any good tires for that matter.

Stopped at Cafe Macadamia and Lucky Bug for snacks and shopping.
And bird viewing.
And internet.

And then the huge disappointment of the trip...
Our favorite gift shop from our prior time in CR, Toad Hall was boarded up and closed!
With squatters squatting in the breezeway.

Still raining with no signs of it letting up, so selected a hotel based upon it's 14 thermal pools.
Arenal Paraiso Hotel & Resort!
What else are you going to do in the rain?
Sit in thermal pools!
Oh yay.
Works for me.

But first ~ supplies, shopping and lunch!
It to La Fortuna for all of the above, including this feast.
Ok, food!
Giant bugs!
Giant bugs?
Aaaaggghhhh back to the foo foo hotel.
With the incredible thermal pools.
Beautiful ceilings.
Did I mention the thermal pools?
Laundry service.
And a sloth in a tree!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rain Tenorio National Park Hiking

So our plan was to get to Tenorio Park really early to beat the crowds on the trails.
Ah ha ha ha ha.
It was pouring rain.
What crowds?
Plus we had to drive an hour on what was now the worst gravel, sharp rock, pot-hole filled road to date.
Up, up, rocks, stream, bridge, up, rocks and more rocks.
Finally up to the park.
And we were the first ones.
Actually, I don't even think they were open yet.

A basic, hand drawn map of the park was handed out.
Weird things in jars were on display.
And off we went hiking in the rain.
Me, looking quite like Big Bird...
I had a backpack on and a jacket tied around my waist with a yellow rain poncho over the entire ensemble.
Good thing there were no crowds...
Back to the rain.

In fact, it would probably be better to describe this day in the exact words in my travel log:

Good trail, bad, trail, rocks, puddles, slippery mud, squishy mud, gooey mud, boards to walk across, stepping stones, no stepping stones, rain coming down, I look like a flippin idiot (or Big Bird), up, down, rocks, roots, hanging bridge, not blue rio :( too much rain? More rain, two logs to walk across, luckily with a cable to hold onto, more squishy mud, now all of our shoes are covered in mud and our socks are soaked, I'm done! Crap it's pouring, not hot spings, this is crazy and we really need to get back across the river and here come all the other hikers - have at it! Beautiful waterfall, but good lord the steps going down, half way down and yes, this time I am really done! But wait, we still have a kilometer to go! AAAGGGGGHHHHH!

Funny on how the way up the trail we were so careful to not step in the giant puddles and squishy mud.
On the way down?
Who cared...

We had to wash our shoes at a spigot.
Wet squishy socks and hiking boots.
Mud everywhere.
And back down the gravel road from hell, singing "We are the Champions" at the top of our voices accompanied by Queen.
Thanks for the theme song for the day Freddie and friends!

More rain.
Hora feliz.
That pate shit in a tube.
More rain.

Had to take everything out of Jim's wallet / money belt and lay out to dry.
Had to hang my boots on the fan overnight.
An adventure in paradise.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Heliconias Lodge at Bijuaga & Cabinas Miravalles

Bijuaga is off the beaten path.
Tenorio is off the beaten path.
Rain however finds this unbeaten path.
First stop ~ small hotel full.
Next stop, oh wait, let's talk about the road.
It was a beaten path.
Worst road yet.
Gravel with giant rocks.
Sharp, pointy rocks.
Pot holes.
Pot holes filled with sharp, pointy rocks.
Remember, we are down to four decent piece of crap street tires.

Since this area is off the beaten path, my extensive internet research found all of three places to stay.
Remember, the first one was full.
The third one had no beer or wine.
Cross that one off.
So the second one it had to be.
So dealt with the beaten path road and was rewarded!
The Heliconias Lodge!
And luckily it had two rooms.
Two awesome rooms!

With incredible decks!
Rocking chairs!
Views of Miravalles Volcano and Lake Nicaragua!
And king size comfortable beds!

Beers, wine, juice (Susan), crackers, bread and Monteverde cheese on our deck.
For some reason our room always becomes the party room... why is that?
Enjoyed the breeze, view and our music.

Made fun of the birders.

Hey, we found a walking stick on our deck!
What else were we supposed to do with it?

Decent dinner.
A float in a luke-warm jacuzzi tub.
Awesome sleep.
Woke up to the sounds of howler monkeys in the distance.
Lots of howler monkeys!
Howling for a long time!
Great breakfast.
Decent internet.
And a great hike!
Ferns, vines, birds, heart shaped leaves, different fauna, capuchin monkeys skittering across the tree tops, strangler figs.
Giant strangler figs!

Unfortunately Heliconias only had the two rooms for the one night, but the awesome staff member, Jorge had (after a lot of phone calls) arranged for our next stop!

So back down the gravel road from hell (hey, it was ok, we did NOT want to drive back up this thing!) to Cabinas Miravalles.
Over priced, but okay.
Good view of Miravalles!
Nice dogs visiting us.
Hot and steamy afternoon and California was supposed to be getting the cold, wet, snow-filled storm of the century ~ snow down to 500-1000 feet and we were pouring sweat.

To the awesome pizza place right around the corner for lunch, beers and a dice tournament.
To the equally awesome tienda for supplies.
Drinks on our patio and then the rain started.
More dog visiting.
More rain.
Back to the pizza place for great pizzas!
More rain overnight.
All good.