We left our Portland slip Tuesday, July 10, 2012.  We’ll be updating this journal with descriptions of our adventures aboard Cetacean, our Tayana 37 cutter, as we make our way south and then east.  The sailcetacean blogsite includes other pages (ships track page, writings and gallery) for you to explore. Hopefully you will find the writing and images amusing, informative, maybe thoughtful. Stay tuned.  We welcome your feedback and comments. 

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Cruising Season Preperations

Portland, Or.

Our preparations are under way to get back to Mexico. We’d started a bring-back-to-boat list way back in October of last year, so you can imagine how long that list had grown over the ensuing 8 months. Lately the UPS guy and us have been best friends — the total weight delivered is now a bit daunting at about 120 lbs. That doesn’t include any of our personal belongings, just new.

The airline baggage rules differ from airline to airline, so we are likely to encounter some over-weight costs along the way. We are using only two airlines from Portland to Tapachula, American Air to Mexico City and Aero Mexico to Tapachula, we’ll see how it all shakes out. We are each allowed two checked bags, so 130/4= 35 each in a perfect world.

One constant is that no one bag can weigh more than 50lb, so we’ve been juggling contents to make the weight more or less the same over the four “bags”. It’s hard to guess weight without any scale. We don’t have a scale to weight he bags so we carried one bag  to the work-out room in the apartment complex. One of the machines has adjustable weights for the lateral pull-down. By strapping our bag to the handle and increasing the weight until the bag “balanced” – we estimate the weight of the heaviest bag at about 45 lb.

That done we are now faced with the simple act of moving four heavy bags, three that don’t have wheels through/to the various airports and hotels. We bought a collapsible cart figuring we can strap two of the three non-rolley bags to it. Seems to work in trials, but we have yet to see how the airlines view that thing. The fourth “bag” is really two long cardboard boxes strapped together. These boxes are long and narrow, about four feet by 6”x6”. Before leaving we’ll use strapping tapeinsure they act like one “bag” and cobble a handle at the center of gravity to help us carry them. No matter what way we imagine this trip — it’s going to be a PITA through customs and to hotels.

Once we get to the boat we’re imagining it to take about three weeks to install all the crap. It’s kind of like doing all the maintenance for a house only once a year. We can hardly wait.

This year we plan (man plans and god laughs) to sail to Colombia, visiting Las Perlas Archipelago, maybe the Darian Gap, through the Panama Canal onto the San Blas Islands then end up in Colombia in June of 2015. All the times and stops in between are open, flexible and subject to our whim and weather.

It should be a very interesting year.

Denver and some other stuff

We’ve rented an apartment near Denver’s LoSo section (lower downtown), and  it’s pretty centrally located for getting around downtown Denver and near our granddaughter and her family. The miles long 16th Street walking mall is one block from the door of the apartment building.  Like the PNW, good beer, coffee, sidewalk cafes and restaurants  are  everywhere;…

Playing Catchup

Ron and I are in the U.S.  We flew out of Mexico on Saturday, June 21st for Portland, Oregon. The Marina Chiapis Manager assured us it was “only a little shake,” when we inquired about the July 7th 6.9 magnitude earthquake epicentering uncomfortably close to Cetacean’s dry dock at Marina Chiapis, Puerto Madero, Chiapis, Mexico.  We had left for Portland…

Lacondon Jungle Trip, Part 3: Yaxchilan and José

We drove from Palenque town to explore Yaxchilan, our third and final Lacondon Jungle Mayan ruin. To get to the Yaxchilan site, it’s necessary to take a boat.  The boat ride traverses the Usumacinta River, a waterway between southeastern Mexico and northwestern Guatemala. We entered the Yaxchilan park site, found a river transit service, paid the boat fee, and…

Lacondon Jungle Road Trip, Pt 2 – The Palenque Ruins & the Truth According to Victor Damas

The journey from Comítan de Domínguez to Palenque’s modern-day town was exhausting. Of course there were lots of topes (see Ron’s discussion of topes in his last post). Add the numerous and steep “Curvas Peligrosas” (dangerous curves); the drivers who pass on blind curves, the slow trucks, unusual and startling sales attempts involving road blocks, and it’s a…

Road Trip to Chiapas’ Lacondon Jungle, Part 1

  Marina Chiapas will be Cetacean’s home for the June-to-October hurricane season. We’ll be heading back to the states to visit family and friends from July through September. Leaving Cetacean for an extended period is always lot of (sweaty, detailed, sometimes frustrating) work: packing up – deciding what to leave behind, what to close down…

A three part series – Chiapas by car

We sailed into Marina Chiapas a few weeks ago to store the boat and spend time exploring Mexico by land. We set out to explore the state of Chiapas for 10 days with our bright red rental car, the size of a boxy office desk. During those 10 days we drove from one end of…

Crossing El Golfo de Tehuantepec – my own big, blue monster in the offshore closet

  Aaron maneuvered Patient Pariah out of our shared Bahia Santa Cruz, Huatulco, MX anchorage. He motored past the anchorage’s dicey, rocky entrance, headed to wind, put up his main and then turned left. “Be safe kiddo,” I whispered. Aaron was sailing, alone, into the baddest piece of water on the Mexican Pacific coast: El Golfo de…

From Z to A and the Tehuantepecker

Dear Reader – I’m sorry we’ve been neglecting you. Hopefully we can make up for our absence by being really boring/entertaining/flippant. We sailed to the fabled place of Zihuatanejo, made famous by the movie Shawshank Redemption adapted from the novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” by Steven King. In the film Andy Dufresne in prison…

//WL2K (from the boat in open water) Under Texas

What started out as a spectacular sail turned into something less than ideal, then ended great. Sailing under 1/2 moon (yes, the moon rise was in the morning) we left Santiago at about 10AM. There was no wind in the bay so we motored about an hour until the wind picked up to a comfortable…