Kim Tullis

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As the Boat Swings….

From the title of this blog, you may think that I am going to talk about the soap opera like dramas that go on at the marinas and among some cruisers.  It would be easy to do, especially as cruisers gather almost daily in what they call a “Circle of Knowledge” along the dock or at a central location.  That is were we find out whose boat has been on the rocks, who is jumping ship, whose relationship is on the rocks, …gossip is huge.  The Circle of Knowledge also is a great place to pick salty old sailors brains about all the million things you can learn from their experience.

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But, I am really going to share, literally, about the boat swinging on and around its anchor.  Just Dandy weighs in at about 9880 pounds.  Most newer, bigger boats are about 18,000 pounds.  Because we are so light, when we are at anchor, we literally swing, we swing left, we swing right, providing us with a panoramic view of any bay we are in or any boat that is in the bay.  It is pretty fun to have the binoculars out as we swing so that we (actually I am the nosey one) can see what boats are in the bay with us.

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Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 2.43.04 PM(Taking photos of some of the views and vistas just don’t do these areas justice nor can you feel the movement of the boat).

For Christmas, Bill gave me “The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America”.  We have taken to trying to identify the birds that fly around us but who knew there were soooooo many birds that look alike?  This also gives me an excuse to use the binoculars to study them, or truthfully to scope out other boats some more and see what is going on.  My favorite so far is the French boat with the guy in a speedo!

AT least I can identify these two… A seagull who loved sitting and pooping on our dinghy. Fortunately, he wasn’t eating the fish he caught and leaving blood all over the dinghy like the pelicans do.

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a roadrunner, who was running around like the wiley coyote was after him.

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Talk about as the boat swings, one night was like the West Coast Swing or Mister Toad’s Wild Ride!  We had heard that a storm was coming down from California and had returned to Puerto Escondido to ride it out.  We came in and dropped anchor in the “Elipse” which is a man-made anchorage, so the bottom is not sandy and not ideal for dropping an anchor. The wind started about 9:00 pm and was quickly gusting up 40-50 knots.  We felt that our anchor was not holding so we kept using our scope to check if we were closing in on other boats and we were!  So we had to re-drop our anchor but as we were doing that, the winds got worse and we were being blown all over.  Luckily we were able to hook onto a mooring ball.  However, the mooring ball has been there a while and we weren’t sure if it wass still strong, but we seemed to be holding.

The gusts had us swinging quickly from side to side and if the wind hit us right, it laid us on our side (or at least it felt like it).  Things inside the cabin went flying!  We donned our life jackets, pulled out bumpers and ropes just in case and prepared to ride it out.  With the ball around our anchor, we couldn’t move plus the wind was too strong to pull the anchor again.  To make matters worse, others were on the radio with their own issues and we were witnessing other boats with anchors that weren’t holding. Once we determined that the mooring ball was holding, however, we relaxed a little and played ‘Skipbo’ (cards) most of the night, just in case.  What a long night!!! And the next day, it hailed! (About the size of peas)

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Boy, did we all celebrate afterwards too!

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Brian and Sharon on Music (from Alberta)

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Dennis and Donna on EZ Duz It (also from Alberta)  Gotta love those crazy Canadians!!!

Meanwhile, while the boat swings to and fro at anchor, we take ourselves ashore.  Once again I was asked to give some basketmaking instruction, so several of us gathered around the tineda (store) in Puerto Escondido and made baskets.  I’m getting to be known as the basket lady but Bill calls me ‘basket case’.  As I am teaching more and more people to basket weave, I am quickly putting myself out of business when it comes time to sell at a craft fair but the time spent gathered and chatting is well worth it!

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Sadly, our 3rd season has come to a close.  We have learned more, rekindled friendships, and made new friends.  One of the best parts of the winter was having people come visit us and being able to take them out and show them what we love to do.  We hope that continues next year.  Just Dandy is put to bed but also been put up for sale.  We love this life so much, we are looking for a bigger boat that will be a little less like camping and allow for friends and family to come visit comfortably!

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