Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer 2013 Update

Holy moly, it's almost August. Here in the Pacific Northwest everyone looks forward to the possibility of some warm weather soon.  We're visiting friends in Seattle and Olympia and have just finished a one week sailboat adventure in the San Juan Islands where we actually went without wearing wool socks for two days. One of the wonderful things I appreciated was that my beer stayed cold in the bottle as I consumed it, unlike in Mazatlan where halfway through your beer it becomes warm and flat.
We anchored at Ewing Cove at Sucia Island

Traveler sits alone in Mazatlan with her new engine, tranny, prop shaft, dripless shaft seal, cutlass bearing, and a smooth sexy new bottom.   We'll get back to her in late September, most likely. 

We've yet to exhaust our offers of couches or spare rooms in these parts but we can see a time coming soon when we'll want to spread our wings and head east into the mountains for scenic opportunities.  With that in mind, today we outfitted ourselves with a cute little 1987 Toyota Dolphin.  You can call it a motor home or you can call it what we call it - "Dolfina"

Note the northwest fashion statement of socks with sandals.
We got a killer deal on the old gal.  Once we get her tuned up, looked at, patched, and prodded sufficiently we'll head towards Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, you know the old west (which is east from here).  Mountain states' friends beware!  You might have little Dolfina show up in your driveway in August.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Engine in Boat - a Milestone

Hooray, Hooray, the time has come.
Mister Perkins is surely done.
Metallic Blue

We spray painted him metallic blue then the crane truck came to the yard and hoisted the beast up into the air and down to Rafael's waiting hands to be directed into the bowels of Traveler.  Some grunting, some heaving and he was resting on the new rubber motor mounts deep down in the bottom of the boat. The whole operation was like a birth in reverse.  Traveler opened herself up to receive the big blue block of metal and as it slid into place you could hear the boat settle into her dry dock cradle with a sigh of relief.  Surely this is a time of gladness, a time of celebration, and to commemorate the event I cracked open an ice cold ballena of Pacifico cerveza.
Hoist it up and lower it  in

As you might have gathered, I'm back in Mazatlan, coming here especially to see the boat receive the engine and get splashed back into the water where she belongs.  The list of accomplishments is a yard long so I'll wait until the bitter end to list those out.  And also, there is no need to risk offending the dogs, er..gods, by claiming a fait accompli when that's just counting chickens before they are hatched. We know how unlucky that can be. 

Hal admiring the engine sitting on the cockpit floor.
Boats here get stuck in the yard for  days, weeks, and months as new problems emerge as the onion gets peeled.  Hal and Nina brought their boat in for a paint job.  Then they found a leaking water tank.  On removal they found a rotten beam under the floor.  Then they found the mast step to be rotten too. They removed the mast, they removed the floor, they removed the floor joists and bulkheads and now they live in a camper in the parking lot as their boat is no longer habitable. We went through a similar thing as we peeled the onion of Traveler, watching a simple hull repair turn into an odyssey of  rebuilding and replacing.

Hope springs eternal, and I truly do believe our repair/refit odyssey is coming to an end. I've got a U.S. Air flight booked for next Wednesday, taking me back to my loved ones in the chilly northwest.  In the meantime, I'll make arrangements for Traveler to be safely moored at the marina here and someone will come by every week to check her bilges, her lines, her batteries, and her state of mind so that when we arrive in late September she'll be ready to head out into the open sea again. 
It's in the bilge,  resting  on the motor mounts.

Connie is back in Seattle, on Vashon Island of all places, getting some much needed rehabilitation for a pinched nerve in her back.  Our friends in Seattle and Olympia have been wonderful, taking us into their homes and giving us a comfortable place to stay.  We've been bouncing around there for a couple of weeks now waiting for the boat to get finished.  But I'm here in Mazatlan and Connie is on Vashon, and I miss her terribly.

Sexy new under body.
We are open to suggestions for trips or house sitting in the months of August and September so if you have any suggestions on how or where we could freeload for a week or two, drop me a line.  One thing I'm looking forward to is spending a week on a WYC keelboat in the San Juans when I get back.  We've got her reserved for 7/22 through 7/26.  Please send us good weather, warm temperatures, and lots of wind.  Ha! Like that ever happens in the pacific northwest.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bert Wilson, saxophonist

Bert Wilson
 Sunday we attended a memorial celebration of the life of Bert Wilson, an Olympia saxophone player who recently passed.  The hall was filled with musicians and friends playing Bert's compositions and telling stories of his amazing life.  I've never seen such a gathering of talent in the same room. It was quite a party.

With plenty of sound equipment on the stage there was room for many to play.  Our buddy Steve Luceno kept calling for musicians to come to the stage, making sure everyone had a chance to honor Bert by playing his music.  People swapped turns on the keyboards, bass, traps, guitar, and horn section.  In between songs we'd see a video of Bert playing or have a friend come up to the  microphone to tell a story about Bert's life. 

There was a lot of emotion in the room.  I took a few pictures.
Musicians friends of Bert, playing Bert's music

Nancy Curtis Wilson and Laura Booker
Ariel Calabria and Joe Baque
Steve Luceno and Laurie Gardener
This from the Seattle Times: 

"Mr. Wilson developed techniques for playing two, and sometimes three notes at the same time, called “multiphonics.” He also extended the range of the tenor saxophone several octaves above the instrument’s normal range, using special fingerings."

Vincent Soluna
Michael Moore and Connie

John Shepard and Susan Tuzzolino with Paul Hjelm lurking behind

This from Doug Ramsey:

"Although not widely known to the jazz public, he was sought out by saxophonists who regarded him as a guru of improvisation, extended techniques and the history of the instrument.

He lived and worked in New York, LA and Berkeley before he settled in Olympia (Washington) in 1979 where his home with flutist Nancy Curtis became the center of the jazz community. It was the site of private lessons, informal jams and public concerts. Struck by polio at the age of 4, Bert Wilson spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair (he became known as “Dr.Wheelz”) but he said discovering Charlie Parker had a larger impact on his life. He also said playing the saxophone was a necessary exercise in strengthening his lungs."