Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A typical day at anchor aboard "Espiritu"

First, we rise as the sky gently lightens before sunrise...the amethyst rays come quietly peeping in under the v-berth hatch...

La Cruz sunrise aboard "Espiritu"

Chris always rises first.

He heats up what's left of yesterdays coffee in our old-timey camping coffee pot (probably our most loved possession aboard).

Then Chris lowers the dinghy after lifting it up out of the water at bedtime the night before to reduce risk of theft.

With this task done, Chris then settles in to monitor the sunrise. He studies it.

My husband taught me how to watch a sunrise (or a sunset, for that matter). The key with a sunset it this: most people make the mistake of walking away as soon as the star of the show has sunken below the horizon.

Big mistake.

Sunset over Espiritu

He taught me that when watching a sunset, the best part is after the sun has gone down. This is when the real light show begins. THIS is when the pinks and purples show up. THIS is when the miracle happens.

At some point I meander out of bed and join him in the cockpit, bleary eyed.

We then quietly watch the sunrise together, sipping coffee.

Around 8 or 8:30 we'll listen to the morning cruisers net to find out what's what.

Then I'll make breakfast in my Malibu Barbie galley. My usual rotation is:

 a) nonfat, sugar free yogurt (YES, this is available in Mexico!) with fresh fruit, nuts and granola (also surprisingly attainable here);

b) pancakes and fruit;

c) eggs, bacon and fruit;

d) french toast and fruit;

e) eggs, fruit and homemade biscuits

(With all of this fresh papaya, kiwi, mango and banana available, how could we not eat fresh fruit with every meal?)

We read our daily devotions together every morning after breakfast in the cockpit. Often this will lead to a meandering conversation on where we are, where we're going, what our hopes and dreams are, any disappointments or frustrations we may have...

Then it's time to clean the kitchen.

The thing about cooking and cleaning aboard is every simple task is just a little bit more difficult than it is back home, and takes a smidge more effort and time. (As in the camping coffee pot above -- no Mr. Coffee here).

Doing dishes is a bit of a slog. Since we don't have a fresh watermaker, I wash my dishes in ocean water, which I access via a foot pump a couple of feet away. (Cruisers hint: I set a small bowl with fresh water, a dollop of dish soap and a few teaspoons of vinegar in the sink and dip my sponge there to wash the dishes, then rinse in the salt water. The vinegar really helps cut the grease.)

I wash and re-use ziplok bags over and over again, and hang them to dry on our fruit hammock.

Then I'll make my world famous sun tea concoctions -- "Espiritu" style.

Recipe: one green tea bag and two slices of fresh lime in a Coca Cola bottle, and into the sun she goes for the day


I also reuse and fill these bottles with fresh drinking water. I've lately taken to putting these in the freezer, so when we pull them out to drink, the ice slowly melts as the temperature rises...  :-)

In a typical day, we might go into town for provisions. Since we don't have a car, we walk, take the bus and wear our back country backpacks so we can fill them up at Costco, Walmart or Mega.

Here in Las Hadas, Manzanillo, the walk to the bus stop from the anchorage is a shadeless mile. Fortunately the buses are ubiquitous and cheap here in Mexico. One comes by about every 7 minutes.

After our shopping excursion, we cram everything deep into our backpacks and hit the road again, heavy laden with our treasured sustenance.

These are our most exhausting days. After arriving hot and sweaty back on the boat and putting away our priceless booty, it's on with the swimsuits and over the side we go for our watery reward!

While in the water, I'll often spend several minutes scrubbing the waterline with a strong sponge, releasing "Espiritu" from the bonds of the countless species of algae and barnacles that so quickly accumulate on her hull.

Monthly, Chris goes down with the huka line/SCUBA and does a thorough scrubbing all the way down to the tip of the keel.

A late lunch will usually be a simple PB & J or tuna fish sammy. Weirdly, Mexican mayonnaise comes with lime flavoring. It takes some getting used to. But I miss my Best Foods! And of course, some fresh papaya goes on the side with the sandwich, or half of an avocado.

By this time (around 2 or so) we can relax on the boat for a couple of hours before dinner. Usually I'll read and Chris will tinker with one of the countless maintenance tasks which needs tending to, or if I'm lucky, he'll gently play the mandolin as I read my book.

If this part sounds like paradise, then you're right. It is.  :-)

After swimming again, we'll bathe in our outdoor shower in the cockpit before dinner.

Chris will usually entertain me with more music (maybe the fiddle this time -- he is getting SO GOOD -- you should hear him!) as I prepare dinner.

I will often cook several days worth of beans (I believe they must be the official food of Mexico!) in the pressure cooker after soaking them overnight.

Since fresh tortillas are everywhere, and they're cheap and delicious, we'll often have burritos or quesadillas for dinner, with fresh avocado on the side, brown rice (it's hard to find in Mexico, unfortunately) or more papaya.

Then after watching the sunset together, we'll settle in for an evening movie. Tonight, we're looking forward to watching "10" with Bo Derek and the  hilarious antics of the late Dudley Moore (filmed here in Las Hadas).

When in Mexico...

We then pop up into the v-berth and watch something silly on DVD (yes, we have two tiny TV's! One in the main salon, and one in the v-berth) in bed, like an old western. Last night we laughed at the ultra kitchy Roy Rogers in a nugget from the 30's.

When you're desperate for entertainment, you'd be surprised at what you might enjoy!

So that's pretty much it. A day in the life of "Espiritu."

We're getting the hang of it. We work hard, relax afterwards and sleep like babies.

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