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How’s Your Air-Conditioner?

Ummm, A/C on an older boat that was built to cruise? Of course....put up the wind scoop!

by the HelmsMistress

What are your plans?  Where are you going to spend the summer?  These questions seem to ease their way into all cruiser conversations around Puerto Escondido lately.  The answers range from “putting her on the hard in ____ and heading back to the states or Canada for the summer to “heading north in the Sea to _____marina for some A/C”.  When we answer with plans of staying on our boat anchored in the northern part of the Sea of Cortez, the immediate follow-up question is “How’s your air-conditioner?”, or “You do have A/C, right?”.  With no A/C in sight or even on the horizon, we are bound for a hurricane hole north in the Sea to wait out weather in a protected bay…and along with that comes the heat.  We have a hailing port from the desert and are the founders of our very own desert yacht club – I guess it’s appropriate for both the boat and crew to prove themselves worthy!  We’ve talked to folks who have done it before – start the day with a morning swim, do some school and chores then jump back in the water again, read a book or finish (OK, start impossible) boat projects, then plunge into the water again – and of course, sprinkle in some snorkeling or paddleboarding.  It’s doable.

I’m presently enjoying a preview of coming attractions this summer as we sit at anchor off Loreto and guess what kids?  It’s gunna be a hot one!  The summer hasn’t even started, but on days without wind, we’ve already started our routine of jumping in the water in the morning just to cool down with follow-up afternoon “cool down” sessions and solar showers.  There’s a tradeoff of course like anything in life.  Suck up the heat to sit in beautiful crystal clear water that is the most amazing color of turquoise you’ve ever seen…yes please!  Plenty of direct sun to fully charge the solar panels providing us with ample power…turn that fan on high baby!  The sandy bottom we are anchored in perfectly contrasts the fish, rays, turtles and dolphins (when the pods come close enough) so you can see them clearly, even down 20 feet beneath the boat.  There’s nothing like having your boat seemingly swallowed by a pod of dolphins on the hunt – surfacing and blowing, jumping out of the water, and slapping their tails on either side of you.   Quincy isn’t sure quite what to do!  There’s also a comfort in waking up and looking down through crystal clear waters to see your anchor dug into the sand on a windless morning, trying to trace the patterns of the chain from the night before.  We found our gin clear water.

Our anchor in 20 feet of gin-clear water.

Heat means limiting, or at least timing our cooking in the galley and maximizing the use of our solar oven.  I just made my first 2 loaves of sourdough thanks to starter I received from S/V Kyrie – too easy!  If I can do it, anyone can – trust me.  For us carb lovers the option of dipping fresh sourdough in our favorite olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the middle of nowhere is something to look forward to.  Kudos to our keto friends – don’t know how you do it!  It’s the little things that seem to satisfy out here – a turtle or ray sighting from the surface, the tiniest of pipefish schools dancing around the protection of seaweed at our stern, the option of ice in a drink (I now understand my cruiser in-laws love of ice in drinks!) – little things keep us going.

Punching down the Sourdough
Michelle makes bread….Sourdough in the Solar Oven

We’re in for a hot summer and are looking forward to lots of water time and hopes of seeing whale sharks in Bahía de los Angeles.  Until then, we’re conditioning ourselves for the summer and are sending you a virtual toast, since this seems to suit the modern times, with our cocktails over ice until the bag runs out.  Cheers


Ever wonder why our posts are late sometimes?  We tried to get this one our yesterday but just couldn’t get the bandwidth to connect from the island anchorage we were in.  Now we’ve come into Loreto to wait on some supplies so we’ve got decent bandwidth and I can get the story out.  Stick with us as we work through this long hot summer in the Sea of Cortez, exploring as we go…but still isolating on the boat because of continued COVID restrictions here in Baja.

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