Friday, June 25, 2010

So, what do you do in summer?

Used to be, in summer, I'd put away the raingear but I'd keep out the coats, sweaters and sweat pants. The reason was the Humboldt Current flowing along the Northern California coast, where we lived. The prevailing northwesterlies would blow over this cold upwelling of water just before they hit land and the resulting climate was cold and rainless. I won't say dry. The Pacific Ocean, driven by these winds, would pound against the rocky, redwood strewn shore and spindrift would be caught in the winds and thrown against anything standing in it's way. Icicles of salt would form on automobiles... an oceanic blessing for body shop owners. And it was cold, hardly ever reaching over 65 degrees in the hottest part of the year. It rained in the winter and the rain was warmer than the air, it seemed. Summer was a colder, drier version.

The 1st Mate and I were the night managers for a romantic getaway, called Seacliff on the Bluff in Gualala, California and we lived above the lobby. Their website is here, and if the weather gets to be too hot for you, make a reservation. There are sixteen rooms in four separate buildings overlooking the Pacific, and each room has a tv, a king bed, a redwood deck, shower, two person jacuzzi, a fridge with complimentary champagne (or fizzy apple cider, your choice), gas fireplace with ceramic logs and no telephones. The gray whales roam along this coast and stop and rub their large bodies against the sandy bottom just before the surfline at Gualala. They're just 15 to 20 yards offshore. Amazing to watch.

But we left Gualala in 2005 to live in Mexico, and summers have never been the same (thank God!).

In a few days, we'll be driving to Mazatlan from San Carlos to prepare our sailboat BLISS for a trip to the Baja and the Sea of Cortez before crossing back over to San Carlos. At five miles an hour, it will take us a couple of weeks. And the temperatures will be close to double those of distant summers in the north.
This year we're taking a window-sized air conditioner and using our quiet little Honda eu2000i generator to power the ac. Tearing down the carburetor I discovered this in the gas bowl. Pink colored salt crystals. The coloring is dye they use in the gas, the crystals found their way into the gasoline somehow. I suspect the daily heating and cooling of the gas can, which sucks salty air into the jerry jug at night.

Sailing with an air conditioner is grand, by the way. The sea water is still below 90 degrees and will help when the air temps get over 110.


Chrissy y Keith said...

Envy, shade of dark dark green... Have a wonderful time and write often so I can keep my greenish complexion.

1st Mate said...

Alas, we don't have Sailmail, the satellite email provider, so once we leave the dock at Mazatlan, we probably will be out of touch for a while. Though there's reportedly wifi at Los Muertos, where we'll making landfall when we reach Baja. Unless they've closed down for the summer.

I remember when Fina gasoline had a big promotion to tell the world their gasoline was dyed: "It's pink!" they crowed. Not that it was any more efficient, but at 20 cents a gallon, who cared?

MxSailor said...

Not to be picky, but Sailmail is a Single Sideband radio service, almost global in scope. Our old SSB radio is not capable of the fast switching required by Sailmail and the Pactor modems. But with our wifi/satellite dish setup we can get wifi 6 or 7 miles away.