Thursday, September 24, 2015

Making cruising money.

As mentioned in a previous post we spend our summer months at home to get away from humidity, bugs and hurricanes south of the border and head north to see family and friends and hopefully add a few shiny coins to the cruising kitty.  We have two Duece and Half Military 6x6 tankers that we do summer contract work for wildland fires here in southern Oregon.  As this summer approached the fear of large fires in our forests this summer was in high gear.  At one point I heard that the fire danger was supposed to be 300% greater than anytime in the last 5 years.

Fires were rampant throughout Oregon and Washington this summer but here in southern Oregon we did not have one substantial fire.  They were all very small and after speaking with the managers of each of the four districts that we are contracted with, not a single private contractor was hired in any of those districts.  The rest of the state pretty much turned black this summer but southern Oregon is still green.  Although we could have used the money working fires, it is a great blessing that our area dodged a major bullet this summer.

After sitting for most of the summer, Marne and I decided that we needed to earn some money somehow so we re-purposed the trucks and set about delivering water to rural property owners who needed water due to failing wells over the last several years of drought.  We did not make a ton of money but learned the ropes and we will definitely use the new found knowledge that we gained in the water delivery business as we enter into next summer here at home waiting for fires.  

That's a wrap on the summer.  We are packed and ready to roll out Monday heading south through southern California and on to Mexico.

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The packing game.

We have been here stateside for a little over 4 months now and it is getting close to the time to pack up, bug out and head south.  According to Google Maps it is 1505 miles from home base here in southern Oregon to the Liahona based in San Carlos, Sonora Mexico.  The drive can be done in 2 long days but recently I have made it a 3 day trip.  This time around we plan to make it 4 days with stops in Huntington Beach, San Diego, Tucson then south across the border to SC.

Today found Marne and me packing up White Lightning, our trusty 1991 Honda Civic.  Over the last 4 months we have accumulated quite a pile of stuff to bring down with us to the boat including a new windlass, two new deck hatches, new running rigging, LED Christmas lights, fishing gear, and a LOT more. Not to mention all of the provisions that we know we can't find in Mexico, not the least of which are several bags of premium coffee beans.  The last items to be added to the load will be two brand new surfboards that I bought out of San Diego and we will pick them up on the way through and put them up on the roof rack.

We spent about 3 hours packing and repacking until we finally got every last item shoe horned into the not so spacious car.  It is definitely loaded to gills and the suspension is slammed which will make it very slow going up the mountain passes out of the valley and then again going up the Grapevine on the approach into Los Angeles.  The last time I went south the car was similarly loaded down and if I hit a bumpy section on the freeway doing 60 or 70 mph the muffler would drag and a slew of sparks would spew out from under the car.  In Mexico they have long, rounded speed bumps just before you enter each little town.  Those I had to cross diagonally in order to not get high centered.   Doing so usually solicited negative responses from whatever vehicle was behind me as they were trying to figure out why I crossed over the bumps at a 45 degree angle and in the process used up both lanes.  All part of the fun and adventure!

Departure day is set for Wednesday, Sept. 30th.  It has been a long summer and we are both out of our minds excited to blow this pop stand and head to Mexico.

Pretty slammed but ready to roll south of the border.

 That is about as much as this trunk can handle!

The back seat still has our two bags of clothes and personals to be loaded as well as the new ice maker...It will be full too!