Kids, Don't Try This At Home!

Hi, and welcome to the adventures of "Triton", a 45' Robertson & Caine Leopard catamaran we purchased in July of 2007, in Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. We sailed her back to Emeryville, California, located in the lovely San Francisco East Bay area, worked a few more years, then set off cruising in the fall of 2014. This journal is the story of our ongoing adventure, the folks we've met along the way, and the hardships and joys of that journey. Please read along and let us know what you think!

You can click
here to start from the very beginning of the entire adventure. You can navigate from post to post simply by clicking the NEXT or PREVIOUS phrases at the top or bottom of each page. To find out what we've been fixing, changing, upgrading, click on the Triton Boat Work link under Related Websites. If you want to subscribe to this blog (and get emails letting you know whenever we update it) just click on the icon that says "subscribe to: posts (atom)" at the bottom of each page.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's Nothing But Turtles, All The Way Down...


Fucking Turtles!

No, really, I mean that. We've seen a comely amount of mating turtles on our trek north to Puerto Escondido. Apparently there is some sort of "jet stream" current along the coast here that happens to be going exactly where these creatures want to get. So they hop into the stream, and then like passengers on a long train trip through Amsterdam, find other passengers to hook up with. The first time we spotted a pair we couldn't figure out what was going on. As we got closer, we realized what they were doing. It was a bit embarrassing, and I sympathized with them (having more than once been a teenager caught in the back seat of a car with a girlfriend) but who knew?

I also felt bad about laughing. Out loud. And pointing. I shouldn't have pointed. Or cackled. Cackling was definitely rude. I feel really bad about snorting and chortling too. Turtles have such a solemn look about them. Sort of like Methodists. But as anyone with a hot tub can tell you, boinking while bobbing just doesn't work. In fact, turtle sex is about as ridiculous looking an activity as walking in on your grandparents by accident. And then standing there with the door open and laughing.

Now, I'm sure there are some very complex courting rituals within this species of Testudines, with many subtle nuances and deeply moving moments (probably having a lot to do with figuring out what sex your partner happens to be before hand) but two reptiles doing it doggy style in the middle of the ocean while both trying not to drown is hilarious. I still feel really bad.

It hasn't been an all turtles humping all the time. We've seen hundreds of other singles, floating forlornly along. They definitely have two looks to them. One is a sort of "just got laid" kind of relaxed float. The other is a "still want to get laid" sort of anxious swim. And not unlike most trains through Holland, there were a lot more of the anxious ones than the laid back, relaxed ones. At one point we stopped as a turtle anxiously paddled by. Rob decided to jump in, so he could pet it. At least, that was what he told us he was doing. We watched only until he got close enough to shake hands, but felt we owed him his privacy (and, like my grandparents, it was something I didn't really want to watch...again), so we went below. He eventually returned to the boat, and definitely had that laid back, relaxed kind of look all conservationists get after communing with nature. I'm sure it was all above board but if some scaly, green, Methodist kid shows up twenty years later asking for him, its his problem.

We are on our way to Puerto Escondido, motoring along (the wind isn't against us, but that's only because there isn't any) and sloshing along over long, gentle rollers that have wandered in from the storms up north. Yesterday, Robinson painted the dinghy's name on it's sides. We argued over what to call it, but deferred to his vote for "Tritonita". He spent all afternoon working on it. Then he christened it, being that he is the "captain of the dinghy", which basically means we let him run the motor when we go to shore. While he was christening it, we untied his mooring line and let him float away, without an engine or oars. This is a shot of him getting back using "praddles" which are the worst of both worlds of oars and paddles. You fasten then onto your arms, and row along. Of course, you'd need six foot long arms to use these things without feeling a right bork, but dangling a cigarette out of your mouth adds a certain panache.

He was very proud of his artistic achievements in regards the name, and was a bit disappointed we didn't think more of his masterpiece. He mentioned this several times. Rob and I just looked at each other for a while. We now do nothing but compliment him on it. Whole conversations are dedicated to admiring his handiwork. "My God, Robinson, is that really the first time you've ever stenciled letters onto a dinghy? No way!?! That's amazing! I've never seen anything quite as good. And you say you've never done this before? Wow, you really have a talent for this. Maybe you could get work back in the states doing this?" We go on about it until we get bored or anything at all distracts us. He graciously ignores us taking the piss. Next time you see him, make sure to tell him what a great job he did.

We also installed the radar just before we left. This is the same radar we slogged down to Trinidad and have had with us ever since. We just got around to doing it, and a more half assed job I've not done at that. It would have been best if we could have placed it on a mount in front of and above the spreaders, and then run the radar cable down through the mast and through the internal cable runs inside the boat, but that would have probably required several decades to accomplish in Mexico. So, instead we mounted it on the spreader bar, then zip tied the cable to the shrouds, and ran them back across the cabin top. It looks terrible, but it works, and means we now have a working radar, with an additional chart plotter and GPS. Given that we will start heading into fog soon, this might just come in handy...along with alerting us to pirate attacks, half sunken freight containers, white squalls and other mythical creatures.

Putting it in required going up the mast in the bosun's chair. We waited until dark, ostensibly to avoid the heat but mostly because I'm a programmer and don't wake up early enough in the morning to get anything done before its too hot. The other reason was the obvious fear of being hoisted up a mast that may not be rated for fat captains.

We are only a mile or two off the coast, but the depth is over several thousand feet. There is a very steep oceanic shelf just below us, and it makes for great fishing. We've been trolling several different lures and have caught many fish, including a few tuna, and a mackerel. Mackerel make great ceviche, by the way.

Each time we catch a fish we need to stop the boat, gut it, fillet it, then reset the line. It takes about an hour and usually results in my getting seasick as I pitch about the deck with my head down in fish guts, but fresh fish is way more important than the arrival time. Dinners have been fantastic and "The Boys" as everyone has taken to calling Robert and Robinson, (odd that, they are both fully formed men of legal age) have developed a little routine they call "Ready, Steady, CAT!". Each night I'm treated, against my will, to an impromptu cooking show where they go on about the way they are preparing the food, any little tips for the viewer, and a color commentary about the local foods and spices. Perfectly normal men on shore...they are beginning to scare me after only a few days at sea.

The weather has been surprisingly good. We heard that a big storm was brewing up in the Sea of Cortez, and that the Northerlies will be pretty strong this week. We're hoping we can get to P.V. before they start pushing waves our way. In the meantime we've been enjoying the beautiful weather. There has been a very large, bright moon each night, and we've seen no end of beautiful sunsets, but watching a bright red moon drop into the ocean is something I don't get to see very often. It was spectacular! Oh, those are two turtles fucking in the foreground. No, really. Why would I lie about something you can check me on?

We soldier on, troopers that we are. Well, actually, mostly we sit and watch turtle porn while the autopilot hums away, but it passes the time. We expect to be in port by morning, just in time for yet another spectacular sunrise. There will probably be dolphins as well. Ho Hum. Dolphins off the bowsprit, sea turtle orgies everywhere we look, incredible sunsets, moon rises and balmy warm nights on the ocean. It's surprising how quickly you can become accustomed to the extremes of life. Sort of like living in downtown Berkeley.

Apathetically yours,



No comments: