Sunday, October 4, 2015


After 16 months wandering around North America by car we're finally back home on Abracadabra which is currently docked in the estero Jaltepeque in El Salvador. We're very happy to be here -- and we'll tell you more about how we found our home upon our return -- but before that we wanted to alert our readers to:

Something You Can Do To Make The World Better

Remember the fabulous eclipse of the Supermoon last Sunday (27th of September)? Spectacular pictures on the Internet, etc.? Well, it won't surprise any of you who are sailors but Supermoons (a full or new moon at its closest point to the earth in its rotation) make for super tides. And for people who live on a tidal estuary that's not always a good thing.  

Isla Cordonilla in estero Jaltepeque was flooded on the Monday and Tuesday following the Supermoon due to extremely high tides brought on by the moon event. Many of the families on the island lost everything - crops, food, wood for cooking, bedding, clothing - everything. Their water wells were polluted and their sanitation facilities were ruined. 

An American couple (Bill and Jean of s/v Mita Kulu) who have settled on the island (and were not badly impacted by the super tide) are working to assist these 270 villagers (over 50% of whom are under 18). They are raising money for mosquito nets and clean drinking water. Sailors may know Bill and Jean as the people operating the Cruisers Rally To El Salvador

If you can find some money in your pocketbook for the people of Isla Cordonilla please contact Pamela of s/v Precious Metal at She's gathering donations and is set up to send money to Bill and Jean. We personally assure you that the money is going to the people of the island. This isn't a charity event that's grabbed the attention of the big relief agencies. That means that no money will go to support a sophisticated aide distribution network. Any donations will go to assist the flood victims, many of whom are children. We're donating some money and some clothing -- but we're just a small drop in a big bucket.  

Thanks for any help you can provide these folks!


We arrived in El Salvador on September 22 and Neptune must have been with us. We hit the green light and were able to get our four huuuuge checked bags (including one 69.5 pound roll-on full of boat parts and another stuffed with an inflatable kayak) through customs without any explanations or excitement.  Additional evidence that the god of the sea was looking after us: TSA didn't confiscate the CO2 cartridges for our inflatable life vests! Although, perhaps more effective than divine intervention was the fact that they were wrapped in a highlighted photocopy of the TSA rule that said we could fly with them.

We found Abracadabra sparkling clean on the outside, thanks to Jose's hard work. And we found her in pretty good shape on the inside as well, considering she'd been a floating storage locker for 16 months in the tropics!

Abracadabra's Transition

The auxiliary (inboard) engine is working (woo-hoo!) along with almost everything else -- the starter battery is kaput, the dinghy outboard is having some shifting issues . . . 

The Outboard Runs - But It Doesn't Go Anywhere!

. . . , the galley sink strainer was rusted and half of the zippers on the storage bags are seized up (salt air; cured by vinegar), but we found very little mildew (Molly's #1 fear) and after some fiddling and cursing the navigation systems both seem to be working (Bryce's #1 fear).    

We stayed at the lodge for eight nights while we sorted through the stuff "stored" below:

Abracadabra As (Poorly Organized) Storage Locker

And after a marathon provisioning day in San Salvador (gracias para su ayuda, Jorge!) we were able to move aboard on the 30th of September.  

Life In The Estuary

The estuary where Abracadabra is located has had a very dry wet season, which for much of the peninsula means the well water is very salty (even those wells not impacted by the super tides described above).  Salt water showers followed by agua dulce (sweet water - non-salty water) rinses were the order of the day at the lodge -- so in some ways living aboard is better! Our showers are way shorter - but all agua dulce.

Mostly the weather is hot and humid, with rain at night. One rainy, breezy evening we even broke out light rain jackets for outdoor dining. 

The Captain In His Dinner Jacket

Our Spanish teachers and fellow students may be interested to know that we have been adding some Latin American (vs. Mexican) words to our Spanish vocabulary. For example, mosquitoes in Latin American Spanish are zancudos (in Mexican Spanish, mosquitos). And sadly, this is a very important word for us here! [Molly's new perfume is eau de DEET. Bryce is struggling to find it attractive.] 

We have at least another two weeks of projects before we travel off the dock. The big project will be installing a wind generator we purchased in Mazatlán but there are others (starter battery, outboard, rotating a hatch for better breeze catching, etc.) - likely including many we haven't yet anticipated. So, while we're here we'll take it easy (the heat, you know) in the afternoons to enjoy:

  • Naps in the palapa hammocks and soaks in the lodge's "swimming" pool (nice for soaking but too small to actually swim);
  • Sunday events at Lynn and Lou's - a couple from Sacramento who have purchased a lovely place on the estuary with a fabulous swimming pool which they are kind enough to  open to yatistas on Sunday afternoons; 
  • DVDs of the television series "Six Feet Under" (thanks, Anne and Perry!); and
  • Catching up on our blog [Where were we between Guanajuato and El Salvador? Why, Chihuahua, Toronto, Lakefield and Pacific Grove (thanks, Ken and Claudia!) to name a few].

So -- Where are YOU?  Write us and let us know!  

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like a great new adventure! I look forward to reading your impressions of El Salvador. One of my favorite things about traveling through Latin America was learning the different vocabulary from country to country, as well as the non-verbal gestures. I must say, Bryce's dinner jacket is very elegant... however, those shorts of his... I will not show them to Larry, as it would only encourage him!