Mansfield Cut

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Tree. Isla Providencia, Colombia

[Isla Providencia, Colombia]

We arrived at Mansfield Cut this afternoon around 2 only to find it closed out by surf. I knew it was a small channel but it hadn’t occurred to me and I’m glad we arrived in the day when we could see the situation clearly. Cheyenne was not happy. Our choices were; head back south 30 miles to Port Isabel or go on 75 miles to Port Aransas. A strong current is running North along the coast so our decision was to head North down current, down wind, to Port Aransas. We had a thunderstorm last night that was really something. It only hammered on us for an hour and a half but we both think it was the worst storm we’ve seen on the TimeMachine. Luckily, I was on watch and the sails were already down. I desperately wanted some sail to help control the boat, but the hell if I was going to go up on the fore deck and try hank on the storm jib. It was all I could do to hang on while being bludgeoned by the awning as it tore itself to streamers. Cheyenne was not happy. I’ll let her tell the full story later.

Stencil Cow

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Cow Stencil Graffiti. Isla Mujeres, Mexico

[Isla Mujeres, Mexico]

In general, central america is poor in graffiti. We usually only see a few lame tags here and there. We were surprised to find some stencils to add to our collection in Isla Mujeres.

Birds (Holbox)

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Pollo Mago. Hand Painted Sign. Isla Holbox, Mexico

[Dressed bird restaurant art from Holbox.]

Estetica Unisex Yoly. Hand Painted Sign. Isla Holbox, Mexico

[I should have been taking photos of unisex hair salon art the entire time because there were so many really good ones but, well, next trip.]

Isla Holbox was full of birds I had never seen before, only one species of which we were able to photograph with any success. This successful winner was of course the pink Flamingo, which is an incredibly appealing bird of the color pink. Pink. We went out looking for them specifically after hearing that they were seen in these parts and by god we found them, eventually. Were almost ready to give up too after an hour or so of motoring or rowing around when it was too shallow to row. Finally we beached the bote on a little islet and went in search of horseshoe crab skeletons (we found maybe 12 billion). Then all of a sudden there they were, three of them, in a spot where they were not only a second before. We watched and photographed them for at least an hour.

flamingos. Isla Holbox, Mexico

flamingos. Isla Holbox, Mexico

Their beaks have fringy stuff on the inside, and they filter shrimp and other tasty snacks out of the bay sludge. Before they dipped down for a bite, they would do this goofy dance, rocking their knees back and forth and stamping around, presumably churning up the water and the goodies from the bottom.

Among the non photographed are a number of small guys of the “songbird” variety. One, which in my totally non-scientific, non-bird-book having opinion, probably might be called an oriol. It is a beautiful black and bright yellow-orange and it would not hold still for one second. The other cool little bird was a similar sized thing but this time, intense dark turquoise in color. We also saw some white pelicans, the first I’ve seen on this trip.

Isla Holbox, Mexico

We got back to the boat Friday night and dismantled the bote for the passage to Alacran and across the Gulf of Mexico.


Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

Isla Providencia, Colombia

[Approaching Isla Providencia from the SE]

Enough people have asked us about the website (how to and stuff) that we’re pretty remiss in not having a general about page.

Dreamhost: The site is hosted by Dreamhost. There are many free blogging sites, but if you want complete control, no ads, your own email domain and stuff like that you need a real hosting service. We have the very generous sister-of-a-founder plan which isn’t generally available, but even for you it’ll be less than $10 a month. With 500GB of disk included that’s cheaper than buying a hard drive and they’ll keep it backed up for you. Use the dreamhost promo code “TimeMachine97” and get up to $97 off1. Woohoo.

WordPress: The blog software itself is WordPress 2.3.1. It’s licensed under the GNU public license (that means it’s free and open source). Dreamhost has a handy installer that does most of the setup work for you.

Spam Karma 2: A handy plug-in for WordPress that keeps the comment spam at bay. It’s also GNU and it works unbelievably well. If only email spam filtering worked this good. If your comments don’t show up this is probably why. Try rephrasing without using the words “hot teen sex.”

Subscribe2: Another GNU plug-in for WordPress. This is what sends out new post emails to all of you on the subscription list.

Creative Commons: Everything on the site is published under a Creative Commons License. This means you can use the material for almost any non-commercial purpose (including derivative works) without getting permission. We definitely appreciate hearing about how you use it. We know pictures and articles have been used for various club newsletters and classroom activities. You need permission only if your publication has a cover price, contains ads, or is promotional material of some kind. Read the legaleze if you care.

Photos: We both take photos and usually don’t keep track of who takes which. Unless it’s a picture of a cow, in which case you can be pretty sure I took it. We use a Canon S2 IS and a Canon SD600 digital elph. We’ve had many digital cameras over the years and these are far and above the best. We like to have a pocket camera and a big camera. There is a direct correlation between lens diameter and photo quality that you can’t get around. The weight of the big camera allows you to take better pictures especially in low light or at high zoom. Moment of Inertia… A heavier object is easier to hold still. Also, the image stabilizer on the S2 is the cat’s ass. However, we usually don’t like to carry a big camera around populated areas. Hence the smaller auxiliary camera.

Who: The people from Latitude 38 pointed out that we don’t identify ourselves anywhere on the site except for vague references. We are Cheyenne Weil and Joshua Coxwell; from Oregon (more or less). Cheyenne is a jeweler and an artist. You can see her work at When employment is necessary, Cheyenne does graphic design, writing and editing. I find itinerant labor developing software. We both graduated from the University of Oregon (Russian and Physics, respectively).

1The dreamhost promo code TimeMachine97 gives $97 off if prepaying 1yr or more and $51 off if paying monthly. This is the maxium possible discount we can offer in the dreamhost promo code program.

One Horn

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

One horned Cow. Isla Providencia, Colombia

Isla Providencia, Colombia

I like cows. Looking back you will see many pictures of cows with bovine expressions all their own; wary but hopeful. Not like sheep. I hate sheep with glazed glaucous eyes like they can’t even see. No pictures of creepy sheep.

Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell