Wasteland Weekend!

Wasteland Weekend!

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Burning Man 2012 – Fertility 2.0

Burning Man 2012 – Fertility 2.0

Every year it’s the same. I go to Burning Man. I have a great time. I get home and tell myself “what a great party, but I don’t think I’ll go back next year”. Then, come January, I am waiting patiently in line for my tickets.

This year was different. I didn’t buy tickets. I didn’t daydream about costumes and dancing and desert sunrises. I had no intention and very little desire to make the effort to go. Then, right around June it hit me like a 20 ton glowstick. I had to go. Within the week with the help of my good friend Jacob I had contacted Chef, the leader of one of the largest food camps at Burning Man – “Sacred Cow”. We talked and discussed details and he was not only willing to bring me along for the festival, he also wanted me a week early to help set up. It was perfect.

An initial group of 9 all rode up together in a converted school bus that would, upon arrival to the desert, be transformed into an art car called “The Hajj” serving up music and drinks around the clock. The first week was exhausting and hard and one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had at Burning Man. I developed intimate bonds with my camp mates, I worked long hours and I fell in love with the desert all over again. Drew arrived pre-dawn on Monday, the first official day of Burning Man, and amazingly, in the dark, was able to find the camp along with me and the yurt that we shared with Jacob. He woke me up, kissed me, handed me a bottle of champagne and said “let’s go explore”. That morning we watched the sunrise from the temple and reminisced about our first meeting years ago at Burning Man. For the next week we danced and adventured alone and with friends at all hours of the day and night. It was close to perfect and for the first time I walked away thinking, “I can’t wait for next year”.



A big hug and thank you to Jacob for motivating my Burning Man experience and to Chef for making it happen.



When Drew and I first decided to take separate vacations – him to Vancouver, Canada and me to Oklahoma – I was hesitant. For the past year we have lived side by side, on a boat, almost literally never leaving each others side. It seemed foreign and scary to think of being apart for a whole month. In the end, it was the best decision we ever could have made.

Oklahoma was amazing and spending all the quality time with my family was exactly what I needed. I rode four-wheelers through the river, fished late into the night, shopped for guns with my brother, shopped for clothes with my mom and sisters, fed cows with my dad, and got a pedicure with my sister-in-law. It was a month packed full of love and happiness.

San Diego CA to Ensenada B.C.

San Diego CA to Ensenada B.C.

We’ve spent four days working frantically to get all the necessary projects completed. My big projects were to build self wicking garden boxes for the boat, start the seeds (tomatoes, broccoli, baby carrots, spinach, lettuce, cilantro, chives and parsley), reorganize the amas, and provision for the 2+ week journey south. Drew’s big projects were to install the water maker and the ham radio (and probably a million other things). It was exhausting but I’m amazed at how much we accomplished. Now we head out!

All projects on deck

Sunday – 29 January 2012
After breakfast and a few last minute projects, we got a later start than I had hoped, but in the end, the big hold-up was clearing through the San Diego exiting process. Since the boat is Canadian, we had to get a cruising permit in Port Angeles, Washington, which had to be returned before exiting San Diego, California. Apparently, the officials handling this particular matter are not staffed at the customs dock on Sundays. We were told that we would likely have to wait until Monday to leave. Luckily, after calling around a bit, Drew was able to convince them to come down to the dock and clear us. We finally left the customs dock at around 3pm. It was perfect weather, sunny, nice wind and a lovely start for the sail south.

Retaping the awesome hula-hoop Kimlett gave me as we wait to clear customs out of the USA

Casting off from San Diego

Drew appreciating the sunset

Monday – 30 January 2012
Hula-hooping and sunshine – it’s a hard life.

Hula-hooping in the sun

We made it to Ensenada, Baja California just before Midnight. Both of our cruising books stated that we would be able to anchor “just inside the break-water”, so we motored in, found a cozy spot, and settled in for the night.

Tuesday  – 31 January 2012
This morning it was clear that we had anchored in the wrong area. We were sitting alone in the middle of an industrial complex while just across the water a sea of masts sprouted along the horizon. We headed over to find the anchorage, radioed in and quickly found that in fact, there is no anchoring anywhere in the area. We grabbed a slip for the night and set off to clear customs.

We decided to clear customs in Ensenada because the process is apparently streamlined compared to clearing customs in other Mexican cities. Streamlined, meaning all the necessary offices are in one building. The whole thing,  tourist cards, temporary import for the boat, fishing licenses, and mexican customs, still took about 5 hours and required lots of forms and copies, and even though each item was paid for at the same teller, some had to be paid with credit card while others had to be cash. If this is streamlined, I am so happy that we stopped in Ensenada. I can’t imagine trying to navigate the system while running all over an unfamiliar city.


Hills around the Ensenada marina

Drew and Aylan on shore in Ensenada

Wednesday – 1 February 2012
Showers, ceviche, and south bound!

Drew raising the Mexican flag


Hardcore sailing - mexico style

Our new garden!

Last year Drew built a shelf in the far back cabin with the intention of having a garden. Now we have finally gotten around to completing the project.

We decided that we should use planters so that we can move them outdoors if necessary. After a lot of research I settled on a wicking system that uses the soils own capillary ability to move water from below, up through the soil, ultimately reaching the plants roots.

I started with two nesting bins for each planter. There is a 2.5″ gap between the two bins. The top bin holds the soil and plants while the lower bin holds the water. For the wicking tunnel I used 2″ diameter PVC pipe cut into 2.5″ lengths with holes drilled all around. I cut 1.75″ holes in the base of the inner bin and attached the PVC pieces to each hole. I then covered the PVC pipe with nylon mesh to prevent the soil from leaking out into the reservoir. Finally, I drilled a 1″ hole in the inner bin and inserted a length of 1″ PVC pipe that reaches from the base of the outer bin to the top of the inner bin. This allows me to fill the reservoir without pouring water over the surface of the soil, thereby prevent nutrients from being leached from the soil.

So far it is working well. Because of the reservoir, I rarely have to worry about watering, although since the seeds are newly sprouted I do occasionally mist them lightly. I’ve planted cilantro, chives, parsley, baby carrots, spinach, lettuce, broccoli and tomatoes. All the seeds except for the cilantro have sprouted so I expect we will be getting some fresh veggies in the next couple of months!

Drilling the holes in the 2" PVC

Holes drilled!

Attaching the PVC to the bins

Creating filters to prevent soil leakage

Waiting for the glue to dry

Completed garden!

Baby carrots sprouting up