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Saturday, August 25, 2012


Been moored at Marina Ensenada for the past five days.  Pictures are of the heart of the waterfront down town Ensenada, Mexico. Things a bit slow down here in regards to boating.  Baja Naval has lots of empty slips and they say things a bit slow in the boat yard.  Cruise Port Marina is about 70% full.  They quoted me a monthly rate of about $10.00 per foot.  Will stop and fuel and Marina Coral on the way north and see what's going on there?  Weather's been great.  Word's out on the waterfront about the great looking "Schooner or Later" tee shirts.  Has passed out about 15 of them.  Have a great weekend......  Ernie  Background music is Brazil by Los Vagabundos del Mar.....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hola Amigos !!!  My pics should give you a good hint as to where I'm hanging out and why you are having a bit of trouble finding "Anita" so you can get a free Minney's Tee shirt.  The word is out on the waterfront that Minney is in town.  Almost hourly waterfront characters are showing up with marine hardware in an attempt to cash it out.  Ensenada is like a second home to me.  I've been coming here for years purchasing items from wrecked yachts, the Baja Naval boatyard etc. etc.  Several months ago I purchased most of the hardware off the big Wheeler power boat that is being cut up near "Anita".  The only things left that are any good is the big teak swim step and a large Ideal windlass.  Much too big to haul home on my little sloop.  Perhaps I may purchase them and stow them at Baja Naval till my next trip back to Mexico with my trailer.  We're in day two of trying to check in and out of Ensenada.  They don't make it easy for you.  After almost six hours of running around town we thought we were going to get our final stamp and clearance when the lady at the desk stated we need one more item that was new on the list of clearing papers.  Our SANITY PERMIT??  Wow! That was a new one on us?  Anyway we thought it was some type of medical clearance stating that we wern't nuts for coming to Mexico for only one week?  Back at the Ensenada Marina office Paulina, the lovely lady in charge cleared things up for us.  What we needed was a SANITARY PERMIT and it was totally new to her?  It took most the afternoon to finally get the paper so this morning we took it back to the port captain's office thinking this was going to be our final trip.  Yes, we had finally done everything right by ten AM.  We paid our port fees, $35.00 and as we left the lady at the desk held up all our papers and said, "come back at one PM and take all these papers to another office nearby to get them signed".  Yes, this is totally the land of manana, we are in no hurry and we are meeting a lot of nice people along the way. Have a great weekend.  This note from a lovely "Starbuck's" downtown Ensenada, Mexico.......P.S. The locals read my BLOG, I've already given away 5 SCHOONER OR LATER tee shirts......

Friday, August 17, 2012


This is the time of the year that I get out on the water and visit many of our fine Southern California harbors and anchorages.  To see if anyone actually reads my little blog I'm going to do a little experiment.  I'm stowing a case of our popular "Schooner or Later" tee shirts aboard my little sloop and anyone that wants to come up to "Anita" and say something nice about the blog or our store will be given a tee shirt until I run out.  I'm not telling where I'm going and my humble little sailboat blends into the boating scene so completely that in any crowded anchorage or marina it will be hard to pick out. From my standpoint, that's a good thing because I'm into these shirts close to $10.00 each and the fewer I give away the more money I'll save.  I'm only going to have about 50 shirts. To spread them around I'll only give out one per boat or at the most, 2 per couple or group.  Happy tee shirt hunting???  Ernie....... P.S. This offer ends when I'm out of shirts aboard the boat or September 5th, 2012 whichever comes first?

Plastic windows & Clipper Ship capstans !!!

The new windows are now installed on my little sloop.  They gave the boat a whole new look.  The cabin side was foam core and it took about 20 minutes grinding per window to make the new windows fit properly.  A drum sanding disc on a drill motor did the job nicely.  A 15 million dollar yacht was down wind from me only about 30 feet away. With a crew member holding the suction end of monster shop vacuum we were able to suck up most the dust and had no complaints from the neighboring skipper.  Top photo is Mark Heacox, owner of Mark Plastics.  He spent over 2 hours with me showing me how to fit and install the large window.  Making the two aft windows sliders was totally worth the extra trouble of adjusting the opening a bit.  Mark's phone number is 951-735-7705.  Give him a shout if you need some windows.  Also pictured is store manager Dave O'Hara looking over our latest treasure.  Can you believe it? An original hand operated capstan off the famous clipper ship that is now on display at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.  Yes, you read it right!!  "BALCLUTHA" SCOTLAND... Have a great weekend......Ernie and the crew at Minneys.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Thought you guys would enjoy my little video of what is going on a short distance from where my boat is docked.  The "Rocket Man" station is set up and seems to be doing a good business in instructing new customers in the art of levitating.  You're sure to see more of this and rumor has it that it will be in the next James Bond movie.  There's a powerful engine driving a high pressure water pump in a small flying saucer looking boat that the flyer tows around with a 30 foot hose.  You don on the jet pack, adjust the hand controls and away you go.  I filmed this yesterday showing a young girl that was still pretty much a beginner....Have a great day.   Ernie

Friday, August 10, 2012

"THIRSTY THURSDAY" yacht race.......

Beer can yacht race Thursday August 9th inside Newport Harbor.  If you wanna be "rail meat" be at the big guest dock thursday evenings about 5 PM. Guys bring a 6 pack of beer.  Women, just look "HOT!"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Most our crew are expert splicers.  If you need custom dock or mooring lines we'll make them up to your specs.  Also, please note that last winter we purchased a $400,000.00 line inventory that was destined for a "big box" store that closed.  Most of it is yacht braid, sizes to 1" diameter.  Various colors, most with eye splices and the anchor lines with spliced in S.S. thimbles. P.S.  Mark from "MARK PLASTICS" measured and made patterns for the windows in my Down East 38 on monday.  He says he'll deliver them on thursday.  Since I'm only sailing in Southern California, the back two windows are going to be "sliders".  The 1st mate will love a large opening window right above the stove.  Mark's phone # is 951-735-7705.  He was very impressed with the quality of the Fuller Brush opening port lights that I have installed.  We're dealers for them and have about 2 dozen in stock.  With a tiny adjustment they fit nicely into my little sloop.  Have a nice day......Ernie

Sunday, August 5, 2012


My little boat has needed new windows and ports ever since I purchased her.  Today I finally got it in gear and popped the windows and ports out of my boat.  As soon as they were out I taped old nautical charts over the openings to keep dust and paint from getting into the interior.  I scraped off the old putty and sealers and lightly sanded the cabin sides.  I mixed up a hot batch of Bondo and filled in old screw holes, a few damaged areas etc.  Sanded, more Bondo, more sanding and continually used my little vacuum to keep cleaning up the dust and old putty.  Wiped everything down with a rag with thinner on it.  Masked off areas I didn't want paint on, mixed up a batch Easy Poxy and applied my first coat of under coat.  Will get a second coat of undercoat on today and after a light sanding tomorrow will put on the first of two coats of Easy Poxy white enamel. The owner of "MARK PLASTICS"phone number 951-735-7705 is coming down tomorrow to make patterns for new windows and said they will be completed by thursday or friday.  I really dreaded this job but as in most things, once the decision is made to get the job done, things went quickly.  The man from MARK PLASTICS is a Southern California legend.  He has patterns for about 80% of the boats built in our area for the past 35 years.  He had patterns for my Down East 38 but said some really sloppy work was  done on the 38's and that he'd feel better if he came to the boat and made new window templates. Is that cool or what??? All in all it took about 4 hours to do one half the boat. You may wonder why I'm not using L.P. paint.  Thought about it? It's tricky stuff to use, extremely expensive and I've never used it.  I really like the Easy Poxy.  Did my kitchen with it ten years ago and it still looks new.  Did the outer side of my bulwarks with it 3 years ago and it still looks good.  It brushes on easily and is very forgiving.  We sell it at the store marking it up only 10%.  Give it a try........I also LOVE Bondo.  Used it on all my wood boats.  It sets up like a rock, a "hot batch" dries and you can sand it in 20 minutes and it is CHEAP !!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


No, we didn't hi-jack a truck!!!  A couple of guys were the high bidders for $100,000.00 worth of "WICHARD" top quality stainless steel sailboat hardware several years ago.  They intended to re-sell it on the internet but never got around to it.  They called us a few days ago and after some intense negotiations we secured the entire lot for our little store.  We are slowly getting it priced and out on display.  We've taken one of the big box store's catalog and reduced the prices by 50 to 70% on practically all items.  "WICHARD" is the real deal.  It's what the BIG BOYS insist on for America's Cup-Volvo round the world etc.  Practically all items have been load tested and are stamped with the "WICHARD" logo.  If you want top quality at Chinese knock-off prices, drop by and check out our stock.  The half models from the estate sale are now displayed in our stair well   If you want the captain's room in your home to look like a yacht club, pick a few of these little beautys up.  We've also got about 50 trophies, some dating back to the 30's.  You can "trophy up" and not even leave the dock. Most trophys are sterling silver plated, engraved, some have yacht club burgees, about drinking glass size and are selling quickly at $14.00 each......

Friday, August 3, 2012

I thought you might enjoy the highlights of last night's "Beer Can" yacht race in Newport Harbor.  As you can see, we've got some pretty high tech boats in our little harbor.  The "Beer Can" race is a Newport tradition that has been going on for over 25 years.  As you can see from the size of the crew aboard some of the boats, everyone's invited.  Show up at the Balboa Yacht Club dock about an hour before the race with a six-pack of beer and you'll be sure to end up on a boat.  Big party at the yacht club afterward.  Also, it never ceases to amaze me the stuff some people have stashed away.  Yesterday we picked up approximately one ton of "Winchard" first quality S.S. hardware. Snap shackles, carbiners, jib hanks, eye bolts etc. etc.  With such a huge amount, you know our prices will be the best in the West.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

We've been selling sandpaper at our cost for years.  Just another way we help keep boating affordable.  Have a nice day.  Ernie