More from Baja

After dropping Don and Emily in Loreto, we spent 9 days on the outside (east) of Isla Carmen–taking advantage of the super light winds and warm weather.  Especially cool was the chance to visit Salinas for several days.  Usually the wind–both north and south whistles through this Bahia.  The former salt mining town–abandoned in the 1980s–enjoyed a worldwide distribution.  Currently it is being restored as a lodge for sportsmen hunting the “excess” Desert Bighorn Sheep that are being repopulated on the island.  Needless to say we didn’t ignore the signs saying not to hike in the interior.

We have only a couple weeks left to enjoy the Sea before heading north to Puget Sound to prepare Restless our 36′ trawler for the summer season up there.

Here are some pictures we found that I missed posting last time.

While hanging out at Bahia Salinas, we had a front row seat to watch the fascinating pelicans go about their daily routine.  The crashing splashes out of nowhere sometimes right next to the boat could surprise us if caught off guard.

The Migration North

Spring is the time we head back to the Baja and work our way up to San Carlos to prepare Carmanah for summer storage.  It’s also seems to be a time for visitors from home.  We had the whole crew for the Banderas Bay regatta, and then Bob stayed on an extra week at La Cruz (until the Churros ran out).   The day he flew home, our niece Ruby arrived to celebrate spring break from Colorado State University in the hot Mexico sun.   She seemed to have had a pretty good week and managed to hit the hot spots in Puerto Vallarta with her friend Natalie from college.  The same day she flew back to Colorado, her brother Sam arrived from Boise.  Lucky Sam, we were preparing for the 400 mile crossing from La Cruz on the mainland coast up to La Paz part way up the Baja peninsula.  He got to experience long hours of late night watches and part of one of the days pounding to windward.  But all in all, a pretty good crossing and Sam is a really good hand to have aboard.  Always interested in things, fun to talk to and knows when to jump in and help out.  He loves to fish but unfortunately, it was pretty sparse in that department.  We caught one 15 pound Black Jack that while impressive looking, is not great eating.  He did get to experience some of the wilder Baja before we finally had to head in to La Paz for his flight back to Boise State University.  We rented a car in La Paz to make the 90 minute trip to the Los Cabos airport to see Sam off and to pick up our next guests—Don and Emily from Bainbridge Island.  The drive was fun and afforded us a much needed Costco stop and we also got to see some of the interior of Baja we’ve never experienced before.  The quaint town of Todos Santos was our favorite stop along the route—lush and green and agricultural on the Pacific side surrounded by miles upon miles of desert.  An oasis on several levels.

Don and Emily got the full wild Baja experience as we slowly worked our way from La Paz to Loreto (130 miles), not a single town between.  Emily loves to hike so we did a lot of hiking on the remote islands adjacent to our anchorages—well, some hiking and a lot of bouldering, bushwhacking, and scrambling up slopes of scree.  But saw a lot of amazing country and we achieved some amazing viewpoints.  Don recently had knee surgery so had to be a little more careful.  We ate very well even though I didn’t do well fishing with the new lures —- we but did quite well with the 100 peso bills down at the panga landings.  We had no trouble finding fresh fish.  D&E flew out just in time to miss Semana Santa –holy week—a wild, crazy and very loud time here in Mexico.  We stocked up on supplies here at Loreto and are heading back to some of the more remote areas to celebrate in a quieter way.  As soon as Donna hits “Send” on our Turbo Tax electronic form, we’re out of here.

Banderas Bay Regatta

Mark rounding

Mikey, Alex, and Mike prepare for the mark rounding on day 2 of the Banderas Bay Regatta for leg 2–a reaching leg.  Good for the asymmetrical spinnaker flyers like this J-105 but not so good for us with our symmetrical kite.

the boys

The “boys” getting ready to strip the deck of non-race things before the first day of racing

ready to hoist

Mike and Mikey getting ready to hoist the spinnaker at the mark.

fred passing

Wings just to windward of us after the first mark rounding on day 2. They end up beating us by 1 point in the overall regatta.

pv yacht club

Mike, Alex, and Teri having Margaritas at our corner table in the Vallarta YC after the 1st day of racing. Yehaah.

cockpit crew

Bob trimming the main sheet by backward sighting via the reflection off Teri’s sun glasses. Pretty impressive.

Spinnaker drying

mike and spinny

Mike supervising the spinnaker drying after a fun but slightly wet day on the water. Spinnaker hoisted upside down by the two clews and the head is tied to the dock. And of course the wind always comes up with a vengeance when you do this.

patches repair

Poor old “Patches” the 34 year old spinnaker required surgery back at the condo after day two of racing. Only 9 holes, not bad. Mikey has the hair dryer prepping the spot to be taped.

on the rail

Bob, Teri, Pat, Mikey, and Mike keeping the boat flat on day 3.

dancing

The crew of Carmanah dancing up a storm at the Vallarta YC.  Yeee Haaa.

After seeing how much fun some of our fellow cruisers had in the Banderas Bay Regatta last year, we decided to arrange our schedule to be back in the Bay by February 28 so we could join in this year.  The timing necessitated leaving Zihuatanejo to head north a little earlier than we’d have liked but we did have time to revisit Barra de Navidad and Tenacatitda as part of the 330 mile return to La Cruz. We were a little afraid we’d be forced to beat into strong head winds that often prevail in the area but actually left “Z-Town” under spinnaker and often were forced to motor for lack of wind. Our friends from back home–Mike, Mikey, Bob, Teri, and Alex met us at Paradise Village (Race headquarters) two days before the regatta started. They rented a very nice condo near the dock where Carmanah was moored. Hanging out there, I did figure out where the uptight assholes that have been pretty much missing from our Mexico sailing experience do reside. They’re condo owners in Paradise Village.  I won’t go into the sordid details but now at least the mystery is solved. I’m glad that they’re congregating in this one place; we’ll simply avoid it as much as possible in the future.

Anyway, we’ve had a blast with the Bainbridge crew this week. We took the boat out the day before the regatta and did some organized practice starts with some other boats then sailed back over to La Cruz 6 miles north to participate in the Wednesday Beer Can race as a tune up. Carmanah has about 9,000 lbs of extra “cruising weight” aboard which we can definitely notice (speed wise) but she did great, finishing second behind the local sail maker. For the big regatta, we decided to switch from the Cruising Class to the Performance Race Class which pretty much eliminated the possibility of finishing very high. But, there were several fast cruising boats that were in the Performance class that we wanted to race against as they were more comparable to Carmanah. We figured that would be more fun than probably winning the cruising division. And, it was in fact very fun–very close racing. The first and second days, we finished mid fleet—ahead of the other “fast” cruising boats but behind the pure race boats with their carbon sails–not too far back though. And, on the third day we were right near the front of the fleet finishing third—but only 39 seconds out of 1st. Pretty fun. Old Whitey, our 39 year old #1 jib really came through again as did “Patches” our 35 year old spinnaker. The crew did great, just like old times back in Puget Sound. On the last day, Pat and Celine, fellow cruisers from s/v Voila joined us as well.  Celine volunteered to keep Lucy below during the race which helped us sail faster and the surprisingly competitive Pat caught on very quickly to sailing an old war horse—Carmanah. The regatta festivities culminated with a big awards dinner on the beach followed by the migration back to (brrrrr) Washington for our friends, except Bob who stayed an extra week with us on the boat in La Cruz. The local churros street vendor sold Bob enough of the doughy deep fried treats to send his oldest to private school. Yayyy Bob.

Now all the “racing” sails are stowed and we’re back into cruising mode. Our lovely niece Ruby just arrived for a spring break visit from Colorado State. We’re looking forward to hanging out with her. Next Saturday she goes home and our nephew Sam will arrive to sail with us on our crossing of the Sea of Cortez to La Paz.

 

 

Zihua and Sailfest

Well, we’ve hit our southernmost (really easternmost) terminus of our 2016-17 cruise—Zihuatanejo. We didn’t have time last season to make it this far. It’s an extra 400 miles round trip from Barra de Navidad. We had 7 months, so who knows what happened, the time just went by so fast. But we’re really happy to be here now. Sailfest 2017 is happening and the town is hopping. The air always seems to be about 5 degrees warmer than up the coast and the water temp is 83 vs 78 so we’re loving the swimming. Sailfest is a weeklong benefit festival with the beneficiaries being the local kids and schools.   Last year the festival raised 1.3 million pesos. There are concerts, auctions, chili cook-off, and beach parties. The cruisers take people (mostly gringo tourists) out sailing on their boats in return for donating to the cause. We had a really fun group of Wenatchee farmers aboard Carmanah for the race around the Roca Negro on Wednesday. The wind was light and Carmanah walked away from the fleet with “Old Whitey” the 39 year old #1 jib powering her along. It’s truly a wonder sail. How many races has “he” been in now? Several hundred just with us. Who knows how many in the 26 years before that. They should make a TV Special about the amazing Old Whitey.   There are actual rumors (started by me) that his Dacron threads were the by-product of a super-secret government project during the cold war. Anyway, amazing sail who’s been waiting in the storage locker for the past 18 months waiting for a chance to shine.

There are no marinas in the actual harbor of Zihuatanejo so we all anchor out, beautiful anchorage just off the town. The dinghy landing puts you right in the downtown which is one of the most nicely done towns we’ve experienced. All the extra wide sidewalks are covered for shade, the streets are well laid pavers, all the shops are doing well, many many great restaurants, lots of tropical vegetation–just a very nice town.   You could easily spend a lot of time here. We were a little worried about the higher heat but with the constant light breeze, it was pretty comfortable with day time highs in the upper 80s and lows in the 70s.
One thing about cruising a 2nd year in Mexico is that we have gotten to know a lot of folks from various boats who we keep Running into on our journeys. It’s fun to get together when we cross paths and its sad to say good bye. But for the most part, we know we’ll see them again. It’s like a big family here in the Mexican cruising community. Everyone is so nice all the time. Ass holes are very rare even though they seemed to be very common back home. Not sure why, I guess this lifestyle just brings out the best in people or we’re seeing them at their very best. Also, we all know we may need to rely on each other if there’s trouble. We had to say goodbye “for real” to some of the boats continuing on to Central America and the Panama Canal so there was more a sense of loss there. Boats like Wild Rumpus and Finte won’t pop up down the road. It’s real, they’re gone for who knows how long. The same will happen back up in Puerto Vallarta this spring when we’re up there. The folks heading to the South Pacific “jump-off” from there in late March and April. We’re still planning to cruise Mexico at least one more year. We’ll make our way north along the Gold Coast to Puerto Vallarta area for much of March to meet Mike, Mike, Bob, Peggy, Teri, and Alex for the Banderas Bay Regatta then a week with our niece Ruby. After that, we’ll cross over to Baja to meet-up with Don and Emily for an encore cruise up the peninsula to Loreto. In May we’ll haul the boat at San Carlos/ Guaymas and drive back to Washington to get Restless ready for a summer of NW cruising.

zgold-coast-5

The halfway point of this season’s cruise. Well over a 1,500 miles so far.

barre-birds-eye-1

The lagoon at Barra de Navidad is the only land locked anchorage on the entire coast with zero ocean swell.

beach-run

Run, Swim, Run between the towns of Barra and Melaque. Lucy hates the swim part.

lucy-in-scarf

Lucy trying to stay cool by digging a hole in the sand at the Hidden Beach near Barra.

pompano

Our new favorite fish–African Pompano. Delicious! This guy was deep and rather difficult to bring up. I ordered a reel for the speargun to allow me to surface then bring the speared fish up.

tenecatita-anchorage-from-beach

Lucy’ early morning walk.  The beach at Tenacatita is one of the best on the coast. Lots of boats are regularly anchored here.

jungle-tour

Early morning “jungle paddle” though the mangrove passages at Tenacatita. Lucy is of course a hood ornament on Donna’s kayak-always on the verge of falling in. Luckily no crocs near us today (we hope).

ship-aground

The bulk carrier Los Lianitos aground since hurricane Patricia–cat-5 in 2015 outside the Barra Lagoon is a constant reminder to us sailors of how nasty this usually benign climate can get at times.

sun-set-sailboat

Heading south to Zihua involved some spectacular sailing, we made it in just over 30 hours.

sailfest-banner

The 17th annual event that has raised millions Por Los Ninos.

zihua-harbor

The Zihua anchorage (Carmanah far left) being welcomed by one of the many bronze statues around town–part of a regional art project

zihua-pangas-on-beach

Pangas in Zihua get beached when they return from fishing–usually with a running start at high speed so beware you beach walkers

z-waterfront-walk

The public walkway which includes sections of sand beach encompasses much of the Zihua harbor.  Many early morning walkers.

donna-in-water

Yayyy! The water is warm again.  83 degrees.  Lucy hates swimming.

julian-learning-to-drive

5 year old Julian of Wild Rumpus using his “learner’s permit” with dad Trevor in the family car–the inflatable dinghy.

selvar

We randomly ran in to our vacationing next door neighbors–Karen and Diane–in a Zihua restaurant. It also happened to be Karen’s birthday so of course we needed party hats.  They have a farm next to our home on Bainbridge.

zfest-guests

Our guests for the Sailfest Race Around the Rock race were delivered to Carmanah in the anchorage by panga. Jim and Mark of Quincy, WA are fruit farmers along with Janelle, Barb, and Gretchen. They were a lot of fun and great crew.

old-whitey-goes-up_5

Up goes “Old Whitey” for the start of the Race Around the Rock. Tissue paper thin from use but loves the light air.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Final leg on Race Around the Rock. We flew “Patches” our 1982 3/4 oz spinnaker that is more repair tape than spinnaker cloth.

market

Donna at the Public Market in Zihua trying not to see or smell the dead pigs next to her as she shops for veggies.

dinghy-ride-with-jeff-and-mary

Jeff and Mary of Finte are getting ready to head south through the Panama Canal and up the east coast. Tough say a real goodbye, we’ve been crossing paths since leaving the NW.

covered-walk-way

The sidewalks of Zihua are a joy. Shaded and minimal trip hazards. You can almost look around a little while you walk. Don’t try this in most Mexican towns or you’ll break something.

Sailing into 2017

As I write this, we are anchored in the Lagoon at Barra de Navidad. It’s 83 degrees outside, I’m sitting in the cockpit under the new shade cover we had made in Guaymas, and a flicker of breeze is keeping it cool. We paddled at sunrise and may stroll around the town later today. Aside from the Seahawks’ loss last night, All is Very Well. Happy New Year, everyone! You may have noticed the postings have been a little sparse–we’re going to many of the same places as last year, and loving the cruising life even more. Last year was the year of discovery–every single moment contained new information, decisions, stresses, and epiphanies. This is still happening in 2017, but it seems some learning took place last year, and as a result we’re able to avoid a few pitfalls and maximize the “fun units” (as friend Sandy White would say). In 2017 we understand the weather better, we know more people (both cruisers and locals), we don’t have medical issues dictating the calendar, and we’re able to experience this beautiful country in more depth. 2017 is also a year of taking a breath and reviewing the intense months (and years) leading up to the trip South, and thinking of all who have helped, encouraged, and mentored us–as well as those who make fun of us and keep us entertained. New friends and old, family near and far–each of you adds richness to our lives. We wish you all a healthy and peaceful 2017!

gold-coast-4

Our course since San Blas is the blue line. Skipped Chamela, one of our favorites, because the trip around Cabo Corrientes from La Cruz went too fast (8 & 9 knots) and we arrived well before dawn so just kept going to Tenacatita.

steve-and-jonie-floating

After leaving the Baja, the mainland coast felt quite warm. Steve and Jonie from the s/v Tandem are coping well at the Chamela anchorage. It was a holiday week so the beaches were packed with vacationing Mexicans.

la-cruz-market

Getting some Christmas shopping done at the Sunday Market in La Cruz. The fish market in the back ground is open everyday as the pangas come in early each morning with their catch–ahi, dorado, shrimp, snapper, octopus, grouper, etc.

lucy-kennel

Flying to my sister’s house in San Jose for Christmas required figuring out how to get Lucy there. She’s well within the weight limit of 20 lbs to ride in the cabin but she must also fit into this FAA approved carrier. The super close hair cut helped but…….time for plan B.

christmas-dinner

My sister Linda was nice/crazy enough to host  our family including Donna’s mom Ev and even Lucy at her home in San Jose for Christmas. 15 people and 4 dogs for dinner.

lucy-fire

Lucy had acclimated better that Donna & I to the heat in Mexico so had a hard time dealing with the “cold” in California.  The bombers jacket and fire helped.

luminario

We spent New Year’s eve at La Cruz just around the corner from Puerto Vallarta. At midnight we all launched “luminaria” —-mini hot air balloons—with our 2017 wishes attached. You can see hundreds of them filling the sky. Unfortunately ours, which Donna is firing up here, crashed and burned before clearing the jetty. (Do we still get our wish?)  Lucky that they have tile roofs here.

brain-waves-crew

Jim & Deb, from the J-35 Brain Waves, are our impromptu welcome committee to Tenacatita–nice welcome.

bocce-at-tenacatita

Everyday most of the guys anchored in Tenacatita Bay dinghy ashore at 2:00 for a game of bocce ball (really petanque) on the beach.  Competition is fierce.

john-bocce

With bocce technique like this, how can I lose?  I’m getting better.

post-bocce

After Bocce, everyone adjourns to the local beach bar for refreshments. Reminds me of the old Wednesday Race around Blakely Rock then meet at the Pub.

mayors-raftup

The “Mayor’s Raft Up” at Tenacatita Bay. At sunset everyone brings hors d’oeuvres and drinks and shares stories. One of the perennial cruisers–Robert on the s/v Harmony, is the “Mayor” and acts as Grand Poo Bah when promoting social events like this.

pat-sing-at-raftup

Pat sang the hit song “Fat Boat Blues” aka Chasing Carmanah at the Mayors Raft up.

paddle-to-aquarium

Pat & Cline paddled with me on a water trail through 2.8 miles of mangroves to reach another bay north of Tenacatita locally called the aquarium. Crocs are present but we didn’t encounter any that day.

aquarium-relaunch

After paddling through the estuary to “The Aquarium”, we portaged to the ocean side and paddled home in open water.

john-dive-outfit

Finally, I have the spear gun and all equipment working properly, shown here out at Roca Central where I go shots at snapper, grouper, sierra, pompano, and sea bass. Even hit a few. It’s very challenging to stalk and ultimately bring a struggling fish to the surface , most of the bigger fish are at 40+ feet deep near the rock.

crevalle-jack-on-spear

This Crevalle Jack (I mistook for an African Pompano) that I speared quite near the boat put up an amazing struggle. Pat helped me get him out of the water without damage to the inflatable.

lucy-on-paddle-board

Lucy just hates surf landings and usually bails the second we catch a wave. It’s getting harder to get her on the board. Her swimming skills have improved tremendously however.

 

Going For The Tropical Weather

gold-coast-3

La Paz to San Blas was 360 miles. It will be small hops for the rest of 2016.  When we left La Paz, the sea water was already down to a chilly 72 degrees.  Hoping for closer to 80 on the other side.

muertos

Looks like the perfect spot to anchor (Muertos) before crossing. Maybe the pot at the end of this rainbow is trying to underscore the current exchange rate of 20 pesos/dollar.

vanna

If you know Vanna the self-steering wind vane, you can see she’s steering a course for a beam reach, perfect for zipping across the Sea with a fast, comfortable ride.

lucy-on-watch

I think it’s Lucy’s turn to be on watch.  With the sails set and Vanna driving, pretty intense watch keeping.   Lucy ultimately tied her own record of 42 hours for “holding it”. 

gps-speed

We took off from Muertos (between Cabo and La Paz) on a beam reach holding 8 and 9 knots for most of the day but our overall trip average was only 6.25.  The wind died down at night.   Some incredible sailing though.

fonatur-dock

The Dept. of Tourism owns the Fonatur Marina up the river in San Blas. One of 4 Fonaturs we’ve stayed at on the “Nautical Stairway” extending up the Sea. Note the sun cover on Carmanah–yep, it’s getting warm again.

bug-screen

New, better bug screens go up in prep for the potential Denge carrying mosquitos of the Gold Coast. We met Dave who stayed on his trimaran last summer in San Blas (yikes, too hot) —he spent a full month battling Denge fever. I think those named Dave may be specifically targeted by the “bad” mosquitos.

veggie-ladies

It’s a farmers market everyday in San Blas.

juice-stand

Being back on the mainland means large glasses of fresh juice made to order for a buck. I visited these ladies’ stall at the public market every morning.

pagent-practice

The whole town is a-buzz preparing for Christmas. These school kids are working on their choreography for the upcoming holiday pagent.

moped-moms

Gotta love the Whole-family-on-the-moped transportation solution that is ubiquitous to small Mexican towns. Teens texting while bicycling down a busy street is a scary sight as well.

Greener in the Fall, really

Believe it or not, it’s cold down here. We’re in La Paz provisioning and toughing it out with highs only reaching the low 70s and dipping to the 50s at night. And, the water temperature in going down fast. Brrrr, it’s time to cross the sea and head south. We’re planning to shove off first thing in the morning.

I must say that our experience in the Sea of Cortez this fall has been great. We’re wishing the window between the too-hot-of-summer and the too-cold-(and windy)-of-winter were a little longer. But we’ve had 7 good weeks of cruising and can’t wait to come back in the spring. We were a little surprised at how much greener everything was here in the fall vs the spring. But, summer is the rainy season after all.

We traveled the first half of our Baja trip with Pat and Celine of the Island Packet 35- Voila (Celine is originally from Quebec). Pat is a singer and song writer who wrote a great blues number titled “Chasing Carmanah”. I’m sure it’ll go platinum.  As we got further south and closer to civilization, it was fun to run into our old friends from last season and to meet some new folks as well.

The crossing will be about two days and nights.  We’re planning to hit the other side of the pond at San Blas then work our way down to Banderas Bay in time to fly to San Jose for Christmas at my sister Linda’s house. It’ll be Lucy’s first time flying and she’s put herself on an informal diet to ensure that she can fit into that 11x11x18 inch carrier that is supposed to fit under the seat. It’ll be interesting.

sea-cortez-map-as-of-12_3_2016

Santa Rosalia to La Paz blue lines

burro-cove

El Burro Cove has temporary shacks that can be rebuilt quickly. The owners (mostly expats) rent the space for about $300/mo.  They live on the sand at the water’s edge.  Pretty nice.

iguana-lounge

Typical setup at El Burro Cove in Conception Bay

isla-requeson

Pat, Celine and Donna/Lucy at Isla Requeson in Conception bay. Carmanah and Voila in the back ground.

loretto-sign

The town of Loreto coughed it up for a new sign. Eye catching.  The small boat harbor in background-too small for Carmanah but was nice to bring dinghy into. While in town, we kept one eye on the wind, ready to bolt if need be.

loreto-church

Down town Loreto is a really nice place. It’s one our favorite towns. Unfortunatly, there is no protected anchorage so you have to run if the wind pipes up.

chucho

Chucho a Mexican actor/star who plays a burro on TV seen taking a “smoke break” behind the set at the Loreto town Plaza.  It was quite a big deal.

dolphins

A large group of dolphins riding Carmanah’s bow wave as we sail along–jib only from Loreto to Puerto Escondido.  20+ knots of wind, we got out of town just in time.

fruit-hammock

Donna is all setup with fresh produce after a quick shore leave at Loreto.

board-walk

Board walk across the nature preserve at Isla Corodado. Most of the Islands and bays along this part of the coast are National Parks for which you need a pass.

pools

One of a string of many refreshing pools in Steinbeck Canyon at Puerto Escondido. Surprisingly lush and green.

donna-climbing

Pat helping Donna up the trail at Steinbeck Canyon.

nature-hike

On a nature hike at San Juanico. There were a boggling number of different plants that we never noticed in the spring after the dry season.

torote-blanco

The Baja Elephant Tree is amazing, it can grow to 20 feet with an enormous trunk.

thanks-giving-potluck

Thanksgiving potluck on the beach at San Evaristo. Christian and Merle (my band broke) supplemented the regular T-day fare with some excellent grouper and pompano. Our standup paddleboards made great tables.

rock-at-aguaverde

Islet in Aqua Verde

donna-in-cactus-at-san-juanico

The “forests” of cactus at San Evaristo were amazing.

aquaverde2

Carmanah (left) at Aqua Verde, a most picturesque spot. A mini cruise ship showed up the 2nd day so we moved on.

sun-set-at-tembabichie

Dang, another incredible sunset at Tembabichi Bay.

selfie-at-tembabiche

Selfie on the saltflats at Tembabichi.

board-fishing

This has disaster written all over it. Fishing from the SUP at Isla San Francisco.  Unfortunately/fortunately I didn’t catch anything.

two-wild-and-crazy-guys

Great band at La Costa in La Paz but Lucy is getting nervous about me and Jim from the J-35 Brainwaves as the Margaritas kick in.

poor-lucy

Poor Lucy, everyone on the dance floor and she’s stuck holding down the table.