Monday, December 15, 2008

Ship's Sail Log

Tanque de Tiburon

San Carlos to La Paz

Opened 22 November 2008

San Carlos:

Pre-trip prep:
We arrived back to San Carlos and the boat November 13th and proceeded to play for three straight days at Mark Mulligan’s Island Fest. What a fun weekend, thank you, Mark! His newest CD is just out and we enjoyed many of his new songs – along with four other artists down for the weekend fest. Three buffets, ocean views, dancing and sunsets were worth every nickel. Hope all our friends and family can join us next year! The Paradiso Resort (a former Club Med) has done a nice job of hosting and feeding us “Parrot Heads” for several years now.

Unpacking, final shopping for cold food and drinks and stowing has taken the rest of this week. Quite a challenge to find a spot for food, drink, toiletries and – clothes! Shoes! I swear, Bill kept sneaking my shoes back to the car. However, as long as we do not open any cabinets or doors, it appears to be stowed and ready. I can even see a spot of counter space in the galley. I also have one extremely clean cabinet where my entire bottle of concentrated laundry soap decided to leak out.

In final preparation for tomorrow’s departure, I have ground coffee beans, done laundry at Barracuda Bob’s (fun to chat with the other cruisers) while we checked the weather via Buoyweather. We stocked the beer and liquor locker (hard to get good wine and Sailor Jerry’s here), changed the sheets (no easy task when you can only reach 1 ½ sides of the bed) and sorted sundries – many times. We probably have supplies for at least three years. Did we say we returning in March?+

Bill, however, has done the real work in getting the ship sound for our voyage. He seems intent on keeping the water on the outside of the boat – except for the fresh water tanks, of course. Our first task was cleaning the decks and cockpit of a month of dust and raccoon footprints (yes – on the dock down 17 boats!). The systems all seem ready to roll; the engine, water maker, radios and GPS’s, sails, generator, and batteries – important things like that! He also cleaned out our dock box and placed extra items in the car to store for the winter. The new dinghy is hanging aft and has a super system to drop it to the water. Just need to back out of the slip, leave the marina and head south (180o).

The weather has been very pleasant – 75-85 o and breezes. The forecast for the next 48 hours looks like a good window to head out. The plan is to get underway “hit the road” about 0900 Saturday, November 22, and cross the Sea of Cortez to a bay called San Juanico, south of Santa Rosalia. It is 96.1 miles, according to the GPS. If we have some wind and can make about five knots average, we should get there Sunday morning. We’re not sure when the next WIFI stop is, so not sure when we can send emails – but we will most likely send them in groups. When we get into La Paz, in about 6-7 days, we will have WIFI on the boat – yeah!

Saturday - Sunday 22/23 November 2008

(John Kennedy’s Assassination Anniversary – where were you in 1963?)

27o 55’ North
111o 08’ West

Hey! … We did well – left the dock at 0930 pretty much as planned! That is a record for me to be on time; Bill is nearly always early and waiting for me and we were actually ready together and shoved off, with the help of Ron and Beryl, our neighbors on their new/used Hunter, Sea Bourn. There was a bit of wind in the marina and we had an interesting exit with a few dock folks watching our boat drift backwards into the dock alley versus moving forward and out of the marina. Always good to have an audience in case you screw it up, right? I think they call them witnesses.

We didn’t hit anything and cruised right on out of Marina Real and into Bahia Algodones, where we put up both the main and the jib sails like we knew what we were doing and motored/sailed west. The GPS says 96.1 miles across the sea. With a light wind and going about 3-4 knots, we anticipated a 24 hour run across the Sea of Cortez toward San Juanico, our first waypoint and overnight stop. The weather was clear and about 80 degrees – hardly a cloud in the sky.

Shortly after exiting the bay, we shut off the motor. We were getting 3-4 knots as predicted, at least for a while, anyway. The wind dropped to nearly nothing. We watched the wind speed slow for a few hours and about 1400 it dropped to a sad low of less than 2 knots, along with our boat speed. At that rate, I doubt we’d arrive in La Paz for Christmas. So about 5 miles out to sea, we decided to start up the engine and give a boost to the wind power. Oops. Won’t start. Bill spent an hour trying to figure out the problem and we considered returning (a slow sail!) back to the bay and are towed in to get it repaired. We must have the engine for anchoring, docking and maneuvering. One last try, he found that the dedicated start-up battery was dead – and once he connected the main battery bank – voila! – the engine started. We decided to continue and get a new battery when we get to La Paz.

By now, we had lost considerable time and no wind to speed the process so the crossing was a long, slow trip. The water was mostly flat to one-foot seas and occasional wispy breezes. Weather was nice – for sitting on the beach! However, sailing requires wind! Therefore, we had to motor the entire trip over. Hate to do that – it’s noisy and uses fuel. Unlike a speed/power boat, we also cannot move fast even with the motor running. The good news is it uses minimal fuel but the bad news is it is extremely slow. We did typical boat stuff: read, enjoyed the sun and Sirius Radio Margaritaville or the news, took turns through the night on watch (three hours-a-pop) and had non-cook meals that included chicken sandwiches, soup, crackers and protein bars.

During the afternoon, we saw many weekend fishing powerboats and the local Mexican shrimp fleet was out as were a few fishing pangas. A scattering of sailboats was just outside the bay. The night watches are eerie and not much traffic. I saw only 1-2 other boats after dusk. It was calm seas and quiet all night long. The sparkly phosphorescence coming off the boat as we motored through is always a kick to watch. There was no moon until 0430 when a barely-quarter moon came up just before the sun at 0700. No animal sightings whatsoever to report! A few “near-sightings “ were probably just wave action or hallucinations. Oh, well. Who said it was all excitement? We are just out in the middle of nowhere with about 2000 feet of water underneath and no land or other boats in sight.

By daylight, we were about 50 miles from the Baja side and could see some land outlines. Bill adjusted the headings at one point to take us into Bahia San Juanico, south of Santa Rosalia and Bahia Concepcion. We had breakfast, showered and I washed my hair and did a few boat chores – like cleaning the head, shaking the rugs and dishes. I tried to take a nap after only an hour of sleep the night before but was too excited to fall asleep. So we continued to sun, read, watch the Auto Pilot (Otto) work, chart our location hourly and hang out.

As the day wore on and we were creeping along at 3 knots, we altered our first destination, San Juanico, to Punta Pulpita, about 8 miles north. It is a nice little bay with an inner hook and shelter from the big ocean and the dreaded “northerly’s” – winds screaming from north to south in the winter in the Sea of Cortez. (Guess what? In the summer, they have “southerly’s”!) We found three other sailboats already anchored and moved off to their left and anchored nicely, quietly and on the first drop. (Sometimes it takes several tries to get the anchor to actually catch on something and not drag.) The hills and cliffs around are very desert-y, somewhat barren except for a few varied cactus. There are still some greener areas from a wet summer. Unique cliff formations abound from old volcano action. The beach area appears very rocky. We proceeded to pull out our trusty chairs (thank you, Gerry and Muriel!) to the foredeck, cracked a cold beer and watched a sunset while we read and had crackers and dip until it got too cool to sit out. A nice breeze, it’s quiet and a slight rocking motion along with a lack of sleep should bring on a good night’s sleep tonight!

Monday 24 November 2008

Punta Pulpita anchorage to San Juanico:

26o 30 N
111o 26 W

We slept like babies, a slight rock to the boat putting us to sleep by 9 PM! We awoke early today and watched a beautiful sunrise over the ocean to the east. Morning chores at anchor included Bill topping off the diesel tank and chopping open a fresh pineapple for me. I made pineapple and maraschino cherry with Mexican-made home-brewed tequila marinade. Yum. They will marinate for a few weeks and be ready for Christmas treats! Breakfast was oatmeal with brown sugar and melted butter, hard boiled eggs, orange juice and brewed coffee on the propane stove. We did watch the Mexican Navy maneuvers on the horizon – a fleet of Panga fisherman out for their morning catches.

We decided to travel on to San Juanico, about a 8 mile run. After listening to Don on the Amigo Net (he’s the weather Guru in Oxnard, California), we pulled anchor and headed south, sort of. Once we left the bay, put up the mainsail and jib and secured the engine, the winds from the north picked up to 10-12 knots and wanted to carry us east on a beam reach. Going with the flow, we headed south east until we passed our original course south, then tacked back south and caught the wind on our starboard side as the wind kicked up to 15-20 knots giving us a good speed, about 4-5 knots. At that rate, the 8 miles went by quickly and we arrived at San Juanico just after 1330.

Fair Winds and Following Seas! Our boat handles well but still makes me feel nervous when we get some speed and even a little heel (the boat’s “leaning” from side to side), probably only 10o max today. We have traveled with up to a 25 degree heel once and that scared me – but racer-sailors probably love dropping the lee rails into the water at a 45 degree angle – no thanks!!!. The tacking (zigzagging) process involves occasionally changing the jib and boom lines from side to side from the cockpit. This allows the wind to catch the sails for maximum speed and steerage. Bill was in his element today and loving the great three-hour sail with winds primarily from our stern and the current also pushing us south.

The large bay at San Juanico already had four boats anchored and by dusk, there were nine of us in the area! Interesting, they are all sailboats, one being a catamaran that anchored near us the night before. Courteously spread out to give anchor “swing” room, everyone tucked in for the night. We dropped anchor with 7 feet under the keel whereas we usually like to do 15-20 feet. It is a large, shallow bay and we were actually the farthest boat out. The bay is surrounded by taller hills and mountains, some desert flora and rocky terrain. Several nice houses adorned the hillside but we did not see many people around. The homes appeared to be non-Mexican residences. There is a Panga angler camp with a few tents on the lower beach area and saw an occasional truck on the beach. Bill lowered our dinghy into the water and tomorrow we will explore the area beaches. I hope to find some of the local Obsidian rocks!

Dinner included a homemade and simmered rice dish with canned chili on the side. Dishes and showers done, some reading and off to bed.

To San Juanico Beaches

We got the old dinghy in the water and made a beach run! The little Livingston dinghy is great, small and Bill had built a special davit to hold it aft so we have lots of deck space now. The little motor, however, is cantankerous and has a hard time starting. We found a rocky inlet and hiked the boat up into it a way so we could check out the water. I was looking for the obsidian (Apache Tears) that is supposed to be prevalent here – but found none I could recognize. We rowed around a bend to another beach and met a mom and her 2 year old off their boat. The cute little blonde girl attached herself to Bill (the 2 Year old, not the mom). Then we hopped in, took a harbor tour of other beaches and boats and returned to T de T…uneventful. Except the motor is always exciting…

26 – 27 November 2008

San Juanico to Ballandra on Isla Carmen

26o 04’ North
111o 12’ West

We headed from San Juanico at 8 AM, immediately passed up by two sailboats– Allegro and Merlot. They zoomed out of the bay and took off in a sprint. It was a little cloudy and 78 degrees, nice sailing weather. We chugged on out and raised our sails as soon as we could and shut the engine off for a quiet sail.

This was a day for fauna! We saw one whale at a distance early on and then out of the (deep blue) sea arrived eight tiny reindeer…no wait, it’s dolphin! Hundreds of them! The approached the boat, circled and played with the bow, did flips for us and waggled their fins hello. So very cute. Yes, we have pics! Soon after that, we noticed many fish jumping in large schools, all around us. Bill ran for the fishing pole and lure and set it up (caught nothing, by the way). As we passed one of the islands, we could hear the sea lions bellowing but could not find a one with the binoculars. Later, as we anchored, there were a bazillion vultures hanging out at a Mexican fishing camp. Just hoped there were not dead anglers and they were only awaiting fish leftovers.

As we passed over all this, the sea was glass…not a wisp of wind anywhere. Therefore, we left the main sail up for grins (OK, it looks pretty) and I went forward and sunbathed and read for a while. I made burritos alfresco (yeah, cold ones) for lunch as we motored. We arrived into Bahia Ballandra about 1530 and anchored – for the first time. It’s an odd little shoe-shaped bay with a deep center and sides that climb rapidly to shallow. We came in near low tide but it dropped later and we actually ended up moving several times during our two-night stay. Sitting on deck after dark, we could see the lights of Loreto across the sea. Very pretty.

On arrival, we were greeted by Merlot – Larry and Fran, who recognized the boat from the Earl-and-Maria-Dos Brisas (AKA Tanque de Tiburon) era. Larry and the dog dinghy’d over and said hello. They were also traveling with Allegro and encouraged to stay over in the bay an extra night for Thanksgiving. Which we did. The three boats joined food forces for a terrific Thanksgiving meal. It was a feast of lobster, roast pork, cole slaw, dressing and a sort-of pecan pie. In addition, of course, happy hour before we ate on Merlot – what a delightful, new Hunter – very classy cruising vessel.

Our two nights at Ballandra were more like “where should we move the boat now?” The winds kicked up and we shifted down to 4 feet of water under the keel….scary to be that close to running aground. So we turned the motor on once in awhile and found yet another spot to not sleep.

26 November 2008

Bahia Ballandra to Puerto Escondido

A clear morning erupted with 10-15 knots of breeze and we pulled up- the anchor at 0840. The port certainly is well hidden, as the name implies. It is about 16 road miles south of Loreto. Rounding a large rock that looked like Snoopy on his dog house (they call is Punta Coyote), we could see the area called the Waiting Room with about 19 boats anchored out. Apparently, that anchorage is $2 a night. We watched the channel carefully as we entered into the bay, which houses a Singlar Marina facility – with bathrooms, gas and a restaurant. We had arrived Puerto Escondido mid-afternoon and Larry assisted us in finding an anchor ball near theirs, about mid-bay.

Anchor balls are large buoys anchored out that the boat ties to, versus having to set our own anchor. They are more stable. The difficulty is grabbing the line (pennant) attached and then getting the boat line into that pennant to tie down. Larry in his dinghy was very helpful in handing us the pennant so we could tie on. It only took two passes to catch it! (It was a very long pennant and he could not find the end before we drifted away in the wind.) Not bad for a first.

Once stable, we lowered the dinghy and prepared for a bumpy dinghy ride to the marina to check in. We were actually quite a distance from the Singlar facility! We gathered a few days of trash and cans, some shower gear and headed in. Only event is the dang dinghy motor is giving Bill fits. The anchor balls run about 200 pesos a night and we found the management very friendly. We showered (mine was cold, oh well) and found the restaurant and bar open on the second deck, overlooking the bay. By then, it was close to happy hour and we had arranged to meet the other two boats for a birthday dinner celebration.

Dinner was lovely – we had a combo of lobster and filet, which came with a soup and veggies, done very nicely. Beer runs about 30 pesos (<$3) and the dinner entrĂ©es were around 750 pesos. For birthday dessert, they brought pumpkin pie with a candle. Larry’s birthday is the 30th, same as Cristy’s, so Cristy! We were thinking of you a lot around your birthday – even though the emails aren’t getting through well. Back to the boat via dinghy in choppy water, no light or moon and after a few beers was clearly an E-ticket ride at Disneyland. However, we did fine, did not even get wet. And, we were rocked to sleep, as the bay was a bit windy that night. 29 November 2008


On Venture Forth’s (thanks Mac and Carol – and Sea Bourn for passing the word on!) recommendation, we also secured a rental car for the next day, for a trip to Loreto. The Alamo rental company brought the car about 0900 which Bill picked up as he waited for the diesel dock to open. He went in early with five cans to get gas and diesel fills. I stayed on board, washed my hair and cleaned up the boat a little. After the fuel was stowed, we locked down the ship and headed to shore, having invited the other cruisers to join us for the trip to town. With insurance and fuel added, the car was a more than we anticipated, but the other folks pitched in some and that helped. (Note: the $23 initial car rental estimate turned out to be $33 and the insurance was $38 plus $9 for gas so glad they pitched in! Plus, as we turned it in, the gal wrote 1500 pesos on the credit card slip and Bill caught it – oops! That would have been about $130!)

Loreto! What a delightful town! Only a 16-mile drive in, we were shocked to come over the rise into the town and see a beautiful golf course and a bunch of condos. I am sure it is a very-Gringo community. We wandered around downtown, toured the La Posado hotel which is a gem. It is a very old Hacienda style structure with a wading pool on the roof. The bottom of the pool is glass block and is directly over the courtyard. We ate lunch with the group at Tres Amigos; we had a nice fish filet taco that was batter fried (in who-knows what!) and on a tortilla with some great salsa. We walked to the malecon and watched the waves crashing in; glad we were not on the ocean today! Pretty windy. Back into town for an afternoon beer stop and then we all went to the supermercado for provisions. That loaded, a bank stop and a chicken stop at Pollo Loco, we headed back to the marina.

Once back to the boat after a rocky dinghy ride in the wind, we decided to hunker down on board for the night. We ate the greasy chicken, which came with French fries and tortillas, showered and hit the hay.

30 November 2008
(Happy Birthday, Cristy #28!)

Marina Singlar Cruiser’s Brunch

The morning radio net announced a potluck at the marina patio. Not feeling very creative, I assembled a few peanut butter and Nutella (chocolate almond butter) sandwiches and cut them into squares and made a batch of Blood Mary’s. Much to my chagrin, the other attendees (many from houses with real kitchens) had made some wonderful egg dishes to share. We enjoyed it all and chatted with a few cruisers. Before the Alamo returned for the car, we made a quick run to the mini-market at the nearby hotel and trailer park for beer and ice. That all done, we checked a few emails and sent a few from the restaurant computer (La Paz marina, Cristy, Donaldson’s at the house, etc.). By the time we farted all morning and part of the afternoon away, we got back to the boat about 3! My chore list was dwindling, but I did get the floors cleaned. We stowed the dinghy back in its davit aft and got the ship ready for a morning cruise, continuing south.

1 December 2008

(Can it really be December?)

Puerto Escondido to Bahia Agua Verde

“The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful!” (JB) Nice out and fairly calm – so unhooked from the very secure anchor ball and headed out of the hidden bay, through the narrow channel at high tide. The ride south was uneventful and quiet. Again, we had to motor as no wind to help. We tried the main and the jib for a bit but ended up taking the jib in and just keeping the main sail up – more for looks than anything it did. We were in following Allegro through the Candaleros, a group of three large rock islands with shallow areas. Got through safely and out into open water then headed south. It was about a 22 mile run between Puerto Escondido and Agua Verde.

Bahia Agua Verde was a cozy little cove with two other boats anchored, Allegro beating us in. There is an apparently abandoned old schooner in the harbor with tattered sails but had a sunshade up. On the beach was a camper and after we arrived, another Chevy truck pulled in and set up their camp – Gringos. I liked the second group’s set-up, which included a separate porta-potty tent! There was also a small house and an obvious fishing camp with pangas beached next to it; few dogs, many birds - nice beach.

We sat on deck watching for Merlot to arrive and soon they did – screaming around the corner and dropping a hook near us. We were between the two boats, so invited them to join us for happy hour in the cockpit. I prepared crackers and cheese, pistachios and brought out the first of the tequila-marinated pineapple and cherries. It was a hit! Whew, killer marinade. Then Bill had everyone sampling Sailor Jerry’s rum. THEY had to drive their dingys back to their boats – we didn’t have to go anywhere! We had a fun evening sharing sailing and people stories. So that was essentially dinner for us! Fruit, cheese, nuts and wheat crackers, hey – that’s healthy! (OK, the rum and tequila was pushing the window). What do they say? “A sailing ship with a drinking problem”? Only occasionally at anchor or port!

Allegro had plans to rise early and head across the sea to Mazatlan; a 48 hour passage. That’s a long haul, especially with very little wind and having to motor. We sold them a can of fuel to help with the motoring. As we are motoring too, we cannot spare a lot. Merlot needs to head back north as they have a grandbaby due at Christmas. So once again, we will be setting off alone in search of La Paz!

2 December 2008

Bahia Agua Verde to Los Gatos

Up and off by 0815, we exited to bay and got back on track south, heading to Los Gatos, about 18 miles away. Once again, no wind! (What are the sails for again?) It was a nice, pleasant clear day with good breezes (from the motoring and fall weather) as we motored. We attached the autopilot again (Otto) and just relaxed for the day. I actually put my mat forward, sunbathed and read. We saw a few goofy seals float by, coasting sideways and waving their big, fat fins and checking us out. Those guys must weigh 300+ pounds.

We arrived about 1500, along with a big motor boat/cruiser filled with a tour group. We watched as they off-loaded kayaks and water ski boats for the tourists. One gal actually swam by us and stopped to chat – she was from Boston and had no idea where the yacht was heading next; she was just down for a week. Within several hours, they loaded everyone back on board and headed out to sea. Arriving about the same time was a group of four small/20 foot sailboats, similar to what we saw on another passage. Each small boat had 4-5 people. They motored in, as well, and headed toward the beach to set up camp. The group appears young and they all look very tired. Guessing an Outward Bound-type group? Each boat appeared to have a “leader,” an older “teacher”. Once on the beach, they split into small groups and the women grouped and sat in the shallows for awhile. Just interesting.

We decided to do earlier dinners and spend the evening relaxing. I marinated some chicken legs and Bill BBQ’d them on our new little grill about 1600. That way, we could also watch the various activities around the bay while we ate in the cockpit. As we were tired, we hit the hay about 2000 – actually dozing in the cockpit with a pleasant breeze for a few hours before we headed below.

3 December 2008

Los Gatos to Isla San Francisco

Actually, we started out heading to San Evaristo initially and decided to change course more south to San Francisco. Instead of 26 miles, we did 38 and used about 5 gallons of diesel fuel. It was a very calm, sunny, warm day – but no wind again. So I was able to catch up the log this AM, sunbathe, finish a book and practice my flute. We motored about 10 hours. The channel between the island and the Baja mainland was very pretty. The mountains and terrain are still amazing. Very steep cliffs, with a variety of pretty strata layers and colors. As Bill said, “a Geologist’s dream”. I cooked en route, actually turning the stove on and made food underway. Whoopee. We arrived to the large bay and joined nine other boats, anchoring easily in 22 feet of water.

San Francisco’s cove is just a great anchorage – but also popular as seen by all the boats at anchor! But we didn’t feel too crowded. We had an early dinner of leftovers as we entered the area about 1600, so we were able to relax for the evening. But we did get hungry later as we sat in the cockpit, enjoying the breeze and the other boats. We opted for microwave-less microwave popcorn. Opened the packet and scraped it into a pot on the stove, added a little olive oil and fired it up. It popped just great, a perfect pan full! Of course, it tasted so good, we did a second one…oh, well. Then we went to bed, early.

4 December 2008

San Francisco to Caleta Partido on Espiritu Santo

I was up at 0400 because my back hurt, so sat in the salon and read with a few Tylenol #3 on board, waiting for the sun (and Bill) to get up. At 0630, he was up, we got the coffee pot going and I decided to fix a big breakfast. I made scrambled eggs with some frozen bacon bits, stir-frying toast bits prior. Orange juice on ice topped it all off. It is nice to sit in the cockpit and enjoy a meal, not feeling rushed. We use the binoculars a lot to spy on the other cruisers. Who is up to take the dog to shore, have coffee, clean something and fiddle with the boat parts?

We decided to depart about 0800, raising the anchor and motoring out of the pretty bay with its great beach expanse. We are looking forward to returning, to get to that shore to explore more. It was an uneventful motor sail with clouds appearing to threaten rain – which never happened. Nevertheless, it made for a pleasant day on the ocean. Only excitement was a big freighter that passed us going west to east – perhaps La Paz to the mainland, maybe Mazatlan.

We passed the channel south of the San Francisco Island and approached the split island of Espiritu Santo, Partido being the north-most island. There is a small split connected by a spit of sand and shoal that separates the land masses and makes a great anchorage for cruisers, called Caleta Partido. There are actually several coves around the islands, so finding the correct spot we wanted and never been to was a small challenge. Bill used the waypoint outside the entrance and we cruised to that, watching the shore and passing other coves, made our left and entered the cove about 1500. There were about 10 boats already anchored, so we maneuvered into a spot between several and dropped the hook. There was a lot of wind, it had picked up to 15 knot gusts, and we were in the center of the “split”, feeling all the breeze. We didn’t seem to be drifting but Bill felt uncomfortable so close to other boats, so we pulled up the anchor and moved in closer to shore after dinner.

For dinner, we grilled hamburgers sans buns, along with asparagus and a tomato and avocado salad. Cristy was worried about scurvy – I don’t think so! Again, we enjoyed the cockpit dinner al fresco and watched the other boats. One old schooner next to us, Vltava, an old wooden ship, looks like it needs much repairs and the crew was out checking something around the waterline. They appear young and very tan. Later in the evening, they radioed an invitation for cruisers to join them for a movie they were projecting on deck! We declined since we didn’t want to drop our dinghy in the water. Another interesting observation was several boats with small children. A rubber dinghy with mom, dad and a 3-4 year old little blonde-headed kid motored to another boat and picked up a younger little girl, whisking her off to another boat. Perhaps a cruiser version of a “play date”? A babysitter? Can’t imagine cruising with little ones, diapers, no naps, bored and very little space. Ahh, but they are young.

I sorted out the frig and used leftovers to make salsa of peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, carrots and added some green salsa I had made before. I will add fresh avocados and cilatro once in La Paz and have a great Pico de Gallo. To bed early after dishes. My back is killing me – so really be glad to get to shore and move about more. I had to take a valium to try to relax the spasms and get some sleep. Lots of up and down the ladder but no place to walk.

5 December 2008

finally! Caleta Partido to La Paz - -yeah!

We awoke at 0700 and slipped out of the harbor by 0800, having coffee made and a protein shake for breakfast. Calm as we left and hoping for some wind as we make the final passage to our destination. Passed a few more coves and peaked in – many would be great weekend anchorages from La Paz.

A few hours out, I spied a whale heading north. Still at a distance and through the glasses but exciting to see them out there. The sky is clear, a few clouds and warm out. The water was 77 degrees as we left Partido. Once in the passage between Espiritu Santo and La Paz, Bill radioed Marina Palmira and let them know we were finally on our way in. As I cleaned up below, answered emails and called Cristy and changed the sheets, I could feel Bill playing with sails and the speed increase. Looks like we finally have a little wind to help blow us into La Paz. He just hollered down the hole that we are doing 6 knots – whereas most of the trip has been 3-4 knots. Still have the motor on, however. I can feel a slight heel to the boat and the computer is at an angle. Think I’ll quit, save and go up to enjoy the ride in! wheeee!

6 - 11 December 2009

La Paz

We blew into the harbor channel and found our Marina Palmira. It was a little tricky, as you must follow the channel markers due to a shallow shoal area. Heading down the alley way to our assigned slip, Bill actually had the boat in reverse to slow us down. So where was all this wind for most of the trip? We are on dock #5 and passed several boats we recognized…Om Shanti, who wrote the cruise guide we used to get here (a young couple) and Tioga III, old Jack the lawyer from San Carlos and Santa Barbara. When we found our slip, we had to make a hard left twice to get into the slip but the marina office had arranged for dockhands to assist us in – we docked beautifully. Almost like we knew what we were doing. Once in, we hiked up to the marina office and did our check-in with passports, boat papers, visas and all that. Nice, friendly and helpful people.

We are impressed with the marina – nice maintenance of the docks and grounds, carts to carry things, trash pick-up on the dock, a chandlery and mini-market (tienda), great restrooms and laundry facility, two restaurants and two bars, a hotel, a diesel dock and fuel delivery to the boat, a free shuttle to town….Bill is calling it “Nirvana”.

P.S. We have had a week here to settle, acclimate and walk a lot. As we explore La Paz and discover fun things, we will continue to email shorter notes. So far, we have met friends of friends, others who know our boat from Earl and Maria and Ginger and Tom from the ship’s Alemeda days, explored the streets, grocery stores and hardware and battery stores, found sushi and Mexican food. We’ll sit a bit as we get a new sail cover made and take care of the woodwork on deck. And we want to enjoy La Paz for the holiday season.

Merry Christmas to All and to all a Great Sail!

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