Wednesday, August 8, 2012


There went the summer, almost.  We hosted a Mark Mulligan/Rob Mehl concert at the house in June as soon as we got back - barely had time to get the grass well and some summer plants potted!

Shortly after that, the grandkids arrived: Amber is now a lovely young lady at 12 and Chase is a great 8 year old. We did mostly local activities but managed a stop to see Cristy's new house 9with Tony) in Mesa, visited the Biosphere, did the Gaslight Theater in Tucson, some swimming and arts and crafts and a few movie nights with popcorn.  The summer rains started and we enjoyed the monsoons that cooled things off....but the July 4th park activities and  fireworks were damp. A picnic from the car was kinda fun!

July 5th-15th, we drove the kids to San Diego and dropped them off with their aunt.  Also while there, the enire Pattison clan appeared and we had a reunion 0 to include family photos in Balboa Park.  Vicky (Tori) and Lindsey surprised their kids, Amber and Chase, and flew from Dallas  in for the w/e.  Bill III (Stormy) and fiance, Cris, came in from Atlanta.  Tiffany and family also attended most of the activities and included Chanin with husband and baby (Tyler, our great grandson is almost 2) who all flew in from New York!  Rylie participated, as did Marty (Chanin #1) and her kids, Michael, Danial and Jamie - all still living with Marty.  whew.  Michael's GF helped take many of the family/group pictures.  Michael leaves soon to join the USMC, like his grandpa, uncle Bill and cousin Chanin before him. That's it - the whole fam damily!

We did make a boat/San Carlos run a few weeks ago to prep the boat for hurricane season - we'll be gone during some of the season (see below) and not able to respond as fast.  So the sails and canvas are down and all the deck "crap" stowed below. We have a great guy watching the boat - as he works on the engine.  Omar the diesel mechanic is such a super person and knows our boat well!

Not much home time this summer. Now we are planning Part 2 - which includes the Pacific NW road trip Aug 14 - Sep 18th.  Need to see family and cruiser friends and a few sights en route. Looks like 4000 miles!
Nice to have family, friends and  new cruiser friends to visit places like Las Vegas, South Lake Tahoe, Reno; Eugene, Portland and Terrebonne Oregon; Seattle, Vancouver BC and the island....and hoping for a little highway down the OR/CA coast. Glad we get pretty good gas mileage.

October is a trip to Hawaii for Cristy's wedding, Oct 21 in Maui. Then we hope to find a month to make a short boat trip (3-4 weeks) into the northern part of the Sea of Cortes. And be home for 3-4 weeks over Christmas.

Summer pics TF later....Linda and Bill

Sunday, June 3, 2012

back in San Carlos

30-31 May 2012 Santa Rosalia to San Carlos

We had the fastest run ever across the sea!  We actually sailed about half the trip, with a beam wind and good seas.  There was a small heel back and forth - but Bill still called it a flat sea.   With 15-20 knots of wind about 0200, we  gave the motor a rest and sailed until we reached Algodones Bay and had to motor in to drop the sails and, eventually the anchor in the bay in front of the Soggy Peso. We also had a 3/4 moon until 0400 and very little other traffic noted via radar. As per usual, tho - and predicted - the winds kicked up to 25-30 knots all afternoon and evening.  So our plans to dinghy to shore were nixed. As was happy hour at the Soggy Peso and dinner aboard with Joan and Tom, boo hoo. We could hear music ashore as we missed the party.

The winds died down about 2100 and we slept well.  In the AM, we departed at 0700, in order to pull into Marina San Carlos - a 2 hour drive around the corner -  at high tide. We slood into slip A 16 about 0900 and settled in. Now for the task of cleaning up, stowing lines and sail gear, deciding what stays and what goes home *clothes, gally, linens, etc( and doing as much laundry here so not to have to take it home,

Joan and Tom met us at the Capt's Club as we were having lunch and we rode back to their house to get our car.  The battery tender we used worked great and the Venza started right up! Bill began making plans to meet up with Omar and other "workers" to do stuff on the boat. But we'll work days and rest nights (and sleep with a/c - yeah!), do a few things with Tom and Joan. There's pizza and concert movie at Capt's Club and a Full Moon Party at the Soggy Peso.

We'll drive home Tuesday, June 5th - prep for Mark Mulligan party at our house June 15th, the two youngest grandkids arrive June 26th, to San Diego July 6th for a mini-family reunion, some more guests in July, a northwest trip in late August (driving, 3 weeks) to see family and friends...and Cristy's wedding in Hawaii in October...whew...there goes the months!...and back to Tanque de Tiburon for a few visits between. Then we'll  cruise November, home December and back to the Baja in January. Hasta!

Linda and Bill

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

21 May 2012 Puerto Escondido to Isla Coronado
PS Have not downsized pics, so pics in the next post!)

As we said....On the road by 0855, passed Kasasa and waved – they’ll be heading out later today, too. Also saw s/v Pura Vida’s dinghy and family as they passed us as we motored out of Puerto Escondido. The winds held at about 8 knots so we motor-sailed north toward Isla Coronado, passing by Loreta and taking advantage of the wifi! Turns out, we had wifi/3G/cell coverage in Isla Coronado from the west anchorage. We did pass another large pod of dolphins that we enjoyed, some jumping and scooting under the bow of the boat. I think they are teasing us!  We arrived into the anchorage at 1600 and had an easy hook.
We stayed three nights because we had a nice spot, the weather was great and we swam a few times.  Bill also cleaned the bottom of the boat using the huka/regulator/compressor set-up we have (thanks, Earl!).  The boat bottom actually wasn’t too barnacled as can happen in warm waters. Boats in the bay with us included s/v Magic Carpet, who stopped by our boat and chatted. They had just completed an island circumnavigation – in their dinghy. There were average 5-6 boats each day with us, some coming, some going.

24 May 2012 Isla Coronado to San Nicolas

The goal today was perhaps Bahia Pulpita with a possible stop at San Juanico of the weather changed – 38 miles. The weather was pretty good, letting us sail for several hours, until the wind dropped. Then Mr. Motor helped us continue on. We did bypass Juanico and considered Pulpita’s north-facing bay, San Nicolas, to protect us from the predicted south winds. As we headed north, the winds were picking up and we were heeling some, not my favorite thing to do!  Bill does try to keep the boat level but sometimes….well, it is a sailboat and the wind moves it. By the time we reached the bay, however, the winds were 25-30 knots with lots of big white caps and with the main still up.  We needed to get the main sail down before we anchored, which is difficult in high winds as Bill has to go forward and pull the sail down as I try to keep the boat into the wind so the sails are luffing (fluffily flapping with no wind in them – ha!). So we thought about heading to San Sebastian, a small cove/bay community a few miles away.  As we read more about the anchorage, tho, we decided to not try it – too narrow, shallow and full of dangerous reefs as one enters. Not in high winds! So we chanced to go back to San Nicolas, got the main down and found a spot to drop the anchor in the wind and waves. Whew. Got it done and we celebrated with a cold beer. By then, the winds were from the east then from the west, not from the south as predicted.  So we rocked for 2 days, hoping it would go away.  Wind can be so annoying. We noted two more sailboats enter and anchor down the beach and on the second day, a big shrimp boat also came in to get out of the winds.

My birthday! May 25th, also celebrated with two of my first cousins, Renette and Terri. A Red Letter Day!  Had a relaxing day, a bit breezy, but did a few projects and we read. Also this year,  I will get my social security check in June – yahoo!  I earned it and hoping the system stays intact. Bill gave me a gorgeous mermaid clay statue he found in La Paz. She’s perfect: a Mexican mermaid with a shark and a turtle at her feet (fin?tail??) and holding a Koi-like fish. We are the Sharktank, have a desert tortoise at home and raise Koi….

26 May 2012 Bahia San Nicolas to Chivato

Just 43 miles up the road – should take an hour, haha. Silly me. At 3-5 mph and into the north winds, in a sail boat….took us a long day.  We left early for us, 0630, and arrived into Punta Chivato’s bay after the sun set.  The winds weren’t too bad after we left San Nicolas and Bill was able to motor-sail and make us some water. With the wind on our nose, we had to motor all day. No, that’s slog the last half.  We were making from 2-4 knots, into the wind and big waves to go up and over, rocking and rolling all day.  Lucky we don’t get sea sick. Bill had to hnad steer a lot because Otto did not like the up, down and side to side rolls.  More heeling, too, ugh.
At dusk, we rolled into Punta Chivato, noting 2 other boats and with some wind.  But we found a spot to anchor and after two approaches, we were in just as the sun was setting.  The first approach got us too close to another boat we were drifting/blowing toward and the steering locked up on me, so Bill helped get us re-positioned. The bay is very shallow and it is unnerving to see less than 8 feet under our keel, knowing it’s getting shallower and there’s a reef in front of the old Chivato hotel.

 I made leftover soup with yesterday’s roasted arracharra, potatoes and fresh broccoli – and special spices. Bill thought it was great.  Guess my cooking forte is soups. We had hot showers and headed to bed…fairly late by the time dishes and such were done.
The plan is two nights here and then to Santa Rosalia and then home by the end of May.  But we’ll watch the weather – which is being rather unpredictable this year! The middle day we are hoping to dinghy to shore and find the taco stand.  But guess what?  The winds are high again and it makes a difficult dinghy exercise.  We’ll see if we can later!  Maybe walk around the old hotel.  Maybe find John Wayne’s ghost there. Always see staff, no customers and pretty dark at night.  Pretty place on a point.  Rumor has it that the place has gone from bankrupt to drug cartel ownership to whatever. So we’ll sit here and read, etc.  Maybe I’ll work on my jewelry projects.

28 May 2012 Chivato to Santa Rosalia

“Only 27 miles up the sea, Santa Rosalia is the place to be….”.  We’re just a few hours away from the Singlar marina in Santa Rosalia.  Should have taken 5 hours, but we putzed around with sailing after we went thru Craig’s Channel, the shallow, reefed area between the Baja and San Marcos Island.  Then the wind picked up a bit more into the channel but guess what? Right on the nose, of course!  We tacked a few times and tried to catch more wind….but after a few hours of sails and beam swells “hobby horsing” us, we realized the time and decided to crank the motor back on.  Oh well.  We have had more sailing this year than in the past. 

We arrived into the Santa Rosalia area with just a main up and waited for the Ferry to approach and enter through the quay wall as we know he “parks” right behind the marina we want.  No joy in contacting the marina, no one home.  We entered the bay and pulled into a slip easily via Capt Bill; I hopped off and stopped the boat. Still nobody around to assist us on the dock! We did wave and a local fishing boat with 2-3 guys aboard, docked, to possibly grab a line for us but they just looked, no response to our waves….oh well.  Locals don’t seem to understand the courtesy of helping a sailboat in.  They are on little fishing boats, easily handled and probably wondering “what’s all the fuss about?” with us Gringo sailboats.   Three other boats are in the marina, closed up and filling with bird poop.  One for sale. Very quiet. The office was closed by the time we arrived, about 6 PM…so the one guard who came out after we arrived took our information and we promised to pay up the next day.

After a short clean up and connecting the boat to power, we walked to town for our favorite Xochitl soup at Terco’s, yum.  Beef, fresh cilantro, tortillas, cheese and some awesome seasoning.  It was a long day, so we returned and to bed. The next day was boat cleaning - exterior, laundry (so  so not so much in San Carlos!), cockpit, etc and another trip to town in the evening for a famous hot dog! Also yum, but not so healthy, haha.

May 30th – we are prepping for the trip to San Carlos and will depart at noon-ish and make an overnight passage so we arrive in daylight.  The plan is to anchor a night in Algodones Bay, meet Tom and Joan for cold drinks at the Soggy Peso Bar and bring them aboard for dinner.  June 1, we’ll ride around to Marina San Carlos and park the boat for the summer… until more excitement….we’ll report that we got in OK….

Hugs to all we know…Linda and Bill

Monday, May 21, 2012

Heading North May 2012

Dplphins at Sea....
 Bill with a Lobster....

Bug eyed Bill!

Ginger-designed Spinnaker! Gorgeous!!

 My garden, basil and rosemary....

More pics's the sail log....speed read! LOL.

6 May 2012 La Paz to Partida on Isla Espiritu Santo

Aahh – departing La Paz for the season!  We dropped the lines and backed out of our slip at 1015.  The marina was very calm and we made an easy exit. The day was sunny, cloudless and warm….with ‘small, short period wind waves” as predicted. I still don’t know what that means….Predictions were also for some wind and we hoped to sail – which we did!  By 1130, the winds were ranging from 5-20 knots and we had the main and jib up and stopped the motor – sailing from 1130 until 1530!  We ate a light lunch as we sailed and enjoyed the day. At one point we were actually making 7 1/2 knots!! So we bypassed several anchorages, opting for the sail verses the hook.  We arrived into Partida mid-island and dropped the hook at 1815. In the anchorage with us was s/v Mambo again and s/v Aztec – a total of 6 sailboats, one trawler and three yachts. We stayed two nights and both nights were calm, quiet and we slept well – up occasionally to check our anchor. We lazed about on the free day, watched boats come and go and relaxed with no place to go or be.  Nice feeling but sure feel guilty to not do much!

On the boat are the usual jobs: Linda has daily chores  (“pink jobs”) like galley and heads, make the bed and rearrange the frig and freezer for beer and dinner, pulling the coldest beer to the top and adding new below to chill as well as deciding on meals and having them in order. This usually involves some cleaning and meal prep.  Bill has “blue jobs”, which include engine and boat things to check on.  When we stop and after the anchor is set, we hang the wind scoop and a small shade cover as well as the anchor sail.  If going to shore, Bill preps lowering the dinghy into the water and Linda packs a shore bag (sunscreen, water, bags for shells, etc). My personal fun projects don’t get done as often – jewelry, sail logs, writing, painting shells or other art work. I have totally neglected my flute for various reasons this year – so far! In order to start most projects requires set-up and time to focus and seems we are always planning something, prepping to move, at sea and inconvenient…so, much of our time is spent reading.  It’s easier to break from that to do other things.  Plus – when out, we do try to focus on the sea and looking for animals, boats and landmarks as well as checking out the awesome Sea of Cortez scenery!

8 May 2012 Partida to Isla San Francisco

Today’s plan was to head to Isla San Francisco, north of Espiritu.  We pulled up the old anchor and charged out of the Partida bay at 0830. Again, we planned to sail and we did! The winds started out at 5-10 knots.  Bill figured it was a good time to play with the Spinnaker, too He had figured a better way to set it up while at the marina and was ready to go.  So down with the Genoa and up went the gorgeous spinnaker. We took some awesome pictures.  Ginger, a former owner, designed it and it’s beautiful, red, white and blue. As soon as we had it up, the wind waffled a bit, dropping to 3-5 knots and the spinnaker luffed a bit…but we hung in there from 1130-1300.  When our speed (Main and spinnaker) dropped below 2 knots, we figured we’d better motor a little to get somewhere for the night. So onward with the engine on, arriving Isla San Francosco at 1545.
Got a radio call from s/v Agean Oddysey’s Karen and Ron.  We seemed to have passed them somewhere “on the road” as they headed south into La Paz and were just pulling in there.  Perhaps we’ll catch them back in San Carlos! So, we spent just one night in the anchorage and move on north for further explorations.

9 May 2012 Isla San Francisco to Timbabiche

We started this stretch with an unknown destination and several options.  Since we had stopped in Evaristo before, we decided to try a new spot, Nopolo.  It’s a small Baja village with no roads, only boat access.  As we got closer, we realized the anchorage is really deep at 50’ – way to deep to feel comfortable and have enough rode out to keep us from drifting.  So we drove by, checked it out and kept on going once again.  Where to stay tonight? Next stop seems to be Timbabiche, another one we haven’t tried. So almost 20 miles later (total of 40 today) and at 1845, we pulled into the bay.  Sun is up later with Dayight Saving Time, making for pleasant evenings. We also had another good sail – from 1100 to 1300 and with a good current pushing us north, we made some good time.  With winds of just 10-12 knots, we were able to make 3-5 knots of speed for a bit – no motor and under sail. But had to run the motor for the rest of the ride.

Arriving in Timbabiche, home of Manual and his lobster dives, he sure enough approached us and asked if we wanted lobster and scallops – fresh.  Of course and we sent him off to “fish”.  He has some health problems and we worry.  With a bunch of kids and grandkids, not much work, I also put together a bag of canned and packaged foods and a few treats for his grandkids – bubble blowing wands. He also scored several beers, 4 AAA batteries and the 200 pesos (about $14) we paid for four 6-ounce lobsters that were very good.  The scallops were huge and also great tasting. This is the best way to fish, no fishing lines or mess. We think it’s the end of lobster season tho and worried that the size is smaller than he should have picked.  We’ve heard some of the lobster divers have delivered longusta with eggs, sadly.  Ours were not.

We met a younger couple sailing with two pre-teen kids, s/v Pura Vida, from California. Nice folks and well-behaved kids. They dropped by the boat on their way to snorkel – heard later it was murky. What an experience for these cruiser kids!
Having a nice time, we stayed two nights.  On our rest day, we dingh’d in to explore the village and to see the “Casa Grande”. It was a rocky beach landing but we finally found a spot with a path to the village, passing bony cows and funky-domed casas. The big house is a pink, two-story structure in ruins and looks huge from the ocean.  But as we approached, it was not so big and a shell.  There are a few houses nearby and a school. Saw one lady who said school was on break – too hot. It was also in the dome-roof design common to several homes there – as was the washroom out back of the school! We noted several water wells in the area. The cow was trying to eat the dried mesquite leaves. Poor old thing.

11 May 2012 Timbabiche to Agua Verde

At 87 degrees out in the morning, we have noted as we get more into May and closer to summer – it is getting warmer out! We drove away from the anchorage at Timbabiche and headed north to Agua Verde.  We had not stopped there in a few years so curious to see the area again. We did some motor-sailing as not much wind. We anchored south of the middle lobe.  While enjoying a drop-the-hook cold beer, a dinghy family (haha, literally, too) stopped by to say hello.  From the s/v Puddle Pirate, we met parents and the 10 YO daughter – the 14 YO girl was still on their boat.  They chatted for quite awhile and then headed off to snorkel. They are from the PNW. We told them about the resort near the candles and that we would see them there.
In the morning before heading out we took the dinghy ashore to find the tienda and perhaps find a few fresh veggies.  We ended up heading more south and had a hike through the “suburbs”, over the wash and thru the mesquite –but saw a few homes, people, pigs and goats.  They have a small church in the village, a pretty good school.The tienda is 10x10 and had a good variety as well as some cold beer – so we stocked up and dropped off some trash. For 314 pesos, we got two 8-packs of Pacifico beer and a few fresh veggies – about $23.  Not a great deal but I suppose we supported their local economy. There was also a palapa restaurant attached that we opted to not eat at….looked a little questionable….

12 May 2012 Agua Verde to Los Candaleros and The Resort….

After shopping in Agua Verde, we departed the bay at 1100.  We noted the Puddle Pirates rushed out at 0600, probably hoping to find a spot at the resort. It was Flat Calm out at sea, warmer and a few floating sea lions drifted by us. The winds got all the way up to 4 knots, maybe.  Obviously, we were under motor.  It is a 17 mile run to the Candles area. An uneventful trip, no sailing and no wind, we caught some sun, read and motored into the bay, dropping the hook at 1625.  Passing thru the candles rocks on the way-points, we made a left and found the big, wide anchorage. There were several other boats including, of course, the s/v Puddle Pirates. The resort ashore, Villa del Palmar Loreto is just beautiful. Figured it wasn’t too late to go ashore, Bill dropped the dinghy down from the davits and put a little air in the tubes and off we went to happy hour and pool. The beach entry was easy and “parking” no problem! That was nice and refreshing and we took the cold beer with us into the pool.  We also had a light spinach salad for dinner at the bar. The Puddle Pirates were there, ashore and eating, as well. Pics from here on not yet downloaded.....

Villa del Palmar – The Resort

What a great find! Thanks to all who recommended it to us.  It’s a new place, barely opened a year and partly finished.  Several more areas and a golf course are planned. We checked in with hotel/resort the concierge and received a bracelet, identifying us a day-guests. We stayed 5 nights, went to shore daily and were joined by many other cruisers.  By the morning we left, the bay boats had gone from numbers 4 to 25!  Maybe we told too many people about it?  They are very welcoming to cruisers as we offer “eye candy” for the resort.  The pools x5 were free (towels included!) and we did partake of meals and drink, supporting them. The staff is super-friendly, as well.
We also figured there could be more cruisers in the pool than actual resort-ees.  Talked to several guests staying at the place and most were there to hear about the timeshare deal.  We were asked if we wanted “the tour” and out of curiosity, we took it. They are part of “our” timeshare exchange program, Interval International.  So perhaps down the line, we might try to get a room there when we pass by – maybe even get some family to fly down and join us. The condo interiors are gorgeous, studios to three bedrooms, full kitchens and patios with hot tubs….5 star, very elegant.

Joining us in the bay were s/v Kasasa, Ellen and Ian. We had a great few days of visiting, eating and pooling. Such nice folks; we had a terrific freshly-caught fish dinner aboard their boat one evening – Ian fishes. Canadians – but we won’t hold that against them.  (Ian was among the “boys” who helped Bill bring Tanque back from Guaymas to San Carlos and the infamous run-aground in the marina.) We hope to see more of them in the future, as well….maybe Canada this summer as they will be up north a few months, leaving their boat in La Paz and flying home. Also arriving through our invitation was m/v Oriana; we met Jack and Mary last year in Barra de Navidad.  California-ites, for real. They also enjoyed the area snorkeling, clamming as well as the pool and food.

OK, time to update/renew our 3G card for continued wifi. So we need to get to the Loreto Bay and connect,

17 May 2012 Candaleros to Loreto

We sadly departed The Resort north to Loreto at 0730, arriving Loreto at 1400.  We set an anchor just outside the main city quay wall, where all the fishing pangas and local boats are inside. With some wind, we did a little dancing but at least it was a nice breeze.  We decided to anchor overnight and try the wifi several times – but unable to get a confirmation on the renewal. At 0430, I heard a lone panga nearing our boat and went up to look; pretty soon another and another and another…all surrounding us and line fishing for bait! They were so close, we could hear them talking and I wanted to offer them coffee….Just after sunrise, they also departed out to sea to fish!  It was pretty funny.  I think we were anchored in their usual fishing spot, oops.  Nobody said anything, tho – it did not seem to bother them. But we’d had a calm night and a lazy morning – departed the area about 11 after trying the Banda Ancha renewl several times.

18 May 2012 Loreto back to Danzante and Honeymoon Cove

From 11 to 1715, we motored south to Isla Danzante for a night.  Having never tried Honeymoon Cove, we decided we had the time to check it out.  The charts show fairly deep and close to shore anchorages.  The northern coves were pretty open to some predicted south winds, so we went to the southern cove where one other boat was.  He had left enough room for us to squeeze in.  We had to put the anchor down at 40-50 feet, tho, in order to have enough swing room if the winds come up. We inspected the cove, made a plan, circled back around and made our approach and Bill let the anchor down and put out 150’ of rode to keep us in place. The other boat there was Pacific High, from Chandler AZ.  We watched him take his dog to shore via kayak, let the dog run and swim and when he returned to the boat, the dog swam out from shore and actually climbed the ladder to board! That’s pretty hard for a dog without thumbs!! I was impressed! The next morning when he was returning from shore again with the dog, we hailed him over and offered him a cup of coffee and praised the cute dog with a doggie treat. We also did a little snorkeling to shore as the water was 75 degrees.  We checked out the boat bottom and all looks good. The shore was murky, not too many fish but the water was refreshing. And I washed my hair in the water and had a fresh-water rinse aboard.

19 May 2012 Honeymoon to Puerto Escondido/Loreto

It was time to meet up with s/v Kasasa again in PE. We planned for two nights at a ball.  The cruise from Honeymoon to the bay was an hour, so we left the sail cover on.  An easy motor run, found a ball and with Ian’s help, tied up easily. We prepped for shore visit, shower for Bill and dinner. We made a taxi reservation thru Pedro at Porto Bello restaurant – to go into town Sunday for the Farmer’s Market in Loreto. Back to the boat and good sleeping.
We love Loreto but this time a short visit in a shared taxi. We did fins brunch after the market and some shopping. The market was an open-air with a variety of fresh veggies clothing, hardware, parts and used “stuff” from A to Z. I got quite a bit of great looking veggies for about $10.  Cantaloupe, artichokes, tomatillos and tomatoes, peppers and such,  there was also grand fresh meat but didn’t want to trust it sitting in our semi-cooler carry bag for several hours. Altho, all the meat is sitting out in an open-air market – no frig!
Back at the boat, we had Kasasa over for appy’s and drinks over a sunset,  Had another nice visit and plans to see them later this year – perhaps when we get to Canada!

20 May 2012

Congrats to my brother,Lon and Linda’s son, Justin and Amy, on the birth of their first born, Henry Lee, born today via C-section in Oregon!!! Lon sent pics and all looks good!!

21 May 2012 Puerto Escondido to Isla Coronado

On the road by 0855, passed Kasasa and waved – they’ll be heading out later today, too.
More from San Carlos!!  Linda and Bill

 Scallops in Tembebiche from Manual :-)

Our stern....and at anchor....
 This poor cow, surviving on not much brush - mesquite?
 The Timbabiche school house and La Casa Grande

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

La Paz #2

15 April – 5 May 2012 LA PAZ

The Bungee Cord hooked us into La Paz for nearly a month, once again. It’s hard to say no to an easy life of a few boat chores, provisioning and restaurants, social and cultural events and R&R. We had laundry to do, FM3/ Mexican visas and the Telcel wifi card to renew. Friends were due in as well. Once we arrived back into La Paz, we made contact with Lisa again and she became our main transport unless we wanted to get some exercise or walk the malecon.  

NOTE:FYI, We met Lisa and John Caruso several years ago in La Paz, where Lisa and John did some yoga classes with me at Palmira.  They were on s/v Andiamo. John died 2 years ago during Loreto Fest and their boat is still at Puerto Escondido; she will bring it to Palmira in La Paz this coming fall. Once when John was on our boat, he had a “light bulb” moment when he realized he knew Earl and Maria, the former owners, and that they had been on the boat before!  Small world. Lisa hasa had an interesting year between house sitting  and two hip replacements.

The FM3 process was delayed a week as we found it too early to apply. The process has been interesting as we usually do it in Agua Prieta, near home – and had a few hassles with the process there.  What we found in La Paz was a office with true and efficient professionals. We had the appropriate paperwork and pictures and the bank payment done, turned the paperwork in April 24th and it was ready in 8 days, as they predicted. Once we get back to San Carlos, we will be able to apply for our Senior Card, allowing us some actual “senior discounts” in Mexico - like bus tickets, prescriptions and such. Supposedly with having the FM3 after 4-5 years, we will be closer to a semi-permanent status in Mexico.

We were invited to attend a wonderful Blue Grass concert at La Paz’ music school.  It is an amazing place, hidden in an older neighborhood off a dirt road…a new building with a wonderful (air conditioned) auditorium and great acoustics.  Lisa drove 5 of us and there were some local school kids attending as well as the local officials…and many Gringos.  The group was sponsored by the Mexican government and from Virginia….very talented group of 4 guys that included bass, mandolin, guitar and fiddle…and voices. During the show, the cruiser’s Club Cruceros de La paz received an award for assisting local schools and children with many scholarships.

Another event we attended on the malecon (boardwalk on the beach,) was the 477th celebration of Cortez’ landing onto La Paz beaches and declaring La Paz for Spain.  They did a wonderful recreation of the event, with dancers, tiki torches, actors and gorgeous costumes.  Cortez even arrived via a ship (a fishing panga with a motor – but they did row in, LOL), strode thru the waves onto shore and declared ownership as they brought “civilization and religion” to the natives. The natives did rebel a little, burning the cross.  There was music, readings of the tale and much dancing by the “natives” in the show.  It was a spectacular event to attend!
isa and I did some serious shopping, mostly provisions. But we found fabric, a dress, some seamstress work, arts and crafts and many lunches.  We explored Home depot, the new Liverpool (like a Nortstrom’s+) as well as Walmart and Sam’s Club. I will miss Lisa down the road!  But she has promised to stop by our house and visit on her way back to Seattle in June; she’ll drive the Baja north herself as she has done it several times and feels very comfortable. The night before we departed, Lisa hosted a pool party at the house she is house sitting – a small group of 10 or so, pot luck and the pool. It was a great send-off!

We also learned about the medical system available to Gringos when Lisa decided to do a nose dive into the sidewalk as we were heading to The Shack for dinner. With two new hips, she was protecting herself as she fell and instead, landed on her left arm, nicked her forehead and ended up with a giant bruise and sore ribs.  A run to the Urgent Care center where she was declared “not an emergency”  (by the desk clerk!) and told to see the “consultant” at a the AM clinic.  So we drove her home and delivered her to the clinic the next day. X-rays were taken and she was referred to a ortho specialist, yet another appointment a week away – which turned out to be her very own ortho surgeon who had done her two hips last year – he declared her fine and sent her on her way. She is ehaling fast and sure didn’t let anything stop her driving, dancing and enjoying friends out and about.

As far as boat projects, we had fewer this year.  I did get the after head painted and it looks nice and bright and white once again.  Bill finished some wood staining on the rails and did deck cleaning.  He also pulled the spinnaker out and figured it out so we can try it next time out. Not many old friends left south, but a few. Kirk on s/v Freedom of Kirkland arrived from Cabo with his cousin and uncle.  We had a few dinners out and happy hours back and forth, meeting a few other people, as well. He was in and out for the week, hauled out at Bercovich’s marina and flew home – all too quickly!  But we had some fun evenings together. He stayed a night aboard with us when he hauled out, before the bus to Cabo and flying home to still-cold Canada. Our new slip neighbor at Palmira this year, the catamaran s/v Orion, Mike and Cathy, was also in and out several times, mostly with guests aboard.  They took off sailing again before we had a chance to visit – but we are hoping to meet them up on the Baja for a margarita.

We celebrated Bill BD at Buffalo Ribs and had a wonderful dinner – the ribs are just outstanding. Mouth-watering and perfectly grilled. We also made a point to see Alex and Sue’s new Trawler-in-progress, the new m/v Maitairoa.  They went to the darkside (sailboat to power) last year and brought the boat down this winter.  It’s big, much space and they are redesigning and outfitting it as their home.  

NOTE: We did not see Ana Hall as much as we wanted.  The first week, her niece was visiting and then she flew north for more treatments and we missed her return. We did stop by the casa once and she was having her interior walls painted – bright colors for her art work. We also saw her selling her one-of-a-kind, detailed, hand-made greeting cards at the Farmer’s Market. She seems to be doing ok and is planning the summer in La Paz. Ana lost her husband, Steve, last year in La Paz – so has had a rough year.  We all miss 
Steve, his big-bear hugs and smiles.

Daily life in La Paz becomes a routine, starting at 0800 with the AM Cruiser’s NET on the radio, catching up on what is happening, who has something to sell for “coconuts”, where the music is or a food special and locating services for Gringos. Lost and found, jokes and trivia as well as emergencies are the highlights. The radio is also our communication system – and we use it frequently to make plans.  Of course, it’s like the old-fashioned shared phone and everyone and anyone can listen into any conversation! If you are having work done, meeting for margaritas or departing – everyone knows!  Although we move from a “hailing” channel” to talk, anyone can “follow” and listen in, which we call “lurking”. If Susie is shacking with Sam, someone is having boat work done or the Jones’s are dining with the Smith’s, we all know! It’s a little cruiser Peyton Place.

With everything done, partied-out, provisioned and the boat ready, we pulled the bungee cord off and left the slip on May 6th, with reservations for next February. Sad to leave but we have great memories, many pictures and bellies full of beer.  Have to work on that last one as we move north. The goal is to move north slowly, see how far we can get, seeing new anchorages when we can and not rushing anywhere fast. We have our San Carlos slip reserved for June 1.
Onward! Linda and Bill

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Islands

3 April 2012 La Paz to Ensenada Gallina/Espiritu Santo

(lotsa pics below!!)

It is time to depart the slip before we get stuck in La Paz! We snuck out of the slip at 0800 and headed north toward the first island, Espiritu Santo.  The weather was pleasant, sunny and light breezes, a pretty day out at sea.   We had a great sail for 30 minutes, then the wind died!  But arrived easily at 1300 and dropped the hook.

That said, however, the big excitement for this run was being boarded by the (dreaded) Mexican Navy/Marines!!    I came up from below and noticed a Mexican panga-style boat approaching our stern; what I saw was a pango with four guys coming pretty close to our boat.  Kind of scary…but we soon realized they were officials from the Mexican Navy who wanted to board us. OK!  What do you say – come on aboard! Bill showed the guy his USMC hat and think the guy was impressed. The young man hopped aboard with his clip board while the other three in the panga just followed close behind.  He was all smiles and said he had some questions to ask us. I got our official paperwork, visas, passports, boat documents, etc and handed him what he needed.  At the end of the “interview”, he handed us the clipboard to fill out a “how did I do?” form for HIM!  He did just fine, LOL.  Then we gave him four Tanque de Tiburon pens and he hopped back aboard his panga and away they went to the next boat. That was a first for us and glad we had all our paperwork in order. It was an easy, very pleasant experience!
About 21 miles and 5 hours later, we dropped the hook in Ensenada Gallina and stayed two nights. We did have some Cormuel winds (night winds that blow thru the hills from the west) and a few rocky/rolly nights where Bill stayed on “alert mode”, as he does.  Our anchor and 125 feet of rode held us fast and we did just fine. We rested, enjoyed the peace and quiet in the bay with a few other boats.

5- 10 April 2012 Ensenada Gallina, passing Isla San Francisco to San Evaristo

Not knowing where we might stop, we pulled up the anchor at 0800 and just headed north.  We had considered San Francisco, a beautiful island.  With little wind to help us, we motor-sailed all day. The most we had was 4-6 knots all day. Whoopee. Of course, per usual, we motor/sailed most of the way again. Isla San Francisco had quite a few boats already as we passed by and the wind predictions for the next few days were high, so we pushed on to San Evaristo, a nice bay we like on the Baja that would have much better wind protection. Arriving at 1715, we dropped the anchor right into the sunset, which was difficult for me driving the boat as Bill dropped the hook.  We have headphones to communicate when he’s on the bow and that helps a lot (thank you Ginger!!).  There were several other boats in the anchorage…maybe 5-6….and we settled in to make sure the anchor and rode were holding us fast – which they did. A few other boats came in after we did.
On arrival, we heard a call on the radio from s/v Willfull Simplicty (love these boat names); she was looking for some Vick’s Vapo Rub – yes, you read that right! – for a little local 2 YO guy who had a miserable cold and neither he nor his mom were getting any sleep.  I had just cleaned out a cabinet and found two and one was right on the bed, amazingly.  So Charlotte dinghy’d over, got the Rub and we heard the next say that both mom and baby were, once again, happy campers. The mom, Ciprianna, was the owner of the only palapa restaurant on shore…very rustic but fresh fish! We arranged to have dinner there the next evening. We watched them clean and filet the fish as we waited, drinking Ballena  (whale!) bottles of Pacifico beer with friends on s/v Intrepid II,  Carol and Kelly. The fresh fried fish, corn tortillas, cole slaw, beans and rice were amazing.
Predicted winds and rough weather had us sit out the semi-storm ( a “norther”) in Evaristo for almost a week.  We went to shore a few times we could, stopped at the local tienda (store) just once – which had 4,000 bottles of catsup (??), a few chips, candy, some fresh veggies and some cheeses in a freezer on the porch.  The lot adjacent to the tienda had goats.  As we left, a small cow entered the gate to join the goats.  Musta been meal time. There are many goats in the area – and some have been captured and penned.  I tried for some goat cheese but did not get the message across well….and ended up with Queso Fresca, fresh cheese. Not goat.
There was a young kid, about 12, who kayaked by the boat one day.  We chatted in Spanish to my best ability. He was extremely chubby, I have to say, and he asked me for coke and candy!  Which, we do not have on board – as I have some diet cokes for an occasional treat and sugar-free candy.   Next best thing was a can of V8 juice, LOL. He said he was familiar with it and accepted it. I suppose I better carry some reserve give-aways…but that said, this kid did NOT need candy!!! 
We will be bringing some school supplies next stop for the local school. Most cruisers drop things off there.  I actually l;eft some coffee mugs I wasn’t using with Ciprianna for her palapa restaurant. Sounds like they need books (chapter books for the older kids) as well as paper supplies. So I will be shopping at Wal-Mart in La Paz!
And being Semana Santa, there were many people out on the water, kayaking, family panga trips, swimming, a few jet skis and even one guy had a remote control, plane that buzzed about during the day. We watched the Semana Santa (Easter vacation) visitors and locals play in the water, the kids on the beach and campers having a great time on their break. In the evening, there were bonfires and music on the beaches.  It did get quite smoky on Good Friday. But it was a very festive week for the locals, with all the visitors.

10 April 2012 San Evaristo to Isla San Francisco

We pulled up the anchor at 0830 in Evaristo, along with most of the other boats, and headed out.  Many cruisers are heading north and we turned back south to La Paz again. It is only an 8 mile run to Isla San Francisco, so we went slow and enjoyed the ride.  We did motor-sail again but had a sail up most of the way, catching a little wind. Ah, yes, just another fine day in paradise. We arrived about noon and found a spot in the lee of the island tucked under a hill as far as we could, for some wind/Cormuel protection, and easily dropped the anchor and settled in. We also noted a few masts on the far side of the “spit” in the center of the island.
 “I left my heart in San Francisco…”…almost.  It is a beautiful bay and island!  The white sandy beach spreads far and wide, curving around the bay and surrounded by low hills and an old volcano on one end – with the turquoise waters and shallow areas, it makes quite a picture!  It is one of the many Mexican wildlife sanctuaries, protected and maintained in its natural state. We spent three nights in on the island, visiting with s/v Tamara a few evenings. Marili and Dave are from Portland and their boat is a classic, having been built by her father in the 70’s and has a tiller to steer!  They are having it hauled back north this summer, after spending 4 years in the Sea of Cortez.  We met them several years ago so was nice to run into them again and visit.  We are hoping they will stop by the house on their way back north in June, after they ship their boat off (via land) to Portland.
For several days, we watched boats come and go, power boats, sail boats and a big tourist cruiser with kayakers and campers (out of La Paz, m/v Adventure II).  There was a beach camp set up for a few days but a quiet group, possible off the big boat.  Perhaps an ecology group or a church retreat – it was unusually quiet for Mexico beach campers! We dinghy’d in and walked the beach, looked at the sea life and found a few shells here and there. We did have some night winds and Bill remained ‘on watch”, often sleeping in the cockpit.

13 April 2012 Isla San Francisco to Ensenada Ballena/Espiritu Santo

Time to move south again, beer is running short. Once again, the hook is up at 0830 and we’re off to Espiritu.  No plan as to where but looking at several possibilities as we headed south. At 1335, we pulled into Ensenada Ballena, the whale bay.  An island off shore is actually shaped like a giant whale, hence the name. Sailing with the Genoa, we did get a boost of 1-2 knots but the motor remained on most of the time.  Or we’d still be heading south. The max wind we had all day was 4-6 knots…..
We were alone in Ballena, a small bay.  One boat pulled in, dropped a hook and appeared to have some problems as we heard them trying to call Marina Costa Baja back in La Paz (the one we call “Costa Lotta”. Haha).  They pulled their anchor back up within half an hour and headed south – very slow for a power boat. They never asked for assistance and seemed ok, but it was odd.  We wondered if we had forgotten our deodorant? Oh well, back to peace and quiet…and an eerie night all alone in an anchorage with some winds.  We kept half an eye and one ear open for anchor dragging.  We use a stay sail, or some call it an anchor sail, that helps to stabilize the boat at anchor. It’s only about 6x6 and works well.
We relaxed, read, ate, sun bathed and I did some jewelry making projects below. I think I even changed the sheets and did some hand laundry.

15 April 2012 Ballena to La Paz!!

A lazy start, we left the anchorage at 0920, heading “home” to La Paz. And what a treat we had! Not only did we see whales spouting and dolphins, we got to sail for four hours straight!!  No motor, wind at our stern, seas cooperating and all.  The winds were 5-20 knots, varying all day. We put just the Genoa/jib sail out and captured a beautiful sail, reaching speeds of 5-6 knots…excellent for us.  A little side-to-side heeling 10-20, but it was fine as the seas were pleasant. We didn’t want to stop and enter the La Paz channel.  But we did – and as we entered the actual marina, we caught some 30 knot winds and Bill was in reverse with RPM’s, heading to our dock.  We had some dock help and Bill pulled in just fine…back to #429, Phew. Yet another outing and back in one piece.

OK - back in La Paz for a few weeks for visa/ FM3 renewals, see friends, shopping, eat out, explore, etc. A few boat projects to do; After rinsing the boat off of salty sea spray, Bill wants to finish the deck varnish job and I have to paint to aft head ceiling area.  Plus, some cleaning, dusting, mopping and sorting.

 Sails, Ho!
 Ensenada Ballena
 San Evaristo, our blue dinghy, us and Carol and Kelly from s/v Intrepid II...

 The fishermen fileting the fresh catch for our dinner (and others)
 Kelly and Carol
 Kids at play in the water and on the beaches.

 Bill enjoying a beer before dinner

 Isla San Francisco  aft of the boat

 Isla Ballena and dropping the hook

yet another wonderful sunset!

 Is it dinner yet?

 Isla San Francisco's beach

back to Evaristo's beach

 our boat with the small anchor sail
 Sea Gull doing the Hokey Pokey

 The tienda's stock of chips and more chips

 One lone cow heading to dinner
 An Easter hat on the beach!

 Semana Santa families at Evaristo

 One young couple packed and moving to Isla San Jose via panga!
  Mama was about 15 with a  brand new baby!

 Bill's favorite pass time - reading!
 My garden....

 The Evaristo goats!

Mas tarde, amigos!  Linda and Bill