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

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