Sunday, February 24, 2013

La Paz, Carnaval and Friends!

We arrived La Paz  February 8th, 2013....
In the middle of Carnaval!

February 8La Paz!  We finally made it south and into our waiting slip in Marina Palmira.  Adrianna has patiently saved our berth for us and we came in nicely, easy landing.  Our neighbor boat, s/v Orion, a big Catamaran, is still around, as well. 
Kind of feels like getting home again. 

Here's a view of bill and our boat in our slip taken from the neighboring boat. Makes the marina look pretty crowded!

 Oh my! We have arrived in the middle of Carnaval!  The town is totally immersed in parties, festivities, music and parades.  Plus costumes, drinks and food.  We made a few street nights to people watch and find cheap margaritas as well as watch the parade from the Tailhunter, a fun restaurant/cantina combo.  I love their Hawaiian Poke, a sashimi’d ahi tuna. YUM! And…they have Chope/Negra Modelo on draft, too.

 Linda and Judy from s/v JUCE, shopping for Carnaval junk.
NOT Linda and Judy...a couple of dancers from a parade float teasing us at a restaurant.
Bill with Bruce and Judy.
Typical Carnaval Fare.

Um, ok...these are for the grandkids but we had to try them on.....

So far we have been able to meet up with s/v JUCE, Bruce and Judy for some wild times, m/v Maitairoa, Alex and Sue to plan Mark Mulligan’s upcoming gig here and get tickets to sell, s/v Kasasa, Ellen and Ian – all in other marinas, Lisa from s/v Andiamo and Seattle, but now living here part time, and Susan and Dennis on s/v TwoCanPlay with their business of boat care, Ross Marine, and our neighbors on s/v Orion, Mike and Cathy from Seattle, here at Palmira.

Us with Ian and Ellen at the Valentine Party at La Costa.
...and Lisa with a friend at the V party, as well.

We’ve also seen and heard on the NET a few boats we recognize and have chatted with over the years.  Old home week, LOL.

The La Paz plan to renew our FM3/Mexican Visas, has slightly changed as the Mexican law changed (again) last November.  We found out that with our 4 years on-board with FM3’s has earned us the privilege to now apply for permanent residency No, we are not moving full time to Mexico, LOL….but we can now come and go as we please without the Visa hassle!  So once we are home in May, we will start the process at the border. It’s so easy here but, alas, we need to start it before November. 

Sunday February 17: a sail day away with s/v Orion on their beautiful Catamaran along with 10 or so others….for a sail race in the La Paz bay area.  I counted 17 boats entered and crewed with friends – so they all had lotsa people aboard.  Had a great day out…weather was perfect.  Not much wind to start but it kicked up to 15 or so later.  The guys crewed and Bill had a fun job with the port jib lines and got to drive us part way out of the channel.  It’s a BIG boat with real power.  I sat around with “the girls” and watched, ate and sunned, LOL. The start line was funny as everyone has to have engines OFF at least 5 minutes before the “start” so we all just milled around and tried not to run into each other using sails alone. What a fun day. 

Some La Paz Bay race shots and aboard s/v Orion....crew shirts to boot!

Now back to work...have the new stainless rails done and getting some new canvas work/repairs.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

To Baja or Bust....again

OK!  Finally - let's head south!

The second departure was January 27th and the destination – the Baja!  Looking at winds and weather, we headed more south, looking to get to San Juanico as a first stop.  We passed San Juanico at 0700 the next day so just kept on going and ended up anchoring at Isla Coronado, near Loreto. The key was wifi there and we did get stuck for four rocky-rolly nights in the anchorage. It was so rolly that I actually fell off the toilet once. Ow!

On February 1, we headed more south faster. The next stop was into Puerto Escondido for fuel. We dropped an anchor in there, as well, as we don’t trust the balls.  Did a little provisioning at Pedro’s store there and had a nice fish dinner at his restaurant, PortoBello’s.  From there, we cruised to the bay in front of the Villa de Palmar resort for a night at anchor – hoping to catch a Super Bowl game ashore. We did stay a night but decided to go to the next bay on the agenda for listening to the game as the resort appeared pretty quiet.

The next anchorage was Agua Verde, motor-sailing on February 3. We had a bit of excitement on anchoring! After about 50’ of chain out toward an anticipated 100+ foot rode, the chain had a knot in it about the size of a volleyball!  We are guessing it was from much of the rock and roll we had done over the trip so far, causing it to amass into a ball. So…we had to clear out the V berth (my very full storage locker) to get to the chain locker to un-ass the mass of chain so it would fit thru the windlass/hole. Luckily, the 50’ out held us during the project. Phew. 
What?? the anchor is in a KN0T!

 "Linda - clear out the V berth?"   aye yi yi...there goes the salon...
 OH!  We DO have an anchor locker back behind all the valuables stored....anchor sails, food, crafts, first aid, Sunbrella and supplies....

And we try to miss that giant ROCK! Note the rainbow!
 Ho Hum,  another gorgeous view of the Baja's "spine"....
What a sunset!

 Yes, getting the salon back together after the V berth dump!!
 OMG!  Schools of dolphin - many this year joining us here and there to say "hello". They are very hard to capture because they are so fast....but we got one lucky shot:

This is Bill, a view from inside, of the refueling process on deck - using the Baja filter from the jerry cans. Helps keep the tanks clear of debris.  We never fill direct from the fuel dock to our tanks.

Next Port: Los Gatos and anticipating Manuel and LOBSTER.. On February 5th, we cruised in and stayed a night and traded for lobster.  We did buy some great fish from a few local pangero fishermen and it was very tasty.  I ceviche’d some for the next day’s lunch and we grilled 2 filets that night. Manual arrived with our “order” the next AM before we left  - 4 good size lobsters!  We traded some cash, a fresh cup of coffee, a bottle of water, batteries, bought some hand-work his wife does, a few spices…and we got lobster. Cleaned and froze them for a future meal. We met a new boat…Victoria LA, a seasoned sailor couple aboard, from Maine and Florida.  We encouraged them to order lobster, as well.  And they joined us for cocktails aboard.

Looking at weather prediction of more “norther” winds and waves, we decided to skip San Evaristo, as well…and head to Isla San Francisco and meet up with Victoria LA.. Also, perhaps to sit-out the next “blow” in a semi-protected bay.  We did deploy our dinghy and shared a happy hour at Victoria’s cockpit.  Thinking we had finally hit the night time Cormuels, the famous westerly winds in the Baja’s La Paz area, we blew at anchor for two nights before we decided enough was enough.  Bill pulled up the anchor with a bit of wind – 22 knots – tugging at us to stay.  He did a great job getting the anchor up with the boat wandering side to side on the anchor chain. We then rolled south, crossing the open area between San Francisco and Espiritu Santo.  

Manuel's Fresh lobster!

At sea, sailing and anchored, etc....

 Isla San Francisco fisher persons... there's a girl, very unusual!
 They are dragging a net across the bay....tight in front of us as we are trying to pull up the anchor and depart so we had to scoot around them to miss their net....

Bill at anchor setting; you can see our anchor ball out front...that is directly above the anchor.

Nice shot, Bill!

Puerto Escondido:
at anchor, at the PortoBello restaurant using wifi...

And a view from the restaurant: we are  the boat far out on the left:

And a view from my galley: the Buffalo rock near Villa del Palmar's bay, 
south of  Puerto Escondido.

Now - on to To La Paz!!!
Sails up!


San Carlos!
We started out the month of January hanging out with Bob and Donna, visiting from ND, and Tom and Joan in town.  We made it to La Palapa for Mark's music a few times, stops at the Capt's Club for lunch and PM music and walking the beach south of Guaymas as well as Algodones Bay.

 Joan and Donna and the rental house, Donna and Bob at the Cpt's Club and dancing.

 Music at JJ's on the street....this is Manuelito's band! Bob and Donna enjoying!

 A festive dinner at Tom and Joan's, still with Christmas cheer!

 Mark at La Palapa Griega! And with a new singer....

 The Algodones Bay beach near Pfaff's rental house.

 Marina San Carlos - Tanque de Tiburon in the center, our bathroom sand dock area:

 A trip eith Joan and Donna to Cochreta Beach souch of Guaynas after the flea market at Empalme:

 Joan feeding the wild dogs!
so then end of San Carlos and on to new horizons....

After fun 3 weeks with friends in San Carlos, we headed out initially on January 22 with Bob and Donna aboard for a day sail.  We had a great day, actually turned the engine off and sailed a little bit!  Arriving around the corner, we dropped the anchor in Algodones Bay near their condo on the beach. The winds picked up by mid-afternoon when Bill was ready to dinghy them ashore so they had a wild ride in! We did notice a difficult biut of steering, though, and decided the next AM to pull into Marina Real and get it checked out. Took a few days, consult with a diver and Omar-the-engine-guy (our saint) and some parts but had a clogged artery in the steering cable.  Did a Roto-rooter of sorts and it has worked well since. Whew.

Ok we are heading south until the mantequilla melts....

Bob the sailor!
 Cheers! Happy sail day!
 ...and back to shore...bye bye Bob and Donna!
 as the sun sets behind the Tetakawi's (um, Goat Tits)
 Sailor Donna at the helm!

 Linda and Donna...BFF along with all my other BFF's....

Hasta Lueago, San Carlos!!