_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Los Frailes to La Paz (Ginger)

Last Friday (11/17) we rode our bikes down a soft sand road 8k into Cabo Pulmo to have lunch. Riding our pixies in soft sand was better than walking that far but it was a biking challenge, it felt like an accomplishment that we made it with no road rash or heat stroke. We had a great lunch, rode back to Los Frailes, met some burros on the way, loaded the bikes into the dinghy and headed back to the boat. The outboard decided half way to the boat that it was done so we paddled the rest of the way to the boat and made plans to leave the next morning. Saturday we sailed north to Los Muertos, it was a fine anchorage and a great half way point to La Paz. The big draw is the Giggling Marlin "yacht club and restaurant" at the head of the bay. For the prices and the ambiance this place might as well have been in Cabo so we decided to wait for a meal ashore until La Paz. We spent a couple of nights and our last day there was calm, muggy and scorching hot. Peter went for a swim in the morning and got some jelly fish stings so swimming was out the rest of the day. I read somewhere that the best cure, if you can't identify the type of jelly fish, is a hot water wash. Since we don't have a bathtub Peter got a hot washcloth for the stings and some beer as an analgesic. The stings were better after a couple of hours and as the weather from the south was heading our way we decided it was time to leave. We left at 2AM Tuesday for the best tides and motored until mid-morning when we started sailing slowly toward La Paz. Our friends on Wiz reserved a slip at Marina Costa Baja and we tied up to the dock to equalize the batteries and get some other dock jobs done including re-bedding the self steering gear and making the bug screens we knew we'd eventually need. The next couple of days ended up being devoted to Thanksgiving meal preparations and we enjoyed a dinner with several Seattle boats for Thanksgiving. The mosquitos here were bad our first couple of nights so my bug screens project became more important. It's been in the 80s here so Peter has moved installing fans up the list too. Yesterday Peter and I finally went into downtown to explore. We were able to get snaps for the screens, a dry erase pen (say that in Spanish 3 times!) and the fabric for the screens. We met Baloo and Kinship and had lunch with them. Peter ordered the daily special which turned out to be fried pig skin simmered until it was mushy and soft again (for those of you who would like to avoid this in your adventurous ordering it's called Chicheron - the waitress just told him that meant pork) We returned to the boat, took a nap and then headed into town to experience a Saturday night in La Paz. There was a national folklorico dance festival so we were able to see an hour of dancing in the public area on the Malecon (the promenade by the water) then we went to a tequila bar and ended up at a cowboy concert complete with two-step dancing and a live band. There was supposed to be a guitar duel but by about 1:15AM we couldn't wait any longer and we headed out in search of food. The problem is that people drink very late here but they don't eat after 10P. So, Nick and Peter ate hot dogs from a corner vendor along with all the other guys and the women were out of luck. We had a fun night and since I'll probably never be up that late again, unless I'm on watch, it was great to see what people do here. There was so much traffic last night the cars were barely crawling down the main street. I think that's more of a rush hour than any time mid-week during the day.
We leave the marina Wednesday morning and hopefully we'll have groceries on board and be ready to head to the islands for a few days. We're going to make our way south after 12/5 and plan to be in Puerto Vallarta by 12/11 or so. La Paz has been a nice stop.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Los Frailes - Cabo Pulmo Reef (Ginger)

Our schedule has slowed considerably since Cabo San Lucas. We motored all night Monday night, to avoid the unfavorable winds that were pummeling us in Cabo and arrived at Los Frailes Tuesday morning. We are officially in the tropics south of the Tropic of Cancer. We have anchored south of a coral reef and found that even adjacent to our anchorage there are tropical reef fish. We've been enjoying the snorkeling and the company of the other boats in our anchorage. Last night we saw that our anchor light had attracted hundreds of fish 14 to 20 inches long. We spent half an hour trying to identify all the different fish from some sort of tuna to Sierra Mackerel. This morning Peter has fixed the port running light that got knocked loose by a wave on our trip from Cabo. We've been closely monitoring the weather keeping track of tropical storm Sergio but have yet to experience any large swell or high wind here. The bad weather in Washington has been updated daily even on our weather report down here. We plan to spend another night or two in this anchorage weather permitting and then head north toward La Paz.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Viva Mexico! (Peter)

As we write this, we’re at anchor in a windy exposed anchorage off Cabo San Lucas, pitching and rolling and preparing to head north as soon as it is sensible. There is no point in trying to beat into 20 plus knots of wind, especially considering that we haven’t had to sail upwind more than a mile or two since we left Seattle three and a half months ago. We might have to ease into it slowly….
We have cleared into Mexico officially, with visits to the Capitania de Puerto and Migracion, as well as Banamex to pay the fees. It all went well, all papers are stamped and we even had time to have a delicious seafood taco lunch and pick up a few groceries. We had planned to head north, into the Sea of Cortez, as soon as we got back to the boat but it seems prudent to wait a bit until the wind calms down, so we will probably be here another night. Our trip down the Pacific side of Baja was very enjoyable with nice downwind passages of two or three days punctuated with stays of several days in beautiful and remote anchorages.
nap on foredeck

These were mostly light wind passages as you can tell from these images, here Ginger is taking a nap on the foredeck.
Ginger working mast
Ginger tweaks the set of the sails.
1st sunset at sea after San Diego
Sunset at sea.
little fish
Fishing has become important to us. Here is a little fish for dinner.
yellowfin tuna
Here is a big fish for many dinners.
ha ha boats in the morning
When we arrived at Bahia Tortugas, we had the place to ourselves for a couple of days, then the Baha Ha Ha fleet arrived, and suddenly we had a couple of hundred sailboats as neighbors.
Bahia Santa Maria panga
Santa Maria Water taxis 2
Pangas, expertly handled open fishing boats with very big outboards were pressed into service as water taxis, ferrying Ha Ha customers back and forth.
sunrise on the way to Bahia Tortugas

Another passage, and a thrilling sunrise at sea. Minutes after anchoring in the very beautiful and wild Bahia Santa Maria, we (OK - Peter) managed to drop the outboard motor in 30 feet of water. After quickly marking the spot with a bouy, we found that it was a little too deep to dive for it. As luck would have it, already anchored near us was Baloo, a Seattle boat we had gotten to know in Turtle Bay. We've enjoyed exploring and snorkeling with Nick and Cindi. We had learned that they are two very competent people in many different ways who happen to be, you guessed it, scuba divers and are carrying scuba equipment. Did I mention that they are generous and helpful, also?

Nick and Cindi celebrate their successful salvage effort

After a quick dive, the rest of Peter's day was spent resusciting the outboard. It runs fine. Just lucky!

the rest of the day after recovering the outboard

Ginger's father and step mother gave us a bottle of port as we left Puget Sound, after the succesful salvage it was time to celebrate.
port at sunset


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Arrived in Cabo San Lucas (Ginger)

Our trip from Santa Maria was uneventful. We were able to sail for about 24 hours but motored the last 5 hours to get into Cabo before dark. We arrived in Cabo San Lucas at about 2:30 Saturday afternoon and though we were tired we headed straight to the fuel dock. We heard about a tropical depression that was potentially headed our way and wanted to be ready to leave this exposed anchorage if necessary. We made our way to the anchorage in front through the jet skis and parasail boats, dropped the hook, enjoyed a quick dinner and were in bed by 7:15PM. As anticipated Cabo is a busy, rolly unprotected anchorage. We got 2 new cruise ship neighbors in the anchorage this morning and many of the ha ha boats are leaving for more comfortable anchorages. The tropical depression fizzled so we'll stay here and clear into Mexico Monday morning and then head north to Los Frailes. We're looking forward to snorkeling on the Cabo Pulmo coral reef. Eventually we'll end up in La Paz where we'll do laundry, provision and, of course, complete some boat projects.
Happy birthday Grandma! Wish we were there to say that in person!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bahia Santa Maria, Thurs 11/9, 1:30PM (Ginger)

We arrived in Bahia Santa Maria at 8am Sat 11/4, with ahi tuna in the fridge after sailing down from Turtle Bay. Our sail was great though we did have a day of sloppy seas and light winds. We anchored a couple of hours after Baloo and were happy for the rest after 48 hours of travel. We had a little adventure that involved both of us swimming immediately after anchoring here. I'll let Peter fill in the details on his next update. We enjoyed the bay with just a few other boats, explored, snorkeled, hiked and relaxed. The ha ha fleet started arriving Sunday evening and the bay was full by Monday morning. We took advantage of the relatively calm mornings to complete some boat maintenance jobs, installing hardware, fixing things and Peter finally cut my hair. We visited with our Washington friends on the ha ha and enjoyed staying here as they all headed south. Kinship, Wiz and Baloo all stayed here last night but now we're the only sailboat still at anchor in the bay. We took one last snorkel this morning with about 20' visibility and enjoyed seeing all the reef fish and lobsters. On the way back we went ashore for a walk on the beach. We saw a couple of guys on a beach cut off by high tide and Peter picked one of them up and took him back to his panga at the fish camp. Now we're stowing gear, folding up the kayak and dinghy and getting ready for a morning start tomorrow. The forecast is for wind tomorrow so we're looking forward to a nice sail south. It's going to be a big change to see Cabo San Lucas after this beautiful quiet coast so we're getting ready for "Cabo-Wabo!"


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Headed south for Bahia Santa Maria

We had a great stay in Turtle Bay, with warm sunny weather and a nice rest from traveling. We tried out our Spanish, sampled some local food, and beer, took a walk on the beach, met a rattlesnake - a reminder that we are in desert country. As the Baja HaHa fleet started arriving yesterday morning we started thinking about moving on. This morning we awoke to a forest of masts anchored around us, well over 120 boats where there had been 6, and we knew it was time to move on. As a plus, great winds were forecast and have come true as promised. It was fun as we weaved our way through the fleet to spot many boats we recognized and some we knew. We swung by Kinship and chatted for a minute, then set sail for Bahia Santa Maria. We are currently following Baloo down the coast and feeling luck to be here. It is November and we are sailing in shorts and t-shirts in a 20 knot breeze!