Barra, Las Hadas, Ixtapa

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The marina at Barra

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Water taxi to get to town

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On the side of a seafood restaurant 

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Need a ride somewhere?

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Recommended breakfast stop

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Mosquitoes. Ugh. 

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Bicycles everywhere, including in the restaurant work-space

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Las Hadas – the fairies 

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Great visitation – lots for a long time. 

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And now we’re at Marina Ixtapa

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La Cruz

Ok. So, for those of you who have asked, here’s what we did for the last month while we were in LaCruz –

During this past month, we attached, fastened, hung, pulled, wired, climbed, hoisted, unbolted, bolted, clamped, sawed, spliced, made, had made, washed, hung on lifelines to dry, emptied, filled, walked, bussed, purchased, toted home, hauled down the dock, handed-off onto the boat, listed, labeled, organized, bagged, stowed, cleaned, vinegared, arranged, rearranged, searched-for, found, got out, put away, fixed, repaired, cleaned, polished, threw away, in 85 degrees with 85% humidity outside (and in the boat as well), so we also ate out a lot as it was too darn hot to cook. Oh, and water-volleyball and Mexican train each once a week. (And now we’re in Barra).

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Randomness – LaCruz, Sayulita & Bucerias Feb/Mar 2016

 

If you’re interested in tracking where we are, I’ll update you to let you know which of the choices to the left will be your better bet. Right now neither seem to be up to date. Sheesh.

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Mazatlan January 1-29, 2016

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1-9-16. Mazatlan El Cid Marina. Breakfast at the hotel bar. John got an omelette with ‘sausage’ in it – the sausage was cut up pieces of hot dog… Trimmed my hair, then took my first real shower since Ensenada. And the water was barely thinking about being lukewarm. Really?  How could you? And I cut my leg shaving. Oy. Shoulda just left the hairs on my legs alone.

Washed the boat. Afterthought, should have taken before and after photos, it was so salty it glistened. Not a good thing. Scrubbed down the cap rail – it was blackish-green gunk encrusted. We’ll be sanding it soon.

Went to the restaurant ‘El Fish Market’ for dinner. $15.60. Three beers. 2 tacos, shrimp quesadilla, tax & tip.

1-10-16. Mazatlan El Cid Marina. 6:24pm. Here it is the end of the day (well, if you’re living by the sun as we mostly are) and I’m slacking on writing.

Did laundry. Helped with repairing wind vane by holding the gismos aligned while John drills holes. Went to ‘water aerobics’ at the pool. Pickled the water maker, which preserves the membrane (which filters the water) and keeps it from growing nasties while you aren’t using it. Went swimming – there’s a colder-water pool by the hot tub which has a waterfall/grotto area and some slides and a warmer water pool. We went warm. Took the bus to get groceries Mega is the store name and that’s written on the bus front-window so you know you’re on the right one. 7 pesos = about $.40. Wine and bread and cheese for dinner. Worked on the blog, as we bought wi-fi access for one device for the month – $25.00.

1-11-16. Mazatlan El Cid Marina. 9:56pm. Once again slacking on writing.

Worked more on the wind vane. Took the bus to Home Depot and Soriana, the other grocery store here. Went swimming then had steak on the grill for dinner with rice, carrots, onions & mushrooms. And wine. Working more on blog.

Photos – Marina El Cid

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Hired Don Raul to wax the boat, which needs to be done periodically to preserve the paint.

There are a whole bunch of different types of fish here in the marina and some are little funky jumping fish. They’ll launch themselves 6-8 inches out of the water. All of a sudden you’ll hear a splash and look over and there are big concentric circles flowing out.

Walked over to Marina Mazatlan, which is just farther down the estuary, to see if that might be a good spot to leave the boat for the summer. Talked to Bruce at Active Marine (good guy) and met a guy, Dean, walking back to El Cid, who said to check with Grant at Tony’s boat works – a company that looks after people’s boats while they’re away and that they do a really good job. Good to get a recommendation.

Figured out that the best slip for the summer there was on Dock 4, Slip 2, and while we were waiting for the office to re-open (they take 1-1/2 hours for a lunch break) we saw a guy riding his bike, and it happened to be Doug, who we met out by Bird Island when we first got to Mazatlan. He was at the same anchorage in his boat, Ka’Sala, and he and his wife had paddled by in their kayaks and said hi, and now here he is again! Nice! He let us onto the dock and we talked for a bit. After a bit, we went to the office and reserved the slip.

Then we had ice cream – half a frozen mango with mango ice cream and half a frozen pineapple with pineapple ice cream. I don’t remember (two days later) what we had for dinner, but I think it was an easy cheese & crackers kind of thing but I bet it included wine.

1-13-16 Wednesday

We had coffee with our slip neighbors, Brian and Maryia. They have a Pacific Seacraft 34 “Indigo”, so it’s the little sister to our ship.

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We talked with them a bit about touring Mazatlan and learned about Plaza Machado, taking the Sabalo Centro bus to get there, the Pina Suarez market and the cathedral there.

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So off we went and we were gone all day, because today is wax the boat by Don Raul day. It took three of them about the full eight hours that we were gone. In Seattle it would have cost more than $500 – he charged just under $200. Good deal.

Then we went to dinner at Fat Fish with Lilian & Les, a couple we had met at El Fish Market restaurant. They met online about five years ago and have traveled multiple times each year since then.

1-14-16 Thursday

Cleaned up after the wax job – re-attached loose stuff that had to be moved on deck and cleaned a bit of wax off of stuff that it wasn’t supposed to be on.

The other day at Home Depot we bought paint, so John did the wood that goes under the quarter berth and I painted inside the cubby that needed it.

When we were talking with Brian and Maryia about touring downtown, they also told us about the restaurant on the second floor of the condo complex on the other side of the canal that you take the water taxi to. We went. It was pretty ok, super cheap, and this time John’s sausage was really sausage, but it was cold… yummy fruit plate, though.

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Attempting to edit photos with iPhoto for the blog. Attempting to edit photos with Gimp for the blog. Frustration setting in.

Stuff about Mazatlan:

When a police car goes by, it always has its red and blue lights up top flashing. And there are two (or more?) varieties of police car, besides the military guys with their guns out – the metropolitan and the tourist police.

Birds. Are. Everywhere. Pelicans, seagulls, frigate birds, a few different varieties of hawks (golden eagle?), blackbirds that actually sing, herons. And a pelican pretending that he’s a statue.

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Seattle panhandlers could take some lessons from the guys here. Yesterday we saw a guy with a clown nose and a ball, spinning it on his finger, in the middle of the street and today there was a guy in the same intersection juggling knives. No cardboard signs needed. [PS. Just saw the knife-juggler guy in Puerto Vallarta]

Little bus (Mega, Soriana, Home Depot) – was 7, now 7.5 pesos = 40 cents. Big bus (Historical district, market, cathedral) – 10 pesos = 60 cents. Then there’s the pneumonarias, open air taxis that got their name from the real taxi drivers because you’ll get pneumonia from riding in them, rather in the closed ‘real’ taxis.

Photos of Cool Buildings, Doors & Wrought Iron in Downtown Mazatlan

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1-15-16 Mazatlan El Cid Marina Friday

‘Water aerobics’ is over and I’ve sanded the eyebrow on the starboard side in preparation for taping and sanding. John got some electrical stuff done and we’re heading to the pool for a bit.

This is what a stripped-naked eyebrow looks like

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About water aerobics – and I was so looking forward to it… So sad. Waist deep water. Arms out of water.  One side, count to eight and back down. Other side. Alternating. Both together. For a variety of moves. Then over to wall to hold on while you do about the same thing with your legs. No water resistance. I asked the guy if he was the instructor all the time (thinking that maybe somebody else has a good class) and unfortunately, he’s it.

At pool, met Cathy & Dean from Canada. They also have a 37′ sailboat, just down the dock from ours. They been buddy-boating with another couple, so later we went to the Italian dinner buffet at El Cid with both couples, Cathy & Dean and Bobbie & Don.

Photo- Bobbie & Cathy when we went downtown exploring.

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Put the dingy into the water & worked on buffing out some of the extra wax along the blue stripe at the waterline.

1-16-16 Mazatlan El Cid Marina Saturday

Breakfast on the boat – potatoes and eggs with onion, spinach & cheese.

Put the motor on the dingy and putted over to the dingy dock at Marina Mazatlan for their swap meet. Well, actually, we never found the dingy dock, we went around the central island and explored all over in search of it to no avail. Ended up going to Doug & Lyneita’s boat (that we met at our short Mazatlan anchorage before coming to El Cid) and visiting with them for over an hour. He’s retired from flying airplanes and she’s retired from being a high school principal. Then we met Grant & Horace, the guys that take care of boats for people at Marina Mazatlan. Very reassuring.

Had spaghetti for lunch. John had spaghetti for dinner with lots of olives on it.

1-17-16 – Sunday Mazatlan

John was sick all night long and feels miserable (too many or too rich olives in the spaghetti?) so I went with Cathy, Dean, Bobbie & Don to the Aquarium. I really enjoyed the seal show – the trainer and the seal seemed like a master and his dog. Fun to watch.

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Saw Lilian & Les on the bus – coincidence as she had called yesterday and wasn’t able to get through to get back to her. We’ll do something together before they leave.

Our aquarium group rode on one of the little trucks to get to lunch at Angelina’s – super-fine restaurant with interesting assortment of dishes offered. The kind of menu that makes you think ‘I want one of each’ so it’ll be nice to find a time to come back here. I had two appetizers for my lunch, a beet dish that had nuts, balsamic vinegar and goat cheese and poke ahi tostadas. Well done.

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After lunch we walked for a bit along the waterfront and saw some boys flipping off a raised cement walkway into the sand. There are also lots of cool statues & street art along the water.

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That’s a pulmanaria in the street in front of this statue.

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We went to the market, but as it was Sunday it was mostly closed. Walked through a few fabric stores and I bought some yarn (six skeins) and a circular knitting needle for about six dollars. In Seattle they would have probably run around $35.

1-18-16 – Monday Mazatlan

Well, we’ve been sanding and getting ready to varnish some of the wood on the boat and can’t find or have run out of foam brushes, so John went to Home Depot.

While he was there, Lilian called and we figurd out that the best time for them to come visit was right now, so they stopped by and saw the boat for a bit. What a great couple.

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Then we went for a beach walk to coffee get some coffee (they bought 8 pounds of beans) with Doug & Lynetia. They had moved their boat from Marina Mazatlan to El Cid as the facility here is nicer and cleaner.

After our walk, we went for a swim in the cold pool, and went under the waterfalls, around through the rocks in the grotto, down the slides, and then into the hot tub. If Annie had been here, she would have asked me how old I was being. Eight.

Then we had dinner on their boat. Fun day.

1-19-16 – Tuesday Mazatlan

So the wood is sanded, the tape is on and I’m ready to do the first coat of varnish on the eyebrows, and the brushes that John got at Home Depot shed. They are about the shittiest brushes I’ve tried to work with. And the varnish was too thick. F. I betcha know what that letter stands for.

So back to the store to look for more foam brushes. Soriana didn’t have any. Back to Home Depot, because yes, they have foam brushes but John didn’t get them earlier because they only come in a multi-pack with wide ones. And he thinks we’ll only use thin ones. Oy. Then back to Soriana for groceries.

Then we get out to the bus stop and the busses are going by and not stopping. What is going on? Besides frustration??? Finally we get on a bus that stops for us and it takes us practically right to the door of the marina rather than to the regular bus stopping spot down the street. I guess it was ok that we waited after all.

Chicken salad for lunch (at 3…)

Finish taping for varnishing, but no, we’re not going to varnish, as we need thinner now because, remember, the varnish was too thick. Oy again. This probably means another trip to Home Depot. Good thing we’ve gotten this bus thing figured out. So no varnishing for now. Instead, we went swimming.

1-20-16 – Wednesday Mazatlan

Put the first coast of varnish on the winch pads.

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Dingied down the canal – iguanas can swim and man is there a lot of money represented in the homes along the estuary!

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Went swimming

Said bye to Doug & Lynetia. They’ll be heading south towards Punta Mita and PV. We’ll most likely see them again down there.

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Met the kids on s/v prism. They have a .com with his films and they ask for donations which pays for their sailing experience.

Bus to Home Depot and Soriana. Again.

Cooked skinny meat in a pan on the stove, guac, salsa from Soriana & chips for dinner. When you buy bread and other baked goods, you get a tray and some tongs, pick out what you want and take it to the counter, where they bag and tag it. And if you only want half of a large fruit, they’ll cut and wrap it for you. Also, I still wash everything when I get it back to the boat.

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1-21-16 – Thursday Mazatlan

Kathy & I made sandwiches at a church and took them to the people who live and work at the dump.

Quite a change from the mansions along the estuary, but the people worked hard and did the best they could with what they had. There were plants in tidy yards, laundry hanging out and the kids looked happy and healthy.

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Went swimming

Confirmed with Bobbie & Lynetia timing for sunset viewing and dinner for tomorrow

Got pizza info from Kathy. Missed out on the two-fer Tuesday, but ordered Dominos (of all things) for dinner. Don’t need to get mushrooms again, as they’re outta the can, and the pizza comes with two different types of packet salsa (think Taco Time). [PS – which we didn’t put on the pizza but I added to another dish later and it was a good addition.]

1-22-16 – Friday Mazatlan

Breakfast at El Cid. Not again. If you sit outside downstairs the food has to come from the upstairs kitchen all the way down and it’s cold by the time it gets to you.

Laundry. Not. I was told, “Is too much full” and to come back at 1:00.

Sanded cap rails, scraped hidden varnish, put on more sunscreen. Worked from the dingy and was able to reach a lot quite well.

Laundry – One load does it all. It’s amazing how many times you can wear the same top or shorts or skirt.

Swim in warm water pool

Sunset out at Freeman Hotel, followed by dinner out at Angelina’s with live music and good company – Us, Doug & Lynetia, Dean & Kathy, Don & Bobbie.

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1-23-16 – Saturday

Ka’Sala heads south (after not leaving the other day)

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Second coat of varnish on eyebrows once everything is dry

Research beutyl tape for hatch

Water aerobics

Sand cap rails, scrape hidden varnish, put on more sunscreen

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1-24-16 – Sunday

To Ancient Music with Bobbie & Don. Meet up at church. The conductor is a physicist who has this 43-year-long hobby of researching ancient music and makes the instruments.

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Notes & Stuff:

1-24-16 Trek bike max – Safari 7-speed folding bike $500

In PV look for Cadenza with Jay & Terri Chattaway. He’s a composer. Star Trek. Jazz. Tell em Don & Bobbie say hi

4 flights per week out of Loretto

Sanded winch pads & eyebrows.

Third coat on eyebrows.

Applied at three marinas for summer moorage.

1-25-16 – Monday

Talked w Joan

Varnished winch pads

Swam

Sandpaper (again/more) at Home Depot & groceries at Soriana

Sand cap rails

Sand eyebrows

Varnish eyebrows, coat 4

Swam

Alfredo spaghetti with onions, carrots and turkey meat. Yum!

1-26-16 – Tuesday

Sand cap rails.

Home furnace not working. Annie called last night. Jonas will see if he can fix.

Sand winch pads.

Phone number for Ruben to have winch pad covers made.

Tuna from Don Raul – they caught 22 fish, each weighing about 20 kilos.

Swam.

Varnish eyebrows coat 5

Pizza at the pool patio with Kathy & Dean, Bobbie & Don, Cindy, Mike & Annabelle

Check out Marina Real

1-27-16 – Wednesday

Sand eyebrows

Varnish winch pads and eyebrows

Groceries at Mega with Robert and Margo

Removed tape from varnish areas.

Don Raul tuna for dinner with potatoes and veggies. Carrots (peels) onion, zucchini rounds, cabbage.

Costa Baja Marina in La Paz at Don & Bobbie hang out at

Went to Don & Bobbie’s boat, we’ll be summering at Puerto Escondido where they’ll have their boat.

Dean & Kathy stopped by. Mega tomorrow for the girls and dump for the boys.

Us leaving for Banderas Bay tomorrow has been postponed and we’ll leave Friday instead.

1-28-16 – Thursday

Sanded winch pads

Adhesive remover along eyebrows

Mega with Kathy & Bobbie

Spaghetti on Kathy’s boat – she made red sauce and since John’s sick from spaghetti is still fresh in his memory, I made white sauce. Onions, celery, brown and white mushrooms, anchovy paste, cream, two packets of 4-cheese sauce, lots of white wine, chicken base, garlic, more garlic, leftover tuna.

Started to varnish winch pad but drying too quickly.

La Cruz is a great town to visit.

LaPaz bread store and Saturday market.

1-29-16 – Friday

Left Mazatlan

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Misc other photos follow.

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After being in salt water, it’s best to rinse your dingy motor with fresh water.

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Street art.

Out at the waterfront there’s a place where daredevil guys do cliff diving and yet more art.

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I would so like to go down that slide.

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Grafitti and art in a store.

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Punta Pequeña to Mazatlan, Jan. 2016

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1-2-16. Saturday 2:55pm departed Pequeña. This will be an overnight to just north of Mag Bay. 18-20 hours at 5 kts and we’ll be at Santa Maria.

5:20pm cake and 3 potatoes into oven

5:22pm  engine start

6:23pm potatoes almost done – they’ll get bacon, cheese and avocado – dinner!

Cake – Jiffy mix, 1 pkg instant brown sugar cream of wheat, 1 egg, 1 banana, sugar, spices, mango juice, dried mango, dates.

Well f(bad word deleted). One of the potatoes exploded. Damn mess to clean up once it cools off. Good thing I got 3 at the store.

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11:12pm. Night watch. STARS! Everywhere! Including in the water. Bioluminescent creatures visible in our wake. Super-cool.

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1-3-16. 1:37am moonrise. Awesome.

1-3-16. Anchored at Santa Maria, just north of Mag Bay. 2:12 pm. Trip here (to Santa Maria) was pretty uneventful, then found that our front water tank was empty !?! Huh? We just checked and it was 2/3 full! Shit. So the grand search begins – what ever could it be?

Water heater was leaking. It took all morning and opening (and emptying) every compartment, locker and cubby.

IMG_2801[This after all the opening and emptying we just did the other day trying to find the bellows for the dingy. Aargh.] What a pain. It was a hose that ran to the water heater that had been installed right next to something that would rub on it – and rub it did, and after 23 years it ruptured.

John was able to repair (after 3 hours of sleep) and he’s taking a nap as I write this.

We only found out about the water heater leak because I decided that I needed to wash my hair, so I turned on the breaker for the water pressure – usually we use the foot-pumps for water out of the sinks – and turned the handle in the head that has the shower-head attachment, I had no hot water. Hmm. Hot water is supposed to happen when the engine is on or has just been turned off, and it was still warm, and the hot water wasn’t coming out of the tap, really almost nothing was coming out but a dribble of cool water. Oh, and I wanted to wash my hair because I thought this would be an anchorage with people and town and things to do. Nope. Absolutely. Nothing.

Really nothing and nobody. There are a few buildings on the next point over – about a half mile away. It’s absolutely stunningly beautiful, and the birds don’t give a shit if my hair’s clean or dirty.

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1-3-16. Anchored at Santa Maria, just north of Mag Bay.

Marc came by to see if we’d like to go explore on the beach. John was burned out from lack of sleep and the water heater fix (read fiasco) so I went. The first landing (you can tell I’m leading up to something here, eh?) was easy and we walked around for a bit, Marc up on the ridge and I stayed on the beach, taking pictures and favoring my rubbed-raw spot on my foot.

IMG_2836 IMG_2834 IMG_2832 IMG_2823We launched his dingy out into the (ok, large but not huge) waves and discussed checking out another landing. Sure, why not. The next beach possibility that Marc had seen from Trovita wasn’t going to work out as there was a large hunk of rock right in the middle of the landing spot, and the next one after that was all golf-ball-to-fist sized rocks, so it wouldn’t do, either. One more spot to check out – it looked like a nice sandy beach, so we went for it. Well. Swell. As in, a big bunch of big waves, neatly funneled and compacted and forcefully squeezed in between the two outlying rocky protrusions. Not a place you want to be. In a dingy. Going towards the…

Swamped and flipped, dingy and motor and us upside down. Ok. Assess the situation. No bumps, no bruises. My lifeguard & scuba training kicked in – hand above head – clear, both of us up and breathing. All righty then. Got a little wet there. And there floats by dry bag with my (I hope) dry phone in it [and Dear REI, how come you sell a ‘dry bag’ that says do not immerse?]. We got the dingy up-side up again and Marc was able to coax and cajole and get his motor started (talented boy, that) and kindly went to get me another dry bag, as mine got a little water in it when I opened it to check on phone status. It was an uneventful trip back to the boat and Marc was able to keep the motor running. Note to self: In the future, double-bag phone in ziplock and dry bag. It was fine, but when I opened the dry bag to check on it I ended up getting sleeve-drip water into the bag (silly me).

1-4-16. Anchored at Santa Maria, just north of Mag Bay

So, since we lost a tank of water, we’ve decided to fire up the water maker and see 1. If it works, 2. How it works and 3. How much we can make and how long it takes. Well, we ran it from 10:10am to 3:45pm with 7 gallons made. Cool. If our water usage stays at the same level as what it had been earlier, that should last most of a week.

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Just to be on the safe side, I swam a water sample over to Trovita and they tested it for us – 137ppm of dissolved solids (good is up to 500) so we’ll start pouring it into the tank.

Each tank holds 45 gallons . We’ll be running the water maker for quite a few days to fill the tanks – at 7 gal/5 hours, and only during the day (solar) or while running the motor, and each tank holds 45 gallons…. My math skills… And then minus what we use… and we need to keep track of changing the bottles as they fill and then get it pickled when its time.

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Lunch was leftovers with rice and cabbage, then we installed some window screens and had rice, Marc’s bbq chicken & chicken rice soup for dinner.

1-5-16. Anchored at Santa Maria.  4:08am

Awake! The brain has turned on super-early after a so-so night of sleep on the port saloon bench. You may ask yourself, why is she sleeping on the bench and not where she usually sleeps? Well, you know the installation of screens we did yesterday? The porthole (the master bedroom, so to speak) leaked when the promised rainstorm blew through, so the mattress got wet on one corner. It’s standing on end in the middle of the boat to dry after being squeeze-blotted and sprayed with vinegar. [Side-note: Vinegar kills mildew, which can grow really well in moist, warm marine environments, like on our boat.]

Two reasons for the leakage: 1. The super-wonderful tape I used to seal the bug-hole gaps between screen and porthole didn’t allow the rainwater to drain away. 2. The smaller porthole screens aren’t original equipment and aren’t the right size. Oh, and 3. The screws we got to install the screens from McLendon’s aren’t the correct thread-size (I didn’t know there was such a thing), even though we had sample in hand, and are also too long and stick out too far.

Ok. Now it’s really morning and John’s up. Time to get ready to go. Destination Cabo, 30-32 hours.

At 10:15 we turnd the water maker on and ran it until 5:15pm, making 10 gallons.

1-5-16, 2:30 just saw dolphins off the Baha las Almejas – maybe 10 or more. Nope, no good pictures, and nope, not tired of watching sea life yet.

Saw a whale right by the boat earlier – I scanned and watched for the next 15-20 minutes and the next spout I saw was on the horizon it – had booked!

Saw two different pairs of whales – well, actually we heard !! (underlined and exclamation points) them first. An advantage that we otherwise wouldn’t have thought about to sailing over motoring. We were only going about 3.2-3.5 kts, and usually at that speed we’d have the engine on and be oblivious to the sounds around us. Dorsal fins, flukes, blows of exhale. They’re big and majestic and very moving to see. We don’t need no whale safari tour, we are one. IMG_3526 IMG_3525

I can imagine the True Facts guy – ‘If you could burp and fart at the same time and have it come out your nose – that’s what grey whales do.’

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1-6-16 Wednesday. 2:28am. 14-1/2 hours north of Cabo.

Night watch. My second tonight. Okay. My first stint of the evening was with the engine on. Wake me if the wind shifts. Ok. Well, at the end of my two hours, it shifted and blew a little rain squall through, so now we have some wind for sailing. Which means that for my sleep time I had all the noises associated with sailing going on = little sleep. Ah, well. There’s always a nap tomorrow.

3:52. Just saw a shooting star – NE-SW – a big one. Make that 2. No, 3. Ah, no, 4.

3:58. Moonrise.

Valkyrie – morning check-in. All is good. N23 07′ W110 20′  125M (that’s our heading, 125 degrees, magnetic) at 6.5-7.5kts. Wind 12-15 N. Waves 4-6′ swell with some wind chop.

Near Cabo. We’ll skip & go direct to Mazatlan

1-6-16. Noon, Rounding Cabo. There’s about a bazillion sport fishing boats. In one 360 stand-and-look-and-turn-around, I counted 32 fishing boats and one other sailboat besides us. And oh. My. Goodness. The Money! The Hotels! The Condos! I don’t mind at all that we’re missing it. Give me the little villages any day.

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1-6-16. 4:00pm. We just had a pod, school, bunch, swarm, flight, sussurus (whatever) of dolphins under, around and in front of the boat. I could see multiples of them quite clearly under the water as they were chasing each other around and then they’d leap and they seemed to be having a fun time avoiding having their portraits taken. There one is! Nope, it’s gone. Over there! No, missed it. How about that bunch. Not quite.

1-7-16. Middle of the Sea of Cortez. At morning check-in on the net, we had about 24 hours to go before Mazatlan.

10:45. John’s trying to take a nap so I’ll write for a bit.

Yesterday afternoon, while passing Cabo, we practiced tacking. I steer, John does the lines. Started to feel pretty good about it. Then we started sailing to Mazatlan. It’s due east. The wind is out of the east. Well, in sailing, there are things called ‘points of sail’

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and you’ll notice from this handy illustration that there’s a pink section called ‘no sailing possible’. Yup. The wind was directly on our nose. When that happens, and it’s at all windy, which it was, you also get a condition referred to as chop. Yup. And boy did it hit me all kinds of wrong. I had to go to bed or I would have lost it.

1-7-16. Thursday 12:12pm.  84 miles from Mazatlan (like in the middle of nowhere in the Sea of Cortez) and there are these little birds flying around just above the water. How can they be so far from land? The cool thing about seeing birds, is that sometimes birds mean fish, which can mean dolphins or whales. Not this time. Just birds.

1-7-16. 9:49 pm. 32 miles from Mazatlan and if there are birds, little or otherwise, I can’t see ’em – it’s dark out here. Except for the city-glow at the bottom of the sky in the east, where we’re headed. We’re ahead of schedule, so we’ve reefed the main, reefed the jib, then took the jib down to slow ourselves even more. Even so, at this speed (just over 5 kts) we’ll arrive too early, at around 4:30 (am).

But it all worked out and John got us slowed down enough to see the city lights (and one building that looks like a cell phone) and a beautiful sunrise, and it was light enough to safely put the hook (anchor) down at our anchorage at Isla Pajaros (Bird Island).

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Three. 1. Days to get here. 2. Weeks since a real shower.

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Abreojos to San Juanico, Punta Pequeña Dec. 2015-Jan. 2016

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12-31-16 Sailing between Abreojos and San Juanico, Punta Pequeña

1:43pm saw Dolphins

1:53pm Going 6.5 kts at 1800 rpms. We are motor-sailing.

Sailing gloves are great for writing these notes – index finger and thumb are both cropped

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6:54pm Sent Happy New Year! Emails.

Dinner: cans of red beans, corn, Italian tomatoes and pulled pork with leftover rice. Taco spice, squirt garlic, red pepper, smoke pepper, splash hot sauce. I could add a can of beef broth tomorrow and call it lunch – we’ll see…

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‘Trovita’ becomes ‘Trovidea’ after three shots of rum. Ok… it wasn’t that difficult a day of sailing… time for bed.

01-01-16 – New Year’s Day! Friday. The village of San Juanico, Punta Pequeña.

Sailing in here yesterday afternoon, this looked like the town that would for sure have all kinds of services. Not. Wind generators, larger homes along the bluff, prosperous-looking. Maybe all that, but (sad-face) no cell/text.

Best anchorage yet, though. Super calm, flat, no big or breaking waves, quiet.

Got the dingy out and inflated. John was about going to pull out what hair he has left trying to find the foot-pump bellows to inflate it. The other accessories, the bench seat and oars, were in the bilge, but not the bellows to pump it up. Where ever could it be? Sue, have you seen it? Um. No. I’ve seen a bellows lately but I’m pretty sure it was Marc’s, in his boat… So, we looked in the hanging lockers, the rope locker, the quarter berth, the water maker storage area, the aft cockpit lockers – everywhere it could be. Nope. WTF? Did we leave it in Seattle? Hmmm. Uh, John, maybe you could check in the forepeak? Oy. Yup. That’s where it was.

So, got the dingy off the deck and suspended from a halyard and inflated and into the water right side up and attached to the boat so it wouldn’t float away and the motor on it (I almost couldn’t watch it get hand-carried down the ladder and put in place – good thing it’s so calm here). Motor started on the second pull and we were off to the beach, with Marc & Laurie close by.

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It was an easy landing, which is nice since it was our first. We were greeted by some people camping on the beach and pointed in the right direction for groceries and a restaurant.

Super-cool restaurant “El Burro en Primavera”. The decorations were plants everywhere and surfboards (lots of photos at the end of this post). My breakfast was a yummy omelette with shrimp, bacon, cheese and avocado.

Back on the boat, we figured out a harness and pulley system for getting the outboard motor into and off if the dingy – so it’s always attached to something – just to make sure there aren’t any accidents – the motor would not float…  It uses the end of the boom and a it’s a block with ‘a three-to-one purchase’. Which means that it makes the 37 pound motor seem like it’s just about 12 pounds. Like!

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We’ve used 5 gallons of fuel since Turtle Bay. Added 5 from one of our jugs. Fuel tank is now full again.

Lost some water yesterday (yeah, like maybe up to 4 or 5 gallons) when we were heeling – the sink faucet in the head leaks when the boat is leaning too far over / left side high, right (sink) side low = leak. There’s a shut-off for the aft water tank in the quarter berth – we’ll need to remember that one.

Went back to the same funky restaurant for dinner after first going over to Marc & Laurie’s boat for wine and cheese. The food was good – we all had the mahi mahi, but there was just one waitress working and we were kind of ignored. Like it took about a half hour to get our beverages and we were probably there over an hour (maybe even an hour and a half) before we got our food. Ah, well. We had a good time visiting and I got to know Laurie better.

1-2-16. Saturday. Anchored at the lovely little village of San Juanico, Punta Pequeña, and will depart 22:00 Zulu (3:00pm) for Santa Maria. We estimate 20 hours enroute, mostly motoring, as there is little-to-no wind, and it’s about 90 miles.

This is the Prettiest. Spot. Yet. There were lots of homes with interesting gates and fences made of what looked like ‘found’ wood and cool usage of rocks and colors.

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IMG_2514Morning net check-in. Reported where we are and what we’re doing.

Whisker pole practice.

We dingied over to Trovita and picked up Marc, went into town, walked up to the point, went to the grocery store. Saw some more cool houses and a few were for sale.

Scorpion.com real estate

Really. The Nicest Town so far.

And the cool restaurant…

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Turtle Bay to Abreojos, Dec. 2015

12-28-15 Monday. Departed Turtle Bay. Engine start 6:30. Outward bound at 7:00.

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Trovita and Halcyon 1 are both heading out as well.

This is grey whale season and we’ll be traveling through their breeding grounds so we’ll have opportunities (I hope) to see them up close and personal. But not too close.

Mark on Halcyon 1 reported that there was a boat that came in to Turtle Bay last night that had lost its rudder due to a whale strike. Yeah. No thanks.

8:23am. Many spoutings and back/fluke seen 1/2 mile east (towards land) and we are currently about 4 miles offshore.

12-28-15 Monday. 8:30. Can-Mex Net Tried to check-in on 4146.0 but fuzzy reception

Sunnyside, A-Ha-Luna, Windcharmer, Stray Cat

8:35. 6224.0 KHZ – Successfully checked in. Relayed call-in request with no results.

12-28-15 Monday. 9:30

Halcyon 1 called on 22 (PS to let us know about lots of crabpots and buoys). I still have reception on 22 but we’re out of range to transmit.

Cell service update: good cell/text reception at Turtle Bay, with free wifi available at Maria’s. Data on my phone on the boat worked on Sunday – maybe because businesses were closed and less traffic? No cell service between Turtle Bay and Ascensión.

12-28-15 Monday. 11:11am. I learned a new sailing term today:

Skying – what you don’t want the bottom outward edge of your sail to do. You use a rope to tie it down. While we are sailing

Downwind – with the wind at our

Stern – the back of the boat,

Wing-on-wing – main sail on one side held out with the

Preventer – a rope which keeps the boom way out to the side and unable to flop around and the

Jib – the smaller forward sail being held out to the other side with the

Whisker pole – a boom of sorts which you can attach to the bottom of the jib to keep it out and full, even if there isn’t wind to do so.

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The Working jib sheet – the rope keeping the jib out and in use, is doing its job, while the

Lazy sheet – the other rope (or sheet, since it’s attached to a sail) is being used as a preventer of sorts to keep the whisker pole  from skying. (Make sense? Kind of?)

Skying – any time anything goes up on a boat when you don’t want it to. [Ann, remember when we had to hoist dad to retrieve that halyard? Skying.]

12-28-15 Monday. 12:18. Trovita is just barely visible, so they’re probably 5 miles (an hour) ahead of us. We could hear Marc’s voice on 22, probably talking to H1, but couldn’t make out much of what he was saying. Channel 22 reception to 3 or 4 miles, transmission probably less.

8:27. Back from dinner in town. Halcyon 1, Trovita & us. Marc gave us a ride in – water landing, so wet feet & pant legs. I brought a headlamp for on the way out – a good thing, as it was dark and we had to walk through some scrub and uneven spots. Then, as we were launching the dingies to go back out to our boats, somebody had their truck on the beach with their headlights on to help. How nice!

Mark (from Halcyon 1) filled us in on the whale-strike guy. It happened just outside Mag Bay, and since they (the guy telling Mark about it back in Turtle Bay) couldn’t steer, they were drifting towards some rocks. They went so far as getting their life raft, out thinking they’d need to use it, but the wind shifted in their favor so they didn’t hit rocks. They were able to radio for help and got in touch with a cruise ship, which in turn got hold of the Mexican president (?), who got the Mexican version of a coast guard to tow them in. Then they got their boat fixed for free courtesy of the Mexican government (again?). Quite an adventure. Then Marc & Laurie filled us in on the sea-life they saw, including sea turtle and rays.

So, we all had the same thing – fish cooked with butter and ajo (garlic), beans, rice & small salad at Restaurant Mary. It was a short walk from our beach landing and good food. John & I both had two beers along with our fish dinners and it was less than $21.00.

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Cute little town, Ascensión, (didn’t get a good look, but from a distance, looked bigger and maybe more prosperous than Turtle Bay) with a good anchorage and it could maybe be a spot to spend a few days. But not this time around.

12-29-15. Tuesday. 7:30pm  Well here it is, the end of the day and I haven’t written a thing.

6am start out of Ascensión to head to Abriojos.

Sailed until the wind gave out. John would have gotten out there and blown on the sails if he could have, but finally had to give in and turn the engine on. Motored for 4.2 out of our 11 hours of travel today.

I took a nap (as I was feeling sickish).

Missed another great photo – 3 Pelicans flying in formation. No whales. L. O. T. S. of buoys to dodge. Crab pots or lobster traps or fish nets or what – I don’t know, but it’s like slalom skiing out there. You really don’t want to get any of those ropes wrapped around your rudder or propeller – that would be a mess and would involve diving on the boat to cut it loose. No thanks.

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And then once in a while one of them would go running and flapping away across the water.

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For dinner I smashed up a can of white beans and added olive oil, some of my squeeze-it-outta-bottle garlic and a Mexican lemon – white bean dip. Pretty good. Had that with chips, a can of sardines, avocado and tomato. And wine.

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12-30-15. Wednesday. 8:11am Slept in until 8. Anchored at Abreojos yesterday around 5:30 and we’re spending the day here. Went into town to have a look around and buy some groceries.

Text to Marc & Laurie – We’re re-thinking Mag Bay trip. No wind, so not sailing direct. Motor by day, sleep by night. ~15% farther. 66 mi to San Juanico. Next day easier overnight (90mi) to Mag Bay. Since we have to motor anyway, there’s really nothing to gain by going direct. Thoughts?

Replied sounds good – lets plan for leaving at 6:30.

12-30-15. Wednesday. Still anchored at Abreojos. 11:38 am.

Made bacon (1/3 cup) mashed potatoes (1/2 package instant with water until a good consistency) with scrambled eggs. Pretty good but too rich, too much bacon – use less next time.

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Made banana mango cake. Two bruised bananas, 1-1/2 cup Jiffy mix, one egg, mango juice, one packet maple & brown sugar instant oatmeal, brown sugar and spices.

In 13 days, we’ve used 15 gallons of water.  Really good. That said, it’s good to know that flushing the toilet uses salt water.

Cleaned the water filter for the engine salt water intake.

Marc once again gave us a dingy ride into town. Got a few groceries. Went to the one restaurant on the main drag and it was closed. Got wet beaching on our way in (a little) and on our way out (a lot). Glad to have dry-bags.

There’s quite the fishing boat armada here, with a whole system to get them into and out of the water – the tractor and the truck and the wheels and the maneuvering. Quite a process and well orchestrated. Fun to watch.

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Tomorrow we’ll head to San Juanico.

12-31-15. Thursday. Departed Abreojos

Good wind – made 6-7kts for about half the trip. Then the wind died.

11:20 engine start

Notes: Boat projects: Adjust throttle friction, Threaded caps for water, Preventer block

Angle of the sail? When in doubt, let it out.

Sounds of things banging and clunking in the night?  They aren’t problems, they’re opportunities to succeed.

Dinner last night – cooked up a zucchini with squirt garlic and Italian spices. 1/2 cup plus 1 hand-full (could have used a bit more) orzo, can of spaghetti sauce. Green beans in the side. And wine.

Lunch today. Leftover enchilada (the last of it) and the leftover spaghetti-orzo from last night.

Abreojos was a sweet little town. We walked towards the lighthouse on the Main Street (referred to as the highway) and about the only thing we passed, save for a garbage can shaped as a seal with a ball and another that was a turtle, was a bouncy-house in somebody’s yard for a birthday party.

IMG_2169   IMG_2164 When we got towards the end of the paved then dirt roads, there was a garage next to a house with some buckets of rakes and brooms. A hardware store! The nicest guy runs it – he calls it a little Home Depot, and said that it’s half-way between Ensenada and La Paz. He had pvc pipe parts, immersion heaters, tubing, saw blades, tool boxes, hoses, lighting, Barbie dolls, and caution tape – you name it. We purchased a solar light (something I’ve been wanting and we weren’t able to find) with an auto-on at dusk feature. 315 pesos, $18.27.

IMG_2184   IMG_2186He said that Abreojos is a very safe town with one policeman who does nothing because he doesn’t need to.

IMG_2195You can leave your keys in your car and your house unlocked and nobody would steal a thing.  He told us where the grocery store was, so we went there next. Got some cans of beans, brown sugar, rum and eggs, which we packaged ourselves in an egg-flat, cut in two, folded over on itself and put into a bag. They started slipping around shortly after we started walking again, so we un-bagged them and instead used the bag to tie the two halves together. It worked, and even after running the surf to get launched, we made it back to the boat with no broken egglets.

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While we were at the store a boy came in – maybe ten years old, got a liter of Coke and set it on the counter. We had paid and Marc hadn’t yet. The boy waved his hand as if to say ‘go ahead’ so Marc had his things rung up. The kid looks at John and says, “two mans, one woman”, practicing his English, and we agree with him and smile at him and John asks him where he learned his English and he said at school and John asked him what grade he was in and he looked confused for a moment, then brightened and said “thank you!”  Cute.

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Ensenada to Turtle Bay, Nov-Dec 2015

MapChulaVista-Turtle11-17-15 (last day for) Ensenada, Mexico Thursday 6:32am

John’s ‘cold’ is at the two-week mark, mine at two days. Goody. I love having swollen glands and a cough-y, snotty feeling going on.

Trovita is on their way on their grand adventure down the Baja coast, and we’ll be 3 hours behind them. If there’s any wind at all, we’ll put out the whisker pole and could make the (40 mi) trip in 6-7 hours. They’ll leave their anchor light on and monitor channel 69 to let us know of anything unusual along the way and to help guide us in if we arrive after dark.

8:24am is when we backed out of our slip. I’m really bummed that I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Bob & Jane and didn’t give Bob a boat card. I left one on the dock – I hope he finds it. We were really lucky to have him as a dock-mate – truly golden, that man.

Saw dolphins this morning (got a picture) and saw sea lions on the green buoy as we exited the harbor – another great photo that I didn’t get (although I did get one when we got fuel yesterday). There were two of them and they both kind of sat up and looked at us – almost dog-like. I would have wanted to pet them or feed them if we were much closer.

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I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of watching the sea life – even the stupid gulls are interesting – they’ll glide in a group just above the water, or we’ll come across one just floating, sitting right where we’re heading. Then it’ll fly indignantly off. One of my absolutely most-favorites are the pelicans. They’re right up there with herons – a pre-historic throw-back. They’re gawky and gangly and glide like nobody’s business, until they see something to spear-gun themselves upon and splat-splash into the water.

12:00 there’s nothing out here but wide open water and one other sailboat that is tacking up the coast. 12:02 what looks like uncharted rocks (rather, they’re not on the fish finder, but yes, they’re in the chart book) 12:07 engine off. Quiet once it’s just the (little bit of) wind.

Watching the waves for wildlife is like watching the sand for shells. Every whitecap or glint of sun on the water, and every floating piece of kelp makes me wonder what creature it might be. It’s very similar to walking the Sanibel beach with my hands behind my back, holding my shell bag, bent over searching the sand.

We ran the engine about 4 hours and have come about 35 mi down the coast. The weather report and what the winds are actually doing didn’t quit match up.

Today we’ll be at Santo Tomás and tomorrow we’ll go to Cabo Colonet, 45 miles away, so another day-sail.

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4:23. 65 degrees. Done with dinner. I cooked up a pot of rice, and in a separate pot cooked the rest of the yummy little pattypan squash with chicken base, onion powder and spicy blend. Added a can of chicken rice soup and a can of corn. Dinner! And leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

More about the birds. There are two different sizes of white cranes which will land on/stand on the floating beds of kelp and find things to eat. Earlier there was a cluster of about a dozen sleek little black birds – too small for cormorants – that would float and bob for a bit then do a tuck-dive down (one at a time, but kind of all together) until they were all under the water, then they’d re-surface with a head-shake and start all over. Fun to watch.

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Ok, so back to routing and anchorages:

Today 17th Santo Tomás. Tomorrow 18th an early departure and anchor at Cabo Colonet – which looks like a nose in profile, and when the wind blows it ‘sneezes’ (there’s a big ‘V’ notch and the wind gets funneled down to the water) so watch where you anchor for the night.

IMG_1170On the 19th, San Quintín, which is also a day sail of about 40 miles. On the 20th, we’ll head to Cedros Island which will be an overnight sail (20th & 21st), getting in the morning of the 22nd and that’s about 180 miles, then on the 23rd is another 40 mile day to Turtle Bay.

12-18-16 7:41am Santo Tomás to Cabo Colonet

Sailed for a few hot minutes already this morning and now motoring again – fickle wind.

Twice now I’ve been below this morning and have missed getting a shot of Pelicans flying in formation – bombing run – low, under the radar.

So far I’ve learned:

Sheet in the main, Sheet out the main – thick white line with red & blue

Move the traveler – red & black

Douse the jib – thinner black

Had to dodge some bobbers and lines in the water there for a bit when we had 80′ of water. Little, old-looking floats that were really hard to see with a line going down – they catch lobster and/or crab around here. Also continuing at dodge humongous kelp beds. We don’t want too much of that in the engine intake, the prop or the rudder. Need to keep our engine healthy and happily running.

I only took 1/2 of a seasick pill yesterday & took another 1/2 this morning mostly as insurance. I think living in the boat for three weeks in Ensenada got me (at least somewhat) adjusted to the movement. I hope.

Kelp disguises itself as animal – and vice versa. Yesterday a piece of kelp was really a seal, and when we went to get fuel two days ago a turtle head sticking out of the water was really the bulb end of a kelp, darn it.

Terminology:

Lazy sheet – the jib line on the opposite side as the jib. It’s not the working sheet, so it’s ‘lazy’.

Whisker pole – a pole (really, a pole? something with a name that makes sense?) and like a cat’s whisker – it holds the jib out on one side of the boat while the

Preventer – a line that you attach to the end of the boom to hold it out on the other side of the boat from the whisker pole, and you use the two together to make the boat ‘wing-on-wing’ to sail in a light downwind breeze.

So, you may wonder, what does one do while sitting in a sailboat all day long. Ok. Let’s see. Today, got up, made coffee and ‘toast’ (slightly warmed & browned bread flat in a pan). Washed dishes – foot pedal makes water go, minimal usage, not heated. Meanwhile, John was getting us underway with engine on, then sails up as there was wind. Which means now I’m holding on, standing at an angle, checking around to see what’s loose and falling over (not much). Up to take some pictures and see what needs doing (not much). Hey! I have cell coverage – send some photos and updates. Toenails needing some attention – pedicure. More photos. Pull on a line, keep that one loose. Heat up soup, have lunch. Take a nap. Pull on a line to get the whisker pole out. Take pictures. Text Annie. Text Lisa, could you please say bye & thank you to Bob – we never (really? Why ever not??) exchanged boat cards and could you get his contct info for me? More sailing. More pictures. The coastline is looking like the Grand Canyon.

And now we’re anchored and I’m making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

One can Italian tomatoes, bunch of spices, bag of frozen meatballs, can of spaghetti sauce, heated, added 3-minute cook-time short noodles & a little water added as needed. Parm cheese. Wine. One pot to clean. Works for me & lunch for tomorrow.

Lisa texted back. She wants me to keep her informed on how much cell coverage there is & she sent me a photo of Bob’s boat card. What a sweetie! Thanks, Lisa. Get your boat fixed and let’s meet up somewhere down the coast, ok?

6:17pm It’s dark out and we’ve been up for a long day. We’re going to hit it here pretty soon, just as soon as Marc calls back. He needs a quart of oil, so we’re going to arrange a way to attach the container to a fender in the morning and float it to them on a line.

The stars are shining like nobody’s business. 7:23. Ni-ni.

12-19-15 Started engine just before 6:30 in order to relay quart of oil to Trovita (successfully) in a bag tied to a fender.

We’re getting some John-isms. Yesterday it was “any time there are two boats in the water, it’s a race”, which he attributed to Al Anderson. Last night, 2am, when he had data weather (Really? able to get data here? Really? up at 2?) he was grousing about Apple and how he was just able to save a photo and now all he can do with the next one is copy and wtf, he said “there’s nothing worse than an angry geezer”. Huh. Yup.

11:10

It’s a little cloudy today, but I know it’s getting warmer. I didn’t wear my socks to bed last night and I don’t have my long-undies on today (took ’em off yesterday, mid-day).

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I just took a series of photos of a kelp bed that looked interesting in the distance and as wel came closer we could see that yes, it was a kelp bed but with some co-habitation going on. Seagulls, and a pelican and what ended up being a sea lion. The birds all flew away, first a bunch of them in a batch, then the last hold-out, and the sea lion just laying there, not seeming to mind and just watching us pass.

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More terminology:

Douse the genniker – the big colorful green and blue sail that billows out in front of the boat when the wind is light and even and directly from the butt-end of the boat (yeah, well, we put it up for a few minutes then the wind shifted again)

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Elvis collar – metal thingie at the bottom of the mast with holes to attach things, like the

Halyard – which we used to hoist the genniker.

Saw a whale! Saw another dolphin!

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Learned that it’s best to hold the nape-of-your-neck hairs outta the way when cinching up your floppy-brimmed sailing hat…

12:54   Currently between San Martin (island) and San Quintín (mainland).  Both have extinct volcanoes. Super calm – super flat. Barely a breeze.

I’m not sick feeling at all (I’m amazed), taking 1/2-tab of meds every 4-5 hours that I got in Ensenada (Sturgeron). Not too much drowsiness.

5:07. Anchored San Quentín about an hour ago.

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Current position:  30 24.135 N, 115 55.115 W

Nasty to get into. Reef sticks way out, then underwater reef once you think you’re clear.  Shallow. Watch the fish-finder for your depth.

We’re looking at Fondeadero San Carlos for tomorrow (PS – thought about it but instead went to Cedros – San Carlos would have been an easier anchorage, but the wind forecast made us think Cedros would be good, which it really wasn’t), with a 3am departure. It’s about 60 miles and we’ve got to figure on 12 hours.

Made guac. Yum. Leftover spaghetti & meatballs for dinner. Lunch was apple, gorp and cheese.

12-19-15. 7:06pm. Anchorage, San Quintín, Mexico  Damn. I just set my alarm clock for 3am. Ouch.

12-20-15 2:48 am Sunday

John’s looking at swell and it looks like it’s going to be bigger than had been forecast, so the anchorage at San Carlos wouldn’t be good – he’s liking the overnight to Cedros Island instead 150 miles. 30 hour sail. Leave here at 7am.

Trovita is thinking of maybe stopping off at Isla Geronimo.

It’s so nice we have text-ability – to Trovita:

We’re happy to go look at Geronimo with you and if it’s not attractive continue on to Cedros. The wind looks favorable for an overnight passage. Leave here around 6:30. Your thoughts?

12-20-15 7:13am

Underway motoring towards Cedros Island (overnight) to arrive noonish tomorrow. Marc & Laurie may go to Isla San Geronimo instead (we may stop there as well – TBD)

Current position:  30 22.08N  115 55.96W

Creative use for sail tie – hold the throttle that is slipping in place to maintain speed. Need to tighten up the friction lock.

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We had dolphins and sea lions following us this morning – either we stirred up some fish, or the sound of a motor makes them think we’re pangueros with food.

Terms:

Panga – the small open fishing boats used in these waters. Yesterday’s anchorage was between two pangas, in a line of 5 of them, each of which had a wet-suited guy diving on a hose for shellfish.

Pangueros – fishermen – the guys on the boats doing the fishing.

12-20-15 7:40am I was able to talk with Ensenada, checking in on HF 8A and reported our progress for both Trovita and us. Sunnyside, the net host, confirms 20kts max enroute.

12-20-15 10:45. Just up from lying down for a bit. Took 2nd 1/2-tab of Sturgeron. Feeling the roll & 12kts of wind.

11:20 John hooked up the monitor (windvane) and the autopilot is on standby. The wind hits this feather-blade that sits at the back of the boat, there’s a rudder thingie that goes down into the water and some Rube-Goldberg pulleys and ropes that make the steering wheel turn.

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12:00 Still have cell & data. Crazy.

12:15 Sacramento Reef in sight. We’ll stay 2 miles or more outside of it. Estimating 2:09 before getting to the waypoint we set for it.

3:00 Still intermittent cell service on our way to Cedros.

21:25 my first night watch. I looked up at the top of the mast to see where the wind was coming from (there’s a little arrow that floats around and points into the wind, like a little weathervane) and saw a sky-full of stars, and in popped “And all I need is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.”

Steering is being done for me by the wind vane. But then the wind shifts and we start to drift off course. And. It’s. Not. Intuitive.

Rube Goldberg, with ropes around the steering wheel, pulleys, a big plastic feather up the back side, gears and more ropes. And then there’s this flat disk in the back to adjust which way the feather thingie points, which makes the steering wheel turn a certain way, which makes the little rudder thingie (did I mention the rudder thingie?) turn, which steers the boat. But. It’s. Not. Intuitive. Going too far left? Turn the black disk counter-clockwise (I think) … well, the up side is that I have a few hours to play with it and figure it out.

There’s a little more than a half moon, it’s partly cloudy and the stars that are visible are bright. It’s not raining, but it’s not all that warn, either.

I’m wearing long undies, waterproof/windproof pants, socks, neoprene socks, tank top, short sleeve top, lightweight fleece shirt, zip fleece jacket, goretex jacket, hat and hand warmers. A blanket on my lap, my tethered life jacket and a boat cushion behind my back completes the ensemble. Fashionable. Not.

12-21-15 2:25 am Monday

Not quite warm enough, not quite comfortable enough. The wind is blowing steadily, but shifting directions, which makes autopilot stuff bonky. I called John up a while ago because we started to stall out We needed to jibe (in a controlled manner, preferably), but I haven’t figured enough of this sailing stuff out yet to know how to do the different things involved – and night sailing isn’t the time to learn them.

BONKED my leg on the stove. That’ll bruise. My first thoughts – fuck. that hurt. nothing broken. glad the stove wasn’t on. super glad I didn’t have on my ‘regular’ pants (had on my rain pants), because my phone would have been in my pocket right where I landed.

How did that happen? Well, it was a long night and the boat was acting up in the shifty (read shitty) winds, so we dumped the pillows and blankets down the companionway so we’d have room to maneuver and do sailing stuff. That done, I was heading down and stuck my foot out to move the blanket away so I’d have a bare wood spot to step down onto and (fuck Murphy anyway) that was just when the boat lurched. My fishing foot (I think) hit blanket and went west as the rest of me went east. Lesson learned. Hold on tighter. Dump stuff so that it lands in the quarter berth instead of on the floor.

7:00 am Anchored Isla Cedros at a spot referred to as the Cedros Island yacht club. Absolutely nothing here. No town. No buildings. No other boats save Trovita. No cell service. Nada.

Organized some lockers – the photo on the left shows all the stuff that gets stacked into this corner cupboard. Lots of room, but I need to take out layers to access the stuff in the back.

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Got the pressure cooker out and made chicken with onion and carrots. When it was done I added some onion powder and chicken base (I’ve learned – spice after cooking when using the pressure cooker). Then I ladled out the broth & carrots, added the leftover rice and the pea pods I got in Ensenada. Good soup. And chicken for dinner tomorrow.

1:45 pm. Moving to La Palmita(named for all the palm trees that used to be here. One has been planted by the water where there’s a spring that boats wil come to get water from). , another anchorage on Cedros, which will make our sail to Turtle Bay two hours shorter tomorrow.  We’re hoping that it won’t be as windy there as it is here. Still no cell service, but I’m hoping that we may pick some up as we pass a town between the two anchorages. We’re sailing on jib only – super smooth, quiet ride and making 4.7-5.5 kts.

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3:21 pm. Wellll… until the wind ran out… Motoring now.

Speaking of motoring – we sailed almost the whole way yesterday(/this morning) and Trovita motored almost the whole time. Ouch. That’s a lotta fuel! No cell, no town (it’s a bit farther south). We’ll be able to leave at 6 instead of 4. Emailed Ann. Emailed Winlink our position report. Visible on Winlink or shiptracker.com (or org). Made pumpkin dump cake with some apples that were looking sketchy. Made guac for dinner.

Not much else for this day. I think it’s time to catch up on sleep missed last night.

12-22-15 Tuesday 7:00am

Trovita had a rough night last night. It was windy enough (20kts, gusting 25) that their anchor slipped. They had to run their motor and stand anchor watch after it looked like Marc was unable to get a good spot. We’ll see where they are – there’s a little town just south of us (not between our two anchorages like I had previously thought) that allows boats to anchor in emergencies, and there’s another anchorage at the south end of Cedros that they may have gone to which would be more protected from the wind.

7:40am. Checked in with Don back in Ensenada on the CanMex net on 6A- 6224. We’ll monitor that today to see if he hears from Trovita.

Powered phone off then on again to see if it would feel all refreshed and see cell service. Nope.

Sea-life report. If our first anchorage here on Cedros was ‘Seal Beach’ with barking sea lions – from the boat they look like slugs and turds on the beach; the spot here at La Palmita must be ‘Seagull Marina’. They’re Everywhere! Floating on the water, flapping up and disturbing the next guy, making him hop over to the next empty spot. Last night they were soaring the thermals up one of the arroyos.

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Terms:

Arroyo – a cut or valley between two peaks or ridges sloping down a mountainside. If you anchor at the foot of an arroyo, you’re apt to get gusts of wind coming down and getting funneled into your boat (like Colonet is known for). Not something you want to have happen.

Hockled – that’s what it’s called when a line kinks up on itself. Sometimes that happens to me when I’m knitting and I need to un-spin my yarn. When it happens on the boat it means the sail you’re wanting to move, won’t because it’s rope gets stuck.

Cheek block – so a block is like a pulley that a line (called a sheet if it’s connected to a sail) goes through. The cheek block is on a flat surface, in our case, the winch pad, which is the piece of wood that our winch is mounted on (it’s where our winch lives – get it? winch pad?)

Winch – an attached standing-up spool/ pulley, with a crank handle that you can put on the top. When you crank on it, you tighten a sheet, which makes a sail move. It exerts tremendous effort force – you can pull 500 pounds easily (well, some people can…)

Tether – a person-leash. It’s a handy, strong, long, fabric-encased bungee cord with locking carabiners on each end. One end is attached to the boat (for instance on our cheek block) and one end is attached to your life jacket while night-sailing.

Carabiner – a big-ass clip.

Gimbaled – when something is gimbaled, it can loosely rock when the boat rocks in order to stay level. Our stove on the boat is gimbaled, so that if there’s a pot of something cooking, food won’t come dumping out. A handy feature to have.

Bight – a large indentation on the coast, not deep enough to be a bay. There’s a bight just above Turtle Bay.

12-22-15 Tuesday. 10:15 am. Wind 20 gusting to 25kts. Anchored at Cedros Island. Cleaned/organized medicine cabinet. Duplicates (and triplicates) have been stowed away. I have one bag stored with just sunscreen and bug repellant.

12:45 pm. We had lunch – a package of ‘Ready Rice’ (good ole Uncle Bens) with leftover soup and some chicken from yesterday all mixed in. First rice package I opened had spoiled (super-gross). It must have gotten a hole somehow. Good thing I looked before I dumped it into the chicken.

Took some pictures of the terrain here. The gulls must be at work or out shopping because there are just a few around right now and the ones that are here are mostly all in a bunch on the land.

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12-23-15 5:48 am. Leaving Cedros to cross to Turtle Bay. Coffee made. Oatmeal made. Milk added to coffee. Sour. Shit. And I don’t feel like making more coffee right now (I know. Wah. Boil water. Add instant coffee and stevia. But still…) I’ll have a Coke later. No caffeine headache for this girl.

Since we have 200′ of chain plus 40′ of rope out, it’ll be a while getting the anchor up this morning. I’ll have the boat going slightly forward while John maneuvers the rope and chain into the boat.

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7:19. As soon as we got around the point we had cell service.

7:35 CanMex on 6A. Checked in.

9:15. Saw a whale.

11:45. Saw dolphins.

12-23-15. 1:00 boat-time, 2:00 local time. Arrived Turtle Bay

12-24-15 Thursday. Turtle Bay. 3:55pm

Well I sure didn’t write much yesterday and not at all yet today.

Chris came by to fill us in on festivities for tonight.

IMG_1636 Liz organized a fiesta and Maria is cooking and all can come. We’ll do a white elephant gift exchange. To get to shore you need a dingy and we hadn’t put ours in the water yet, so Liz & Chris offered to give us a ride. Cool.

Went in to town (trip one) around 10 this morning and walked around. Went to the grocery store and went to Maria’s, which doubles as the Internet café for the area.

IMG_1621   IMG_1614         I was hungry but didn’t want any of the larger-sounding meals listed on the (short) menu, and someone (ended up being Brendan, a guy doing some work for Maria) had a plate of food on a table – oh, could I get one of those? It worked. It was spicy carrot slices, sliced hot dog (hot dogs are a thing here – if you want sausage, it’s a hot dog) & some white ranch-dip type sauce with chips for ‘breakfast’. Liz and I ordered ‘Coke Light’, so Tom (works for Maria) went to get it – from the grocery store, and the first store only had one so he went to another store – took 20 minutes or so, but he persisted and got us our drinks. Oh, and by the way, no charge for the plate of food (I paid extra for my Coke to help out).

Went back to the boat, which involves going down the fuel dock and wrote these notes.

So, about the fuel dock. Step carefully. Duck under the lines to people’s dingies. Hold on to something, but make sure it’s not rusted metal when you grab it. Try not to breathe too deeply when you go past the seagulls as guano Stinks!

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Off to dinner! More later.

12-24-15, After Christmas Eve Dinner at Turtle Bay 9:20pm

Marc & Laurie gave us a ride back to the boat (I almost said home – but it kind of is right now). The party was still going on with guitars and singing, and looked like it would be for a long time, so we decided to go while we could (get while the getting’s good, so to speak). It was past our bedtime and our next opportunity for a ride might have been a lot later.

For Christmas Eve dinner, we had turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, macaroni salad (carbs, carbs & more carbs) with a whipped cream and marshmallow fluffy colorful concoction for dessert. The stuffing was good, but nothing I’ve had before – kind of a granular texture, with a bread and ground sausage base with chopped (almost ground) nuts, raisins and prunes.

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We then did a gift exchange – John got a long extension cord that has a cigarette lighter end (and we have a cig lighter-type plug on the boat) with a USB end, so we can actually use it to charge our phones and use the phone at the same time. Handy. I got a necklace that has a goddess on one side and an all-seeing eye on the other.  Right up my alley.

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We met a couple, Steve & Isabella, who invited us for dinner tomorrow as they want to pick John’s brain about Chile. She’s from Spain, is a sailmaker and teaches celestial navigation. Seems very interesting and it would be fun to get to know her better. (PS ended up not meeting up. Maybe some other time down the coast farther.)

12-25-15 Friday. Christmas! Bahia Tortuga 9:25am

I like one-pot meals. This morning it was tater-tots, well browned, I scootched it off to the side and made a well and cooked some cut up ham (gotta love that Costco lunchmeat) in the middle, scrambled 3 eggs (the last of the eggs) into the ham, mixed everything and grated some cheese on top. Yum.

12-25-15 Turtle Bay 1:24pm Christmas Day. Windy

Changed the engine oil – Cleaned up the directory structure of the photos on the computer

Deleted some old photos off my phone – Talked to Michigan – Talked to Ann

I was going to make enchiladas with the last of my pressure cooker chicken. Opened the black beans. Started up a pot of rice. Opened the enchilada sauce (which I bought because a woman was getting 5 or 6 of them when I was at the grocery store). Got out the tortillas -dammit – flecked with green. Ok. Deja Vu with the mold already. Didn’t we just go through this with sour milk?

Necessity is a mother, so they say. When we were in Ensenada and Bob & Jane gave me a ride to Costco, I ended up getting some crackers that Jane recommended – Salmas. They’re a corn flat-bread cracker (think Club crackers and tortilla chips had a baby) in cute little 3/ pack packages, so I made an enchilada lasagna with those as my ‘noodles’.  Layered everything together and topped it with little turds of squeeze nacho cheese (Ann – remember our trip to the grocery store that was closing? Squeeze-bottle cheese works just fine) It all worked out and it was good enchilada sauce so I’ll get another bag or two before we leave here.

More cheese in the middle layers would gave probably been better, but I wanted to keep the cheese ‘pick-offable’ if it was at all weird.

12-25-15 Turtle Bay 8:15pm Christmas Day

Didn’t get outta my jammies all day.

12-26-15 Saturday, Boxer’s Day, Bahia Tortuga. Windy

Going to Laurie & Marc’s for lunch-ish. Baking a cake. Leftover cream of wheat (maybe 2/3 cup) from breakfast, Jiffy baking mix (about 1.5C), brown sugar, ginger, peach nectar, dried blueberries that soaked in ‘true lemon’ sugar-water overnight.

Just ‘pammed’ the pan outside. Spray smell immediately gone with that wind!

Crumb topping – oats, brown sugar, ginger, apple pie spice, lemon, peach nectar, butter.

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Oh, and I reorganized the corner cupboard so that the Pam is in the front, instead of the back. I keep getting things just a little more workable. Slowly by slowly.

To Trovita:

Happy Boxer’s Day! Glad to see you’re still there (a joke of sorts referring to their anchor slipping problem back at Cedros). John clocked 31kts on the deck earlier.

12-26-15 1:40pm. Windy enough that power in town went out so back to not having cell service – and then 15 minutes later it’s back.

Marc was unable to get his dingy motor started after 45 minutes of bailing, then 15 minutes of pulling on the starter rope. We’ll bag lunch today and try for something tomorrow.

12-26-15 1:40pm. Still windy. I’m doing picture stuff and John’s working on his broken guitar zipper.

12-26-15. 3:53 pm. Trip planning. We’re looking at 28th to Asunción (~50 mi), 29th to Abreojos (~50 mi), and 30/31 overnight to Magdalena Bay (~130 mi). Thoughts to discuss mañana with Trovita.

12-26-15. 5:58pm Marc just putted over & hailed the boat. I’m glad he was able to get his dingy motor started. But we knew that if it was fixable, he’d do it – he’s good at figuring stuff out and fixing things. Scalloped potatoes with ham in the oven for dinner tonight.

12-26-15. 7:45pm Ate. Talked to Ann. Talked to Joan & Nancy. Colored. Looked at weather fax.

12-27-15. Sunday. 2:54am. Windy and wakeful, so j got up to pee, saw what time it is and decided to see if I remembered all the steps to get weather. Yup. Turn on computer (it was), get out and plug in modem cord (it was already out), turn on, choose frequency  and tune radio, open program, select mode ‘fax’. Done!  Now just wait to make sure it’s centered and not leaning at an angle.

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12-27-15.  Sunday. 7:29am. Slept and now up. Coffee and a name for my baking concoction yesterday – Blueberry Breakfast Bars. Nice flavor, dense (thank you cream of wheat). I’d say a ‘win’. A little over-baked on what was probably the back edge, but I didn’t pre-heat the oven, so that makes sense. Note to self, turn pan mid-way through cooking.

12-27-15.  Sunday. 8:10am. Water maker lesson. Windy.

12-27-15.  Sunday. 8:35am. Can/Mex Net – HF Single-Side-Band 6A-6224.0 KHZ. We checked in (s/v Valkyrie, WDG-6893, read “Whiskey, Delta, Golf, 6-8-niner-3”) and gave our update – at Turtle Bay planning to depart to Asunción tomorrow, answered some questions, then were asked to make a call to see if others wanted to check in: “This is s/v Valkyrie in ___, Mexico on the Can/Mex net, looking for any and all vessels wishing to check in. Please do so now with your boat name and call sign.” Then, if anybody could hear us that couldn’t hear our Ensenada net hosts, we would relay the info. There wasn’t anyone today.

12-27-15.  Sunday. 9:37am. Soup for lunch. 2nd breakfast? Progresso veggie with leftover rice, a little water & chicken base and basil tomato spice. Still windy.

12-27-15.  Sunday. 9:44am.

Text to Don in Ensenada about his weather:

So far what you’re sending matches what’s happening. Local weather (Apple app) shows diminishing winds by 13:00 – we’ll see! It’s currently it’s 12-15 on the deck with gusts to 18.

Boat names here at Turtle Bay:

Valkyrie (us), Trovita (Marc & Laurie), Esperitu (Liz & Chris), Halcyon 1 (Mark & Eden), Yellow Feather (Nico), Goin’ for Broke, (Steve & Isabella)

Terms:

Luber line – the sight-line that just broke off John’s hand-held compass when it fell. Still works fine without it.

Bored enough that John and I played Bananagrams. I kicked his butt.

Marc’s our rock star. Took me to the store & we offloaded garbage.

12-27-15.  Sunday. 4:38 pm.

The wind died down enough that the whitecaps (yes, whitecaps here in the protected bay) went away, so Marc came by in his dingy and took me to the store. Since everything needs to be washed, I’ve got a colander full of washed veggies and a pan with a towel in it with washed eggs. Still need to wash the apples.

You can use bleach-water, or there’s Mycrodine, a special iodine-based wash conveniently placed right there in the produce department.

It’s like this – you don’t drink water out of a tap, so anything that grows and gets watered might have yuckies on it. Oh, and be sure to bring along your own egg carton, because eggs are sold out of a cardboard open egg crate (unrefrigerated).

Dinner tonight was chips and salsa, tuna with pickle, mayo and ranch dressing mix, zucchini slices and tomato. And wine. Easy peasy.

Terms:

Catenary – the shape of the anchor chain where it droops down when you have a snubber on.

Snubber – a length of rope used to reduce the shock caused by waves moving the boat while at anchor. The snubber rope is attached to the top of the windlass and tied to the anchor chain.

Windlass – a mechanical device used to pay out and bring in anchor chain.

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Categories: Pictures | Leave a comment

Ensenada, Mexico Nov. 2015

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11-26-15 Thursday 8:00pm. Departing Chula Vista, San Diego.

Started the engine & untied the dock lines.

9:00pm. Took one Dramamine (just in case) and one piece of candied ginger to wash down the taste. Boy-oh-boy are they nasty – I read somewhere that you’re supposed to chew them so they work faster/better. And if you really want ’em to work fast, chew then let it sit in your mouth for a while…

11-26-15 Thursday  9:32pm

Passed under San Diego Coronado Bridge. Just about 1.25 hours away from ChulaVista and about the same to get to the ocean. Nothing like going north in order to go South… (kind of reminds me of places in Seattle).

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11-27-15 Friday. 2:02am

Slept my two hours, took another Dramamine & now it’s my watch.

I can just see the line of the bridge 10 miles back & it smells like there’s something burning up in the distance.

11-27-15 Friday 9:56am Ensenada, Mexico

Well, that didn’t last long – John tried to sleep up in the cockpit while I was at the wheel and couldn’t get comfortable, and I was feeling cold and a little puke-ish, so I went back to bed for a few more hours. Got up at sunrise to be designated driver and John slept. I saw dolphins and was able to get some video, but those little guys are fast and I don’t think I was able to get much of anything. The autopilot worked fine & I woke John up at the waypoint for Ensenada.

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Put up our yellow ‘quarantine’ flag and Marc & Laurie guided us in. She was out on the rocks taking pictures and both he and Don were at our dock to help us land. We are at Cruiseport – where the cruise ships tie up, and we’ve already heard announcements & bells & gongs.  The official boat-checker guy came and didn’t even ask to come on board – so much for having to toss those last few apples & oranges (darn it).

We went to the office to begin checking in and need to head back over there in an hour.

11-27-15 Friday 12:09pm

Filling out forms to get our temporary visa and boat permits. All in one building. Good.  But it’s a really good thing we have Jonathan, from Cruise Port (I don’t know, is it two words or just one) along to help/guide/encourage the people behind the counters. I wonder how many times a day/week/month he does this. Drive to the office. Start here. Pay there. Now go wait in this line. Okay, now over there again to pay some more. Back into the other line, now sit and wait… for about an hour is predicted… (and it’s now 12:46 and we’re sitting and waiting on the sit-and-wait bench…) Now back to the pay window. Then to yet another window. Supposedly our last (1:18 – yes – done!) Seemed like it was going to take forever.

We are currently tied up at the end of D-Dock. We have a slip at Cruise Port, we just don’t know which one yet. Going to take a nap for a while & figure it out later.

11-27-15 Friday 4:23pm

Well, it’s later. Woke up to a marina guy asking us (telling us) could we move, please, oh, so sorry, but there’s this big-ass boat that needs the spot that your little boat is currently occupying and could we move to G-28. Ok. Well, when we in the marina office earlier one of the spots available for us was G-2, so we said ok, we’ll move (well, yeah, had to) but we’d like to go there instead. Ok. No problem. So as we’re heading there, we go past Don (another Chula Vista B-Dock person) and he’s like ‘where you headed?’ And we tell him. And he says, well, wait, the boat in G-1 has a line going across G-2. So he books it over there (along with Marc, who happened to be walking by just then) and they untie that and help with our dock-lines. Good people.

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11-27-15 Friday 5:34pm

Just finishing up our first meal here in Mexico – pizza! Ate at the restaurant, but they sure have a cute way to deliver take-out!

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We were going to walk down and say hi to Marc & Laurie (they were out), and met the people in the boat across from us – Bob & Jane, who have been in Mexico six years and at this Marina for a year. They’re from Canada and have a motor home and a boat and spend time in each. Very nice. Then we went to put on warmer clothes to walk into town to get some food. When we came out, Bob was walking by and we asked him for recommendations and he mentioned a few places – then he offered to give us a ride into town so we’d only have to walk one way. Super-fine! Alfonso’s Pizza was our go-to restaurant for dinner and breakfasts! Thanks, Bob!

Wi-fi passwords, 67DC41710A. Office and EnsenadaECV2 for the docks.

11-28-15 Saturday. Ensenada, Mexico

Woke up around 6 after going to bed a little after 7.

Walked to the bathroom, small but clean, then made coffee (mine with chia).

Just looked at the fuel gauge. 7.3125 gallons used in 13.8 hours of motoring to get here. Three of those hours were in San Diego Bay where they have a no-wake zone so we were at 4 kts, not efficient.

We have entered the ‘everlasting boat maintenance phase’ of sailing. When Val was home this past summer, we had the head re-plumbed to get rid of 23-year-old stinky pipes. It smells much better now (like not at all, TG) but when they put it back together something didn’t get re-seated correctly and the base of the bowl leaks. John worked on it in Pt. Angeles, but it’s still leaking. We won’t head farther south until it’s fixed, which may mean that we’ll need to have a part (parts?) sent from Seattle.

The other repair is a loose connection on the AIS (automatic identification system). This is an important feature to have, as it lets us identify and see the location of a ship and its name, its bearing relative to us, and its speed. It’s nice so that if you want to hail them, you can call them by name (and so that you don’t go bump in the night).

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11-28-15 Saturday 9:02 am

We were going to go walk the docks and instead met James (and Quentin & Vladimir) and ended up talking for an hour. James is very green-minded, nets garbage out of the water, collects recyclables, cleans the beach, plants trees, collects fecal matter for fertilizer, etc. very interesting guy.

John has taken the gasket off the toilet – Terry has suggested removing, turning it over and re-installing it, but it looks like it has a ridge built in so that doesn’t seem possible. He’s going to lightly sand the base & put it back together. We’ll see…

11-28-15 Saturday 12:47pm

Well let’s see. So far today I went over and talked with Laurie & got filled in about: Ensenadacruisers.com; there’s a ham radio guy Terry Sparks, boat name ‘Sunnyside’ at Marina Coral if we need assistance & Laurie has a book we can look at; Ham radio check-in is at 7; Cruisers net on VHF 69 at 8 (not on Sunday) and Monday at 10 line dance – right up my alley.

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So I went up and learned some line dances with Lisa leading and a few other people participating, then Jane & Bob took us to the grocery store. The store had special parking spots for women with children right up front with the handicap spots. Back at the boat, I bleach-washed the produce & we had leftover pizza for lunch.

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Next we’re going to walk into town, have a look around and maybe buy our fishing licenses, since we have a hook on board, we each need one (Mexican law).

11-28-15 Saturday 3:48 pm

Just back from walking into town. Quite the tourist trap everywhere you go, from women with small children selling candies and toys to the guy wanting me to go into his store ‘for just a Mexican minute’ so he can show me something. Yeah. No thanks. Mariachi bands, stands with woven blankets, leather goods, food and drink. Here, take the shortcut through my bar and it’ll take you right back to your boat. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

We bought some smoked atun at a smoke shop and some Sturgeron (highly recommended by my nurse sailing friend in Seattle, Janet, for seasickness) at one of the many pharmacias, and politely said no, thank you, dozens of times, I don’t want to buy anything. I’m ready to go do it all over again tomorrow. And speaking of pharmacies, anything you want or need? How about Viagra? and Viagra-Man? You sure?

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It looks like John may have gotten the toilet fixed, so that’s good. Seems there was some paint spray splotches that may have interfered with the gasket sealing correctly.

One big drawback to having a big-ass cruise ship right next door is that it totally blocks the sun – it’s 4:00 and the sun has ‘set’…

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Marc just came by and invited us to join them (and Don & Lisa, other people from Chula Vista) to go to a steak house. Ok. Let’s!

11-28-15 Saturday 7:28pm

Just back from dinner – a Brasilian steak house (never heard of it, but I guess it’s a thing). “Salad bar” with cactus sautéed with onion and corn, potato salad, guacamole with a variety of salsas, mushrooms in a garlicky cream sauce, spicy shrimp salad with cucumber and onion, sushi, empanadas, oh and I could go on if I remembered more. I tried to get one bite of each thing. Then, these guys come around with meat on a skewer that they slice off and you grab it with these little tongs. There was garlic beef, lemon beef, mustard beef, chorizo, chicken a variety of ways, different flavors of pork, octopus, roasted onions, jalapeño with bacon and cheese and then a roasted pineapple dusted with cinnamon. Oh, then they brought around the dessert cart (chocolate cake, flan) and a mariachi band came and played and sang along with John’s requests for songs. Super yummy.

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It was Marc & Laurie and Don & Lisa and us. After dinner, they continued on to go see the new James Bond movie (they were hoping at least for English subtitles) and we came back to the boat.

11-28-15 Sunday 6:46 am Ensenada, Mexico

Got up around 6 (the latest we’ve gotten up recently), used the head (seems to not be leaking), made coffee and ate sweet rolls that we got yesterday at the grocery store. They look like triangular empanadas and they have fruit jam inside. Then we looked through the Mexico Boating Guide to figure the next steps to getting farther south. The most recent version of what we’re thinking of doing would be stopping first at Cabo Colonet. (PS as it ended up, we went to Punta Santo Tomas first.)

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11-28-15 Sunday 8:17 am Ensenada, Mexico

Went up to the office, as that’s where we have wi-fi available – they have one set up that’s supposed to give us access from the dock, but I haven’t heard of anyone successfully getting on yet. Maybe that’s why it’s called ‘Marina Test’, and met Marina, the cat who lives here. She had a pretty badly chewed up tail, so someone took her to the vet. And then there are the dogs who run around, thinking that they own the place.

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Posted some photos to Facebook and ‘invited’ Ann, Joan, Linda and Nancy to be able to view my photos on iCloud.

John moved the boat a bit in order to get more sun – it’s possible that we won’t need to hook up to shore power and will be able to just use solar.

11-28-15 Sunday 10:08am

I’ve been to the shower and back. Very nice. In addition to the communal showers, they gave a private room as well with sink, toilet and large shower. The water took a while to warm up (I was afraid I’d be taking a luke-warm shower) but then got nice and hot. Felt good.

11-27-15 Sunday 1:27pm

We decided to walk into town to find some tacos and saw Marc & Laurie returning from a grocery run. They recommended what ended up being the El Parian restaurant – they didn’t remember the name, but described a bright pink building past the Smart & Final grocery store. Easy enough to find and great art right there on the table! I had tostadas pollo(3), and John had carne enchiladas plus 2 diet cokes for about $12.50. Better than the RV Special back at Chula Vista …

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Then we stopped at Smart & Final (I don’t know why that name) and got more fruits & veggies. Following protocol from blogs I’ve read, I’m bleach-washing all produce to reduce the chances of a) critters & bugs and b) intestinal problems.

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Well shoot. Didn’t pack meat marinade. Guess I’ll need to improvise. Red wine, olive oil, a bunch of spices and some of the limon Mexicano – little limes that I got at the grocery store earlier. We’ll know when we cook it tomorrow how I did on the spices.

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11-29-15 Ensenada, Mexico 4:00

We started to head out to walk around and Ulysses came by – French, maybe 28 years old. He owns a 100+ year old boat with two wooden masts. He needed quarters for the laundry so I got some for him.

Then we walked around for a bit and went down his dock – he’s on H. He came back from the laundry and invited us on board. It’s just about a floating museum and I took some pictures. He’s going to sail it through the Panama Canal but first he needs to turn one of the masts because it’s twisted. Sounds like a huge project but he seems quite matter of fact about it. Clamp, hydraulic jacks, turn on a greased plate, cut, re-install.

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11-30-15 Ensenada, Mexico 6:15am

Up just before the sun. Since it gets dark by 6 or so, and there isn’t much to do at night, and we go to bed by 7:30 or 8, getting up early is pretty easy. And it’s not very warm, so we sometimes wear strange combinations of clothes…

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At 7 they do the ham radio check-in and at 8 is the VHF one. We’ll probably check out both this morning.

Ok, so not the ham one, as there are hundreds (thousands?) of channels (frequencies), but we’ll check out VHF-69 at 8.

And so much for singing the praises of the hot shower yesterday – today it was just cold.

11-30-15 Ensenada, Mexico 9:26am

At the office for wi-fi to see about uploading photos to Picasa on my phone. Says error 404 but seems to be working – very very very slowly.  And if I get too far away from the office I lose the signal. Kind if frustrating …

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Just met Suzanne – E-32 – whose boat sank at the dock last week. I may walk by later and see what’s that all about – she said they don’t know why or what the problem was and they’re working on salvaging what they can. I can’t remember if it was Laurie or Lisa, but one of them was talking about what a great community it is here and how everyone looks out for each other, and that somebody’s boat started sinking last week and everyone pumped and bailed and tried to help out. Guess it must have been them.

11-30-15 Ensenada, Mexico 12:46pm

Well, I was going to write about the morning and lunch, and now here it is (6:58pm) and we just finished dinner.

IMG_9543What a day. Ended up heading out after lunch to see if there was a marine supply store that would be able to get us a new AIS antenna, as that seems to be what the problem is.

Long story short, we ended up finding the antenna (that we can order if we need it) then walking about 5 miles (‘a fucking marathon’) trying to find Home Depot & Costco, which we never did find because we wanted to have time to get back to the boat before dark. Moral of the story, never trust the scale on a ‘tourist’ map. It looked like it would be a reasonable walking distance… not.

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Costco list – Bob & Jane are going – he’s out of bacon and offered a ride. Belvita, Nugo, Granola, Graham crackers, Peaches

12-01-15 Tuesday Ensenada, Mexico 6:01pm

Costco is medium different. Some products the same. Some in diff packaging. Some diff stuff – like you can buy scooters (I should have taken a picture). Oh, and yesterday we were about 5 blocks away from the shopping area when we turned around…

They didn’t have Nugo or Belvita or graham crackers, but instead I got round crackers (with sun-faces in them) that are like a cross between nilla wafers and graham crackers, vanilla cinnamon (bland) crackers and corn chip flat-bread crackers. Of course when I bagged them up for storage (blogs highly suggest no cardboard allowed on board) I had to try them all. I also got blueberry, strawberry and apple fig Newton type cookies. And some wine from Chile (on sale!) that’s pretty darn fine. Should have gotten a few bottles.

Earlier today John worked on the AIS issue. It’s weird because it’s intermittent – the green light (good – it’s working) will be on, then the red light (nope, it’s not working) will come on, then it’ll turn green again all on its own. Hard to fix the problem when you don’t know what it is and it’s so variable.

We went to a panaderia that we had seen the other day and got some sweet rolls and little loaves of bread. The sweet rolls were good. We got one apple and one cheese, but the bread (while quite adorable) wasn’t very good. We also went to the Smart & Final and got chips (not too salty) and salsa (nicely hot) and some disinfectant made for fruits and veggies (so I don’t need to use bleach water) – sold right there in the produce section.

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Speaking of water, it’s not potable here. Some people have in-line filters on their hoses and some go so far as to run it through their water maker filtering system as well. We’ll do it the easy way. We’ll walk over to the office and tell them we want water & they’ll get the water company guys to come with their truck and we’ll get our tanks filled. Done. Well, not yet, but it will be.

So our friends Janet & Paul showed us some of their photos from their Mexico trips using Picasa. Ok. I’ve got an account, sounds like an easy way to share them, so I got a Picasa app for my phone (spent $1.99 on it). I grabbed the first batch to upload and got an error message but I also got the little blue bar showing under the photo showing progress. K. Looks like it’s working. But only while I’m near the office for wi-fi, so it took a couple days. But they show greyed out and they aren’t selectable, so I guess they really aren’t there and didn’t really upload – after how many hours later? Did I mention frustrating? I guess I’ll try tomorrow with my computer.

We got the sextant out this evening and we took a sight in a star. It’s kind of a precise-timing kind of thing, because it has to be dark enough to see the star, yet light enough to see the horizon. Tomorrow we’ll do sight reduction to compute the intercept distance, the diff between our assumed angular distance from the star and the actual measured distance, which tells us the correction to make to our assumed position. (Reading back through that it sounds like I know what I’m talking about. I don’t.) It tells us how close we were to getting it right. I think. In order to get your position, you’d need to shoot two, and even better, three stars.

Found out today that Susanna, with the sinking boat was able to get her engine started. Good news. Bob said that they think that it was her bilge pump back-flow preventer that failed. We have two bilge pumps, so that should never happen to us. Good thing. She had water up to her settee cushions.

12-2-15 Wednesday Ensenada, Mexico 6:50am

What I have learned so far:

* Writing the date and day at the beginning of the day in these notes helps me to keep track of what day it is – yesterday I thought it was Monday until Bob corrected me at Home Depot while we were out on our Costco trip.

* Keeping cups back from the edge, out of ‘bump’ area is important. No I didn’t, but it was really close with an open bottle of mighty fine wine last night. That would have been very upsetting in too many ways.

* It’s quite easy to get up at 5:30 since it’s dark by 6 and I’m in bed before 9 (8 most nights so far).

* Walking around town on a non-cruise-ship day is like walking through a different city. The wide open sidewalks, missing kiosks and locked storefronts vs people selling their goods, foods and services (and it almost seems like ‘selves’).

* Speaking of walking around, you’ve got to have 360-eyes. If you’re looking down to make sure you won’t trip on a broken sidewalk or a projecting piece of rebar, and you need to check what overhang or sign is at forehead level. Luckily the one I walked into was lightweight and moved when I clocked my forehead into it.

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12-2-15 Wednesday Ensenada, Mexico 6:26pm

Just finished dinner – smoked tuna that we got the other day with a dish I call Orzo Alfredo (just made that up) and green beans on the side. Good, easy, one-pot. Works for me. Walked past the Smart & Final to the Calimax instead. Got bread, milk, cheese, a few more limes and apples. We’ll see if this bread is any better than the bakery bread.

Marc winched John up the mast earlier to take off the AIS antenna and put some gizmo up there as part of the testing he’s doing to figure what’s wrong with it.

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I spent a few hours at the office (gotta love that free wi-fi) uploading photos onto Picasa using my computer. Next batch I’ll do differently, and compress them after getting them from phone to iPhoto, then pull up the Picasa app.  This time around I already had Picasa open when I was offloading the pictures from my phone and it started the upload automatically – and I thought, ok, fine. There it goes. And goes. And goes. And goes. Sheesh. Compressing first will make the upload take less than half the time. Much better.

Every morning there’s a cruisers net (that’s us) on the radio (channel 69). There’s a host who first asks if there are any emergencies that anyone needs help with, then a check-in  of who’s listening in, tides & weather, who’s new to the area or who’s leaving, if anyone needs a ride anywhere, and it goes on for 15-20 and covers lots of info. Today somebody said something about yoga, so I’m going to go tomorrow. It’s going to be by one of the other area marinas (there are three, Cruiseport [ours], Marina Coral and Baja Naval).

12-3-15 Thursday Ensenada, Mexico  7:11 am

The Marina talks at night- well, really all the time, but when it’s quiet you can hear it – but not in an annoying way. Kind of a white noise that all is well. The variety of sounds include squeak, rattle, moan, chatter, yawn, tap, groan, chirrup, gurgle, and then there’s the occasional splash of a bird going after some fishy food in the water or somebody talking or laughing. Sometimes it sounds like a farm, with the horses over there and the dog being restless and rattling his chain in the night. No cows, though. Nobody moos here.

From the net: Music at 6 la taverna sports bar restaurant

12-3-15 Thursday Ensenada, Mexico  4:41pm

Went and did yoga with Lisa, Liz and Eden in a central plaza by the heads. Dusty and dirty. I cheated on the poses that you’re supposed to put your arm out to the side and rest it on the ground.  We’ll do it again Saturday morning, but not there. I’ll wash my mat between now and then – ugh. The only reason I have a yoga mat in the first place is because John was going to use a chunk of it to do a repair. And of course it’s white so it Really shows the dirt. This photo shows Lisa, me and Liz at Cruiseport.

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John spent his day figuring what parts to order for the antenna and I went on the bus (beer & the madonna present) with Marc & Laurie to Home Depot, Walmart, Costco & got some lunch at a fruit & veggie restaurant. Not only does Costco sell scooters (I find that so amusing), but Walmart has a guy on the side cutting cactus and an interesting pre-packaged assortment of chicken parts.

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Tonight we’re going to go to La Taberna, a sports bar restaurant that has a quiet room in back that people can use to play music.

12-3-15 Thursday Ensenada, Mexico 8:32pm

So, we’re back from the bar and tired and ready to go to bed. Music wasn’t quite John’s thing, but Detroit was beating Green Bay when we left, and I learned something – Dos X beer comes in two varieties, lager and amber. Didn’t get lager, got amber. It was the correct choice for me.

12-4-15 Ensenada, Mexico.  Friday – in a few hours it’ll be a week that we’ve been here.

Things I’ve learned from Bob:

* The grocery store baggers work for tips only, so make sure you have some coins to give them.

* All taxes paid in Mexico go to Mexico City and they decide where they’re going to be spent – obviously not on the sidewalks in Ensenada.

* If your house is unfinished – for example, you have rebar sticking up where you’re ‘going to add a second floor’ – you pay no property taxes.

* You can’t sue the city here, so if you trip on the rebar or crater in the sidewalk, you’re on our own.

* There is no water that comes out of a tap that is fit for drinking, unless you have it delivered to the cisterna on your roof.

12-4-15 Ensenada, Mexico.  Friday 1:56pm

We walked into town this morning and stopped at Starbucks. My gift card from Emily (my lead teacher last year) worked and my phonetic name in Spanish on my cup was “Zu”.

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Then we continued on to the marine supply store to follow up on the email John had sent them yesterday, ordering antenna parts, and they hadn’t received it. Back to Starbucks (free wi-fi) to resend it, then back to supplier to confirm order. It should arrive in about 5 business days.

Walked across the street to get fishing licenses and ran into Pat, who had just arrived from Chula Vista last night. Found out that you only need one fishing license per fishing pole, not one for each person on board, so that saved us $40.

Then we went to Soriana, to see if their bread was any better than the other stores that we’ve found so far, then to Smart & Final (the closest store to our boat) to buy water. We’re also going to have water delivered to the boat. Should have filled the tanks in Chula Vista…

So, ordered water delivery and were told that it would happen between 1:00 and 2:00 and now it’s 5:07. Okay…

John’s been working on moving the AIS box so it won’t need to split and share the antenna, and he has two antennae on order. The problem is that the way the box is manufactured it needs one certain size of screw, which we have, but where he’s wanting to install it he needs a certain length so that it doesn’t poke through into the quarter berth, which we don’t have. Tomorrow we’ll go to Home Depot.

Well finally. The water guys came around 6:30-ish. 100 liters for 95 pesos. Port side tie for our boat works well, as both of our water access thingies are on the left side of our boat.

12-5-15 Ensenada, Mexico Saturday 6:58am

Slept in again today

I was so proud of myself last night. After the water delivery, and after the Marina settled for the evening, I became aware of a ‘ba-thunk’ gently repeating itself as the boat moved and rocked. So I put on my headlamp and went up to check my first hypothesis – the boogie-board. It had been moved in order to access the deck fitting at the bow of the boat for filling the water tank, so I scootched it around and tucked it in tighter behind the surfboard so it couldn’t move. Back downstairs, congratulating myself, I notice the same gentle ‘ba-thunk’. Hmm. What else could it be – and maybe it’s coming from the other side of the boat. So I go back up and there’s the sextant case – maybe that’s it. So I move that so it’s unable to wobble any more. Back down below. Same noise. Ok. So, nothing else is loose up top, maybe it’s something down here. Ah – it’s in the galley – ah – it’s behind the stove in the cupboard where we keep glasses – ah – it’s the glasses. So I fidget them around so they hopefully stop moving and go to bed. Slept fine.

And then the P.S. to it – I was making coffee this morning and heard it again. It wasn’t the cups after all – it’s the cupboard door itself. If it isn’t all the way shut it wobbles.

12-5-15 Ensenada, Mexico Saturday 3:33pm

Went over to Baja Naval to see Don & Lisa’s boat get splashed. They had a new through-hull put in and bottom paint. John went on board and brought it back to the Cruiseport marina with them. We had Valkyrie’s bottom paint done last summer in Seattle and it’s weird to see them out of the water.

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Meanwhile, I went with Marc & Laurie to get coffee at the pizza place (ends up they do breakfast as well). Then we went shopping – found the Soriana that John & I had not found the other day along with a hardware store and a few dollars-store type places.

After that, John & I did some internet stuff at the office and went to pizza place and got humongous green salads and one order of lasagna to share. Good thing I had gone for coffee earlier in the day and saw somebody at another table with the lasagna and knew how big it was.

12-6-15 Ensenada, Mexico Sunday 6:17am

After yoga, we’ll be going to go to Home Depot and see if we can find the electronics store for coax later today – too much other running around yesterday. Yoga will be here at Cruiseport – the plaza the other day was filthy.

12-6-15 Ensenada, Mexico Sunday 4:46 pm

Yoga was ok. There was a new participant, Shannon, who incorporated a bunch of ohm stuff and ‘tighten up your sex muscles and your anus’ (pelvis floor is how I’ve heard it referred to). Yeah, well, ok then. It was nicer doing it on our clean cement, so that was good.

Had leftover lasagna for lunch then got the orange bus to the ‘micro-plaza’. Home Depot had stainless steel screws, Walmart was super-packed, so we walked in and right back out.

Stopped at McDonalds – they had a condiments bar with ketchup, mustard, pickles, and 4-5 different hot sauces.

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All the busses are color-coded for where they go, and you flag them down to get on anywhere and you can get off when you want. So we took the yellow bus to check the electronics store that Marc had found. It didn’t have the coax for the antenna, so John will need to order it. When you get on the bus and pay, you get a small paper that looks a lot like the transfer slips you get in Seattle. Well… maybe not. When we got on the second bus to head back home (which it didn’t – it started going the wrong way so we got off) we had to pay again. The bus driver looked me like I was crazy.

Dinner tonight was Lipton chicken noodle soup with egg in it and bread on the side.

12-7-15 Ensenada, Mexico Monday 7:38am

Today after the morning net, John’s going to go order his wire and I’m going to do line dancing.

Yesterday’s yoga left me with a slightly sore lower back – I’m pretty sure it was a breathing exercise that Shannon led – with your arms over your head elbows locked, straight over-head, while you’re sitting down, breathing out forcefully (with a ‘huh-huh-huh’) while quickly moving your arms out and in (breathing and arms timed so they go together), almost touching your thumbs. The discussion after that movement included light-headedness and transcending the feeling, and achieving a higher state. I’d call it hyperventilating. And it put a weird strain on my back. I think I’ll pass on that one next time.

Ensenada is a dirty, dusty town. Besides the broken sidewalks and trip hazards, there’s litter everywhere and since there’s so little rain, everything is grubby. Added to that is the port boat loading activity. A few days ago it was a grain (?) of some kind that they were loading, with all kinds of floating pollin-y things in the air. I’m fine, but John got enough of a nose-full that he’s been sneezing ever since. He started taking antihistamine yesterday – we’ll see how quickly that kicks in.

12-7-15 Ensenada, Mexico Monday 9:36am

Talking with a guy at the office while doing internet stuff – found out where the fish market is, and learned that it probably wasn’t grain that they were loading, it was probably dirt, and some of it was probably moldy. Nice. Here’s what I found out about the fish market – go on Wednesday or Thursday and be sure to check out the store called Captain Cortez by the movie theatre. Look at getting whole fish only and look at their eye to make sure they’re fresh. Talked with H-27 Shannon (of yoga, boat name ‘Ocean Villa’) and she offered use of her bike if I needed one. That was nice.

12-8-15 Ensenada, Mexico Tuesday. 8:48am

Well we went out to dinner last night and it was a bust. The restaurant ‘Mahi Mahi’ was highly recommended. Great service, but the (overpriced) food was so-so. Oysters Rockefeller had so much creamy (cheese?) sauce you could hardly find the oyster. Clam (really? where?) chowder was just a thick cream soup. I got a garlic (no. garlic. to. be. found.) fettuccini with shrimp (ok) and scallops (gross/rubbery). John’s fish was ok but had way too much sauce and Lisa’s scallops were like mine and inedible. Don’t need to go there again.

12-8-15 Ensenada, Mexico Tuesday, 9:40am

At Alfonso’s for breakfast. With your coffee, you get a flour tortilla with melted cheese inside and some salsa on the side. Good salsa. My mushroom omelette had tomato, green pepper and hot pepper as well as the (I think outta the can) mushroom. So I picked out the green pepper… sides of hash browns and refried beans.

Talked with somebody (don’t remember her name) and was told that ‘180 Degrees’ is a good movie about Galapagos – I’ll need to add it to my need-to-watch list in case we make it down there one day.

12-8-15 Ensenada, Mexico Tuesday, 5:45pm

Just in from another sextant sighting (2 actually). It’s long-undies & fleece weather after short-sleeves and flip-flops earlier. The weather is forecast to get colder and rainy by this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend, we’re supposed to have the AIS & VHF antennae by Friday, so in theory we could be ready to leave before too much longer. We need to wait for getting AIS fixed, we need to make sure we have a good weather window, we need to get John healthy (he’s still coughing and sneezing from the nose-full of whatever that was) and we need to see if we’re going to ‘buddy-boat’ with Wind Charmer (Don & Lisa) and/or Trovita (Marc & Laurie). They’re both waiting to get their temporary resident cards and can’t leave here without them, plus it looks like Don and Lisa have more boat work to do.

Lisa just came by with some corn tortillas. She got a big package and shared. The other day she brought by some brownies.

Did a sextant shot of ‘formalhaut’ a star that we can see above the small area of usable horizon that we have. And ohmygoodness, do we ever get some great sunsets around here.

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 12-9-15 Ensenada, Mexico Wednesday 7:09am

Coffee. Check. Morning notes time. Check. Fortunately I’m sleeping well enough even though John’s coughing and blowing his nose all through the night.

Today is supposed to be our last nice day for a while. I wonder how it’s going to work with wind and rain expected for Friday, which may also be antennae installation day, which would mean at least one trip up the mast. I’m guessing the install would slide to the weekend. Especially since there’s supposed to be a big surge (surge = waves that make your boat move a lot while you’re dockside) going on along with the wind and rain.

We decided to take the bus to Walmart and Home Depot because it’s dusty again here by the harbor and we want to avoid breathing more of it. I wish I knew (and I’m not sure I really want to know) what it is that they’re loading today (and what they were loading the other day).

We’re getting pretty good at the whole bus thing. It’s 10 pesos, which is about $0.60 each way. We (Sue, John, Marc, Laurie, Lisa – Don’s working on his boat) walked out to the street past the taxi hawkers ($2.00/person to go to the MicroPlaza, no thanks) and as soon as we got to the curb, an orange bus beeped at us (to ask if we wanted a ride) and we smiled and waved him down. How nice!

We got a few grocery items at Walmart, Home Depot did not have the drill bit that John needed, but Auto Zone had a funnel that should work for adding water to the boat’s tanks.

After we got back, I went to the office to do some internet stuff while John tried to nap (unsuccessfully) then we had some made-it-on-the-boat spaghetti.

I’m learning some basics about sextant usage and what it all means with some earth diagrams and lines and angles. I don’t know if I understood much of it at all…

James came by and knocked on the boat to see if we’d like to come play Mexican Train, a dominoes game. John passed, but I went over and played – it was fun. I think the last time I played was up at the cottage – I didn’t remember quite how it went but caught on quickly. It was James, Leonard, Quentin (brothers from Belgium doing some kind of environmental film work), and Jan & Chuck (a couple I had not met before).

12-10-15 Ensenada, Mexico Thursday 8:00am – Morning Net News

Some boat names – Nanner-Moon, Halcion-One, Catnip, Duck Breath, Wind Charmer, Traveler, Lock-Find, Wind Watcher, Trovita, Camelot, Rapture, Stray Cat, Sunnyside.

Maloose at A-12 going north Friday can take passengers or flat-stamp mail.

Fuel Dock at Marina Coral Channel #71

$17.05 peso exchange

Friday will be rainy and large surge (24′) winds up to 20kts, falling off to 12′ Saturday. A good day to not go out sailing.

Weather Links shared on the net: StormSurf.com WindyTY.com Magicseaweed.com PassageWeather.com or there’s a pocket grib app for iPad. Also SCT.gob.mx in Spanish, and just  highlight what you want translated.

We don’t need those (or internet to get weather) because we have a Black Cat, which is the name of our weather fax decoder.

Breakfast (at our new favorite go-to place, thank you, Bob!) and I got the nopales omelette at Alfonso’s, hold the green pepper. It was good. I think I like cactus.

Walked with Laurie and Lisa to Sears, a variety of shoe stores, Waldo’s & Super Soriana.

The best photo that I didn’t get happened today~ As Laurie and I were walking back to our boats, we saw an osprey fly by with a fish in its claws. The lighting was perfect, the bird was low, holding the fish so that it’s head was facing the direction of flight, the dark fish shape silhouetted against the shine of the water, Valkyrie just behind and to the right. Totally imprinted on my brain, but my hands both were full of grocery bags and I couldn’t take my eyes away to search for my phone.

Some of the drugs we have on board (from Lafferty’s Pharmacy, Ballard, WA)

Azithromycin 250 bacterial, Cephalexin 500, Sulfa, Cipro ophthalmic, Prednisone

12-11-15 Ensenada, Mexico Friday 8:56am

Got some rain last night as predicted and it’s cooler than it’s been, as predicted.

12-11-15 Ensenada, Mexico Friday, later…

Did line dancing. John went shopping with Bob. Worked on my knitting. Walked into town. Checked on antennae – not yet. Soon. Bought pesos. Rice & beans for dinner.

A name I had thought of for this blog – One Hand for the Boat. Which refers to the fact that there’s always movement (unpredictable!) on a boat and two points of contact are not enough, you need a third – so if both your hands are busy, prop your head against something, because if you’re just on your two feet, you won’t be for very long.

John’s comment about how long it’s taking here in Ensenada, this blog could be called Off to a Screeching Stop.

12-12-15 Ensenada, Mexico, Saturday

Didn’t listen to the net this morning so I feel all disconnected.

Did laundry. Walked to Smart & Final and went to fish market. Organized some stuff in the boat.

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The Never-Ending Boat List:

Stove lock, Refrigerator drain, Go up the mast and install radio antennae, Bed the hatch, Paint the wood, Buy fuel, Buy water, Buy propane, Install coat hook, Install new light, Wax exterior of hull.

12-13-15 Ensenada, Mexico Sunday 7:26am

Coffee with chia. Looked at wind-wave forecast as we’re starting to prepare for our departure from Ensenada. Our target date (at this point) is the 17th.

12-13-15 Ensenada, Mexico Sunday noon

Breakfast at Alfonso’s. Yoga. A free and easy how-to about weather in a bit on Wind Charmer.

Walked to fish market. The Captain Cortez store rocked! They had paella (that we got and had for lunch), cute little patty-pan squash, pea pods, lentils and soy sauce. Things you can’t find elsewhere.

12-13-15 Ensenada, Mexico Sunday 7:27pm

Practiced using Winlink, a program that works through the HF (single side band) radio. When it works, and that’s dependent upon having a channel clear that you can use, which we didn’t this evening, you can send emails. We’ll try again tomorrow. If I can get it to work, mail from me will be fromKG7CCJ@Winlink.org.

I had some of the honey we got from a guy near the fish market. Yum. It has some honeycomb in the jar with a bee still in it.  And the bees were going crazy flying around the (still sticky) jars. Need to get more before we leave Ensenada.

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12-14-15 Ensenada, Mexico Monday 10:08

Practicing with Winlink. Oy. It’s slow and squawky. Sent Ann an email which connected and sent quickly, and have sat here for more than 20 minutes while a file comes in. Propagation tables – another name for the channel selector table, which shows which channels are more likely to work.

Breakfast (a late one – at 11) once again at Alfonso’s, our go-to food and wi-fi spot, then to Arjona, the marine supply place, and they had most of our antenna stuff – enough to get it wired (John found a You-Tube which was lousy, but good enough to get the idea across) and be able to test the AIS. The green light stays on with the new antenna and the red light comes on when the old antenna gets hooked up. Guess it must have been the antenna. Which the Shakespeare (antenna company) said sometimes happens in the 2-3 year range (ours was 3) and they sell them with a 1-year warrantee. Of course.

Cooked up some of the pattypan squash with some (out of a mustard-type squirt container) garlic and leftover rice for dinner. Easy-peasy and yummy.

Oh. And it was Windy today. Blew all day long.

12-15-15 Ensenada, Mexico Tuesday

Cleaned (with vinegar – kills mold & mildew)  the dorade vents and some moisture on the headliner in the head, as well as the portholes in our sleeping area. Need to make sure we don’t start growing anything fuzzy.

Morning News –

Net host – Angie on NannerMoon. Traveler, Seahorse, Mario, Carisma, Trovita, Teresa, Sunnyside, Maloose, A-Haluna, Seahorse, CurlySaysWow, Serendipity, WayToGo, Orianna, Camelot, WindCharmer, Esperitu.

Channel #71 for fuel dock at Baha Naval & be sure to check on Channel #14 to transit the harbor.

HF Net 4A 7:30 – 6A, 7:35,  – 8A, 7:40 – 12A 7:45. Terry has frequencies

Sailespiritu.blogspot.com – Liz

 

 

Current plan (subject to change a few more times). We leave Ensenada Thursday morning. We’ll buddy-boat with Marc & Laurie (Trovita), but not with Lisa & Don. They’ve decided they need a new autopilot. But yes Marc & Laurie, they got their paperwork today and they’re itching to be on their way as well.

Laurie has an auto-immune disease – Scleroderma – wherein your body produces too much collagen. Her hands are the most affected, with her fingers all bent & fixed at the second knuckle. She’s got a great attitude about it though, and has said that she’s not handicapped, she’s finger-capped.

Marc is Mr. Fix-it. If there’s a tool or a part needed, he’s the first person to go to. He’s also the helpful, friendly guy who hoisted John up the mast – twice.

12-16-15 Ensenada, Mexico Wednesday

Our last day in Ensenada. Tomorrow early morning we head south, so today will be some last-minute running around.

Last night at dinner we looked at our map books and decided to do many short day-sails to get to Turtle Bay. First anchorage planned is Punta Santo Tomas, 40 miles south of Ensenada. We’ll see how the anchorage is – if it’s way too rolly we’ll consider continuing on.

8:52am. Off to get fuel

11:02 just finishing at fuel dock. Good thing we didn’t wait for tomorrow morning as it took a while.

Did laundry – hung it on the lifelines, then put it in the dryer so we could wash the boat.

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Processed paperwork to leave.

Sent package with Dana to Ann (thanks, Dana!). Met Philippo, who is wanting to hitch a ride south. Too bad our crew list is already turned in for two people.

Bob took me to get propane – what a good guy.

So now we’re waiting for water and we need to go to the grocery store

Water – check. Dinner out – check. Groceries – check.

Book from Arjones – nope. Tomorrow 7:30am John will go pick up.

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