After receiving a few emails from readers saying that it was taking too long for the page to load so they could read the most current log. We have decided to start at the bottom and work our way up so the most recent post will show up first. Sorry if its a little confusing.

July 10, 2009

  After a 20.5 hour run we made it to the mouth of Coos Bay at an out going tide. We beat in against 4 foot seas making 4.9 knots before tying to the dock at 7 am and taking a nap then headed out to explore the area again. We checked out all our old digs including stopping by the Oyster Cove Grill and Bar and saying hi to Connie and Michael. It was really good to see those two again. We took the dogs to the beach then checked the weather and saw that our weather window is closing the further north we go. Tomorrow we have to head out early to make Newport before dark and the winds picks up. Coos Bay is a great area with lots of good people. We wish we could stay longer but the weather won’t allow us.  

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Rain approaching, 20 miles offshore

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Connie and Micheal

 

July 7, 2009

  Well we are still in Crescent City after a failed attempt to leave this morning. The forecast called for NW winds 10 to 15 with 5 foot seas. We awoke to calm winds and smooth seas so we headed out. One hour after leaving the dock and still sailing around St. George Reef the winds were blowing over 25 knots and the seas were building fast. After taking a 10 foot wave over the bow we decided that we had enough and turned around. Once we were safely back at the dock I pulled up the weather again on the computer. Guess what? They changed it. Now they were saying winds 20 to 25 knots with higher gusts and steep waves 7 to 8 feet. Thanks NOAA. So I guess we’ll try again tomorrow, its supposed to settle down a bit. So in the mean time we took the dogs to the beach and went to see Johnny Depp in Dillinger, good flick.                

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St. George Reef
 
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Hawkwind in Crescent City Harbor
 
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July 6, 2009

   We are now moored in the harbor of Crescent City California after our 10 leg from Eureka. Eureka was a lot of fun; we swung by the Lost Coast Brewery for dinner and a couple beers before heading back to the boat to watch the fireworks. Lost Coast is the nickname for this part of California as it is isolated from the rest of the state and usually has only one very bad road linking it Hwy 101. Anyway, when we returned to the boat we found the adjacent park packed with people waiting for the fireworks to begin. They were entertaining themselves by shooting off their own. We joined in by shooting off the fireworks Elizabeth and Greg were kind enough to give us. The crowd was delighted as we heard ooh’s and ahhh’s when we launched each rocket.   The following morning we awoke to heavy fog and drizzle, the first measurable precipitation we have encountered since I don’t know when. We had to use the radar to get out of the harbor and into open sea. Oh yes I forgot to mention that some systems on the boat are starting to act funny. The day we were pulling into Bodega Bay I turned on the radar even though visibility was 5 miles to find that the radar didn’t match what I was looking at. Some how everything was 45 degrees off. Once we were safely in our slip at the marina I had to pull out the manual and reset the system. So far so good. Then when we left Eureka and I plotted a course to Crescent City, the chart plotter told me to steer a course of 371 degrees. I’m still trying to figure that one out. Then in the middle of the night on one leg the boat suddenly did a hard left turn and the autopilot read MANUAL on the display. The troubleshooting section of the manual say’s nothing about that one. I just hope we get back to Seattle before we find ourselves manually steering the boat by celestial navigation with no radar. The systems on HAWKWIND are from the mid ‘90’s so I guess we can’t complain if they are on their final leg.   We have had a good run north so far, waiting out bad weather when we had to and made long runs when the weather was good. Right now we have a low blowing through, its center is up by Vancouver Island and its outer reaches are just hitting us down here. That mean winds out of the south for a few days, it also means crossed sea. We will have a swell out of the Northwest as well as one out of the Southwest. So when we leave in the morning for our overnighter to Coos Bay it will undoubtedly be an uncomfortable ride. We are figuring it will take about 20 hours but it is hard to be precise since we won’t know our actual speed until we get out there and see what the winds and seas are doing. That makes it difficult to decide what time we should leave so we arrive at our destination during daylight. Not just arrive during daylight but begin our approach as we must not get too close to shore and the shallow waters where crab traps are plentiful. During our 10-hour run between Eureka and Crescent City we stayed close to shore since it was daylight the entire time. We were dogging crab pots the whole way, very annoying. So tomorrow we are off and will pass 3 reefs on this leg, one of which is right outside the harbor that we are nestled in now. We must steer a westerly course 10 miles to clear St. George Reef before we can turn north towards Coos Bay.      

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Crescent City was ravaged by a tsunami in 1964
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Drinking tea and staying warm in the cockpit thanks to our propane heater
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One of many crab pots we encountered
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KC setting off a firecracker
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Fishermen's memorial, Crescent City
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Radar image leaving Humboldt Bay
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Crescent City Harbor
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Foggy firecrackers
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Karen and Julia
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July 4, 2009

We left Bodega Bay in the fog and it started out as the most beautiful passage. There were surprisingly calm seas, so we were able to enjoy the seals frolicking by the boat, and our old friend’s, the dall's porpoises, playing in our bow wake.  We even saw, what we think were, humpback whales about a few 100 feet away.   Due to the fog, we really felt isolated, like the only boat out there, and it was so serene.  We recall saying to each other, “We could do this forever, it’s like floating in the clouds”, and it really was like being in another world.  Then, 60 miles off of CAPE MENDOCINO, it all ended.  The winds picked up, 19 knots off the nose, and cross-seas for the remainder of the voyage to Eureka. At least we had 14 hours of bliss to reflect and enjoy ourselves. 

   There is something about floating out in the middle of the ocean, and just simply existing.  Things just make sense, and things just seem so simple.  It’s  you, the boat, and “Mother Nature”.  You don’t have any agenda, no time clocks, nothing to sidetrack you or keep you from just ”Being”.  Even when the weather turns, you just deal with it, and then complain about later in your log.  It was recently mentioned to us that we do have a tendency of mentioning our fondness for beer and especial morning drinks, which is true, but that has been a minute portion of our life this past year.  In reflection, what we have done most this year is walk some of the most isolated beaches in the world for days at a time. We snorkeled in the most pristine waters. We have collected more shells and fossils than any two people could dream of collecting in a lifetime.  Our dogs have lived 10 years in one, with all the swimming and fetching they have done.  We have met some amazing and fascinating people, some who share the same dreams we have. 

   We also wanted to take the time to work on ourselves, self reflect, become better people. It turned out that that was a lofty goal, which we could never accomplish, because we can’t get any better than what we are.  Right moms? All kidding aside, this year has been an epic year, and we are truly blessed to have been able to get away before we get anymore demented and disabled.

    Now, back to our journey to Eureka.  It took us 31 hours. The fog was so thick that drops of moisture were dripping onto the cockpit enclosure. It was the first real measurable amount of moisture we have had in 10 months.   Initially, we were going to take advantage of the weather window, and move onto Crescent City, but since neither one of us was able to get any sleep, (31 hours)we decided to stop and get some rest. It’s funny how quickly the weather can change out there on the ocean. You really need to respect her and not plan on anything.

    We did decide to stay up and watch the fireworks from the boat.  They were funny because most of them could not be viewed due to the fog.  It appears everyone enjoyed them anyway.  We also set off our fireworks that Elizabeth and Greg gave us.  Thanks again!

   We are leaving for Crescent City in the morning.  It should take us about 12 hours to get there.  Hopefully, we will have a good run. 

     

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Abbey taking over the bed, while we labor away on watch
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KC eating a delicious meal prepared by his doting wife
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Dall's Dolphin alongside Hawkwind
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I didn't do it

July2, 2009

 

   Well, what can we say about our journey to Bodega Bay today from San Francisco? Absolutely fabulous.  It may have been grey/gray, but the seas were calm, and continue to be so, and we had a whopping 5 knot wind out of the west.  We received the word from NOAA as well as BUOY weather today that this fair weather will continue through the next 5 days or so, so we are going to boogy as far and as fast as we can go, because as we all know the weather can turn at any time and leave us sitting in a port for weeks.

   There have definitely been some places that we have looked forward to going to more than others because of the local hospitality and totally cool people.  Bodega Bay is definitely one of the places that we wanted to visit again for that very reason.  Greg and Elizabeth, owners of the Casino Bar and Grill, are great people, and they do a great service by offering rides to their place to the waterlogged and waterbound, so of course, we called as soon as we secured the lines.   We had a delicious meal and more than a couple of amber ales, so needless to say we were pretty happy.  They even gave us fireworks because they knew that we were going to be at sea for the 4th of July.  How cool is that?  So if you are ever in the area make sure you stop by to this rustic old bar next to the fire-station.

  According to a lovely friend of ours, my previous log appeared to be a "whine", not a fine "wine", and he went on to say what B-E-A-U-tiful weather Seattle is having right now.  I am very pleased to hear that all my fellow Pacific North Westerners are reeping the benefits of that fabulous weather, and I apolgize if anyone has felt that there may have been some complaints from my end, but to my defense, it has been cloudy and in the 50-60's for the past few weeks, and the calender clearly says it is summer time.  It must only be in Seattle, not in sunny California.  A message to our fellow friend, "suck it".

   Onto our trip.  We will be leaving Bodega Bay in the morning, and will be doing an overnighter to Eureka, approximately 30 hours.  We have to make sure that we're far enough off shore so we don't get tangled in any crab traps. It would be most unfortunate to have to jump into the 55 degree water 20 miles off shore in the middle of the night to untangle a crab trap line from around the prop. We bought a little propane heater in San Diego to keep the cockpit warm on the overnighters. It has really come in handy. We now have all the windows installed in the cockpit and that little heater really keeps it toasty in there.  

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Pt Reyes lighthouse
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San Francisco channel entry lighthouse
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Greg and Elizabeth of the Casino
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July1, 2009

Grey et Gray.  2 different ways to spell it, and they are both perfectly acceptable.  What is not acceptable is day after day after day in the cold damp GRAY y GREY. We have had very little sunshine since we turned the corner in Cabo, and now it has truly set in and I am melancholy.  The mimosas can no longer be the drink of the day for they are a joyous drink to be drunk on the aft deck of the boat to celebrate the warm sunny weather.  Luckily, we made it back to the states where we can indulge ourselves in “Peppermint Patty’s”,  and toasty especial coffee drinks.  They make us forget.  Forget what we lost so many weeks ago.  The warmth.  Oh the warmth of waking up and being enveloped in that warm sunny blanket. I will make a solemn vow that for the rest of my life I will try to make it out of the fog and overcast.  We will make it back to the warmth.  The magical vitamin D that keeps us alive and well.  We are like wilting flowers slowing dying in the GRAY/GREY… Why does that word get 2 different spellings?  It does not deserve it.  What about the fun happy sunny colors, like yellow.  It’s cold here in San Francisco. 

 

Now that I have vented I feel better and can move onto our voyage from Half Moon Bay to here…  What can I say except for that it was grey/gray.  Just kiddin…the approximate mileage was 20 miles, and we arrived in the Bay area about 3 hours later, truly bionic speed.  We did 8 knots most of the way, and even hit 9.2 knots after entering the bay. We had a little help from the winds as they were out of the South.  We are going to spend a day here, and then we will be boogying as we have winds out of the S/SW for the next couple of days and want to be able to take advantage of it, especially for our overnighter from Bodega Bay to Eureka.       

 

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Golden Gate Bridge in the fog
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Chinatown
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KC smoking a cigar in Cigar Lounge
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elaine smiling on the outside but crying on the inside because of fog
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9 knots under the Golden Gate Bridge

June 29, 2009

 

Well, Monterey is a city that we could spend a lot of time and money in.   From a historical perspective, Monterey was the capital of California until the US won the Mexican American War in 1846. They have a free trolley that runs from the Wharf to Cannery row, but they also have a walking path that will take you there, which we preferred.  The aquarium is amazing, and definitely worth a visit. They have a new sea horse display that is sooo cool.  They even have sea horses that look like twigs and leaves.  We could have stayed there forever looking at these wild little creatures, until we saw the jellyfish display.  They looked like pieces of glass art dancing amongst the currents.

 

Jim and Zara drove 3 hours to drive us to the grocery store. Kidding aside, it was really great to see them, and we did stop and have lunch. We only wished they could have stayed longer. Maybe in Seattle....       

 

Now onto the music scene.  The Monterey Blues Festival was going on, and we happened to land there right in time.  Go figure.  Well, with that being said, we ended up going out to Sly Mc Fly’s on Friday night, which is the oldest Blues/Jazz Club in Monterey. We saw a really good Blues Band there.  We ended up waking up after noon the next day… But it was fun.

 

Now onto really cute turned into disturbing things.  We were sitting on the aft deck enjoying a peaceful evening when what should arrive,  but the most adorable little sea otters, in fact they were hugging each other.  We watched on as they frolicked, and rolled about in the water, and then it happened….We saw the large pink thing, otter penis.  Somehow, the moment was lost. We left Monterey the next day.

 

Onto our voyage to Half Moon Bay, which was about 70 miles away, and took us about 10 hours.  FOG and lots of it.  We also had about 6 foot cross sea’s on the beam, which made for an uncomfortable ride.   As we approached the harbor, we read from the cruising guide, “dense fog can quickly appear, making a harbor entrance hazardous, especially is ones navigation is rather approximate.  It is essential to update the vessel’s position frequently as this is a tricky entrance, especially in foggy conditions.”  How do we arrive? Heavy fog, visibility less than a100 feet. We picked up the buoys on the radar or what we thought were buoys. As we passed we listened.  The 1st.  marking the reef had a gong.  We heard that but never saw it but knew to make the turn to line us up to the entrance to the harbor. The 2nd buoy we passed on the radar, and there was no sound, which the chart confirmed.  The 3rd. buoy had a bell which rung as we passed.  The fog -horn could be heard clearly ahead, marking the entrance to the harbor.  As we creeped closer the radar showed something a couple feet ahead, but we still could not see a thing. The sonar showed deep water ahead so we crept in until the breakwater came into view, not a 100 feet ahead of us. Once we were in the harbor the fog dissipated making it easy for us to find our slip. The marina is primarily fishing and project boats.  Our kind of marina, a working man’s marina. No yachtee’s here.  Live Dungeness crabs can be bought off the boats. Yummy.. 

 

We took a cab to town, which was about 5 miles away.  We brought the dogs, and the cab driver was nice enough to let us. We walked back along the beach path, because dogs were not allowed on most of the beach.  As we neared the marina, we saw someone being med-evacuated by a Coast Guard helicopter off of a boat that docked at the launch ramp.

  

Tomorrow, off to Sausalito/SF Bay.  It’s about 20 miles away.  We will have to figure out slack tides as they can have 6-8 ft seas crossing the bar.  We will also find some other bars, while we are there. Weather looks like its going to behave for the next couple of days.   

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Otters doing the nasty
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I need something dead to roll in, QUICK
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USCG helicopter
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Jim and Zara of WISH
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Monterey Aquarium
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Old jail Half Moon Bay

June 24,2009

We are now anchored off of Monterey Harbor listening to the sea-lions bark. The passage from Point Conception wasn't as bad as the forcast led us to believe, it took 27 hours. Looks like we will be spending the weekend here to let the next blow which is coming in tonight to pass .  

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Point Conception
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Whales off the Monterey Coast
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Entering fog bank 20 miles off the coast
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Calm seas at sunset

June 22, 2009

   

Doug is gone and still we sit in Santa Barbara, I guess there could be worse places to be stuck at. Santa Barbara is a nice town that is way too expensive to live in. We took the electric trolley into town today and stocked up for an extended leg without the convenience of public transportation to the Laundromat and grocery store. There appears to be a small window to get around the Points beginning Wednesday. We are leaving in the morning to get to the Cojo anchorage before dark. There we are only 3 miles from Point Conception and the following morning we can head out early before the seas build and get around them, at least that’s the plan. If the seas don’t get too bad we will push on through the night to get to Monterey by Thursday afternoon before the next system hits Friday night.

  We met another boat heading North to Seattle as well. Its called the Sundancer and it must be 80 feet long, a ketch that was just purchased in San Diego. They have a 7-man crew and as soon as they round the Points they are going non stop to Seattle. Wish we could borrow a couple crewmembers. A sea lion just jumped up on the dock in front of the boat and Bailey is going nuts. I’ll take some pictures for the web site. Anyway this will probably be our last log entry until we get to Monterey, wish us luck 

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Sunset Fog, Santa Barbara
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Bailey Guarding the boat
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Capt KC in front of the Californian
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Fishermen wrapping their catch before loading into trucks
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Elaine relaxing in Santa Barbara
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Elaine with the Tall Ship Californian in the background
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You talking to me?
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Bow of the Californian

   June 20, 2009

 

    So, as you know, Dougy flew out to San Diego to help us out with some passages, so we spent a couple of days in San Diego, and then off to Avalon.  We had to motor most of the way, of course, but the winds and seas were calm, so we decided to spend a couple days there.  After weaving through all the boats, we made it into the mooring field fine, and got settled bow to stern on our mooring ball.  KC was shutting everything down and turning the rudder back to midship when he realized it was not turning, and locked in a 20 degree right turn. After investigation it turned out that the autopilot piston bracket lost a nut and the bracket came loose jamming the rudder. Luckily it did not happen until after we were secure on our ball, or it could have been a disaster with all the boats so close in proximity Now,  the bolts have lock washers as well as lock nuts.  

   We met this really neat Irish guy, by the name of Trevor Jones, who was singing at a local restaurant.  He and his wife have lived in Maui for years, and came out to Avalon for 6 months to spend time with their kids.  When he found out that we were sailing up the coast, he started singing old Sea Shantie’s to us.  He also gave us his card just in case we needed anything and put KC on the phone with his friend in Hawaii to talk about sailing and moorage there. Meeting people like Trevor, is the reason you go cruising. 

  On with the voyage…. We motor sailed on to Oxnard (Channel Islands), and were lucky again with fairly calm seas and wind.  We also were blessed with some sun on the passage instead of the usual cold, gray fog.  We stayed in Oxnard over night, and took Doug to the Whales Tale, which is a neat waterfront restaurant that has a decent happy hour.  We left early in the morning for Santa Barbara, and once again, there were fairly calm seas and wind.   

   We arrived in Santa Barbara a couple of days ago, and that is where it all came to an end.  We were able to access Internet weather sites, and saw the following weather prediction on Buoy weather, which meant that our crew would be flying home.

  

Weather prediction: Buoy weather

Saturday 6/20
Morning
 
Windy conditions with choppy seas. Small craft advisory. Large short period wind waves.
Winds: WNW 16 to 21 knots
Seas: WNW 10 feet at 9 sec.
 
Afternoon
 
Windy conditions with choppy seas. Small craft advisory. Large short period wind waves.
Winds: WNW 19 to 26 knots
Seas: WNW 11 feet at 9 sec.
  Sunday 6/21
Morning
 
Windy conditions with choppy seas. Small craft advisory. Large short period wind waves.
Winds: WNW 17 to 23 knots
Seas: NW 11 feet at 9 sec.
 
Afternoon
 
Very windy with large choppy seas. Small craft advisory. Large short period wind waves.
Winds: WNW 21 to 28 knots
Seas: NW 11 feet at 9 sec.
         
 Sat
5am
Sat
11am
Sat
5pm
Sat
11pm
Sun
5am
Sun
11am
Sun
5pm
Sun
11pm
WIND
RANGE
(knots)
GUST
AVG
19
14
21
16
26
19
21
16
24
18
23
17
28
21
22
16
Click
here to
subscribe
and get
the full
7 days
WIND DIRECTION
NW

WNW

WNW

NW

NNW

WNW

WNW

NW
 
 

Wave Forecast

WAVE
HEIGHTS
(ft)
MAX
AVG
13
10
13
10
14
11
14
11
14
11
14
11
14
11
14
11
The first
15 days
are a free
trial!
                   
PERIOD99999999                    
  

    As we know from following Buoy and NOAA weather predictions for the last 9 months, you always have to add 5 knot to the winds, and at least a couple of feet to the wave heights.  Accurate prediction: Not going anywhere.  “The patient sailor always has good weather”, but how patient must the sailor be, when paying moorage in Santa Barbara? We will have to see.  Same weather predicted all the way up to Eureka. Barometer reading indicates a large drop in pressure.  We missed our weather window, and just have to wait it out.  Dougy left today to go home because he said he did not have enough time off work to wait it out with us.   It’s okay Doug, it was great seeing you, and you helped us out for a couple hundred miles.  We shall forgive you.

   Our original plan was to boogy on to Cojo Anchorage, which is just South of Pt Conception, and wait there until early morning, and then go around the Pt and make for San Luis Obispo, which was about 100 miles away.  If we had decided to move on, we probably would have been stuck at anchor in San Luis Obispo for a week without being able to go to shore due to the winds, so at least we can get some boat projects done, and have some decent beer.

.   Santa Barbara is a cool town but muy expensive.  They have a great wharf, maritime museum, and historic district, as well as a local brewery that we sniffed out as we entered the harbor.  The downtown area is “Stepford Wife” style clean.  We saw some signs of a small homeless population, but believe that they have been given bus tickets and vouchers to Seattle.  There are some gorgeous historic buildings, one of which we stopped in was built in the 1800’s.  They had free pool there, and ½ off everything on the menu.  That is more our speed.   The streets are lined with elitist stores, such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, etc.. I figured I would check out the sale racks for long sleeved t-shirts, but I couldn’t find any for under $40.00.  I guess you have to go inland for such buys.    Long-term moorage in this town is totally screwed up.  The wait list is closed, but you can buy someone out of a slip.  You have to pay $180,000.00 for the slip and then you have to pay moorage and live aboard fees on top of that.  Pretty soon it will be happening in WA unless something is done.    Lets all ban together and make sure the elitist yachtee’s don’t take over all the waterways and marinas. How do they keep their apparel so pressed and white anyways?  I put on a white t-shirt and instantly I have a coffee stain dribbled down the front, or with white pants, either mud or grass stains.  KC used to regularly buy me the shout stain pen, but gave up, finding it futile.      

  Our boat definitely has the look of a boat that has been places right now. Her bright work is non-existent; faint rust stains that I have not been able to get out of the gel coat running down the hull; the dodger plastic is worn and torn and taped; the wood is bare in may spots; the staysail has been destroyed; the bowsprit is damaged and minus one of the anchors.  And yet when I look at her I think she is the most GLORIOUS thing I have ever seen.  She has been personified.  The dinghy, on the other hand, is on its last leg. Nagging leaks, and seams coming apart.  All 3 chambers are now one so you just fill the one chamber and they all get inflated.  It takes on water when left in the water for even a couple of hours.  KC thought it was the drain plug so he re-sealed that, and it still was leaking.  Recently, KC hauled out the dinghy and saw light through the weld on the transom in a couple of places.  The caper has been solved.  After a tube of 5200 fast cure, we will see if it holds and she will make it back to Seattle.  Anyone want a slightly used dinghy, almost free?   

   Oops I forgot,  KC reminded to mention about the Maritime Museum., which was really neat and we got in for free on Thursday.  They actually have virtual fishing as well as a multitude of displays showing the maritime history of the area, to include, many a ship wreck off Pt Conception and the North Channel Islands.  One of which involved 7 Navy ships that went aground in the fog back in the 20’s.   This is an area that needs to be respected, hence we wait for an opening.  The defense has rested.  

   The schooner Californian, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Californian_(schooner) is sailing into the harbor with cannons blazing, gotta go and return fire.   

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Doug was a big help during the tougher crossings
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Trevor Jones
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Whale's Tail, Oxnard
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Are we going to shore?
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Enjoyng a pint and live music Avalon
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Up the mast
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Water Taxi, Santa Barbara
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Very luxurious
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Thinking of you, Doug Arrrrggg
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Avalon
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Avalon from top of mast
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Santa Barbara Marina
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Duuuu, I caught a fish. What a dork
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Leave me alone...
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Avalon Harbor
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Shooting pool in Santa Barbara
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Tired puppy
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The top roller of our staysail
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Brew Pub Santa Barbara

June 13, 2009

   Well, we've been in the beautiful city of San Diego for a week, and the weather has been much like our beloved Seattle, although from what we hear, Seattle has been mui bonita!!. Oh well, you can't have it all, and we are glad that our friends and familia back in our fair city are finally getting some decent weather. We've been in a marina with the yachtee's, and have noticed that our boat is definitely looking rough.  Lots of stuff to do once we get back.  Woodwork, brightwork, replacement of the canvas, etc...  We shall worry about it later, not now.... for we still have an epic journey ahead of us, and better things to do, right?  One thing I have recently realized is that KC and I have become social retards from spending so much time with only each other in these isolated coves. We wait for other people to finish our sentences only to find that they have no idea what we are talking about. I have also been catching myself having full conversations with the dogs, and have been truly enjoying those conversations. Should I be concerned?

    Anyhoooo, onto our escapades..... We were able to get together with Dan and Michelle, a couple of times, which was a blast, of course.  They live in a hippy beach town so one night we met up with them there, since they let us borrow their car.  Best thing you can do for a crusier is give them the car keys. We also were reunited with our beloved REDHOOK Beer.  That led to quite the fun evening, not so much fun the next day, unfortunately...Yes, you guessed it, wicked hangovers.     Our buddy, Doug ,was not kidding about doing a passage with us, and made it in safe yesterday.  Poor guy..We decided to take Doug to the Gas-Lamp District to smoke cigars.   We did not have a good time at all, judging from the pic's right?  We also were invited to a party at the marina today with free booze and food.  Anything free is great, right, but they really put on a spread. 

   Sooo, we really spoiled ourselves this past week in San Diego, but now it is time for us to say goodbye and move on to Catalina, Avalon, to be exact which is 70 miles away(25 miles off shore).  We are hoping to make it there by nightfall, so we are leaving around 5:00 am manana.  Then onto Santa Barbara which will be an overnight passage.  Our first with a 3rd person on board since the "Ha Ha".  We plan to make him do everything, just kidding.....  Tomorrow's weather calls for 15-20 knot winds out of the NW of course, right on the nose.  We have to add an additional 5-10 knots, because Buoy weather is always off by at-least 5 knots, so is NOAA.  I really think our weather fax is cool with the satellite pictures, and I actually know how to read it.  I was thinking about how many days we have spent in these isolated coves with our weather fax bringing us the weather forecasts, and our water maker making us fresh clean water, solar panels, and wind generator keeping the system's going aboard.  Our own little island where we are almost totally self sufficient.  It is sooo cool to be able to do that. I also am excited about leaving so I can navigate and plot our course. 

   Bailey and Abbey needed some spoiling as well, so we stocked up on the doggy treats, and toys.  Bailey has already gutted 3 of the toys.  He accomplished that in about 2 hours.  He's a very satisfied dog right now.   

   Well, gotta go and get some sleep....so heres some pictures.

      

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KC and Dan having a Redhook
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Too much of a good thing
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A very subdued group of peeps
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mmmm...beer
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Charming
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Michelle and Dan
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Happy puppy gutting his prey or so he thinks
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These dog's know how to party
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Dorks
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Doug and his stogey
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cute
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A man and his cigar

June 6, 2009

    Ensenada is a cool town, even with the BAJA 500 going on, and all that testosterone.  The sea lions are mellow and allow you to approach without too much of howl.  Bailey especially enjoyed being able to approach them closely with dreams of catching one of them.  Dream on dog, they are big but not stupido. We took the chance and went out for Chinese food, and it was great! Bamboo Garden, maybe a chain, but delicious. The only other Chinese we have had since we left the states was in Loreto, and they put fried pork in the won-ton soup.   Well, we of course could not leave Mexico without smoking a cigar, but we could not bring ourselves to buy a $20.00 Cuban, so we smoked our own.  We were also able to load up on the fish and camarones at the HUGE fish market, so we should be good for a while.        

     Sooo, we had to say good bye to our new friend Mexico on Sunday, and arrived in San Diego around 3:30 pm.  We made it a little short of 10 hours from the time we left Ensenada.(left at 5:30 am ouch)  The sail(motoring sailing......) was pretty good, as it was not directly on the nose and we were able to raise some sails.  We arrived on Sunday and quickly realized that there were tons of other boats out in the harbor and one thing we learned from entering the harbor on a Sunday is that none of these people know what the heck they are doing out there.  Most of the boats were on the wrong side of the channel.  One boat, KC had to get on the hailer to, because we were under full sail and they were on the wrong side of the channel. We had no wiggle room, and they refused to budge.  He kept on telling them to move to the right, and get on the right side of the channel.  They simply made a smart ass comment back to us, "you mean starboard?" At that time, I wanted to respond to them. "The name of your boat must be moron", but I did not as I am still a lady and have some control.  We are at the marina for a couple of days, and then will be anchoring off of Coronado.  Dougy is coming in to sail with us to Catalina and Santa Barbara.  We also are going to hook up with Dan and Michelle tonight. 

    Now onto more important stuff for beer connoisseurs. Dark, lushish, amber BEER! Yes, we have arrived, and we embrace you.  We had forgotten that you have 7-9% alcohol content, as well.  Only a few does you well, but you are very expensive in comparison to our old friend, Pacifico, especially at the ball game.  Yes, we went to a Padres baseball game last night.  We haven't seen a game on TV since we left Seattle, so we had to see one live. $8 beers.  What a crime.. We still had a blast, although we like Safeco Field better than Petco!

            

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Ensenada
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KC buying fish Ensenada
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Totally cool singer
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Sea-lion
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Umpire adn manager having a slight disagreement on a call
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Baja 500
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Elaine smelling fish
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We love this guy
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KC with local fishing boat
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Tony Gwynn statue
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Baja 500
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Fish Market
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KC smokinga cigar
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Petco Park
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Our new amigo
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Spanish Galleon on the hard Ensenada
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KC with his big catch
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A mighty fine cigar
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KC enjoying his $8 beer
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Close up of our new buddy
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Ensenada breakwater
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Junatio's Ensenada
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Elaine had to climb another fence to let KC in.
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Mmmm good
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Tall Ship San Diego

June 5, 2009

We have finally made it to Ensenada and are sitting in a marina plugged into shore power. First time since.... I can't remember but its been a while. We feel a little out of sorts here, last night when we went out to dinner it felt weird to interact with people plus we felt like we were still on the boat rocking back and forth. What can I say about the Baja Bash. I fear it is only going to get worse from here. From the minute we turned the corner around Cabo and hit the Pacific at lands end the air and water have been cool to down right cold. On one picture you will see Elaine is poking her head out from the dodger one morning when we were leaving a harbor at 0 dark 30. You can see frost on the dodger, its been that cold and I thought we were still in Mexico. Long underwear and comforters at night have been the norm.

Now I understand why the Baja Ha Ha jumps down the coast so fast, its because there is nothing in between Ensenada and Cabo, NOTHING. Its a cold desolate place that spans over 700 miles. We motored into the wind all day then found a little bluff or bight to hide behind for the night before doing it all over again the next day. We did do an overnighter or two to get ahead of an approaching gale but I tell you that you are on your own in this part of the world. Days go by with no other contact with people, no sightings of boats on the horizon. We anchored off of abandoned whaling camps, combed beaches that have not had a humans footprint in the sand for years. Dead birds, seals, sharks all littered the beaches. Whale bones, fossils and millions of shells were on display for us to enjoy.  We could hear coyotes howling on the beaches at night while we lied in bed trying to sleep. Sleep, it didn't come easy some nights. Waves wrapped around some of the bights and even when the rocker stoppers were out the rolling was uncomfortable. 

We both started keeping a log in WORD to publish on the site later when we had a wifi signal. It only lasted for a couple days but what we did write I posted right after this log. So if you see a couple dates out of wack like May 19th and 20th you will know why. A couple of bright spots along the way was first Cedros Island. If you remember we stopped there on the way down during the Ha Ha. This time we anchored on the North side of the Island right off a colony of Sea-lions and Elephant seals. Not too many places where the Elephant seals live in the wild these days so it was a treat to see them. We even had a baby Harbor Seal swimming around the boat putting on a show for us as Elaine applauded and Bailey howled. Another treat if not a scary one was one evening about an hour before sunset as we were doing an overnighter a pod of more than 10 Gray Whales were making their way North just a 1/4 mile off our starboard beam. When all of a sudden Elaine yelled "OH MY GOD!" pointing to the bow of Hawkwind. I looked to see a large Gray cutting right across our bow, I mean RIGHT UNDER our bow. It was too late to change course as he slid under Hawkwind and emerged on our starboard side. I was bracing myself for the jolt as his tail was about to hit our keel as we watched the giant pass just below the surface. The jolt never came and I didn't even get a good picture of it.            

Our guide book tells us of Huge onyx quarry's not too far inland. Even a one room school for the quarry workers children made entirely out of onyx. It also talks about Spanish Galleons filling their water casks at fresh water springs near our anchorages as well as 15 century explorers anchoring in our coves. It feels like we are retracing history at some of these stops.

But now we are in Ensenada right smack dab in the middle of the Baja Off Road race which begins this weekend. Lucky of us to stumble on a town full off drunk Americans driving loud off road vehicles.

                                                           

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Turtle Bay Fuel boat greeting us on our way in
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Baby seal putting on show Cedros Island
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Ensenada pharmacy sign, note Viagra symbol
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Taxi ride Turtle Bay
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Bailey on the prowl
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Made it to 27 degrees before our June 1st deadline
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Message in a bottle
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Walking Abbey,Asencion
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Elaine attacked by dog, Turtle Bay
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Elaine drinking the nectar

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Elaine with Sealion Ensenada
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He just wouldn't let go of her
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Bailey gets a panga ride, Turtle Bay
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Elephant seals Cedros Island
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Fueling up at Turtle Bay
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Ensenada
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Then he followed us to the cantina
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Frost on the dodger in Mexico
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Don't ask
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Washington State apple, Asencion
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Smart boaters heading north, Ensenada

 May 20, 2009
 Yes, I did indeed find shells, mores shells, and a couple of very interesting sand dollars, which have visible teeth on the underside of them.  Some of the sand dollars are black, which I have not seen before.  I can’t wait for Bahia Santa Maria to gather up some more of them.   I need more…  Even though we do have a tendency of mentioning a lot about the towns we visit, most of our time in Mexico has been spent in deserted anchorages, walking the beaches.  That is the way we like it.  One thing that we noticed at the fish camp in Mag Bay is the excessive amount of plastic trash that accumulates when there is no ability to dump it in a landfill, especially plastic bottles.   That is a typical problem in Mexico.  We think that they should dig holes and bury the plastic in them. It would certainly improve morale for them at the fish camp by not being surrounded by trash in such a beautiful setting. KC did mention that they probably don’t care, because they are simply trying to survive, which is true.  You will see the pictures of some of the shacks and the beds that the fishermen were sleeping on. Not and easy life, but the nicest people you will ever meet.      We decided to leave Mag bay for a short run to Mahia Santa Maria around 9:00 am.  Everything was going smoothly until I decided to pull the anchor up, and no help from that wonderful little windless.  What to do?  Call out to Capt KC.  He will fix it or he will find a way around it, and still get it to work, and that is what that that brilliant man did.  Yes, we do admit to having an intermittent switch problem. Today, he fixed a couple of corroded connections and jumped it.  McGyver(?), you know who I mean. Pretty soon it will bubblegum.  After I was able to get the anchor up, I noticed an enormous ball of stringy tubular see weed.  You could barely see that anchor because it was balled up around it and stretched to 20 feet below it.  I knew that there might be something attached to the anchor because when we set it the night before it because the boat jerked to a stop when it was set.  Needles to say, we had to set our new friend free, and cut it loose.  It cut like ”butter”.   We set sail for Bahia Santa Maria, which was 20 miles away from Mag Bay, and arrived in 3.5 hours.  We were even able to put the headsail out, along with the main, which got us over an extra knot and a half, up to 8 knots.  Beautiful sail, which reminded us of the PNW in the summer time on a sunny day, as it was chilly and there was some fog observed over the mountains.   We had a little seal follow us for a while, because we spoke seal to him, and he liked it.  We noticed that the last time we saw seals and sea lions was when we were in Mazatlan.  They don’t seem to like it further South.  We arrived in the bay just before 3:00 pm, and anchored in 25-knot winds, of course.   We are the only boat in the bay along with a Mexican Navy boat a couple miles away.  The bay is nearly 20 miles around with uninterrupted sandy white beach, and of course SAND DOLLARS.  We remember when there were over 180 boats in here during the Ha, Ha.  We like it better this way.  We have spent a lot of time alone together on this trip, and one thing we noticed is that we can’t stand each other.  Just Kidding.  We have noticed that we enjoy spending time with each other more and more, and really don’t care if anyone else is around.   The dogs, although, have grown quite sick of us, and they fight constantly.  Bailey has a wicked case of flatulence, which drives us all up on the deck frequently.  We will have to get it checked out some time.    We checked the other e-mail, Hawkwindcharter@yahoo.com, after 7 months, and sorry we got back to you so late, as we have only been checking the SVHawkwind1@yahoo.com, since no one was using the other one, or so we thought. 

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"Mag" Bay
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Hawkwind, Santa Maria
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Sunset at sea
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Approaching "Mag" Bay
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Yes, sewing the sails again
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May 19, 2009

   The night before we left Cabo Elaine and I prepared HAWKWIND for our cruise to “Mag” Bay. Upon completion of updating the website around 12:30 a.m. we were sitting in the cockpit having one last look at Cabo after sunset when the wind which had been none existent since we arrive, swung around from the east and began blowing at 24 knots. Normally this wouldn’t have generated much concern but it was blowing us towards shore and if you know Cabo you have to anchor close to shore or carry at least 300 feet of chain. Since we carried only 200 feet, you guessed it, we anchored close. So there is Elaine on the bow in her night gown pulling up the anchor while I’m at the helm repositioning HAWKWIND in the middle of the night. We also noticed that the 2 mega yachts and a couple other sailboats were doing the same thing. The mega yacht with the helicopter on it had a difficult time, he must have tried 3 times before his hook finally set. Needless to say we didn’t get much sleep the night before we were to get up at dawn to begin this leg of the passage.   The following morning marked a sharp contrast to the previous one. Yes the wind had finally calmed but there was heavy cloud cover and a noticeable drop in temperature. We were motoring out of the anchorage at 7:00 a.m. and noticed a cat cruising in that we recognized from the Ha Ha. Looks like they were heading north as well as 5 other sailboats that dropped anchor during the previous evening. So we wouldn’t be alone out there after all. The motor around Cabo Falso was uneventful but I did get a good panoramic picture of the point. After pulling up a satellite picture of a low moving in we opted to hug the coast instead of taking the direct course to “Mag” Bay, we heard that it could be calmer. That it was indeed, at least through the daylight hours. We saw the typical marine life, Marlins, Flying Fish and of course dolphin, hundreds of them all day long coming up to the boat leaping out of the water, riding in the bow wave. Just the same old stuff. When night came so did the winds, nothing too bad just 15 to 18 knots off the nose. The seas stayed down I think because we did hug the shore. We began our night watches, I began with the 5 to 9 watch then Elaine would relieve me till 1 am when I would come on again till 5 am. During the end of Elaine’s 9 to 1 watch she was watching navigation lights slowly get closer and closer until when my watch began the lights were 1-½ miles off our stern. I hailed them and found it to be the cat we saw coming into Cabo as we were leaving. I talked to the delivery Captain who was hired to bring the boat back to San Diego. He had 3 other crewmembers on board including the owner. (That makes for nice long pauses between watches) He pulled into Cabo long enough to get fuel and head out again about 45 minutes after us, plus he took the direct route which saved him some time. He was motoring about ½ a knot faster than us so he slowly passed when at daybreak we parted ways as we turned into “Mag” Bay and he motored North. I got one piece of advise from him before he signed off. “Only buy your fuel from Port Captains” he said. I told him that we wouldn’t need fuel until we got to San Diego. Their was a long pause them the radio crackled “Wholly cow what are you a sailboat or a tanker?” 26.8 hours after leaving Cabo we dropped the hook in “Mag” Bay. We could hear other boats still at sea calling each other for weather reports at their present positions on the radio. Two boats ahead of us said they were experiencing 30 knot head winds and they were only making 4 knots. I’m glad we stopped.   After breakfast and a quick nap we inflated the dingy, which has a nagging slow leak that I can’t seem to fix, and headed over to Belcher Point where an old abandoned whaling station was said to be. As we set foot on the desolate beach our thoughts brought us back to the Sea of Cortez and how we missed these isolated gems to explore. Immediately after landing Elaine was delighted to see the beach littered with shells, I took off to find whalebones, which were reported to be scattered about. It felt good to be on land again and the dogs will second that statement. They had a great time swimming, rolling on dead birds and chasing lizards into the brush. We walked over to the other side of the point and found a fishing camp with a few barely standing buildings, one of the better constructed structures had a satellite dish and recliner outside. They must have a generator, as we saw no power lines running to this desolate place. Another thing we saw was what looked like a make shift dirt runway that had 4 foot deep holes dug in it every 50 feet or so. We speculated that this was a drug runner’s airstrip and the government shut it down by digging the holes, who knows for sure.  So after taking a bunch of picture we headed back to the dingy and off to HAWKWIND. Tomorrow we are heading back to Bahia Santa Maria where Elaine found copious quantities of Sand Dollars on our way down last November, its only about 25 miles away.       

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Weather fax
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Lands end Cabo
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Whale bones at "Mag Bay"
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"Mag Bay"
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Shells "Mag Bay"
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Panga pulling up along side to say hi
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Abandoned whaling Station "Mag Bay"
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Abandoned equipment at Whaling Station
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Dug up runway at Whaling station
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Fish camp cabin with recliner and sat dish

May 28, 2009

Just a short update to let everyone know we have made it to Turtle Bay. No wifi between here and Cabo. We have been here a couple days getting things done and are leaving in the morning for Cedros Island. There has been a low pressure system hanging over southern Cal. causing a gale so we are taking our time heading north. Probably won´t update again till Encenada, winds have been on the nose all the way up making only 4.5 to 5.0 knots. This is going to take a long time.  

 

May 17, 2009

Well, we made the 240-mile passage from Isabella Island to Cabo in 36 hours, averaging 6.8 knots.  We went a little faster than we thought and got in at 4:00 am. What can we say about this passage?  IT WAS THE PASSAGE FROM HELL HELL, Hell, Hell….  Of course it started out fine, and I remember saying to KC, ”Oh this is not bad, a little wind on the nose, but I can do this. The patient sailor always has good weather”. Well, we had approximately 12 hours to go, and all shit hit the fan, and the boat. (Pardon my French) It’s about 9 PM, and the wind decides to pick up considerably, which was surprising, because everyone says to sail at night, because “the seas are so much calmer.” We had also witnessed for ourselves that for the most part, the seas did calm down at night, and so we were not worried when the winds picked up in the afternoon.  We were able to make up some time, and were happy to be able to sail on a close-hauled run.  We were averaging about 8.5 knots, making up for the 5 knots we were doing earlier in the day, but as the second night moved on, the wind continued to pick up, and it was almost directly off the nose. Apparently, the winds and seas do not calm down off the coast of Cabo, and it is probably due to the Sea and the Pacific meeting and being deeply disturbed by it; Short, choppy, waves, beating into the boat, and over the bow; 25 knots almost directly on the nose.  When the waves struck the boat, it sounded like ”it was literally being pounded by a MAC truck.”  The dogs were unable to do their business, because they were unable to get out on the deck.  Due to the waves pounding over the bow of the boat, the pulley gave way to one of the anchors, resulting in a broken pulley and no way to secure the anchor.  It is now stowed away on deck.  The chain locker also suffered.  I wept, knowing that it was only going to get worse from here.  I think it hit us so hard, because we had thought that this run was going to be the last great run, before we had to take the real beating up the coast.  It was only a precursor what was to come.  Now I know why we have not met one other boat that is bashing back up the coast to Seattle.  Now I know why there are all theses abandoned boats in the boat yards in San Carlos, etc….  Nobody will do it.  But we will do it.  WE WILL BRING HAWKWIND HOME, HOME, Home, Home home……For we are on a mission, and we will become stronger, as a result.   When people say to us, “Well, we sailed down to Mexico, the South Pacific, Hawaii, etc. .  We will ask them, did you sail back?  They will say with a twitch, “No the boat is in San Carlos, Hawaii, Fiji, Paradise Village, Mazatlan, etc.. “ They will ask us where we have sailed, and we will respond with tears in our eyes, “We sailed down to Mexico, and back up to Seattle, WA, in a year”, and there will be no more need for words to be spoken.  There will be silence, and we will all reflect.  For we all know, they were the smart ones…….

  

Well, enough of that, and on to our sightings.  When we left San Blas, we saw these large blobs floating on the surface of the water.  It turned out that they were whale sharks feeding. There were 3 of them, and they were so cool.   They moved around on the surface, opening the mouths wide enough for us to see.  It was almost like they were smiling at us. They were also so bloody slow, that I was afraid that the fishing boat close by was going to run them over.  We looked them up on Wikipedia, and it says that they have to use their whole body to swim, so they are amazingly slow, docile creatures.  I wanted to jump in and swim with them, but Hawkwind was not going to wait for me.  Anyway, we have pictures of them.  Another thing, we viewed on our first night out, were thunderstorms, so we know we made it out of there in just enough time.   The lighting is so beautiful in the sky, when you know its far enough way that it is not going to strike your boat, and blow out a thru hull. We had also seen thunderheads building down south, and knew what was to come, and recently saw a satellite view of the area, and you guessed it, thunderstorms in the PV vicinity.    

  

Isabella Island, we of course saw the baby boobies, who are now large fluffy boobies, who have not yet developed blue, yellow, or green feet, but are sooooo cute.  The hermit crabs are still there, and are getting larger by the day.  We also saw some fellow cruisers there, who invited us and another boat over for drinks.  We snorkeled by the big pillars that you will see in the pictures, and saw some HUGE parrot and angel fish there.  What an amazing world.  I wish we could have stayed there forever.

  

A sighting that KC wanted me to mention was viewed in Cabo our first night.  We were sitting in the cockpit enjoying some smooth jazz when we noticed that a powerboat had arrived and that it was backing up very close to us.  We also noticed that there were a bunch of women giggling on the back deck.  I was shining my spotlight on our boat to indicate to them that they were backing up way too close to us, and I noticed that others were shining their spotlights on the boat, and taking pictures.  Well, it was because there were a bunch of dumb, drunk gringo girls, naked on the back deck.  They proceeded to jump off the back deck into the water, while the boat continued to back up into them.  Brilliant…  Dumb drunk gringo girls almost sucked up into the prop, and hit by panga boat close by.  Sometimes it is a matter of natural selection, and they cheated elimination this time……

  

We have been in Cabo for 3 1/2 days now and were able to go to Hemingways, which is this quaint cigar bar, with large leather cushy chairs.  We had this great waiter, who told us that we could come back with the dogs and use their WIFI the next day to update our log.  We went back yesterday and noticed and yet another casualty of the pig flu.  The note on the door stated that they were closed, maybe indefinitely, due to lack of business. We think we were the last customers.

Today, we will be stocking and stowing, in order to get ready for our 150-mile passage to Mag Bay.  We will also be putting Valium and muscle relaxers on the list, just kidding… Our plan is to leave tomorrow if the weather looks okay.…

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Totally cool whale shark feeding on plankton
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Thunderheads in the distance, Isabella island
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Chart plotter showing Cabo, our destination, and we are the little blip.
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Better get while the gettins good
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KC on watch
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Whale shark's buddy
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Snorkeling near the pillars, note Hawkwind to the right
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How the locals feel about the swine flu
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broken Bow roller from crossing
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Steve and Denise of S/V Brendon
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Beach where the baby boobies and hernit crabs cohabitate
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Must be Cabo
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KC firing up a stogie in Hemingway's
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panoramic Cabo
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Neighbor's at Isabella anchorage
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Isabella
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chain locker after crossing
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Elaine KC enjoying a Cuban
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Bill and Susan of S/V Avante
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KC and Elaine after 36 hr crossing
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aaaah, west and wewaxation

May 11, 2009

  

We are in San Blas, getting ready to leave for Isabella Island.  We were originally going to stop off in Chacala on our way to Isabella, but it was such a beautiful day that we decided to push on to San Blas, in order to visit a mui especial amigo, Fluffy the Croc.  We had perfect sailing conditions.  The seas were calm, and there was just enough wind coming out of the NW to motor sail, doing an average of 6 knots.  Last time we were in San Blas, we were not able to take pictures of the town, because our camera was broken, so we took some pic’s this time. 

  

San Blas has the feel of a town that has been around a long time, and there has been very little change.  It has remained a small town, where the people meet in the town center nightly.  There is no sign of development and they want to keep it that way.  Some gringo’s have settled in the area, and have opened up businesses.  One in particular is Ernie, who is a fairly new owner of a bar in town.  His place is also the home to Fluffy the Croc.   You will recall in the log when we were here the last time that Fluffy is about 75 years old.  The previous owner abandoned the Croc, and he was without food for over a year and a half and survived.  In our previous log, we also talked about the dumb gringo girl who stuck her hand in the cage, in order to pet the cute Croc, and she was taken aback when he grabbed onto her arm and tried to eat it.  Ernie had to use whalebone to beat poor Fluffy, in order to get him to release her arm. Luckily, he only has a couple teeth left, but he proved to still have an amazing jaw power.     We looked up Crocs on Wikipedia, and it said that their jaws are more powerful then great white sharks.  They also can live up to 125 years in captivity. Another place we had to visit was the San Blas Social Club, which is owned by Augustine. Augustine said he modeled the place’s motif after a 60’s Las Vegas lounge.  You can judge for yourselves when you see the pic’s.   A lot of gringo’s hang out in his place, and he has excellent food.  He has guest chef night on Thursdays. A funny thing happened when we were in the Social Club.  We were sitting at the bar, no surprise, when we started talking to another couple, who have been traveling Mexico for about a year by car.  They said they were currently staying on an island near Mazatlan.  You guessed it, Stone Island, and they have been staying at Gary and Anna’s place, Stone Island Gardens.  They were really surprised to hear that we have been going there for 4 years, and were married there last year. It’s a small world, isn’t it? Oh and since we need to boogie up the coast, and don’t have enough time to stop there on our way back up, they said they would say hi to the folks there for us, and heck on the aloe plant I gave Anna.    

  

San Blas is where the Spaniards built the vessels used to explore the western coast of North America.  It is also where Longfellow wrote his last poem in 1882, the Bells of San Blas.  Augustine had a copy of the whole poem, and it is quite lovely. I know I read it when I was in school, but I did not appreciate it as a 16 year old.  Part of the poem is also engraved on the church where the bells still are rung on a daily basis.

  

Things you need to worry about in Mexico are land and water hazards, ie, unmarked holes, too large grates in the road, and SNAKES!! The other day we were walking back to the marina when we came across a very mellow constrictor in the grass.  Luckily, the area was lit up.  We also recreated a scene in our pic’s from the last time we were here, when I fell into the grate in the middle of the road.  I broke a bottle of Bailey’s, as a result, which deeply saddened KC. 

  

Now, we are heading to Isabella Island, which is one of our favorite spots in Mexico.  It is about 42 miles.  We will then push on 240 miles to Cabo, so we will be out of touch for a while. 

  

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Oops, but no bailey's this time
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Where's Waldo? San Blas Town Square
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Church of the Bells of San Blas
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Fluffy
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Look at the flippers on this guy. She's a swimming dog
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Bells of San Blas
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Look, Julia, Gusano!!!!!
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Ernie and his fiance, Sabina
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Wall inside the Social Club
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Capt KC working hard
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Augustine, owner of the Social Club
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Snake hanging out
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Warning sign for Fluffy
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Whale bones used to thwart attack by Fluffy on dumb gringo girl. No, not Elaine
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Hawkwind

May 8, 2009

We are now heading north and are back in La Cruz. Beating into the wind is no fun at all  and we have now a taste of what is to come for the next few months. Motoring from Ipala into Bahia Bandares was full of visual stimulus. We saw Marlin dancing on the waves as if they were hooked on a line and fighting to break-free. SeaTurtles floated on the surface soaking up the sun. Rays danced in pairs just below the surface. It took us 7 hours before we dropped the hook in La Cruz and before long the fishermen were buzzing out of the harbor in their pangas. Bailey was up on the bow barking at everyone that went by.One panga started barking back, 3 men all drinking flying past our bow. They were heading straight for the boat anchored next to us. At the last second the driver saw they were about to hit and he turned the boat just in time to glance it instead of T-Boning it. He almost decapitated the 2 other people with him on the boats bow sprint. We made sure we had the anchor light on that night. 

We are going to be covering a lot of ground in the next week or so. Tomorrow we are heading out to Isla Isalella for a couple days to see how our baby boobies are doing. Then a 240 mile 2 night crossing to Cabo San Lucas. We don't want to spend too much time in Cabo so after resting up for a day or 2 we are off to "Mag Bay" 150 miles further up where there is an old abandoned whaling station we wanted to see. So it might be a little while between updated. Wish us luck on the crossings. Oh and one more thing, Happy Birthday Brothers Todd and Ken, we'll be out of wifi reception on the 11th so I better say it now.      

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Vesel rammed by drunk fishermen in panga
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Sea Turtle
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The western most part of mainland Mexico
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Yes. it was windy in our anchorage
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Wrapper on mint from a restaurant, are they trying to tell us something?
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Looks like my old boat Enterprise.

April 30, 2009

Danielle's Extra Fabulous Vacation With Her Familia on board S/V Hawkwind 

We decided that it would be easier to pick Danielle up from PV in a car, so we road tripped it 130 miles which took us 4 hours, dodging all the pig flu carriers and drug dealers. Mui exciting (cough, cough) It would have taken us days on the boat, at least 3.  We decided that we would let Danielle decide with us where we would be spending our time on the boat.  It ended up to be 2 days in Barra Navidad, 2 days in Tenacatita, and 2 days in Manzanillo.

We know Barra well, thanks to Jerry, and were able to show Danielle all the hot spots in town to include, Pipers Bar, which was her and our favorite place to hang out. Piper gave Bailey a bandana, but Danielle wanted it, so she got Baileys hand me down.  Piper also put out a big spread of food, which always makes us happy.  We were the only ones there for hours so we were totally spoiled, and of course Danielle was in her usual form, and was good entertainment for us all.

Tenacatita Schedule:

9:00 am: Wake up, read book in bed (Undaunted Courage, KC and Elaine,  Danielle got some extra zzzzzz's)

9:30-10:00 am: Baileys and coffee/hot chocolate on the Poop Deck

10:30-11:30 am:Swim with dolphins

11:30-12:30 pm: Break

12:30-4:30 pm: Mangrove ride, lunch with Ernie

4:30-6:30 pm:Cocktail hour(okay maybe not an hour)

6:30-8:30 pm: Dinner in the cockpit under the stars,  prepared by the amazing chef on board.

8:30-10:30 pm: Cigars and  backgammon in the cockpit  

Then, off to bed with smiles on our faces dreaming of the dolphins we swam with.  Totally true story!!!  We finally swam with the dolphins and did not pay $160.00 in Cabo to do it. The last time we were in Tenacatita, we watched the dolphins swimming around in the bay, but they were not close enough, and there were a lot of obnoxious power boaters zooming aound, so we did not even attempt to go in and swim with them. I told KC that when we returned, I was definitely going to go in, and that I did. Danielle was in, shortly thereafter, as was everyone else in the bay, after they made sure that we were not eaten by Flipper. I don't think so....The 3 porpoises gave everyone a chance to play with them,and  I've never seen KC so happy, except for on our wedding day. 

We didn't have time to do the mangroves the last time we were in Tenacatita, so we made sure to ride through them with the dogs and Danielle, and we were all very disappointed to see that there weren't any crocodiles hanging around.  Maybe next time.  Oh, I forgot, we also snorkeled in the "aquarium" at Tenacatita.  I didn't know that Danielle was afraid of the ocean until this trip.  Obviously, she overcame her fear, and was right there with us.   Right on, you go girl!!

Off to Manzanillo.  Sailing time, 5 1/2 hours; Temperature, 85 degrees; Wind 10 knots, and swell 3 feet, both off the stern

Flying fish, dorado's, and rays were ever present as we sailed south.  When we approached Manzanillo Bay, the hotel came into view, where the movie "10" with Dudley Moore and Bo Derek,  was filmed.  The backdrop is a mediteranian motif, even the marina docks Med style. We have been here 4 days now, our 200 peso dinghy fee gives us the run of the joint, garbage drop off and 10% off at the restaurants and bars. The other night we saw an awesome Jazz Duo play outside down by the marina. Had to buy one of their disc's which is great. Maybe, we will figure out how to put a link to their "My Space" site, so they can sell some more of their discs. Maybe.... They did study at University of Colima for 3 years under an Italian classic guitarist.  

We saw Danielle off, and they actually let her on the plane. She came to visit with a respiratory infection, and had a wicked cough.  I thought for sure that she would be in quarantine, due to the pig flu uproar, but they let her on, which I would not have done. (har, har,  cough cough..) Now that we have some peace and quiet, just kiddin, Danielle, we have been exploring the area.  Yesterday, we took a bus into Manzanillo (Unofficial sailfish capitol of the world).  It's also the largest shipping harbour in Mexico.  It kind of reminded us of La Paz, because its not touristy at all. 

Oh, I forgot to mention that we had the best dinner at the Delfin Restaurant, which is part of the Las Hadas resort.  Danielle took us out to eat there one night, and we liked it so much, we went back last night.  Unfortunately, we had to pay, but it was well worth it.  The presentation alone was worth it. Not to mention, that its right on the water with a view of Hawkwind 100 yards off, and of course, puffer fish. After dark, bright lights are turned on to overlook the water. The little fishes come in, and are fed by their friends, KC and Elaine.  You see a pattern here? We don't like Puffer Fish at all, do we?         

Right now, it is evening and the sun is setting.  We are sitting in the Paradise Restaurant, which is part of the Dolfin Cove Inn Resort. We are overlooking the bay, and a warm breeze is blowing out of the west.  They are letting us use their Wifi, and even offered us showers.  Is that a subtle hint? hmmmm...Mui cruiser friendly, we likey.... They also have the nicest wait staff, and told us where to beach our dinghy so we don't have to pay the 250 pesos to dock at the marina.   We also met the owners, who very nice and wanted to know about suggestions as far as bringing more cruisers in during the off season.  If you have any suggestions, email them at:www.dolphincoveinn.com.

Anyhooo, after long consideration, and discussion with the dogs, we have decided not to travel further south, and will NOW, BEGIN OUR EPIC JOURNEY NORTH!!!!!!! We have to be out of hurricane country by 6/1/2009, and still have lots to see on the way back home. We started at 48 N and now we are at 19 North. Not too shabby, considering we went up the sea too, huh?    

We have received feedback that people are not getting replies to their e-mails.  If you haven't received a reply back yet, drop us another e-mail.          

  

 

 

 

         

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PV condo view

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Piper, Buster, Danielle, Elaine

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Jerry being Jerry
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Bailey sporting his saddlebags
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That's a dolphin right?
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Las Hadas
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Sailfish statue on the Malecon in Manzanillo
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Downtown Manzanillo
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Hawkwind Las Hadas

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Danielle and friends at PV condo
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Bailey with his new buddy Piper
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Note helicopter on deck
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And to think I could be at work right now
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Mexican Navy Ship
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Abbey and Danielle

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Elaine, KC, Danielle, and Michelle

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Navidad sunset
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Fetching with dogs
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Mangrove ride
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Las Hadas with Hawkwind in the background
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Hanging out with Kathy and Mike from Missouri
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Excellent Jazz Duo Las Hadas

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Well, we're waiting....

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Navidad Malecon

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Bailey in a wave
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swimming with dolphins
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Las Hadas
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Danielle and a new buddy by the pool
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1st pool bar on this trip
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Elaine once again by passing security

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These dogs love their comfort, don't they?

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At Pipers

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Getting bottom cleaned
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Abbey fetching
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Lunch with Ernie of S/V Morgana out of Nanaimo
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Las Hadas
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Saying goodbye to my bud
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Beach Las Hadas
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Coctail party aboard S/V Scream

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April 20, 2009

   

We are still in Navidad getting fatter every day thanks to the French Baker who has been making daily delivery’s to the boat. But all good things must come to an end so we will be pushing on by this weekend. While we were here we have had a couple of pretty good blows, one with winds of more than 35 knots but we still barbequed. That Sea-B-Que works as advertised, it does not blow out. Thanks Anita its been a great wedding gift. One problem we did have during the blow was that when I tried turning off the wind generator it wouldn’t stop spinning. The power output did drop off but it was still spinning like a top. Sounded like an airplane on a take off roll. So I had to turn it out of the wind by hand and tie it off . Even with all that it was still spinning and putting out 15 amps. Emailed KISS for an answer to why its not shutting down but still have not received an answer.    

  

Yesterday we were walking by Piper Lovers Lounge when I looked up and saw a surfboard on the side of the building. It had writing on it that I think I’ll let the picture explain (see below). OK now for a little trivia. Did you know that the 1997 movie McCale’s Navy was filmed here? Truly a cinematic masterpiece. Now a warning, Seems like the quality of Ray-Ban sunglasses has gone down the tubes. I bought a pair while we were in San Blas off a street vendor for $50 pasos and yesterday a lense popped out and broke. And I thought I got a good deal. OK now I’ll let Elaine tell the rest.  

We have been in Barra De Navidad, for a couple of weeks now, and have found it to be close to paradise.  We are anchored in a lagoon and it is like glass in here-ABSOLUTELY NO SWELL!!!. Barra, from the water, is breathtaking. As you enter the bay, there are beaches lined with palm trees, and a multitude of colorful umbrellas and Palapas. The streets are lined with venders, tienda’s, and small family run restaurants.  It’s a small town that seems to have almost everything, and if they don’t have it, they’ll get it for you. 

 

The people are friendly and very helpful to boaters.  Many of the stores and bars have VHF radios and a water taxi will come get you if you don’t want to take your own dinghy in. Maria’s Tienda is stocked with Costco items and she also takes special orders and will deliver your items to your boat.  We have a french baker, who brings goodies to our boat every morning via his boat. How cool is that?  He announces before he is coming out to the lagoon, and shows up with these amazing goodies. You can even special order pastries, quiches, croissant’s, etc.  If we do not get out of here soon, we are going to be 200 lbs or we are going to have to do some serious exercise.  The Sands Hotel is really cruiser friendly and has an area to tie off your dinghy.  They also have WIFI and a cute lit’l monkey, by the name of Choncho. Choncho and I got off to a bad start.  I was scratching him, and he seemed to like it, but then I scratched his armpit, which apparently tickled him, and he became irate.  He bared his teeth, and grabbed my sunglasses off of my head, but we made up, and now when he hears my voice, he climbs down, and waits for me to scratch him. Pipers Bar and Grill, is located on the ocean side of the town.  He has a great view and has live music, regularly. We noticed the other day that part of Piper’s sign says “Welcome Bob Bitchin” on it. We asked him about it, and he said that he had put it up a couple of years ago, when Bob was in town. 

 

Our friend Jerry from the S/V Rosita, just left today to sail back to Mazatlan, which is where he’s keeping his boat for the summer time. We had a blast with Jerry and his other half, Rosa, who flew out to visit a couple of days ago.  They are hysterical and we will miss them.

 

We are planning to leave Barra on the 24th for Z-Town with our buddy Danielle.  She is flying into PV on the 22nd  and out of Z-Town on the 28th, so we are renting a car to pick her up from PV, and then we will be boogying down the coast.  We have not decided if we are going to go to Acapulco before we start making the trek back up to Seattle. We will be bashing up the coast for about 2 months, we think…

 

Oh, I forgot to mention the puffer fish incident. I was swimming in the lagoon with Bailey and Abbey, and decided that we should go ahead and swim back to the boat.  They opted to fetch with KC instead, so I was in the middle of the lagoon by myself when something fell out of the sky, and nearly hit me.  Initially, I thought it was KC throwing one of the dog's balls at me, but then realized that even he does not have that good of an arm.  Then. the spikey ball floated right up to me, and what did it turn out to be ? A puffed up puffer fish, floating upside down.  I rolled him right side up, saw that adorable little face, and knew what I needed to do.  I could not let Lit'l Puffer fish drift off to a certain death.  I swam back to the boat, gently pushing Lit'l Puffer along, hoping that he would let the air out and deflate on the way, but it did not happen.  I had to initiate assitance from the good captain, Capt KC, who had already arrived back at the boat with the dogs.  Capt KC quickly responded and scooped Lit'l Puffer out of the water with a 5 gallon bucket, in order to rehabilitate him on the boat.  Lit'l Puffer deflated, but appeared to still be injured from the fall. ( I think he was dropped by one of the Frigate Birds)It took him about 20 minutes to heal up, and then was released back from whence he came.   Another happy ending....We looked up Puffer fish on Wikipedia, and for the first time became aware that many sepcies of puffer fish are poisonous.  Some of them are 1200 times more deadly than Cyanide. Why is this the first we have heard of this?  We are still alive to tell the story, so I guess still a happy ending.    

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Pipers
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Bailey placing an order with the French Baker
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On the breakwater in Navidad
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Navidad inlet
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Elaine and Choncho
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Navidad
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Jerry and Pepper
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Fetching with the dogs

  

April 8, 2009

   

Well I finally have the time and a decent wifi signal  to update the log. We are anchored in the lagoon at Navidad riding out a 25 knot blow this afternoon. Hawkwind is anchored in 10 feet of water and we have about 100 feet of chain out so I don’t think we will drag. Our KISS wind generator is putting out 15 to 18 amps and the solar panels about 8 so we don’t have to fire up the genny to use the computers, just wish the water was cleaner so we could get the watermaker going. There are about a dozen other boats here as well. A couple from Seattle, Vancouver and California. Most of the people have been cruising these waters  for years. Last night we went out to an ocean front lounge and saw an awesome Blues band. I noticed that the bartender was a gringo so I asked him where he was from, he  said “the United States than walked away. Jerry informed me of 2 questions you don’t  ask gringos who are living down in Mexico. Whats your last name? And, Where are you from? I guess some people are down here for other reasons than the weather.

  

Navidad is a great little seaside town. We’re finding that we could stay here for a long time, there is so much to see. The hotel that lets cruisers tie up their dinghy’s has a Spider Monkey in a cage. Of course Elaine had to go over and say hi. Well the little shi… excuse me, the little monkey was friendly at first, holding her hand and motioning where he wanted to be scratched. Then all of a sudden he turned on her and reached out through the cage and knocked her sunglasses off her face. So that was enough of that. Easter week here is like Labor Day Weekend in the states. It pretty much signals the end of the tourist season. So right now the place is packed. Being Good Friday the locals put on a little show down by the beach. About 10 men were dressed like Romans and on horseback. They were whipping 3 men who were dragging crosses to a place where they were crucified. We skipped the crucifixion since I had already read the book and knew the ending. One thing I do love about being down here is that in most places beer is cheaper than bottled water, gotta like that.

  

Our sail down from PV was great. We were about a mile or two offshore just sitting out on the back deck in our lounge chairs with the autopilot on watching the scenery pass by. Miles and miles of unspoiled beaches. An occasional mansion or resort on a cliff but nothing else. They call this the “Gold  Coast” or “Mexican Riviera  and I  can see why. A lot of anchorages to explore that are close to each other. The other day we were in Tenacatita and had a porpoise with a chunk taken out of his dorsal fin hanging around the boat for a couple days. Bailey wanted to jump in and play but we decided against it.  Oh yes, one thing I forgot to mention about our trip down from PV is that we saw a sailboat washed up on shore. It was getting pounded pretty good by the surf. We moved in as close as we dared just outside the surf line. I tried hailing them but no one responded. It was in a pretty isolated area though we could see a couple people on ATV’s by the boat. We steered back out to a comfortable distance offshore and tried hailing the Mexican Navy to no avail. Some other cruiser at anchor about 20 miles away responded and said he would walk over to their base and let them know. Found out later that they already new about it. It was a stark reminder that you are on your own out here if you get into trouble. I was looking at our Atlas the other day and compared our Latitude and Longitude with other places along the same line. If we headed due East we would be just south of Cuba by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. If we headed due West we would pass by Hawaii and due North we would pass just East of El Paso Texas, Denver and Cheyenne Wyoming. We just changed our clocks ahead again another hour. That’s the second time since we got to PV. The sun isn’t coming up till almost 8 and not setting till about 9. ( A boat next to us just dragged their anchor. They seem to have it under control).

 

OK, now to tick some people off. I did get the chance to go to the Bullfight while in PV and it will be my last, I was always under the impression that if the bull was going to get slaughtered for meat anyway why not have a chance to go out with a fight and maybe get a lick or two in at the Matadors expense. Man was I wrong, it wasn’t a fight at all. It was a carefully orchestrated slaughter that people paid to watch. Let me explain the way I saw it. First off all the “brave” Matadors about 5 of them take up positions in the ring right next to safety walls so they can duck behind them when a bull gets too close. Then the bull is released into the ring and the crowd goes wild. Most people by me were rooting for the bull. The Matadors start waving their capes to attract the bulls attention and when he comes running over they very bravely duck behind the wall. Then another gets his attention and off he goes again, round and around until he’s standing in the center of the ring with his tongue hanging out, out of breath. This is the signal for the man with a long spear on a heavily padded horse that is blindfolded to come into the ring. The bull sees them and charges the horse. While the bull has his head buried into the horse’s side the guy on the horse starts cutting the bull with his spear right down his back. There must be an artery along there because the bull starts bleeding like you wouldn’t believe and begins to stagger. This is the signal for the “brave matador” to come out from behind the wall and do his little olay dance with the bull. But now the bull is weak, staggering and sometimes falling down from loss of blood. He’s slow and lethargic as he continues to try and get at the matador until after a few minutes the crowd starts yelling for the matador to end it. He pulls out his sword and drives it down between the bulls shoulders hoping to hit the heart. Unfortunately he misses and gets a lung, the bull starts spitting up blood as the other “brave matadors” come out from their hiding places and begin to wave their capes at the bull as he stands motionless even though he has 5 people surrounding him waving capes and yelling. He finally collapses for the last time but they are still standing over him waving and yelling trying to get him to his feet again. When he doesn’t the matador pulls out a dagger and drives it into the back of his head killing him. Then the gates open, a man with a horse comes out and drags the bulls body out of the ring. The “brave matador” mean while is parading around the ring having flowers thrown to him. Then 5 minutes later they do it all over again, and again and again. To think I used to respect matadors, what a joke.                       

 

   

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The beach in Navidad
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Sol girls on Stage
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Beached sailboat
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Matadors warming up
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Name of bull about to be slaughtered
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matadors teasing bull before he falls
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Crucifiction recreation
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The fatal blow delivered

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still antagonizing the bull

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after the bull encounters man on horse

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Bull being dragged out

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Our anchorage Navidad
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Now its safe for the matador to put on his show

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Brave matador parading around ring

April 3. 2009

  

Lately, we have been pretty much getting ready to leave to head south for a couple of weeks before we have to come back and meet up with our buddy, Danielle, in Puerto Vallarta on the 22nd.  Unfortunately, our boat insurance has decided to deny us the Hawaii route, or that’s what we think.  They told us we would need a new survey(haul out), about $800 more bucks, and 6 crew including us, all with resumes.  Rocket scientists.  They don’t care about the two of us beating up the coast by ourselves, doing a half a knot around a cape, crossing bars, dodging crab pots, fishing nets, freighters running along the coast….No worries, they can just duck in.  Oh well, we will make the best of it, and dig out those wool socks. 

 

We met a really nice guy, Jerry, who’s a truck driver with his own rig, so he has the freedom to come down south and head back at his own convenience.  Mui bien, Jerry.  It’s funny, he just showed up and started helping us clean our dinghy. Okay, the dinghy was pretty nasty, so he probably felt bad for the neighbors.  Anyway, we haven’t been able to get rid of him and that darn dog of his.  We are even going to buddy sail a little bit down south.  We love Jerry.

 

Once again, there is a circus in town somewhere.  First, we saw the animals in PV, but as I write this, they are parading the animals through our tiny town of La Cruz.  Sitting in our cockpit, we just saw some elephants drive by.   They also have a couple kiddy rides up in the square, 2 to be exact, and the wiring is a work of art.  We are posting pic’s of the wiring job, and you will totally get why we love Mexico.  Land of the free…    

 

The weather is still absolutely perfect.  It’s about 85 degrees in the boat right now, and a light wind is making its way through the cabin.  You can tell that we are on the brink of the rainy season down here as the clouds are rolling in every afternoon, and hovering above the mountains.  You can tell that the rain is a soft, warm, tropical rain..

 

Well, we left La Cruz without being able to dump our log into the computer, so I’ll update you on what we’ve been up to.  We left on the 4th and made it around the Cape (Corrientes), without incident. One thing we noticed is that once we rounded the Cape, there were no more clouds, just beautiful blue sky. Mui Bonita.  We stopped at Punta Ipala, about 42 miles from Puerto Vallarta, but we decided not to go to shore, but I’m not sure why. Oh, I remember why.. Jerry caught a fish on the way so he was nice enough to share it with us and we had delectable fresh fish tacos for dinner.  We split early in the mananna, and made it to Chamela around 3:00 pm, but the wind was a blowin’ so we spent another day without going to shore.  We were all good, but the dogs were getting antsy, so we decided to make the big sacrifice and take them to shore, where we met some other cruisers who’s ninos loved the dogs and kept them occupied, while we had some mui cheap cerveza’s and margarita’s .     Another B-E-A-utiful day in paradise. When you see the pic’s , you will know what I’m talking about. 

 

Gotta go….  

       

           

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Elaine getting attacked by a mad dog
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Our new buddy Jerry working on the ladies
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Bus ride into PV
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KC in Punta De Mita
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Elaine with Jerry's buddy Pepper.

 

3/23/2009

 

Sun, sun, sun, the same thing everyday, sooo boring.  Just yanking your chain.  We love the sun, and want to stay here forever and ever and ever... We have been in La Cruz for about 2 weeks, and are pretty familiar with area.  La Cruz is a small fishing village, located 12 miles from Puerto Vallarta.  It has a dozen or so restaurants, and tienda’s, some owned by gringo’s that have migrated to the area.  Philo’s restaurant is a really cruiser friendly place, and owned by a gringo.   Philo sailed down on the Ha Ha, and didn’t leave except for to cruise to the South Pacific.  He also happens to be a really cool guy, and has a band that plays good old rock and roll a couple of days out of the week.  Of course, we bought a disc. 

 

We have the music down in La Cruz, and just in case you want to know, I’ll give you the run down.    Tuesday nights the Brittania has 2 bands playing, one rock, and the other kind of “blue grassy”.  Wednesday night is open mic night, and also hosts “Taco’s in the Street”, where people gather in the streets and eat taco’s from a local place(BYOB).    Thursday, Friday, and Saturday’s Philo’s band plays. He’s a great singer, and  has this amazing saxophonist in the band. We bought a disc, of course. On Sunday’s Anna Banana’s’s has a Blues Band.  This pretty much sums up the night life in La Cruz.

 

Bucerias, which is about 2 miles away is a Mexican tourist town, which is really growing and becoming “Gringofied”, but it’s still fun, and they even have an Irish Pub that serves Guinness.  We went there for St Patty’s day and listened to a bunch of bands, none of which played Irish music but that was okay, we had a buzz.  Bucerias also has a great outdoor market, where they sell anything from crafts to clothing, and household goods.  Even though the town is being taken over by gringos, they still have a multitude of cheap local restaurants and tienda’s to eat and shop at, and the locals are really friendly. 

 

The romantic zone of Puerto Vallarata is truly gorgeous.  Rustic colonial buildings and colorful open markets line the streets.  The backdrop is a cascade of lush, rich, tropical foliage.   Mui Bonita! You haven’t seen PV, if you have only visited the Malecon. 

 

We are in the marina right now, so that we can finish working on the rocker stoppers, and many other projects to keep this boat a float.  The rocker stoppers are almost done, and are painted a deep burgundy to bring out the boats….  We took one of the rocker stoppers for a test drive on Sunday, and it worked except for a minor adjustment.  No more rockin’ and rollin’ in the anchorage, only listening to it.

  

Sunday we went for a day sale to Isla  Marietas, which are a cluster of islands about 12 miles a way.  They are also a federally protected nature reserve to provide a sanctuary for  birds, fish, sea turtles, etc.. We went snorkeling there, but didn’t see any sea turtles, bummer, but we did swim with a bunch of really cool fish, to include, gars, clown fish, and damsel fish(they are the blue purple fish with the blue neon spots)  The only set back was that there was a really strong current, and the visibility was not that great, so we had to be careful not to be thrown into the rocks by the swell.  We still had a blast and will probably go back before we leave.

 

We have been getting around via bus here, and it is quite the experience.  People get on the bus and sell candy, nuts, and drinks.    They also play music and dress up like clowns for tips.   The only problem with the bus is that you can’t count on it to get you somewhere on time.  One time, our bus driver stopped, and filled up the tank with us all waiting inside.  

 

Yesterday, we decided to got to PV, and we ended up at this beachfront restaurant.  For a moment, we felt like we were back in Cabo, due to the multitude of vendors, but we managed to meet some local flavor.  One guy sings and plays the flute and guitar for 50 Peso’s.  We bought a disc, of course.  We also met a local artesian, who makes wooden crafts out of lemon trees.  He lives in a town in the mountains about 13 hours away, so he stays in PV until he sells all of his work.  We decided to help the poor guy out and bought this gorgeous vase for less than $20.00.  We think there may be a future business venture with this guy if we can find him again to export his crafts.  Good for us, and better for him.  We forgot the camera so couldn’t take any pics.  After we returned to the marina, KC was fetching with the dogs and 2 young fellows from a sailing class came by and wanted to fetch with them.  Apparently one of them is going to be on the Olympic swimming team.  He swims 20 laps a day, he says.  Anyway, they ended up in the water with the dogs.  Sooo cute.

 

Speaking of fetching with the dogs.  It is funny how many people have gathered to watch us fetch with them(okay, fetch with KC. They don’t like my “girly throws”) People have gathered in large groups to watch them swim.  It’s like they have never seen trained dogs before.     If you can call our beasts trained, that is. 

 

Today was maintenance day, we changed the engine, genset and transmission oil. Lubed the drive shaft and changed the zincs in the engine. Should be good for a couple hundred more hours. 

 

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the turkey of La Cruz
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Route 200 biker bar
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View of Isla Marietas from Hawkwind
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Lainie freezing her butt off in 85 degree weather
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local Kids swimming with the dogs
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Abbey waking up from an afternoon siesta
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KC freezing his butt off .........
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Rocker Stopper in action

 

 

March 18, 2009

 

Sorry for the delay in updating the site but we have had a bad run of weak wifi signals. We are in La Cruz now just north of Puerto Vallarta and we hooked up with Zara and Jim from Wish again. Tonight we are going to a Bullfight in PV, I'll bring our new camera and take some pictures. By the way, we posted some pictures below on our stop at Isabella island if you want  to check them out. Our sail down from San Blas was beautiful, we hugged the coast so we could see all the beaches and jungle as well as a whole bunch of Humpback Whales. They are everywhere down here, a day doesn't go by without us seeing a few of them.

Last night we went over to the next town where there is an Irish Bar to celebrate St. Patty's Day. They shut down the street and had 3 bands playing, it was pretty crowded. We have been taking busses while we are in PV and I must say they are a lot different than taking a bus in the US. Vendors come on board and sell things, some people bring a guitar and play. It makes the ride go by quickly. 

Well that's about if for now, I better post some  pictures before I lose my wifi connection.  

 

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St Patty's Day band
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Zara and Jim of WISH
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March 1, 2009

   

The alarm sounded at 3:30 a.m. time to depart Mazatlan. The swell had kept us up most of the night anyhow. At least there wasn’t any fog like there had been for the past 3 days. Once the anchor was up it didn’t take long for the porpoise to show up swimming in our blue phosphorescence bow wake. Their little glowing body’s trailing blue bubbles behind them as they criss crossed ahead of us. A school of small bait-fish would light up a patch of water the size of a football field when HAWKWIND and the porpoise startled them as we passed. When we were clear of the shrimp boats and anchored freighters Elaine and I settled in for the 12 plus hour passage. I took the first watch till 8:00 am, now I know why Dan, Michelle and Elaine always want the sunrise shift. Watching the sky to the east slowly get brighter until a large orange orb rises over the horizon. Then soon after as the water surface takes on an oily sheen, manta rays take to the air. Leap after leap everywhere you look rays leaping out of the water. A marlin also got in the act by making several very impressive leaps of is own. My shift was up; I went below and tried to get some shuteye. When I got up a couple hours later the seas were still calm with a slight swell out of the west but the skies had turned overcast though it was still hot and humid the remainder of the afternoon. Elaine and I began the final assembly of our no-see-um screens for the hatches. Word has it that we are going to be needing them when we arrive in San Blas. The chart plotter showed that 70 miles had passed and we were 14 from Isla Isabella  but we still couldn’t see it. The island is a bird sanctuary 40 miles off the coast of San Blas. Finally at about 4 pm Isabella poked through the afternoon haze. Suddenly Humpback Whales began jumping out of the water a mile ahead of us. Three, four, five times the two of them as if they were competing; one whale watched and slammed its flipper as if in approval.

 

  We had two anchorages to choose from and chose the one that had a local fisherman’s trawler anchored in it. Not long after we settled in a sail appeared on the horizon and an hour later just before sunset we had a new neighbor. He yelled over that he had just come from San Blas and got eaten up by no-see-ums the night before. As the sun began to set on our little anchorage we sat outside and watched all the sea birds returning to the island for the night. Frigates, Blue and Yellow footed Boobies, Gulls and a couple of other species that I didn’t recognize. Tomorrow we are hiking to the crater to see all the frigates nesting. The trees are covered with them like leaves; everywhere you look thousands of frigates sitting in the treetops. We feel like we are in the Galapagos Islands, there is even a Norwegian Research station here. Speaking of the Galapagos, HAWKWIND has her fuel and water tanks topped off (over 2 tons worth), propane tanks are full, food and all minor repairs are done, its tempting 2 to 3 weeks and we could be there for real, alas but we must return to Seattle.The water is so clear and wildlife so abundant I can’t wait to go snorkeling in the morning, the water temp is now 78 degrees, we are back in the tropics.

We awoke to fish jumping around the boat, it was so clear the anchor was visible 30 feet below. We hopped in the dingy to explore the island. We beached the dingy and immediately spotted boobie's nesting just off the beach on the ground, their white fuzzy offspring clearly visible in their nests. Frigates were nesting in the trees above the boobies. We took a few pictures before the LENS ERROR sign flashed on the cameras screen. Yep, another camera has bitten the dust. I guess salt air and sand are too much for them. The night before we decided that we would spend an extra day at Isabella so after we returned from the beach we grabbed our snorkeling gear and headed out to the rocks. After anchoring the dingy we jumped in the crystal clear water, so clear that when you look down to the bottom 25 feet below it feels like you are floating in space. We wished we could have stayed longer but we departed the following morning. Stopping at Isabella was a pleasant surprise, we felt like we were back up in the Sea of Cortez. I hope we have more opportunities like Isabella the further south we go. 

The 6 hour passage went quickly, Humpbacks were jumping all around us. As we approached the mainland the bottom came up quick, we were 5 miles off shore and in only 50 feet of water. Charlie's Charts (the cruising guide we are using) recommended calling a Capt. Norm (jama) on the VHF when approaching the San Blas inlet. Supposedly its a tricky inlet and local knowledge is a must. So we called and he didn't answer but a boat that we did the Baja Ha Ha did. She warned us about the inlet as well saying that a boat ran aground the day before but since we couldn't hail Capt. Norm we decided to give it a go and trust our Forward looking sonar (later we heard he charges $30 for his services). I almost turned around when I saw breaking waves in the inlet with people surfing the waves. But after a few zig zags we found the deepest part of the channel and went for it. The marina is up an estuary a couple miles that is loaded with wild life. San Blas has a good website that is worth checking out. LONGFELLOW wrote his final poem about the BELLS OF SAN BLAS in 1882 I believe. We visited the church which inspired his writings and had dinner in an outdoor cafe with the bells ringing in the background. A lot of history here, the Spaniards used San Blas as a staging ground for building ships that explored the west coast of North America including Alaska in the 1600's. We have spent 3 days here and today while in a local watering hole met a former Major League pitcher who threw a no hitter and was an All Star in the '60's. His name is Jack Kralick. The owner of the establishment told us that the building was a cantina all the way back in the 1700's. He took us out back and showed us his pet crocodile that came with the building. Supposedly it has lived on the grounds for more than 75 years and last week it grabbed a gringo woman's hand as she stuck it in his cage. I wish our camera was working to get some pictures. 

Tomorrow we are catching the tide out the inlet before it gets too low for us to leave. The weather report calls for light winds with a light swell so it should be smooth sailing. As soon as we get another camera we'll start posting pictures again.             

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Woke up to this little bat in the cockpit
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Nesting Frigates
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Look ma, one hand
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Hermit crab on Isabella
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Booby on Isabella Island
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Hawkwind anchored off Isabella Island
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Good snorkeling off these rocks

February 28, 2009

 

Well, it’s been a great stay in Mazatlan, but all good things must come to an end.  We are leaving for Isla Isabela in the am, 4:00 am to be exact.  It is a bird sanctuary, located approximately 85 miles away.   We then will be moving onto San Blas, and then onto Chacala and La Cruz. 

  

Liz and Keith were out for a visit, and we all had a great time.  We did some shopping at the mercado, and had plenty of cerveza’s. We bought these wonderful little puppets that were a hit out on the town. It’s funny how everybody wanted to play with them.   Some people, who will remain nameless, were recreating a scene from Team America.  You know who you are, and shame on you.    We also went out for a day sail, and stopped at this island near Mazatlan, where we met a nice fellow, who was happy to bring us cerveza’s. He lives on the island with his adorable little dog.  Oh, we also went to Carnaval, which is the 3rd largest in the world.  It goes on non-stop right through the night, fireworks at midnight, and bands playing through the night.  Multiple stages are set up, an tons of vendors and food.  GREAT people watching..   

  

We decided that we were not going to be able to leave without recharging the batteries,

and fueling up so went to Singlar Marina for a couple days. It is a tricky inlet to navigate. Narrow, a swell that carry’s you into the rocks, a dredge that blocks half the inlet. I must have had only two feet clearance from the barge and four feet from the rocks when we were entering plus a  fairly strong current which gave us a hard time when we were docking.  While there we restocked, charged, fueled, and watered up for the passage. We also found this B-E-A-U-tiful resort while out on a dinghy ride and were inclined to stop, and have lunch there.  They had a saltwater lagoon with sea turtles, puffer fish, clown fish, ray’s etc…unfortunately we forgot the camera. I took some time to rest up in the boat, because a gringo was nice enough to bring down the flu, luckily KC has not caught it yet. 

  

I do have to say that even if you learn Espanol, if you are a gringo, no one understands a bleepin’ thing you are saying, unless you have a linguistic background,  Last time I tried to roll my tongue to make the r sound, l got my tongue stuck between my 2 front teeth, and it came out like a lisp.  Ablo un poco de Espanol, yo soy Norte Americana, but it all comes out as bla, bla, bla, bla, bla…….bla, bla bla…… oh well..

  

It’s been great to see Anna, Gary, as well as their familia again.  We hope to see them in the near future.  Mui sweet people.  We also hope that Stone Island does not grow into a little Cabo, and stays the same for years to come, but we know development is in the works.  Luckily, we have been able to enjoy ourselves here for the last 4 years. 

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Lizbeth and Keith arrive at Stone Island
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signing shrimp factory ceiling tile next to last years tile
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Even the servers got into the act
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Lizbeth and Keith at the Market
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Busy port, Mazatlan
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Keith with a pigs head. Keith is on the right.
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west and welaxation
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Liz going to the airport
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Liz fishing
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Anchored off Mazatlan
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Group of Stingrays off Mazatlan
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Gary taking Keith and Liz to the airport
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Keith chumming
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Landing craft approaching the island, Keith watching
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February 20, 2009

 

We have a WIFI single and a little time to update, so here we go.  We are still in Mazatlan, and will be here through the 25th.  Our buddy’s, Keith and Liz, are coming down to visit on the 21st so it’s sure to be a blast.  Next stop after here will be Isla Isabela, a bird sanctuary, en route to San Blas.  Whoo hoooooooo….

  

Well, onto our adventures thus far in Mazatlan.  One of our first nights in the anchorage, we hear an outboard engine at about 4:00 am.  We get up and look to find a panga with 2 people in it, right next to our dinghy.  KC went out and shot a spot light on them, which startled them, and one of them responded by opening the cooler, showing a bunch of fish, and saying “fishing, fishing”.  What’s really funny is how startled they were, considering that the dinghy was tied to the boat, which would indicate that there was someone on board.  Future rocket scientists, watch for them.   Another dinghy incident occurred when we noticed that our neighbor’s dinghy was floating ever so gracefully right out of the anchorage. We decided to be neighborly and wrangle that dinghy in for them.  They didn’t even notice it was gone, and graciously accepted it back.

  

We have been regularly going back and forth between the old harbor and anchorage near Stone Island, depending on swell and winds.  We definitely try to be out of the old harbor when the winds come out of the west, due to the lovely aroma of poop in the air, as a result of the sewage treatment facility.  Stone Island is exposed to south swell form the ocean, which makes for a rolly nights sleep.

  

Well, onto more important things, my hair, of course.  I know I made a solemn vow that I would never get my hair done again in Mexico, due to the trauma in La Paz, but my hair was looking soooo bad that I decided to ask Anna if she knew anyone that could fix it.  Well, she took one look at my hair, and I think I noticed a tear in her eye, as she went on to tell me that she knew just the person to fix my hair.  She told me that she would go with me to get her hair done too, and translate for me, the horror of the hair story. I was nervous, but she made the appointment, and off we went.    Her gal took a look, and I believe she had a look of horror, but when she noticed I was looking at her, it turned into a gentle look of sympathy and understanding. 31/2 hours later, I had new hair, almost plantinum, but no ROJO.  I’ll be going back to her before I leave Mexico, and will be posting her information for future lady cruisers, as soon as I get her approval to post on the web.

  

Well, onto even more important things, our anniversary.  We had a great one.  KC bought me a flute for our anniversary, so now I will be the pied piper of the sea, and will draw all those lovely creatures to frolic alongside the boat, maybe.   We started our day by having our coffee/hot chocolate et Bailey’s, and then returned to scene of the crime, the beach where we took our vows.   I took KC out for breakfast, and then we headed out for Mazatlan, where we hoofed around town, went out for dinner, drank a little bit, and smoked a stogie.  Our cab driver definitely learned how to drive in NY.  We were racing through the back roads of old Mazatlan, listening to Steppenwolf’s, “Born to be Wild”, and almost hit a bus.  Mui exciting.

  

We decided one day that we wanted to take a hike, so we ended up hiking up this killer hill to check out the lighthouse again.  We decided to take a picnic basket, and some wine, which you will see in the pic’s.  Just another great day in paradise.

  

 Last Sunday, we decided to go to the circus, because we saw this caravan of tigers, giraffes, and 2 humped camels go by a couple of days before in a parade.  We are guessing that they are here for Carnival, not the circus, because they only had a petting zoo at the Circus. What was really entertaining was looking at the wiring job.  Exposed wires twisted together running on the ground, some with electrical tape, some without.  We saw one guy touch the electrical box, and sparks went flying. 

   

One thing we have realized about Bailey is that he may be part wolf, not dog.  We were over at Benji’s Pizza( Medium pizza, and 10 beers for $16.00) the other day, fetching with the dogs, when I noticed that their donkey was back, and he was tied up pretty close to us.  I was hoping that Bailey would not notice him, but you guessed it, he noticed the donkey, and off he went, like a lighting bolt.  We called for him but he did not listen, and he tore off after the donkey.  He started going for his throat, and the donkey started bucking and kicking. It went on for a couple of minutes, but nobody scored any points, and they stopped.  Bailey then decided to return.   

  

Well, we have to go and get some projects done.

  

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Puppy saying howdy to Bailey and Abbey
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lighthouse picnic
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carnival animals
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New hair
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KC fetching with doggies
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hee haw
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Happy pups at the lighthouse
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Tired puppies at lighthouse
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sewage treatment plant
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New flute
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circus
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Subliminal messaging, maybe?
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View of Hawkwind w/Stone Island in the background
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Mazatlan from lighthouse
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Dinner
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ouch
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lighthouse
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ponies
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Capt KC
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picnic at the lighthouse
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Our Anniversary
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Circus
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Cigar Lounge

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February 8, 2009

   

We have been anchored off of Stone Island for a week now. Doug flew down to spend a few days with us. We took Anna and Gary of Stone Island Gardens Hotel/Carmalita’s restaurant along with their two children out for a sail one day. We picked the kids up after school in Hawkwind so all their classmates could see them sail away. Unfortunately the surf was up and they all got a little wet on their way back to the boat. Speaking of which, for the last couple days the surf has been up and that has made for some interesting and wet landings on the beach. Last night in particular. It was dark, we were beaching in front of Carmalita’s for dinner when a wave picked us up turned the boat sideways swamped us then dumped us on the beach soaking wet. Well we walked into the restaurant anyway borrowed a couple towels from Gary and Anna then had dinner. They wanted to close up early and we wanted to hang out and smoke a farewell cigar with Doug so they left a light on for us, some beer on ice and we had the place to ourselves.

 

We finally got rid of the two bikes that have been rusting out on the bow of the boat since Seattle. We have only used them once and Gary mentioned that bikes are at a premium on the island and he knew of a single mom who could use one to get back and forth from work. So we gave them to him since he knows someone who can clean them up and get ‘em in working order again.

 

The other day we took a dingy ride out to the mangroves. It was a 6-hour round trip with the dogs, Elaine Doug and me. The boat wouldn’t move too fast with all that weight in it. When we returned and told Gary and Anna what we did they warned us that we shouldn’t do it again because people are growing marijuana back there and they defend their crops with shotguns. He also said that bandits wait for delivery trucks on the dirt road leading to the “island” and rob them. So I guess we won’t be doing any more trips into the mangroves.

  It looks like our nice quiet little “island” is changing forever. Some families are beginning to sell their property to developers and a couple of high rises will be going in soon. They are also going to begin paving the road onto the “island” next year, which will make it easier for people to get here. Plus they are in the process of building a cruise ship dock and tender landing pier on the “island” as well. Oh well it was nice while it lasted. We are glad a lot of our family and friends got a chance to see Stone Island before it gets spoiled, while they were down for our wedding here last Valentine’s Day.   

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Doug arrives on Stone Island
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Harrison at the helm
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Going to pick up the kids
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Holiday at the helm
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Gary and Anna
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Lunch at the Shrimp Factory
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Anna out for a sail and she didn't even seasick
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Holiday at the helm
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Last years writing on the Shrimp Factory's ceiling
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Future sailor staring out to sea
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Coming back to the Hawkwind a little wetter

January 31, 2009

    

Our two-night stay at Muertos was uneventful to say the least. The wind blew hard for the duration; only two other boats were anchored out, a far cry from the masses when we last stopped in weeks earlier. The other boats were both trawlers from California one of which was a converted Coast Guard Cutter that saw action on D-Day in Normandy. The couple on board was taking her south through the canal and on to the Caribbean. We debated whether to leave or not, the winds had subsided a bit and the forecast called for more of the same, 14 to 18 knots out of the north with 4 foot seas. The following morning at 10 we weighed anchor, pointed Hawkwind at 096 degrees and settled in for our 190 mile, 30 hour crossing. It only took a couple hours to realize that the forecast was off just a tad. Winds were blowing at 22 knots and the seas were 6 feet, oh well at least they got the direction correct right out of the north. We debated if we should have pulled the dinghy out of the water and put it on deck but since it has been following behind us for hundreds of miles and we were feeling lazy that morning we left it in the water. The day past quickly and soon it was night, Elaine had the 8 to 12 watches while I had the 12 to 4. Phosphorescence was active on this crossing as each breaking wave lit up the night. Occasionally one would break just as it reached Hawkwind. It would lift her up and come pouring out the other side cushioning her on blanket of glowing green foam. Porpoise also made an appearance, streaking back and forth across our bow leaving a trail of green light behind them. At 4 Elaine relieved me for the 4 to 8 watch, she enjoys the sunrises in the morning. 

 

At 6am I was laying in bed trying to sleep, which I find impossible on crossings when all of a sudden the engine died. I jumped out of bed and quickly opened the engine room hatches, nothing out of order. The winds had calmed during the night but the waves had continued on plus we were picking up the swell of the Pacific now something we have not experienced since Cabo. We were making about 2 knots under sail as the sun rose to the east. I grabbed some tools and went to work on the engine. Diesel engines are very simple they only need two things to make them run air and fuel. I began by changing the fuel filters, after bleeding the fuel lines we fired her up, success. She ran great for about 3 minutes then died just like before. OK, what next. I opened the filter housing and noticed that there was no fuel in it. OK, it wasn’t the filters it was fuel starvation. I turned on the electric fuel primer and noted that the filter bowl didn’t fill up. I disconnected the output hose from the pump, fuel came gushing out. OK, now what? Disconnect the fuel line from the fuel manifold in front of the filter elements, no fuel. Something is clogging the fuel manifold. Elaine comes down and says that the line tying the dinghy to the boat had come loose and the only thing holding it was the cable attached to a handle we use to lock it to Hawkwind ( I like to have 2 line for the dink just in case the main one parts). I jump up on deck to find that the main line didn’t fail but the mounting bracket on the dinghy broke. It seems that at our present speed and the motion of the swell was putting a tremendous strain on the mount and it finally came loose, I only had a matter of minutes before the plastic handle holding the cable parted and the dink would be adrift, we had no motor to chase after it and the winds were too light to do any good. I looked to the east as the sun was just coming up on the horizon. 30 miles out I had to jump in the dinghy to save it. I quickly grabbed some extra line then timed my leap into the dink with the swell. Fabricating a hasty towing bridle I attached it to the dinghy and climbed back aboard Hawkwind. Back below I realized that disassembling the fuel manifold was to big of a job to tackle out here in a pitching boat so I bypassed the fuel manifold/filter housing and ran the fuel line directly to the engine. I did have one last fuel filter on the engine to clean the fuel before it got to the injectors so I wasn’t too worried plus we only had about 30 miles to go. Success! She fired up and ran fine. Four hours later we were pulling into the harbor and dropping anchor 28 hours after leaving Muertos. We lounged around on deck in the warm sun before we had an early dinner then off to bed for a much needed rest.

 

The following morning I wanted to treat Elaine to breakfast so we hopped in the dinghy with the dogs and headed over to Stone Island, the place where Elaine and I were married 12 months earlier. After beaching the dinghy we headed up to Carmaleta’s the little restaurant where we had our wedding reception. Gary and Anna of Stone Island Gardens Hotel run both the hotel and restaurant. It was really good to see them; they both did so much to make the wedding go off without a hitch we could never repay them. After catching up with them both we settled in for breakfast not before finding out that Gary was having a Super Bowl party Sunday afternoon. I guess we know what we’ll be doing tomorrow.

 

After breakfast we hopped back in the dinghy and headed back to Hawkwind and that fuel manifold problem. To make a long story short, I disassembled the manifold and found the selector valve inside closed even though the handle outside said open. Some nylon sleeve slipped out of position, which I put back into place then secured the selector handle so nothing can move. After bleeding the system she fired right up and ran for 15 minutes before I shut her down. Tomorrow we are repositioning Hawkwind out in front of Stone Island to get away from this busy industrial part of town.      

                              

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taking apart the fuel manifold
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Busy anchorage in Mazatlan
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Would you go out on the ocean in this?
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Mazatlan
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On watch during our crossing
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Second tallest lighthouse in the world

January 27, 2009

  

   Where to begin our little story….  It’s been so long since we have been able to take some time to write our log, but today we are inspired to update as we are on a long passage to Muertos from La Paz, and there are calm seas right now. 

  

   Rewind back to San Carlos.  San Carlos is definitely a city full of Gringos, who have primarily migrated from Arizona, CA, and NM.  There may be more gringos than Mexicans residing there.   Everybody speaks English and the service industry definitely caters to the Gringo’s.  You don’t even feel like you are in Mexico.  The area is absolutely beautiful with jagged mountains, numerous coves, and sandy beaches.  Martini cove, where we stopped for the night when we first arrived is breathtaking.  We already posted pics, so you know.  We met a really nice couple at the marina, Susie and Don Gesualdo, from the M/V Neshama.   They spend half the year in Mexico and the other half in CO near their little grand baby, awwww.  Many, many,  thanks for letting us burn 50 plus movies.  KC had begun to recite the dialogue from our movies verbatim in his sleep. So once gain, many thanks, as he is not the best of actor. We also got to see Mark Mulligan, who plays in the area regularly. (www.markmulligan.net) We became familiar with him from the Lats and Atts disc and by chance, were able to see him play at La Palapa, a really cool outdoor bar.  If you get the chance, check out his website or hire him for a gig.  He does a fabulous job working the crowd and is an awesome singer.  Living the dream.  Right on Mark.     Back to the visit with mom... Just in case you happen to read the website, which you usually don’t.  It was greeeaaat to see you, and I’m glad you made the pilgrimage, even if it was a land tour.  Mom took a South of the Border tour, and the president/guide, Stephen, let us tag along.  We also met Greg, one of the guides, who was totally cool, and enjoys a good beer, as well as Stephanie, who has more knowledge about the local birds in the mangroves than anyone we know.  She corrected me that there are no cranes in Mexico right now.  Oh well.  I just like to look at the birds.  Anyway, should you want to take a land tour, South of the Border is for you.  (www.southofthebordertours.com) Steve and Mark, we will be collecting the money for the plug later.    Just kiddin’, .hardee har, har har…     

  

   On to our passage.  We traveled from San Carlos to San Jose island, slightly north of bay of La Paz. It was approximately190 miles, and took us 29 hours.  We left San Carlos, and it was raining and mui cold. Apparently it rains 5 days out of the year, and the locals love it.  Oh so romantic, the stormy, rainy days…days to huddle up in the homestead, and make hot chocolate. NOT, we say, get the heck out of there.  We want a bathing suit, and an ice cold Cerveza.   Oh, I forgot to mention that we had our bottom scraped while we were in San Carlos.  Now we are back to our sleek racing physique.  Oooh, so sexy. 

   Back to the passage.  Even though it was cold (60’s) and rainy, it felt great to be out again on the open water, the water was like glass, which made for a smooth passage and we averaged 7 knots.  The passage was magical, especially at night.  We took our regular 4-hour shifts from 4 pm on, and as the sky began to darken, the magic began.    The phosphorescents lit up the water like nothing we have ever seen before.    The bow wake of Hawkwind was like headlights leading the way.  Every little splash and wave was lit up in fluorescent green, and our wake was something to see. We also noticed something else, large globs moving about in the water, and apparently getting out of our way.  We looked closer and noticed that they were huge squid, Humboldt Squid, and hundreds of them. We had just watched a DVD, Red Devil, which was made about the squid in Santa Rosalia. It basically was a documentary about them, and proved that they were man killers.  The man who made the documentary had the local squid fisherman take him out, and to their surprise, he actually jumped into the water with his dive equipment on. Immediately, a squid grabbed him and took him down 40 feet.  They dislocated his shoulder, and popped his eardrum, and could have killed him. I know without a doubt that if you fall in the water in the Northern Sea of Cortez, you re definitely dinner.  We are on the bottom of the food chain. Get the DVD, mui interesting. These squid have hooks on all their tentacles and a large beak, and for all of you North Westerners, some of them have apparently made it to the Puget Sound area. 

  

   Back to the passage…. I saw Dolphins, and lots of them, glowing in the night.  I initially saw these long streams of green heading towards the boat and then running parallel to it. Then I noticed the forms, and saw them jumping.  I was shackled into my spot, so I could not move that far, so decided to unshackle and go to the bow where I saw the magical glowing dolphins, dancing in our bow wake. Note that if the seas had been bad, I would not have left my post for a moment.  I knew KC was up so I screamed for him, and he arrived just as the last dolphin was leaving. He was not pleased with me as he thought I had fallen overboard. On KC’s shift, the clouds cleared out, and the skies opened up to a beautiful array of stars. I could not believe it when I came up for my shift and saw the sky.  The water was like glass so the stars were reflected in the water, making it seem like you were floating in the sky.   You could not tell where the sky ended and the water began .  Our own magical little space ship. You really can’t describe it; you need to experience it for yourself.  If you don’t believe in GOD before you do a passage like this, you definitely believe in him/ her afterwards. Everything seems to make sense. I would love to take truly troubled people out on a passage and let them experience it.  Well, actually not that troubled, just kind of.      As I type this, 2 whales emerged and showed us their tales, as they went deep into the sea.   

  

   Back to the passage…. The following day, we had smooth seas and not a cloud in the sky. It was bathing suit weather.  We decided to stop and anchor at San Jose Island, where they have mangroves.  We posted a chart so y’all can see.  Nice break and we saved a dying aloe plant, as well.  We will post a pic of him too.  We almost had a new pet, a little hermit crab.  KC was so enchanted that he was actually going to let me keep him for a while, but I just could not take him from his home. Totally not like me.  We decided to leave the anchorage to stop at a beach 4 miles north that was supposed to have these really neat shells that we have not seen yet, but they were not there. Oh well, we did find a lot of starfish on the mangrove beach so that makes up for it.  Our boat is listing to port due to all the shells.  Susie told us to rent the long trailer with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez.  She was a rock collector and they were towing a trailer.  You know the rest. 

  

   Back to the trip...  We ended up back in our old anchorage Ensenada Grande, Espiritu Santos, near La Paz, and had the worst nights sleep, actually no sleep, because the winds shifted out of the south in the evening, and there was no protection. We have had a couple of incidents where the anchor has dragged, which if it dragged in this particular anchorage, we would end up on the rocks, which is only good when ordering a nice stiff drink.  Ha, ha ….Due to our experience at the anchorage, we ended up leaving bright and early for La Paz to restock and get a weather report.  Its funny, we ended up in La Paz exactly a month after we left to do the North Sea.  It feels like a lot longer.  

   My thumb is throbbing because I caught it in the anchor chain when setting the anchor in La Paz.  The chain has been getting stuck at kick off, so you have to peal it off the wench, with perfect timing, cuz it snaps back on the winch, and off goes the chain. It’s kind of like playing Russian Roulette with your extremities.  Well it got me, but it didn’t take the thumb, only part of it. 

   Once again, I forgot to mention something truly amazing.  On our way from San Jose to Espiritu Santos, we saw killer whales.   KC of course saw them first, put the boat into neutral, and they actually came to us.  One of them was slapping his tale back and forth repeatedly, and then proceeded to.  Do a complete flip out of the water about 30 feet from the boat.  That’s when KC said, “Oh, I think we are a little too close”.   At that time, they all seemed to take off and we saw another whale out there.  KC thinks they were hunting the whale, which kind of tainted the whole experience. That would not be the day to be snorkeling with the sea lions. Mmmmmm, tastes just like sea lion.  We passed some kayakers, and decided to get on the hailer and let them know bout our killer whale sighting, mmm tastes like sea lion.  Its funny how quickly they all stopped paddling. So mean….  

  

   Anyway, today we are heading to Muertos, with cloudy skies, and winds ranging from 10-22 knots and there is a big blow coming into tonight.    It should be a quick ride.  Talk to you later...

                       

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Mark Mulligan
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abandoned salt mine San Jose Island
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Hawkwind from the mangroves
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photo shoot in San Carlos marina parking lot. Typical model's wearing unpractical shoes.
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chart of mangrove
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Susie, me, and Don at La Palapa
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She's not getting on our boat with those shoes
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Abandoned salt mine on San Jose island
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mangrove dingy rides
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After a hard day of running the beach

 

 

January 22

 

We are leaving San Carlos today for the warm sunny weather to the south. We are pulling an over nighter to get as far south as we can as quick as we can. Last night we got to see Mark Mulligan play at a little out door bar with a couple of new friends Suzie and Don. Will post pictures as soon as we can.

         

                                                                     

January 18

 

We are now in San Carlos after a 10 hour crossing in 6 to 7 foot seas. We were taking the waves off our beam some were breaking on the hull of the boat which made for a wet ride. We anchored in Martini cove for 2 nights before heading to the marina where we rented a car for the trip to visit Elaine's mother in Navajo. We are back in San Carlos watching football before we head out again, this time south to some warmer weather.

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roadside dinner, we didn't get sick
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Elaines mom arrives by bus
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Abbey after the crossing
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panga ride through mangroves
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Martini cove
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bailey eyeing dinner
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dogs swimming to shore
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taking a break on the beach
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children watching us load into pangas

 

 

 

 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

 

WE HAVE STARTED DOING OUR TEXT FROM THE BOTTOM UP IF YOU HAVEN"T NOTICED YET... 

 

So we couldn't leave Punta Chivato without hoarding a whole bunch more shells, so off we went to the beach to gather up the goods for my mui importante new career.  You can guess what it is.  Our water line is going to end up around the port hole if we keep with the shelling, I believe. We passed an island where the sole purpose of being there is to mine gypsum.  They ship out the gypsum all over the world.

 

It took us about 5 hours to motor sail to Santa Rosalia. Santa Rosalia has a rich history, dating back to the 1800's when the french began mining copper here.  You will notice in the picture of the buildings that they are all made out of the wood.  The French shipped it here, as they don't have any wood in Baja.   They also shipped in a prefab church that was designed by Eiffel of The Eiffel Tower fame.  We had read  that they weren't mining copper anymore but at dinner the other night we met a couple of fellows who are getting the mine going again through the Baja Mining Company.  Watch those stocks, we will be.....

 

We were supposed to leave today{ Saturday) to cross over to the mainland, ie Guaymos, to meet up with my mom, who is doing a land tour of Mexico.  My mom is not a water person so she opted on a historical tour of Mexico.  The only place on her tour that is on the water is Guaymos, and she was going to be there a half a day on Sunday.  Well, you guessed it, the weather turned.  The forecast called for gale force winds on Friday, exceeding 30 knots, Saturday, exceeding 35 knots.  Last night, we clocked the winds at 42 knots.  Today, so far, 40 knots, but steadily increasing.  We are staying in a marina, but the waves are still coming in slapping the stern of the boat so bad that it is making noises we have never heard before.  2 pangas broke lose and ended up landing in the slip next to us.  The owner came and got them and put them right back where they broke free from. BRILLIANT.    We had a back up plan to take the ferry to Guaymos if the weather was bad, but the ferry turned out to be a small lake ferry that they use here in the sea.  It appears top heavy, and to be topsy turvey.  KC said there was no way he was getting on that thing. I was going anyway, seeing that I haven't seen my mom in 5 months, and then I noticed they did not have any life rafts.  Well, they have giant squid out here, and I happened to see a small squid take a fish.  I'm not the one, so we will be hooking up with mom inland in Navajoa. In addition, being that it was 42 knots here it was probably over 50 knots in the sea.  Those poor landlubbers were most likely terrified and getting sick the entire 13 hour trip. (Very slow ferry, as well).  I saw them waiting for the ferry, and they did not have a worry in the world.  They will now when they are planning to return and I am sure they ll will be checking the tiempo(weather)  Another thing the good good captain and I discussed over Bloody Mary's today is that the forecast was for  12 foot sea's 7 second interval.  Well, if the winds were bout 50-55 knots, then the sea's were probably about 15.  MUI SCARY MUI MUI SCARY. Ooh, another thing KC just mentioned is that today when he went to the boat to drop off the dogs, and some items, the docks were rocking so bad that Abbey made a break for land.

We'll probably leave on Monday when the sea's calm down. 

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Puppies, I'm cheating. Don't tell Abbey and Bailey.
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French influence wood homes
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Gypsum ship
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Bread Bakery since 1901
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Bakery
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Pangas that almost hit Hawkwind
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Mining train
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Would you cross the Sea of Cortes in this in 50 knot winds?
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Eiffel Church
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Old mine
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Eiffel church

 

January 7

 

 On the last half of the sail to Punta Chivato, we saw another set of dolphins, but there were hundreds of them.  They are truly a sight to see. They love to play in the bow wake and will turn around just to race you. The winds picked up which helped up pick up speed for awhile because we were on a close hauled starboard tack but then we had to adjust, and pull in the sail which really slowed us down.  We arrived and dropped the hook around 5:00 PM.  We had to drop it twice due to dragging.  Once we felt secure that we weren't dragging, we headed over to this gorgeous hotel, Posada De Los Flores, hoping for a Cervesa.  We were pretty bummed thinking that the hotel was closed, because it appeared to be deserted, but it turned out that they were open, and they had one couple staying there.  Betsey and Frank Moss 111, who were from Pendleton Oregon.  They were thrilled to have the company, because due to it being the off season, they were the only ones staying at the hotel.  What a great couple.  They have been married 40 years and still speak to each other.  Totally adorable couple and so sweet.  We had a great shrimp dinner at the hotel and they treated us to 2 bottles of wine.  A good time for all.  It turned out that Betsey is a social worker, as well.    

It turned out that due to the tiempo, we ended up staying another day in Chivato.  The winds picked up to 20-25 knots, and we did not want to beat into the wind all day so we decided to hang out and do some serious shell hunting.  That we did... We found about a 100 tiger turrets and a dozen of the large pink murex.  Great day at the beach.  We were able to hook up with Betsey and Frank again for drinks at the hotel and notced that the boat had dragged about a 100 feet.  Oops. 

Tonight the wind is till a blowin, and I really hope we can leave tomorrow to Rosalia, but we will see.

   

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Shelling in Punta Chivato
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Playing golf in the sand
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On our way to the beach
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pink Murex
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Hotel Pasada de la Flores Punta, Chivato
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Hotel grounds
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Betsy and Frank H. Moss III
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Miles of shells
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Enjoying cocktails in the afternoon

 

Jan 5,2009

 

After we left Nopolo we headed north to Agua Verde, it was a cloudy cool day when we arrived. Agua Verde is another small fishing village but they do have roads connecting them to Hwy 1. We hopped in the dinghy and headed to shore and the small store that the cruising guide said was inland. We did find the store, small room with a few items but no beer. Looks like I’m on rations. They did have a “cooler” in which they kept milk, cheese and what looked like chicken. It was a refrigerator lying on its back with a large chunk of ice inside. After spending the night we heading out the following morning to Honeymoon cove 4 miles south of Loreto. The scenery was stunning all the way up. Rock pinnacles jutted out of the water everywhere you looked. A whale surfaced 20 feet from the boat then disappeared into the depths below. The sun came out as we rounded the corner and made our approach to honeymoon cove. Manta rays were jumping out of the water. We dropped anchor close to a cliff then climbed to the top to get some pictures looking down on Hawkwind. We hiked around a while and found that we had cell phone reception when we were on top of a hill. We made a few calls, took a few pictures then headed back to the boat. That night while sitting in the cockpit we could hear the pelicans and manta rays splashing around. It’s easy to tell the difference between the two. The pelicans sound like a loud splash when they dive into the water to feed. The Manta rays have a clapping sound then they hit the water. We also saw a seal swim by below the surface glowing in phosphorescence, truly a magical place. Then to top it off the next morning when we are getting ready to leave hundreds of manta rays were feeding around the boat. It was amazing watching them swim by in formation like birds in a flying V. Then as we were pulling out of the cove they must have been done feeding as they began leaping out of the water as if saying goodbye.

 

The 2-hour motor north to Loreto was calm without even a ripple on the water. Fish were jumping everywhere. We decided to anchor right off of town. This can be risky since it is not a protected anchorage but the weather fax from the night before showed a high pressure system sitting over us for a couple days and the nearest protected anchorage was 9 miles away. The gamble paid off, as the winds did not come until the morning we left 2 days later. Loreto has a small marina where the fishing panga’s pull in. We used it as well to dock the dingy while hundreds of pelicans hung around hoping to get a hand out from the fishermen.

 

Loreto is small enough that you could take a walking tour and see all the sights in one day. Most of the attractions are centered around the mission, which was built in the 1800’s replacing one that was first built in 1697. Following the cobblestone road one passes the beautiful Hotel Pasada de las Flores, up the road further is the market area where one could buy everything from fresh fruit to decorative sinks for the bathroom (which we did for both our heads). That night we found a Chinese restaurant for dinner that was pretty good. Then we restocked at the grocery store and were ready to leave the following morning, Oh yes I have to mention that we did see Alaska’s Make a Wish 400 on final into the airport. It was time to leave after 2 days, the winds were picking up out of the north of course. We had 21 miles to our next stop San Juanico and with the winds on our nose we had a long day ahead. Between the barnacles on the hull, the slight current out of the north as well as the head winds we were only making 4 knots when we rounded the head north of Loreto into the open sea with 25 knot winds and 4-5 foot waves. A trip that should have taken 3 hours took 6 1/2. Just as the boat climbed up to 4.5 knots we would dive into a 5 footer burying the bow, which slowed us down to 2.8 knots. We did this all day long. This was really going to cut into our time ashore. San Juanico looks like a great place to explore. The geological formations were said to be stunning according to our cruising guide. Fossils, agates, crystals, and what is called Apache tears litter the landscape (Apache tears are smooth glossy stones of volcanic glass known as obsidian). There is also a cruisers shrine where people from all around hand trinkets from a tree by the beach.          

Well after 6 ½ hours we finally made it but we only had an hour and a half of daylight left. We hopped in the dingy and headed over to the shrine where we hung one of the wind chimes that Elaine made. Then we combed the beach and hillside finding fossils and shells but nothing else. It was getting dark so we headed back to the boat and nestled inside as the wind howled outside. Dinner a movie and a bottle of wine then off to bed to get an early start for our 56 mile day ahead up to Punta Chivato, that is if the winds die down. We have to average 5 knots to make it before dark if we leave at 7.

 

We are 4 hours out the following morning. We pulled anchor at 7:20 in calm winds and motored out the bay. So far so good the winds are starting to build slightly our speed is down to 5.2 from 6.8 earlier. Hopefully we’ll make it before dark.

  

Update de Elaina

  

I had been looking forward to Agua Verde the entire trip due to the pictures I had seen in the cruising guides.  Beautiful white sandy beaches and of course clear green water.  Well, unfortunately due to the clouds, I believe the water was marron.  Disappointing although heart warming, because memories were stirred up of our beloved muddy waters in the Pacific NW.   We stopped at Maria’s Tienda, and stocked up on the junk food. Maria is a lovely lady, who allowed me to carry on in fragmented Spanish phrases.   She has a developmentally disabled adult son, so should anyone decide to stop there in the future, be sure to bring something for him. 

  

Our next stop was Honeymoon Cove, which was 22 miles from Agua Verde, and about 17 miles to Loreto.  We were enchanted.  Our own private cove, con bonita azul/verde agua y mucho blanco playas.  Mui, mui bien.  Of course, the perro’s were not allowed on shore, because the whole gorgeous area is a designated federal park, and they do not want perro “doodoo” on shore, but we found lots of people “doodoo” there with toilet paper, so we took them ashore anyway. We all went for a lovely hike up a hillside to take pictures of Hawkwind, as well as to make mui importante telefono calls. The view from the hill was absolutely spectacular of the bay and breathtaking of the Sierra de la Giganta range.  What was even more amazing was the phosphorescent in the water. I, of course, was awake at 2 am and went up to check on things, and to make sure we weren’t dragging, and I saw this big blob of green and multiple sparkling fish jumping.  I think that the blob was a seal. 

 

 The next day we took off for Loreto, which was a lovely sail over, only 14 miles. We anchored right off of Loreto, which turned out to be fabulous, because the winds were out of the west. (There isn’t a protected anchorage off of Loreto) The cruising guides tell everyone to anchor at Puerto Escondido, which is still 14 miles way from Loreto, because it is protected, but we did not want to go there, because they are turning the area into a resort, and price gauge you.  They have multiple mooring buoys that they charge you a mint for.  If you decide not to use them, then they charge you to anchor.  We decided on principle not to stop and to run the risk of anchoring off Loreto.  We did have back up plan if it was windy to anchor off of a private cove, which was a short sail from Loreto. 

  

Loreto is a beautiful city and the people are mui nice.  The architecture is gorgeous, as well.  They have a mission that dates back to the 1800’s. They also have a large market area with local artisans.  We bartered our way through the area and bought 2 ceramic sinks for the heads.  KC has already put in one. We also bought small hand made rugs, and they are mui tiny, but the guy, who makes them, was very nice and aggressive.  We bought four, and put them in the aft hallway.  They look really good. What can I say about Chinese food in Mexico?  Not bad, but interesting.  The egg rolls have cinnamon in them, and the wonton soup had 1 piece of barbequed pork in it.  By accident? They only know.   

  

Well, moving on… The sail to Caleta San Juanico was 26 miles.  It took us a lifetime and then some.  MAL MAL Tiempo y mui FRIO.   It did give me the opportunity to make the good captain some delicious banana bread, although it was pretty rocky down below and I got seasick for one of the first times, but due to my exceptional control, I did not expel anything.  We arrived in San Juanico with just enough time to head over to the cruiser’s shrine, which was totally cool.  We also found some great shells, of course, and let the dogs swim for a while.  I wish we had more time there, because we wanted to hike up to this road that has  apache tears, and crystals, but we will have to save it for another time.  I forgot to mention that based on a tip from a fellow in La Paz, we found mucho agate crystals in San Averisto.  You really have to look for them, but they are there, and I am thrilled.  I guess you have to put them in a rock tumbler for a month to polish them, which I don’t have. Does anyone know where to get one for cheap? Almost free?  I know KC already mentioned about Bailey’s run in with the cactus, but I have to tell ya that ever since I saw him with that piece of cactus embedded in is snout, I have had funny flashbacks, picturing him with that in his nose.  Sometime’ it’s hard to look at him without laughing.  Back to Bailey’s beak, he just now stuck it in the air, and VOILA,  we had 100’s of large dolphins swimming in our bow wake. Truly amazing, he smelled them coming.  Even Abbey got up from her snooze to take a look.    I love dolphins, I can’t think of anything more amazing to watch, except for maybe whales.   

 

Well, it is a beautiful day, so I’m going to go and enjoy it.  We have about 30 miles to go to Punta Chivato. . 

 

Oh, I forgot to mention the manta rays in honeymoon cove. Throughout this trip, KC has seen these rays jumping everywhere, and he frequently calls out to me, telling me to look over here, over there, la, la la, everywhere, and I have yet to see them. It actually got to the point where I thought he was making them up, and was getting irritated, and then the mystical day came, otherwise known as THE DAY ELAINA FINALLY SAW A RAY, not just one, but hundreds of them swimming around the boat.  They fly through the water. KC has been redeemed…     

   

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School San Evaristo
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The dingy upon our return
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Loreto Harbor
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Mission, Loreto
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Chart plotter says we are at "A" when we were really at "B"
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Hanging our contribution to the shrine
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New sink fwd head
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San Evaristo, note desalination plant in center
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Manta Rays in Honeymoon Cove
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Pelican of Loreto Harbor
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Loreto
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Looking north toward Loreto
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San Juantico
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Bailey where are you?
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Hawkwind at San Evaristo
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Courtyard of Hotel Pasada in Loreto
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Rug maker in Loreto
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Hotel Pasada de la Flores, Loreto
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Cruisers shrine San Juanico
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Aft head sink waiting to be installed
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Manta Rays in formation
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Someone bought a new hat
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Sign outside mission
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Market Street in Loreto
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Fossils San Juanico
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Riding under our bow
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Boring old sink
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Someone needs a shave
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Abbey checking out parrot in market
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Cruisers Shrine
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Now where did Bailey go?

 

January 5 

We have spent the past 2 days in Loreto. Its a great little town with friendly people and a rich history dating back almost 300 years. Now we're heading up to San Juanico about 22 miles away. Will post some pictures as soon as we get a better wifi signal.                                                                

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                        

 Sunday dec.28

 

 

We have been stuck in Ensonda Grande for 2 days now, and it look like we will be here for at least one more day thanks to the 25 plus knot winds we are encountering. We were hoping to be at least 90 miles north of our position, instead of only 29 miles from La Paz. The S/V Explorer pulled into the bay next to us yesterday and said that he encountered 45-knot winds on his way down. Sea Lark a National Geographic eco cruise ship was anchored a few hundred yards away. I hailed him to get the latest weather report. He said the winds should die down the day after tomorrow. At least I have plenty of beer and Elaine has been cooking up some tasty meals. The only good thing about this wind is that we are making lots of electricity so I can run the watermaker all day long without starting the genset. Today we ventured off the boat and took the dogs to shore in the dingy for some exercise. We headed inland along a goat trail, Bailey got wind of a chipmunk and chased after him only to come back empty handed except for a chunk of cactus in his nose. Even with all the wind I would still rather be anchored out here than in  La Paz. We are surrounded by 200 foot high cliffs that are dotted with small caves. The other night before the wind picked up we stood on the bow calling out to hear our echo. Elaine would yell HELLO and 100 voices would yell back, apparently each cave sending back its response. The dogs quickly got wind of this and they began yelling out as well only to have a pack of angry dogs, or so they thought yell back at them. They ran inside to hide.

  As we motored over from la Paz (no  wind) I noticed that our speed was down by at least a knot maybe a knot and a half. There was a band of barnacles forming along the waterline from being at anchor for so long. I think I felt a slight vibration as well while we motored along. Probably have barnacles on the prop as well. As soon as the winds subside I’ll have to go over the side and start scraping. OK that’s about it for now, I know real exciting stuff, you’re probably asking what do you do all day while your just sitting at anchor? Well, There is always a boat project that needs to be done aside from that Elaine does her Spanish lessons, I’m trying to learn guitar and celestial navigation also I’m still trying to figure out the SSB and weather fax. Then before you know it its 4 o’clock HAPPY HOUR. After that everything is a blur (just kidding).   

 

 

Yesterday we made a break for it and left Ensonada Grande in light winds that quickly built to 20 knots on the nose as we entered Canal de San Jose. The mountains of the Sierra de la Giganta range to the west and the mountainous Isla San Jose to the east creates a funnel effect which we hear always creates wind here. After 4 ½ hours we were pulling into San Evaristo, a small fishing village where Elaine hoped to find agates on the beach, which she had been told, existed. We beached the dingy after anchoring Hawkwind in front of the desalination plant where everyone in the village walked to get their water. Some of the homes have a solar panel on the roof with a bank of old batteries sitting outside as no power is supplied to  the town. We walked through town past the small one room school and onto the beach where indeed we did find agates. On the way back to the boat we found a small tienda (grocery store) that has fresh vegetables, bread, eggs and candy for the children. Back on Hawkwind we settled in for the night, watched a movie and went to bed early to catch up on our sleep that we have been missing with all the wind in the past few days.

 

Today we awoke to sunny skies and warm temperatures, the Giganta range loomed in the distance behind the village. We hauled up the anchor and motored north into  16 knot wind to our next destination, another small fishing village that is only accessible by boat. As we pulled into the anchorage the village people curiously looked out toward us probably wondering what we were doing there. One of the reasons we wanted to come to Mexico was to offer needed items to the poor local villagers. We grabs the bags we has prepared, hopped in the dingy and headed to shore. We were greeted as soon as we stepped off the boat. We didn’t speak Spanish and they didn’t speak English but through hand gestures we were taken to where most of the villagers were gathered. First we handed out candy and toys to the children. Then we offered clothing and other items to the adults. Smiles and a few mispronounced words were exchanged then we headed back to the dingy and made our way to the next small village around the corner. It made us feel good to help these people, they have so little, no electricity or running water but they appear happy. One thing I noticed was some of the girls who couldn’t have been 15 were carrying infants around.


 

Tonight is New Years eve and we are spending it anchored out with a bottle of bubbly on ice and a few expired signal flares ready to fire off. Today was a good day.  

 

 

Side bar de Elaina

Ensenada Grande had the best snorkeling, thus far.  We saw so many fish that we had not Xseen yet.  GIANT blue yellow fluorescent angel fish swimming in a   t t /

school, hundreds of little black fish with spikey fins, and of course lots of amarillo and negro striped fish. We swam into these little caverns where you would just pop out into a completely different neighborhood of fish.  Totally cool, the best so far. We did not get to go snorkeling until our last dia, because of the winds, but it as well worth the wait.  KC went to scrape the bottom of the barco, and noticed that there were tuna swimming underneath, so we threw out a line with my new fishing pole.   I caught an adorable little bottom feeder, which we threw back in, and a puffer fish, my favorite fish.  We tried to throw him back in, but he puffed up into giant spikey ball and rolled out of the net and down the deck of the barco.  KC had to hold him underneath the agua until he deflated himself.

I have never seen soooooo many stars as I have seen anchored out here.  It is truly mystical. I can see how people are able to do celestial navigation out here without the interference of the big city lights. It’s  big change from being anchored off of La Paz.

San Evaristo and Napolo are small fishing villages.  They are completely self sufficient, but welcome supplies from cruisers. Some people say, "ooh those poor people, they have so little..."  I feel that they have a lot more than most people will ever have. They have a community that takes care of each other, and look out for one another.  They live simply, and they are very happy.  They don't have any crime, and they definitely know how to celebrate.    We did donate supplies to the school, and some clothes, and tools, as well as candy to the ninos.  

Anyway, we have to go, cuz the battery is running low.            

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Trying to stay up till New Years
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Hawkwind Nopolo
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Manta rays Honeymoon cove

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New Years celebration equipment

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People of Nopolo
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Shopping Aqua Verde
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Bailey New Years
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Hawkwind Honeymoon cove
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Children of Nopolo
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Going for a hike
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New Years eve Nopolo
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Nopolo





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