Friday, December 11, 2009

San Blas

Currently in San Blas, Mexico and loving it.
After repairing the alternator and electrical wiring we took a two day trip down to Chacala. We saw whales and dolphins on the way. We had a great time and hiked to a small volcano crater on the south end of the bay. The trip back was punctuated with a spectacular sunset.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Home for the Holidays

We are heading South by boat to fly North! Moving the boat to PV but flying home for the Holidays. Flying on December 17th. I have to get Tucker his health papers prior to that. Wish me Luck!

Following the 80 degree water heading to P.V.

Wrapping up our stay here in La Paz. It has been really fun. It is an interesting Town with lots of nice local and transient folks. We have Jamie Rosman on board as crew and will make the crossing of the Sea tomorrow. I will turn the SPOT back on so you can follow as you like. I will try to post some pictures of our stay here in La Paz later on.

Today Jamie and I spent 3 hours in immigration because I noticed my VISA was only good for 30 days, I had asked for 60 days. And Jamie didn't have any paperwork at all. So technically I was here with an expired VISA and Jamie was illegal. We are now "Schooled" and will not to leave the airport immigration without the proper VISA. The official gave me half the time that I asked for and I didn't know to check or question what he did. Before I left to go over to Immigration I radioed the other women who had also traveled by plane the same day I did and asked her to check her VISA. The official had again only given her half the time she had asked for. So she came along with us. Jamie had come down to La Paz via crossing the boarder in San Diego then catching a plane from TJ to La Paz and did not have any paperwork at all. So he had two forms to fill out. Again the immigration officer said don't leave the airport until all your paperwork is in order and it's your responsibility to make sure it is in order. Lesson learned. For me it was a 236 peso lesson and I think it was double that for Jamie. So from now on I will go for a 180 day VISA and not be intimidated by the guy with the stamp.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The collectiva or local bus

Well, I've figured out a few things wandering around this little town. I actually think I have acquired a little bit of local knowledge.

Like I said in previous posts I was doing a lot of walking. Well, I got tired and am too cheap to pay for a taxi so I decided to figure out how to use the local bus called the collectiva. They are basically the short yellow bus no one every admits to have taken as a school child. Let me tell you how they work.
There are only certain streets they roll on, I think the taxi's and the buses have their own turf zones. So what you do is stand out in the street and look in the direction you think the bus might come from. Then when you see the bus you try to get a good look at the writing on the bus. Sometimes it is handwritten on the bus where it is going like "Walmart" or "Sorianna" along with many other places. So the key is to read as quick as you can and decide if you want on the bus.

If you want on you jump up and down and do the hokey pokey and the bus will stop in front of you. I had a little bit of trouble yesterday when I fell off the sidewalk and into the bus. Just a little bit embarassing in any language.

I ALWAYS carry a map with me and I point to the general area I want to go and the driver will either says "Si" or just look at me blankly. Then I sit back and hold on for Mr. Toad's wild ride. The bus takes off with the petal to the rusted out floor and stops just as abruptly at the next person waving. They wander all over town, through neighbors, grocery store parking lots. You really can't go wrong. If nothing else its a good tour of the city. It only costs 8 pesos or about .70 cents. Once I decide where I want to get off I have enough energy to wander around.

Sometimes there are folks on the bus who speak english. This helps a lot. I met a young man home on vacation yesterday, he now lives in Guadalajara. He came home to go to a party and did not have the right shoes with him so his mom sent him out to buy some new shoes. His folks and his sister live here in La Paz. Mom is a dentist, Dad is a Doctor and his sister is a Lawyer. He is a mathmatician working at a bio tech firm. Wow, I was impressed. Never no who you might meet on the local bus.

Yesterday I ended up walking back to the boat because I was more interested in looking down at the sidewalk then catching the bus I guess. The sidewalks here are really quite treacherous. There is NO UNIFORM building code for sidewalks in Mexico. Some are lined with catus, and the sidewalks are all different widths, heights, steps, shear drops, uneven pavement you name it! I thought about taking some pictures but I really dont think I could possibly catch the danger on camera.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The first week in La Paz

Hola, Thought I was going to go walking today but decided it would be better if I did the laundry and organized stuff on the boat. I'm trying not to let the laundry pile up too much since it quite an ordeal to get over to the laundry. I wanted to get there early so I could get two machines, so I was up and out of the boat by 7:30 or so. The early bird get's the washing machine first! I spent most of the morning waiting on the clothes and chatting to anyone who happened by. It was nice. It was really hot here today. It was probably 85 degrees.

I came back and organized the boat some more. Cupboard by cupboard. I found my extra sheets, beach towels and the emergency beer! I cleaned my vegetables, again, and made a pot of chili verde for supper.

Yesterday we went to Los Islotes on a dive boat. Doug went diving, I went snokeling. It was my idea to go on a boat so I could snorkle with a group. Turned out that I was the only one snorkling that day so I was ONMYOWN. I sucked it up and jumped in the water (FISH TANK). It was amazing! The first thing I saw was an adult male sealion in my face. I don't think I screamed too loud, well maybe a little and a few bad words. Then I closed my eyes and tried to get my breath back. When I opened my eyes there were hundreds of fish all around me. The visability of was maybe 40 feet. This island is a place where you can go to interact with the sea lions, so they come right up to you and want to play. They were all around me blowing bubbles and coming right up under me. I never put my hand out but I think they would have liked a taste of my fingers. No one feeds them, so they are not expecting food.

I had my underwater camera so I took a few pictures. I will send out a link from Doug's computer when I get a chance. He just went through and did some editing. I was just snapping not really knowing how the pictures were going to turn out.

After Los Islotes we went by boat over to a PLAYA (beach) for lunch. The cove was litteraly tourquoise with a white sandy beach. The boat just drove right up on the beach, beach landing in a dive boat. They put up a PALAPA (Unmbrella) up and put out some chairs. We enjoyed a good old ham sandwhich. After lunch the dive boat left and went out of the cove to dive on a wreck. I stayed at the beach thinking I might go snorkel on the reef. I tried walking out to the reef via the beach but then I decided I was walking way to close to the creepy fisherman's hut, so I then tried wading out to the reef from the beech and there was something in the water that started stinging my legs. I'm not sure if it was some kind of tiny jelly or what. I had this same experience once in Florida. So back to the beach I went. I could here the fisherman laughing! Darn it!

The wreck that Doug went diving on had an interesting history. Turns out that in about 1999 this boat shows up here from China full of Chinese expecting to get off in Mexico. Mexico said no way and they went out to the boat and took everybody off and took them to the airport and sent them all back to China. Then they sank the boat right there. Sounds kinda strange. Mind you my Spanish is not so good, but that's what I think they were saying.

There is another wreck near here. It is a ferry that went down in the San Lorenzo channel in the 40's. I understand that it's a really great dive. They told me you can see the old cars and trucks. Sounded pretty cool if you are a diver. I'm a snorkler, can't snorker there.

Here at the marina we noticed today that there is a Tartan 37 right next to us. The name is WILD ROSE from the Bay Area I think. Doug went over and chatted with her today. She was looking for some anchor chain. We are looking to sell our current anchor chain since it does not fit correctly on our windlass. Did not fit on hers either or the other guy who came around looking for chain. I'm going to go chat with her tomorrow and see if I can get some pictures of her boat in full cruising mode.

Sunday is a pialla cook off downtown. It starts at 10:00 am and I can go and watch them make it. Sounds really fun.

Here are pictures of the seminar on the 70-ft schooner VLTAVA.

Here are pictures of the Thanksgiving dinner at Marina La Palmira.

Adios! for now

Ensenada de Los Muertos

We stayed here for a few days waiting out a wind storm from the North. We sailed here from Bahia Frailes and arrived at 10:30 PM at night. We anchored way away from all the other boats so we wouldn't drag into them in the middle of the night. We also anchored near a set of buildings with a lot of lights. The cruising guide mentiond a hotel there so I was hoping I could pickup some free internet.

We went in the next morning to check out the restaurant also mentioned in the guide as being cruiser friendly. Clark and I got out our empty boxes and Linda went out networking. She heard about the hotel that we anchored near and that they wanted the cruisers to come over. They had a full staff but the golf tournament scheduled for that week was called off so the staff were looking for something to do. It was a spectacular place. We heard it was built as a single family residence; WOW! We also learned that they were trying to change the name to Bahie de Los Suenos (bay of dreams; not the bay of dead).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Barrel Catus Farm

This is located in San Jose Cabo. This was a very interesting sight to see. It's a solid catus field. I don't have any idea how they decide when to take them to market.


This community is totally off the grid. It's a place where gringo's go to get away from it all. We rented a car one day in Cabo San Jose and went exploring. We found this small community on a dirt road that runs along the coast. The homes here are all solar. There is one bar in town called Zac's. It is more like the community kitchen and gathering place. Pretty remote.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

First (scheduled) Stop, Turtle Bay

Ah, civilization and cold beer.

Well, Ok then, just cold beer.

This bay is also known as Bahia San Bartolome. We arrived here after repairing the steering in Bahia San Quintin and two rough nights at sea. We were all ready for some land time and a quiet night’s rest. The town here is very small, actually it makes Minco, OK look like a big city. There were no paved streets but there were a few “Stop” signs. We did observe that these signs are merely a suggestion. They did have an “Internet Cafe” though. I spent a few hours there answering other cruiser’s computer questions and charging up our computers and the camera batteries. There was no coffee at this cafe only chips and Coke but the only charged me 8 pesos. Later I found out that I could have gone to the restaurant, El Veracruz, and gotten free internet with coffee or cold beer.

That night as we were wandering around the town we smelled the best bar-b-que. We followed our noses and joined some other cruisers an the best taqueria I have ever been to. The meat was cooked in front of us and sliced off and handed to us on a tortilla, YUM!!

The start of the next leg was delayed until 12:30pm the next afternoon so that morning we went to town and had the best Huevos Rancheros ever.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Emergency Steering

Here we are rigging the emergency tiller. I think it was a virgin before this trip. It took us 45 minutes to get the deck plate loose.

Baja Ha-Ha Crew

Here is the Crew of the Baja Ha-Ha Rally:
  • Captain "Salty" Doug.
  • 1st. Mate Dave "I Kill YOU!" Calhoun.
  • Clark "Wine boy" Hemphill.
  • The infamous Uncle Mike.
  • The pickup crew from Seattle, Jerry "Fish Killer" Thorsen.

Baja Ha-Ha Bad Start

Here is a picture of Captain Doug replacing the exhaust house after it melted. The raw water valve was left turned off by the captain and the hot exhaust destroyed the hose and filled teh bilge with diesel exhaust and water. The Land crew of Jamie and Linda were quick to the rescue and delivered a new hose to the police dock in San Diego.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Baja Ha-Ha Crew

Here are pictures of the Crew:
  • Captain "Salty" Doug
  • 1st Mate "I Kill YOU!" Dave
  • Clark "Wineboy" Hemphill
  • The infamous Uncle Mike
  • The pickup crew Jerry "Fish Killer" Thorsen.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Ole' Tucker and I had a great flight. Thanks to Margot and Franz for the ride to the Sacramento Airport. The flight was only 3 hours long and Tucker was the first one off the plane. I wore my Ha Ha t-shirt and was able to get a free ride to the boat at the Marina. I'm pretty sure I was told not to take free rides from drunken saliors but I did anyway :) We are currently anchored out in the harbor. The water is beautiful and it's hot here. They play music ALL night long at the beach club. We will stay here until Tuesday then we are thinking about heading up to the La Paz area. More later.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Next stop Cabo

Looks like next stop is Cabo San Lucas. I'm as ready as I can be for the trip to Cabo San Lucas via aeroplane :) I have a supply of AAA batteries for the SPOT

Monday, November 2, 2009

Magdalena Bay

Bahía Magdalena (Magdalena Bay) is a 50 km long bay along the western coast of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. It is protected from the Pacific Ocean by the sandy barrier islands of Isla Magdalena and Isla Santa Margarita.This bay is particularly noted for the seasonal migration of the California Gray Whales that come here during winter to mate. The bay is also popular for commercial and sports fishing. Nearby mangrove swamps provide sanctuaries for sea birds. The bay includes the small fishing port of San Carlos, as well as Puerto López Mateos, which provides a good place to observe the whales.

According to Lectronic Latidude on the second leg of the trip the weather was a lot calmer and not so rowdy. I'm not sure why they are anchored in this bay and not Bahia Santa Maria. I spoke to Jaime today and he told me that if they needed boats parts they could get them in San Carlos via a panga boat and that might be why they tucked in Magdalena Bay. I don't expect to hear from them until they arrive in Cabo San Lucas. I'm leaving out of Sacramento on Friday morning to join them in Cabo San Lucas. I'm sure all is well.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Turtle Bay

We have arrived in Turtle bay in good shape. Everybody is ok. Clark and Uncle Mike have been seasick for the last 4 days.

The steering broke on day 2, but we repaired it and it worked fine all day yesterday in 8ft. seas. We stopped with a bunch of boats in Bahia San Quintin to repair the steering and the VHF radio. There was 8-10ft seas outside so the anchorage was very rolly.
We cooked the Lasagna and chicken dishes and Dave made bratwurst. We have been munching on the Nutragrain bars and eating yogurt and raisin bran for breakfast.

We caught a small bonito on the squid lour and ate sashimi for appetizers on two nights. It was great!

We have had a string of bad luck with the boat gear, but we have been able to work through most of the issues.

I’m here in town at Turtle bay at an internet café. There is no AC on the boat so I’m here charging the computers and sending email.

The Spot unit ran out of batteries and I tried to put in new ones. The package you got was AA and the unit requires AAA. Go figure. We put AAA alkaline batteries in but they only last one night. We were sending our position about every hour manually to conserve batteries last night and that seemed to work.

We will go to the Bar-B-Que on the beach today then start leg 2 tomorrow at 12:30PM.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Local Sailors Rescued After Ocean Encounter With Whales

This was NOT our boat - it was the SV Crosswave from Marina Village
Local Sailors Rescued After Ocean Encounter With Whales
5 Rescued After Sailboat Capsizes, Sinks
POSTED: 3:46 pm PDT October 28, 2009
UPDATED: 7:22 pm PDT October 28, 2009

SAN DIEGO -- U.S. Coast Guard air crews came to the rescue Wednesday of five people drifting in a lifeboat in Mexican waters after the sailboat they had been in capsized and sank several hundred miles south of Point Loma, authorities reported.
The federal maritime agency received an emergency notification about the accident about 10 a.m., USCG Petty Officer Henry Dunphy said.
The Coast Guard sent out a helicopter from its San Diego station and a C-130 plane from Sacramento, and the chopper crew spotted the lifeboat drifting about 50 miles off the coast of Mexico, Dunphy said.
The helicopter personnel picked up the group -- who had been taking part in a nearly 800-mile mass ocean voyage involving hundreds of sailboats -- and headed back to San Diego.
"It was a miracle. It was like angels were coming to rescue us because we had resigned ourselves to the fact that we were going to be there up to three days to make it to the coast," said Judy Land, who was part of the group at sea.
Crew members said it was a whale ramming the boat's rudder -- and not the high winds at sea -- that caused the boat to capsize.
The captain of the boat, Eugenie Russell, said, "They were big ... I would say a good 50 feet ... I remember seeing 7 or 8 of them."
One of the rescued boaters had a minor hand injury. The other four apparently were unscathed by the mishap, according to Dunphy.
The sailboat trip from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, dubbed the Baja Ha Ha Rally, began Monday and was supposed to end in Cabo San Lucas on Nov. 7.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Baja Ha Ha crew to Cabo San Lucas
Clark Hemphill, Gerry T., Uncle Mike!, Dave Calhoun and Salty Doug. I have the SPOT back on and following them. SVAQUADESIAC

Baha Ha Ha Begins

The morning begin with coffee and donuts. Left the dock this morning at 9:51 a.m., returned a short time latter for one more trip to the yanmar dealer. Hmm, seems like someone did not open a through hole fitting for the engine. It was a quick fix thanks to all the land support in San Diego. We were as quick as any indy crew with 2 trips to the store! Thanks to "Jim" and Jamie for the technical advice.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Working in San Diego

Dave Calhoun and I (Salty Doug) are here in San Diego docked at the Silver Gate Yacht Club.The club house is in front of the boat under the palm trees.

We have been working on the boat, fixing leaks, fixing the voltage regulator that broke on the way south, and finishing tasks that weren't completed in Alameda.

Here is Dave working on the hatch with the fine adjustment tool.

The cockpit floor had been leaking since the re-power so we removed the two outer strips of teak and re-bedded them.

We also mounted the launching wheels on the dingy, Dave mounted the stern anchor roller, and I put a second light in the fwd head.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

San Francisco to San Diego Trip Pictures

We used Luc Poppe's camera as the main camera for the trip since he was kind enough to leave it in the cockpit for all 4 days.
Here is a Photo of the successful crew in San Diego.
L to R: Uncle Mike, Dennis Zvalo, Aaron Robinson (in back), Dave Calhoun, Luc Poppe, and Myself, Salty Doug.

Luc Poppe posted his pictures on line at Shutterfly.

Also, here is a video of the porpoises playing in the bow wave. There was no wind that morning so the ocean was like a mirror which allowed the fantastic pictures and this move. In all my other pictures of Porpoises all you see is maybe a fin and the waves on the surface.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Arrived safe and sound in San Diego on Wednesday as scheduled. Staying at the Cabrillo Isle for a short time. Doug is heading back up to the Bay Area for a few days next week. Uncle Mike is going home to Oklahoma to spend some time with his horses. Mainly fix the gate so they don't escape!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Heading towards the Channel Islands

Still heading South. Not too far from the Channel Islands today

Sunday, October 4, 2009

This is what Grand Marina looked like this morning at about 6:45 am. Note the full moon in the background. It was very calm and still. Clear skies

Left San Francisco at 8:45 AM

Doug and his crew left San Francisco today at the crack of 8:45 am (sharp!). Just a few last minute things as always. They left a day late because the weather outside the Golden Gate was a bit rough on Saturday. I am following them on and right now they are off the coast of Halfmoon Bay. It looks like they are making pretty good time. They are a ways offshore to avoid the swells.
You can check them out yourself at

Monday, September 28, 2009

Flights to Cabo

I'm working on a plan to fly to Cabo

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spent the weekend doing last minute punch list items on the boat. A boat in our marina left this morning for San Diego. They were still packing at 1:00 am last night when I took the dog for a walk. Then they were gone this morning. I won't see them until Cabo. SV Peregine

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Contact information: SVAquadesiac - not on line yet (SVAquadesiac) I have ordered the newest version should arrive just before the second leg to Cabo.

Bon Voyage

Ahoy,The boat will leave from Grand Marina, slip A42, at 08:00 sharp on October 3.
Leg 1 SF to SD
1. Luc Poppe
2. Dave Calhoun
3. Dennis Zvalo
4. Aaron Robinson
5. Uncle Mike
6. Mike Brennan
7. Doug

Leg 2 Baja Ha-Ha
1. Uncle Mike
2. Dave Calhoun
3. Clark Hemphill
4. Jerry T (from Seattle)
5. Doug

Yea, nothing goes to weather like a 7.4.7.... I will meet them in Cabo San Lucas

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We are getting the boat ready for the Baja Ha Ha 2009. Leaving San Francisco for San Diego Oct. 3

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Our house in San Jose closed yesterday. We handed over the keys to the new owners. Officially moved to Napa.