Sunday, December 26, 2010

The last road trip of 2010

First a car wash, just so I can see out the windows

Loaded the Simmburban onto the Baja Ferry to La Paz

La Paz, last in first out!  After 2 hours!

Mappa
Ok, I think we go North from here

El Burro cove in Conception Bay, we anchored here last Spring


It was a dark and stormy night, but we made it!


This looks like wine country
I have always been a stickler for all my paperwork being in order.  That said it was time to take the Simmburban home.  It needed a smog check and a 2011 license tag.  We decided to drive up the Baja for a little something different.  It was actually very interesting to be on the land side of all the places we cruised last Spring.  We really, really were out in the middle of no where on several occasions.  Mexico is not a country known for signage so it was interesting to drive up the Baja knowing that there were little villages off a dirt road and not seeing any signs for them.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

And so this is Christmas

We arrived in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle in December for the Zeppelin Group Christmas party!
This dock the Zeppelin Group only, How are we a part of the Zeppelin group?  Let me count the ways!


 It was time to get ready for all the festivities!  A small Christmas dinner turned into a rather large get together of over 20 boats and 60 people for a sit down potluck dinner.  During the course of the week there was an informal dock party every night which were really fun.  All the food was amazing, just like the Holiday season at home and I think I over ate.
My first boat turkey, it just fit in the oven!

Gift exchange
Salud!


These folks look pretty relaxed for it being the Christmas Season!

Our friend Anna the Banana, nice skirt!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pizza, killer Margaritas and a Boa

Yesterday ended up being a very busy day.  I arranged a grocery store run for our buddy boat SV SeaBear, they had just come over from La Paz and needed a small resupply trip. Kathy SV BlueDolphin, JC SV SeaBear and I made a fairly quick trip to the store and grabbed a bit to eat. (Breakfast/Lunch?)

Upon our return we found that "everyone" was waiting for us to head over to Stone Island for pizza.  Our crew Leo was back from his big adventure to Guaymas and was really hungry and pizza sounded perfect.

So we all met over on the dinghy dock.  Somehow our group had grown to over 12!   Word gets around when you are talking about good pizza.

No trip to the Old Harbor is complete without a water taxi ride over over to Stone Island's Benji's Pizza.  We arrived in time for a late lunch I think.  We enjoyed 6 pizza's with different toppings (pepperoni, veg, mexicano and their famous shrimp pizza.  They were all eaten so fast I didn't get a picture. Eli served wonderful margarita's and his pina colada with a punch!  The coconut shrimp was also a big hit.  Just after we finished eating pizza Eli came over to our table and announced we were all going on a field trip, follow him!  OK!  I love field trips.  Turned out there had been a BOA siting just behind the restaurant.  It was big, very big!  BOA's? here? what the? I hate snakes, I have just about the same reaction as Indiana Jones.
Everyone else got up real close to it and took some pretty good pictures.  The snake actually made a pretty loud noise which sent me off in a different direction.  They were entertained for quite a while by the snake.  I spent the time picking stickers off of Tuckers paws.

After bothering the snake we,  the "Crew" kids (they have decided I'm ok and can hang out with them) we decided to hike to the top of the little mountain at Stone Island and watch the sunset.  Geez, sunset?  I thought we came over for lunch.  Oh well, I love a good hike so I scurried off bringing up the rear.  It was a really good climb up the side of the little mountain.  We even passed a bunch of goats.  The scenery was beautiful and the view was spectacular.  I think the view was better than from at the top of the light house mountain top.

We were so caught up in watching the sunset we sort of forgot about the rest of our group at the restaurant.    We scurried down the mountain, back to the restaurant only to find that the rest of our group had already taken off. Opps, when does the last panga leave?  Wow, it's really dark out here. We made it back to the panga at exactly 6:00 pm.  Turned out there was one more panga ride for the evening.  He tried to charge us again, saying we were late but we managed to get a ride without having to pay again since about 10 other folks came running down to the dock after us.  He wasn't going hassle the entire boat full of people.

He delivered us to the other side of the estuary but not near where we had gotten on the first panga boat.  So we decided to stop and have a beer at the restaurant on the point called La Pontilla, not to be confused with la putilla!  The band was playing when we walked in, then stopped.  They were done for the day.  We could wait for 30 min. and pay 50 pesos to hear the next band.   I don't really feel I need to pay to hear a mexican band in a bar.  I can sit in the cockpit of the boat and hear a mexican band.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mazatlan Mexico - Old Harbor - Now let's go get the truck

Posting from Mazatlan, Mexico.  Cruising can distort your calendar.  Just like sitting in front of the computer can suck away hours of your life.  We have been anchored here in the Old Harbor since November 25, Thanksgiving Day.  That's 9 days.  So has it been just over a week or almost 2 weeks?
Ah, who knows.  No matter where we are there seems to always be something to do either on our boat, or another boat.  Once we hit a port it's time to replenish our resources of water, fuel, food and of course spare parts.  In some ports it is easier to accomplish these tasks then others.  Here in the Old Harbor aka Puerto Viejo, the chores are very time consuming and require having a working dinghy and a strong back.  Having a vehicle here is really a luxury.  The alternative is bus, taxi or walk.  There are no nearby services.

Earlier in the week Caroline, crew from SV Blue Dolphin and I took the night bus North to Guaymas to retrieve the Simmburban.  It was almost a 24 hour trip up and back and cost about $250 in bus tickets, gas and tolls.  The bus ride took just over 12 hours and it was freezing cold the entire journey.  I should have packed a big blanket.  I instead only had my "CAL" sweatshirt and a towel.  I always carry a towel just in case I might happen to have an opportunity to have a hot shower.  In this case I wish I would have packed my BIG towel.  I was hoping to get some sleep on the bus but was to busy shivering most of the time.  We played scrabble, Mexican version, until I got a little motion sick.  I was very happy when the bus pulled into Guaymas.  I had planned on jumping on a local bus but decided we needed to walk a bit just to get the feeling back in my feet.  We only had time to grab a quick breakfast before we had to get back on the road and head South to Mazatlan.  When I took the night bus I had figured I would have plenty of time to drive all the way to Mazatlan during day light hours.  Time flies when you are having fun I guess and I never did get my shower, it was closed for repairs.  We did not get onto the MEX 15D until very close to 12:00 PM.  It's an 8 hour drive if you drive like me, a 7 hour drive if you drive like my friend Moses and Doug said it was a 6 hour drive.  Ah, who to believe.

The drive to Mazatlan was pretty uneventful except for a road detour that involved driving surface streets through one entire town, one herd of goats and two small boys crossing the highway, one wrong turn and one road block.

We arrived in Mazatlan at around 8:00 PM, which meant I had to drive for 2 hours in the dark.  We went through only one pretty scary road block in which the Federally dressed in black holding a very big weapon peered into the truck in amazement, I guess he wasn't expecting to find two tourist women smiling out at him.  I'm not sure what he asked me so I just guessed and said we were traveling from Guaymas to Mazatlan.  He looked a little puzzled and waved us through.

I was able to negotiate parking my truck inside the gate at the dinghy dock, at no additional cost but I need to move it outside the gates before 7, 8 or 9 in the morning, depends on who I ask.  This works out o.k. since I need to get up and take Tucker to shore anyways. 

We have enjoyed the huge convenience of having the vehicle here and have been able to purchase diesel and gas in jugs to refill the boat.  There is no dock surcharge on fuel purchased in jugs from the gas station in town.  We have also done our provisioning from the grocery store, taken Blue Dolphins' watermaker over for repair, a few trips to the laundry and one trip to the dentist.

I plan to leave the truck here in Mazatlan when we depart on the boat.  I will leave it in a friends condo parking till we returno.  There is a ferry here in Mazatlan called Baja Ferries and it departs Mazatlan and crosses over to La Paz.  The plan is to return to Mazatlan via bus (with really big blanket) and put the truck on the ferry to La Paz.  Once in La Paz we will drive North to Napa.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mazatlan - We arrived at dawn on Thanksgiving Day

Whew! I am Thankful that all the weather that was forecast was far to the North of us!  We had a very nice trip down the coast of Mainland Mexico to Mazatlan. We arrived in Mazatlan at dawn and headed over and anchored in the Old Harbor, a free anchorage.

Eating off the fat of the boat
We did a little checking around to see what was going on in the area as far as Thanksgiving festivities and found that there something going on that cost $200 to $250 pesos per person at a restaurant in the square.  With this information we decided to see what we had in our ships store and go from there.

Together with our buddy boat SV Blue Dolphin we put together a Thanksgiving dinner, all we had to add was some bird.  We sent Nils (Blue Dolphin) and Leo (Aquadesiac) out to the market on a quest for the main course.
Leo, our crew
They returned with chicken!




Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Leaving Topolobampo this morning

We are leaving TOPE TOPE la BUMPO this morning on a high tide.  Our plans are to go anchor out towards the sea more and wait for a good weather window to head South, might be as soon as tonight at around 6:00 pm.  We want to arrive in Mazatlan during day light hours.  With deep regret we are leaving one of our buddy boats (SV Peregrine) here in Topo at the new Marina Palmira.  They need to return home ASAP for a family emergency.

We are now with just Blue Dolphin and their German crew.  We still have our French crew member and are eating very, very well!  It looks like we might be at sea for Thanksgiving.  I guess we will need to catch some fish and make some stuffing.  I have everything to make a pumpkin pie, but only if the weather is very calm.  I'm missing everyone as the Holidays approach.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Topolobampo

Three Amigo's anchored in the Bahia
 Ah, Topolobampo in the morning!  Such a different place to see.  I woke up bright and early this morning to make sure we were still in deep enough water to navigate back to the main channel.  Everything looked good so Leo and I took Tucker over to the beach to empty his holding tanks.

Mucky, wet sand! Great fun!
We pulled up anchor and set off for the Yacht Club anchorage farther up the channel.  On our way up the channel a guy named "Pancho" came by on a jet ski and told us that we really needed to stay in the channel because it was shallow.  On our first pass we missed the entrance to the Yacht Club buoys, so we ended up at the end of the caravan again.  We hung back and watched both Blue Dolphin and Peregrine miss the next set of buoys and run aground!  Blue Dolphin had to wait for the tide to come back in.  Peregrine was pulled off by a nice power boat.  We anchored without any trouble but we are also way out in the middle of the harbor way away from everybody else.

Pancho asked what we were doing here anyways, and we told him of the alternator troubles on Blue Dolphin.  He said "No problem" bring it over to me at the fuel dock and I will go have it fixed.  Wow, really?  So that's what we did and as promised Pancho brought it back within the hour good as new.  At least we hope so.

Doug and Leo have been out in the dinghy buzzing around the harbor all day and landed a ride on a power boat going out for a short dinner cruise.  I guess Leo ended up cooking dinner for the group.  They came back to the boat long enough to grab the bread and return to the power boat for after dinner drinks.  Fun times in Topolobampo.  I think we will continue South tomorrow to Mazatlan.
Breakers at the buoy, this is where we were aground momentarily the night before.
  
Leo's French Bread

Topolobampo or Bust!

Whew! We left Guaymas a few days ago with SV Blue Dolphin, new crew on board,  Nils & Caroline from Germany and SV Peregrine.  It's pretty tough coordinating leaving a harbor you have been in for any length of time.  Just when you think you are ready one of the buddy boats develops a mission critical item that needs to be fixed.  All that aside we finally made a break for it!  We met up with Blue Dolphin just outside of the Bahia Catalina anchorage and just kept heading South.  The weather was splendid and we were able to sail most of the day and well into the night.  Doug is over his cold and I finally got it just as we were leaving.  Leo seems to be fighting it off with honey in his tea.  I think washing everything down with Clorox helps too.

During the daylight hours we saw a Marlin jump out of the water at least 5 times, I guess he was hunting.  It was amazing.  He was well over 6 feet.  We also saw Rays jumping and a huge pod of Dolphin.  The only other boat traffic we saw was 8 fishing boats in a line, it was during daylight so we were able to avoid them easily.  We had our fishing lines out but did not catch anything. We took 4 hour watches during the night and the evening was pretty uneventful.  There was almost a full moon which was nice as we could see all around.

Day two was a little more exciting.  First thing in the morning the fishing lines went out.  Leo went up on deck and announced "Fish ON!".  I had to laugh because I had given him very detailed instructions on how we land a fish on the sailboat and he just went into "AUTO" and started emptying the cockpit of all the contents down the hatch.  Doug and I were at the bottom of the stairs trying to get up on deck with all the stuff getting tossed down.  I started laughing and coughing so hard!  We had two lines out.  A hand line and a fishing pole.  Leo was pulling in the hand line and Doug had the gaff, I had the towel and vodka.  I looked over at my fishing pole just as the last of the line payed out, zzzzzzing! Darn!  Missed another fish and lost another lure.  We were so focused on the hand line I didn't hear the fishing pole hit.  Leo landed a really nice Mahi Mahi.

Day two and there was no wind at all.  We stayed in sight of our buddy boats and motored South.  SV Blue Dolphin developed a taste for alternator belts and went through a few during the day.  SV Peregrine's alternator turned out to be discharging their battery so he had to put the generator on.  With no wind and critical issue we decided to enter Topolobampo even though it would be dark.

As a rule we do not enter into anchorages at night but we needed to pull in for repairs so as night approached we all came in close together and set off as a caravan into the Bahia Topolobampo.  This is the first anchorage available before entering the harbor.  Looked like a piece of cake on the chart.

If you are wondering what this is like just step into your closet and close the door.  We purchased, at great expense, charts of Mexico that are turning out to be very unreliable.  As we were coming into the channel the lights on the buoys were all wrong and the depth of the water was decreasing at a alarming rate.  At some point we decided we just needed to follow the lights and forget about our plotted course.  This is like taking the "Indiana Jones" leap of faith, if you remember that movie.  So Rojo, la derecha, volviendo!  This seemed to work until Peregrine, in the rear, commented on the fact that the Baja Ferry  was behind him and closing fast.

So we really hugged the channel just outside the red buoy giving the fast moving ferry LOTS of room to pass. As anyone who frequents the SF Bay knows these rather large vessels create a pretty good wake.  A really good wake in shallow water actually creates "Breakers" so you can see the shallow water.  Leo watching on Starboard did his best in at least 3 different languages to tell Doug to steer PORT, Left, gire a la izquierda, tourner à gauche! he even tried saying waves, breakers all to no avail.  I was ready to grab the wheel myself but it didn't matter Doug figured it out, bump, bump along the bottom.  We went aground right before the red buoy.  There was absolutely no room for error.  In Doug's defense there was a lot going on.  The radio was squawking with chatter, the dodger windows were completely fogged up, both Leo and I were talking and the buoy wasn't even a true red buoy.


Since we have a lot of experience with being in shallow water we were able to use that same wave action that got us aground to get us off.  We continued up the channel, very slowly and headed into Bahia Topolobampo, now at the back of the caravan.  When buddy boating if you are in the lead position and you make a bad call you have to go to the end of the line, even if you do have the forward looking scanner.  We watched as Blue Dolphin and Peregrine circled around in the bay looking for a deep enough spot to drop the anchor.  At one point Blue Dolphin came up so close to the sand spit that they could have stepped off the boat.  After a few passes we decided on a good spot and dropped the anchor for the night. 


I couldn't quite fit this part about the big blue footed boobie in my story above so I'll do a postscript.  Like I said above it was dark.  The moon was bright but covered by cloud cover so visibility was poor.  At some point I just happened to look up and looming in the dark saw a huge boobie bird trying to land on the top of our mast.  Leo and I jumped up and started yelling at it, banging on the mast, slinging a halyard at it and shining a beam from the flashlight.  We finally deterred it after several attempted landings.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another Sunday in Guaymas

Oyster Bar by the Sea
It's been a busy week here in Guaymas.
Five days ago we took on crew, Léo Lestant, of France has joined us.  He is a young man traveling the world.  He crewed on a boat being delivered from Tonga to Berkeley (22 days) and road his bicycle from San Francisco to Guaymas.  We are heading South and so is he and we had space available. We moved a few things around and he has bunk space for his pack, bike and a place to sleep.

He cooks and he is very good at it!  He has been with us for 5 days and so far made 4 loaves of bread, crepes, curried fish, coconut rice, ham rolled in goat cheese.  Other cruisers are getting jealous as they sit eating their same old rations.

Our "Buddy Boats" SV Peregrine and SV Blue Dolphin are both just about ready to set sail.  Blue Dolphin is awaiting the arrival of their crew from Venezuela.  They are some young German kids who rode their bikes from Alaska to Venezuela.  We are just about all provisioned up for the trip South to Mazatlan.  Our other "buddy boat" SV Ubuntu is still up on the hard in San Carlos, waiting for its Captain to come back from Hawaii.  They will bring up the rear.

Muggs and Larry on Peregrine cleaned out their sail locker while they where in the yard getting bottom paint and discovered they were carting around two jib sails that did not fit their boat.  With space being at a premium they where chucked over the side.  Landing on the tar mack of the yard.  Splat!  We tried with no luck to find new homes for these brand new jibs and in the end decided they where actually just material for other useful items such as tote bags, bike covers, etc., so without too much heavy sighing Kathy from Blue Dolphin and I have started cutting up the jibs and making useful things out of them.  Michael, our power boat friend on MV FNFUN is looking forward to us making a cover for his FNMOTORCYCLE. 
 
We have pretty much finished all our projects that kept us at the dock so we are now anchored out in the bay with Peregrine.  Blue Dolphin is still in Marina Real.

Since we have spent a lot of time here in Guaymas we were able to get their $800 alternator repaired and picked up a spare one for $600 pesos.  We also found a seamstress who resewed Peregrines dodger with new thread for $500 pesos.  It was reinstalled this morning good as new!   It is nice having a car here, errands that would normally take all day are done in just under a few minutes allowing for lots of time to actually get the work done on the boat.  I know all the back streets now, I can even avoid a protest if I need to :)

For the last 3 nights there has been a big stage set up on the Malecon.  We are anchored pretty much in front row seats for the show.  The music has been wonderful.  When the show has intrigued us we have gone over to watch in the free seats provided.  It appears to be put on by the Sonoran Culture folks and I think it has something to do with the Holiday on Monday November 15th, another revolution.  I watched a show the other night that lasted at least 2 hours.  It was a walk through 200 years of history with a mix of modern music and modern dance.  It was really good even though I didn't understand much of what they were saying or singing.  There have also been many, many dancers in very elaborate costumes dancing in very traditional ways.  These shows are not in any way geared towards a tourist scene, there are only a handful of gingos in crowd.  And what would any production be without the strange, scary clown!  He was ranting on about something the other night with his little red nose, fake cactus made out of 7 up bottles and tattered Mexican flag.  Everyone in the crowd seem genuinely interested but after about 10 minutes I did the good old exit stage right and went back to the boat.  I could hear him from my bunk and he was still ranting at 11:15 pm!  The best show I saw by far was a Mexican version of a Chip and Dale dancer.  I was sitting in the cockpit with the binoculars hooting and hollering!  He was dancing around the stage with his boots, levi's, SIX PACK and a white cowboy hat.  Oh, he had a white shirt on but at some point it came off!  I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and wished I had been closer to the stage.  I tried to get Doug and Leo to come up and have a look, but they just said let them know when the girls started taking off their clothes. 

This afternoon we had a visitor, Rudolfo and his Papa who lives in Guaymas came down to the Marina to see if we were still here.  Rudolfo is an air-traffic controller from Hermosillo.  I took them out to our boat via dinghy along with 3 jugs of water, 1 jug of gas and a cooler full of beer!  I try to make every trip count.  They came out to ask us if we wanted to go out and eat oysters.  Heck yeah!  Two trips back to the dock, I really couldn't put 5 people, beer cooler and the dog in the dink.  We all piled into the Simmburban for a road trip.  We drove South on Mex 15D past Empalme and turned right at red and white antennae (no sign) onto a washboard sand road.  We went past cactus, broken fences, dried fords.  Still no signs, made a left turn through a gate, right at the fork in the road.  We drove past a shrimp farm in the desert out towards the Sea until we came to a little palaypa on the beach of an estuary.  The oysters are farmed just for this little restaurant and they were excellent.  I had 6 each and everyone else had a dozen.  We ordered a plate of fried shrimp and a plate of fried fish to share.  All where wonderful.  There was not another gringo in site and I'm pretty sure Leo was probably the first Frenchman to eat there.  The place was actually pretty busy, even though it is way, way off the beaten path.  You could not give someone directions to this place.

We are hoping to head South this next week.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life in Guaymas

We have now been in and about the Guaymas area for 6 months!  I have gotten to know the streets and shops pretty well.  I really, really wish I spoke Spanish.  I think I'm missing a lot by having the language barrier.  Most of the time I get by but it is very frustrating.

Ernesto and Linda from Mazatlan visited us here in Guaymas a few days ago.  It was really great to see them.  They were on their way to visit friends in Phoenix.  They brought fresh shrimp from the Pacific Ocean.  Ernesto's father works on a shrimp boat.  There was enough shrimp to feed 7 of us!  We invited Muggs and Larry from SV Peregrine over for the shrimp feast.  Ernesto introduced us to a old friend of his from Mazatlan that now lives here in Guaymas, Moses.  Moses is a merchant marine and operates a Pemex oil tanker out of Guaymas.
Moses and Doug talked all about the coastline of Mexico for ages.  So we have the inside scoop, I think!

When Moses left he said something about the weekend and I said "Sure!", well Sunday morning at 10:00 am sharp Moses and his amiga, Aurora, were here at our boat saying "let's go!"  It's really hard to make firm plans when you have trouble communicating.  Moses' English is mucho better then my Spanish.  I pulled Doug out of bed, he had a cold, and said I think we are going some place.
We in fact had a wonderful day!  Our first stop was the fish vendor in a the small town of Empalme.

This is basically a couple of coolers along side the road.  We picked up 2 kilos of huge shrimp and 1 kilo of cleaned, cracked crab.  It is now just the beginning of the season.  Next stop was the street market in Empalme where they sell everything American second hand.  It was like a huge yard sale with food vendors either walking around or cooking over portable heat.  I saw one guy selling any portion of the pig you wanted.  All cooked in various ways.
Moses picked up a cup of coco's with hot-sauce.  This is hunks of coconut meat and is very popular here.  They offer all kinds of toppings on it.

We also saw honey vendors walking around with honeycombs in a wheelbarrow, complete with bees buzzing, selling honey and bee pollen.  Live bees are actually pretty common inside some of the downtown stores that sell sweats.  Ants are also very common and can be found on most pastries!
Our next stop was a small tienda to pick up some tomatoes, cilantro, onion, cucumber, jalapeño, mayonnaise and tostados.  I still wasn't sure where we were going, I was guessing back to the boat.
We ended up at the home of Moses' godparents, I think!  We all piled out of the car.  I'm pretty sure they were not expecting us as they had just finished breakfast.  The Mexican people we have met are so gracious and hospitable.  I always feel very welcome in their homes.  We were invited to have a seat at the table under a beautiful tree in their front yard.  Moses and Aurora took all the groceries into the house.  I eventually wondered into the kitchen to watch all the prep work for the upcoming feast.
Their home was a very typical Mexican style with the kitchen just inside the front door and a pot of beans on the stove.  At some point their son-in-law Oscar, a local chemistry teacher joined us for the feast.  We had a lovely meal of crab tostadas and boiled shrimp.  We also enjoyed homemade tequila and frozen guava juice.
The entire day was such a treat.  Oscar returned us to the boat where we looked around and couldn't really remember what we where suppose to do today so Doug just decided to take a nap!  That was good for his cold.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Barrancas del Cobre

We drove our truck here from Guaymas, taking a back road, cutting the time of the trip.   We saw a snake, tarantula and various other critters on our way.  We found the recommended Bugambilla hotel but opted out to stay at the Hotel La Choza in El Fuerte, I'm sure it may have had something to do with what I saw on the road.  I was also able to leave my truck here, free ;), all week while we took our train ride aka Chepe.
I drove all over town looking for the train station, even stopped to get directions and could not find it.  I just decided to give up as we were not going to leave the car there anyway.  I figured out that it is cheaper to buy your ticket on the train from the conductor so all I had to do was figure out how to get to the train station.  I found out that the 5 peso bus (Estation) stops just outside our hotel so we opted to take that.  At least that was the plan.  We had no less then 3 taxi's tell us there was no bus.  As the time grew closer I was getting a little nervous so I opted to take a taxi at 100 pesos.  The taxi drove us to the train station, not one sign along the way.  Ten minutes latter the bus dropped off 1 passenger.

We opted to take the First Class train all the way to Creel.  The scenery along the way was beautiful and breath taking.  I even saw a flock of green parrots flying up a canyon. The train windows were pretty clean and the food and drinks expensive.  One of the whistle stops along the way in Divisidero had interesting taco stands.  Really good food that we took into the dining car.
When we got to Creel we did not see the recommended Margarita Hostel because there where SO MANY hoteliers in our face.  We had one offer us a room for 150 pesos a night and went with him Real Chapultepec Hotel & Tours (Just a home stay place).  It was a fine room, but had no heat at all, burrr!  We actually ended up buying a blanket. (when we got there the guy left to go buy T.P. and soap) I guess you wouldn't want it sitting around.  I did finally see the Margarita Hostel on our walk around Creel, argh, right by the train station... oh well.  We had some good meals out in Creel.  My new favorite hot breakfast is called Avena with a banana.  We met some folks from the UK and Canada on tour.  Most of the folks we met were staying in rather swanky hotels.  We were on the cheap, that's for sure.  We had some really good tours, given by our hotel person.  All the tours were very reasonable.  They all stopped at the gas station first, seems that all the cars run around with about an 1/8 of a tank of gas.

We rode the cable car (Teleferic) it was really amazing to me, it cost 250 pesos per person, a bit spendy but very unique for the area.  The road and the parking lot are a complete disaster then you pop out and bam, here is this brand new high tech gadget.  It has only been open for a few weeks, was my understanding.  If it was in the USA, it would not be open to the public yet.  We enjoyed the view over the canyon.  When we got to the other side people went walking all over the place, past all the signs that said they should not.  No one seemed to care.  Below us we could see small Indian homes, people hanging out laundry etc., with this amazing high tech thing zipping over their heads, seems strange to me.  We saw a couple of water falls, interesting rock formations, Indians actually living in caves, really old Jesuit missions and a most unique completely restored collection of Arte Sacro at the Museo Loyola on the Cusarare Indians reservation.   The Cusarare women make a beautiful art of woven baskets and textiles.

On the tour to Posada Barrancas/Divisidero we changed hotels, to another Home stay place.  Called the Trail Head, we were going to stay at Diaz Cabins but opted for the Trail Head.  We had a choice of propane heat or a fireplace in a cute little cabin.  PROPANE! all the way, but not at night because it was not vented properly.  I got the room so cozy I did a little bit of laundry and hung it up :)  There was frost on the ground in the morning. At this place we bumped into a couple of cruisers on SV SULIMA (Polish folks) Kris & Agnes.  We had dinner and breakfast with them but they were on a different tour schedule then ours.  I hadn't seen any vermin up until this place, actually it was Agnes and Kris who spotted a rat.  I'm glad I didn't see it.  The place is surrounded by farm animals, it was interesting.  I saw a whole cow skin out drying so the guy could make drums out of the hide.  We hiked this area a lot.  Mostly, we went on a Margarita hike, from one place to another just checking out the margarita's.  There are lot's of expensive hotels all up and down the canyon and indians living in caves right off the balcony of the hotel.  Again, I found this rather strange.  I looked through the hotel binoculars to see a woman cutting wood and hanging laundry.

We caught the train to Bahuichivo and managed to figure out the bus to Urique.  It was daylight all the way down the mountain, which was really more amazing scenery and just a little bit terrifying at times.  I can get rather ill in a car or bus so I was pretty quick to GRAB the front seat on both buses down to the canyon floor.  No one on the bus spoke ANY English, so I really had to muddle through with my Spanish.  I had two places recommended to stay in this town and of course ended up at a third one.  The first room the guy showed us had a cockroach at the doorway and spiders on the wall, NOPE.  NEXT - the next room was fine, except I noticed that one of the beds had tiny, tiny little ants crawling on it.  Well I can't have everything so I was just careful not to set anything on the bed.  Don't need ants on the boat from our luggage.  This town was definitely not on any tourist track.  I asked around for a map and ended up at the Municipal building,  the guy had a tax map and that was about it.  He told us a mine we could hike to but other then that we just walked the streets and alley ways.  Of course giving way to the horses and donkeys!  The donkeys are mostly wild and just hanging around but I was told they all belong to some one.  We saw some folks milking a cow at a small diary and some kids had another quewhatimudi of pet in their yard.  There are only a few restaurants in this town.  We ate at one that specialized in a shrimp dish.  Shrimp? way down here?  They said it was really not that far from the ocean by car.  They had a huge bucket of shrimp that people where cleaning and everyone that came in for lunch ordered the shrimp dish, so we did as well.  It was really good.  We met a Chihuahua detective named "Angel", big guy, big smile, big gun!  I was glad to be on his good side. He had two beers with his lunch, while in uniform.  I asked him what people did for work in this small town, he said they are farmers mostly.  The guy at the table made the motion of smoking with his two fingers, ahhh, farmers.  I'm a pretty quick student.  On our way out of the town today I saw a car, unlocked with the keys in it.  I had to laugh cause it was so beat up and probably had NO gas in it, who would steal it.  The only gas stations we saw sold gas by the liter, out of liter jugs... No fill her up in that part of the world.

The views of the Canyon were amazing, so green and steep.  I loved smelling the wood smoke of the cooking fires and it was amazing to see leaves on the trees, even if they were mixed with catus, yikes.  I wouldn't want to slide down a mountain and bump into a cactus!  The rivers were interesting, I even saw some fish.
I tried to keep track of our expenses on our "on the cheap" trip to the canyon and later learned that our friends who went on a package deal and stayed in the nice hotels probably paid less then we did.  I decided not to add up our expenses, it might be depressing  !ah, Chihuahua!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

To catch a cockroach

Somewhere on this boat is a three legged cockroach! He is the3rd one on board and the 2nd one that got away. Unless it is actually just a sighting of a lone cockroach.  Doug had one that scooted under the galley sink cabinet several months ago. They all look alike to me.  Doug has had a total of 3 sightings so far.  Each time he tells me tales of the battle.  Last night he held up a cockroach leg.  I did not consider this a victorious battle.  I have been ever so careful not to bring anything on board that might have a cockroach in it.  I think they fly in with the wind.  Today I emptied several cupboards and put out some bait and a sticky piece of paper hopping to trap the intruder.  Only time will tell.

So, what’s your occupation ... or former occupation?

This is always a topic that comes up when we meet new people.  A lot of people are “retired”, “taking an economic break from it all” or “working from the boat”.  I had started a mental list of occupations and decided to put it in writing what I had found out so far.

Artists: Jewelry, beading, painting, metal - pretty much all mediums
 Authors - Some self publishing, others write books or articles that are published by big publishing houses all over the world
Architects - All kinds
Editors
Shipwrights
Delivery Captains
Vet Tech’s
Doctors
Nurses
Dental Assistant
Contractors
Engineers
Software Trolls
Internet service provider
Textile Fabric designer
Marine Engineers
Teachers
Home School Teachers
Lobbyist
Fire Chief
Navy underwater photographer
There a quite a few people that just travel around on their boats from one internet site to another submitting their work on line.  Many also need to be able to get on an airplane and fly in for mandatory meetings once in a while.  Not too bad of a commute.  I will try to add to the list as I come across any new ones.

Squid, it's whats for dinner

Every morning I take Tucker to the beach for a romp and a swim.  My favorite beach area is in the Village anchorage out by the lighthouse.  The water is very clear and there is a shelf right off the beach that is teaming with sea life.  Many of the mornings I have gone over there people have been fishing right at the tip of sand spit, out over the shelf.  Most people fish with just a simple hand line and a hook.  They catch the fish and just toss them up onto the beach or dig a hole in the sand.  No real need for lot’s of tackle and equipment.  Mostly they catch barracuda, rock bass and one or two other fish I haven’t been able to catch the name of.  The one thing I have noticed is that they all use squid for bait.
One day when I went over to the beach there were a couple of Mexican guys fishing, using squid as bait with the hand line. So I chatted them up, practicing my Spanish.  Turns out they were Mason’s out fishing for a meal for latter in the day, they were going to make some kind of fish sauce/stew.   One of the guys walked over to the truck and called for me to come have a look at what was in his bucket.  He had a huge squid!  He asked if I would like some.  I said sure, thinking I would get a small piece to use as bait.  He looked around for a knife but couldn’t find one so with his hack saw he chopped me off a hunk o squid aka calamari.  I was so amazed at the amount.  He told me to go and make ceviche!   I took it back to the boat, it weighed in at 5 lbs. So far I have made ceviche, fried squid and put some in the freezer for later.  I combed through all the cookbooks on board and figured out how to clean and cut it.  It was actually very, very good.  It was very tender.  I think it was a Humboldt squid.

I think I have started a morning routine of putting Tucker in the dinghy and heading over to the point when I see people fishing.  On my way over I stop at SV Victoria Rose for a cup of coffee to go.  They have a pump pot of hot coffee.  I then pull up on the beach and wander over to the people fishing.  This morning the two guys were fishing with a hand line.  Tucker got all caught up in their line, I kept trying to get him out but he thought I was playing "GET YOU".  Like I said before I've been working on my Spanish so I think the guy told me to take my drink and go back to my boat.

The Village and all of the characters

The Village
The Village is an interesting place.  I finally made it over to the MUSEO and it was open!  What a cool place it is.  They have a wall full of shells all named properly, a wall full samples of all the rock in the area, again all named.  There are exhibits on gold mining, native Indians, bats, local people who made a difference in the Village and even a large display of antique equipment. There is a lot of history in that little tiny building.  Yep, there is a small gift shop too!

I have met a couple of local guys here as well.  Herman is a really "old" prospector with an amazing amount of stories.  I sat and had coffee with him the other day.  He finally talked me into walking over to his place and looking at his collections of books etc.,  We had a good laugh at all of his pick up lines and I really did enjoy talking with him.

I have also met Murray and his wife.  He drive around with a water tank in the back of his pick up truck.  I have been able to fill my gerry jugs for free with non-potable water from the community water tank.  I am using that water to do laundry.  He said he had to strain out the ants the last time he filled up.

Meanwhile back at the Village

Meanwhile back at the Village -SV Marionette Bruce returned from San Francisquito with his wife Katherine on board.  What a wonderful person she is!  She flew into the small airport in San Francisquito with a pilot friend of the folks on SV Manta.  She said the plane was full of provisions and parts for SV Manta.  It was a good flight from the States, they went through customs in San Felipe. 

Since Bruce had left the week before Doug had discovered rot in the aft shower.  At first it didn’t look so bad.  Doug had a shipwright fellow Scott from SV Ulalena come over and look at it.  He said don’t pull out anything else until you get to Santa Rosalia.  Well Doug loves to pick at things so he dug a little deeper then called Bruce over sine he had came back. Bruce is an expert at wood in distress and carries extra wood on board his classic wood boat.  Rumor is he sleeps with wood.  Bruce folded himself into the aft shower with a few tools and the rotten wood began to fly.  It smelled just like rotten house wood.  Soon it was out with the old and staged with a piece of replacement wood ready to be installed.  Bruce had to leave so Doug called Scott back today to cut the wood and reinstall all the pieces back into the shower.  The job is just about complete now, just needs a little varnish and it will be better than new!  It is really amazing the skill set of all these sailors out here.
Before SV Marionette left we enjoyed another feast from the sea on board Marionette with the folks from SV Puddytat.  We ate fried squid, squid ceviche, and curried cabrilla.  Another amazing dinner.  We had a regular UN meeting with the countries of New Zealand, Morocco, UK, Zimbabwe and the USA.  Some of these folks actually had more than 1 passport.  Once again we were not able to solve all the worlds problems and I think came up with a few more immigration issues.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another lazy day in the B of LA

Ahh, the internet and A/C with a view of the boat out in the Bahia de Los Angeles.  We have enjoyed our stay up here and have met many, many new friends near the top of the Sea.  We will not go any farther North this season and are already making plans to head South.

I have added several new blogs to my list of blogs that I follow in an effort to share some of the experiences of the Sea with everyone.  So check them out if you get a chance.

We finally made it to a Full Moon party which was very fun.  It is a great way to actually get to meet people from boats you see in anchorages and hear on the radio.  For me sometimes it is a bit tough trying to remember people's names, boat names, kids' names, animals names...  And these sailor guys all look alike!  Floppy hat, week old beard, old stained t-shirt, old stained swim suit and sunglasses.  The women, kids and dogs are much easier to keep track of.  I have been keeping track of boats I've seen up here this season and I am currently at 50.  From what I understand that is an all time high.  But, I can't remember who told me that and how they would actually know that fact.  I was just keeping track because I was curious how many boats make the journey up here for the season.  I actually thought I would see more.

The party was fun.  During the day at the high tide a small estuary filled with water and everyone come over with a floaty of some kind and lazed around in the water with tiny fish, crabs and other sea creatures that need minimal water to survive.   Some folks organized a small swap meet on the beach and a potluck dinner with a campfire complete with marshmellows.  It was a cool enough day that many people actually brought hot food to the potluck.  There was lasagne, pasta, pizza, bread and lot's of deserts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

La Mona

We went over to this anchorage for the Full Moon party which was on Sept 23.  We were joined by about 20 other boats.  This anchorage is known for whale sharks and there are buoys set out so you know to slow down when approaching the anchorage.  We saw a pod of about 5 whale sharks one day.  The day of the Full Moon there was a small swap meet and a potluck dinner complete with a campfire and marshmallows.  It was fun to meet some more of the cruisers.  The folks on SV Third Day had a life raft that was 15 years out of date so they let the kids open it and play on it.  It was like a bouncing house on the Sea.  On Friday after the Full Moon party Sylvie from SV Pudditat had a fabric painting session that was really fun.  We actually sat on the beach and watched the paint dry!  When we tired of watching the paint dry JC and I went out for a little fish catching session.  JC tossed the fishing line out and I ran the dinghy.  We caught 5 fish with about 3 pieces of bait. Not bad for a couple of broads.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Isla Estanque & Este Ton

Sept 17 - Sept 19 - South End of Isla Angel de la Guarda.  We took on crew for this little side trip.  Will Batt from Bristol UK, a world traveler, jumped ship off SV Blue Goose and joined us for a few days.  We did a little shifting of contents on board and reclaimed the forward bunk for one guest.  It was really fun having a guest on board.  I had provisioned the boat in San Carlos in case our son Gregg and some of his friends showed up on the shores of Bahia de Los Angeles so we had plenty of food stuff on board.
Making our way over to Isla Estanque Will let out a line and landed a very large Mahi Mahi!  However, this is the one that got away.  Will was on the fishing pole, Doug on the gaff and I had the gloves, the vodka, the net, the camera!  While I was pouring the vodka the gaff ripped through the fish and he landed on the deck.  I pounced on him and he just slipped right out from under me.  It was really so sad.  I had several recipes all ready to go and was almost tasting sashimi.  It was really quite exciting.  We were all just standing there looking at each other like what just happened!  There was blood everywhere and not a fish in site.

We rallied and Doug and Will put out the spinnaker and continued on to Isla Estanque an anchorage called “The Pond”.  On our way over we changed course a bit because we saw the National Geographic vessel lurking and did not know what they were up to.  Upon entering “The Pond” you have to follow very specific instruction listed in the book to enter the pond or you might  A: end up on the reef or B: bump along the bottom.  So in true mudd daubber style we entered bumping along the bottom!  The sun was just getting ready to set when we put down the anchor.  There were fisherman over on the shore settling in for the evening.  Since we lost the Mahi Mahi I tossed out a hand line, into the pond.  Doug and Will were on their way over to barter with the fisherman for dinner when I started catching Trigger fish.  We caught several, then started cleaning them.  All the time we were up on deck the BOBO flies were in attack mode!  They bite!  I came out with our weapons “Deep woods off”, smoke etc., but we lost the battle big time.
The next morning I took Tucker over to the shore and walked all around the pond area and beyond to a small estuary.  The estuary was so deep and clear it was like looking into a fish tank.  As we were getting ready to weigh anchor the fisherman came over with 3 lobsters to trade for 5 cans of soda.  As we got under way I went ahead and cooked and cleaned the lobster since it was about 95 degrees outside and I had no way of putting them on ice. 

We motored over to Este Ton a very small anchorage on the West side of La Guarda.  The sea was very strange that day.   Will and Doug took the hooka out near a reef at Este Ton and saw a little bit of sea life.  I sat in the cockpit and watched the whales go by.

We did not stay in Este Ton as Will needed to get back to the Village so he could make arrangements (hitch hike) to travel to La Paz so he could catch a plane to Guadalajara and continue on his journey.

The next day the BOBO bites came on.  Doug had over 100 bites on his back and both Will and I were also covered.  I had to break out the Benadryl and Calamine lotion.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Village Dinner Party

We had been buddy boating with SV Sea Bear and SV Marionette on and off during the month Sept.  On one of our trips over to La Gringa we relocated a very large amount of steamer clams into my collection bag.  All of the clams ended up on our boat and a big meal was in order.  The only problem was Sea Bear had left to go to another anchorage to install internet on a gringo house and Bruce needed to leave to head back to San Francisquito to pick up his wife Katherine.  Will had found bunk space on board SV Blue Goose.  I had met Marco from Blue Goose in Guaymas so I invited the folks from Blue Goose and another SV Zeppelin over for a dinner of linguine and clams.  This evening unfolded in true mudd daubber style. 
Dinner for 7, no problem!  First I had way too many clams for the pot.   I didn’t want to cook two batches so I just tried to figure it out.  I literally had a sink full of clams.  I precooked the pasta, all I had on board.  I set out all the plates, real wine glasses, extra pans etc., that I would need and set the pot up to cook the clams. 
The folks from SV Zeppelin (Canada) came over, on time, with their side dish and we were just waiting on the folks from Blue Goose (France/UK/USA) to arrive.  They use a newly acquired sailing dinghy for transportation.  I asked Doug if we should offer to go over and get them but he said no they will be just fine.  I kept fretting because it was getting late and I had a lot of work to do in the galley.  I started chatting with the folks from Zeppelin and noticed that indeed the sailing dinghy was headed our way.  But, at first not in the right direction.  Then they jibbed and then they disappeared!  All except for the sail.  Doug and I jumped into our dinghy leaving the folks from Zeppelin alone on our boat with a barking dog.  When we reached the sailing dingy it was completely submerged but not sunk and all the contents were floating off in different directions including the passengers.  We did our best to save the rum bottle, the dinghy, the sandals, the appetizer, Amelia and Will taking them back to the Blue Goose.  We then went out after Marco who was looking for his one and only hand held “floating” VHF radio.  I’m not really sure how long we were gone and I had quite honestly forgot we had people waiting for us on our boat.  What an evening.  I was pretty embarrassed cause I don’t know how long we were gone for, we just lost track of time.  Anyway, we all came back and I started the clam pot and had an amazing dinner.  We emptied the clam pot, ate all the linguine and drank all the rum.  At the end of the meal Amelia accidentally tossed her dinner plate over board.  Marco dove in to retrieve it and came up saying “Wow, it’s really shallow here, I could have broke my neck”.  That was the first sign.
The second was about 2:00 am when all the dirty dishes from the amazing dinner suddenly all slid off the table onto the floor.  We were high and dry!  We’ve bin stuck in the mud at odd angles before but this was an all time record.  I was beside myself and Doug just slid down into Tuckers spot at then end of the bunk and slept like a baby.  Tucker was clinging to the top of the bunk.  I stayed up all night listening to unusual noises the boat was making.  I only lost one wine glass.  The tide came in late morning and floated the boat and we re-anchored.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bahia de Los Angeles Village

We are going to try to catch up on our postings.  First we had to get reliable internet here in Bahia de Los Angeles.  With that now reliable, here we go, or this is where we've been.


We arrived here in Bahia de Los Angeles Village September 4th.  We are here along with many, many other boats waiting out the hurricane season above Latitude 27.  We finally caught up with SV Sea Bear, a boat we cruised with back in the Spring so we have our buddy boat back. 

Today here in the village was an organized "Hay Ride".  I'm not sure who organized it but anytime I hear of a ride to get provisions my ears perk up.  A local gringo comes down to the dock with his truck and trailer and loads up everyone and their fuel, water jugs, propane tanks and drives around the village stopping at the local markets for provisions and the fuel station for diesel and gasoline.  It was really quite a morning.  It was really a site to behold the truck and trailer full of gringos and fuel jugs going down the road.  I took some pretty good pictures of the episode.  I had been to 4 tiendas already, they where pretty obvious.  He took us to 2 additional tiendas I would have never found and one I thought only sold hardware.  You could actually by a gallon of milk and a bag of cement if you wanted to.  This is a cash only town and by the end of the morning I had actually spent all the pesos I had brought for the shopping excursion.
It was pretty funny shopping with so many boat people in the store at the same time.  The shopping philosophy is "see it, buy it" or it won't be there the next time you decide you really want it.  I totally scored 3 cans of Canada Dry ginger ale at one store but was denied club soda at the next.  I was about 1 minute too late.  They only had 4 cans of club soda, the nice man offered to share but I declined, after all I already had my ginger ale!

Click here for a slideshow.
This village is bigger then what I had imagined.  They do have electricity with street lights and one paved road going right down the middle of the village complete with a traffic circle!  No sidewalks, no atm, no bank, no cell tower.  They do have a community water tank of non-potable water.  Potable water can be purchased at the tiendas.  It's really not very big, if it was cooler I might actually walk the whole village, instead I sit in the cockpit and look around with my binoculars.  I've heard there is a museum here, I just need to find it before we leave.   I think it gives the history of the village and gold mining in the area.  I doubt it has A/C.

With the introduction of electricity the village now has internet.  Since Doug and Harold (SVSeaBear) are geeks we now have internet out on our boats and don't need to make the trek up to the small hotel or the internet cafe. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Alcatraz

Alcatraz - North of La Gringa. 


We traveled with SV SeaBear near the Canal de Ballenas to a very windy white beach anchorage called Alcatraz.  On our way up we did indeed see several whales.   There is a deep underwater canyon here and it is frequented by whales and rumored to also have GIANT (30-60ft) squid.  There is a National Geographic vessel lurking around here trying to get more data on the giant squid and sharks.  The vessel is called “Ocean” and they seem to have quite a budget for water toys on board.   I’ve seen this boat in several anchorages in the Sea.

Doug and Harold from SV Sea Bear tried to hooka at Alcatraz and JC tried to snorkel but the current and the depth were just too much.  Me, I stayed in the boat!  Remember that National Geographic vessel looking for giant squid and sharks.... yikes.  They did get some snorkeling in and got some fish for dinner. Click here for the pictures.

We had planned to go further North but Doug discovered a need for an immediate internet connection so we changed plans and headed back to the Village

Monday, September 6, 2010

La Gringa

La Gringa Sept 6 & Sept 13 - About 11 miles North of the Village.  We have been to this anchorage twice now.  The first time we went over with SV Sea Bear to get out of the Village and so Doug could use the hookah to clean the bottom of the boat.  While Doug hooka’d I took Tucker over to the small estuary that was flooding on the tide.  The water was rip roaring into the estuary, it was really cool to watch.  Tucker, who by now is a real rusty water mutt went splashing off into the water not even having a clue about the tidal action and was swept into the estuary paddling like mad.  I hadn’t planned on going swimming so I just called him and he finally got out of the current and came paddling over so it was not very alarming.  What was alarming was when my dinghy suddenly appeared going through the same rapids with no one on board.  Dang, I really didn’t want to go in the water because I had heard that when the estuary had water in it, it also had sting rays, puffer fish, jelly’s and other things that bite.  Oh, well in I went and I started swimming like mad to catch up with the dinghy.  Looking over my shoulder I realized that Tucker was right behind me.  Ahh, man’s best friend.  It was a challenge catching the dinghy, grabbing the dog then dragging the dinghy out of the estuary while it was still flooding.  I did stop and dig up a few steamer clams which were abundant.  On our second trip over JC and I went over with a shovel and relocated more clams.  They were delicious; steamers for one meal and linguine for another.

Monday, August 30, 2010

San Francisquito

We departed Trinidad early in the morning under very calm conditions and headed up to the San Francisquito anchorage.
According to the cruising guide there are several anchorages here but the best is the inner harbor.  It suggests you anchor out first, take a dinghy in to check the depth.  Unless of course there are already boats in the anchorage then typically someone from another boat will come out in a dinghy and wave you in.  As I was reading this low and behold there was a guy in a dinghy waving us in.  Wow, just like in the book!  Nice.  We went right into the inner harbor and stayed in the deep water way away from the two catamarans already anchored.  I was up on deck lowering the anchor when a guy off a the other catamaran stormed up onto his deck and yelled at me “F&*~ker” and flipped me off.  Wow, I thought that was mean.  I asked Doug if he thought we were too close.  He said how does he know our dogs name?  I said that’s not what he said.  I had to get out the binoculars to see the name of the boat, SV Katherine Estelle.  I don’t think we were too close if I can’t read the name without the binoculars.  Next thing I know the guy has his wife on deck pulling up the anchor by hand and they are moving their boat.  I was feeling pretty bad, like I had intruded.  He moved the boat to the entrance of the harbor and dropped the anchor.  I thought this was odd because now he was sort of in the way and I knew SV Windward Bound was right behind us and would come in.  About 20 minutes latter Windward Bound scooted into the anchorage around the catamaran and dropped anchor even closer then we had.  Again, the guy was up on deck with his wife pulling up the anchor and moving the boat back near us.  Apparently SV Windward Bound was familiar with this particular catamaran and anchored near it cause they knew they would move.  A few minutes later the other catamaran “Manta” came on the radio laughing saying “Welcome to San Francisquito, the friendliest anchorage in the Sea!”  I think he was just glad to see other boats.  We all had a good laugh.  The next day SV Marionette and latter SV Rapscallion came into the anchorage and the catamaran Katherine Estelle pulled up their anchor and left the anchorage completely.

For the next several days we stayed put in San Francisquito and dove with the folks off of Manta, Marionette, Rapscallion and WindwardBound.  We ate fresh caught seafood every night.  The diving, dinners and company was great!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Trinidad

We rendezvoused with SV Windward Bound in Trinidad.  We had heard them on the radio on our way over to Santa Rosalia the day before.  Trinidad is pretty much just a stopping off anchorage.  The wind was howling here and we kept the boat in “Go Mode” all night.  We had clean laundry to hand over to them from their stay in San Carlos.  Jim was so happy to have his new, very clean, yellow t-shirt back

Friday, August 27, 2010

Goodbye San Carlos

We will be leaving for the other side of the Sea of Cortez tomorrow morning early.  The trip should take us about 12 hours.  We are headed for Santa Rosalia.

Thanks so much "All the Way", "Mystic", "Kay eM Te", "S O M F", & "Margarita".

Monday, August 9, 2010

North

We have spent several pretty nice days here anchored just outside Marina Real.  Doug and Larry (SVPeregrine) did yet another boat project while we where at anchor.  Every project they do is always an improvement but it's really, really hot and they sweat it out like being in a sauna.  This last project on SVPeregrine was electrical.  Yep, just add a sweating body and a saltwater soaked bathing suit sitting on the engine block holding a tool wrenching on the battery and you complete the circuit!  Yep, Doug got all tingly.   He didn't even tell me about it until I questioned him about the two burn marks on his butt cheeks.

The water temp is at 85 degrees and the last few days the air temp has been in the low 90's.  We have been told to watch out for sting rays, apparently there are a lot out in the shallow water this year.  In addition, we need to watch for jelly fish and strangely enough Humbolt squid.  I have heard two stories since yesterday about a dog being attacked by a squid.  What I was not able to confirm is if it was the same dog or two different dogs.

We are heading North on the mainland side of the Sea for the next couple of days.  I'm not sure how much cell/internet coverage we will have.  I know once we get up to the Bahia de los Angeles there is no coverage.

I am missing all the Mudd Daubbers!  It is anchor week up in the Delta and they are all out there on the hook enjoying the summer sun.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Martini Cove, San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico

Martini Cove at sunrise

Ahoy!  We are back out on "the hook".  We sailed here yesterday with SVPeregrine from the Guaymas harbor.  It was a lovely day and the sea breeze was welcome.  We did not get a very early start so we decided to go to a destination not too far away.  It's about 93 degrees out here on the water and in the water!  The water is so warm that you need to swim around to find a cool spot.  This little cove is very pretty.  There is just enough room for our two boats and a spot for several run abouts to anchor.



Today we swam and swam in the crystal clear water  Here a picture of Mugg and Larry, they were the first ones in the water.  Tucker had a good swim and run on the beach. While I was walking Tucker on the beach I started picking up trash, I just can't help it.  I don't have any place to take it so I just made some piles way up the beach out of the tide line.  I found a set of rosary beads on the beach, so I guess you could say I found religion right there on the beach!

Earlier today I mentioned to Muggs that I had decided I liked the Mexican bands that have a tuba player in them.  When everyone else is asleep the tuba player usually keeps on playing! 

Well, about 7:30 a small run about cruises into the anchorage with low and behold an entire Mexican band on board, "Con Tuba".  They were playing their hearts outs.  I was laughing so hard I couldn't believe it.  The boat was overloaded with musicians and instruments.  It was way too funny.
It is expected to storm tomorrow, might head into San Carlos

Monday, August 2, 2010

Do pigs really sweat?

Cause if they do, I'm sweating like a P.I.G.! We are packing up to take off today. Heading North today, I think...I'm already having A/C withdrawls

Friday, July 30, 2010

http://www.muggsandlarry.com/

Click here to go to their web page.

Muggs at the keyboard! And she plays the piano. Check out their website for an update on what we've been up to here in Guaymas.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

While we wait in Guaymas

We have been here at the dock for almost one month.  We have been doing some projects on the boats while we wait for the the masts to be complete on Peregrine, but we have also been out exploring.  We have been to San Carlos several times checking on SVBlueDolphin, SVUbuntu, and we visited Bill, Lisa, Jim, and Susan while SVBeyondReason was surveyed.  We also found the Pearl farm here in Guaymas and the Delfinario, a small version of Marine World where they will let you swim with the dolphins as well as watch the sea lions and dolphins perform.
Click here to see all the pictures and the movies.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Word of the day-lluvia!

It has looked like rain for a few days now, a few time there has been a slight welcome sprinkle.  However, yesterday was a different story.  It was over cast most of the day which made running around doing errands possible.  So Muggs (SVPeregrin) and I got very busy.  I decided that since the crane was coming to install the masts back on SVPeregrin she and I would go do something else.

We started out at the bank.  This sounds simple enough but not really here in Guaymas, when I have to park the Simmburban and I need a large parking area.  I dropped Muggs off at the corner where the bank is and went in search of a estacionamiento or parking that I thought I had seen a few streets up from the bank.  I found it pretty quickly, basically the parking area is a cleared out lot in between where two homes are.  The guy just scraped the lot and put up a sign and a chair.   I think he sits there all day and collects money for parking.  Once I parked I realized Tucker was in the car and I could neither leave him or take him into the bank so I ended up handing the leash to the parking attendant and scooted off towards the bank. Before he knew it he was now a dog sitter as well.  I met up with Muggs and we did our banking, getting cash in very small bills.  When we rounded the corner to the parking area, there was the attendant, now not only holding Tucker, but he had another dog and a small child (3 years old) all sitting in the shade.  My first thought was that I hope Tucker hadn't bitten anyone while we were gone.  I paid the guy double, collected the dog and we scooted away.  3 year olds are a favorite of Tucker.

We took a leisurely drive to the laundry mat, dropped off something like 20 kg of dirty clothes then headed over to San Carlos Marina Real to check on SVBlueDolphin, in the water, and SVUbuntu, on the hard.  SVUbuntu is still in the work yard, even though the owner was told it had been moved.  Little did the guy know Ubuntu has spies watching.  We passed through the guard gate that is maned by a min. of 2 to 4 guards who have never asked me a single question,  I just waive at them and they open the gate.  Real good thing I'm honest.  We went on board SVBlueDolphin and aired it out for only about 20 minutes because even though it was overcast it was extremely sweltering below decks.  We located a can of Bristol for the maintenance man and scurried back to the car.

On the way back to Guaymas we decided to follow the signs to the canyon Nacapuli, an amazing palm canyon north of San Carlos.  We followed a dirt road for about 20 min. following signs.  We finally came to an area where I wasn't comfortable taking the truck any further.  I got out and walked a ways up the canyon and decided to come back later with Doug in tow.  It was a bit remote for me to go too far on my own.  I came back to the truck and followed some more dirt roads and made it back to the main road in about 8 min.  I still can't figure out why it took me so long to get out to the canyon trail.

We stopped at the seamstress and picked up a few items that Muggs had made, they were covers for her cockpit chairs.  They turned out beautiful, the seamstress needed to buy additional fabric and made an excellent choice.  They are very bright yellow and salmon colored.  Fun colors.  We also stopped at the carniceria (butcher), bakery and vegetable stand.  This was a very ambitious day!

We came back to the boat yard to discover that the crane had never showed up and SVPeregrine was still tied up in the haul out area, the crane was delayed.  Manana for the masts.  This meant that the boat would stay there all night.  It was a "Slack Line" move to get on and off the boat while it was tied up there.  Muggs was only willing to do the move once with lot's of coaching so we decided to go do a few more errands and planed for her to sleep on our boat for the evening.

We flushed Larry off the boat and headed downtown for a much needed hair cut.  We found a great salon with no waiting line and wonderful A/C so we all took a seat.  I didn't need a haircut so I had a pedicure while Larry and Muggs got a haircut.

I had been watching the cloud cover all day and doing a lot of wondering about what this city is like when it rains and attempted to ask the stylist about weather in Guaymas.  She said it was not going to rain today, no problem.  After all she has the local knowledge.  All the while the clouds where getting darker and darker.  Really impressively dark for there not to be a chance of rain.  Everything in the City seemed to be going on as usual like there was no chance of rain.  The daily crowd was gathering on the Malecon for their exercise to the loud music so I'm thinking "no chance of rain", that's what the locals say.  All the taco carts where had lined the street, even the Oscar Mayer wiener cart was out.

We again went back to the boat and decided to flush Doug out of the boat and go grab some dinner in a nice restaurant.  We all dressed in our best clean clothes and was just about ready to leave when the sky's literally opened up.  Not just a little bit, but BARRELS of water!  I was down below on our boat so I did the extra fast move around the boat closing port lights and Doug closed hatches.  All the while Larry was on the dock, he had grabbed the "sun umbrella" for cover.  I popped up and realized we were supposed to meet Muggs at the gate and she didn't have a key to get in.  I could not even see the gate.  Then Larry remembered his boat was not really closed up all the way for this amount of rain, so off we went into the WET weather!
I found Muggs hunkered down in the ladies room, did I mentioned the lighting!  I had Muggs stay in the ladies room, since she was dry and went to help Larry close up his boat and put tools away.  By the time I made it to SVPeregrine he was already on board madly dashing around putting buckets over the mast holes, moving tools and closing up the cockpit.  There was really only room for one to do the mad dash around the boat in the rain so I stayed on the dock.  It was very hard to see what one was doing in the deluge.  We all had eye glasses and they quickly became useless.  I spotted Larry as he made the move off the boat back up to the yard dock.  At this point the move had become very dangerous as the lines where now slippery.

In the distance I saw lights come on in my truck and realized Doug must have come up to the yard.  Larry and I headed over towards the truck and found Muggs on her way there with a shower curtain over her head.  What a site we were.  We all jumped in the truck and took a deep breath.  Then it was a mad dash of pushing buttons to get the A/C to turn OFF!
We were more than just dripping wet.  I don't think I get that wet taking a shower.  Now what?
My vote was simple, I'm soaked I want to go back to the boat and towel off and make dinner there.

Doug had another idea.  Well we are all here, let's just go to the restaurant.  I'm thinking he has been out in the sun too long.  Are you kidding?  It's flash flooding and the water is rising.  Zoom!  Out of the parking lot we go into the thick of it.  I was so terrified I could hardly speak.  It had only been raining for maybe 15 min and the water on the road was already a rushing river about 18 inches deep.  It was a flash flood, my first flash flood not just seen on T.V.  We joined the masses of cars on the road that at this point was at a crawl.  As we passed the streets that were at an incline I could see water rushing down them.  Many of these streets are not paved, just dirt so they were just a wash turning into ravines.  There is no drainage in this town so the water just rises.

The road that is normally two lanes quickly became 4 lanes heading out of town, thanks to a cement truck who decided to make a new North bound lane and the semi-parking area on the right side.  Amazingly enough the traffic lights remained functional, there was not a stall, none of the really small low cars filled with water and there where no accidents.  The roads never even had a chance to get slick.  After about a terrifying 45 min. we reached the restaurant and pulled in.  We dashed out of the truck into the palapa restaurant, much to the amazement of the waiters and patrons.
At this point Larry, Doug, and I are still dripping wet.  I decide I couldn't even sit in the restaurant. I felt like my dress was shrinking as I was standing there by the looks on the guys faces sitting at a nearby table.  I looked at the other side of the parking lot and low and behold there was a Walmart.
I decided I needed to make an emergency purchase of dry clothing.  Larry made the same decision.  So he and I took the truck across the parking lot to Walmart.  We ran to the entrance and went through the doors.  The A/C that had been such a welcome comfort was now almost unbearable.
I'm not sure but I think you might find us in one of the Walmart shoppers pictures that circulate.  We were walking, slushing, dripping through Walmart,  people were looking at us.  Gringos...

Once we reached the clothing section we realized neither one of us could read the labels on the clothing and didn't really understand the labeling.  We had to go on the idea of "Well, it looks like it will fit".  With our purchases made we made our way back to the restaurant.  I went into the ladies room and pulled off the wet and put on the dry.  Ahh, hmmm, it's dry but it's a little small.  I guess I could have used a different size.  Well at this point it was either the little dress or some paper towels in strategic places.  I went back out to the restaurant and was again ogled at by the guys at the table.  At least Doug had a drink waiting for me.  We had a lovely dinner and hung around the restaurant for at least 1 1/2 hours and let the weather and traffic pass. 


When we left we drove straight back to the marina with no incidents at all. Muggs stayed the night with us on Aquadesiac and Larry tight roped over to Peregrine.  It was a good thing Larry stayed the night on Peregrine because the tide went out and the boat was in too tight on her lines and started to hang in the haul out area.  The lines really started to sing!
This morning the crane showed up and Doug and Larry went over and handled the whole mast rigging on their own.  Muggs and I stayed below out of the rain, yeah it' still raining.  We might pick up that laundry tomorrow!