Monday, May 17, 2010

Fishing in Puerto Ballandra

We were all hungry for fish.  I guess the primitive instincts were kicking in. 
We all headed out of the cove and turned left with our fishing poles and hand lines.  :-)

We all spread out, set anchors, and Doug and Steve from UBUNTU went skin diving.
Cathy from BLUE DOLPHIN said "I caught a fish!"   Linda went over there and caught some more.
The fish were small but they were biting.

Here are the pictures. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Boat Dog - Tucker

Tucker's new dog door, well window. It's pretty hot under the dodger so we have come to the compromise of taking out one of the windows for ventilation and a dog door. He has gotten so brave about going forward it is really amazing. He just pops out the window and goes forward and hikes his leg even if we are sailing.

When ever we are not on an island we try to take him for a stroll. I keep him away from the Mexican dogs as much as possible. I keep him on leash unless we are at a desserted beach, then it's time for a good game of "get you!" he goes nuts running all around the beach. He is loving the water, just runs right in to cool off. The other day we were snorkeling and Tucker was in the dinghy barking. I went over and grabbed him and put him in the water with me, with his life jacket on. He swam all the way to the beach no problem. Swimming back to the dinghy was a different story. He changed his mind about 1/4 of the way out to the dinghy and I think we both gulped a little salt water. He has also discovered the fan and likes to sit in front of it.

He also gets to go on other boats and loves to explore and check them out.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Caleta San Juanico - May 11

It just keeps getting better and better.  Caleta San Juanico was so nice we stayed here for 3 whole days.  The diving, snorkeling, fishing and hiking were all very good.   We caught up to SVStrayCat, they had left Isla Coronado a few days before.  Our little fleet of ships now includes SVSeaBear, SVPeregrine, SVUbuntu and SVBlueDolphin.

Here are the pictures.

Caleta San Juanico has a little Cruisers Shrine.  It is a little tree clinging to the side of the shore with ALL kinds of stuff hanging off it and all around it.  Boat that have passed by have all left little mementos with the name of their boat and the names of people on board and the date.  It was pretty cool.
I also found a garbage burn pit hiding behind the bluff.  Yeah!  I took the opportunity to burn my trash.  All I had was one small bag, but still space is a premium.  I still can bring myself to toss anything but organics over the side.  I am hoping that at our stop in Bahia Concepcion they will have recycling.

Since I am tossing over all the organics there is zero garbage stink.  That's nice cause there are plenty of other things that can put off a stink.

I had a go at trying to make sourdough bread.  I brought a little starter packet.  I read the instructions like 12 times.  Then I reread the instructions another 12 times.  I was feeling pretty numb in the head with this whole bread making scheme.  I can't carry enough flour on board to feed a sourdough "Mother".  I had to put off making chocolate chips cookies because I needed it for bread.
Well my bread didn't come out too well.  I made one loaf that actually rose over an 1 inch!  I could slice it and make sandwiches.  Other then that I had a bunch of pizza dough and two hockey pucks!

We caught a lot of fish here in Caleta San Juanico and had a fish dinner on the beach with all the other folks.  I prepared Trigger Fish in Bacon Butter with grilled onions!  And breaded Damsel Fish.  Not bad.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Isla Coronados - May 9 - Whales, Dolphins and Mantas oh my!

I am completely amazed at what I can see all in one day!  I was down below in the galley and heard splashing, a lot of splashing!  I thought my dinghy was getting slammed around and filling with water so I came up from below pretty quick.  After checking the status of the dinghy I looked around to see what all the noise was.  There where two humpback whales very near the boat showing off, maybe mating?  It was so amazing!  The water was so clear I could see them under the surface.  They showed me their head, tales and flukes just so I could identify them on my whale card.

The rays (Manta?) were so thick at the anchorage they looked like rocks under the water.  I went out in the dinghy and just floated around with them, it was very cool.

The dolphins are everywhere!  We haven't swam with them yet.

We took the dink about 1/4 the way around this island trying to check out the dive spots on the far side.  The water was so incredibly clear that vis is about 30 feet I would guess.  We decided to turn around and head back to the boat just in time for the wind to crank up to 23 knots!  It was a little bit like spending the night in a washing machine.  Our anchor drug a little bit but we had anchored way away from all the other boat so there was not problem.

We never went ashore at this island.  We did get a visit from the park rangers in a panga boat.  They wanted to see our park passports.  We have had them since November and this was the first time we had been asked to show them.  In hind site we should have waited to buy them until we had to show them.

Here are our pictures and video:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Back on The Internet

We have been out of internet range for a while now.  We are currently on Isla Carmen across from the town of Loreto and have great coverage.  I think that at the Puerto Escondito marina there were just too many boats, all trying to get on the internet.   We went there for that last couple of days of Loreto Fest (A boating get together for charity) Yesterday, Cinco De Mayo was at least our third time being in Mexico on Cinco De Mayo and I really think it is not actually a Mexican holiday or day of celebration.  I think it is a Jose Cuervo celebration.  From my most recent experiences here in Mexico they have bank closures, parades and fireworks almost weekly.  But not on Cinco de Mayo.  Go figure.

We have really been enjoying our time traveling North up into the Sea.  We have been very diligent in trying to only move the boat North during fair weather.  Doug is pretty much convinced that 27 knots of wind and big seas with white caps don't agree with me.  It is pretty nice sailing in the warm weather -vs- San Francisco Bay.  I feel like I've put my time in on the Bay. 

We left La Paz on the 25th of April and headed over to Isla Espiritu Santo (the Caleta Partida anchorage).  We tried to snorkel there but the wind came up and it got really, really choppy.  Doug was able to go over the side and snorkel a little bit while I manned the dinghy with the dinghy anchor in the water so the boat would not blow away.  He found a extremely photogenic puffer or box fish lair.  The little fish came out and posed for him.  We did not go ashore on this island but I hear that in one of the anchorages there is a grave (not on any maps), off the trail of a crew member from a Spanish ship that was really, really old.

On this leg we have been buddy boating with a couple of boats (Peregine, from Alameda Muggs & Larry), (Blue Dolphin, Robert and Cathy), (Ubuntu, Steve and Arlene) and bringing up the rear (Chat de Mer, Leo & Cecile)  this has been really fun.  We all have certain things we want to do or see and of course some of us have schedules of needing to be somewhere on a certain day.  But we all keep heading in the same direction and stop and have a meal with each other or go exploring.  It's just nice having daily contact with a familiar voice.  We also have been looking out for each others boats when they are not occupied.

The "boys" have the Maritime HF SSB radio's and set up "play times" on the radio.  I remember when Gregg & Dillon had these walkey talkey toys and they were playing with them in the yard (Cause they weren't allowed to leave the yard).  So I guess the saying of the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys is certainly true in this case.  They try everyday and random times to call each other.  Sometimes they are right next to each other and other times they are miles away.  If something isn't just right they can spend hours troubleshooting what the problem could be.  When I hear the guys on the radio I tell Doug his Hamsters want to play.  I actually just figured out this morning that Doug's "Kenwood" radio is 2 radio's in 1.  Yes folks, it's a Ham radio KJ6FZW and a Maritime Single Side Band WDA7388.  You have to have the HAM license to transmit on the HAM frequency.  Anyone on board can transmit on the Single Side Band, like the VHF radio.  Call me a slow learner but then again I've been dog paddling in the deep end of pool folks.

We left Caleta Partida on April 26 and went to Everisto on the Baja Calif Sur.  We only spent 1 night there and did a short dingy tour on the water.  It was a pretty crowded anchorage and we did not want to get too far away from the boat.  As it was during the middle of the night we swung around and I think I could hear Robert on Blue Dolphin snoring, at least Oscar was on watch in the cockpit!  Blue Dolphin had crew on board.  They where traveling with Erica and Oscar (brother and sister) from Columbia via Anchorage Alaska.  They where born in Columbia but raised in Alaska and where on a epic bike trip South to Columbia.  They are hoping to get to Columbia by September.  They took a short trip on Blue Dolphin North just to check it out.  They came on board in La Paz and left in Puerto Escondito to head South again.  Their plan was to go back to La Paz and take the ferry over to Mazatlan, then South to Columbia.  We will miss them they were really fun to have along.

April 27 we left Punta San Everisto and headed over to Puerto Los Gatos. This was a really tough anchorage to get into.  There is a submerged reef that extends straight across the entrance of the anchorage.  Blue Dolphin with their brand new $15K bottom job almost went aground here.  He actually had to put the boat in reverse and back away from the reef.  Oscar was on the bow and Manuel the fisherman was in his little panga boat yelling at Robert "Roca", "Roca!"  Luckily they did not go aground. We were able to see and hear all the commotion and entered the anchorage with our forward looking sonar.  We were able to anchor where no other boats dared to go because we could see the bottom.  Of course Manuel the fisherman thought we were nuts!  He kept saying "Roca", "Roca" to Doug.  I asked Doug if he wanted me to translate that for him.  He said he could not see any rocks on the forward looking sonar, so we stayed.  Two days later when the wind shifted I saw the "Roca" Manuel was talking about and the boat just knugged the "Roca" boink.  We were going to leave that day anyway and it looked like a fine time to get underway.  We had been pretty busy at Los Gatos.  Doug and Cathy scuba dived on the reef.  Larry, Robert, Steve and I road around in dinks and just look over the side at the reef and fish.  Larry actually went in but said the water was chilly.  We hiked a little bit and had a beach potluck with a couple of other boats that happened into the anchorage.  We met up again with "SVSapphire" and their buddy boat SVBliss.  We first met them in Frailes in November.

April 29 we left Puerto Los Gatos and headed North.  The weather got pretty ugly towards the afternoon time so we ducked into Agua Verde.  Home of the goat cheese.  We stayed there for a couple of days and met some more folks.  Some we knew from other anchorages SVStrayCat, MV CarolineRob.  We met the folks on SVIronMaiden, and SVNamaste.  Most of the folks we met at this point where heading North to the Loreto Fest and all where anxious to get to the fest.  We hung around and waited for a good weather window which did not come until May 1.  We checked high and low in Agua Verde for goat cheese, I think it had all gone North to Puerto Escondito.  Agua Verde was pretty and we will at some point go back there and check it out in more detail.

May 1 we left Agua Verde and headed up to Puerto Escondito.  We met up with almost all the boats we have met during our voyage here in the Sea.  At Puerto Escondito they have a mooring ball field and two other anchorages.  So there is lot's of room for a whole bunch of boats.  We also met a bunch of new folks which is always fun.  We again ran into SVWindwardBound, we had met them in Mazatlan.

May 6 Bahia Ballandra on Isle Carman. We spend the night here with SVJessieGirl and SVMoonDance. Heading out for a hike today and waiting for Peregine to come into the anchorage sometime tomorrow.  I already see lot's of flying insects that bite so it might be a short hike.

I got around to updating the blog today.  I keep putting my nose into books and have to get to the end.  Adelle I love all the books by Earlene Fowler and so does Doug!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bahia Ballendra May 5

Morning in Bahia Ballendra. This was a wonderful little bay on the Isla Carmen.

I found a really cool skull of a trigger fish. Apparently fish don't have dental plans!

The boat looked like a oasis to us from this vantage.

The whole island is a park so you can only take pictures and Mr. Tucker was not allowed on shore.We tried to take a walk up the canyon but we started our hike way too late in the morning. The little flies and the temperature soon got the better of us and we scooted back to the boat pretty quick.

The water is getting clearer and clearer and is teaming with all kinds of sea life. I have posted a short video of Jacque Simmsau trying to cock the trigger on his spear gun that Allan gave him. He finally did get it cocked and jumped in the water, aimed at a fish and BAM! scared the bejesus out of both Doug and the fish. I think he needs a smaller spear-gun or perhaps a Hawaiian Sling.

We waited at this anchorage, with internet, for SV BlueDolphin, Peregrine and Ubuntu to join us.

At one point during a sunset there were about 100 Small Rays jumping and slapping the water.  It was really quite amazing.  I didn't get any good shots or video but Muggs off of SVPeregrine took a great video completely by accident.
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