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  The folks on SV Third Day had a life raft that was 15 years out of date so they let the kids open it and play on it.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 - 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.