November 2012

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24 Nov

Mazatlán

Published by Deborah

The history of Mazatlan goes way back. It translates land of deer although we did not see any deer. The anchorage we are at is very pleasant and we have a great view of the newer part of the city where there are a plethora of hotels and other tourist spots. The island we are next to is called isle vendor. We are alone at anchorage although I'm not really sure why. The views are great and the anchorage is not rolling and has a nice breeze. What we have heard so far about Mazatlan is that there is a lot of theft. Last night we anchored at Club Nautico just inside the Mazatlan harbor. That area is a little more sketchy but this area seems fine so far. There are a couple of marinas to the north that we might check out later this week.
You'd think that being so close to a bunch of hotels that I would be able to pick up some free wifi. There are a bunch of networks within great range but every one of them have a password. Bummer! At least I still have my Banda Ancha and I haven't even used a GB yet.
Fireworks! Wherever we go we see fireworks.  Now is Matazlan, more fireworks. Nobody ever know why they go off.  Maybe it is just a celebration for us being there.
Later that night...
Rigo and I are hanging out in the cockpit and all I can hear is this booming music from the shore. Nothing like Cabo. It is dance music where Cabo was more spring break/beach music.  I wonder what hotel or bar is playing that music? I wonder what it is like. Is it a bunch of local Mexicans or visiting Americans? In Cabo it is most definitely Americans but this place seems different. It makes me want to dance.

23 Nov

Crossing the Sea of Cortez

Published by Deborah

As my coffee spill of the boat, I am sitting here in the cockpit watching the 5-7 feet waves. It has been a while since we've been sailing in this kind of weather. It reminds me of the coast from half moon bay to Santa Cruz. Everyone seems to be handling it just fine especially Heavy Metal. She is easilily cruising at 7 knots. Last night we helped out the comfort on the boat by running the motor. The winds were variable from 6-20 knots. The shifts in speed cause us to hit the waves at an angle that threw everyone and everything fron one of the boat to the other. We were going more than 10 knots at times. It looks like we will be arriving a lot sooner than I thought.

We are headed to Mazatlan. More specifically isle of the deer. Our friend Jack says this is a good place to anchor but more importantly a safe place to anchor. Stone mountain anchorage is know for a lot of theft including dinghys and food. According to Destiny, Jack got his frig raided. Plus there is a lot of ferry and big cruise ship passing. There is a few marinas up on the north side that we may check out.

Being in the Sea of Cortez makes me feel like I am on some ocean ride. The waves lift me up and then gently slides me back down. The breeze is decent and seems to be in harmony with the waves. At least for now...

21 Nov

Main Sail gets fixed in La Paz

Published by Deborah

The trip to La Paz ia a very short one but we have a lot of items on our to-do list. The first and foremost is to get our main sail repaired from the rip that occurred in the first leg of the Baja Ha-Ha just outside Turtle Bay. You remember...when our sailing trip turned into a fishing trip. We found a great little sail loft in La Paz called Snug Harbor sails. Doug and Meri offered great services and were able to fix our sail is less than a day.  I think it took less time to fix the sail than it did for Rigo and Mike to get it back up the mask.  Pesky sails.  They never so what you want them to. 

We also went to the last Baja Ha-Ha beach party while in La Paz.  It was at La Costa restaurant just walking distance from the marnina and had Mexican dancers, an awesome Mariachi band and a rock band.  Fun was had by all and it was good to hang out with the Baja fleet to find out everyone's next plans.  We ran into Solice, Jasmine and Shannon from Ultrea in Los Muertos and they came to La Paz as well.  Not even half of the fleet was in La Paz but there were still a good number of people there including Destiny, Insparire, Star Passage and so many others. 

Another item on our list was to get our Temporary Import Permit (TIP) for our boat.  After 2 tries, Rigo was able to accomplish that.  Jasmine and I took a walk to a Walmart-like store to do some provisioning as well as change in the last of our dollars into Pesos.  Tomorrow morning we fill up the tank with some fuel and then we are on our way back down the Sea enroute to Barra de Navida to meet up with Kristi and Sat Atma.

Although the trip to La Paz was short, it was good to become familar with the area as we hope to come back up here in the hurricane months.

15 Nov

Cabo-we arrived at night, we left at night

Published by Deborah

We did see much of the Cabo peninsula although we saw enough of the city. Anchorage in the bay was not bad but the beach party was starting to get old. The hotel bars on the beach went until all hours of the night. You could hear the noise clearer at our boat then being on the beach next door. Everything was walking distance for us: telcel, McDonald's, tons of restaurants, the city club where we provisioned was just behind the hotels with the beach parties. We ventured out everyday just to get out of the boat. Sometimes it was to avoid running into the API patrol. They try to collect $20USD or $200 pesos. With a 13:1 exchange rate, the pesos was the way to pay. Fortunately they are very flexible about having to pay every day.

Cabo was fun and hot so we were anxious to move on. The next stop was supposed to be Bahia Los Frailes. I researched before we left cabo to see about Internet acces since we were leaving on Thursday. Definitely no cell coverage so the Banda Ancha was not going to be an option. I emailed a contact at villa Los Frailes and he said there was satellite wifi. Sounded good to me and I also read a sailors blog where he experienced the same coverage. So we decided to leave at midnight so we could find out what would work first thing in the morning. The wifi was there but it was not strong enough for my antennae or there was a password. We decided to more on to bay of the dead. We are on our way as I am writing this. I'm hanging out at the stern of the boat with the wind and sun at my face resting from the heat of the boat. Rigo is napping and the kids are playing Sonic. It's a pretty good life! It is a bit wavy and we are going upwind but the day is so pleasant. I hope we turn the motor off soon. We are making good time.

We did some fishing on the way and caught nothing but striped bonito.  We kept one to try is out.  The darkest red fish meat you have ever seen.  It tasted like tuna and looked like beef.  I'd eat it again if that was all I had to survive but it was hard to get past the really dark meat.  I prefer the lighter fish.  I really want to catch another Dorado.  We caught plenty on the way down the Pacific coast but we gave away most of it and only had a small taste but it was delicious.

08 Nov

Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo San Lucas

Published by Deborah

The passage to Bahia Santa Maria from Turtle Bay was pretty uneventful.  We didn’t fish much nor did we sail as much as we wanted to.  The winds were good from time to time but overall were not really strong enough for really good sailing.    In Bahia Santa Maria we met back up with Jasmine, Solice and Shannon from Uretha.  Hunter was happy to see a familiar face and Solice was happy to see some kids.  There was a beach party the day after we arrived but the food and beer did not seem to be at Mexican prices.  Obviously they were taking advantage of the cruising community that was passing through.  There is no provisioning and most boats had run dry of beer so the $3 beers were successful.  However the $15 small portion plate of food was not worth it.  We ended up having Lemon Chicken and more on Heavy Metal instead.  We did spend some time on the beach and in the water as it was freakin’ hot.  The shore has a very sizeable sandbar so the waves were small and light and the water was ankle deep about a hundred yards out.  The water was nice and warm but very refreshing.  Zyon played around with some new friends from Northern Passage and Sea Passage while Hunter and Solice hung out on the shore playing with Jonathon from Fluenta.  There was very little shade on the beach but we managed to find some shelter next to the cliffs at least part of the time. 

We stayed an extra day in Santa Maria since many of the boats with kids were also staying behind.  We figured another day here would be better than racing to Cabo since we were planning to be in Cabo for more than a week anyway.  The families met on the beach the next day to play around and collect shells then we took the dinghies up one of the estuaries to explore a bit.  We reach a dead end but the ride out was worth it.  Later that day we packed everything up and headed to Cabo.

02 Nov

Turtle Bay Beach BBQ Potluck

Published by Deborah

The next day the whole fleet slept in.  Later in the afternoon was the BBQ at the beach with lots of potluck food, BBQ, music, Valley ball, talent show, sand castle contest and beer.  We made a trip into town to do some minor provisioning.  The refrigerator/freezer was starting to rise in temperature and we weren’t sure what was going to happen with that. At first we thought it was just because we had just filled it with a bunch of fish but the temperature did not cool down even after several hours of not touching or opening it.  I guess we had a few good days.  Another bummer!  But that of course did not stop us from having a great time at the BBQ.  Hunter won the sand castle contest.  Zyon spent most of his time in the ocean with his new friends Richard from Northern Passage and Harlin from Sea Passage.  Rigo and I mingled around to get to know more of the fleet as Stephan did what most 23 year old boys would do at a beach party. 

We reunited with Mike and Dawn from Destiny.  It was great to hang out with them again.