Deborah's blog

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04 Sep

Back in San Carlos again - Non-stop fun

Published by Deborah

We have only been back to San Carlos for a week yet we have already attended a pool party, a dock party, a football party and a brunch party. We have also been snorkeling, swimming and paddling. And of course ate at JJ's. The Internet access has been decent here, although I had to switch networks on occasion. The A/C runs full time and some days can't keep up. By late afternoon, the inside can get up to 90F/33C. I can't wait for summer to be over. We are counting down the days!

20 Aug

Hunter's 8th Birthday in Santa Rosalía

Published by Deborah

Although there were few kids to help celebrate Hunter's birthday, we were able to have a full day of excitement and entertainment. Hunter had self proclaimed the day as a holiday so there was no homeschooling today. We started off the day bright and early in the morning for a bike ride around town. Hunter and I explored the breakwater pier in the harbor then headed west through town dodging traffic and potholes. It was a beautiful morning and not too hot yet. After the bike ride is was time for breakfast. Hunter's only request was 15 pieces of bacon, so I made lots of bacon and some French toast to go along with it. After breakfast it was time to relax in the A/C and play a little Monopoly. We didn't finished the game but Hunter was clearly investing in some nice property and had quite a stash of money. He even received a Community Chest card that rewarded him for his birthday.

After Monopoly, Hunter wanted to get out of the boat so Rigo suggested we go dinghy fishing. We piled in the dinghy with our pole and headed out. Within 10 minutes we had a stripped Bonito on our line. Too bad it wasn't a tuna. We released it as the dark red meat is not our favorite. We fished for a while as we followed the whales and dolphins. Finally, it was too hot and Hunter and I decided to jump in the water. Hunter decided it would be fun to jump off the dinghy while is was moving so we did that a few times which really made him happy. Since the fish were not biting and it was getting late we decided to come back in.

One thing that Hunter has mentioned on several occasions is wanting to drive one of the pangas. Pangas are small fishing boats but usually have large engines so they go really fast. Hunter is really into how much horsepower an engine has. He says he only has one horsepower. LOL!! So Rigo has been talking to the fishermen to try to arrange this for Hunter. He was able to get the panga to come by our boat in the early evening. Hunter was soooo excited!! They went outside the harbor for a while then headed back into the harbor and did circles around Destiny (because they love it when the pangas drive really fast around their boat). Dawn tried to take a picture but he was out of there too fast.

After the panga excursion HM, Destiny and Dazzler headed into town for a birthday pizza dinner. We ate a delicious pizza delivered on a long wood plank. I don't know why I didn't take a picture of that. Hunter and Zyon chowed down on some pizza then left outside to the plaza across the street to run around. They played with a locale Mexican kid, Alfredo. When the adults were done chatting we headed back to HM for some cake and ice cream.

Even though it wasn't a typical kid birthday kind of day, I think Hunter fully enjoyed himself and had a great day. We hope to have another celebration once we get to San Carlos.

04 Aug

Santa Rosalía and Isla San Marcos

Published by Deborah

Santa Rosalía has become our new home at least for the next few weeks. There is good internet and cell phone access and we are enjoying the shore power from the marina. The town of Santa Rosalía is about 10,000 people with about 75% men (or at least that is what it seems as we walk the streets). There is just a few streets in town but you can pretty much find everything you need. Some things are way too expensive but most stuff is very reasonable. There are a lot of great ice cream stores, taco stands and grocery stores. On Sunday there is a flea market up the hill that has all of the basic stuff you see at every flea market, We picked up some fins and a fishing device that mounts to the rail. There is also the great little Carnicería. We bought a kilo of pork rib meat. It is delicious!!

On weekends we try to get out of the marina and head over the Isla San Marco just 11 NM southeast. I can still pick up Internet access in Sweet Pea Cove but it sometimes switches to 2G which is almost unusable so we don't rely on it for the bulk of the week. It is nice to anchor over there to make water and jump in the water. The area is also very rich with under water wild life. At night there are so many fish and these little snake-like things. The water is so thick with life that you can reach down with a bucket and scoop up 100s of different little sea creatures. During the day, as Dawn and I paddled, the rays and all kinds of other fish swim directly beneath us. It is a little freaky as a lot of these things jump out of the water. One school of jumping fish jumped right over my board and hit my ankle. I screamed like a little girl!

Being on the dock has allowed Rigo to work on several boat projects like installiing a fan with are frig compressors so they don't over heat; sewing more boat covers, dinghy covers and Hunter helped make a new cover for a pillow; fixing the ice machine as well as other cleaning projects.

All in all this is a pretty cool (not temperature cool) place to hang out. The kids spend a few hours a day on Destiny with teacher Dawn, then have the rest of the afternoon to go to the pool or sit in the A/C office with Internet access. Santa Rosalía is the last stop before you head up the Sea so we see a lot of boats come and go in addition to the Ferry to Guaymas and the Mexican Navy, not to mention the pangas that go out every evening to fish for Humboldt Squid. Speaking of squid, Mike from Destiny has made friends with some of the fisherman and they bring by squid for practically free (70 pesos per kilo).

22 Jul

Exploring the Northern Sea of Cortez.

Published by Deborah

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Destiny finally got her fuel and paid for it so it was time to move on. Perm Temp is staying behind to wait for Gayle to come back from San Diego with PT water maker parts, HM generator parts and a whole bunch of more goodies. The trip to SF was really pleasant. We had a lot of good winds, some almost too good, but we also did some motoring. We fished the whole way but only caught a bird. We need to get some new lures. Destiny was catching all kinds of fish and we were following their trail so must be something wrong with the lures we are fishing with.

Friday, July 12, 2013

We arrived in Bahia San Francisquito late morning, put up some shade and jumped in the water. It was already hot! Odyssey was already there and on the beach with Jack (their dog). We were the only 3 boats in the bahia. We launched the dinghy to explore around the area and did a little snorkeling. Behind the beach was an open desert with sand dunes and cacti. The cruising guide said it was a good area for hiking but it was too bloody hot to be walking around in the desert. We’d have to get up early in the morning for that.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hunter was totally excited about doing a hike so he was up at 6 am. Zyon of course didn’t want to have anything to do with getting up early so he and Papai slept in as Hunter and I ventured to shore for a morning hike. We didn’t really see any trails so we kind of just blazed our own. Only having flip flops and crocs on our feet we hiked through the sand, cacti, sticker bushes and rocks as careful as we could. We tried to climb up the hills as far as we could so we could take some pictures of the boats in the bay. It was quite challenging at times but at least there was a cloud cover so the temperature was rather mild. We hiked for a little over an hour. I’m really glad Hunter dragged me out of bed so early.

Later in the day, we all went to the beach for some swimming and relaxing and then later built a beach fire to cook some of the fish that Destiny caught.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

When we woke up this morning we didn’t really know what the plan was. Hunter woke up early in hopes to go for another hike. I slowly got up at 7 am with him but by the time I got ready, Hunter was already in a horizontal position. So I went for a paddle around the bay. It was beautiful, clear water everywhere I went. What a great way to start the day. I only wished I could have had Hunter with me. Time to find another board.

When I got back to the boat, we decided to move on from Bahia San Francisquito. Unfortunately the time was ticking for my vacation. We wanted to see as much as we can while I don’t need internet access. It has been different not getting online every day. I kind of like it but I do like to stay connected. I was actually finally able to get my satellite phone to connect to the Optimizer so I can send email over my phone. I am able to send/receive basic text emails including weather information and grib files.

Monday, July 15, 2013

This morning we woke up in the water of Isla Partida. Yesterday’s sail here was soooo hot. Today was just as hot. Hunter was the first to get up. He has been having fun hiking everywhere we go. We start the day off with a hike up the volcanic rock on Isla Partida. We tried to start early but 10am was not early enough. It was soooo hot. We were already sweating just on the dinghy ride to shore. The approach to shore is extremely rocky. You can’t really beach the dinghy without tearing it up so we just threw an anchor. . The whole island is a bunch of rocks and the birds have made this a regular bathroom stop. When we arrived yesterday we were the only boat but this morning there is a cruise-type power boat in the anchorage that is towing about 6 Pangas. Really strange to see the boat towing these boat as the left the anchorage later that day.

With Hunter’s lead we climbed the rocks in our Crocs and flip flops. With Hunter’s determination, we went all the way to the top then over the other side and around. It was a great short hike. We really couldn’t handle much more than the hour we were out. It was time to get in the water and go snorkeling.

After the sauna-like hike, we headed to the other end of the island to snorkel. Snorkeling in the area was kelp forests next to deep sand on one side and rocks, of course, on the shore side. So many different sizes of fish and other living creatures were plentiful. You wouldn’t think the place we stopped would be good snorkeling but it was absolutely fabulous! It feels like being in an aquarium. You swim around the kelp and follow the fish and they follow you. Rigo spent some time showing Hunter how to spear fish before he went off to kill an unknown fish that we are having for dinner. Rigo speared a really nice fish. There were really big and really small fish. We saw rays and all kinds of other underwater life.

After snorkeling, we headed back to the boat to clean the fish and pack up to make the quick 12 mile crossing to the Baja main land. Our intentions were to go to Animas Slot but as we pulled in, we decided to move the very next cove to Cal Puertocito de Enmedio where there was a little more room. The cruising guide said that Animas Slot was only big enough for 1-2 boats and they weren’t kidding. There wasn’t another boat there but we like to have more room to swing in any circumstance.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another beautiful day in the Sea of Cortez. We move around the corner to the east anchorages of Las Animas for better conditions and more room for Destiny. Perm Temp caught up with us earlier this afternoon and spent some time in animas slot while the crew of Heavy Metal snorkeled and fished. It got quite windy and very rolly and the area was tight so we decided it would be more pleasant to make the 4NM move. This anchorage has a nice breeze but is not at all rolly.

Still no Internet service but the sat phone email has been working great. This trip we were totally remote without cell or internet access so we relied on the Inmarsat Phone and Optimizer to send email with Destiny and get weather via email. It wasn’t completely perfect but technology is getting there. I look forward to the time when we can have internet access EVERYWHERE we go.

The rays at this anchorage must be the happiest fish in the sea. They dive out of the water, flip and land however. The sound they make is almost like fireworks. One after another and sometimes at once, the rays play for hours.

It’s nice to have ice. Thanks Dawn and Mike for the ice maker. Vodka, lemon juice, club soda, a dash of mango juice and a bunch of ice is the perfect drink for a day like today. (Lemon juice is hard to find in Mexico but I find that the liquid lemon juice in those plastic lemon containers work real well and lasts a long time) The humidity in Mexico can sometime be unbearable. Sticky, sweaty and hot is that only way to describe it. Some days are worse than others and some days can be drier but when it’s really humid I do not want to be touched. I can never get enough water and getting wet doesn’t help after you dry. Sometimes I wish we were in the Patagonia.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Today we are at the northern end of Isle Angel de la Guarda at Peurto Refugio. The area has about 5 different places to anchor, all of them beautiful. The whole area is full of volcanic rock and lava tunnels. There are loose rocks all over the area so we had to be careful where we went even in the dinghy.

10 Jul

Bahía Concepción and Santa Rosalía

Published by Deborah

We arrived in Bahía Concepción first thing in the morning after an overnight trip from San Carlos. We had pretty good wind most of the way and there were a few fish caught by all boats. Destiny and Perm Temp are traveling with us now. There is a cruisers 4th of July party at El Burro Cove given by Geary the weather guy. He throws the party every year to celebrate his birthday. HM couldn't go straight to El Burro though since there is not Internet access. Still a few more days of work before I start my 2 week vacation. So we stopped at Santa Domingo and PT and Destiny went down further into the bahia to El Burro.

Santa Domingo anchorage is full of all kinds of living things. The most annoying was the bees. The first day we were there they seems to all want to hang out on our boat. In the water on the other hand were tons of fish. I really cool place to snorkel not so much for the reefs but just for the massive amounts of fish. Big, small and everything in between. We saw squid, star fish and many schools of fish swimming around the beach. One time when Hunter and I were on the SUP we saw a school of about 12 of some kind of fish that were about 3 feet long only 6 feet from shore. Boy were we glad we were on the board. I would not want to come face to face with that school. I'm not sure what kind of fish it was but there were big! After a few days in Santa Domingo, we headed in further in to the bahia because we heard there was an anchorage past El Burro that had wifi. Since the telcel access was not great at Santa Domingo we decided to check it out.

(more details coming soon - taking off to Bahia San Fransquito.  Might not have internet for a while)

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