Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Attempted to leave for Los Frailes on Sunday 11/28 and had a glorious sail for 2 hours going north in 15 to 18 knot winds and 4-5 foot seas. Then the winds increased to 30+ knots and seas built to 8-10 feet and we couldn't make any headway into the wind...so we did the logical thing and turned back to San Jose del Cabo. So we have spent 2 days socializing with other cruisers and doing maintenance. 2 other boats came into the harbor yesterday that were trying to get to Los Frailes also and couldn't due the the high winds and sea state. So we have decided to just cross the south end of the Sea of Cortez and go to Mazatlan. Winds and swells look favorable.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Yesterday we rode our bikes into San Jose del Cabo for fresh produce. A terrible rain storm blew in and we didn't have to take a shower. Just rinse the sand off the back of our legs when we dismounted the bikes. Rick made a great Italian dinner with fresh baked bread we shared with neighboring sailors. They had a nice bottle of wine and good advice since they have sailed these waters 3 times before. We will be stopping at similar ports and will connect again. They loaned Rick a tool he needs to change out the engine starter.
Success! Rick was able to replace the engine starter with the help of a Mexican mechanic with skinny arms to reach into a tight spot, accessing a hidden bolt.  It is a beautiful sunny day today making it easier to do the laundry. Hand washing 2 weeks worth is good exercise for me. I stomp on the clothes for agitation for both the wash and rinse cycles while I do upper arm exercises with an elastic band. Then while I wring them out I do yoga positions with my legs for stretching exercise. The Mexican Navy has been at the end our dock all afternoon with their AK47 rifles and they haven't even shot at the crazy laundry lady.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

whale sightings are wonderous

Snoball got her sea legs after 1 day
San Jose del Cabo has a nice new marina we landed at this morning. Good to be tied to a dock after 12 days out to sea and at anchor. We have had some engine difficulties so will be here at Puerto Los Cabos for 3 days to replace the engine starter, work on the leak in our water maker, etc. The water maker works great and we used for a few hours early in the trip but like everything on a boat it began to leak at one of the fittings which is driving Rick crazy. Hope everyone we love and miss had a great Thanksgiving.
Rick's first catch, yellowtail
sushi sashimi
Rick has become a great fisherman, catching a 12 lb yellowtail 40 minutes after he first put out line! We have had 3 types of Mackerel and a Bonita. The yellowtail was our favorite, Snoball loved it also. We had sushi within 1.5 hours of catching it. Then fish tacos, steaks on the barbe and stew from the bones we just couldn't throw into the sea before boiling them.
Private anchorage Bahia Sant Maria
Our anchorage at Turtle Bay was short but sweet. On the next leg to Magdelena Bay our auto pilot went out causing us to hand steer constantly. This doesn't seem like it would be a problem, after all shouldn't you have to steer the boat. But the person on watch also has to leave the helm to check the GPS, radar and make hourly log entries. Not possible during your 4 hour shift. Also can't use the head, so I found I got dehydrated, only drinking at the beginning of my sleep shift. We were glad to arrive at Bahia Santa Maria anchoring behind a huge mountain which protected us from the NW winds. Rick had a spare auto pilot and installed it in 1 hour. Just in time to join other sailors on their boat for lobsters they snared that day. Yum! They had no refrigeration and were delighted with our salad offering for the dinner.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friendly Ensenada

Today we registered at the marina and cleared into Mexico at the Immigration office. Everyone is so friendly and helpful, of course they already know my voice from listening to our radio dialogue for vessel assist. We met 4 boat crews at immigration that are traveling south, all commented on our inbound tow. We also learned that the weather has changed and there is a storm off the coast Fri, Sat and Sun. So we will wait and sail to Turtle Bay on Monday/Tuesday if the weather clears.  Again we are lucky as Bernardo who delivered us so gently into a slip has a brother Leonardo who cleans fuel tanks and filters fuel. Tomorrow....Rick gets to smell diesel again. To treat ourselves, tonight we went to Mission Brewery and had an excellent IPA and Stout. So let it be known that Mexico isn't just about pale ales! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mexican entrance

Our beloved Ruckus tow boat
sailing under the Coronado Bridge
Full of desire and excitement to continue the sailing adventure we began in August 2010, we motored through San Diego harbor under sunny skies and calm seas. As we approached the Mexican border, several fast Navy boats were passing us with 8 to 10 crew aboard. They were hovering at different positions along the border area along with a USCG helicopter just sitting in the air at 5 miles off the shoreline.  No sign of winds to sail with as darkness fell on us and partial cloudiness occasionally covered the 33% moon. When the clouds did clear we had a magnificent view of the millions of stars above. Awesome. We under estimated the southerly currents, which carried us down the coastline faster than expected and arrived outside the entrance to Bahia Todos Santos at 2 AM. The wind was starting to blow from the NW, so we set the sails and sailed west out away from the fishing boats plying the waters at the mouth of the bay. The water was teaming with silvery fish and dolphins were jumping among the fish carrying a phosphorescence trail. Awesome sight and sail. around 4 AM we turned around and headed back to shore with the wind speed decreasing as we approached the entrance of the bay. Ten minutes after starting the engine and pulling in the sails, the engine died. Rick worked for 2 hours assessing the cause while I sailed in light air with only the Genoa drawing us closer to the bay entrance. After blowing on fuel lines, changing filters, lines, clamps etc he determined there was a blockage in the lines coming directly from the tank and he couldn't clear it. By then he was feeling very seasick. In the cockpit he felt better and decided that we would sail close to Ensenada harbor entrance and call for a tow. Just then the winds changed to SW and picked up to 8 knots, perfect for a sail into the bay. Luck was on our side. When he was well enough to take the helm, I wrote out the entire dialogue I would need to talk with the harbor Captitania. At 3 miles from the entrance, I called in and after the Capitania suffered with 2 sentences of my horrible Spanish pronunciation, he offered to speak in English. Lucky again. He arranged for a towing company, Baha Tow, with boat named Ruckus and an English speaking captain called Bernardo. Soon we were tied up at Cruiseport marina and I love Bernardo now. Few people receive such a celebrated escort into their first international port. Everyone in the harbor now knows us as the boat who was towed in and had listened to all the radio dialogue to arrange it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Today we throw off the dock lines and sail to the warm waters of Mexico. We are very excited to sail again and continue the adventure we started in 2010. There are always more tasks that could be done to prepare to cruise, but we feel ready to go.