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                 The Log
 
April 1, 2007
Well we found our pizza... it was awesome! At first we couldn't find anything except Domino's, yuck! But, someone finally pointed us a real pizza place about ten blocks into town. It was called Rin Rin, a nice family pizzeria. (Jamie)

April 2, 2007
Today we cleaned the hull for the first time since leaving the states. Eileen and I were both totally wiped out by the end of that job. We did it with just our snorkels and fins. So, we had to dive under the boat repeatedly with our scrubby pads until all the scum was gone. I guess it took us about 2 hours, with both of us working on it. Then we went into town with the crew from Petra to retrieve our laundry. It only cost us $22, which is about what we expected. NO more laundry ripoff artists! (Jamie)

April 3, 2007
Today I am sick. I guess that I ate something my system didn't agree with. This sucks! (Jamie)

I have had a few interesting questions that I'll try to answer.  One was:  how exactly do you take a bath?  Well, for the most part we use salt water.  When we're anchored, we just jump off the side of the boat in bathing suits and shampoo and soap up.  If one of us has to shave, we dip a bucket over the side and use it and a razor on the back deck.  Depending on how we feel, we sometimes rinse off with fresh water.  To do this, we have a bug spray container from Home Depot that you pump and pressurize with air.  Then you stand up and press the nozzle and rinse off just like in a shower.  Most of the time, salt water is enough as long as you dry it off your skin immediately with a towel (thus no salt sticky).  I find that I rarely need to use conditioner because my hair has become incredibly soft.   When we're at sea, we often use the sink hand pump for salt water, wash using a sponge or wash cloth and then rinse with a different cloth or sponge and fresh water.  If it's cold, we boil the fresh water in a tea kettle (about 4 cups).   We're not talking major shower in this case, but you are clean and fresh in the end.  When weather is nasty, we don't bathe.  We use baby wipes for armpits and other necessary areas and hope for a nicer day soon.  HA!   Why do we do all this?  The interior of our boat is teak and it is always a problem keeping mildew and condensation out of the boat without adding freshwater spray to our limited space.  This particular boat wasn't meant to have a shower in the head.  It is no hardship in the tropics or at a marina.  It we were up north, we may have done something about it, but it's not necessary here.

What about fresh water?  At the risk of repeating, to supplement our fresh water supply (there are 90 gallons on board), we either use jerry cans and fill them at the fuel dock water hose while buying dinghy gas or we make water.  We have two 5 gallon hard jugs and 2 three gallon collapsible plastic jugs.   We keep the ten gallons on the side deck in case we ever break our main tank or have a leak, there is a reserve.  We have a 1.5 gallon per hour desalinator to convert sea to fresh water.  Its now installed and we've run water through the filters.  It's not clean yet, so we might not have pickled the filters correctly last year and may need to replace them.  In the mean time, we have plenty clean and fresh to drink.  When using dock water, I add a small amount of clorox to each  container, we let the tank air out overnight to release chlorine fumes.  This has worked so far.  Some people are obsessed with "clean" water and buy it at the price of $4.00 per five gallons.  This adds up quickly and we don't feel it's necessary. 

April 11, 2007
Currently in Los Frailes.  On Sunday, April 8th, we departed Cabo San Lucas.  We had had enough with the chop, swell, and incessant noise and activity.  No complaints, we really enjoyed our stay, it was just time to leave.  As per the norm, we slept in and had anchor up by noon.  We had a really nice sail.  10-15kts wind from the aft or aft quarter.  We used the mizzen and genoa, port tack to north of Cabo San Jose and then wing and wing until 5 miles from Frailes.  The wind died and we motored the rest of the way.  We arrived at Frailes around 9pm.  There was no daylight nor moonlight.  Frailes is a deep canyon which shelves about 1/4 mile from shore.  We anchored about 200yds off Frailes on the north side of the south bay.  There has been little or no wind for the duration of our stay here. 

On Monday, we cleaned up the boat and launched the dinghy.  In the afternoon we went to the beach for a nice long walk up and around the sand dunes while Adrian improved his sand castle with moat skills.  This, of course, was after a long morning of typing up his research report.  We had a pizza night on the boat.  There was a chilly breeze that was warmed nicely with the oven and salami/chorizo/avocado pizzas cooking inside.  Washed down with a little cabernet, kool-aid or beer, it was a perfect end to a perfect day. 

Los Frailes side

Friars rock, supposed to look like friars climbing up the rocks...I don't see it, but maybe you can...______The beach in front of the boat in Los Frailes.

Los Frailes Movie (9mb)

On Tuesday, we took the dinghy and our snorkeling gear to the Cabo Pulmo Reef in the North Frailes anchorage.  We had a beautiful 80 deg temperatures with light wind and 70deg water.  We didn't take wet suits and only lasted about an hour in spite of the warmth.  The sea life was beautiful, Jamie is perfecting his underwater camera technique.  It's got a bit to go, but he's getting the focus more precise these days.   You may even be able to make out the big fish.  After snorkeling, Adrian and I climbed all over the rocks to see the Sea from the hilltop.  It's quite a view.  Of course, the heights to which Adrian climbed had me worried, but boys are boys and he had to get to the tippy top.  I just hoped for no broken bones since we are an hour or two, even by car, from reasonable civilization here.  We dinghied home full of ourselves and had a grand spat once back at the boat!  I guess we were hungry and a little dehydrated and a lot tired of each other.

I have to say, in spite of the great adventures, there are some tiresome aspects to our lives.  Living in anchorages means that you never really sleep the whole night through and thus get crabby on occasion.  It's much like having a newborn in the house.  You constantly listen for minute changes in boat motion or sounds.  It is sometimes rolly or windy with constant motion.  It is sometimes exhausting.  We have fully tuned in to afternoon siestas for this reason.  We catch up on any lost sleep and avoid the sunlight at its hottest and brightest.  It does great things in regards to attitude adjustments.  Add milk and cookies and we'd be back in kindergarten!

Cabo Pulmo Reef...

Eileen the great white snorkler...______The beach on the north end of Frailes, near Cabo Pulmo reef.

Some of the coral near shore. Cabo Pulmo.______Eileen laughing her ass off, after scaring the crap out of me while I was taking pictures.

My quarry for the day. A nice black, spotted box fish.______I finally got a decent picture of a colorful parrot fish.

Today we cleaned up the boat again, stowed the dinghy and prepared for sea.  We are planning to leave tomorrow, as southerly winds 5-10 kts are expected.  We almost left this afternoon, but I changed our minds.  I am still tired from our snorkeling adventure yesterday and my hip and lower back are still bothering me some.  I think it's sciatica, as I get a shooting pain down my leg sometimes.  We are both losing weight and getting in shape, but we are still too active for our bodies to keep up with the pace.  I seem to be feeling my age right now, I am sure it is temporary.  We are hoping for an easy sail to Muertos, about 45 miles from here, or straight to La Paz, 95 miles, if the wind holds. (Eileen)

April 12, 2007
Today we departed from Los Frailes and are headed for Muertos. Had an excellent sailing day for a change. Sailed along most of the way to Muertos at around 5 knots. All the sails flying, on a beautiful flat sea. Arrived in the small bay late afternoon. The anchorage became more and more rolly as time went on, as there was a small swell from the south. Eileen and I went in to the Giggling Marlin for a drink and a snack. The prices at the Giggling Marlin only have the owner giggling, all the way to the bank. It's muy caro! $3.50 for one beer. After dark we had to endure a nice gale from the west, all night long, until about 5am. It really sucked, and us up most of the night, to make sure we hadn't dragged our anchor. (Jamie)

April 13,2007
Today the swell was down and wind light, so we went for a dinghy ride, and had a nice walk. We checked out some of the local snorkeling spots. This is a mecca for tourist fishing day trips. There is about 20 pangas that take gringos from La Paz fishing for the day. Note that we always pick the most popular anchorages...we are the only boat in the bay. We checked out the remains of some old stone wharf, blah blah blah....  Here's the pictures: (Jamie)

View of our boat in Muertos, from the boat ramp in front of the Giggling Marlin.______View from the hill behind the old wharf

Old stone wharf______Jamie and Adrian in front of a monster cactus

Muertos Bay Movie (7mb)

Adrian got a decent photo of some of the coral, in one of the tide pools off the point in Muertos

April 14, 2007
Not much to report today. It's been pretty peaceful around here. Had a short visit with the couple on "The Boat". We ate a nice lunch of egg salad sandwiches, with Eileen's homemade bread, yum!. Dropped off Adrian at the beach and he went off by himself for a while to take a few pictures, and run around. It was a nice relief for mom and I. We are leaving in the morning for Balandra, or La Paz. We'll see how we feel. Balandra in just north of La Paz. It looks like it would be a very pretty spot to anchor for the night before going the rest of the way into La Paz. (Jamie)

April 17, 2007
La Paz, what can I say...we finally made it to the place that every boater talks about. Our first day off the boat was yesterday, and it was basically a grocery expedition. Eileen and I checked out the cruisers club and nearby marina facilities. Then we went up the street and turned right. We saw the CCC market off in the distance, so headed that way, towards the south end of town. It's a short walk, and along the way, we stopped for a bite to eat at a small cafe. The meal was wonderful, but left a United States sized hole in our wallet. The CCC market wasn't much different from Cabo prices either. This was a disappointment since we expected to find prices to be much cheaper here in La Paz.  On our way home to the boat in the dinghy we decided to meet some of our neighbors on the boat, "Jenny". They were quite nice and invited us to a potluck that they were having that evening. So, Eileen cooked up one of here famous curry dishes, and we went over around 1700. Everyone brought great food, and then after dinner our hosts dragged out one of their favorite items on their boat to share with us.... I really couldn't believe that they dragged this thing around with them, AND actually used it onboard, you'll never guess in a million years what is. Get your heads out of the gutter! It was a karaoke machine, and they had like a 1000 songs. Well after a bit of fun was made and a couple people sang along, I was actually talked into singing a couple of ballads myself. I doubt they be calling me for any lounge acts anytime soon, but it actually was pretty fun. 
Today, we decided to take our first real showers since we left San Diego. It only cost us about $1.30 each, so it wasn't a huge hardship. We then exchanged some of our books at the clubhouse. Our mission for the day was to replenish Adrians drug supply. So this time when we left the marina, we turned left heading towards the north end of town. This was a great decision and has changed our whole outlook of La Paz. We walked down Revolution Ave. and first ran across a nice family tortillaria, where we bought a bag of fresh tortillas for 11 pesos (about a dollar), then bought, a huge slab of beef fillet probably about 5-6 lbs, cut into nice thick pieces at the butcher shop for $20 dollars. Can't wait to put those on the grill. Yum! Anyway, then we got into the town a little further we found a big Pharmacy, where we were able to fill all of Adrians drug needs. On the next block we finally found, food mecca. Street vendors selling nice ripe tomatoes for 10 pesos, for a gallon bag. It was well over a kilo. Bunch of bananas, also for 10 pesos. So from now on we are buying all our fresh provisions from the local vendors, not at the CCC. Also of note, is that we found 5 peso tacos, and 20 peso burgers. We tried the burgers. They were worth every peso. The proprietor of the hamburger stand was a artist at his craft. Huge burgers, cooked to order, fresh buns, fried onions, queso, chilies, fresh dices tomatoes, lettuce, and all the rest of the condiments. Man it all I could do to eat one burger. Superb. Didn't have room to try the 10 peso hot-dogs yet, but we'll be here for a while, so I am sure that I'll have time to try them soon. I think we may have located the Rancho... restaurant that was suggested by "Manana", some other cruisers on "Serendipity" knew exactly the place we were after, and gave us good directions to find it. 
In other news, there are plenty of kids on boats in the area, so tomorrow, we'll be trying to get him hooked up with some of them. (Jamie)

April 18,2007

Dolphin Solo - Frigate bird on thier wind indicator...again______Closer view of the Frigat bird. These birds love this particular boat. One landed in the same spot when they were in Frailles with us.

Last night we grilled a couple of our cheap fillets from the butcher shop. They came out perfect and tasted just like those $30 fillets at the restaurants. The meat was just falling apart, it was so tender. Eileen also opened a bottle of wine that we have been storing onboard for a few years. We bought it just before we moved on the boat back in 2002. It was a spanish wine vintage 1991, only 200,000 bottles were made for this special grand reserve, celebrating the 100th year of the winery. It was called Torre Oria. It was probably actually worth something, but we guzzled it down anyway. It was very very good wine. Today Eileen is trying yoga, since her back is still giving her some trouble. (Jamie)

Butcher store address______This is the butcher shop. they have awesome meat.

Glady's tortillaria, sells nice, cheap tortillas, the door is right next to Eileen.

April 20,2007

The back doctor. He's good.______Making cinder blocks, one at a time.

So, the yoga turned out great for Eileen. Her back and leg nerve felt a lot better afterwards. She also made an appointment with a Chinese fellow in town that does acupuncture, and back adjustments. Yesterday Eileen and I walked to said back doctor, in the morning. He prodded and poked at her for the better part of an hour. She plans to do another session on Sat. Also took a picture of a place that makes cinderblocks. This ordinarily isn't a big deal. But, they had a setup where they were making them one at a time, it takes them about 5 minutes or so to make a block and then they set it out to dry. They have 4 machines, but only 2 working at any one time. Seems like a VERY slow process, but they are seemingly doing a big business. 

We walked over to the Bravo St. market. It's an indoor market, where they sell fruits, veggies, meat, and seafood.  Eileen gobbled down an empenada for 8 pesos. We continued down Bravo to the 5 peso taco stand. I had two Asada tacos, but not without getting my balls busted by the guy on the grill. It was pretty funny. We were pretty beat by this time, so we went back to the boat for siesta. Later we went to Rancho Viejo for dinner.  A few folks had recommended this place. Unfortunately, we cannot continue to make a good recommendation for this restaurant. Of course, it's possible that we just caught them on a bad day, but it was put in second place for the worst food and service that we have ever had in Mexico. If anyone wants more detailed info please send me an email. After the debacle at Rancho Viejo, we went along to Malicon to look for a floating noodle for Adrian. Along the way we found an Italian Ice Cream shop, and each had a cup.  It totally changed our crappy attitudes. Oh, I almost forgot. Yesterday, we had a whale swimming around in the bay. he came up pretty close to us, and even closer to another boat. Pretty cool! He wasn't very big , maybe 30'.(Jamie)

The cruisers club near marina la paz.______Eileen eats a yummie empenada at the market.

One of the fruit stands at the Bravo St. market.

One of the government buildings. Notice the fountains.______Mermaid statue on the Malicon.

Boat guy statue along the la paz malicon.______A very Very good Ice Cream shop down the Malicon, near downtown.

April 22, 2007
The second session for the back doctor was finished yesterday. I took a picture of one of the churches that is under construction. It looks like one of those century long projects. Eileen had a girls night out with Shannon from "Sweetie" last night. I guess they had a pretty good time. Yoga has become a top priority every morning. Which is a little annoying, because you can never sleep in. Sunday rolled around today and I thought... "oh boy, I can sleep in today, there can't be an yoga on Sunday". But no, they have yoga EVERYDAY, arrrgh. Anyway, we went to the swap meet yesterday. The most popular stand was the crew from "Boraes" she had made a bunch of pies and cookies to sell. A piece of pie and a drink for 30 pesos. You can't beat that! Eileen also met up with a fellow who organizes the local youth symphony, Tom on La Casita.   She dusted off and started playing her French Horn again. It has sat idle for a few months, since we left Arkansas. It was nice to hear her playing again. Adrian has been steadily getting to know all the kids that are in the area. He visited Mary on "La Bella Aurora" and has been hanging out with Sam and Isabella from "Sunbreak" on a pretty regular basis. (Jamie)

The church that will never be finished.

Our favorite hamburger stand. At the corner of Bravo and Revolution.______The fruit stand next door to the hamburger stand on Bravo St.

April 24, 2007
Adrian has found his niche in La Paz with lots of boat kids.  We have, as well, on a more limited basis.  There are a few couples close enough in age and interest that we really enjoy hanging with.  The rest are retired and far more relaxed in routine.  They don't dance, walk, swim, and ride bikes all in the same day as we might, many don't even work on their own boats.  Retired in marinas with money.  Great for them and we don't mind, really, and La Paz has been awesome.  Last night the boys met and hung with some younger adults and played Risk.  I stayed home and read a book and found later that there were several people there and I should have gone as well.
Tonight I'm going to a local youth symphony practice.  Can't wait.  It's the first thing I'll have actively done with the locals anywhere in MX. 

Eileen and Tom play a duet after the symphony practice.

Music school Video (9mb)

I'm still doing yoga.  I took the day off yesterday and was incredibly sore today.  It's a great motivator.  I need to see if Annie will let me have a copy of the routines she works through with us so I can remember them wherever we are.  While I lazed all day yesterday, Jamie made a few dinghy trips with jerry cans for water, diesel, and gasolina.  The station is a couple blocks from the dinghy dock and we have a nice little dolly to carry the jugs, so it's just the task of going and returning that takes so long. 
It's 80's-90's now here.  Water isn't very clean and 3-knot current keeps us from swimming off the boat.  Otherwise, enough breeze most days to enjoy.  And we could dinghy over to the Magote (massive sand bar/beach) if we really needed a swim.  It still cools off at night.  Noticed a couple mosquitos the last two nights.  Adrian got chewed up pretty good last night.  They haven't bothered us, maybe b/c of the breeze from the hatch. 
Tomorrow we're going to go anchor up in the islands for a week or so and return for mail and watermaker membrane.  Then we're headed into the sea.  There is a festival in Loreto in May, but I doubt we'll have made it that far, in time to attend. (Eileen)

April 25, 2007
OK, we haven't gone anywhere yet. So, today I finally put the sail kit together for the dinghy. We have had said kit, since we bought the Porta-Bote. But until today, it has never been used. After the first hour of assembly, I was ready to throw everything overboard and forget that I ever had the stupid sailing kit. During the second hour and then some, I was actually able to get it all assembled with the help of Eileen. I would advise anyone that is considering one of these boats to avoid the sail kit at all costs! It is the worst design I have ever seen on a dinghy. I understand that the Lateen rig may have gained them a small amount of extra sail area. However, the amount of trouble and time that it takes to put together is ridiculous. A nice Sprit sail setup would take far fewer pieces cost less and be lighter in weight. I also think that a comparable sail area could be reached. ANYWAY, here's some pictures of me actually sailing it. Good job Eileen! 

Sailing the porta-bote______Sailing the porta-bote

Sailing the porta boat

While I was busying myself with the dinghy, Eileen was busy baking some sourdough bread. As always the cook is very critical of the product, but I thought it was very good. Adrian also made some cookies, so it was pretty damn hot in the cabin today. (Jamie)

April 28, 2007
Yesterday we drove the dinghy up to Marina Palmira. They have a swimming pool and we know some folks who live there. So we scammed a couple hours at the pool and hot tub. After we were done we were talking to Kevin from Sunbreak about the boat that he is about to deliver to San Carlos. The boat turned out to be owned by our long lost friends from Canada. We met Roxie and Jason from Wistful at the police docks in San Diego, last year when we were replacing our engine. What a coincidence! But the coincidence didn't stop yet... we had invited the crew from "Boraes" over for dinner. While we were sitting and chatting, we had mentioned the couple from Canada. KC says "...I shouldn't mention this, but... " It turns out that during a bit of dumpster diving, they ran across Roxie and Jason's  wedding video on DVD... I couldn't stop laughing.... 

Not the best sunset we've had, but a pretty nice one.______Borias in thier dinghy heading home after a nice visit.

April 30, 2007
This morning dawned with a giant motor yacht, on high idle about 75 feet from us. He was waiting for the nearby yard to lower the craddle for him. But that didn't stop us from swearing under our breath a little bit. Yesterday we went with the crew from Borais plus Brian to the Magote which is the spit of land across the harbor. It's mostly sandy beach. We took the opportunity to bathe while we were over there. Also, did a bit of exploring in the south end of the bay. It is quite huge. Eileen and I were on our way to the CCC market to get some Doritos, and decided to check out what was further down in the south end. There is a huge estuary many miles wide. We've decided to go back down there again when we have more time. It was starting to get dark, so we headed for the grocery store. Landed the dinghy near some pangas next to the luxury hotel that has been abandoned. This made the walk quite a bit shorter, but it was still pretty long. In other news, we have finally decided to do some varnish maintenance. Eileen cleaned the aft rails yesterday, and now I have to scuff and sand it all, so she can start the varnishing. At the rate we are going it will take about a month before we finish the project. Which will about the right timing, since it will be hotter than hell pretty soon. (Jamie)
 
 

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