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        Flying Cloud
                 The Log
 
Aug 8, 2007 - San Sebastian to Santo Domingo, Bahia Concepcion (Santispac), and Mulege

Santo Domingo is the point just inside Point Concepcion, well protected from easterlies and most southerlies.  There is also a short fetch for westerlies, so it's a good all-around anchorage for the summer season.  We were discouraged to find the water was pea soup, but it was toasty, probably 85deg or warmer.  We spent a two nights here along with Brad on La Solana as well as some massive power boats.  Jamie put on his poor beggar boater face and scammed a gallon jug of ice from Dorothea.  Brad, Jamie and I proceeded to add many drinks to the ice two nights in a row.  We enjoyed snacks and sundowners the first night and a great beef and lamb curry the next night. 

From Santo Domingo, we took a short 1.5 hour trip down Concepcion Bay to anchor at Playa Santispac in Coyote Bay.  We enjoyed more pea soup water, thus no fishing, but we met a great guy.  Owner and operator of Anna's restaurant on the beach.  It's the off season, so the business is slow.  Russ gave us a ride into nearby Mulege (pronounced Moo-la-Hay) with Brad to reprovision and explore the town while he did his own provisioning for the restaurant generator and his panga fleet.  We saw most of Mulege in the 3 hours we were there, including the ice cream shop where we all had ice cream and Brad downed two vanilla shakes.  Funny what cravings will do to a boater.

Ana's resturant at Santispac anchorage in Bahia Conception, owned by Russ______One of the small grocery stores in town. This one isn't very good.
 

Eileen takes a break in one of the parks in Mulege______This is the best grocery store in Mulege, very well stocked.
 

The ice cream shop in Mulege______The downtown mission in Mulege
 

Inside the downtown mission______A odd looking house in Mulege
 

Some locals in Mulege making Mango jam, it was quite a fire they had going...______Waiting for our ride back to Santispac, at the candle bar. Eileen and Brad from La Solana
 

Russ the owner of Ana's Brad and Eileen after dinner in the resturant








The general sights were the town itself along with a very old mission.  While we were walking in Mulege along the river and headed to the water front, we smelled fruit.  On passing a driveway, we turned around and realized that the big pot over the fire under the garage/palapa was the source.  Three ladies were stirring this witches brew with a wooden paddle.  They waved us in when they saw us curiously nosing about.  They were stirring down mangoes for jam or chutney to go with tostadas.  They use it on toast and in sandwiches as we would.  I imagine a batch this large was meant to be bottled and sold in the local markets.  It was a treat to see some of the older methods of preserving food still in use.  It was the highlight of our day.

We returned to Playa Santispac, stowed the groceries and had awesome drinks and dinner at Anna's.  Russ's restaurant has great food, drinks and reasonable prices.   The atmosphere is laid back, anything goes.   And this comes from cruisers so cheap that we rarely go out to eat.  In the busy season he often has dances and live bands to go with the dinner and drinks.  It's a hot spot you shouldn't miss.

Mulege from the Sea enroute to Punta Chivato (8 mb)

A construction site in Mulege (4 mb)

Santispac anchorage from the shore (5 mb)

Aug 8, 2007 - Punta Chivato

Our discouragement with the heat and pea soup water caused us to leave Concepcion the very next day.  We went to Punta Chivato, north of Mulege and tucked in behind a beautiful Posada de las Flores hotel.  This swanky joint charges $300 US/day for the pleasure of a stay in their resort.  Shortly after our arrival we were also joined by Adventure with crew of Shawn, Kathy, and their two daughters of 14 and 13, Tara and Kacey. 

Our free accommodations on Flying Cloud gave us unlimited snorkeling day 1 and 2 of our stay and some fine catch for lunch or dinner.  Night two however left us wishing we were in the hotel for a leisurely night.  We got 20 knot easterly winds all night with gusts to 30.  We were wide open to the southeast and got "wraparound effect" from the point and roll-bounced 8 feet at a pop hobby horsing when the big rollers went under us.  We were safe, but uncomfortable.  No breaking waves and we'd have easily bailed south if we had to.

Enroute to Punta Chivato - Sombrito light, the approach to Mulege______Eileen lounging in the cockpit while underway to Punta Chivato
 

Yacht Adventure anchored with us at Punta Chivato______Posado de las Flores hotel near Punta Chivato
 

Tofu.....

Aug 8, 2007 - Isla San Marcos

We left  Punta Chivato on the morning of August 6th in the still pounding easterlies.  We changed to our working jib (smaller yankee headsail) and beat out of the bay and around the point.   We took water over the cabin top often back to the companionway.  It was the most thrilling and exhilarating sail we've had since we left to go cruising.  And who minds getting wet when the wind and water are 85deg.  Once we rounded the point, it was an easy downwind sail up to Isla San Marcos. 

Along the way we were joined by dolphins and I finally managed to capture a bit of their antics from the bow.  I missed the acrobatics, but I never get tired of watching them.  They mesmerize you and you lose all track of everything else around you. 

The west coast of Isla San Marcos has a gypsum mine and we went in close for an eye blink tour and some snapshots.  We also stopped to put the dinghy on deck.  Idiots that we are, we towed the dinghy.  It finally couldn't take the dousing and was sunk.  Of course, since it's a lightweight PortaBote with floatation, it doesn't actually sink, but we did have a doozy of a time using the halyard to winch it up out of the water, drain the water and toss it on the foredeck. 

Dolphins in the pass at the south end of San Marcos______Dolphins swimming along with us at the bow
 

Dolphins splashing around us enroute to Isla San Marcos______Welcome to San Marcos, on the hill next to the Gypsom mine
 

Buildings near the gypsom mines______Loading the piers at the mines
 

Shrimp boats off the mines waiting out the weather  in the lee of the island______Sea cave on Isla San Marcos
 

Flying Cloud______Small sea cave near the boat
 

Sea cave with passage big enough for the dinghy to pass through______Ampitheater sea cave entrance - picture by Adventure
 

Driving the dinghy into the ampitheater sea cave______Inside the ampitheater sea cave - lots of evidence of vagabundos camping here.
 

The great white spearfishers Eileen, Jamie, Shawn from Adventure
 

Isla San Marcos Sea Caves 1 (6 mb)

Isla San Marcos Pelicans (8 mb)

Isla San Marcos Sea Caves 2 (8 mb)

Isla San Marcos Sea Caves 3 (5 mb)

Isla San Marcos Sea Caves 4 (4 mb)

Isla San Marcos Sea Caves 5 (3 mb)








The beauty of San Marcos is its rocky reefs and caves.  We spent our first full day in the caves and snorkeling with Adventure, topped off by coconut curry sauce and rice with a giant leopard grouper and yellow snapper for early dinner.  Adventure then left the same night to cross to San Carlos.  Til' we meet again...

Another day gone by with snorkeling.  Jamie got a small graysby grouper for lunch.  I made chicken and dumplings for dinner just in time to be invited to a potluck with Momo, Moonhunter, Ebeneezer and Aloataki (or something like that).  All to be had on the beautiful catamaran Ebeneezer with crew Jimmy, Shelly and boat dog Grover, it was our first visit.  We had a wonderful time meeting new people, visiting with friends and sharing fresh baked bread, escaviche, veggies and dip, crackers and dip, etc, etc.  Another bounty on the sea.

Hanging out on the aft deck of Ebeneezer in the evening

Today we are the picture of contentment, I suppose.  Laziness to the cynical.  Jamie spent a few hours sorting videos and pics for this update.  I spent a few hours updating this page and answering emails.  It's quite warm now.  Time for lunch and another dip in the water!  Part of the above is a new perspective on pictures.  We've been told that we need to make a better study of the people in our experiences.  I hope this satisfies!

Aug 10, 2007 - Santa Rosalia
Not much to report for this place yet, since we just arrived today. However, we did park at the dock for a about an hour while we waited for a diver to come over and change out a zinc for me. We made good use of the time, by washing the boat with FRESH WATER, topping the tank, and taking fresh water baths on the dock. It was actually pretty fun. 

It was so freaking humid today you could almost see the water in the air...______Old copper smelter left by the french.
 

Eileen checks the map of Santa Rosalia to see where we are going...______Another old building left over from the mining days
 

Ancient locomotive left by the french, used for the copper mines and smelting operations in the 1800's______Eileen poses in front of the train
 

Eileen and I get something to eat. We're starving and hot______The Eiffel (of paris fame) designed church. Quite interesting. It was brought here by ship from Europe.
 

Inside the Eiffel church, note the steel structure______another angle of the inside of the Eiffel church
 

______The old train station
 

Eiffel designed church in Santa Rosalia (7 mb)

Train station and park Santa Rosalia (4 mb)








Aug 12, 2007 - Santa Rosalia - It's hotter than the blazes of hell here. No wind and high humidity = 100++ degree days. The nights have been tolerable, but it was much cooler out at Isla San Marcos. We have completed most of our "town chores", like refueling, water, groceries, etc. So we should be able to relax for a couple days before heading off to San Carlos, on the mainland side. 

Aug 13, 2007 - Santa Rosalia - Last night we had our first Chubasco. It was quite a little storm. The winds were around 35 knots with gust as high as 50 knots. Also, had a bit of rain with it at times. Obviously, we made it through OK. I am happy to report that the new Rocna anchor held with a seriously tenacious grip on the bottom. We were on a very short scope of only about 50 feet of chain in approx. 15-18 feet of water. This not a good recipe for anchor scope in these conditions. Unfortunately, we could not let out more scope due to the fact that as the wind changed directions, we had Momo, right on our stern. Anyway, we didn't move an inch, even with all the boat weight on the anchor. 

Aug 14, 2007 - Santa Rosalia - We went for a walk to take in a few more of the sights, before departing. We visited the Administrations building for the mine operation, the Hotel Frances, and the foundry/smelter buildings. All the following pictures are from the areas where the copper ore was processed. 

Machine in the foundry. Looks as if they made their own castings for piping, etc.______Casting tables
 

melting furnace______memorial shrine, carved into the wall on the second floor
 

wooden plugs for use in sand casting molds______wooden sand casting plugs
 

Some type of rocking furnace. It's mounted on rollers.______Ingersol Rand dual cylinder pump, run via electric motors and v-belts
 

Huge rotating cylinders, perhaps to aid in ore separation?______Smaller rotating cylinders
 

Some sort of distribution hoppers______Eileen on the ground level
 

Eileen next to an ore hopper______slurry dump station
 

Main processing building near harbor______Inside main processing building








Aug 15, 2007 - Crossing from Santa Rosalia to San Carlos. We left About - 0130 this morning and arrived here in San Carlos about 1600. We buddy boated with Brad from La Solana, as he was coming over here to haul their boat out for the season. Leaving Santa Rosalia was a little tough because the anchor had dug so far into the bottom of the harbor during the chubasco. I actually had to use the boat hook to work some of it loose, so Eileen could wash it off with the hose. During the crossing we saw lots of sea life. Including dolphins, whales, and marlins. 

Brad shows off the Dorado he caught during the crossing.______Brad shows us how to properly single hand a sailboat.
 

Eileen looking surprised______A whale tail...
 

Flying Cloud during the crossing from Santa Rosalia to San Carlos
 

Awesome dolphins under the bow (9 mb)

Brad sails from the hammock...the only way to cruise (4 mb)

Whales and dolphins (4 mb)

Aug 18, 2007 - A very busy couple of days.  After an easy crossing and great burgers at the pool in Marina San Carlos Complex at the pool/restaurant, we slept like babies.  In the morning we dinghied in to the Barracuda Bob's Cafe and met Fred.  Fred took us to some local businesses in search for some lexan or flexible plastic panels to caulk over our new refrigerator insulation project.  After a few stops in San Carlos, we received directions and the name of a great place in Guaymas and Fred graciously buzzed us into town.  After a few missed turns and questions to locals, we picked up an amenable Guayman who rode and pointed directions to the Mena on Calle 10 and San Vincente.  We roll/soft fold a 6x3 sheet of 1/8th inch opaque lexan and return to San Carlos.  Thanks Fred!  Jamie attacked the fridge with a vengeance after I emptied it out and the holding plate defrosted.  He completed one side and remounted the condenser by 10pm.  Friday saw completion of the bottom insulation and we knocked off by 4pm and went for a swim. 
Friday night we had chicken and tortillas with Maria, the owner of Arigato Jack and her crew Jack.  We've known Maria for a couple years from her web blog and purchase of a gorgeous ferrocement boat here in San Carlos.  We had a wonderful meal.  Great dessert and booze to add to the mood of the moment.  We clicked right away and had a wonderful time.  It's so nice to meet other young cruisers with simple philosophy and mentality in life.  Limited budgets allow a creativity and freedom not always found out here. 
Today Jamie got up early and finished the fridge by noon via an emergency run by me to the chandlery for one last tube of caulking.  Grand total including insulation, lexan and caulk:  $150 US.  Labor:  priceless.  We dinghied in with two 3x2x2 foot boxes that had insulation remains and two bags trash.  Visited with Brad on La Solana and scored some cold beer.  Key word being cold.  Refrigeration is NOT overrated when it's 100F daily.  We walked around and checked out all the local stores and businesses and ended up back at the marina and out of the heat.
We came to this bar/restaurant at the marina for wireless, gringo food (grande nachos and caesar salad) and happy hour cuba libres (rum and coke w/ lime).  It's our last hurrah before picking up Adrian.
Tomorrow we clean clean clean the boat.  Monday night we are having Fred and wife Penny over for Flying Cloud cuisine and sundowners.  We had a huge weather system come through today with 3' swells in the harbor and gusts to 50kts.  We are getting used to taking down covers in a hurry and then relaxing because the AWESOME ROCNA ANCHOR holds in all weather and bottom conditions!

The goats boobs, as you approach San Carlos from the sea______Entering San Carlos Harbor
 

Entering San Carlos, Starboard light______Entering San Carlos
 

Some of the waterfront houses in San Carlos______Old fridge top down view
 

Old fridge looking aft______New fridge, with tons of extra insulation in the aft section, bottom, and outboard sides. New box size is about 4.5 cu ft.
 

New fridge looking aft

Aug 21, 2007 - Adrian arrived today. Did research on new batteries. Eileen shopping trip. Couple nights ago went to Froggy's and had some good pizza, wings, and margaritas. 

Adrian arrives from the airport
 
 

Barracuda Bobs, this is the local meeting place, internet and ice cream, good food too.______This is a good gringo hangout. Good gringo food, and internet. Cheap booze during happy hour.

Aug 30, 2007 - We just made a huge trip up to Tucson to get new batteries for the boat. The old Rolls 4d's were on their decline, so rather than wait for the inevitable, we decided to do the swap while we have easy access to the states. We ended up going with Universal AGM 8D's which gives us an additional 125 Ah from the old batteries. With the new batteries and the new insulation we hardly put a dent in the power supply. I highly recommend http://www.thesolar.biz they have great customer support and were able to ship the batteries to a truck terminal in Tucson, AZ. eliminating the need for a address. We did some major provisioning while we were up there. So we should be leaving in a couple days for the Baja. I'll add some more pics, etc. later.... 
Today was also Eileen's birthday! I went out and got a nice little tofu for her from the sea, and a graysby grouper, too. 

Eileen and Adrian take a bath in San Carlos______Fred and Penny at Bob's Fred helped us out the first day we were in town
 

Fred and Penny pictured above helped us out on our first day in town by driving us around San Carlos and into Guaymas in search of some plastic sheeting fo the fridge. We also had an enjoyable evening with them on our boat. 
 

Our house in Tucson______A rooster ranch, fighting cocks
 

Cock fighting Rooster Ranch (4 mb)

 During the car ride back to San Carlos from Tucson we noticed these unusual little structures, and Eileen claimed she saw roosters. So we went back for a better look. What we discovered was a rooster ranch. Bred exclusivly for cock fights. So all the little huts we're so that each rooster had it's own house, and they were each tied to a little piece of rope, so that they wouldn't kill each other.  
 

A rooster at the ranch______Start of the fishing tournament in San Carlos
 
 
 

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