Sep 6, 2007 - San Carlos - Ready to leave for Bay of LA tomorrow. The big news is that we survived hurricane Henriette at anchor here in the harbor yesterday. We spent the entire previous day preparing the boat for the storm. This was a lot of work removing sails, bimini, basically all canvas except over the jerry cans and otherwise tying everything else down. We also spent the day bickering because of the stress and anticipation. Our imaginations were doing a job on us - wondering if we were making the right decisions: anchor vs mooring vs marina- and we took it out on each other. There was only one other boat anchored here with us, another Cheoy Lee named Ave Maria, an offshore 50. We knew this boat when she was berthed in our marina back in Chula Vista. Other than that, there were a handful of boats that stayed on their moorings. Only about about half of which were occupied with people.
We did fine and the boat did great. We have even more confidence in the new Rocna anchor now as well, since we didn't drag an inch in the 50 - 70 knot winds that we experienced all day long. We know of at least one boat whose mooring dragged a bit. To go on deck required clothes and glasses of some sort. I used some safety glasses that a coworker at Falcon Jet gave us for the trip (thanks Duane). We finally put them to good use yesterday. The wind was pushing the rain so hard that it was like getting shot with bb's. We had to go up on deck a few times to make sure everything was ok. It was quite the high pressure shower! Late in the afternoon, we sent the remainder of our chain out (about 260' total) and added a fresh snubber line. It was good timing, since not long after that we had the highest winds of the day. The eye started to pass over us around 1700. Thankfully the land sucked the power out of it and we never really got any high winds from the other side of it. Just a few gusts. We had expected 30-40 knots. Otherwise it was business as usual on Flying Cloud, pizzadillas for lunch, etc.
far as a dramatic description of the hurricane, we don't have one.
It just got darker and cloudier until the entire sky was swishing gray.
At the peak wind speeds the water was being swept across the top of the
bay and the rain was sideways. Hopefully, we won't experience an
event this "exciting" again, but it's sure to happen sometimes.
The links above show some pretty good footage, both during the Tropical storm winds (50+knots) and then later on during the hurricane force winds. Keep in mind that this was only a Category 1 hurricane with winds around 70 knots gusting into the 80's. It's hard to get a true perspective since I am filming from under the dodger where it was pretty dry and calm. It was pretty heavy stuff out there. Below is a picture the day after showing how the entrance to the harbor normally looks. And a video to show the difference when it's nice an calm here in San Carlos.
Our only damage was self inflicted. We forgot to tie off the wind generator and threw a halyard into it to stop it when winds were 30kts and rising. As a result, the hub that the blades attach to was bent slightly. I cranked Jamie up this morning and he bent it back with his gorilla brute strength. It's fine now. The other incident was a bit unnerving. The turnbuckle to the lower triadic between the main and mizzen masts unscrewed itself. It was our fault because a ring pin wasn't put into it at the time of install (we didn't have one yet). And when we finally got them, we apparently forgot that one and didn't put it in. It has probably been unscrewing itself over the past 6 months use, and yesterday's winds spinning the radar reflector that's attached to it, finished the job. It was hanging at the main mast after we were in the eye. So I hoisted Jamie up both the main to retrieve it since it was swinging too high to even noose it with line on a boat hook and up the mizzen to reattach the turnbuckle, the whole time hoping like hell the wind didn't pick up again. This morning Jamie put in the ring pin after fixing the wind gen hub.
We are packed up and ready to leave tomorrow for Bay of LA, about 150mi NW and back to the Baja side of the sea. We thought it would be wise to give the Sea of Cortez a day to settle down before leaving. It is supposed to be mild and sunny with winds no more than 15kts for the next 5 days.
Sep 9, 2007 - Bahia de Los Angeles - Our passage across from San Carlos was pretty straight forward. We were able to sail on course for about half the distance of 150 miles. We had a very energetic escort of dolphins at about midnight, which was awesome. They were like brilliant torpedoes zooming through the water, with phosphorescent trails in their wakes. We had a couple more visits from dolphins, after that. It so cool to see them in the evening. It makes me wonder if they ever sleep. Things were a little nerve racking while we passed between all the midriff islands during the night. There are some pretty wild currents going all different directions around the islands. At one point we had no wind, but we were still moving at 4 knots without the engine on. Our old radar unit helped out a lot, some of he smaller islands are so low that they are very hard to see at night. And of course, there isn't a single island with a light on it. Anyway, we made it safe and sound. We had a slight mishap while in the process of anchoring. I tried to shift into reverse and it was stuck, I managed to force it, but then it was stuck in reverse. We decided to anchor for he time being and figure out the problem. It turned out to be just a little corrosion on the linkage. Nothing a little WD-40 and some gentle persuasion couldn't fix. Once we were settled in, it was nice to see all the usual suspects here in BLA. We passed Masquerade on the way in, spoke to Southern Belle and Kia Kaha over the VHF, and parked next to Sailsoon. It's good to be back on the baja side. If nothing else for the lower humidity.
- Bahia de Los Angeles - Today was sort of veggie day in town. The local
community store has the best prices, but not the best selection. Also,
stopped at the local "homedepot" they are quite well stocked, but didn't
have the 3/4" tee that the Sailsoons were looking for. This afternoon we
had a good noodle party over at Sweet Lorraine. V'ger, Flying Cloud, Sweet
Lorraine, and Southern Belle were in attendance. Doug and Jo from Jenny
showed up just as everyone was leaving. It's been a while since we caught
up with them. So I guess the gang is all here. The Kia Kahas pulled up
next door, so were planning some drinks later. We had a nice visit with
the Sailsoons last night here on Flying Cloud. The meal for the evening
was chili dogs. We broke out some of Eileen's homemade canned chili and
grilled some fresh longmont hot dogs from the "yellow store".
- Bahia de Los Angeles - Lot's of activities today. I snorkeled around
the sandy point nearby. I didn't see much in the way of fish, but there
were literally thousands of smaller common round stingrays. Later in the
day we went over to Southern Belle for a noodle party and major skurfing.
I was actually able to ride Kia Kaha's short board behind the Southern
Belle 15 hp dinghy. It was pretty awesome, as the smaller board is a lot
- Bahia de Los Angeles - This morning we are taking an expedition over
to the turtle sanctuary. This afternoon I'm going spearfishing with Mike
on Kia Kaha, hopefully we come back with some good eats. The turtle sanctuary
was an almost bust. It turns out that the only day of the week that it
is closed is on... you guessed it... Wednesday. Got a bit of film from
the fence, but not much. During our spearfishing expedition to Isla Ventana
Mike took two good sized, and I got a little rockfish. It was a good afternoon,
and we scouted out a bunch of different spots. Also, saw Momo and Moonhunter
anchored nearby. All this led to a great dinner aboard the Flying Cloud.
We had invited Doug and Jo from Jenny, and also had the Kia Kahas over.
I cooked up the fish on the grill and Eileen made some rice surprise. She
had also made a killer bread pudding for dessert. Our guests brought some
wine, appetizers, and some garlic bread. Everything was awesome!
- Bahia de Los Angeles - Today I went into town to upload the web page
and do a computer backup. There is internet here, but today the satellite
is down. How convenient.......
Sep 14, 2007 - Bahia de Los Angeles - Helped Ojo and Idefix cart water jugs around today. It was a bit of penance with Ojo, since they helped rescue our dinghy on the beach yesterday. The dinghy got caught in the sand as the tide went up and flooded the dinghy. I felt like quite the idiot. A big thanks to Afroessa and Ojo for a good effort getting the outboard off to a dry place, and dumping the water out of the dinghy. We're having Dan and Lee over from Afroessa for dinner tonight. I got Dan up behind his dinghy on the surfboard for some skurfing. He also tried to use some old water skis that he has, but 15hp just wasn't quite enough. In other news, Adrian is having a great time playing with the boys from Idefix. Here is a picture of them playing Life onboard Flying Cloud. Dinner was Jamie's famous Pizzadillas, vegan for the Afroessas and lotsa chorizo and pepperoni in the Flying Clouds. We've heard that they are trying to duplicate our ancient FC secret. OK, not ancient or patented but great eats!
- Bahia de Los Angeles -- Isla Ventana - We took off with Idefix this morning
to go hang out at La Ventana for a couple days. It gets us out of town
and also allows me to do more spearfishing. Spearfishing = happy Jamie.
Unfortunately, I broke the tip on my gun today. I kept the fish, but the
tip was totally broken off. I guess I rammed it into too many rocks. So
now I am reduced to using the pole spear again. I am hoping that someone
will come to visit us here, so they can bring me a replacement. The nearest
place here in Mexico, get a replacement is Loreto.
- Bahia de Los Angeles -- Isla Ventana - I figured out this morning that
I could take the tri-tip from the Hawaiian sling, and put it on the gun.
It worked awesome, so I am going to continue using it. Scott and I went
out and spear fished all morning, and came back to two buckets full of
fish, Graysby groupers, Leopard groupers, and Triggers. While all these
grand fish events were happening, Eileen and Frederique hiked La Ventana
Island and returned well exercised and refreshed after a few testosterone
free hours of climbing the slippery grades and sandy trails.
- Bahia de Los Angeles -- Anchored off the town - Today is the big birthday
celebration for Joshua on Southern Belle. (Pictures courtesy of Michelle
on Momo) Pretty much the whole fleet is here, so it should be a pretty
good get together. Joshua turned seven today. Adrian even tried skurfing
for the first time ever this morning with Josh and George. He was only
able to get up to his knees, but it's a good start. Here's the video:
The party was a raging success with loads of beach and water games. Total pig-fest potluck followed with all kinds of boatie favorites. The turnout was huge, there were several cruisers there we had never met. We were pretty wiped out. We had done two batches of laundry and still had sheets and towels to do. We slept good that night. The boys camped out on the deck of Southern Belle (aka large catamaran).
- Isla Coronado - Rada Laguna - Scott, Saylor, and I speared a few fish
once we found out where they were hanging out. This is a nice little
anchorage. We've had good westerlies at night, keeping it so cool in the
v-berth that we actually had to lower the hatch a bit last night. I guess
the weather is starting to change. Soon we'll have northerlies. Then we'll
be heading south. Idefix moved on today and we stayed another night
since the anchorage was quiet and Adrian was cranking out the schoolwork.
We had a few bees and no-seeums when the wind died down, but all in all
it was a nice stay. It's amazing the kind of leverage you have when
the playmates move on and there's schoolwork to be completed!
Sep 23, 2007 - Bahia de Los Angeles - Rada Laguna to Puerto Don Juan. Jamie and I visited the lagoon at Rada Laguna and crossed over to the east anchorage for some fishing. After catching a golden grouper and snorkeling most of the bay, we returned to the boat. Well, while we were gone, Adrian got all kinds of work done, so we had a high speed beat for an hour and a half and sailed right into the Puerto Don Juan. It was very wild and exhilarating to have such an active sail. We just haven't seen more than 15kts wind for nearly the entire summer with few exceptions. We ended the night with some grouper tempura (fluffy batter and fried), some corn bread that Adrian whipped up for me to cook on the stove in teflon pan, and home-made fries.
On Saturday, Jamie and Scott of Idefix, George of Southern Belle had quite a catch, so we planned a beach fish fry, plus the kids dove and found oysters and clams. Jamie cleaned oysters, Scott seasoned fillets of fish and Fred put together a tabbouleh while I added rice and coconut sticky rice w/ rehydrated mangoes for dessert (ok. the mangoes suck, but dessert was ok). Tons of fun. The Idefix boys Saylor and Elliot stayed the night and watched movies, reward for lots of homework well done. Part of the bargaining chip was Sunday workday for A.
completed a chapter of Social Studies this morning. Jamie and Scott
got more fish, Frederique and I hiked to Bahia Quemada. It took about
an hour and a half, pretty level terrain, fairly easy hike. When
we got back, all the boys were in full gear clamming for tonight's bbq.
I used lemon curry on two fillets, coconut milk and green curry on two
fillets and cajun on another. Southern Belle is bringing Clam Chowder,
we're covering rice, leftover sticky rice dessert and Jamie's opening the
oysters. The boys are on Southern Belle for the afternoon and then
we're off to chow down! We have no plan except to not head south
for at least another two weeks. We'll not be south of Bahia San Francisquito
Bahia de Los Angeles - Puerto Don Juan - Another day fishing gained us
a couple Gulf Grouper, and a spotted Cabrilla. The largest grouper was
named Boris. I guess he's a russian immigrant. All of them will be tasty
over the fire tonight. Eileen is planning some curry surprises to make
the fish even better. We have been having dinner with a few other boats
every night at the beach here. Mostly Southern Belle and Idefix, but last
night we invited a couple others, Peregrine and Sun Hunter came. All the
kids gathered the wood today, so we should have plenty for the food and
plenty for them to play with.
Bahia de Los Angeles - Puerto Don Juan - Bagged another huge Gulf grouper
today and named him Carlos. He was about 22 inches long. Also, got a nice
Leopard that was not much smaller. Scott got a nice sized Trigger fish.
Tonight we are eating in. That means that the Idefix clan is coming over
to Flying Cloud for a big clam chowder. All the other boats have left the
anchorage for the full moon party, that is happening over at the La Gringa
anchorage tomorrow night. I think we'll be heading into to town tomorrow.
We need to resupply with veggies. Just ran out of propane today, had to
switch to the second tank so Eileen could finish the clam chowder. It lasted
since we were in Santa Rosalia six weeks ago. Eileen, Adrian and Frederique
climbed up to the ridge line of one of the nearby hills. They got some
pretty nice pictures from up there. While they were gone I waged war with
the bees for 2 hours. They were relentless, I killed hundreds. We are not
Sep 27, 2007 - Bahia de Los Angeles - Town anchorage - Had an awesome sail over here yesterday afternoon. We were cooking along about 6 knots and sailed right into town. Wind was about was blowing 20-25 knots. We had Saylor and Elliot on board for the short sail over. We had an early dinner of Spaghetti. Later, Idefix treated us to foi gras, a traditional French delicacy made from duck or goose liver (they are force fed to cause their livers to enlarge). It was awesome in spite of the birdie abuse. We had thin slabs of it on freshly cooled home-made bread. Amazing. A little red wine, it was heaven. I'll eat foi gras any day. Bring it on!!
Sep 28, 2007 -This morning was water jugging. The guys got Idefix, Kia Kaha and Flying Cloud all filled up with water, while the girls went around and collected the provisions that we'll need for the next few weeks, until we get to Santa Rosalia. It's nice and quiet here since all the other boats are over at La Gringa for the full moon party. Tonight was lentils over basmati rice and key lime pie courtesy of Kia Kaha. Jamie overindulged a bit with home-made pineapple wine. He paid for that unfortunate event with a bit of a sore head.
Bahia de Los Angeles - Had a good game of Bocci ball last night with Southern
Belle, and Rapscullian. We're still in town today, because of high winds.
It started blowing during the Bocci games and kept up all night and really
didn't die down until mid-morning. This makes the islands sometimes
unpredictable. So, I have made an attempt to fix the handle on one of Eileen's
pressure cookers. The handle broke during our exciting little sail from
Rada Laguna to PDJ a few days ago.