Nov 1, 2007 - Agua Verde - Round 2 - We led Adventure into the anchorage after dark last night, and had a short reunion visit with them. Of course, the kids all got to know each in no time. Eileen put on the second coat of varnish this morning, so we're off to a great start. I got another big tofu this morning, so we now have plenty to make tofu rolls for dinner. We had dinner on Adventure. Scott brought some grouper and a yellow tail. He actually shot the yellow tail from the dinghy next to the boat. Pretty good shot too... right through the head!
Nov 3, 2007 - Agua Verde - Round 2 - Last night we had a fire on the beach, and cooked up the fish we shot in the afternoon. Also, had a bowl of shrimp, potato salad, rice salad, the famous Tequila Rose, no eggs, cake, and some brownies. So it was a pretty goo meal for everyone. Today was the last coat of varnish for the masts and boom. I'll be putting everything back together this afternoon. Also finished a modification to the tiller pilot attachment. It's now bolted to the windvane instead of the taffrail. We finally found the spot where the fish are hanging around, this morning. Scott got two named fish, a nice yellow snapper and a grouper.
Nov 5, 2007 - Isla San Francisco - Round 2 - Yesterday was spent motoring from Agua Verde to Isla San Francisco. Not much of note happened during the trip, except Eileen's first catch on her hand line custom designed by leftovers from the awesome Estrellas and Idefix. About half way through the trip I changed from the green lure, that was given to us, to the blue lure that Adrian had packed in his locker. The blue lure brought in a nice, if very small, Little Tuny. We stayed overnight in a very crowded anchorage at Isla San Francisco. This morning we have started on our way to La Paz. Just a few minutes after Eileen put her hand line out she had another nice Little Tuny, about twice as big as yesterdays catch. These fish are every bit as good as Dorado. So now she'll have a nice bit of meat for Sashimi today.
Nov 6, 2007 - La Paz - Round 2 - Had an awesome gorge-fest at the Romeo & Julietta Italian ice cream shop and then dinner with Casey, Mandy and Vianne (Boreas) at La Fonda. It is nice to return to a place and have the homey feeling of the known welcoming committee.
Nov 7, 2007 - La Paz - Round 2 - So far, since arriving in La Paz, we have been just working our asses off. I have been busy getting the cabin top prepared to paint. I finally go the first coat on it this morning. So I basically have four more days of this and that project will be done. I hope I never have to paint it again! While Jamie is doing the cabin top, I am refilling the boat with dry stores like beans, flour, etc. Basic pantry items that have begun to run low. Now that that job is done and lockers have been filled and containers rearranged, I feel like I can relax a bit. At the risk of defeating myself, I am trying to prepare to run in the Mazatlan Marathon in December. I may not actually participate, but it's given me a goal. I have been hiking and then running with Frederique on Idefix, who I might add, is in much better shape. She is the slave driver and I am just working to keep up. :) Sunrise jogs in La Paz are awesome along the malecon (the waterfront street and sidewalk area). I also go to yoga daily for a nice stretch before starting my day. We had the Boreas crew over for sundowners and appetizer (pumpernickel and rye bread with spinach and artichoke dip). They came with a fresh coconut. It was great, except for the part where I broke my molar and now need to see a dentist. Luckily no pain, just a nasty gaping hole! Oh, I love coconut!
Nov 9, 2007 - La Paz - Round 2 - Got the second coat of paint on this morning, with the ceramic additive, that we have been carrying around forever. It's supposed to reflect heat away from the surface, thereby reducing the temperature inside the boat. Only time will tell. Also, removed all the tape. Then we set off to see if we could get Eileen's tooth worked on. We eventually found the place that Tom and Gina on La Casita recommended. He took her right in and rebuilt her tooth with some cool, UV cure epoxy (basically it's the standard white amalgam). Just one more tooth to go- getting the one with a bothersome crown repaired. Just waiting to catch the x-ray place open for a quick snap and a-drilling she will go. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day, since we have to tape off the areas that need non-skid, and paint it. Then, we have to get all our stuff ready for the swap meet at 1400. Oh yeah, after 6 months cruising, it is very clear what we do and don't need aboard the boat. Hopefully we can offload something... of course, people want freebies at swap meets, I am not sure how desperate I feel.
Awesome dentist. He spent an hour rebuilding my tooth with more epoxy than we carry on the boat. He charged me $60 and said to drop in anytime if there is any trouble. Nice, eh? You barely meet a co-pay back in the US on those rates. It will be $10 for the dental x-ray on the crown tooth to determine if a root canal is necessary (oh, dread). After the last tooth, I am ready to have him just yank the crown and rebuild this one, too. We'll see. Oh my crappy rotting teeth.
Adventure and Idefix arrived while we were in town. Kid heaven once again. It is so nice to be able to enjoy so much time with like-minded, if different, families. The kids complement each other. There is none of the nasty competition and scrapping that goes on back home. They really outdo themselves to have an awesome time and get their schoolwork done. What a life. I wish I was the kid. It sure beats shoveling shit on a farm!
So I guess we are over scheduled and under timed like always happens in big cities. Having a blast. Bring on the culture! I plan to spend a little time next week with the youth orchestra now that our "job" is nearly finished. I can't wait!
Nov 11, 2007 - La Paz - Round 2 - Finally finished the painting on the cabin top this morning. The new non-skid should help out a lot. The old paint job had us slipping and sliding around if it was wet. We went to a big get together on the Magote this evening. It is a sandy beach near the anchorage. We invited everyone who has kids, so they could run up and down the beach and burn some energy.
Nov 13, 2007 - La Paz - Round 2 - We had the Adventure clan here for dinner and a boat tour. I am always thankful for the amount of space this little Cheoy Lee seems to cram into 36'. Seven in the main cabin is still very comfortable. Of course, Kathy and Shawn are on a massive Beneteau with Tara and Casey each in their own aft cabin, so they may have felt the squeeze, but I doubt it. Eileen went on a cleaning frenzy after her morning run today. The interior of the boat is now sparkling. I started building the new seats for the porta-bote this afternoon. The two aft seats are completely broken. Porta-bote didn't have much to say about the problem, except that the new seats are supposed to have better structure for the support legs. I can't believe that I am the only one with crappy broken seats, but their reply to my letter made it sound like I was....
finally sold one of our for sale items this morning. The Cunningham Guides
to the Sea of Cortez fetched $1000 pesos. Which is just what we paid for
them. The fellow who bought them was a nice dude from Holland. He'll have
an advantage over the rest of the fleet, because I had noted all the good
fishing spots, where to find tofu, and scallops, etc. Maybe I should have
Nov 16, 2007 - La Paz - Round 2 - Sold the Avon deflatable day before yesterday. Still trying to get rid of the bikes. Dinghy seats almost finished, had them sanded yesterday. Fixed speargun at local welding shop. Had kids over to finish risk game. Eileen made bread pudding.
Nov 17, 2007 - La Paz - Round 2 - Finally got around to finishing up the new dinghy seats. I made the new ones out of ply and fiberglass. They turned out awesome. Very stiff and heavy duty. The old seats were porta-bote's new design, that are made from a thin vacuum formed plastic, that is filled with styrofoam. The plastic seats basically suck! They only lasted a few months before completely breaking apart. It's the same thing that happened to the transom. The hull of the boat is still doing fine, however. Why they don't come up with a design utilizing the same plastic as the hull is a mystery. Porta-bote didn't seem to have much concern about my comments when I mailed them all the info about all the broken parts. I know we are not the only ones with this problem, because the wood shop in La Paz told me that they had already made three sets of seats for other cruisers this year. Am I the only one reporting the problems to Porta-bote??
Nov 19, 2007 - La Paz - Round 2 - All the boat projects are completed. The cabin top is spiffy and sports awesome non-skid. The Porta-bote seats that Jamie made are awesome, no more flex-floor dinghy rides! The stores are stowed and I found a sacrificial bird for Thanksgiving. I carried it 2 miles in my backpack with other fruits and veggies on my last food run. Adrian helped me clean our bilge and all its foulness. Here's a little boat story. Our prop shaft packing gland is a rubber donut that we pump grease into to keep water from dripping through the hull. As a result, we produce little grease turds that eventually wash under the engine, over the pan and into the bilge. These grease turds then form a uniform ring around the bilge at the low water level. This grease ring picks up the dead sea water cooties and starts to stink after awhile. It is exacerbated by the fact that we also drain the sink to the bilge. The water has a nice screen filter and pumps out regularly, but I'm sure the food cooties stink it up, too. It's only a twice a year job, but I do procrastinate until even I can't stand it, then I scrub it out.
So, Jamie rented a car and drove to Cabo San Jose to pick up our friend Dan Pogorzala from the airport. They had no troubles, but it was a pretty long ride. The evening event was a major good-bye potluck on Idefix. Adventure and we were there, all parting until we meet again at the mainland.
Nov 22, 2007 - Isla Espiritu Santo - On the 20th we had grand plans to get out of La Paz early, but it just wasn't meant to be. We were wakened early by a huge parade. This made things difficult for the guys to do their beer and coffee run for Dan and return the rental car which was near the parade route. To top off the day, Jamie was pulling up the anchor and it turned into a fiasco. Our anchor chain wrapped itself nicely around an enormous old ship's fisherman anchor. It took several dives and sporadic motoring forward to keep tension off the chain. Jamie finally prevailed and we got the rest up without a hitch. Since it was nearly one by the time we were sorted, we only went north as far as Lobos anchorage a couple hours away. We had two tofu for our first dinner with Dan and we all snorkeled over some awesome coral heads. Visibility was a bit disappointing, but we were all happy just to get in the water. I got nicely stung by jellyfish on my return trip. Lesson: always wear the lycra suit, even when the water is warm.
On Wednesday, we took off for Isla Espiritu Santo and I caught a little tuny 20 minutes after we left the anchorage. I baked bread, made a pumpkin roll and a pumpkin and pecan pie. The last pie was in the oven when Adrian brought in a second little tuny on the hand line. So I filleted it while the boys anchored and did a nice veggie stir fry with seared tuna over rice for lunch. The last pie was out of the oven by 3pm and I kicked back with a book and a glass of wine. I was done in. Jamie and Dan went fishing and blasted Mario and m1. We then did a beach party with crew from Harmony, a dutch couple Jost and Joyce. I whipped up a potato salad and they brought an awesome veggie mix to go with the fire-grilled yellow snapper and dog snapper. We had a light westerly wind and it was a sloppy ride back to the boats. A little rolly, but we all slept like logs.
Thursday, Turkey-day came bright and sunny and calm. I made a dressing and stuffed the bird, now perfectly thawed and shoved it into the oven. We all went to shore and walked the dinghy about half a mile because the tide was out so far. We walked on the trail to the other side of the island and got some nice pics. I stepped on something on the way back (ok, who's the idiot in bare feet??) and had an achy foot for a couple hours. We got back in time for Jamie to chop up a salad while I did the yams and smash taters. We opened my home-made canned cranberries and a jar of olives to go with the feast. Jamie carved the turkey and we all gorged ourselves. Jamie and Dan went spearfishing later in the afternoon. Jamie blasted Norbert, a dog snapper and Dan got n1, another dog snapper, his first catch. They gave them, one each to the two sailboats also anchored here and scored a couple beers. Jamie told them he'd get scolded if he came home with fish when we didn't have room for the leftovers in the fridge. We had a bouncy rolly night at anchorage, wind from the west all night. No one slept well. It's still windy, we've been fat, lazy slugs. Lying around, napping, reading and nabbing the desserts from yesterday.
Nov 24, 2007 - Isla Espiritu Santo - Partida Cove - Left El Cardonel anchorage yesterday due to crappy west winds. Took Dan through to the opposite side of island today. Had good luck fishing. Blasted Omar who was a 36 inch dog snapper. And a bonus tofu. We got trapped on the return trip due to bad tide calculations by the skipper. Eileen made turkey lasagna. Very awesome.
Nov 27, 2007 - Isla Espiritu Santo - Puerto Ballena - Hiked up the nearby hill. Quite steep, Dan almost wrecked himself on the way down. Eileen showed off her mountain goat skills. Lot's of dead coral and shells on the beach. Local fisherman have trapped the tofu completely out. Dan has been bringing home the bacon as far as fish goes. Bagging lots of smaller snapper. I am too obsessed with the larger fish, and end up not bringing anything back to the boat. Overcast skies and cool nights. Made fish sticks and fries with the other half of Omar. Dog snapper makes great fish sticks! My repaired sawed-off magnum speargun is working better than when it was new. I replaced the crappy aluminum fore stock with a stainless tube. It's heavier, but now it actually shoots straight and I am blasting fish like never before.
Nov 28, 2007 - Isla Espiritu Santo - Puerto Ballena - Idefix arrives, Jamie blasts 2 big pargo and another named dog snapper (Piotr). We get together on Flying Cloud for dinner and catch-up on all the time we were apart (1 week!), good pear dessert by Frederique. We get a good report from Don for crossing to Mazatlan.
Nov 29, 2007 - Isla Espiritu Santo - Puerto Ballena to Mazatlan- We leave for Mazatlan in the morning reaching the tip of the island around noon. Eileen catches a named (Quinten) Little Tuny on the hand line. Seas were 4-6' wind about 10-15 on the beam. Good speed 6-7 knots. We bag the trip when we are about 23 miles east of Muertos. Due to combination of crew seasickness and Don's pending disaster forecast. We didn't want to pound into the seas generated by 20-30kt southerlies for the last half of the passage. We anchored too close to the reef in Muertos on our first try. Eileen wakes up with "I'm never sailing again" attitude. Jamie ad Dan spend 5 hours on the internet and then on the phone to reroute his ticket home. It was a bit of a fiasco in addition to the shitty weather, raining all day. We move to Ventana for the night to anchor for the southerlies. It was a nest of gill net barricades. After finding a reasonable anchoring spot, i.e. net-free, Jamie dove on the anchor to find that the chain was wrapped around two rocky reefs on the bottom. By the time we got the chain up it was dark, we ran the gill-net gauntlet for awhile in the dark by spot-light and finally set the hook. We had to hope it was a good location, since it was no longer light enough to tell.
Anchor update: The Rocna continues to perform as well or better than advertised, it inspires confidence and let's us sleep soundly at night in every anchorage, so far. I highly recommend this anchor to everyone, especially those of you who think your CQR is a good anchor.