Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cruising the Sea again - Part II

Moving right along...

Our next stop, Caleta San Juanico It is a large bay with dramatic rock formations in the water. Definitely a place to return to and spend more time. Because of the rocks, snorkeling would be good and we saw a lot of fish, big and small. Instead of staying, we decided to push on.

We set sail north towards Bahia Concepción. This is a huge bay with many small bays within it. The town of Mulege is at the northern tip of the bay. We were now also traveling with Julie and Greg on s\v Adventura. They hail from Spokane, Wa. and we met in Los Gatos. We all decided to drop anchor in Playa Santispac, which we did and headed for shore. There we met Carlos and his wife, Thelma. They own Anna's restaurant and even offered to take us to town in the morning. We had cervesas and dinner and met more cruisers.

By now we had quite a group of friends and we decided to do a pot luck dinner on the beach. The food was awesome and the scenery inspiring. We had a great time.

We moved from bay to bay with each other and shared meals and cocktails. We found a taco stand\restaurant across the highway and were very impressed with their twice baked clams. It quickly became our favorite spot!

Meeting so many great people, it was hard to say goodbye. But that is the life of the cruiser. We can hope to see each other again along the way.

Shakedown crew is on a schedule. Yes, the forbidden word, schedule! All cruisers know that living on a boat that traverses the waters of the world, should never have a schedule. But here in Mexico, visitors must renew their visas every six months (180 days). So it is back to Puerto Escondido, leave the boat on a mooring ball, fly from Loreto to Tijuana, walk across the border and wait for brother Vern to pick us up. (We always enjoy visiting Vern and Christina. We shop and have fun and this time, returned to the boat two days later.)

As it turns out, on the journey back to Puerto Escondido Shakedown sustained damage to the mainmast traveler located in the cockpit. The sea reminded us of the ocean that day, with swells from 8 to 10 feet and winds gusting to 25 mph. The mainsheet traveler ripped out of the wood and lodged itself through the dodger-bimini tearing the fabric and ripping out the after portion of the railing that frames the bimini. The captain lowered the sail while the owner/first mate held the wheel and the traveler main sheet so as to prevent further damage. It was a rough day at sea!  The raw (cooling) water pump attached to the main engine decided to open up as well during this cruise.  It has been dripping ever so slightly since we bought the boat, but now must be attended to while in Puerto Escondido.  That's a famous captain once said "if it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there!"

Fair winds and calm seas to all our friends and family!

Cruising the Sea Again - Part I

April 28th,  2016

This is the second time we've said goodbye to La Paz. We enjoyed a week of dinner parties and festivities saying goodbye to friends. It is said that La Paz attaches bungy cords to the hull of your boat so you will always come back! It is a hard place to leave.
There is a wonderful community of ex pats who are involved with each other, the city ànd it's locals and, the children of La Paz.

We had hoped to do the "puddle jump" (Pacific ocean crossing to the Marquesas), but we were not ready with our application for visas. This gives us another season in Mexico. Back to the Sea of Cortez!  This time we will purposely go to new places, and we started right away with a dingy ride to Los Islotes to swim with the sea lions!

We are traveling once again with Eric and Pati aboard sailing vessel Shearwater. Shakedown safe at anchor in Isla Partida, allowed her crew to hop aboard Shearwater to get closer to Los Islotes, drop anchor and dingy ride to islands, drop dingy anchor, don
snorkle and fins and roll into the water!

Pat and Debbora of sv Ballena joined us for the day of fun and good food. A fisherman came by and sold us two fresh fish supplying us with a fabulous main course for dinner.
Another hard day in paridise!

Having said goodbye to sv Ballena, Shakedown and Shearwater headed north to Punta San Evariso. We were welcomed by the villagers, whom we had seen last December and immediately were served cervesas (beer) and a wonderful fish dinner.
We were joined by Annette and Ted on s/v Sand Piper, who hail from the Channel Islands, California, USA. They agreed to be our tour guides in our quest to visit new places.  We began in the morning with Shearwater crew on board Shakedown following sv Sand Piper. Our destination Isla San José, to the beach at Punta Salinas in search of the very rare Paper Nautilus. This is the egg sack of the octopus and it is very delicate. The island was once the site of a large salt mining operation but is now abandoned.

Giant salt ponds are still clearly evident and old trucks and heavy equipment lay rusting under the hot sun with the Sierra de la Giganta range in the background.

We did not find a paper Nautilus but the beach was beautiful and we had fun looking.
Back to Shakedown for refreshments and lunch.

The three boats and crew left in the morning for Puerto Los Gatos which is famous for it's rock formations, red rock bluffs, and rainbow of colors. The anchorage was comfortable and peaceful.

We said goodbye to our new friends on Sand Piper and continued our voyage north. Next stop, Agua Verde. An all time favorite of ours and worthy of a two night visit.

On to Puerto Escondido in time for the Loreto Fest. Many cruisers gathered for this festival and it was a time to renew old acquaintancs and to build new ones.

We have decided to go north to see places we have not seen before. There is something exciting about discovering new vistas and bays, and if I may, go where no man has gone before! Well, at least this crew!

First stop, Loreto. We will anchor, spend the night and go to shore in order to provision for the trip. Our traveling buddy ship, Shearwater, is anchored as well, and we all set off for land and grocery stores. Loreto is a charming, quaint little town and we hope to have new pictures to show.

We pulled into Isla Coronado's and were awed with the color of the water and the white sandy beaches. We immediately jumped into the dingy and went exploring. We located the trail that leads to the top of the volcanic cone and we decided to climb it in the morning.

Nancy, Greg, Julie, Pati and Eric (the climbers-minus Greg & Hal)
The climb was great but it is not for the faint of heart and definitely requires strong shoes or boots. The trail is volcanic rock and shale. It is marked with rock towers which, at times, can be a challenge decerning the right way to go. Of course, the view is tremendous but getting back down to the beach was a great relief and we all plunged into the water clothes and all!

Stand by for Part II (breaking it up will save you download time....we hope).

NJ & Hal