Saturday, December 19, 2009

Not the Dead....DREAMS

So it seems that the local developers didn't like the local name for this place, which translates as "Bay of the Dead" they renamed it. The resort community here is now "Bay of Dreams". Hmmm.

Whatever its name, we've enjoyed our stay. While most of the other sailboats pressed on to La Paz, we decided to relax and spend a day here. We've enjoyed watching the local fisherman grab their bait from right off the beach.
Terry, Fraser and Lorna drove from La Ventana yesterday evening for dinner - how awesome. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed for a private function. Instead, we were invited to dine at the nearby resort. UNBELIEVABLE!!! It was pretty nice. We had dinner in the train room, where we were the only guests. Apparently they aren't expecting any guests at the resort until, umm, Tuesday, maybe.

Anyway - the menu was in US dollars, so we knew we were in trouble. Regardless, the dinner was fine and the surroundings beautiful. It was great to catch up with Terry and for me to meet Fraser and Lorna. And...the mezzanine to the restaurant was a complete model train extravaganza.

This morning, we spent time on a couple projects. I affirmed my domestic goddessness by sewing up a hatch cover to keep our bunk dry in the crashing seas. John worked at providing for us by experimenting with our new-to-us spear gun.
After an unsuccessful trial run, we decided to drown our we took our dinghy over to the fancy resort and enjoyed a couple of beers and a plate of papas fritas (french fries) poolside. Why not?

After our break, John insisted on trying his luck snorkeling with the spear gun, but luckily Heidi and Stephen on Narama kindly invited us for dinner. We had a great time, enjoying a fabulous meal with this great couple from Alert Bay. We look forward to bumping into them again in La Paz.

We've cleaned up the boat, and have prepared to take off tonight. Another early morning departure, to be sure we arrive in La Paz with favorable currents, and in daylight.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Los Muertos (Bay of the Dead)

Another sunny, breezy day here in the anchorage. We're pleased to be closer to La Paz, and we can see the restaurant on shore, where we plan to have dinner tonight - hopefully with Terry, John's cousin who is visiting here.

We spent the morning fixing the various items that we broke yesterday. The furling line on our main genoa needed to be fixed, and the sail hoisted, and a few other little tasks.

And the head...

When I agreed to this sailing adventure, I did so with the caveat that I had no intention of rebuilding or repairing the head, should something go wrong. And John was true to his word today. He took apart the pump, fixed it, and put it back together again. As a result of the warm, salty water here, scale builds up on inside the pump and the hoses, blocks the flow, and shuts down the system. It needs to be chipped away periodically. John did this marvelously. My hero.

While all this was going on, I tried to stay out of the way, passing along essential tools as needed and spraying perfume around the boat to counteract the wafting odors. When it was complete, I went a little nuts with disinfecting the entire boat.

Finally, it is now mid-afternoon, and we're off to explore the beach. We're considering leaving late tonight for La Paz, but will see what the weather holds.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Amy!

What a day. We woke at 2:30 am to find that we were one of the only boats left in the anchorage, the remaining having left an hour or two previously. By 3am, we were also on our way to Los Muertos, in hopes of arriving at daylight. As we listened to the radio chatter, we realized that the seas were larger than forecast, but we pushed on regardless. We also decided to take advantage of the wind, and take a course well out to sea, and tack back in again later in the afternoon, in order to keep the wind at a favorable angle, instead of bashing into a headwind. Of course, this adds more distance to our total distance, but we hoped for faster boat speeds, and a more favorable motion...not to mention saving some $$ on diesel costs. This was contrary to our usual method of favoring the straight line on our GPS...regardless of wind angle and sailing opportunities.

As it turned out, we took much longer than anticipated, and endured some pretty rough sailing conditions. Waves broke frequently over the deck and cockpit. I received a shocking soaking, as I lie in the sea berth (our main 'couch', so to speak) and we hadn't tighted down the main hatch...which is under the dinghy! The cockpit was frequently drenched in spray, and even our main v-berth up front received water through a solar hatch vent. We had the sailed reefed down to small scraps of canvas, yet still the boat was heeled right over, with the leeward rail regularily dipping into the water.

At some point, our furling line for our main genoa broke, and we struggled to control the large sail that we had to drop to the deck and stuff into a bag, all while the boat leapt up and down seemingly huge seas. But we worked together, and managed to get it tamed, and tucked away in the cockpit. We still had use of our staysail, but decided we needed to change out the regular sail that we kept on deck for the tougher, stronger, storm staysail. So of course, that required another sail to be brought down and bagged. We both got thrown around the deck now and again, and John almost went over the lifelines, but was saved by his harness. If all that wasn't enough...the pump on the head finally quit, and we lost another fish.

Our last couple of hours into the anchorage were uneventful, and we arrived shortly after dark, in the company of three of four other boats. The boats that had made their arrivals before nightfall gave a summary of the anchorage, and lit up the area to guide us in. What a great group of folks.

After a simple dinner, and a beer to celebrate Amy's birthday, we fell exhausted into bed.

No pictures today - camera would have been soaked!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another day in Paradise

We're still in Los Frailes. The wind is screaming through the anchorage, and in the company of a dozen or so other boats, we await suitable weather for making the next jump. It's not a bad place to be marooned. We're beside a long, sandy beach, with reportedly incredible snorkeling. There is a row of grass palapas on the beach to provide shade from the scorching sun. I'm reading Shantaram, a huge, somewhat intimidating, tome, donated by Sooh, and I'm loving it! I've never been to India, and this book paints an enchanting picture.

The wind seduced John into rigging the windsurfing gear, and he enjoyed an hour of sometimes gusty, sometimes over-powered, sometimes dead wind conditions in the bay. I ended up rowing to the beach in our dinghy for a rescue mission. But it was the first time we've used the gear on this trip, so it was nice to know we've been hauling it around for a purpose!

By mid-afternoon, we rowed to the beach, donned our snorkel gear, and jumped into the refreshing water. We snorkeled along a fabulous reef with dozens of amazing tropical fish. This area is now a protected park, and apparently the La Paz aquarium stocked their exhibits from this area - it is fabulously diverse. We saw all sorts of fish - most of which we can't name. But there were parrotfish, angelfish, puffers, triggerfish, and many many more.

Weather forecasts are calling for one more day of this wind, before we'll have a chance to poke around the corner...but we'll see. We're anxious to make it to the next anchorage, where the Giggling Marlin awaits with cold cervezas and perhaps a meeting with John's cousin, Terry!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chicken for dinner...again

Our fishing has not gone well these past few days. We've had a couple bonito tease us, but the true game fish still elude us. But today was the ultimate...a large fish took the lure, and ran out for what seemed forever. Finally, the line got hung up on the reel and broke. In celebration of his freedom, the fish jumped clear out of the water, in all its colorful glory. It was a marlin or swordfish. Not sure what we would have possibly done with a fish that big, but it took our last "Mexican Flag"...THE lure for fishing down here. That was a $15 lure. Oh well. If we haven't got fish stories...what have we got??

This all happened shortlly after leaving Cabo, on the trip up to Los Frailes, which we motored most of the way. When we arrived, we found the anchorage full with a dozen other boats, all waiting for the northerly winds to calm down, so they could make the next leg up to Bahia de Los Muertos...just a stone's throw from La Paz. We walked the beach here - lots of RVs and campers in the area, and a deserted seasonal fishing camp. And big homes on the hill, mostly belonging to foreigners.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cabo San Lucas...

We arrived this afternoon in Cabo...a place that seems unlike Mexico in every sense. It is crazy busy. Everyone speaks English. Expensive. Loud. Clean.

But a necessary stop. We needed to pick up a few fresh groceries and refuel. We took on just what we needed to get us to La Paz, where we expect everything to be somewhat less expensive.

Our passage to get here went very smoothly. We flew the spinnaker for the first time on this trip - although only for 30 minutes until the wind collapsed, and we turned on the motor. The night shift was absolutely incredible. I saw over 50 shooting stars during my 4 hour watch. This must have been a meteor shower...absolutely magical. I saw dolphins, John saw turtles.

Unfortunately, we lost 2 dorado on this trip. John is quite sad about this.

As soon as we dropped the hook, we were both diving off the side of the boat to cool down. It was a glorious day for a swim. And shortly after, we finally met Nigel and Bay (Arena), who are from Quadra Island! We have talked with them several times - at home, and again in Sausalito - but we weren't able to coordinate a get-together. Funny how we've come all this way to bump into neighbors from home.

We're now anchored just outside the harbour, in front of a row of hotels and condos. The fabulous part about being in front of this strip of hotels is the wireless internet! The less-than-fabulous aspect of this spot is the crazy loud music coming from the variety of dance clubs/variety shows/whatever else they have going on over there.

The anchorage here is terribly rolly and we've decided not to stay any longer - we'll be off again tomorrow, to Los Frailes.