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Position Report, 2006-08-29
It’s been a few months since we filed a report. Sorry, we were out cruising and just decided to take a break. So, this one will be sort of a wrap-up of what we have been up to for the last few months.
In this report, we are also able to show you some of the video we have shot recently. We discovered a service called YouTube. It allows us to upload short (under 10 min.) videos that anyone can view. The video quality you will see is not very good, but it is watch able. The poor quality is due to the compression of the file so it can be fed across the Internet in a reasonable amount of time. BUT, please note that the size of the files is still large! If you do not have a fast connection, it will take a long time to view the files.
We departed Marina de La Paz, sort of our base of operations, on June 12th. We were going to depart sooner, but decided to wait a bit to meet up with Gordon & Susie of Spirit Long Beach. We had a GREAT time with them last summer and have become very good friends with them.
Here are a few videos from before we departed, we made a few road trips.
A late entry video that should have been in the last report is from BayFest:
We went to a Music Museum at El Truinfo.
One of our favorite restaurants in La Paz is Jarrock Café. It’s a GREAT small place with a wonderful menu and low costs. A Mole enchilada dinner is about US$ 4.00.
We also had a “Roll Your Own” Mole enchilada party aboard the motor sailer Virginia Reel, at the docks in Marina de La Paz.
Our goal this summer was to visit our favorite anchorages again and to try some that we had not experienced yet (there are many).
As usual, on leaving La Paz we went out to Lobos to rest for a day and get back into the cruising mood. We tend to take a day or more at anchor in a very close area to “decompress” from the city life. This also gives us a chance to make sure the systems are all up, running and in good shape. If we find a problem, we have not yet committed to a long trip and can get back to the marina and repair parts easily. We like Lobos. This trip, we found the water was cold and not very clear yet.
Ensenada Grande is another of our favorite places that is close to La Paz. We decided to stop in for a short stay. It was very beautiful here, but again, the water was too cold for swimming. We don’t carry wet suits aboard. I guess we are getting old because we decided we only want to swim when the water temperature is warm.
Video of us on the way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHrxp1OmTfU
Isla San Jose
Video of us on the way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFNUCCIIM_8
We moved on to Isla San Jose. We wanted to go back to Isla San Francisco, but it had a number of boats there and the wind condition did not look favorable. So, having never been to Isla San Jose, we went there. We spent only one quiet night here, as we wanted to move on, although this island deserves more time.
On the way to Agua Verde, on June 17, 2006 at 1:15 (just 15 min after putting out our fishing gear), at nautical miles 2,285, we caught our fist fish trolling from Guenevere.
BOY was it a good one! It was a 36 inch Dorado ( or Mahi Mahi).
You would think this would be a time for a great celebration? Well, we did celebrate, but it was bitter sweet. It was such a beautiful fish! It pained me to take it’s life. Jill went below as she did not want to watch as I cleaned it. I did spray tequila on the gills to make it happy and stop flipping. Then cleaned it. We got quite a bit of fish from it. At one point Jill feared it would break off the engine key, when it was in the cockpit foot well.
This seemed to break the run of bad luck.
If you read last years report, or saw our DVD, you know this is a place we really love. Seafood is abundant and the water is clear and warm.
We also took some time for some personal touch-up. I (Greg) was in bad need of a haircut. Where do you go for a haircut? Take a look at the video and see how it’s done cruisers style…
We stopped in Escondido to top up on fuel and take a look around. There is a restaurant and pool within walking distance. If you eat at the restaurant, you can use the pool.
Escondido has changed quite a bit from last year! There has been a lot of building going on.
They are putting in a LARGE haul out facility!
They have also put in a new fueling dock that is working. But, you do need to call ahead for an appointment. The funny thing about fueling here is that you get 2 receipts! One receipt for the fuel, the same price as in town. And one receipt for the added fee that is tacked on for the business bringing it to the dock.
The entrance/exit is still the same. It was blasted out of rock and very shallow.
We only stopped at Isla Coronados for one night. We had the dink up, so never went ashore.
It was also about here that we got word from some friends in La Paz. They asked us if we could please help them in early August. We decided that we would cut short this summers’ trip into the Sea and maybe stay one more year.
We found San Juanico to be a simply gorgeous place! We stayed for a few days here and got to explore the beaches and surrounding area. On the first evening we were anchored, we got an invitation to a beach bon fire.
During the exploring, we found the “Cruisers Shrine”.
We were told that the last hurricane had destroyed it. But that is NOT the case! As a matter of fact, there are mementos from as far back as the 1960s there. As we were there, we HAD to add something to the shrine.
Gordon & Susie (Spirit Long Beach) decided to put their all into it! They spent a day working on their donation. They also put a LOT of thought into it. They had just finished reading a book Jill lent them, The DeVinci Code, can you identify the influence on there offering? Cruising gives you a lot of time to think and reflect.
Bahia Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo anchorage is just inside of the Bay of Conception. We have always been told that the Bay of Conception is way to hot and muggy to stay in. But this was a great place. It was warm to hot, but we seemed to always have a breeze. The water was warm, about 85 degrees, and clear. The spear fishing was good and we had a few tasty meals from the sea. Jill baked her famous abreojos carrot cake.
We next moved on to El Burro Cove.
El Burro Cove
This was one of our objectives on this trip. We wanted to be here for the 4th of July. Every year, Gary, the guy who does the weather on the Sunrisa HAM net, puts on a big hotdog beach party. Complete with fireworks! We stayed for a few days, but there were 32 boats in this small anchorage. We were one of the last boats to arrive (we stayed in Santo Domingo for the breeze), so we were anchored further out than we like to be. Also, there were so many people running around it was like being back in La Paz or a small city. When we are in the Sea, this is not exactly what we are looking for. Crowded places that is.
So after a couple of day, we made a very short trip, more like a move than a trip.
Santa Barbara Cove
Santa Barbara cove is only about a mile (if that far) from El Burro Cove. We were told that Santa Barbara Cove was a good “Hurricane Hole” if we were in the area and needed one. So, we decided to check it out. It’s nice to actually visit a place before you MUST run to it. We swam and fished and had the anchorage to ourselves.
After a few nights in Santa Barbara cove we returned to El Burro Cove. We got together with a few other boats and 8 of us took a trip to see cave paintings and petroglephs. This time, we made sure that the walk would be a short one. After we visited the cave paintings, our guide took us into Mulege and gave us a tour. He sure was accommodating! He took us to shop for groceries, and to fill our jerry cans with fuel, before he returned us to El Burro Cove.
Then we went back to Santa Domingo for one night before continuing on, back to San Juanico.
San Juanico again
As we approached San Juanico from the north, we wanted to anchor in a small anchorage on the north side called La Ramada. La Ramada is better protected from winds out of the south, like the ones we had been having. As it turned out, another boat (a friend of ours aboard Our Country Home) was already in there and it looked too small for us both. So, we went around to the south side. It was BEAUTIFUL, but a bit rolly. We dropped anchor and had a nice evening. Then, at about 2 AM (WHY does it always happen at O-Dark-Thirty) we started getting some stronger winds. FROM THE NORTH! A Chabasco! Now, we were well protected, but our friends in La Ramada were on a lee shore, in a SMALL cove with rocks on one side.
Another boat anchored near us gave us a report that the winds were about 43 Kts (that is about 50 MPH). As we were in shallow water with the wind coming from the land there was no fetch. So we did not have any waves to speak of, just wind and a little rain.
The next morning, our friends (OCH) came into our anchorage about 0700. They had to take to sea at 0200 in the morning as the waves were breaking into their cockpit (a Hans Christian 41), and they were being pushed toward the shore! They had to get out fast and had a couple of small problems along the way.
It always sounds so simple to say, if in trouble, go to sea. But in real life, it’s NOT as simple as you might think! It was a very scary night for them. They have never been thru something like this. It was a very dark night and with rain, the visibility was zero. It is a scary thing to go out on the bow and raise your anchor with water braking over the bow. If you engine quits, you will end up on shore. Then with the anchor up, you must navigate, out of your anchorage in the dark.
We spent a couple more days here, and then moved on to Puerto Escondido and on to Agua Verde.
Agua Verde – again
As we said, this is one of our favorite anchorages.
All the boats anchored here got together for a shopping trip in to Maria’s, a VERY small store.
We then got word that a hurricane was forming below Baja and ‘MIGHT” move this way. A number of boats decided to move back to Escondido just in case. The three boats left got together aboard “Our Country Home” for a strategy meeting. I brought our laminated hurricane-tracking chart with my markups on it. After a review of all the details like where the storm was now, it’s speed and direction, we decided to stay put for a day or two and then make another decision. We had very good holding here so felt comfortable with winds up to 50 Kts or more. We were tucked into a small, protected bay so the fetch would not be great. And, if the storm did move in our direction, we knew we were only about 4 to 5 hours from Escondido (possibly the best hurricane hole in the Sea of Cortez). We pulled up our dink and got ready for a blow. Because we were in a small bay, I could still collect seafood/spearfish. I would just drop the ladder and swim off the side of the boat.
We waited, checking the weather every 8 hours or so, and after a day or so, it was clear that the hurricane was not going to come up into the Sea. So, we spent about a week in a place we love. Damn the bad luck!
Los Gatos – rotten again
On the way from Agua Verde to Evaristo, we stopped in Los Gatos. If you remember from last year, we got rolled out of this place. BUT, so many people told us it was so good for them I (Greg) decided we must try it one more time.
Once again it was beautiful to look around. But this time the water was not clear. Must have been as a result of the recent storm. Then, in the evening, the rollers began to run into the anchorage. LONG, SLOW, rollers….. YUCK!
I got a LOT of “I told you so” from Jill. I have now promised her I will never bring us back to this place. First thing, next day at dawn, we headed out!
We now knew we were on our way back to La Paz, so we did not dally a lot. We only spent a few days here. It was fun to watch the fishermen and the townspeople party on the beach. The fishing was GREAT.
We also stopped for a night or two at Ensenada Grande and Caleta Lobos, then on to La Paz.
La Paz once more….
We got back to Marina de La Paz and settled in. La Paz is now feeling just like home to us. The help that our friends that had requested was for us to house-sit for them when they spent a month or so in the USA. They did not want the house un-lived in for that long.
So, as we write this, we are sitting at a desk, in a house, with air conditioning, as much ice as we want, and 2 gallons of ice cream in the full size refrigerator, AND TV.
But this is a temporary condition. We will be back on Guenevere soon. We are taking advantage of the time and Guenevere will get a haul out with new bottom paint and a few other items that are in need of attention after being out for two years.
We got a very good question from one of our readers. As a matter of fact, it’s a question we used to ask all the time and have, up until now, forgotten to post an answer.
The question was:
Our reply applies to where we are now. We may revise this as we move further on and things get a lot harder to come by.
For number 1, I guess I don’t have one particular item. BUT, I do have a class of items that I brought that requires more careful review. I packed a LOT of spare parts, most of which I have yet to touch. They take up a LOT of space and weigh a good deal. One spare fresh water foot pump is OK. 3 are too much! Things like that. And oh yes, Mexico lives on propane, and all the parts you might need are VERY cheap here.
For number 2, I think it would be the on board, mounted fans. I knew we would use them, but we have found we are running them almost 24/7. As a matter of fact, we need to replace a couple now as we have flat warn them out! (see our 2 year gear report, due out next month).
We have a small boat, and other than too much food aboard, I can’t think of anything for either category.
I just had to add this, the devil made me do it.
If you have not done so, please take a look at the DVDs we have for sale on our web site. If your interested, the discount code WUTQ6RWW and get US$ 4.00 off the listed price.
I promise, the quality is FAR better than the short videos on YouTube!