Answers to Joy’s Questions

My sister Joy asked me to do a blog post responding to her questions about our adventure.  So, here goes…

Q:   Once you slay the fish, how do you get all the guts off the boat so that your “home” doesn’t smell like dead fish?  Or do things always smell like fish because you’re on a boat?

Katie:  Our boat does NOT smell like fish!  Mike fillets the fish out on the deck.  Then fillets go into ziplock bags and into the fridge and freezer. The rest of the carcass is fish food and goes back in the ocean.  We scrub down the deck with bleach to clean it.

Mike: Ditto. It is quite an arduous task and can take several hours if it is a big fish.  It also makes you not want to catch another fish for a few days!

Q:  Does Katie have dreds yet? Not a bad idea.  Just sayin.

Katie:  Nope.  No dreds.  I do wear my hair in braids a lot though.  It gets really knotted and tangled, especially if I’ve been swimming in the ocean. I have to spend a lot of time with the conditioner and a brush in the shower to get them out!

Mike: No, not yet.  But, I’m threatening to grow my hair long enough to wear a man bun. 

Q:  Exactly how dark is it when you’re out at sea in the middle of the nite?  I’m scared of the dark.

Katie:  It depends on whether the moon is out.  The moon can be pretty bright.  It might sound scary, but seeing all of the stars out at sea is pretty amazing.

Mike: It is extremely dark until the moon comes out.  If there is no moon, the amazing stars make up for the darkness.  You should read a book called “Learning to Walk in the Dark.”

Q: I’m also claustrophobic (as we know) are you guys yet?

Katie: Not claustrophobic on the boat at all! It is cozy!

Mike: Nope.

Q: How much wine do you keep on that boat?

Katie:  We had a lot of wine when we moved onto the boat, but we drank it all!  Well, we had to because the heat and motion of sailing the boat in Mexico were going to make it all go bad anyway.  Now we just drink rum. Arrgh!

Mike: None, it goes bad in the heat. 

Q: Do you have a schedule or is Katie finally living her lifelong dream of sleeping until “whenever she wants”?

Katie:  Very funny.  We actually get up at a reasonable time each day, but we rarely set an alarm. THAT is pretty nice!

Mike: It takes some prodding to get her out of the bed in the morning, but she gets up at a reasonable time. 

Q: How is Katie keeping up her Mensa certification?

Katie:  This is a long standing joke. I am not, nor have I ever been, in Mensa.  I think I’d rather hang out with the salty sailors, divers, surfers and sea gypsies than join a group for “smart” people.  Besides, I’ve met a lot of intelligent people who were complete idiots!

Mike: Katie is so smart that they gave her a lifetime membership. 

Q: What are you going to do w/ the parents in Mexico?

Katie:  Yeah!  My parents are coming to visit this week to help us celebrate my 40th birthday!  I see a lot of pina coladas in our future!  Stay tuned for pictures!

 

What questions to you all have for us about our adventure?  Leave the questions in the comments on the blog or on our Facebook page.  I’ll do another blog post later responding to questions.

~katie

Diving Cabo Pulmo

Yesterday we got to dive at Cabo Pulmo! If you’ve been reading this blog, you remember that I just got my Open Water certification in February.  So, I was a little nervous (and excited) for my first dive since taking the class.

Cabo Pulmo is about 60 miles from where we currently are in San Jose.  Because Cabo Pulmo is Baja’s only coral reef and is a national protected marine park, you cannot anchor there.  So, really the only way to dive it is to go through a local dive shop.  We found the Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort which would actually pick us up in San Jose and take us to Cabo Pulmo.

We got picked up at 7:30 a.m. for the 90 minute ride through winding roads in the mountains. The last six miles are really rough dirt roads that take you back to the Coast.  So, I’m really glad we didn’t have to drive it!

The dive resort is a really nice facility with a restaurant, pool, dive shop, etc. There are even bungalows where you can stay.  When we got there we met our dive master Roy and boat captain Jose.  There were five of us diving with Roy.  He got us outfitted with any additional gear we needed, and we put everything in the panga. This was a two tank dive, and they really took care of getting all of the gear in order for the dive.

We walked over to the beach where the panga, on a trailer, met us.  The trailer was backed up on a gravel path to the beach and we hopped in.  The truck literally just backed the trailer through the surf and off we went!

After a short boat ride, we got to our first dive site, Las Casitas. We got on our rigs and did the backward roll off the boat – my first time! I was a bit nervous on the first descent, about 30-40 feet down, but Roy got my down there.  Once I was down there, it was great!

Las Casitas is some giant boulders with coral growing on them.  We saw schools of fish everywhere.  Some of the divers even dove under and through the large boulders.  So fun!

At the end of the first dive, we got back in boat and headed to the second dive spot, the pinnacle.  Here, the star of the show was the bull sharks!

We descended down the pinnacle, which is a large triangular rock formation that sticks up out of the water.  Around the side of the rock formation, about 60 feet down, there is a long sandy bottom.  We all got down on our knees in a tight group and waited, scanning the sand at the edge of visibility, waiting for the elusive sharks.

Finally, Roy made the sign for shark and pointed off to the right.  Sure enough, we could just make out the shadow of a large shark.  He moved out of viewing range, but a minute later he returned and a second shark appeared.  The sharks were probably 6-7 feet long.  They just skimmed the bottom, cruising maybe 6 inches off the sand.

Shark Pic

Neither of the sharks came closer than 10 yards away from us, but they were amazing!  I thought I would be scared or nervous to see the sharks, but I wasn’t at all.  I felt like I was in the middle of a Discovery Channel show.

We then headed up to check out the rest of the pinnacle, where we saw turtles, rays, lots of schools of fish and moray eels! I was seriously on cloud nine after the dive and can’t wait to go again!

 

Running away?

Yesterday I had the brief thought that we had run away from home.  Of course, we brought our home with us, so maybe we just ran away.  Instead of getting up in the morning and putting on “grown-up clothes” to go to an office and deal with client demands, we had a pleasant breakfast on the boat while listening to the fishermen laugh outside on the dock next to us as they got ready to head out for their daily catch.

We put on our “boat clothes” of shorts and t-shirts (why bother wearing shoes!) and starting working on our chores.  Mike headed off on the bike in search of some refrigerant to add to our refrigerator, and I started scrubbing down the sand and dust that had accumulated on the deck in the last week before starting pretty much an all day project of polishing the stainless steel on the boat.  Nothing looks better on a boat than lots of shiny things!

I once heard someone refer to cruising as doing boat work in exotic locations, which is partially true.  Of course we are traveling to explore new places, learn some new things and have fabulous adventures.  But, in order to do that, there is always going to be some hard work keeping the boat maintained.

Mike came back to help me finish polishing the stainless, and then we sat in the cockpit with cold beer and some chips and guacamole later that afternoon.  It was here that I had the thought that we had run away.  As we sat quietly watching the sun dip closer to the horizon as pelicans and frigate birds circled over the harbor looking for a meal, it was then that I realized that today my cell phone didn’t ring, I didn’t receive any texts, there were no emails to respond to, I hadn’t been on the internet all day and there was no TV to distract me.  It was nice.

Our friends and family back home were probably just winding down the work day, but here we were sitting on the back of a boat in Mexico. So, maybe we did run away, but I’m ok with that!

~katie

Video: Adventures in Los Cabos

Adventures in Bicycling

We sailed up to San Jose del Cabo from Cabo San Lucas on a beautiful, sunny day with about 10 kts of wind.  Our guide books said it was about 30 miles, but our chart plotter had it at half the distance.  So, we were on the lookout for the entrance to the harbor at Puerto Los Cabos pretty quickly.

We’d called ahead and found that Marina Puerto Los Cabos had guest slips available, so we were in!  Although its much more adventurous (and cheaper!) to be at anchor, we knew it was going to be much easier to get the remaining boat projects done in a marina.

The marina here is great. It pretty much encompasses the entire harbor, which is not all that big as harbors go, but there are slips for a couple hundred boats.  The marina has a bike/walking path that makes a horseshoe around the harbor (about a couple of miles long). It has a couple of paved sections, but is mostly dirt/sand.

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The town of San Jose del Cabo with the hotels, restaurants, etc. is about two miles away.  So, this was the perfect place for us to try out the Dahon Mariner folding bikes that we bought before we left.  We knew we wanted some way to get around to explore new places further than we could do on foot and without taking taxis.  When we found these folding bikes, we knew it would be perfect to take along with us!

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Our first outing on the bikes was mainly around the marina trying to find the road into town on the day we arrived.  We weren’t very successful in finding the main road before the sun went down, but we did discover a very interesting park around the other side of the marina that has sculptures throughout it.  (I’ll have to bring my camera to get some snaps at the bizarre sculptures!)  And, there is a center where you can swim with dolphins.  (Side bar: It made me a bit sad that the poor dolphins are pinned up and don’t get to roam the ocean.  I love seeing the dolphins swim with our boat out at sea.)

So, the next day we decided to head out after breakfast to go into town.  Once we get outside of the marina complex, we have to take a narrow (one lane each way) bridge that is about a mile long.  There isn’t any shoulder on the bridge, so we rode on the sidewalk.

Once in town we found the malecon and all of the resorts right on the water.  We headed past the hotels on the lookout for the La Mega, which the marina told us was the best grocery.  It is also where the “tourist map” we were given said we were to turn.  The tourist map turned out to be the worst map we’ve ever seen!  Besides not remotely resembling what we were seeing, there were no street signs which matched what was on the map!

We eventually turned and back tracked to find the La Mega.  We were attempting to bike in sort of a loop to see the major stores we might need and check out San Jose Centro, which is the downtown, and then head back to the marina.   After biking some more and finding the Walmart but not the turn to the downtown, we stopped at a nice taco shop on the side of the road.

After refueling, we headed off again in search of downtown.  The road we were riding on (or next to) seemed to get rougher as we went, and half the time we were riding in a half inch of loose sand with cars zipping by us.  I’m glad I had sunscreen on, because the sun was beating down on us.  Finally (after riding for a what seemed like forever) we stopped to ask some one where exactly were these roads on our map! I swear then guy looked at us like we were the craziest people he had met, because he told us we were almost to the airport and downtown was “really far” back the way we came.  Ugh!

So, we turned around and headed back.  Eventually, we found the really cute downtown.  We toured around for a few and decided to head back to the boat.  When we got back we realized it was almost 5:00.  We had been gone seven hours!  I have no idea how many miles we rode, but I’m not real keen to bike back to the airport.

Because it was so late and we hadn’t defrosted any of the meat or fish in the freezer, we cleaned up and biked BACK into town for dinner.  But, it was worth it, because we found the most delicious tacos ever! (Really, I wasn’t just starving after biking for seven hours, I promise.)

The next day we headed off again on the bikes, this time to the La Mega to do some grocery shopping.  We have two satchel type backs that attach to the bikes that we brought, along with our Yeti soft sided cooler to bring everything back to the boat.  We might have over estimated the capacity of our bags, because we had to play Tetris fitting everything into the bags.  Mike also had to ride with a bag of chips from the handlebars and I had a carton of eggs bungeed to the back of my bike!  Somehow we made it back without crushing everything.  It took us a couple of hours to grocery shop there and back, so it is a bit more of a chore than driving to the Vons a block away back home.

Our next adventure on the bikes was when Mike was on a mission to find a bar that had the hockey playoffs on.  Because it was dark and we have no lights on the bikes, I got the brilliant idea that I could wear a headlamp.  Not really a brilliant idea.  The headlamps only give you a few feet in front of you, so on a moving bike you can’t see the path ahead of you at all.  So, of course I missed the grapefruit size stone in the middle of the path and went tumbling.  No major damage – just some ugly bruises.

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As they say though, you have to get back on the horse!  So, I was back on the bike and on to the next adventure.  Speaking of horses, we kept seeing hoof prints and horse droppings on the dirt path around the marina, but I never saw anyone riding horses.  Well, we finally found them!  We were on our way back after watching the Kings lose game 2 (boo!) about 11:30 at night and came up on two horses just roaming around the marina.  Apparently people just let their horses roam around at night.  The poor marina security guards were in a golf cart trying to shoo them away.  Pretty funny.

But, the horses weren’t nearly as entertaining as last night headed back from watching the Kings lose game 4 to the Sharks (really, guys, get it together!) where we came upon a group of cows on the path at the marina.  Mike was entertaining himself mooing at the cows until one of them started to chase us down the path!  Seriously, those guys are big!  But, we made our escape back to the boat safely.

Anyway, we are enjoying our time here and making a little progress on the projects, but hopefully we’ll get to explore a bit more too before we move on to the next beautiful spot.

~katie

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Video: Sailing Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas

I finally got the video put together from our journey down to Cabo San Lucas.  I hope you enjoy!

Project time in San Jose Del Cabo

Hello all.

After our short stay in Cabo San Lucas, we left and headed north to Marina Puerto Los Cabos.  It was a beautiful day sail and we arrived early in the afternoon on Monday 4/11.  We decided to stop in here because what we had read about the town made it sound like a cool place to see.  Also, we have quite a few involved projects that we need to complete before we head out again.  Some things that we would have liked to accomplish before we left Newport Beach but couldn’t get done in time.  Here is a list of what we are working on and have completed since we’ve been here.

  • Install new screens on all of our top opening hatches.
  • Apply a maintenance coat of Semco to all of our exterior teak wood
  • Install salt water foot pump in the galley
  • Install fresh water foot pumps in the head and galley
  • Install the new water maker (reverse osmosis desalination system)
  • Add a fan to the cabin where we sleep because it’s going to get hot here soon.
  • Fix the roller furler on the head stay.

Hard to believe that it’s already been a week and we’ve only been able to scratch a few things off of our list.  A couple of days were spent exploring the town on our new folding bikes, (Katie will be posting about this soon) and then making a run to the grocery store on our bikes which was a good experience.  We were able to make quite a haul and stock up for at least a week in one trip and it only cost us about 60 bucks.  Very nice.

Even though we are spending our days working on the boat, it has been a wonderful place to be while doing so.  The town is beautiful with lots of great restaurants at very affordable prices.  There are also many art galleries in town that we have yet to explore.

We some neighbors come in the day after we arrived.  They are fellow sailors who have been out cruising for the past 7 years.  They are English but moved to Canada many years ago and they started their cruise from somewhere in British Columbia.  We had them over for dinner the other night and it was great talking to the husband about our boat and all of our gear.  He was very complimentary and said that we had done well in outfitting our boat.  Very nice to hear from some veteran cruisers.  He did mention a couple of things that we should do so we have added those to the list as well.

Well that’s all for now.  We will be here for the remainder of the month while we work on completing our projects.

Captain Mike.

Adventures in Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas (really Los Cabos – including San Jose del Cabo) is where we round the tip of the Baja peninsula and head into the Sea of Cortez.  Stopping in Cabo San Lucas was a nice (and fun) break from the long passage down from California.  If you haven’t been to Cabo San Lucas, it is a pretty much a tourist mecca!

Everything in Cabo San Lucas is catered to the vacation crowd.  Although we may look like we are on vacation, we really aren’t (or we would be broke pretty quickly and have to end this little adventure).  So, we did our best to take part in some of the fun, craziness of Cabo San Lucas without going too overboard.

We spent the first three nights at Marina Cabo San Lucas, which was nice for us to be able to utilize the water, showers, laundry, etc.  But then we headed out of the harbor to anchor the next three nights in front of the white, sandy beaches where the hotels line the beach.  Our cruising guide books told us to expect to be charged to anchor, but apparently that wasn’t the case.  Nice!

On Wednesday, after finishing our chores (laundry and boat cleaning) and cleaning up for the day, we decided to head out for dinner to a local restaurant we had seen a few blocks off the main strip earlier in the day.  Unfortunately, we didn’t take very good note of where the restaurant was and ended up wandering the town for a bit.  It was getting late for dinner, so we stopped at one of the restaurants by the marina, where Mike got the special with two grilled lobster tails at a great price!

After dinner we decided to check out El Squid Roe, which is a cheesy club, but definitely entertaining people watching.   You can see that we got into the spirit of things…

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On Thursday, we decided to reprovision the boat as our fridge (other than the fish in the freezer) was getting lean.  We took at taxi to the Walmart, which actually had a great selection of produce and other items including homemade, warm corn tortillas.  We got a pretty good haul!  (Side bar: I never shopped at Walmart at home.  This was a lot nicer than the ones I have seen in the US.)

We had gotten some recommendations from friends to check out The Office, so we headed there for dinner. It is a great outdoor place right on the water.  We were lucky to get a table right up front on the sand in perfect time for the sun going down.  They put on quite a show with mariachis, a luchador (wrestler) as MC, some traditional dancers, a pinata for the kids and some silly games on stage.  The food and margaritas were great too!

Our next adventure was on Friday when we decided we needed to fill our propane tanks.  (We have two 20 lb refillable tanks that are mounted to the stern rail of the boat.  We use propane for the stove, oven and grill.)   We stopped at the marina office to ask where we could the tanks filled.  Apparently the taxis near the marina charge “tourist” prices, so the office recommended that we take a bus to the Soriana (local grocery) and then pick up a “local taxi” to take us to Caligas where we could refill the tanks.

We had to walk a few blocks with the tanks to find the buses.  (I’m glad Mike did most of the heavy lifting with the tanks.  Those things are heavy!) But, we got on the bus and found the Soriana.  We bargained with a taxi driver to take us to Caligas, wait for the tanks to be filled and take us back to the marina for $200 MP (a little more than $10 US!)

We then got the boat ready to leave the marina and anchor out at the beach. We had a bit of difficulty getting out of the slip as the wind kept pushing the bow of the boat the wrong way, but eventually we made it out of there!

We followed the recommended anchorage in Charlie’s Charts (one of our guide books) and found a great spot in 20-30 ft of water about 200 yds off the beach.  The beach is a public beach where there is a break in the line of hotels that dot the coast.  The sandy shelf extends quite a way off the shore before dropping off to deeper water.

Here is picture of Adagio at anchor with the iconic rocks in the background.

And here is our view from the boat at sunset.  Not too bad!

 

It was afternoon by the time that we dropped anchor and pretty busy all around us with jet skis, parasailing boats, water taxis, etc.  We waited until later in the afternoon until the traffic died down (mainly the jet skis!) to put the paddleboards in the water. Not a bad paddle to shore, but it was still a bit windy and choppy.  We walked down the beach and checked out a couple of the resorts before paddling back to the boat.

On Saturday we dropped the dinghy in the water to see the arch and the rock formations.  We tied the dinghy up near Lover’s Beach, which is a neat beach in between the rock formations where you can walk through and over to the Pacific side.  We put our snorkel gear on and did some snorkeling and free diving off Lover’s Beach.  We saw lots of angelfish,  pufferfish and triggerfish!

 

 

Very cool to swim among the rocks, but you really had to watch out for all of the water taxis showing people around.  A really large cruise ship showed up this morning, so there were a lot of people out.

Later in the afternoon, we paddled to shore again and wandered into one of the resorts.  We had some pina coladas and got a great shot of Adagio from the resort!

We did some more paddling and swimming on Sunday before taking off Monday after breakfast for San Jose del Cabo.  Monday morning there were THREE cruise ships that arrived, so we knew it was time to go. We had a nice sail to San Jose del Cabo, but more on that next time.  Still working on the sailing videos, and stay tuned for adventures in bicycling in San Jose del Cabo!

~katie

Sailing Log – Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas

Thursday 3/24 – Ensenada

We arrived in Ensenada around 10:30 a.m. after the overnight passage (about 120 miles) from Avalon, Catalina.  We called Marina Coral on the VHF were we had made a reservation online.  They didn’t appear to have our reservation but a guest slip was available.  The marina had dock handlers waiting for us at our slip and got us in securely.  We proceeded to the marina office to check in and determine what we needed to do to clear immigration and customs.  (We had already tried to obtain the temporary import permit with the boat online with no luck.)

We didn’t realize that the entire week of Easter is a holiday in Mexico and the government offices were closing at noon today.  The marina put all of the paperwork together that we needed (in Spanish) and had Juan drive us to the offices to walk us through the process.  Normally you have to clear immigration, customs, the Banjercito (for the boat permit) and see the Port Captain.  Considering the number of forms, copies, etc. you need to have and our pretty bad Spanish skills, this was extremely helpful.

We left the marina office with Juan at 11:30 and raced to immigration.  Immigration and the Banjercito were open, but Customs and the Port Captain were closed.  Go figure.  Juan said not to worry though, so we didn’t worry.  Immigration took a while for some reason, and we each had to pay roughly a $50 fee (of course immigration conveniently had no change). The temporary import permit for the boat was much quicker, but we did have to pay another fee. The marina took care of the paperwork to both clear in and out with the Port Captain, who wasn’t going to be open until Monday after we left (for another fee, of course).

The marina had very nice facilities with showers, laundry, a hotel, pool, clubhouse and restaurant.  After a long, hot shower, we got lunch and a couple of cold drinks at the bar. They were apparently doing work on the docks, so we didn’t have shore power or wifi at the dock.  However, they did have wifi at the clubhouse.  The tap water at the docks was not potable, and unfortunately, the guy who delivers the purified water was out until Monday due to the holiday.

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Friday 3/25 – Ensenada

Today we just took care of a few items like laundry and washing down the boat to get ready to sail to Isla San Martin.  Because we needed the water, we filled our tanks with the tap water and added a bit of bleach.  We have a pretty heavy duty Seagull water filter that will filter out anything so that the water is drinkable.  We also got our Mexican fishing licenses (for another hefty fee) which are required since we have fishing gear aboard.

This was my view while waiting for the laundry.  Not bad!

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Saturday 3/26 – Ensenada to Isla San Martin

We were able to provision a few additional items from the supermarket not far from the marina pretty cheaply.  We filled up on diesel at the fuel dock and headed off.  We saw a large pod of dolphins (never gets old) right off Ensenada.  They were putting on  a good show jumping out of the air and doing belly flops back into the water.  So fun! Unfortunately, the wind was pretty much nonexistent on this leg of the trip, so we motored most of the way to Isla San Martin.  It was about a 100 mile trip, and we arrived the next morning.

Sunday 3/27 – Isla San Martin

Happy Easter! We had our own sunrise Easter service communing with nature as we sailed up to Isla San Martin.  Mike tried to do a little fishing, but no success yet.  The island is the remnants of a volcano and has that iconic cone shape on top.  It is uninhabited except for a fish camp on the other side from where we anchored.  We found a nice anchorage in a beautiful spot in about 50 ft of water.  We put out the flopper stopper to try and control the rolling, which did a pretty good job.  We were able to call our families on the Iridium Go! to wish them a Happy Easter.  After resting up and cooking a nice dinner, we settled in for a nice evening and watched Chocolat. A great movie that of course ends on Easter!

Here is a shot of the fishing poles ready for action in front of Isla San Martin.

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Monday 3/28 – Isla San Martin to Islas San Benitos

Not long after leaving Isla San Martin, we spotted a couple of whales off our starboard side.  We got the binoculars out and watched one of the whales repeatedly slap his tail down on the water.  We have no idea what he was doing, but it was fun to watch for about 20 minutes.  Not sure what kind of whale it was, as it was too far away, but his tail was black with white markings on it.  Unfortunately, it was too far to capture with the camera or GoPro.

We had quite a bit of wind and swell with gusts up to 28 or so. It had pretty much been a downwind sail from Avalon, so the strong winds really aren’t that rough.  Adagio really likes that 20 knot wind range.  It was a bit of a rolly night with the swell, but we were making really good time.  Our Hydrovane had been such an awesome addition to the boat.  It has steered us really well through the wind and swell and kept us on course without drawing any power!

We made really good time sailing through the night on the 140 mile passage to Islas San Benitos

Tuesday 3/29 – Islas San Benitos

Islas San Benitos are three small islands right off of Cedros Island.  We anchored off of Benito Oeste, which is the only inhabited island with a small fishing village.  We initially anchored a bit offshore because there was some swell breaking on the rocks closer to shore, but it was incredibly rolly.  Some of the local fishermen came by and advised us to anchor closer to the village where it is more protected.  We really need to work on our Spanish to communicate better, but it is amazing how people can effectively communicate even with language barriers!

The fishermen were extremely kind and gave us some tips on places to look to catch yellowtail (which we heard were abundant in the area).  They also invited us to come ashore to the village.

We anchored the boat closer to shore, which made a huge difference and relaxed and rested up for the remainder of the day.

Wednesday 3/20 – Islas San Benitos

Today we decided to do some fishing!  As were were getting the dinghy and outboard launched, a couple of fishermen and their young sons stopped by the boat as they were on their way to do some fishing also.  They were very friendly and introduced themselves, and were genuinely curious about who we were and what we were doing there.  They island and village is pretty remote, and I’m guessing they don’t get too many visitors.

The three islands make up a bit of a bay.  There are crashing waves on rocks at several points, which showed us the shallow areas.  We tried to find the sweet spot where we might catch fish.  There was no action at the first spot, so we moved the dinghy a bit closer to a large rock near Benito Central.  On his first cast at the second spot, Mike hooked a huge one!  It took some time of wearing the fish down, but we finally caught site of the monster yellowtail.  He measured 4 ft long, and so we estimated 45 lbs.  Mike has done a lot of fishing and said this was definitely the largest yellowtail he had ever caught!

Mike got him close to the dinghy and I had my lasso ready to grab the tail.  After some effort getting his slippery, flailing tail in the lasso, Mike got the jig out of his mouth.  We were going to drag him back to Adagio, but we were worried one of the many sea lions around might try and snatch him from us, so we wrestled him aboard the dinghy.  As the fish was gulping for air it clamped down on my leg as we were getting him aboard.  Mike thought it was hilarious that I said it bit me.  Ha!  I’m serious, it’s mouth was strong.

Anyway, we got the fish aboard Adagio and Mike went to work filleting the beast, which was a huge job.  When we were finishing up, the fishermen returned from their outing, clearly not as successful as we were.  They kept asking where Mike caught the monster.  We gave them some of our catch, as we had more than enough to fill our freezer!

Later in the day, we decided to head out again in the dinghy to see if we could catch anything else and to see the other islands.  We were hoping to find the sea lion colony and stop by the village.  Unfortunately, a squall came up on us, and we got drenched.  So, we high tailed it back to the boat.

We had a delicious dinner of yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño and edamame.  Yum!

Here is a picture of Mike with the yellowtail.

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Thursday 3/31 – Islas San Benitos

We worked to get the dinghy and outboard back on board so that we could depart for Bahia Santa Maria, about 300 miles away.  Unfortunately, the wind and waves were just not cooperating with us.  Getting the dinghy and outboard back on the boat was quite a challenge and took way more time than we expected.  It looked like the wind and waves were building, so we decided to stay put for the night and head out in the morning.

Friday 4/1 – Islas San Benitos to Cabo San Lucas

We left Islas San Benitos after looking at the weather report.  It looks like the winds are going to be favorable all the way to Cabo San Lucas (about 500 miles away), so we made the decision to skip Bahia Santa Maria and just go straight to Cabo, which is a 3.5 – 4 day trip.  It was a sunny day with lots of wind.  Throughout the night, the seas picked up a bit, but we reduced sail and made really good tracks!  At one point we just had the main up with two reefs in it and were still making over 6 kts.  Incredible!

On the overnight passages, we take turns on 3 hr watches, so we can each get some rest.  On watch, the main job is to watch out for other boat traffic. (Of course, we have to watch the wind and course as well.)  We have radar and AIS, which help tremendously.  The AIS really shows the large cruise ships and shipping traffic with their speed, course and closest point of approach, so that we can determine if there is an issue.  It also makes us visible to them!

For the most part, we have had no issue with coming close to the large ships.  We see a lot of the cruise ships at night and some fishing boats.  However, tonight Mike actually had to hail one of the large ships while he was on watch to alter course and not run us over!  Thanks guy.  Try and pay more attention next time.

Saturday 4/4 – Passage to Cabo San Lucas

Today was a nice sunny day with about 15-20 kts of wind.  The seas are a bit confused with some large swell hitting us on the beam now and then, but we are sailing downwind wing and wing.   The Hydrovane is steering great and allowing us to relax while on watch.  As the winds have generally been consistent, we usually do not have to make sail changes that regularly.  The exception has generally been when the wind really dies off for us.  We had to adjust things a few times during the night.

The highlight of today was catching two yellowfin tuna!  We had two trolling lines out and hooked up at the same time, we must have sailed through a school of them.  They weren’t huge, but they were delicious!

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Sunday 4/3 – Passage to Cabo

We’re about one day out! Unfortunately we emptied our water tanks (oops!).  We really need to get the foot pumps and the water maker installed (more projects).  We do still have a supply of drinking water, so we’re fine, but it means no washing dishes or showers.  Eek.

It is another sunny, beautiful day on the water, but some light winds.  We are flying the reacher to try and make some tracks. Over night the winds were pretty much nonexistent and we just bobbed around for a while.  We finally turned on the engine about 4:00 a.m. to try and make some forward progress.  The good side of this was that the swell was also gone, and it made it so much easier to sleep when not on watch!

The nights are really quiet, and checking out the stars out on the water has been awesome.  As the moonrise has gotten later, and the moon at a waxing crescent not putting off too much light, we can see all of the incredible constellations that you just can’t see near the city.

The sunsets and sunrises over the water have been fantastic too.  Here is a great shot Mike caught of a sunrise over the Pacific.

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Monday 4/4 – Passage to Cabo

The winds are still really light today.  We’ve tried making some progress with the reacher, which is really made for light wind sailing.  It is like a huge parachute that we hoist. But, even the reacher wasn’t helping us too much, so we had to crank up the engine.  We have enough diesel to motor to Cabo, but we really don’t want to if we can help it.  We are a sailboat and are meant to sail!

Given the slow progress with the winds, we determined we just weren’t going to make it to Cabo today.  We don’t want to come into the harbor at night, so we’re trying to time things to arrive tomorrow morning.

We got a bit of sail time in this afternoon and then just bobbed around a bit.  That wasn’t a bad thing, as we don’t want to arrive in Cabo yet anyway.  However, by the middle of the night we had to crank up the engine again.  It let us make some forward progress and controlled some of the swell that was rolling us a bit when we were bobbing around.

Tuesday 4/5 – Cabo San Lucas

We finally arrived just before dawn, but the harbor was already buzzing with the exodus of sport fishing boats going out for the day.  In fact, the harbor was an absolute zoo! We decided to tie up a the fuel dock, not knowing if it was open, until the marina opened.  Well, the fuel dock was open and busy as I’ve ever seen any fuel dock!  All of the fishing boats were filling up before heading out for the morning.

Apparently, to tie up at the fuel dock there is a fee, regardless of whether you are getting fuel.  And, there is one price if you are staying at the marina and a different price if you’re not.  You just have roll your eyes and pay whatever the guy tells you.  There is no point in trying to understand the logic of the fees, taxes, etc.

We filled up on diesel and radioed the marina for a guest slip for a couple of nights.  The marina prices are higher than US prices.  Go figure! The marina is mainly sport fishing boats, tour boats, parasailing boats, party day boats, etc.  We are one of the only sailboats here.  So weird.

We haven’t had too much luck with wifi at either marina, despite the fact that they “have wifi.”  However, we found that all of the gringo bars along the tourist strip have free wifi.  My favorite was the bar who named their wifi access “get beer free wifi.”  And, the guy outside trying to get people in by saying “free weefee.” Awesome.  We had some delicious Indio beer (at 10:00 in the morning, which is apparently part of happy hour) and caught up on a few messages.

Later in the day we found some great street tacos and hung out at Hooliganz (more free weefee) and listened to some great music.  We planned to go see the nightlife in Cabo but fell asleep at 8pm.  I guess we were tired.

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Today!  Cabo San Lucas

After some desayuno delicioso (seriously awesome Chilaquiles) we are working on some chores.  I’m doing lots and lots of laundry while I sit here and write this by the pool at the marina.  Not too bad!  Mike is washing the boat, which needed serious cleaning after the trek down here.  We might spend another day in Cabo San Lucas, but then we are headed to San Jose Del Cabo, about 30 miles away, where we might spend a couple of weeks.

As you may know, we are headed up into the Sea of Cortez to explore for the summer and wait out hurricane season before heading down south again.

I did take video of the trip on my GoPro.  I’m still learning to use IMovie, so it may be awhile before I actually get video up.

That’s all for now!  We’ll keep you updated on our progress.  When we’re at sea, following us on Twitter or Facebook is the best way to get real time updates.  We can update those via text from our Iridium Go! satellite phone.  Such a great tool!

~katie

Finally sailing – San Martin Island, Baja California Mexico

Hello all,

Happy Easter from Adagio!

It’s been quite a while since my last post and as anyone following this blog knows we have finally cast off the dock lines and headed south. I am writing this post while anchored off of San Martin Island which is about 100 miles south of Ensenada. We arrived here at first light this morning and dropped the hook with the anchorage all to ourselves. The trip here from Ensenada was an overnight one that took about 20 hours so we were a bit tired and took advantage of the opportunity for a long morning nap.

The anchorage here is a bit “rolly” today (meaning the offshore ocean swell is running through the anchorage causing the boat to rock quite a bit from side to side.) so we implemented our “Slow your roll” device otherwise known as a “Flopper Stopper”. What a difference that piece of gear makes. Without it, doing any kind of cooking or other chores becomes much more difficult because you are first trying to keep your balance and then hope you don’t lose control and make a huge mess.

The delay in my posting has been caused by the tremendous amount of work it took to complete all of the projects necessary to get the boat ready to go. And there are still some that need to be completed. Here’s a list of the things that we have completed in the past few months.

” Installed new custom mast steps
” Installed new door latch with custom removable security bars
” Finally finished the galley with new counter tops, sink and custom top loading fridge/freezer box. ” Installed new Seagull water purification
” Built custom rail mount for the new outboard engine for the dingy
” Installed new custom bracket to hold the dingy in place on the foredeck when at sea.
” Installed our Iridium satellite system that allows us to send and receive e-mail, text messages, phone calls and also download weather data for the areas we are traveling.
” Installed new Hydrovane which is a hands free steering device that doesn’t use any electrical power. It steers by the wind which is way cool.
” Installed a new electric auto pilot that gives us another option for hands free steering especially when motoring long distances.
” Installed an AIS transceiver which displays other boat traffic near us when we are at sea. A great piece of collision avoidance gear because it provides some critical information like the speed, course, length, name, closest point of approach on current course, time to closes point of approach and more.
” Modified the anchor chain locker to hold more chain by adding a new bulkhead and drain.
” Purchased all new sails (Main, Staysail, Yankee jib) and added roller furling for the staysail which allows us to fly and douse the sail without leaving the cockpit. Also added all new running rigging to control the staysail.
” Installed new Lofrans windlass on the bow. A critical piece of gear for lowering and raising the anchor.
” Purchased and installed new batteries. One dedicated for starting the diesel engine and six for running all of our other electrical devices.

And as Forrest’s friend Bubba would say “And that’s about it”. I’m sure there are some that I have failed to mention but you get the picture.

Well that’s it for now. Hope to be posting more regularly now that we are on our way and add some more pictures once we get to a stop with wifi. Next stop is the Islas San Benitos about mid-way down the Baja peninsula.

Peace.

Captain Mike.