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S/V Puddle Pirate goes cruising
Ankley's family adventure, cruising with kids.
The perfect day
04/27/2012, Bahia San Gabriel

After a short sail we found our self in our favorite anchorage, Puerto Balandra (Mushroom Rock). We anchored just off the El Hongo which is the Spanish name for mushroom rock. Normally we anchor on the opposite side of El Hongo but the SW winds were blowing at 15 knots so we needed more protection from the wind. The next morning we pulled anchor and headed for Playa Bananza. It was a short sail to the anchorage. When we arrived there were already 2 sailboats in the anchorage. By later that afternoon more sailboats arrived and settled in for the night. The next morning we went ashore and explored the beach. There were lots of cool shells to fill out our shell collection. After spending all morning on the beach it was time for a swim in the cool welcoming waters. The snorkeling was fantastic. But after a long morning and then a 2 hour swim it was time for some siesta. So we thought, at least that was the plan.

S/V Papillon was calling us on the radio to meet up with us. We pulled up the anchor and headed for Bahia San Gabriel which was on the other side of the island. Lew put out the sails to take advantage of the nice SW winds. I decided to try my luck fishing. Remember I am not the fisherman, so far I have only hooked puffer fishes and a ell. Well no sooner my hook hit the water the line went out like a rocket. I yelled at Lew to drop the sails and help me with this monster fish. He turned the boat to dump the wind out of the sails and then came to my rescue. I gave him my poll and then took the helm. The girls brought in the sails in no time, they are getting very good handling the boat. Rose ran and grabbed the gaff hook to assist with the fish. It was a 20lb Jewfish grouper. I have never caught such a big fish before so I was excited to say the least. I was having a adrenaline rush with all the excitement I no longer was tired. We called Dan on Papillon so he could advise us how to bleed and clean the monster fish.

As soon as we set the anchor Dan came right over to check out the prize.
He cleaned the fish with ease and no sooner the fish was cleaned we all headed over to Papillon to cook up our catch. Dan made a nice jalapeƱo sauce to go with the fish and rice, which Dan had also prepared. He is quite the chef. The fish was one of the best fish I have ever tasted. After a great dinner and good company it was time to head back to Puddle Pirate and enjoy the night sky and cool breeze. I couldn't have planned a more perfect day.

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Exploring we will go!
04/25/2012, La Paz, Mexico

We left La Paz with a nice SW wind but the it shifted and came out of the NW, oh well we tried to sail. We made it to mushroom rock for the night. Today we are heading for the Islands to see the sea lions. The wind is now out of the SW so it should be a good sail. I will be out of communication for about a week or so, that means no internet. S/V Pura Vida is joining us in the islands so the kids will have their friends along to round out our group. We are going to take our time in the Islands to counter act the money we spent in town. For the next month it will be on the hook and no shopping, just playing in the sun and water.

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04/25/2012 | sailorgary
Nothing wrong with being on the hook and playing in the sun and water. Picture of the kids with that turquoise rock background looks great, nice picture.
Who said you can never have enough friends
04/19/2012, La Paz, Mexico

No sooner than S/V Papillon left our anchorage, a new Gulfstar 44 came sailing in. Of course it got our attention being the same boat model as ours. We noticed it had two kids on deck, cool another kid boat! As soon as the new boat set it's anchor our kids were in the water swimming towards their boat. The boat was S/V Pura Vida, the crew was just arriving in the Sea for the first time. We soon became fast friends and invited them for dinner on Puddle Pirate. They had an 8 year old little girl named Hunter and a 10 year old boy named Kie. They were headed for La Paz to stock up and meet family flying in. We gave them a little local knowledge of places to go when in La Paz and exchanged our boat cards. The kids were calling each other on the VHF radio to check in with each other. Gabby and Rose are getting very good on the radio with protocol.

We stayed 2 more nights on the hook then headed back to La Paz. Lew wanted to anchor out in front of La Paz in the mooring field instead of going in a marina. It is only $1 a day and if you want to use the dingy dock at Marina La Paz you only pay an extra $1 a day. With that you get fresh water and a safe place to leave your dingy while exploring the town. Our friends off S/V Permanently Temporary are moored just across from the dingy dock at Marina La Paz. Of course we had to stop in and say hi. That night we were having Gale's famous painkiller drinks and a great pot luck dinner. It was a jump up La Paz style. Dan and Kelly from Papillon came over and our new friends from Pura Vida were invited as well.

We are heading out the first of next week for the islands and then up to Laredo for Laredo fest May 4,5 & 6th. The north winds have been blowing like crazy so it will be up hill motor all the way. Hopefully they calm down by next week so we can get some sailing in. Before we head out Lew wants to go back to a cool Mexican cuisine restaurant we found while exploring the town. It's called Catrinas Cocina Mexicana. It is just off the Malacon. Very good molcajetes arrachera served in a lava rock boul. I had the camarones borrachos (drunken shrimp), it was yummy. I would definitely recommend it. One of the many things I have enjoyed about Mexico is the cuisine. It's not like back home, they cook it the way it is suppose to be. Not to hot with the hot sauce on the side. And the cost wont beak the budget. Oh the margaritas are very good and cheep.

Today I was yanked out of paradise and back to the grind of US Taxes. Our federal return we e-filed was rejected for a non error. No error but the system had a glitch. Wouldn't you know it, just as we are getting money back this year it is delayed. Oh well, today I guess we are off to find a DHL to mail our return in. It just goes to show you, no matter how far you get from the US it will pull you back.

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04/20/2012 | Jack Tar
Has anyone in Mexico mailed or shipped parts at an American Embasy. I heard parts arrive at an Embasy 10 times faster and are safe. Just a thought given to me by a prior ex pat.
04/24/2012 | sailorgary
Great crab picture, that things beautiful. How did it taste ??

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