07/10/2012, Punta Chivato
We decided to make a run towards the north this morning, with the idea that we "might" get some wind to sail. WE DID!! we went 27.2 miles today, and sailed 25 miles of, with great winds, in the 15-18 knots the whole way.
We are anchored in south side cove of Punta Chivato. It is dark, a bit rolly, and we are watching the lightening out in the middle of the Sea. If you read my weather blog, you will know that is where we watch for Chubascos to come from. Looks like we are OK tonight, as they all seem to be passing towards the north of us.
We might move on tomorrow, as this just seems open and rolly.
07/08/2012, Playa Santa Barbara
One of the things about living full time on a sailboat, especially one that is not tied to a dock, is a need to stay informed about the weather. The sea of Cortez has some of the most unique weather I have ever seen. The shape of the sea, and the different land shapes around it have so many different effects, that while predicting the weather can be an interesting challenge, there are some things that remain consistent. In the winter, we have mostly a series of northerlies that can blow up and down the sea to 40 knots, causing some pretty good wave action. As spring time rolls around, we are subject to some changes in weather here in the Sea of Cortez, many of which are localized, and also based on the shape of the land. In La Paz, where the low land funnels winds from the Pacific ocean we get the Coromuels. The warm air and waters of the Sea of Cortez, pull the cooler winds from the Pacific Ocean side primarily in the evenings. These winds are usually 15-20 knots but can, and usually do, occur almost every night in the La Paz area
As early summer rolls around, the dominate winds are now out of the south. This new direction now brings into play a few other phenomenons to consider. The first one, and a more common occurring event, are the Chubascos. These are convection based cells, that originate on the mainland, and migrate towards the west. They are very powerful, but short lived storms, lasting usually only 45 minutes, but sometimes as long as 4 hours of 50-70 knot winds. The next one is the Elephantes, a westerly based wind, that is much like a Coromuel, but are usually visible when their elephant trunk shaped cloud forms over the larger valleys or arroyos on the Baja.
And, last but surely not least, are the Pacific Hurricanes. The word Hurricanes brings to mind such violence and damage, and is with out doubt the biggest weather concern we have while here in the Sea of Cortez. Historically, there has never been a hurricane come up into the sea prior to August, and the higher you travel up into the sea, the lower your chances are of a direct hit by one. With that very thing in kind, we are heading north, and plan on being in the Bahia Los Angles area before the month of August gets here. The months of August, September, and October are three months that hold a threat for us to encounter a hurricane.
Now, with all that in mind, I am going to post a link for all of you back home, and around the world following along, to see what our weather is doing every day. Geary Ritchie, the host of the 4th of July party this week, is also our weather guru. He is a full time beach bum extraordinare, and the guy we rely on for daily weather. He does a live broadcast on the ham net at 7:45 AM local time (13:45 Zulu time - 3.968 mhz LSB ham), and then puts the daily weather on a podcast on the website that supports the ham net. If you go to the website. click on weather podcast and you can listen to exactly what we do every morning.
Sonrisa Net ham net
Hope you get a kick out of this!!
07/08/2012, Playa Santa Barbara
It is the weekend in El Burros Cove. Now normally that fact would not mean much to us, but here in El Burro Cove, that means some of the locals all come to the water to swim, party, play loud music, and worst of all.....break out the jet ski's! So, with that in mind, you will understand why we have moved a couple of miles south the a small little bay called Playa Santa Barbara. The water is 83.6 degrees, as clear as any place we have seen since getting into the bay of Conception, and we have the place all to our selves. Well, except Time Piece and Nyon, who have followed us down here.
Everybody joined us here on Eagle tonight after the net for a couple of games of Farkle, where we have had a first!! Rick off of Nyon has rolled the first 6 dice all of a kind. It was fours if anybody cares!! and that put him out with a final score of 13, 400 points. way to go Rick!
Not sure how long we are going to hang around here...just have to wait and see
07/07/2012, El Burro Cove
Ok, I know, I have been remiss in my posting of our activities! So in a quick review, i will try to catch everybody up.
July 2nd, we were able to catch a ride into Mulege and do some shopping with Baja Geary, the reason for this 4th of July party, and weather man extraordinary. Riding in the back of a pickup truck, doing 60 MPH thru the 100 degree desert heat is a new experience. We were able to take care of every single thing that was on our shopping list. Then back to the boat to off load of booty, before joining a few of the other cruisers in the cove for a cold beverage on the beach.
July 3rd, we spent most of the morning doing a few boat jobs, Jeanne polishing more stainless steel, and i mounted our BBQ o it's newly drilled rail mounts and hooked up all the gas lines. That evening we hosted Diane and Terry from SV Harmony, out of Anacortes, Wa for drinks and stories on Eagle.
July 4th, the big beach party hosted by Baja Geary, with a pot luck, hotdogs, beer, fire works, Pit doing his fire eating, and New Zealand poi balls on fire show. There were 40 boats here for the celebration. early that morning, by 6 AM I had left the boat and hiked up to he top of the highest ridge so that I could get some pictures of the boats that had gathered.
July 5th, a sleep in, recovery day. Richard off of SV Dream Ketcher came by to try to help me with the issues that my Ham radio were having, but we were not able to get a complete fix on it. ARGH!! We went snorkeling, took a nap in the hammock, took Rick and Kyra from SV Nyon around the corner in our dinghy to the little tienda that is located in the cove to the south of us, in Bahia Coyote. Then back to the beach for a couple of games of Farkle.
Today, we were up early for a quick breakfast, caught the morning net and then went fishing. We caught quite a few, but they were all to small to keep. About the time we were done, John on Time Piece sailed into the bay with his new crew member, Ginger. We have only just met her, but so far she seems to be pretty awesome. Fits right in with this crowd. She even kicked our butts in two out of three games of Farkle tonight.
It is warm tonight...we have had warm days but always with a nice breeze....tonight, no breeze. It is now 11 PM and we have a cabin temp of 91 degrees
we will probably stay here another night or two, and then continue heading north.
07/01/2012, El Burro Cove
As we began our merry little journey north, we mentioned to several "experienced" cruisers that we were going to try to make it to El Burro Cove for the 4th of July party that is thrown here by Geary every year. Most of them showed a small little amount of shock, mixed with a barely concealed sadistic smile. "Oh that's a great party, if you can stand the heat" they would say. Bah, what heat...this is Mexico, we are ready for some heat. OK we got our heat now! I am typing this post, at 5:30 PM in the direct blast of two of our strongest fans, here in the cabin, with our thermometer showing a chilly 96 inside. Chilly I say, because it is also showing a warmish 106 with the heat of the lowering sun blasting into the cockpit. Now that folks is warm. But at least we are on the water so we can jump in there for relief right? Well, the water temp is 88 degrees, it is wet, but sure not cold!
Now you might think that the sun has gotten to my brain, but we are having a blast! We start our day a little earlier, getting boat chores done, and then nap, swim, eat and stay out of the sun until it starts to set, behind the mountain range right at the base of our cove, sometime around 6:45 PM. Then perhaps a dinghy ride, a visit to some of the other boats in the cove, another swim, as it cools down, perhaps a walk on the beach. there is a small little cantina and as soon as I am done, here, I have promised Jeanne something cold to drink there.
As far as my boat repairs go, today I took all of the rivets out of the spinnaker pole, repaired the internal roller, and put it all back together again with new stainless rivets. Then I pulled out the stainless steel brackets we had welded in Loreto for the B-B-Q, and fitted them to the rail, drilled the mounting holes, fitted a bracket to hold an accessory tray and put it all together on the starboard stern rail. Jeanne went around the boat polishing stainless steel parts. and assisting me as needed.
Just another day in Paradise!!
06/30/2012, El Burro Cove
we got up at 5:30 this morning, so we could be on our way by 6. We were going to make our longest runs since coming down the coast in November. La Ramada to El Burro Cove, inside Bahia Conception is nearly 60 miles. We were supposed to have nice 10-15 knot winds, and a nice sail north. It was a great plan, but the wind machine did not get the memo, so we had to motor the whole way. Jeanne was able to land, and relaes a 10 pound` tuna, and she hooked a small, 80-100 pound`sailfish, but was note able to get him to the boat before he got off the hook.
Our new crew member is an un-invited guest. His name is know to many by monikers that are shall we say, less flattering. We just call him "Murphy" We knew that when we took off from Seattle, we had done as good a job as possible in preparing the boat, with upgrades and the newest gear possible. All of this was in an effort to reduce our breakdowns along the way. We also knew that is was not a matter of if something would break, but when. This is where Murphy moved in...when the first thing broke, it was no surprise. But when a long, and bothersome series of things started to fail, it just plain got old!
The first was actually a reoccurring item, our macerator pump. It has been a source of aggravation 4 or 5 times now, so it's failure came as no surprise. When the expanding spinnaker pole, decided to no longer to expand, the right side o my fuel filter system became clogged, the anchor chain started to jump out of the windlass jaws, the watermaker sprang a small leak, the DC side o the electrical panel gained a mysterious short, that comes and goes as it pleases, the #2 bilge pump just plain gave up the ghost, and after several upgrades, the SSB/ham radio will no longer send out voice messages to anyone more than a few miles away, it became apparent that "Huston we have a problem" Any one of these, or in fact a couple of them would be just something to do, but all of these in a matter of a few days is really starting to ....well not make me very happy!
Our buddy Jim has sent me a couple of notes requestion stories and pic of me actually doing some work with pictures of proof. Well Jim, the pics will be hard, but you will get a few stories about repairs in the next few days!
We will stay here in this area thru the July 4th holiday, and yes there are enough Americans to get together and have a party, even if it is Mexico. But more on that and the repairs later. It is very hot here, 96 degrees at 10:00 PM, and the water temps are now in the high 80. I am going out on the fore deck to see if i can get cooled off!