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Don & Deb's Big Adventure Continues in Oz
We are now living in Melbourne, Australia after selling our beautiful yacht 'Buena Vista' in New Zealand. Even so...the big adventure will continue one way or another!
Don and his Friends
01/29/2010, San Benitos Islands

These animals are so big, even from a distance you can tell that they could destroy you if they wanted. Fortunately, all they seem to want to do is sleep. While he was out there another panga came by and told Don that if he wanted big fish he should go out around the point. He came back and got his bigger pole and the marine radio and went out but it was sort of scary out there. If the dinghy conked out you could easily be swept out to sea. So after a few minutes he came back and we just fished off our boat. While we were fishing this big fat elephant seal head kept popping up in the little bay. He was probably fishing too and I think was curious about us as well. So big, I can't describe. I was glad I was on our boat and not in the dinghy. The afternoon wore on, pleasant weather and nothing to do but hang out and fish. I caught two ocean whitefish, great fighters but we don't care for the taste so I threw them back. Don hooked something that was obviously way too big for the gear we were using and it snapped the line. Then Don caught the fish of the day, a nice sheephead which we did keep. We ate it for lunch the next day, our tacos.

Going Remote - Remote For Us Anyway
01/28/2010, San Benito Islands

Left San Quintin on 1/27 at 9am and had a glorious day sailing with perfect 12-15 knots and minimal swell, sunny and warm. When the sun went down, the wind died and the swell seemed to pick up so we dropped the sails and motored all night with the big full moon lighting the way. We got as far as 75 miles offshore, that's our furthest ever. Having radar, well, it takes all the fear out of it. Anyway, there's nobody out here and we're inside the track of where cruise ships would go (we think). We decided on the way to go to the San Benitos Islands and go to Cedros Island tomorrow. The weather was forecast to be fine and there is supposed to be good diving, snorkeling and fishing there. We arrived at about 9am on 1/28. Three islands, very small, in a semi-circle which provides protection from the west swell and some wind protection. One island has a tiny fishing village, the middle one lies very low and you can hardly see it until you're pretty close, it's covered with elephant seals, and the third is rugged and wild, uninhabited. We anchored in front of the village next to the panga moorings. In just a few minutes some fishermen came out and asked us if we had any tequila and said they'd trade for langosta (yep, lobster). We said sure. We asked if they had some bait and they gave us a nice piece of 'calamar' (a small slab of giant squid body). Don and I each then had a hot shower. We have hot water after running the engine so we always time showers that way. Then some bacon and eggs for breki and Don put the dinghy in the water to go fishing. It's hell out here, really :)

Finally Back on the Hook
01/27/2010, Bahia de San Quintin

Rainy here in San Quintin, calling it a rest day and off to Cedros Island tomorrow morning. We can't figure out any good anchorages between here and Cedros in these conditions or else we'd slow down and see all of them.
The ride down was interesting, some wind but mostly big swells. Swells aren't that bad in our boat but with a sail up makes it hard to keep it filled. Because of that we got kicked around a bit. Probably would have been better closer to shore and motored the whole way. We survived though but I must say that it got a lot trickier when the moon went down around 3 or 4am, and we're both tired, like riding a wild horse blindfolded and sliding down a hill on its back! San Quintin seems very remote, especially out at Punta Entrada where we are anchored. But with the telcel thingy hooked up to two ten foot usb extension cables hoisted up a flag halyard I was able to get a strong signal. That's the tip of the day - from Craig and Eva on 'South Trail' . They were in the docks at Baja Naval in Ensenada, left Sunday and are now in Turtle Bay.
When we pulled in here, the big outside swell had refracted into the bay and gotten a little more tame. You anchor out in the face of the now reduced swells (thank goodness) and the boat rides over them. If they're big, those swells move under and past you and break into waves somewhere behind you. With the big swells when we arrived it was downright scary seeing those waves breaking so close and we considered bugging out. But we were tired and by all accounts we were anchoring in exactly the right spot (per Charlie's Charts and Captain Pat Raines' Mexico Boating Guide). Luckily it's calmed right down now and is quite pleasant. We had a close encounter with a pelican this morning. He landed on the bow of the boat. Don doesn't like them because they pooh alot but I love them. I call them 'my buddies'. Well my buddy this morning saw us behind the window in the cockpit and waddled right up to the outside of the window. When I put my hand up he opened his beak a little and was touching the glass following my hand. The window is plastic and it's covered with rain drops, he must has been mesmerized and didn't know what he was looking at. He seem so tame. When shooing him off the boat I was able to sit down right next to him and touch him. Hey - there's whales blowing right here in this bay. Looks like the real adventure is starting.

02/02/2010 | Laurence Boag
I am so excited for you. Living vicariously through your posts. It has begun!
Adios Ensenada

The big storm is over. We got about 6" of rain in 4 days. Way more than Ensenada usually gets in an entire year. About 5am one morning the wind was blowing so hard it was scary. I got up and sat in the cockpit and watched the windspeed...49 knots! Sure glad we were here, safe in a slip.
Today the sun is shining. The big swells are starting to diminish and we're ready to get out of the slip. We went grocery shopping this morning. Only one more thing left to do. Go see Avatar. What an experience. We saw it in 3D, in english with spanish subtitles. Tomorrow morning we go to the Port Captain's office and check out of Ensenada. We're thinking of leaving about noon or one and doing an overnight to San Quintin. It's about 110 miles south of here. Then we plan to move pretty quickly to Turtle Bay. We're both ready to get on the hook and find some warmer waters.

01/24/2010 | mike
Glad to see that you are getting a break and will be able to head south. We have some friends there right now making repairs before moving south. Bob and Janet Griswold on the boat Katie Hill or Hall. If you meet them they are great people and are headed south for an open ended cruise.

mike & chris
s/v Antipodes
presently in Mazatlan, MX
01/25/2010 | Larry
Glad to see your heading south. We are still hanging in SD. Watermaker fix, other stuff being repaired this week. We'll be atleast 10 days behind you. We'll still keep trying you on the SSB between 0900-1000. Be safe! Hopefully we'll see you in Mag Bay.

Larry, Lisa, Ben and yes Moe!
S/V Lisa Kay
01/25/2010 | Terry Moore
Hey Don - It is great to be able to keep up with your adventure. Stay safe and follow your dreams.
01/26/2010 | Frank Wadge
Hi guys,
Glad you made it away OK before the next squall hits us in a few days. Glad to have met you and look forward to the next time our paths cross.

Reemeber "Por todo mal - mezcal. Por todo bien - ítambien!"

Happy sails!
01/26/2010 | t n j snell
wow what an amazing trip,adventure,vacation,etc.we look forward to see and read more about your trip. how far from shore are you are when sailing? the high was 54 over the weekend here in indiana now its 20 again and snow. well happy sailing.
t n j
01/27/2010 | Lisa and Anthony Frost
We hope you had a smooth sail to San Quitin. Still there? Little bit of weather yesterday, but nothing like last week. Going to see Avatar next week at the IMAX. Can't wait for the 3-D experience. Be safe, L & A
They Call Him Donny Agua

So far he's collected about 60 gallons of rain water using three 5 gallon buckets. He has two hanging off each side of the dodger and one on the deck below the roller furling. It's great because you wouldn't want to use the dock water, it's terrible stuff.

01/27/2010 | Lisa and Anthony Frost
Deb, are you overworking Don?? (-: Lots of Love!!!
Looking for Shoe Repair and then this!

We were walking looking for a shoe repair for Don's cruddy old shoes but viagraman caught my attention. Whoa. Mucho caliente! (Their words not mine)

El Tormento Grande is coming!

It took about 25 people to take the big flag down. They did it just as it was starting to rain. It's a good thing too because it blew about 35 knots that night and wouldn't ave done the flag any good. It's funny because the weather forecast showed the big storms would last all week and the next day they put the flag back up - then rushed to take it down again about 6 hours later.

Fish Market es Muy Buen!
01/12/2010, Ensenada

We go here alot. We usually buy some halibut and shrimp for dinner. Then we go next door to our favorite taco stand and have fish and shrimp tacos and Pacifico. Now this is the life.

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Buena Vista's Crew
Who: Don and Debbie Robertson
Port: Ventura, California
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