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Don & Deb's Big Adventure on Buena Vista
On our way to the South Pacific and beyond...
Finally to Los Frailes
03/14/2010, Cabo Los Frailes, Mexico

We pulled into the Los Frailes anchorage behind Cabo Los Frailes this afternoon. I think it's the easternmost place on the Cape and many boats use this spot as the jumping off point to cross over to the mainland towards Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Evidently, the profile of slabs of rocks looked to early Spanish explorers like 'friars' climbing up the steep edge, hence the name Frailes. We had many days here to look at those rock formations, sober and not, and I gotta say I just never really saw it. When we arrived, there was one other boat there, a power boat called Amiga. Bob and Janey immediately came over and said hello. They live in Golden, Colorado for 6 months during the summer and fall and they cruise Mexico for 6 months during winter and spring. They are lovely people and ended up giving us several great referrals of where to get work done on our boat in La Paz.

No More Grays, Lots of Humpbacks
03/14/2010, On The Way to Los Frailes

The strong northwest winds have taken a break today so we motorsailed up to Los Frailes. Hurray! Finally away from Cabo! I was very surprised to see how much development has taken place along this stretch of coastline in the last 5 years or so. We're not catching any fish unfortunately. Ever since our last big tuna around Mag Bay we've caught nothing. Oh he did catch a small yellowtail at anchor in Cabo but we let it go thinking something bigger would follow but it never did. I took my good camera up on the front deck and waited for something to shoot. I didn't have to wait long...there was a sea lion lollygagging around so I was taking pictures of him when all of a sudden a whale came flying out of the water just to the right of me and a pressed the button in surprise. It was a humpback mother and her baby, I had been watching and didn't see here coming at all. She took a real good look at us though. I can't work out if they breach all the time or only when a boat is close. Or do they bring their young close to the boat and breach to show them how to take a look you. Whatever it is, it's very exciting for everyone involved.

It's The Weather Stupid
03/12/2010, San Jose Del Cabo

It's still winter in Mexico. It's an El Nino year as well and the weather has been very volatile (in my opinion). It seems that lately, which ever direction we want to go, the weather is right on our nose. We're also discovering that there is a definite correlation between beating against the wind towards your destination (versus waiting for the right weather window) and breaking things on your boat. We left San Jose Del Cabo on our way toward Los Frailes which is about 30 miles or so. In the Cabo area the weather is lovely and calm but when we tried to move up the inside of the Baja Peninsula we moved into the northwest winds (and the steep swells that come with them) and lost the protection of the Cape. I knew within just a few minutes that we weren't going to make it this time and we eventually turned around to go back to San Jose. When we actually made the turn in front of the wind and swell, the boat rocked back and forth something awful. A well stashed bottle of red wind somehow went flying across the salon breaking and making an awful mess. Also later we discovered that the bracket that holds the boom vang onto boom had somehow bent at a very weird angle and had pulled most of the screws right out of the boom. We were semi-depressed; we went back to Puerto Los Cabos for a few more nights in a slip and licked our wounds (and cleaned up broken glass and red wine from the floorboards and off everything it leaked onto in the storage below). The next day we walked to the beach and had a lovely picnic and forgot about sailing as much as we could. We'll try when the northerlies calm down a bit.

Ain't He Cute - Don Doesn't Think So
03/08/2010, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Well, it turns out that no matter how much you pay for Fed Ex...international shipping to Mexico just sucks. We've been told they tried to deliver the package, the hotel says no one ever tried, Fed Ex people can't even tell me where the bloody thing is. The online tracking says it's in Guadalajara and that's like 800 miles away on the mainland. Oh well, it's not very good sailing weather anyway. There's a huge cold front moving across this area, Don Anderson, the weather guru we listen to every day says it's 1500 miles long extending out into the Pacific. It's cooled down a great deal and yesterday it rained most of the day. It was really weird walking around big mud puddles in Cabo and dodging splashes from buses passing by.
I love pelicans. They're so talented, the way they grab on with their webbed feet to our bowsprit. I could watch them dive for fish for hours. Of course Don doesn't like any birds on the boat for obvious reasons.
Maybe the package will be here tomorrow and we can head off.

Love Those Aussies
03/05/2010, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

There's several older America's Cup racing yachts in Cabo. I think there's two from New Zealand and two or three from Australia. They take tourists out in the bay and do fun match races with each other. Great to look across the bay and see these big yachts tearing around, tacking back and forth with each other. Don wanted his picture with the Aussie yacht from the good old days of Cup racing. Both of us absolutely loved watching the Louis Vuitton races and then the actual America's Cup racing --- until this year. I hope the organizers somehow come to their senses and actually get back to every country racing the same yachts with crew from their own countries. These catamaran things they raced this year ruined the whole event for me. Now it's all about the money instead of being all about skill. A terrible loss and huge disappointment. Bring back the old rules.

Fun And Games With The Boys
03/02/2010, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Alex took Don and me and new friend Scott (a guest at Siesta Suites) out on his great little jet boat today. It's plenty fast and lots of fun. We were planning on going fishing but forgot the poles so he took us on a water tiki tour of all the hot spots on San Lucas Bay. Later we anchored in a cove a few miles up the coast and kicked back with a few beers and then went snorkeling. A good time was had by all. A few days later they dropped us off back at our boat at Puerto Los Cabos. The next day we sailed back down to Cabo and anchored off the beach. We're waiting for a Fed Ex delivery, then we'll be able to head up around the East Cape into the Sea of Cortez.

TSUMANI!! What?
02/27/2010, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Woke up this morning and heard about the big earthquake in Chile and the Tsunami warnings up and down the west coasts of North and South America.
If our boat was still at anchor in Cabo we would sail her into deeper waters until the danger passed. But since Buena Vista is safe in a slip up the coast we don't have anything to worry about...so...let's go fishing!!!
Don and Alex pick up his little jet boat and on the way to the harbor I asked, "So - do you think it's a good idea to go fishing with a possilbe tsunami on it's way?" The answer I got was to stop worrying so much and try to relax.
OK. When we got to the launch ramp the gates were closed and we were told that the entire Port was closed (as I'm sure most were that day).
We went back home and sat by the pool instead. By the way, there was barely anything felt in Cabo. If you're interested in how the tsunami affected other harbors, here's a website that has some really interesting video clips of water rising and falling in San Diego and alot of water action at the slips in Ventura Harbor. I didn't insert the link very well but you can work it out.
www.ericstackle.blogspot.com/2010/02/wild-tsunamis-tide-surges.html

Time To Take A Break
02/25/2010, San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico

After a day of charging up our batteries, we moved to an unpowered slip on the other side of the marina. They only charge $45 a night over there. The marina is under construction, there's still no bathroom facilities over there so you have to use the dinghy to 'go to the library' as our new friend Heather on Caberet calls it. Alex is driving down today to pick us up and take us back to Cabo for a week or so. His wife, my sister Nancy is in California. They just bought a home in Murrieta which is inland from San Diego and Nancy and their three children are there. Their kids have been schooled up to now in Cabo, a fine bi-lingual education. They decided that they wanted at least a few years of school in the states before the boys get too much older so they bought this place and Alex commutes to the hotel for 2 weeks or so a month. I'm really excited to get to Cabo because the Vancouver Olympics are happening and they have several great big televisions. I have always been an Olypmic super fan and we're so happy the timing worked out and we'll be able to see at least the last week of the games. Go USA! Another reason I'm happy to get there - well - several: full size refrigerator with heaps of ice cubes, ice cream, lovely swimming pool overlooking the Ocean, large rooms with high ceilings and plenty of space, full size bed where my feet don't touch the wall at the back, huge bathroom with walk-in shower and unlimited hot water etc. etc. etc. and the love and hospitality of family...priceless.

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