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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Haulout, heater, windlass, SOS Rudder
10/05/2006, Sausalito

Started out this morning unstepping the mast of Calou, and hauling her out at Anderson's. We are pullling the mast to have access to the keel bolts, so they can be tightened.

Out of the water, a close inspection of Calou's hull showed she is in excellent shape, no blisters, and the bottom paint holding up fine since she was painted a year ago.

Calou will get a new prop shaft, a dripless shaft seal, a new cutlass bearing, and a new prop.

After some initial trouble, we got the Lewmar Pro 1000 windlass, which arrived today.

the new prop should've arrived today, but didn't. I won't start worrying until tomorrow.

I took the mains'l and genoa to Quantum Sails to be serviced, and am adding a deep third reef to the mains'l, so if we get some heavy weather, we can handle it.

I picked up the new SOS Emergency Rudder. This thing is a beautiful work of art, so finely designed and finished, it's a shame to bury it in a locker. This is probably the most important piece of safety equipment on board.

To top it off, we went to the Baja Ha-ha (Shouldn't they spell it Baja Ja-ja??) Crew party at Encinal YC. Met lots of sailors and cruisers there. Looks like a fun bunch. Crew members John and Deege joined us.

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10/05/2006 | Heidi
We (family of 4 aboard 47 foot ketch) did the Ha Ha last year and spent the winter in the Sea of Cortez; left the boat in La PAz for the summer and are heading back down again this year to do the mainland. The Ha Ha is a lot of fun but I do wish there were more stops along the Pacific Coast of Baja... you meet a lot of great people.
Have fun and fair winds!
10/06/2006 | Mark
Have a great time in the haha. We won our division last year and I can tell you to sail as much as you can!!!
How to use the Google Earth link on our Map page


if you click on the "Current Position" map you'll be taken to a map of the West Coast showing our latest reported position. On the lower left corner there's a button that says "Google Earth".

If you click on that button, you'll be taken to Google Earth where you'll see an actual satellite photo of our location.

That is, depending on your computer setup. First, you need to have Google Earth installed (if you haven't already done so, it's free, so go to to get it).

Second, you need to configure your computer so that when it downloads a file called "calou.kml", it knows to open it using the Google Earth program.

If your computer downloads "calou.kml" but doesn't know what to do with it, just save the file to the desktop or some other place, and then open it using Google Earth.

There, I'm sure that's clear as mud .

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Updates Via SSB Radio
10/04/2006, Tiburon

This is a test of submitting blog updates via e-mail. This will permit sending via the Single Sideband radio when at sea or where there's no phone or internet service.

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10/04/2006 | Michael
10/04/2006 | Ron and Lizzy
Very cool.. When you SSB radio, I thought that I would have to put up my antenna and connect up my ham radio equipment... Much easier to stay in touch this way! Have fun!!! Keep smiling, Ron
Boat Preparations

We've been working on preparations for this trip pretty much full time the last several weeks.

Here's what's been done or added recently (partial list):

6-man offshore Viking life raft, SSB radio, special modem and Sailmail, stern davits, motor crane, latches and gaskets on lazarettes, high output alternator, 5th battery for battery bank, total rework and modernization of 12V system, watermaker, new propane stove, new RIB dinghy and 8hp motor, 3hp motor for 2nd dinghy, window shades, custom bimini (thanks John), new dodger, overhaul diesel cabin heater...and the list goes on.

Here's what we still need to do:

electric windlass, chain stopper, new anchor rode, dripless shaft seal, new prop and prop shaft, have diesel mechanic do complete engine service and checkout and provide spares, finishing touches on bimini, solar panel(s), emergency rudder, cockpit shower, run jib halyard to cockpit, 2nd fuel filter & vacuum gauge in fuel line... and this list seems to keep getting longer!

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10/04/2006 | Steve Rathfon
Bruce, I am impressed with your thorough preparation for your trip south. I would like to be the 4th on your crew bringing Calou home. I will be back in Oakland the afternoon of Oct 10 and could meet with you the afternoon of the 11th, or anytime on the 12th.
The Baja Ha-Ha
10/01/2006, Tiburon, CA

We're starting this blog to chronicle our trip on Calou, our Ericson 38 sailboat, to sail down the coast of California and Baja, to Cabo San Lucas and points around the Sea of Cortez.

We're sailing as part of the 2006 Baja-Ha-ha, an annual rally from San Diego to Cabo. There will be some 182 boats going on this rally!

Our plans are, to not make plans. But we do know that we are due into San Diego about October 28, so as not to miss the Halloween party on the 29th, and the rally to Cabo departs from San Diego on October 30th. We are due to arrive at Cabo about November 10. After that, we hope to cruise around the Sea of Cortez for a while, maybe spend Thanksgiving in Mazatlan, and then head back up.

But as always in cruising, these plans are subject to change!

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Hike to Omoa Bay
12/31/1969, Fatu Hiva

Today I went (along with Francois, the crew of Phambili, and the crew of Evergreen) on a 5 hour hike over the mountains (to 800m elevation) 17 kilometers to the next village, Omoa. The road was at times extremely steep and, at the higher elevations, rocky and muddy. I took a water taxi to get back to the boat.

We were asked what our meal plan is here in Fatu Hiva. Regarding cooking, we are very restricted because we have (for now) no refrigeration, until we get it repaired. Also, the "groceries" are EXTREMELY limited here at Fatu Hiva. There is one "store", no more than 100 square feet, with canned goods and a very tiny selection of frozen meats which we cannot use because they are large pieces (several kilos) which we can't store without refrigeration.

Also, we have only dollars, and the stores accept only Polynesian Francs, or Euros. No credit cards accepted and there are no banks or ATMs. Not to worry, we have PLENTY of provisions on board Calou.

Fatu Hiva remains, I think, not that different from Thor Heyerdahl's days, as there are no tourist facilities (no restaurants, no cafes, no souvenir shops). There's just a post office and the aforementioned tiny store. The natives are very friendly and love to talk to us (in French) and they like to hear about our sailing voyage.

The main difference from Heyerdahl's day is that there is now electric power, and a paved road (which ends once one has left the village).

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Hardest Project Yet
[b]John's Blog Updated. Originally posted here: http://travel.reservationkey.comLatitude: 20.691867 Longitude: -105.293009

Tonight we finally got around to tackling one of our hardest projects - figuring out which
[b]John's Blog Updated. Originally posted here: http://travel.reservationkey.comLatitude: 20.691867 Longitude: -105.293009

Tonight we finally got around to tackling one of our hardest projects - figuring out which wines will make the cut t


John's Blog Updated. Originally posted here: http://travel.reservationkey.comLatitude: 20.691867 Longitude: -105.293009

Tonight we finally got around to tackling one of our hardest projects - figuring out which wines will make the cut to bring with us to the South Pacific. In order to accomplish this difficult task, Bruce set up a blind tasting in which we compared eight different wines. Each bottle was wrapped in foil and numbered, and then poured into numbered cups. We then filled out a grid in which each wine was compared to all the other wines. To come up with the winners we counted up how many times each wine appeared on our grid.

Of our top three selections, Bruce and I matched on two out of three. Pascale we think matched on one out of three, but not sure since she kind of lost track of how her scoring was going. Like I said, this was not an easy task, especially to be able to maintain concentration with over 24 tastings. On the wine Bruce and I did not match on, he had it as his number two choice and I had eliminated it all together.

The most interesting part came when the names and prices were revealed. The wine that Bruce and Pascale had previously thought was one of their favorites ranked very low in our tastings. That wine also happened to be the most expensive at 144 pesos. Bottle number four, the clear winner, happily turned out to cost only 69 pesos (about $6 USD). It was really shocking how much better number four was compared to all the other wines, and that it was still so reasonably priced.

The final task of the evening was to combine the opened bottles into a \"house blend\" and start filling our reusable plastic bags. We have 60 of these bags which each hold just a bit more than one bottle. These bags store much easier than bottles, plus we don't have to worry about glass breaking. Tomorrow we will get started on sourcing our favorite wines and filling up our bags. Bruce also found some additional spaces on the boat, accessed by cutting out some wood panels, which make great wine cellars.

The other job of the day was installing a netted storage space under the salon table. I brought this net with me thinking of creating a hammock type storage for clothes, but that turned out to be unnecessary. This looks like a great alternate use of the net.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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