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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Isla San Francisco

We're in the hook-shaped harbor of Isla San Francisco. This is a beautiful spot, the white beaches are full of shells, and the water laps at the beach gently like a small lake. We arrived mid afternoon, and spent the day on the beach relaxing, swimming and reading. The water is so clear you can see the bottom easily from the boat. Puffer fish crowd around us waiting for a hand-out. We throw them a piece of celery and they go for it, making little sucking sounds as they grab at it.

Tonight I made pizza, with tomatoes, chorizo, mozzarella and mexican queso.

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arrival at Cabo San Lucas

On our final approach to Cabo, we had 12 to 20 knots of wind on a broad reach, and ran the spinnaker all day. It was a perfect day for sailing! We crossed the finish line for Cabo at 1:35 PM and then tucked into the anchorage.

Cabo is a place of contrasts and monotony. The harbor is filled with hundreds of sport fishing boats, nearly all alike. Apart from the Baja haha fleet, sailboats are sparse. This must be because this area is unparalleled for its deep sea fishing opportunities. The restaurants and bars all have the "spring break" atmosphere. We spent the afternoon with the Baja Haha contingent at a bar on the beach called Mango, and the employees performed the most raunchy antics which were in extremely poor taste. The less said about this, the better.

We anchored the first night, but with 180 boats jockeying for anchorage, it was very tight. We awoke with our boat only 20 or so feet from another boat. so we pulled anchor and searched for an hour for a better spot to no avail. Finally on the VHF we found that we had been assigned a slip in the marina and we took it. The marina slip made it much easier to do the necessary shopping and checking into the authorities in Mexico for visa purposes.

Our friends Glenn and Rose from Fairfax CA, vacationing in Cabo, joined us for drinks at Mango, and John and I joined them for dinner at Rafael's(Pascale stayed on the boat with Francois who had a mild case of La Turista). Rafael's was excellent.

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fresh Dorado for lunch

We caught another fish today, a Dorado, a.k.a. dolphin fish, a.k.a. mahi mahi ( I think ). This one is about 3 feet long and weighs about 25 lbs. The fish is incredibly beautiful, when it is about to strike it puts on its aggressive colors, which are dayglow green and yellow, with iridescent blue spots towards the tail. Its color is so brilliant yellow-green, that when I was reeling it in I at first thought it was a piece of kelp. When resting the fish has iridescent blue and silver colorations.

After we brought the fish into the boat and clubbed it, we saw the brilliant green turn to deep blue before our very eyes in a matter of seconds.

I wish I could share the photos with you, but we're presently 35 miles off shore of the remotest parts of rural Baja, so there's no cell phone connection even remotely possible. As soon as we get into cell phone or internet range, I'll upload some photos.

We cut the Dorado into steaks, putting 2/3 of it in bags in the freezer, and the other third I'm cooking right now for lunch. Hmmm, how to cook mahi mahi? Grilling sounds good, but I'd rather barbeque when we're at anchor. So I heated a large pan with extra virgin olive oil, added the 4 steaks, then placed chopped red onions, crushed garlic, red salsa hasera, and the juice of 4 oranges on top. The whole thing is simmering right now.

We are saving the fish head, to use as bait when we get to Mag Bay. For what, you ask? Lobster. I brought our crab net.

Right now, it's 12:30 PM local time, we are due to arrive in Mag Bay around 13 hours from now. The water temperature, according to my depth sounder, is 82 degrees. Air temperature is about 95 degrees in the shade.

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en route to San Diego

We left Catalina Island at dawn and are motoring to San Diego. The wind is less than 3 knots and the sea is as flat as a billiard table. We are making 6.2 knots at 2000 RPM, and running against a 1 knot adverse current. It's starting to get warmer here.

We have two lures in the water but still no bites. Maybe there are no fish around here??

Our ETA at San Diego is about 6:30. We'll be staying at the San Diego Mariott Hotel Marina.

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Resting in Avalon

We arrived at Avalon, Catalina Island, yesterday evening around 8:30 PM, and picked up a mooring in the harbor. The mooring system at Catalina is famously well designed. I wish Ayala cove would implement such a system; they could double the number of boats in the mooring field this way.

We had a leisurely breakfast (I made huevos rancheros), then dinghied the boys to the beach, and later joined them, to have lunch at a restaurant on land. This restaurant was called the Busy Bee. All the waitresses were very fat. I reason they get probably free meals as a job perk.

While the new RIB dinghy was on the beach, we stenciled on the new CF numbers and tags. We dropped a snorkeling mask in about 20 ft of water, and used the dinghy anchor to retrieve it. The water is so crystal clear, you could easily see everything on the bottom at 20 ft depth.

We cast our crab/lobster net without success. Small fish (small enough to fit through the net fabric openings, about 3/4 inch), apparently stole the bait.

I went up the mast today, to unsnaggle the flag halyards, and add shackles to the radar reflector to reduce chafe in the reflector-to-halyard connection points.

We barbequed hamburgers on the barbie for dinner. Also ate the kids' leftover pasta and had jello and wimpy creme for dessert. It was delicious.

Tomorrow, very early, we will cast off from Avalon, and head to San Diego. The trip will take the whole day. I hope very much we get some winds so we don't have to motor too much.

The watermaker is working well. We made 12 gallons of water today, which is likely about what we used, with showers and laundry.

The easy way to do laundry, we have found, is to put the clothes in a mesh bag, and drag it through seawater while we are sailing. It doesn't help our boat speed much, but it gets the laundry washing done. Ditto with the watermaker filters.

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10/28/2006 | Michael
ummmm, what is wimpy cream?
11/01/2006 | Jack Barr
Some sailors put their dirty clothes in a bucket on deck and let the boat rolling do the work. I don't think it works very well.
Las Partida

Leaving La Paz, we spent one glorious day and very rolly night at Bahia de Gallo on Isla Espiritu Santos. The cove was a dead calm in the afternoon, but about 3 a.m. the winds picked up with about 15 knots of wind. 3 foot waves rolled into the anchorage and we got almost no sleep.

As the sun got up, we set sail north on the Sea of Cortez to Las Partida, a gap between the two islands of Ispiritu Santos. We sailed a bit, then motored as the winds were on the nose.

Partida is an excellent natural harbor, well protected from the winds from nearly every direction. We spent the day swimming, and cooked T bone steaks marinated in ancho chile sauce for dinner.

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Hanging Out at Avalon

After spending a night at the tiny village of Two Harbors (pop. 150), Catalina Island, we sailed south to the relatively bustling Avalon, also on the island, arriving around 5 pm. The temperatures are balmy and the water is warm too, and crystal clear. We'll spend another day and a half in this idyllic place before heading for San Diego.

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