Calou's Blog

Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump

01 June 2016
06 February 2016
21 May 2015
29 March 2015
18 February 2015
18 February 2015
18 February 2015 | Barra de Navidad
04 May 2014
26 April 2014 | La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
07 April 2014
02 April 2014 | Isla Navidad
31 March 2014 | Puerto Vallarta
29 March 2014
28 March 2014
21 March 2014

La Paz, Baja Sur

01 June 2016
Long overdue!

We made it to the other side!
We left Paradise Village on April 26th stopped over at the Marina El Cid. Enjoyed Mazatlan for a little over a week and crossed over to Los Frailes. Then, we sailed to Los Muertos. Last time we were there was 9 years ago with our two boys. Antoine, who was 9 then, remembered the train museum at the Los Suenos Resort. We went for a swim there.
After staying two nights at Los Muertos, we sailed to the beautiful Playa Bonanza. Then, sailed down to Marina Palmira to reprovision and clean the boat.
After a few days of rest, we went to Bahia Balandra just 12 miles North of La Paz. Gorgeous Bay with white sand and turquoise water. We stayed there for 5 days snorkelling, kayaking, hiking.
We are back at Marina Palmira where we'll keep Calou for the summer months.
We'll fly home end of June and fly down mid-october for a short while.
We'll be spending Christmas and New Year in the USA.

Hanging out in Paradise

06 February 2016
We've been in Nuevo Vallarta since January 9th. We spend Christmas and New Year in California.
After having our Turbo rebuild, we went out sailing on Banderas Bay and spend the night at anchor to check all the systems. Everything is ok.
We went out again for a day sail with sailor friends Richelle and Brian from sv Woodwind I and a new friend from Canada Gordon.
We'll fly to our new home in Nevada next week and will be back in Paradise Village early April.

Daysail to Yelapa between Hurricanes and tropical storms

11 June 2015
Yesterday, we treated our friend Liz and ourselves to a beautiful daysail to Yelapa. When we got to the little cove a panga came toward us and ask us if we wanted a mooring, of course we said yes as it is very deep to anchor. When we were secured to the mooring the panga driver gave us a ride ashore. After, some quesadilla de camarone, coconut and drinks we went for a walk in the tiny village. This lush part of Banderas Bay is only accessible by horse as they is no road for cars.

Back in Paradise

21 May 2015
We set sail Sunday morning from Barra De Navidad to Puerto Vallarta. We picked the "weather window" when there were't strong winds blowing from the north. Our first day's sail was from Barra De Navidad to Chamela, where we anchored off of a tiny little village called La Perula (the pearl). Along the way, we had some minor troubles. We have a vacuum gauge that tells us when there is a vacuum between the fuel filters and the fuel tank(s). When there's a vacuum there, it means that fuel isn't flowing from the tank to the filters. The gauge goes from white (normal) to yellow (borderline) to red (really bad). Every other hour or so, the gauge would go from white to yellow. When I would switch from the Main fuel tank to the Auxiliary, the problem would resolve itself. Then later, on the Auxiliary tank, the problem would reappear. When I would switch back to the Main tank, the problem would resolve itself. This went on all day. But we made it to Chamela.
We spent two nights at anchor at Chamela, because the winds were blowing strongly from the north. We never went ashore, because there were huge breaking waves on the beach. We just enjoyed relaxing on the boat. Except for me, that is.
This is when the electric pump for the head (toilet) decided to quit. So I had to take the electric pump off of the toilet and replace it with a backup manual toilet pump. But all of our backups are old, old, manual pumps. The best I could do, after 2 hours of sweaty, messy, smelly work, was to replace the electric pump with a manual pump that sort of half works, now we have to use the bathroom faucet to fill the toilet bowl with water. At least it works.
You guys who think we sailors just sit around and drink margaritas, have no idea how much hard and dirty work is involved in keeping a boat afloat smile emoticon
Next chapter:
After 2 nights at Chamela, the winds had calmed, so we headed north to the next anchorage, Ipala. However the fuel tank gremlins came into play again, with the full line vacuum gauge telling us that something was blocking fuel from getting to the engine. When that happened, I would switch from one of our 2 fuel tanks, to the other, and the vacuum would go back to zero (where we want it to be).
We arrived at Ipala, set anchor and went to shore. There's no cell phone coverage at Ipala, so I was eager to use the internet at the little restaurant on shore. No such luck: their internet was down.
Next morning, at dawn, we left Ipala and sailed towards Banderas Bay. After 10 minutes, the fuel line vacuum gauge indicated we weren't getting flow from the fuel tank. So I switched from the Main tank to the Auxiliary, which has always worked before. No dice!. I checked everything else (fuel tank vacuum, fuel filters). The only choice was to shut off the engines so I could work on the fuel lines from the tanks. Fortunately there was some wind so we could sail smile emoticon
With the engine off, I connected a portable vacuum pump directly to the hose from the fuel tank. At first there was resistance, but as I increased the vacuum pump pressure, all of a sudden there was a "whoosh!", and fuel rushed in. Proof positive that our problems have been due to "crap" (a precise technical term meaning unknown substances) in the fuel tank.
Drama over, we motorsailed in the light 5 knot winds to the marina at Paradise Village.

Additional photo of Calou with her new paint and teak

14 May 2015

Getting ready to sail back North

14 May 2015
We've been back to Barra from California for about a month. It took a while to put the boat back together after its new painting and teak job. She looks beautiful!
We're planning on setting sail this coming Sunday. We should be back in Paradise Village by next Wednesday or Thursday.

Ski time in the Sierra

29 March 2015
We've been enjoying our time in California staying at our cabin in Truckee. We ski, hike, play tennis and other fun things!
We''ll be back in Barra mid April. Calou should look beautiful when we see her again having new paint and teak done.

Having fun!

18 February 2015
Antoine and Bruce went on a guided ATV tour with Rob of SV Shindig and Pat on SV Starshine yesterday. They went from Saint Patricio and followed an arroyo until they reached a waterfall and it lasted from 10am to about 3pm. They were tired, but happy.

Vessel Name: Calou
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 47
Hailing Port: The Corinthian Yacht Club, Tiburon, CA
Crew: Bruce, Pascale, Antoine (15)
Extra: Sailing on the 20th Annual Baja Ha-ha, departing mid October 2013 from Tiburon, and continuing to cruise Mexico. This will be our 3rd Haha. In 2011 we sailed the Puddle Jump from Mexico to French Polynesia, then up to Hawaii and back to San Francisco.
Calou's Photos - photos, part 3
Photos 1 to 33 of 33 | Calou's Baja Haha (Main)
IMG_0523: Deep fried whole fish, a Mazatlan specialty
IMG_0522: Enjoying lunch at a corner cafe in Olas Altas, Old Town Mazatlan
IMG_0521: Francois gets kissed by a seal!
IMG_0515: seals do acrobatics at the Mazatlan aquarium
IMG_0512: sting ray
IMG_0510: diver handles a shark, Mazatlan aquarium
IMG_0508: turtle at the Mazatlan aquarium
IMG_0505: bye bye, Southern Belle!
IMG_0504: Southern Belle, leaving the harbor, with our crew member John aboard
IMG_0503: Southern Belle again...our friends are sailing south to Puerto Vallarta, and after that Zihuatanejo
IMG_0502: Southern Belle leaving the harbor
IMG_0501: Southern Belle leaving the harbor
IMG_0497: Antoine and his buddy, Joshua, from the boat SOUTHERN BELLE, say goodbye prior to their departure
IMG_0494: The seafood vendors at the market, where we bought a kilo of extra large shrimp for 100 pesos (that comes to about $4.80 per pound)
IMG_0493: fellow cruising friends George, Melinda and Joshua ride a "pulmonia" open air taxi from the market back to their boat. "Pulmonia" means pneumonia, because the taxis are rather drafty. Pulmonias are unique to Mazatlan.
IMG_0490: the market in Mazatlan
IMG_0484: the upper level of the Mercado (market), which consists of very reasonably priced restaurants...most expensive item on the menu is 30 pesos ($2.80 US)
IMG_0481: inside the cathedral of Mazatlan
IMG_0477: pigeons galore!!!
IMG_0472: Mazatlan
IMG_0465: Al fresco dining on Plaza Machado in Mazatlan
IMG_0463: modern Mexican construction techniques. Not OSHA approved.
IMG_0461: one of the famous Mazatlan cliff divers. They dive into pretty shallow water at the base of the tower. Two months ago, a diver missed and was killed. That
IMG_0455: the Powell family at the lighthouse of Mazatlan
IMG_0454: view of Mazatlan from the lighthouse
IMG_0450: Bruce & Pascale at the Mazatlan lighthouse
IMG_0447: Francois and Antoine climbing the hill up to the lighthouse at Mazatlan
IMG_0444: Francois and his friend Joshua in sombreros
IMG_0432: Francois in the pool at Marina El Cid, Mazatlan
IMG_0430: Marina El Cid, we have been told, is the nicest marina on the west coast of Mexico
IMG_0429: view of the beach near the marina
IMG_0427: Pascale going to the pool at Marina El Cid, Mazatlan on New Year
IMG_0426: Pascale talks to family in France from the cockpit of Calou on New Year