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CETUS TALES
After leaving Gig Harbor, WA in 2009, we spent 3 winters in the Sea of Cortez then sailed to the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia up to Hawaii, then to San Francisco Bay. We're now heading down the coast on our way to La Paz.
Better by the day
11/01/2011, traveling north on the Sea of Cortez

Our second day of travel north was much better than the 1st and we had a fairly short trip to one of our favorite anchorages: Punta Pulpito where we met up with friends on Cheers and had a great evening catching up along with a delicious dinner aboard their charming boat.

We left just as the sun was rising this morning as the weather forecast was good for going north and our next stop is 44 miles away -- so we have a full day of travel ahead. So far so good out here -- the seas aren't too large and there's enough wind off the land to fill our sails to augment our speed. We'll keep the engine running since we have so much distance to cover and want to be sure to arrive before dark (and sunset is about 6 pm right now).

So northward we go!

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The Big Splash!
Cetus becomes a boat again!
10/24/2011, Puerto Escondido, BCS Mexico

We got back into the water on Friday and it's great to be back home again!

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10/24/2011 | Monica Stoner
Congratulations! Be sure to tell Connie and Elvin hello from us. Looking forward to seeing everyone in December
10/24/2011 | Rod & Jane DuFour
We are at the El Morro hotel in Santa Rosalia waiting for the ferry wednesday on our way to Isabella in San Carlos, then south to La Paz. We will see you soon
10/25/2011 | Rod & Jane DuFour
Rosie, Met some mutual friends in Santa Rosalia. See you soon, Tucker
Rosie the traveling cat
a comfortable perch
10/06/2011, Hwy 101

One great thing about rescue animals, like our Street Cat Rosie, is that they never seem to forget how much better their life is now, so they are the best behaved animals on earth. I don't know if Rosie really likes to travel as much as she has had to do with us, but she never complains and is the best traveling cat we've ever had.

Whether by boat, plane or car, she travels well. For car and plane trips she willingly gets into her carrier and for the most part sleeps through all the traveling time. The nice thing about the car travel is that once we have the doors closed she can get out of her carrier and move around finding different cozy places to lay and watch the scenery. Much better than on the plane and that is one reason we chose to drive this time instead of flying.

Other friends that travel with cats keep a small litter box in the car in case the need arises. With a toilet trained cat we weren't sure what to do at first, but Terry made a small portable potty seat that we have in the car if Rosie seems to find the need to relieve herself en route. Luckily, cats are pretty good at holding it anyway, and Rosie, for some reason usually only has to go once a day. So this trip has worked out well as we just wait till Rosie does her business in the early morning then we hit the road confident that she will be comfortable for the whole day.

So, so far so good for the Cetus crew on the road to Baja.

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10/07/2011 | mary and Ken
Hola, we watch your blog with interest as to what the situation at the marina and dry storage may be. We, too, have a boat in dry storage and have not been able to get anyone there to communicate with us as to dry storage fees, etc.
Getting ready to head home
09/27/2011, Gig Harbor, WA

Preparing for our drive down to Mexico is much like preparing for a passage aboard Cetus. We've planned our route, bought our supplies and set the date and now are eagerly awaiting departure day! We plan to hit the road on Wednesday, October 5th, just 3 days after our daughter Carly's wedding.

We decided to drive down so we could take back some new equipment that we've purchased as well as supplies (like oil) that can't be taken on an airplane. We figured with baggage fees (and kitty fees) it would be pretty expensive to fly and this sounds like it will be much less stress, too. In fact, it should be a fun trip.

We plan to do most of the traveling down the coast, opting for Hwy 1 and Hwy 101 instead of I-5, so we can revisit some of the places we stopped at on the way down the coast in Cetus in 2009, plus visit a few places we haven't seen for a very long time like the Redwood Forests and Hearst Castle.

I'll post what info I gather about driving into Mexico and once we start using the new equipment we'll have some more "things that work.... or don't" posts to make. So stay tuned as we'll soon be back home to Cetus and finally be cruising again!

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09/27/2011 | Jeanne Walker
Have a safe and fun trip down!! We are leaving Santa Cruz torommow AM and running straight thru to Santa Barbara. It looks like we have a good weather window to go around Point Conception. If the turns bad, we might jump into San Simeon and take the Castle as well. At this point we are ready to get further south....
10/04/2011 | Dave and Marcy
I see you are leaving Gig Harbor soon. Wish I was too as you know too well its raining again. I wish you the best and look forward to updates on your blog. We will have to wait till our youngest has graduated from GHHS. All the best, Dave SV Bella Giorno
Watching the weather go by....
08/17/2011

Just like last year we are keeping a close eye on the weather down south and hoping no nasty hurricanes will venture up the Sea this year.

Last year was a very light season, but this year we already have our 7th named storm! They give them a name once the tropical depression reaches storm conditions, and they usually become a hurricane shortly there after.

So far all have stayed well below the Sea of Cortez, but it is just now getting hot enough down there to attract them up. Cold water cuts their strength so they follow the heat. Right now there are two named storms spinning around at the same time! But one is off the path of Baja and will head towards Hawaii (it appears).

The latest event "Greg" does get our attention as he's pretty close in and building fast. To keep an eye on the eyes just click on our link to the right that says Hurricane Update.

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writing in the sand......
planning and preparing
08/15/2011

I haven't made many blog posts lately -- as I stated when we left Cetus to travel north for the summer, I wouldn't be posting unless it had to do with cruising or sailing. But now we're in the midst of applying for our permits to the Galapagos, buying charts and parts for the boat, dreaming about routes to take and generally making cruising plans -- so now I have something to write about!

As I've always said, cruising plans are written in the sand and can change at any time, but it's sure fun playing in that sand. Reading blogs, emails, guides and chart books gets us excited to get back out there and discover new places again.

We're also upgrading some equipment and I will add to my list of Things that work......or don't. Below I did one on the new SPOT connect and if you want information on that -- or to look at other posts of Things that work..... or don't -- click on the appropriate link in the Great Links column to the right.

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Leaving Mexico
San Jose del Cabo
05/27/2011

We fly out today heading to the States for some "off boat" adventures -- sad to leave but looking forward to visiting with family and friends.

While waiting to leave for the airport, I posted our latest pictures in the Photo Gallery, so take a look and enjoy!

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Our New Treehouse
05/20/2011, Puerto Escondido

Cetus was hauled out and put in the dry storage yard with the other boats being stored here for the summer. It's always so un-natural to see your boat taken out of the water and put on stands making it more like a treehouse than a home.

We spent the last two days packing things away and doing all kinds of prep work to keep her as nice as possible while she sits out the hot summer here while we go on to other adventures.

Since Cetus is not only our boat, but our home, the traveling we'll be doing this summer is actually traveling and not "going home". Since this blog is our Sailblog, I won't be chronicling our off boat adventures here, but plan to update the blog periodically with pertinent information on all things cruising, such as updates to our "what works... or not" articles or what's happening on our proceedings to get our paperwork in order for the big Galapagos adventure we have planned for next year.

Tomorrow we say adios to Cetus and look forward to returning home to her again next fall.

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Putting the Boat Away
you don't just lock the door.....
05/18/2011, Puerto Escondido

We got into Puerto Escondido on Sunday May 15th with lists of things to do to get Cetus ready for her May 20th haul out date. We were lucky to get a slip at the small dock which has made our preparations go a lot faster so they've moved up our haul out and she should get put on the hard this afternoon.

When leaving a boat for an extended length of time there's lots of preparations to take to protect everything from the harsh environment (HOT sun and possible hurricane force winds) and of course keeping creepy crawly things out of the boat.

Almost everything on the outside of the boat has to be removed and stored below -- sails, life ring, cushions, dodger, BBQ, EPIRB, etc etc. And everything below needs to be cleaned, organized and foods need to be gone through, keeping mostly only canned goods or unopened condiments.

We've also had to be packing during all of this using lists so we don't forget anything we need to take with us, so as you can imagine it's been a very busy few days and quite a logistics problem at times keeping it all organized in such a small space.

Luckily we'll be able to stay at a nearby motel once she comes out of the water today, which will make the final transition much easier. Then after a couple more days, we will be able to lock the door and leave.


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05/18/2011 | Monica Stoner
We brought the good weather with us. Sunny now and they say it may reach 70!
05/18/2011 | Susan Rabe
Hey I did not realize you would be out on the hard for the summer. Good luck and happy land sailing. See you in the fall maybe. Take care.
V-cation is over
palm trees on the south point of Isla Carmen
05/14/2011, Punta Colorada, Isla Carmen

I take great pains to tell people we're not on a vacation -- because we aren't. Cruising is just another way of life. It's not like going on a two week trip where you're surrounded by luxury -- it's really just real life in fairly exotic places. But there are times when you do consider it V-cation (as our daughter Carly called our trips when she was very young).

V-cation happens when you have company come to visit, so you enjoy the time as you would if you were on vacation too -- to make it special for them. Then there are those times when you've been at the dock in La Paz during the Winter and finally get out for a short vacation to the islands. Or, if the anchorage you're in has a hotel that gives you special privileges to use the pool for a day -- that's a great little "vacation" too. Well, this little V-cation we've been enjoying has to do with the end of the cruising season in the Sea of Cortez.

Sure, there are many boats that will stay here all through the hot summer, but as I've said before, for the most part every one disperses and puts their boat in a safe spot (whether on the hard or at a marina) and flees north to the cooler climes. Many have houses, others travel via RV or camper or stay with relatives.

This year we will be putting Cetus on the hard in Puerto Escondido when we fly "home" to do some other traveling. So today is our last day of "V-cation" as there is a lot of work involved in putting a boat away -- and that work starts tomorrow when we go into Puerto Escondido to prepare for our haul-out on May 20th.

So lately we've been spending all our time as if we are on V-cation. Today we enjoyed snorkeling in this "new to us" anchorage of Punta Colorada on the east side of Isla Carmen. We enjoyed racing in the dinghy to the southern most point of this 20 mile long island and walking on the beach. That after taking a hike, yesterday, from our anchorage at Punta Salinas to the northern most point of the island on V-Cove. It was a grueling hike at times, though there was a rough road to follow, and we did the 12K+ walk in around 4 hours seeing amazing scenery along the way.

So it's been a great V-cation and it's bittersweet leaving this wonderful place for our new adventures.

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05/17/2011 | T.J. and Becca
over the past few weeks it seems like each morning is a record setter: 0.75, 1.0, 1.25... that's inches of rain in the previous 24 hours. and we didn't bother to mention the number of lightning strikes, or flash flood warnings, or hail storms, or high wind advisories. but somehow, all it takes is a quick glance at your photos and our smiles come back :)
Isla Corondos
05/11/2011

Isla Coronados is one of our favorite places in the Sea of Cortez, because not only does it have white sand beaches and tourquois water (making it feel like a South Pacific Atoll), it has good anchorages that that can protect you in nearly all wind directions.

The western "lagoon" type anchorage is a lovely spot, but not protected from Northers, however, only a short hop away is a southern anchorage that in our minds the best place in the Loreto area to be in strong northern winds. We spent about 10 days on Isla Coronados last year enjoying all the great swimming, hiking and snorkeling just by hopping from one anchorage to the next as weather dictated.

I borrowed this great photo from the Yahoo Southbound Group, which is a site that should be checked out by anyone cruising, or planning to cruise, along the west coast of the Americas. Lots of great information being shared through that site.

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Photo Gallery Updates!
05/09/2011

I finally had a good internet connection and have added some new photo albums to the Gallery. Enjoy!

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Happy Easter!
The Easter Rock
04/24/2011, Sweet Pea Cove, Isla San Marcos

Hiking on the island yesterday I found a rock in a perfect egg shape!

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04/25/2011 | Jeanne Walker
hope you dont try to boil that one!! LOL We spent Easter sailing down Colovos Passage on our way north. Have a great week
Are we back in the Northwest?
a foggy morning at Punta Chivato
04/23/2011, Sweet Pea Cove, Isla San Marcos

When we woke up this morning in Punta Chivato and looked out towards our friend's boat, Prairie Oyster, we thought we'd transported back to the Northwest when we saw the foggy weather.

It lifted to low clouds for our windless motor to Sweat Pea Cove where we will spend Easter then plan to go into Santa Rosalia on Monday to show Rosie her old home town.

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Shells, shells everywhere
04/22/2011, Punta Chivato

Punta Chivato is known as the best shelling beach around and this picture gives you an idea of how it got its reputation.

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Heading North
04/20/2011, Punta Pulpito

We left Puerto Escondido about 7 am this morning, enjoying the beautiful sunrise behind Isla Carmen and Isla Dazante.

With a light ENE breeze we motor sailed the 46 miles to Punta Pulpito where we dropped our anchor at 3 pm and had a nice swim and shower before dinner. This is a beautiful spot that we've admired as we've passed by before, but like many of the anchorages we've enjoyed in the past couple weeks, we didn't stop because last year we were always threatened with the more frequent Northers.

This is definitely a "must stop again" place as it looks like there is some great hiking to do ashore, but we're on a beeline north right now and don't even have the dinghy in the water to go explore. Tomorrow we'll get up early again and travel most of the day to see how close we can get to Santa Rosalia -- our northern goat for this trip. Once there we will slowly meander south to La Paz enjoying all these lovely stops along the way.

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Full Moon Rising
04/18/2011

What a beautiful sight!

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As Time Flies By
04/17/2011, V-Cove, Isla Carmen

As the weather turned to southerly winds following the great Norther we headed off to new anchorages and were delighted with both Bahia Cobre and V-Cove on Isla Carmen. Cobre was just an overnight stop after leaving Bahia Salinas about 5pm as we saw the wind begin to turn. It provided a calm comfortable anchorage and the next morning we headed to the north of the island and tucked into small V-Cove and enjoyed a day of hiking up a huge sand dune to a hill where we could view the salt flats of Bahia Salinas and we followed that with a snorkel trip in the clear water. We finished the day viewing the Space Station pass overhead followed by the big full moon rising over the hills. Another good day in the Sea of Cortez.

The following morning it was time to head back into Puerto Escondido so Joni could catch her flight out Tuesday afternoon. We made a short stop at Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante where we had lunch then hiked around the island -- that way we completed our promised 3 Island Tour.

We spent Tuesday in Loreto for some shopping and lunch before her flight, then as Joni flew home we readied Cetus for our travels north.

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04/20/2011 | Debbie
Hi Heidi & Terry,
This places sounds like paradise. Warm and sunny and I so need Sun right now. So sick of this weather, we've had a couple a days of sun but the temp is only in the 40's. Miss ya
Snow in Baja
04/16/2011, Bahia Salinas, Isla Carmen

After the winds subsided from the 2 day blow, we left our protected anchorage at Punta Perico and moved about 4 miles into the larger Bahia Salinas.

We've seen Bahia Salinas before on our hikes across Isla Carmen from Puerto Ballandra, but this was our first time coming into this very interesting spot and I'm sure it won't be the last. We had a full day of activitly first beachcombing the long (1 1/2) mile) white sand beach, then exploring the buildings and equiptment left over from the big salt mining operation and then out to the salt ponds that were white with salt crystals and resembled an ice and snow covered lake.

Then it was back to the boat for some lunch and to collect our snorkeling gear to investigate the sunken tuna boat in the center of the bay. That was a first for all of us, snorkeling around a wreck and it was fascinating.

Since Bahia Salinas is exposed to south we knew we'd have to leave early in the morning due to south winds a coming, so when the light north winds abruptly died about 5 o'clock we took that as our cue to leave so we wouldn't have to worry about the wind changing on us in the night. It was a short hour long hop around the corner to Punta Cobre which is a good south wind anchorage and we had a nice comfortable night in the beautiful little cove.

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The BIG Blow
04/15/2011, Punta Perico South, Isla Carmen

The predicated Norther came in yesterday and has been blowing 20 - 30 since yesterday noon (with a couple gusts to 40!).

The good thing is we are tucked in to a well protected anchorage on the East side of Isla Carmen (a new spot for us) and though we feel (and hear) the wind, we don't have much fetch in front of us so no waves are building up. The bad thing was it continued ALL night -- usually the winds die down a bit at night, but not this one. It's predicted to blow like this again today dying down tonight. So Joni is getting the whole look at life in the Sea of Cortez: The good, the bad and the ugly -- and she's only been down here 3 days!

What adventures will today bring?

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04/15/2011 | Monica Stoner
Momma kitty here has 4 babies. We'll bring you up one!

Hope to see you soon in PE as we'll start the trip north the first of the week.

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Who: Terry & Heidi Kotas and Street Cat Rosie
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