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We left Gig Harbor, WA in 2009 and 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 are once again enjoying the Sea of Cortez as we plan our next adventure.
Hasta Luego Dock 3!
01/14/2012, Marina Palmira, La Paz, Mexico

I've always said the hardest part of cruising is saying goodbye to places you love and the friends you've made there. Dock 3 has been our home for the past 3 winters and we've enjoyed the company of a wonderful bunch of cruisers celebrating Christmas, New Years, watching football games, going out to eat, doing "walk abouts" in town, hiking the mountain, playing cards, having coffee and of course, our famous Dock 3 Dock parties.

They made our departure lots of fun with a great send off dock party with lots of gifts and then last night when we went out to dinner they filled our boat with lots of fun little surprises -- funny toys stuck into every nook and cranny -- bows and stars and a Canadian flag tied over our American flag!

So it was tempting to stay put and enjoy the comfortable life on Dock 3, but we managed to tear ourselves away and now we're spending a nice evening at a cozy little anchorage with plans to get up early and begin the 633 mile trek to Zihautanejo.

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01/15/2012 | Jeanne Walker
It was great to finally catch up to you two, here in sunny Mexico! sail safe, and be sure to post pictures!!
We're on our way!!
01/14/2012, Caleta Lobos

The Friday excursion to pick up the blood serum from the vet, package it, take it to customs to be stamped then to DHL to be shipped to Kansas went extremely well so we were finally free to leave La Paz!

Our first leg was a short one and we just traveled about 10 miles to an anchorage just north of La Paz to anchor for the day and get everything ship shape to set out on the long passage to Zihautanejo in the morning.

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Oh won't you stay .... just a little bit longer
01/10/2012, La Paz, BCS Mexico

Well the cat blood serum adventure continues!

When we checked with DHL last week about arranging to ship the serum to the States as quickly as possible, we thought we had everything in place..... but today we found out that they only ship out of the country once a week (Friday afternoon at 5)! That would have really made a mess out of things if the samples had to sit in the office till Friday and the ice packs would have been all melted even before it was on it's way.

Luckily our veterinarian, Dr. Tomas, knew they didn't ship everyday and recommended we go check with them before we take the blood sample there. And luckily there was a guy working that spoke good English and we got the information we needed -- plus another tidbit that they hadn't told us last week: we have to take the unsealed package to the customs office down the street to be sealed and stamped by them before shipping. It would have been another big fiasco if we'd just taken the package to DHL in time for the 5:00 shipping because customs closes at 4:00!

So it seems La Paz has its hold on us and now we're just hoping to get out of here this coming Saturday. But like I said before: La Paz isn't a bad place to be stuck :-)

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Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Wow! 2012! Hard to believe.

We woke up to a beautiful sunny day to start the New Year and will enjoy a day free of boat projects, having completed the last major one yesterday. And it was a doozy -- replacing seals on our Lectra San.

It was one of those projects that wasn't on our pre departure check list, but got added to the list when a little water started leaking out of it a week ago. It wasn't a project we really wanted to tackle -- but much better that it showed up while we were here in La Paz and not out in the middle of the ocean where we wouldn't be able to take care of it.

The Lectra San is basically a miniature sewage treatment plant that uses high amperage to neutralize waste so it is safe to discharge overboard and eliminates any holding tank smells. So it is not a critical piece of equipment, the boat can function fine without it, but its something we are happy to have. It is right up there on my list of "things that work".

When Terry identified the parts needed from Raritan (the manufacturer) we were afraid it might delay our departure from La Paz, because getting things shipped into Mexico can often take a very long time. We were very surprised after ordering the repair kit on Tuesday that it was delivered to the Marina on Thursday afternoon!

So Friday morning Terry tackled the project and removed the Lectra San from it's confines under the bathroom sink and disassembled it (on the dock) and then put in the new seals. That makes it sound like a short easy job, but as anybody with a boat knows nothing is ever as quick and easy as it sounds -- even when it all goes well. So he spent the major part of the day getting it all put back together and now it works perfectly again.

So today we'll enjoy relaxing and watching football games, then tomorrow I will begin the last phase of our preparations: Provisioning.

Happy New Year everyone!

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01/05/2012 | Eric & Christine Stephan
Our best wishes for a great sail down to Z-Town, our favorite town and anchorage. Missed seeing you two at some many different places and wish we could be following in your wake. Kai worked as a charter captain in Greece this summer. I think he is also addicted to the oceans! Love to you both.
Let the preparations begin!
12/26/2011, "look -- up in the sky!"

Now that Christmas is over we're getting down to serious work on our off shore preparations list.

Today we're inspecting the rigging and adjusting the tension. Terry went up the mast to check things out from top to bottom to make sure all is well: inspected the rigging with a magnifying glass, lubed the sailtrack and checked the masthead lights and VHF antenna. All looks good to go.

And we also had our refrigeration checked for leaks and recharged to ensure that is in top running condition. For that we enlisted the services of a local company, Hector Refigeration. Now that system is good to go and can be checked off the list as well.

It's going to be a busy couple weeks as we're hoping on leaving La Paz by January 7th to give us a full month to get down to Zihautanejo (several stops along the way). We hope to leave Zihautanejo mid March for the passage to the Galapagos.

It's getting exciting!!

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12/26/2011 | mary and Ken
we will enjoy following your journey on Sailblog as we hope to make a similar trip in 2 years.
12/29/2011 | Jeanne Walker
Sorry we missed you at our boat yesterday!! I hope we can catch up before you take off to the galapagos!! we are very envious!
12/31/2011 | Livia
We are so excited as well!
01/07/2012 | Diana and Dale
It's the 7th , so you may be on your way. Be safe and we'll look forward to updates
Feliz Navidad from the Cetus Crew!
Pirate Santa on the bow
12/24/2011, La Paz, BCS Mexico

We're enjoying our 3rd Christmas on dock 3 in Marina Palmira in La Paz, Mexico!

It's been busy with preparations and festivities but not the hectic pace I remember from back home. We had a fun progressive boat dinner last week with a group of 12 of us that have been here the past 3 years and last night we had our 3rd annual white elephant gift exchange. Last nights was especially nice, because we happen to have 2 professional singers that led us in Christmas carols! We moved the party up to a room (a seldom used bar) at the hotel due to the high winds we've got going for a couple days. It was a great venue and the party was a huge success.

We're enjoying a quiet relaxing day today and tomorrow dock 3 will have another dock party -- complete with turkey and ham and all the other Christmas feast fixin's.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
Heidi, Terry and Street Cat Rosie

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12/25/2011 | Dave C.
Merry Christmas Heidi, Terry and Rosalita! Miss you guys!
New Album in the Gallery

I finally uploaded some pics from our travels in the Sea of Cortez this fall -- from Santa Rosalia to La Paz and all the stops in between. To see the album go to Fall 2011 The Sea of Cortez in our Photo Gallery to the right.

It was a wonderful trip with sun, swimming, sailing and hiking and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Now that we've been at the dock since Dec. 1st life is totally different. We still hike -- but it's the same hike every morning, no swimming or sailing -- those have been replaced with boat projects and trips to the stores in town for provisioning. But, we still get to enjoy the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, so life is good.

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Where in the world are Terry & Heidi

When I got the new SPOT Connect I didn't change my settings to have it display on my share page. But now I have, so if you click on the link to the right called "Where in the world are Terry and Heidi" it will take you to our new share page on the SPOT website and if any SPOT messages have been sent out within 7 days they will show up there.

You can also click on the map to the right and it displays our location from the Sailblog posts. One way or the other we can always be found!

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Back Home Again.... in La Paz!
12/08/2011, La Paz, BCS Mexico

We're still getting settled into life at the dock -- we came in on Dec. 1st but by Dec. 3rd we were on the road north driving up Baja to take our car back and stow it away for awhile. I traveled as far as San Diego where I flew back down so I could stay with Rosie while Terry completed the trip, and now he will fly back home on Saturday.

We plan to be here in Marina Palmira until around Jan. 15th when we will cross to mainland Mexico to position ourselves in Zihautanejo -- our jumping off point for the Galapagos. We plan to begin that big passage mid March. But, you know all cruising plans are written in sand........

While here at the dock we'll be busy working on readying the boat for the big crossing -- but it won't be all work and no play because all the regulars -- and some new friends -- are all back on Dock 3 where there are great dock parties and lots of other social events.

So for the next month and a half my blog posts won't be about our travels, but rather about our preparations for a big off shore passage. I'll also include several of our "Things that work.....or don't" entries as we find our what works and what doesn't!

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12/22/2011 | Livia
Heard you had hailed us and were in town. Have tried hailing you a few times. We're at Marina Vista Coral (formerly the virtual marina) and would love to get together and talk about the Pacific excitement!

Livia & Carol,
On Top of the World

Heading south from Santa Rosalia we were able to climb to the top of two big hills (we like to call them mountains) that we hadn't conquered before.

The first one was right off of El Burro Cove in Bahia Concepcion. We could see the switchback trail from our anchorage, but two years ago when we tried to find the start of the trail with some other cruisers, we just couldn't tell where to go -- and at the base we couldn't see the switchback. This year, the trail head was marked, so we were able to hike to the top and were rewarded with a beautiful view of Bahia Concepcion.

On our next stop, at Punta Pulpito, we were surprised one evening to see some people pop up on top of that big prominence! We hadn't realized there was a trail leading up there -- but now that we knew it was doable we set out to shore with Prairie Oyster and climbed to the top! Another good hike and breathtaking view.

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What's that falling from the sky?
11/13/2011, Playa Coyote, Bahia Concepcion

Yesterday evening brought a rare event for this time of year on the Baja Peninsula: Rain!

Even though it was just a trace of rain, it was welcome by everyone giving the boats a fresh water rinse -- something they only get at a marina.

We've been enjoying the beautiful Bahia Concepcion for the last couple days and will continue our journey south when the winds swing back around to the north tomorrow morning, and hopefully enjoy another good sail.

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11/13/2011 | Dave C.
Your "spot" link just goes to the home page. Are you not doing that anymore besides the email updates? Sure is fun following along with you vicariously at least!
Heading South!
11/08/2011, Punta Chivato

We reached our northern goal of Santa Rosalia last Friday where we met up with friends and spent a couple days enjoying the little town. Then yesterday we began our trip south.

We consider the nice sail we had yesterday as the first leg of our trip to the Galapagos, even though we won't reach those wonderful islands until late March or early April of 2012, we are now headed in that direction!

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11/08/2011 | Monica Stoner
we'll see you in La Paz. We arrive Dec 1st and will be there till the 20th. Can't wait to see you!
Let it blow, let it blow, let it blow
11/02/2011, Punta Chivato

We had a great day for traveling north yesterday so we were able to reach another one of our favorite anchorages: Punta Chivato.

And we got here just in time, because a Norther was predicted to start late today and this is a great protected place to be in a Norther. After a nice quiet night last night it felt good to not have to get up early to travel today and we put the engine on the dinghy and went to shore for a little walk and to check things out.

The hotel on the point that we've gone to in the past to eat and even enjoy the swimming pool is all closed down, but they have a sign up saying it will re-open December 15th. We've always wondered how they could make a go of it since it's so far away from everything and there were hardly any guests. But there's another small hotel on the other side of the landing strip and we stopped by that little restaurant and had a nice breakfast before heading back out to the boat.

The winds started picking up as we were getting back to the boat and are now blowing 15 - 22 knots, but we're comfortable where we are -- and the best thing is that the new wind generator is quiet! The old one would have sounded like a plane coming in for a landing in these winds and we would have shut it off. This one can hum away and isn't any louder than the wind through the rigging -- and it's generating great power for us. So, let the wind blow!

Once this blows itself out we'll head the rest of the way up to Santa Rosalia -- hopefully on Friday.

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11/07/2011 | Ivan Leith
If you don't mind me asking, what type of wind generator did you install? I might eventually install one, after solar panels first.
11/08/2011 | Terry & Heidi Kotas
We installed a Sunforce to replace our older Air Marine that we've had for 12 years. It was good, but loud, and the Sunforce, so far, is great.
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....

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

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

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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The Cetus Crew
Who: Terry & Heidi Kotas and Street Cat Rosie
Port: Gig Harbor, WA
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