CETUS TALES

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.

18 October 2017 | Namibia
23 September 2017 | Namibia
01 July 2017 | Bahia Marquer, Isla Carmen, Sea of Cortez
27 June 2017
24 June 2017 | Marina Palmira, La Paz
05 June 2017 | Dock 3, Marina Palmira, La Paz, BCS, Mexico
17 May 2017 | Marina Palmira
14 May 2017 | Marina Palmira
10 May 2017 | Dock 3, Marina Palmira, La Paz, BCS, Mexico
24 April 2017 | Springtime in the Pacific Northwest this year.... yuck!
09 March 2017 | Marina Palmira, La Paz, BCS, Mexico
21 February 2017 | Marina Palmira, La Paz
18 February 2017 | Dock 3 Marina Palmira La Paz
15 December 2016 | Dock 3, Marina Palmira, La Paz, BCS, Mexico
24 November 2016 | Punta Salinas, Isla San Jose
20 November 2016 | somewhere inthe Sea of Cortez
11 November 2016 | South Anchorage Isla Coronado

We completed the Namibia 2000!

18 October 2017 | Namibia
Our loop thru Namibia is complete and we enjoyed every bit of the 2,300 miles we traveled. The desert landscape was constantly changing keeping our interest up as we traveled from spot to spot driving approximately 4 hours each travel day.

We enjoyed the camping days sleeping in the roof top tents and the lodgings were all unique and quite enjoyable, ranging from luxury tents with private outside showers built right in the boulders behind the tent to cozy hillside chalets complete with full kitchens and a fireplace. All had swimming pools (even the campgrounds) and every lodging had the cleanest whitest bedding I've ever seen -- and comfortable too.

Starting our flight home today -- once back and settled I will post some pics of the wildlife and interesting sights we've been enjoying the past 18 days.

Time for another "Out of Boat" Adventure

23 September 2017 | Namibia
It's been a month and a half since I've posted on the blog since I normally confine it to our sailing adventures, and we've been up in the NW doing lots of ordinary things -- routine Dr. apts, visiting family and friends, building fences, etc, etc.

But now it's time for an exciting, long planned adventure so I will do blog posts (even though it's not a boating adventure) because these blog posts give us a good record of what we've done and we like to have them to look back on.

So for the 1st half of October I will be posting (when I can) about our self drive safari in Namibia. (Not Nambia which doesn't exist but you may have heard of on the news lately :)

The next few days will be busy with last minute preparations as we will fly out on the first leg of our journey on Tuesday, September 26th. That flight will be a red eye to NYC where we'll spend a couple nights to break up the flight times because the next flight will be a 14 hour flight to Namibia via Johannesburg in South Africa departing NY on the 29th arriving in Namibia on the 30th of September.

Let the adventure begin!

End of the sailing season for Cetus

31 July 2017
Cetus & Pacific together again!
With plans up north in August, September and October it was time to tuck Cetus safely away for hurricane season, so we chose to keep her once again in the little marina in the back channels of Puerto Escondido.

We pulled into the marina Saturday morning and began the process of taking everything down from the outside, cleaning it and stowing it down below. Sails, dodger, wind generator, life ring, solar panels, etc, etc. We moved down the street to the little hotel at Tripui to make room to stow everything -- and to stay comfortable. The little marina doesn't have the same air flow that we enjoy out at anchor -- plus you can't just take a refreshing swim when you want to -- so better to have an air conditioned room to retreat to at the end of a long day.

Putting the boat away is taking a little longer than we usually need because we're also doing a lot of teak refinishing both inside and out. Staying off the boat certainly makes the downstairs teak easier to do since we don't have to worry about touching the freshly painted surfaces -- or having cat hair settle on it as it dries.

So, as always, it's bittersweet to be leaving our home and the beautiful Sea of Cortez, but exciting to be going on to new adventures and to have time to spend with friends and family.

We plan to begin the big drive north on Thursday morning.

Out and About in the Puerto Escondido area

23 July 2017
Our days here in the Sea will soon be coming to a close for this summer so we are enjoying the many lovely anchorages in the area and we are trying to get as much swimming and snorkeling in as possible, before we have to head into PE to begin putting Cetus away for a few months.

We will start the drive north around the 5th of August as we have a move to help with mid month, followed by Heidi's cataract surgery and both our routine Dr. appointments. September will be lots of fun family events as well as preparing for our long awaited self drive Safari to Namibia in October.

In between all the swimming and snorkeling we, of course, are doing the usual assortment of boat projects such as redoing the downstairs teak.

This year we've got a big 'off boat' project going as well. Every year when we get up to Puerto Escondido there is another litter of kittens to greet us in the boatyard. We've always helped out by buying food and feeding them and they were always well taken care of by the couple that ran boatyard services and were there everyday. They have since retired so there isn't the same day after day year round care available for the kitties.

So it's time to break the cycle of the constantly increasing population and we, with the help and advice of a great couple we met that has done a lot of TNR (trap/neuter/release) in the nearby Nopolo area are planning a TNR plan for late October when we return from our travels.

We have started a GoFundMe to help raise money for the anesthesia, sutures and other supplies that will go to our wonderful vet in Loreto, Dassia, who will do all of the surgeries. Dassia not only donates her time for this and other TNR projects but she also takes in dozens of stray dogs and cats and feeds, houses and gives medical attention to all of them.

If you'd like to help with this project as well as the care of all the other strays Dassia takes in please check out our site : Save the Strays of Baja...

Settling in

01 July 2017 | Bahia Marquer, Isla Carmen, Sea of Cortez
Our travels north are over!

Now we can enjoy the anchorages around the Puerto Escondido area -- staying put for days at a time instead of getting up and traveling every day. This is my favorite part of cruising here in the Sea of Cortez.

Our trip up was enjoyable though -- we had light breezes filling the genoa and pushing us along adding speed to our motoring. We had 125 miles to cover and we wanted to do it as quickly as possible so we did motor sail all the way. We left La Paz on Wednesday and on Friday we were thrilled to drop our anchor in one of our favorite summertime anchorages -- Marquer on Isla Carmen.

First day out we were excited to see two large whales pass us by and yesterday we were greeted by a large pod of dolphin as we approached Marquer -- our welcoming committee!

We've managed a swim every day while we traveled, but yesterday as we are settled here for a bit, we added a second refreshing swim at sunset. Heavenly!

Now we will enjoy a relaxing few days here before heading into Puerto Escondido on Tuesday so that Terry can catch a bus to La Paz and pick up our car. Then we will really be settled in here.

Have a very happy 4th of July everyone! And happy Canada Day to all our northern neighbors!

Leave Eve!

27 June 2017
Tanks are in and tested and filled with diesel so we are very optimistic we will be able to leave the dock tomorrow and in 3 or 4 days reach our usual Spring & Summer cruising grounds in the islands off of Loreto.

I was very worried about being in the marina in La Paz in May because I know temps can often be in the high 90's and low 100's! Marina's are always hotter than anchorages as much of the cooling breezes are blocked. Plus you don't have the option of jumping into the water beside the boat to cool off anytime you want.

But we not only survived May but most of June as well! And I am so pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it has been! Not only has the weather been so much better than normal for this time of year, but we've so enjoyed all the people that are around at this time of year that we don't usually get to spend much time with in the busy winter months.

It would actually be a little hard to leave..... except starting yesterday the heat & humidity factor jumped considerably the last 2 days as we've gotten the after effects of tropical storm Dora traveling south of us. Plus, most of these great people are leaving soon, too. Some for short breaks, some longer. But we can look forward to seeing them all again when we all return next fall -- along with all the other 'usual suspects' that winter here.

So fingers crossed we will motor out of our slip at Marina Palmira at the crack of dawn!!

The long wait is over!

24 June 2017 | Marina Palmira, La Paz
Pressure testing at Ernesto's shop
The tanks are done. Ernesto's estimate of 3 weeks turned into 5 1/2 weeks, but they look good. And we have enjoyed our time in La Paz but we are more than ready to get out of the marina and up to our favorite cruising grounds: the islands off Loreto.

We went out to his shop this morning to watch the pressure testing -- which went well -- and now he is delivering them as I write this. Hurray!

Today we will take care of some preparation projects that we couldn't do until we had the tanks in hand -- like tearing apart the floor again. Then tomorrow Terry will begin the installation -- getting them down thru the hatch and into the hole in the floor, then plumbing and securing them. Once they pass the final leak test when we fill them with diesel, he'll get to put the floor back together for hopefully the last time.

I expect it to go smoothly since Terry, unfortunately, has had lots of practice installing tanks this past year.

Let's hope the 3rd time's a charm!

Time is flying and Life is Good

05 June 2017 | Dock 3, Marina Palmira, La Paz, BCS, Mexico
We can't believe it's been a full month already since we got back home aboard Cetus! It's been a very enjoyable month, despite the disappointment of the leak in the newly installed diesel tanks. Still waiting for the new aluminum tanks to be completed, but we're making the best of our time here while we wait.

We've completed some good projects. Installed new Formica in both the bedroom and the bathroom giving them a fresh new look. And we've also cleaned, organized and de-cluttered all the cabinets and closets in the boat.

We enjoyed a mini vacation to Baja's East Cape spending two nights in Los Barilles and driving down to Cabo Pulmo area for some snorkeling.

Locally we've enjoyed some nice meals out at 'new to us' places with good friends Lola & Manny who also drove us out to show us where some great beaches are for future outings.

Yesterday we finally got into town for the Saturday organic market as well as meeting up with friends Valarie & Damian for coffee and apple pie. Great morning.

So all is well and we'll continue to enjoy La Paz and the surrounding area as we await the completion of the new tanks.

Ahhh... there's the leak!

17 May 2017 | Marina Palmira
Yikes!
Monday, After Terry took apart the floor and un-plumbed the tanks we wrestled them out the hatch (it's a tight fit -- like a puzzle to get the big ones turned just right) and on the dock into the light of day we couldn't see a thing wrong with either tank! They looked perfectly fine.

So to reassure ourselves before we made the down payment on the new aluminum tanks, we did a test. We took them up to the parking lot and with a hose filled them with water. Before the first one was even half way full Terry spotted the rapidly dripping leak.

We contacted the builder and he is as puzzled as we were. The plastic he uses is rated for diesel, but now he suspecting that maybe the rod he welds it with reacts to it. It's too bad because he did a beautiful job on these tanks.

So today Ernesto came by and picked up the tanks and will order the materials to begin the aluminum tanks for us. He estimates 3 weeks..... but who knows?

Right now the breezes are still great keeping temps very comfortable -- but there's some hot weather coming this weekend, so the Cetus crew will do a short road trip in search of a beach to beat the heat.

Who can leave this beautiful view?

14 May 2017 | Marina Palmira
Apparently not us!

Unfortunately it's not the lovely surroundings keeping us tied to the dock, but a problem with the new diesel tanks.

After Terry completed a great job of installing them he put some fuel in them and let it set for a day or so to check for leaks -- and all was well. Then he tested the engine and it all ran great! So he put the floor back together and started adding more fuel to fill the tanks..... and started seeing a slight trickle of fuel. Not good but probably just a fitting that needed tightening.

Checking all the fittings for the next day or so it was determined there were no leaks there...... but the light sheen of diesel continued to reappear! Yikes!

Soooo, it's back to the drawing board. He'll take them out next week so we can hopefully see where the leak is coming from. In the meantime we've contacted a local guy that makes steel tanks and he'll remake these for us.

Our planned departure (tomorrow) will be delayed by about a month for that to happen, which is disappointing as we were anxious to get out and enjoy the beautiful anchorages. But life here at the docks is good too, so we'll make the best of it. Plans are to get the dinghy in the water to enjoy some nearby snorkeling as well as use the car to travel to nearby beaches and towns.

When life gives you lemons you just make a great batch of lemonaid! 🍋

Home.

10 May 2017 | Dock 3, Marina Palmira, La Paz, BCS, Mexico
We've been back aboard Cetus a full week now and it is so great to be home. Tho we miss our family and friends when we're down here -- there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed, cooking in your own kitchen or just relaxing in your own space.

The days have just flown by, too. The first few days were spent getting the boat back together: sails back on, wind generator back up plus lots of other 'outdoor stuff' put back outside making room for us inside. We also had all the usual stuff to unload from the car: boat parts and food stuffs as well as all our traveling clothes and things.

Then, since Saturday, the big boat projects have filled our days. Terry's been diligently working on installing our new fuel tanks that were delivered here for us while we were up north. I have been helping with that as I could but more important I tackled the next project on his 'to do' list and stripped out the old Formica on our bedroom counter, made the pattern and cut the new Formica. Yesterday we glued it down and today Terry replaced the trim work on the counter and finished the tanks (which included rebuilding the floor!). Two biggies checked off the lists!

In addition to the boat work I've stayed diligent on my PT for my new knee. Every morning I pedal about 20 minutes on my portable pedal machine and then in the late afternoon I utilize the new pool here at the marina for some great water exercises. My knee is feeling a little more normal everyday.

We've set Monday the 15th as our departure date to leave the marina and slowly sail north in the Sea eventually reaching Puerto Escondido where we will once again home base for the summer while enjoying the lovely anchorages in that area.

Lots to do to get ready to go, but in the meantime we are thoroughly enjoying being here at the dock. We were afraid being in the marina would be too hot this time of year but we've been blessed with some lovely breezes and cool morning temps (sometimes cold!!) so it's been quite delightful.

Time to watch the sunset.......

Leave Eve!

24 April 2017 | Springtime in the Pacific Northwest this year.... yuck!
What we expected to be a 2 month long recovery and rehab from my total knee replacement surgery finished up much earlier than expected! At my 3 week Post Op I was released by the Dr. And PT because I'd met all the goals for mobility and range of motion -- so I was free to go!

We've spent the past week wrapping things up here -- picking up things to take back to Cetus and seeing family for one last time.

Now tomorrow we will hit the road for the 1700 mile drive back home to Cetus on dock 3 in Marina Palmira in La Paz! And to sunshine!

The gray rainy days were a big incentive to work hard at PT to get out of here as soon as possible. We've been up here more than a month and we've only had one full day of sunshine -- and that didn't happen till last Friday!

So we're happy to say we're heading back to the Sea and very excited we'll be there for May -- our very favorite month there -- that we thought we'd miss this year.

On the road again....

Another "out of boat" experience

26 March 2017
Since I don't usually post about non boating stuff since this is a SailBlog I probably won't be posting for the next couple months.

We are up in Washington and I'll be having a knee replacement tomorrow ( as my sister pointed out today is "knee eve"!). I'm expecting to spend at least 2 months here during rehab and recovery.

As soon as I get the go ahead we will get back down to Cetus in La Paz and then head out to enjoy the beautiful Sea of Cortez!

Until then.... Adios!

Adios La Paz!

09 March 2017 | Marina Palmira, La Paz, BCS, Mexico
It is once again "leave eve".

Today we are packing and stowing -- preparing Cetus to sit empty here on dock 3 for a few months while we drive north. I have surgery scheduled for March 27th to get a new left knee.

We plan to make it a leisurely drive -- at least here in Mexico -- to enjoy some of the lovely spots we often rush thru. 1st stop on Friday is only 3 1/2 hours away where we will stay in San Carlos on Magdelana Bay to go on a whale watching excursion!

While we do see whales often from our boat, these trips out on smaller panga boats get you right up close and personal -- even getting so close as to touch them as the young ones poke their faces up to greet you. Lots of friends from the marina have booked tours there and we're very excited to finally get to experience the fun.

We also plan to spend a couple days at our very favorite stop on our drives back and forth: hotel Misión Santa Maria on the Pacific Ocean just south of San Quintin. Its lovely, long, sandy shell studded beach is always the perfect treat after hours of driving.

It's been another fun "season" in La Paz but we are so looking forward to returning after my surgery and re-hab and finally getting back out to the anchorages in the islands. That's where you find the true beauty of the Sea of Cortez.

A change in plans -- staying put

21 February 2017 | Marina Palmira, La Paz
Our plan to start our sail north to Puerto Escondido tomorrow had to be changed -- but not due to weather this time. I suddenly came down with a chest cold last Friday which spread to my head and sinus thru the weekend. I saw the Dr Monday and I seem to have pneumonia 😩.

With the meds and antibiotics I'm already feeling much better -- but not well enough to provision the boat and set sail tomorrow.

So plan B is now in effect: leave Cetus here at the dock in Marina Palmira while we drive north for my knee surgery in March. Terry just has to take the bus to PE to fetch the car and we'll be good to go.

Wrapping it up in La Paz

18 February 2017 | Dock 3 Marina Palmira La Paz
It's been 2 1/2 months since we arrived in La Paz -- and two full months since my last post! No excuses -- time just goes too fast anymore 😎.

We have been busy -- holidays, birthdays and out of town guests added to the usual busy "dock days" filled with projects and socializing.

But we need to head out a bit early this year (we typically spend the months of December thru February here at the dock in Marina Palmira). I am scheduled for knee replacement surgery at the end of March and we need to get Cetus up to Puerto Escondido where we will tuck her away for safekeeping when we drive north for that.

So the plan (weather permitting of course) is to leave the dock next Thursday (so far there looks to be a bit of a weather break that day) and travel as far north as we can get before the next norther sets in on Friday. Traveling north at this time of year can be time consuming since the northers can be very frequent.

Our goal is to be ready to hit the road from Puerto Escondido (where our car is stored) no later than March 15th (as I have a pre op apt on March 21st).

So ends another fun Winter in La Paz!

All settled in to our "winter home"

15 December 2016 | Dock 3, Marina Palmira, La Paz, BCS, Mexico
Cetus has a new wild look!
We've been at the dock at Marina Palmira over two weeks already and feel very much at home. It's been busy busy with boat projects, birthday celebrations, movie outings, shopping and last night the 1st dock party.

One of the projects I tackled was some new slip covers for the main salon. I like to do that every few years to give a new look to the boat -- after all I can't rearrange furniture as it's all built in. It was an easy, inexpensive ($30) facelift for the cushions and I'm happy with the results.

Now we're all decorated for Christmas and looking forward to a visit from Carly & Ryan who will fly down tomorrow! We've got a fun week planned with them -- the highlight being taking a tour out to swim with the Whale Sharks.

We'll continue to enjoy dock life for the next couple months as the north winds blow and the Sea turns cold -- then by March we'll get back out to the anchorages.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

24 November 2016 | Punta Salinas, Isla San Jose
We are having a very untraditional Thanksgiving this year as I wasn't able to find any turkey before I left Loreto a couple weeks ago, so we will be celebrating the "American" Thanksgiving on board Cetus with our Canadian friends (who celebrate Thanksgiving in October) and eating BBQ ribs!

We wish we could be enjoying the holiday with our family in the Northwest, but it's also nice to be "home" for the holiday and for us "home is where the boat is".

We will enjoy the day and be thankful for all that we have and for the family and friends that we miss while we are away.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy!

Heading South!

20 November 2016 | somewhere inthe Sea of Cortez
We met up with our sailing buddies on Prairie Oyster on Thursday in San Juanico and began our trip south with them yesterday.

The seas were still lumpy from the light norther so it was a rolly ride with little wind, but we only had to put up with it for 4 hours until we tucked into the south anchorage of Coronados. The lack of the predicted wind was a real dissapointment as we'd hoped to sail the distance but had to motor with the sails up the whole way. At least the lumpy seas were following seas.

We're making another hop south today -- this is a longer trip -- about 40 miles to Agua Verde. Doesn't look promising for any sailing again today, but at least the seas are smoother.

Sunrise swims are now a thing of the past as we will be moving most days -- and the water is now in the chilly range -- yesterday's "pool" temp was 78. But it made for a refreshing afternoon dip.

So south we go to La Paz, because winter is coming.........

Incomunicado

11 November 2016 | South Anchorage Isla Coronado
We sort of lost a lot of communication channels the last couple weeks. It started when I developed problems with my iPhone (overheating, freezing up, screen fading.....) which has pretty much put it out of use except for brief moments of time. Then we went into Puerto Escondido so I could use their WiFi to complete a project I had going on Shutterfly -- and of course their WiFi wasn't working! Yikes!

Between the hotels WiFi, Carol's Mini Market's WiFi and our friend Noel at the Dive Shop, I managed to complete my project so we left Puerto Escondido and are now enjoying being out at anchor again.

But we still don't have the communications we once did out here with my phone basically dead. But luckily we are pretty self sufficient aboard Cetus and can still contact the outside world thru non cellular or Internet means. We have our HAM radio!

These blog posts are sent out through the HAM radio as well as emails through Winlink or Airmail. It's quite different than regular Internet, but we can communicate and that is a very good thing.

I also send out my SPOT satellite position reports every time we change anchorages so our family can always know where we are. So we are pretty much off the grid -- but not really.

And to all our friends that see these posts and SPOT positions on Facebook or our blog, don't feel slighted if we don't reply to a comment or email that you may send, because even though our posts show up there -- we need Internet to see what you have to say.

We don't expect to have much in the way of Internet until we reach La Paz around December 1st, but we'll look forward to catching up with all of you then!
Vessel Name: Cetus
Vessel Make/Model: Fantasia 35
Hailing Port: Gig Harbor, WA
Crew: Terry & Heidi Kotas and Street Cat Rosie
About:
TERRY & HEIDI got into sailing together 30+ years ago when they purchased their very first sailboat, a 7 foot long "Sunflower" that they played with and learned enough about sailing to get them hooked. [...]
Extra:
CETUS is the constellation of the whale. When we were purchasing this boat, we knew we wanted to change the name because the owners had had some trouble with customs in Fiji due to another boat by the same name (then Illusion) having done something illigal and the boat name was "flagged" in [...]
Cetus's Photos - Loreto 2016
Photos 1 to 2 of 2 | Main
1
a new sign in town
 
1

The Cetus Crew

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

Where in the world are Terry & Heidi?

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