05/18/2013, Puerto Los Gatos
Never eat anything made from mayo when then mayo hasn't been refrigerated. Ugh. We were eating at a palapa in San Evaristo and were served a dip that was mayo based. I had seen the cook mixing it up and noticed that she had spooned the mayo out of a huge container. Since there is no refrigeration at this palapa I should have known better than to try it. Ken took one bite of it and didn't care for it, Paul sampled a few bites as did I. Celeste didn't have any. Paul and I both got pretty sick a day later and since it's the only thing that the two of us ate that no one else did, it had to have been bad. I don't want to go into details but I was out of it for 2 full days.
On to happier thoughts. We are anchored in Puerto Los Gatos. Since everyone was feeling good today, we got out in the dinghy and went exploring. This bay is beautiful. The rocks are pink and black and the water is crystal clear. We went to the northern side of the bay today and walked along the shore where we found lots of tide pools filled with brilliantly colored starfish, spiny urchins, bright blue damselfish, angles, blennies, crabs and who knows what else. We spent two hours poking about the rocks looking for new finds.
Ken went fishing this evening. Elliot is out on deck waiting for his treat of freshly filleted fish. We'll save the rest for us and for Monty (he prefers his cooked).
A funny thing happened at dinner. I can usually find Italian sausage when were are in the bigger cites so I buy a package or two to store in our tiny freezer. I haven't, however, been able to find bratwurst anywhere. I have a fantastic recipe for bratwurst and cabbage stew that I have been wanting to make for several months. Today I thawed out some Italian sausage to make spaghetti. When I cooked the Italian sausage it didn't look or smell right. I tasted it and it was bratwurst! What the heck?!?!? How could bratwurst be labeled Italian sausage? And the bigger question is, WHERE did I buy it? I'm sure it was in Mazatlan (300 miles from here) but I'd like to remember where so that I could get this bratwurst 'Italian sausage' next time I'm in the area.
By the way, bratwurst in spaghetti isn't very good.
05/10/2013, Isla San Francisco
When you live on a boat you get used to things breaking and coming apart. It's always frustrating but we can normally figure out how to fix things.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that I couldn't send/receive information using my SSB radio/Pactor modem. I was frustrated but not surprised as there are high hills around most of the anchorages here. I tried again at the next anchorage, same thing but we still had high hills surrounding us. I rely on my SSB to get weather information but when we got to La Paz, I kind of forgot about it because we had an internet connection and I could get what I needed through that and through the local morning VHF cruisers net.
When we left La Paz, I continued to try to send/receive using my SSB/Pactor moden but couldn't connect. I finally asked my friend Celeste on The Beguine if she was having problems. Nope, her system worked fine. Great, I thought, I've got a problem. Even though Ken and I installed the SSB/modem/tuner ourselves and I do have a ham license, I don't pretend to know a THING about this darn radio.
I started by checking all of the connections to/from the radio, computer and modem. All was fine. I tried listening to the ham nets. I could hear everything fine. I tried transmitting to a ham net and they heard me just fine. The only problem that I seemed to be having was in sending/receiving through the modem. As a test I brought my computer over to Celestes to see if t I could send/receive from there. I could, so that eliminated my computer. Ugh! Where is the problem? I took the tuner cover off this morning to check all the connections there. Everything looked shiny and new. The copper foil had a good connection at both ends and I could find no corrosion. I'm about ready to give up when Celeste called out hello from her boat and asked if I wanted to go kayaking. While looking at fish and crabs and while listening to the swallows roosting in the cliffs above, I told her all that I had done. We put our heads together and she said that it must be in the modem. Okay. I'll look at that. When I got back to the boat, Ken had pulled up the floor in the compartment where the auto tuner is located and sure enough... A LOOSE CONNECTION! Guess what these loose wires connected... yup, the modem to the tuner. DUH. Jeez, I think I looked at every OTHER connection. It's always the last place you look. It probably just rattled loose while were underway at some point.
So, what else have we been doing besides tracking down a simple loose connection? Well, lots actually. We have been anchored at Isla San Francisco for about 5 or 6 days. It's peaceful here. We've hiked up to the top of a small mountain, looked at the salt flats, the guys have fished (a lot) and yesterday we took the dinghies over to Isla Cayote. This tiny, tiny island has about 5 houses (shacks) on it. It's the only inhabited island in the Sea. The half dozen guys that live there make their living fishing. They sell to the mainland communities and also to cruisers who visit them. There have been a few dead whales wash up on their shore. They've brought the bones up the hill and have them on display, calling it a museum.
After leaving Isla Cayote, we heading for the southern point of Isla San Jose where we could take the dinghies through the mangroves and into a large lagoon.
We've also been snorkeling. The snorkeling has been pretty blah so far but there were some pretty purple colored Gorgonians, King Angels and a few colorful stars. It turned out to be good. I'm hoping that the snorkeling/diving gets better because so for it's almost not worth even getting wet for. The water is still a bit cool, too.
05/04/2013, Caleta Partida, Isla Espiritu Santo
We've spent the last few nights anchored in Caleta Partida between Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida. There is a weaving of sand spits between the island so it breaks any west traveling waves from entering the anchorage even though the wind comes whipping through.
There are several trails listed in both the cruising guides and the map that the park rangers gave us. Although we've located the trail heads, the trails are very unclear. We'd pick out way up what appeared to be a trail for a few hundred feet then it would be cut off.
There are sea caves on the Sea of Cortez side of Isla Espiritu Santo about a mile and a half south of the cut. We took the dinghy over to do a little exploring. The water is crystal clear with a bottom full of huge boulders. The caves were pretty but some of the rocks over head didn't seem stable. I'd hate to be in there when one of the rocks got free.
The bay just south of here (El Mezteno) is very pretty and worth a dinghy or kayak ride over to see. We saw interesting rock formations and a few tide pools that were fun to trudge through.
We've been suffering S to SW Coromuels almost every night. These winds come up at night and last until late morning the next day. If you are not tucked well enough into the south side of a bay, you're in for a very uncomfortable night as there are miles of open water gathering waves which hit you on the bow. It's like sleeping on a bucking broncho by about 3 am.
Ken and Paul have been fishing. They caught a Red Snapper and a few Graysbys yesterday so we got together and had a fish taco dinner followed by a movie last night. Lot's of puffer fish were caught too. Ken says that they inflate as they are reeled in then would deflate as they were released back into the water.
There are lots of very huge sea turtles in this bay and we had fun herding 100's of crabs on the beach while filming them on my GoPro camera.
We escaped La Paz today. We can stop bleeding money now. It seems like whenever we are in a city, we go broke. There are restaurants to try, new ice cream flavors to sample, fishing lures to buy and projects to complete. That doesn't include all the projects that seem to come up that we didn't know we had to do!
We moved just 18 miles north and are anchored in Bahia San Gabriel on Isla Espiritu Santo. The island is national park so there are only boaters, kayakers and tourist snorkelers around. It's pretty quiet.
Ken celebrated birthday number 48 today. We had good friends over to share a bottle of Port in celebration. Ken finished off the party by catching two Trigger fish. I understand they are good to eat but since our fridge is packed full, he couldn't keep either of them.
La Paz was a great place to spend a couple of weeks. Provisioning was easy, there are numerous chandleries, lots of fishing stores and you can anchor out instead of paying for an expensive slip. I'm very happy to be out but will miss the ease of La Paz.
We were down below, replacing the house water pump and when we went up on deck this is how we found some new neighbors anchored. They dropped the hook and ran to town. Because we were close enough to step off our deck onto theirs and because they were nowhere in sight, we pulled anchor and moved.
How do some people make it through life? la, la, la, la, la...
04/18/2013, La Paz, Baja California Sur
We've been in La Paz for a little over a week. This is a nice city. There are plenty of services and stores that boaters need and so we've spent more time here than anticipated to get some upgrades done to our boats. The Beguine is adding additional solar panels and we are having some stainless propane tank holders made. We think we'll be in town for 5-6 more days. We'll head north up into the Sea of Cortez.
There is a nice waterfront walkway along the whole downtown area. We've worn our shoes out trecking up and down it. So many restarants, taco stands, and ice cream stores to visit!
We decided to anchor out rather than take a slip in a marina. The anchorage is comfortable even though we have a 'wind event' going on right now. They were originally predicting 23 knots but only 16 knots materialized.