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Allan and Rina's Sailing Adventure
The travels of S/V Follow You Follow Me Continue....
The Hustle and Bustle of San Diego
Allan
07/03/2010, San Diego, CA

We arrived early Wednesday morning in San Diego after an uneventful 2.5 day passage from Turtle Bay. Our patience paid off by waiting for a good weather window. Leaving Sunday night, we headed west past Cedros island and once we turned north enjoyed westerly winds and light seas. By mid-day Monday we were motoring in a flat calm... classic millpond conditions. Light winds and great sea conditions lasted the entire passage and we timed our San Diego arrival for sunrise, although we would not see the sun due to San Diego's omnipresent "june gloom". After an uneventful check-in with customs and immigration, we snagged the last slip at the transient dock on shelter island...cruising's best marina value at 10 bucks a night! We're doing repairs to our radar, vhf and other deferred maintenance items now that we are in boat vendor nirvana on shelter island. We'll hang here till the 8th, visiting with daughter Megan, enjoying the land life before heading to Newport, another of our favorite places. (picture courtesy of U.S. Navy)

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Let's Do This Thing!
Allan
06/27/2010, Turtle Bay, Baja, Mexico

After cooling our jets for the last 4 days in Turtle Bay we are ready to go... we have a good weather window to get us the final 338 miles to San Diego. We expect 15-20 knots tonight, but the winds and wind waves are predicted to decline over the next 24 hours, with progressively better weather as we head north. We should arrive in San Diego the 30th or 1st depending on how much the wind waves slow us down.

When we arrived we were one of 3 boats in Turtle Bay. Over the past 4 days, the anchorage has filled with boats and there are now 17 waiting for the next weather window or nursing bash related wounds. We helped 2 boats who came in with bash related fuel problems. Sv Sorceress used our oil/fuel changer to suck out a bunch of gunk from the bottom of their fuel tank, and sv Pierce Team bought one of our spare filters to replace the 5 they went through getting here. Arriving last night was good friends Rich and Sheri Crowe on sv Tabu. We saw them briefly in La Paz and sailed as crew on sv Alaska Eagle with Sheri as Captain back in 2006.

We're excited to get Follow You back to the USA after almost 2 years. We'll spend July visiting with friends and family in Southern California and networking for that work thing before heading to the Bay Area in early August.

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06/30/2010 | Kenneth Newell
Tabu did the Baja HaHa with us. A beautiful boat. Hope the last hop goes smoothly.
Safely Tucked into Turtle Bay
Allan
06/22/2010, Turtle Bay

The Bash is half over...430 miles covered in a little over 3 days....

We just pulled into Turtle Bay, having experience a little bit of everything. Our ride around Cabo Falso was a dream, with flat seas and light winds all the way to Bahia Santa Maria, 197 miles up the coast from Cabo San Lucas. We averaged over 6 knots and didn't spill a single drink. Cabo Falso is notorious for turning back boats who get stuck in the washing machine doing 1 knot upwind before turning around. We got the timing just right.

As we reached Bahia Santa Maria we had a decision... keep going or tuck in for what would likely be several days while some weather passed over us. We decided to continue, knowing that our sweet ride would soon be ending.

Sure enough, it lasted just a few more hours until we approached Cape Lazaro above Santa Maria in the afternoon, which is what you are NOT supposed to do. We figured a couple of hours of bashing was worth getting into Turtle Bay during daylight hours and having more schedule flexibility to get to San Diego. We also had some bashing late yesterday around Punta Abreojos, halfway to Turtle Bay. Bashing DOES suck, but there are things you can do to make it suck less.

So what's bashing? When the wind is coming from the direction you want to go above 15 knots for a long enough period it kicks up short period wind waves that hit the boat and slow it to a 2 knot crawl. Add to that 5-6 foot swells that combine every once in awhile to slam the boat into a trough, making the whole thing shudder and come to a virtual halt. We saw several hours of 20-24 knots of wind and in those conditions all you could do is bear off so you took the winds and waves at an angle to keep your boat speed higher. The boat moved through the water at 4-5 knots, but usually in a direction you didn't want to go, meaning it took longer to get anywhere. And remember, if you are going into a 24 knot wind at 5 knots, the boat is seeing 29 knots.... not the most fun, as Rina says dryly.

There was some neet stuff too btw. We saw a ton of sea life along the way.... too many dolphins to count, Orca and HUGE gray whales. Rina nearly jumped out of the cockpit one night when a gray whale surfaced just behind the boat and exhaled loudly. In another instance the engine shut down very quick and Rina yelled Whale! I was sleeping so I though "great, another whale" Instead, Rina had shut the engine down so she would not run over a 50 foot gray whale!

It all conspired to make a pretty typical but not too awful Baja Bash experience so far. The next 338 miles promises to have its own challenges, with Mexican Navy patrols and the coast guard stopping boats for inspection before the border. And then we get wonderful San Diego fog to deal with... yay!

Trip Statistics

Cabo to Bahia Santa Maria
- 197 miles
- 32 hours of motor sailing
- Avg speed 6.1 knots
- 30 gallons diesel used @ .93 GPH @ 2000 RPMs

Bahia Santa Maria to Turtle Bay
- 235 miles
- 48 hours of motor sailing
- Avg speed 4.8 knots @ 1800 RPMs
- 36 gallons diesel used @ .75 GPH
- Negative 1 knot current about half the time

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06/24/2010 | Mama Fives
Hi Kids: I can't believe you are on your way home.Where did the time go? Enjoy a safe voyage home. I am looking forward to seeing you in Santa Cruz. I'm sure you will be planning another journey before the grass starts to grow beneath your feet. Lots of Love from, Mama
06/25/2010 | Kenneth Newell
We are in Tahiti and you are in Turtle Bay...who would have thought?

Don't forget the great tacos at the restuarant on the hill to the right. I don't think anyone knows its name, but everyone knows the tacos.

We are eating waonderful Chow Mein here at the food trucks in Papeete...I'm sure you remember those.

Cheers,

Ken & Lori
Tis the Night before the Bash
Allan
06/18/2010, Puerto Los Cabos

Actually, it's looking pretty good for the next couple of days... The influence of the tropical depression 350 miles south of Cabo has created a rare southern flow, reflected in the high clouds pictured above. The weather report calls for an unheard of 1 knot of wind at Cabo Falso at 11am, just north of Cabo San Lucas, where many a sailor has been turned back to port. That's the Baja Bash. The typical northwest flow will likely join us just north of our first stop at Bahia Santa Maria, 197 miles north of Cabo. We'll keep going if conditions allow, but a likely 1-2 day layover will allow us to catch the next lull before the next passage to Turtle Bay, 223 miles further north. After that, who knows... we'll just have to see what comes our way.

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06/19/2010 | Sandy Edmonson
We hope you have a nice, easy passage. They do happen from time to time! Chris did a delivery in Dec '08 and they motored the entire trip. Faith is on the hard and tomorrow a.m. we leave for Tucson. Maybe we can catch up with you for a visit on our way south next fall. Have a good summer! Sandy & Chris
No Danger from Developing Hurricanes
Allan
06/16/2010, Sea of Cortez

There are two tropical depressions we are tracking in Southern Mexico... both are more than 400 miles to the west and are predicted to die out rather than turn north. Our weather window to get around Cabo Falso looks good for Saturday, which should put us in Bahia Santa Maria before these storms will come anywhere close to Cabo. Now if the weather up in California can just calm down, we might make it back without any major drama! We're half way down the coast from La Paz and should arrive Cabo by 7am tomorrow, where we will check out of Mexico and prepare for departure.

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Hasta Luego La Paz
Allan
06/16/2010, La Paz Mexico

Our time in La Paz and the Sea of Cortez has come to an end. Two wonderful weeks with the bro and Josie and a couple of days to prep the boat have passed, and as we let go the docklines at o-dark thirty this morning, we can't help but be a bit sad. We are heading for Los Muertos, the first of our stops on our way back to the USA. From there it is back to San Jose Del Cabo, then around Cabo Falso and the great Baja Bash... all upwind for 750 miles... The weather is looking good for a Saturday departure from Cabo, but we'll have to wait and see if it stays that way.

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Road Trip to Todos Santos
Allan
06/02/2010, Todos Santos

Renting a car in La Paz, Rina and I drove 3 hours through endless parched desert arroyos to pick up Phil and Josie at the airport in Cabo. After a quick stop to top up the wine cellar at Costco, we were off to Todos Santos, the artsy historic village about an hour north of Cabo. Our planned overnighter stretched to two after we fell in love with Casa Bentley, an eclectic boutique hotel 2 blocks off the main drag in town. The rooms have all rock walls, built around the perimeter of the pool. And by around, I mean the walls of our rooms are the walls of the pool, resulting in a very non-traditional setup. Little round skylights built into the pool deck peer down into our rooms, and the master bath has underwater windows. Bob the owner has built this on a half acre lot over the past 26 years, and you can tell it was a labor of love. He is a geologist by training and after introductions and a bit of small-talk, he was giving us a tour of the walls of the hotel, explaining where the rock originated. With an extra day to kick around town, we did the obligatory tourist tour, checking out the original Hotel California and various tourist traps. Phil and my favorite was the tequila tasting bar, where we sipped different kinds of tequila for an hour, and on an empty stomach no less. We figured the tasting bar was put there by all the jewelers in the area to soften us up for a rather large purchase. Luckily we held our ground and liquor. After purchasing a large bottle of tequila for 40 bucks, down from an original asking price of 120, we proudly headed off to lunch and a nap... photographic evidence of which can be found in the gallery.

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The Honeymoon is Officially Over
Allan
05/28/2010, San Francisco, CA

Good friends Seth and Elizabeth from sv Honeymoon, now back in San Francisco, brought a new cruiser into the world a couple of days ago... Continuing his usual high standards for blogging, Seth has documented the happy event at www.sailblogs.com/member/honeymoon.

Congrats Seth and Elizabeth!

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05/30/2010 | Kathy Simis
WOW! This is the best news on the whole worldwide cruising circuit! Thank you for sharing the news! I'm so delighted!!! Let's see, must've been the Tongan birthday party night, about 9 months ago! how funny! Remember there were 5 people in port, including me, with the same Aug. 20 Bday. WEIRD!
An Uninvited Guest
allan
05/28/2010, Puerto Escondido

As we left Puerto Escondido, we brought our insulated shopping bags to the local tienda for a couple bags of ice and beer. Unbeknownst to us, we had a stowaway, who surprised Rina in the garage (our aft store room), staring her right in the face on one of the upper shelves. Totally freaked out, she closed the door, and did not return for a few days as we negotiated who was going to slay the ugly beast. Visions of procreating bugs danced in our heads as we plotted strategy. Finally we agreed that the next morning we would clean out the garage, which like any land-based garage, becomes a dumping ground for all the crap we don't want in the main cabins. Just as we sat down to a late dinner, a 2 inch long cockroach with long antennas scampered across the ceiling over our heads and tried to hide in one of the portlights. I grabbed the roach spray and doused him and he fell to the floor, looking for an exit. It was stomach-turning high comedy as Rina and I tried to stop him from escaping down into the bilge. I continued to spray him until he was finally immobilized and Rina picked him up, legs still kicking, with a paper towel and chucked him overboard. Now completely yucked out, we sat down to our dinner and reluctantly picked at our food.

Over the next two days we tore the garage and bilge apart looking for evil cockroach spawn, eggs or any other evidence of infestation. Luckily, there was none. Our next stop was the grocery store where we reloaded our roach-killing arsenal preparing to do battle again if needed. We have always been vigilant about bugs and have been lucky over the last two years, with no major problems. No cardboard makes it aboard from the grocery stores, and all food packaging is checked for stowaways. With heightened vigilance we checked our provisions yesterday and just as I asked Rina whether we should keep the Negro Modelo in their packaging to stop the bottles from rattling around, she takes a bottle out and there sits a baby cockroach... shudder! Rina quickly squishes the intruder as I strip the remaining bottles from their packaging. Can you say eeeeeewwwww?!?!

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05/28/2010 | Phillip J. Faillers
Flights canceled !!!!
05/28/2010 | svscottfree
Hi you two! We sure miss hanging out with you. Loved the cockroach story as we've only found one aboard our boat. Wondering what we'll find when we get back though!

Take care and keep us posted on what we are missing.
The Perfect anchorage?
Allan
05/19/2010, Bahia Candaleros

On Sunday we decided to head back towards La Paz from Puerto Enscondido where we will be joined by Phil and Josie at the end of the month... we didn't get far though. We pulled into explore Bahia Candaleros about one hour south of Escondido, which was devoid of other boats. Winds were from the east so it was calm and well protected from the easy breezes of late spring. An empty bay, long beach for walking, good snorkeling, and decent free internet of all things... and after suffering through a classic "tragedy of the commons" with internet at Escondido, decent bandwidth helped us get the virtual wheels turning on all the things we need to do to restart our land-based life. Yes, it's sad but true, our minds are slowly starting to focus on life after cruising - only 90 days away. It's having one nice effect however... the days seem longer. Partially because they are, with sun setting after 8pm, the heat of the day lingering until 9-10. But also because our journey is now finite. Our float plan has us bashing up the coast of Baja in late June, San Diego for 4th of July, and entering San Francisco Bay around August 8. Rest assured we will enjoy each and every remaining day.

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05/21/2010 | Drew
sittin here making our winter ski trip plans with HOT TUB way up on the priority list. must be from your influence and peer pressure. god, where's my champagne?
05/22/2010 | Kenneth Newell
Oh man it urts to think about the finite! We are thinking about trenching Trim in Fiji and then fly to New Zealand...then return to do the island again Vanuatu, Solmans etc...the OZ.

Please stay in touch!
05/23/2010 | Dalia
Sounds amazing!!! Miss you guys xox

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Who: Allan & Rina Alexopulos
Port: Sutter Creek, CA
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