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Sailing with Thor
Anchored at Bahia Los Frailes
sunny, 82 degrees, windy
12/03/2010, Bahia Los Frailes

We had a 6 hour run to Bahia Los Frailes today, motoring all the way in very light winds. I should say that we had the engine off and did manage to sail all of 20 minutes during the day. As we approached the anchorage, the wind arrived and started to build and ended up blowing at 15 - 20 knots all afternoon. After dark, the wind died away and we were left with just a gentle breeze and a billion stars above. We are sharing the anchorage with 9 other boats, 3 power vessels and 6 sailboats. After anchoring this afternoon, we took the dinghy shore and explored the beach...it is about 6 miles long with an RV park in the middle and hotel toward the far end. The beach at the anchorage is deserted and beautiful, lots of really clean fine sand and the shore break is not too bad to land the dinghy on, or to go swimming. We also did a hike to the top of a very high hill, most of it rocky and composed of granite boulders. The view from the top was fantastic! Tomorrow we move on to Bahia Los Muertos, about 45 miles away...hope the wind is kind to us!

Layover Day
sunny, 82 degrees
12/03/2010, San Jose Del Cabo

We decided to stay an extra day at San Jose del Cabo, partly to do some maintenance items and partly to attend the weekly Art Walk that is presented by the art dealers and merchants of San Jose del Cabo. We had a nice dinner in town and then walked around the streets that had been blocked off for pedestrians to view the displays. Quite the variety of art!

We also toured a local cactus garden, a cactus arboretum I guess you could call it. This garden, near the marina, featured thousands of cactus plants and it was fun seeing all the different varieties and species.

Lorrie hoisted me up the mast for an inspection of all the fittings and blocks...everything looked fine. We also removed and cleaned some electrical fittings on the engine starter that had some minor corrosion. We had experience some intermittent starting problems and hope this will correct the problem.

The end of another month
11/30/2010, San Jose Del Cabo

The end of another month...we have been gone from Wahington for almost 3 months. Time seems to fly by...This morning we left the anchorage at Cabo San Lucas and made only a 15 mile passage up the coast to a much needed marina stop. Yesterday, I made mention of the very rough and choppy conditions in the bay at Cabo. It got worse as the day progressed...although the wind was very light, a ground swell from storm conditions to the northease was entering the anchorage causing a very uncomfortable roll to the boat. We left the boat for the afternoon, stopping by the Port Captains office to pay our port fee and then joined some other folks for a treat of a movie in the Cabo plaza. This theatre had reclining seats! The movie was the latest Harry Potter adventure and it was in english with spanish sub-titles. We finsihed the evening with a barbeque on a 50' Nordhaven power boat...very, very nice especially when all the sailboats in the anchorage were rocking and rolling. Later in the evening we arrived back on Thor, but it was so rough that we got very little sleep. We were up and on the move at first light this morning in relatively calm conditions only to have the wind build from the northeast, right on our nose. The wind quickly built to a steady 30 knots with gusts to 30 as we plowed our way to weather. Although it was only 15 miles, it was a true test of our mettle as waves and spray cascaded over the front of the boat, also soaking us in the cockpit. It was a 4 hour slog to the new marina at San Jose Del Cabo and we look forward to a few days here, waiting for the high winds to calm prior to our continuation north to the Sea of Cortez.

Note: This is the first time in over two weeks that we have had access to wi-fi and I plan to post some pictures to the previous blogs in the next day or so.

Anchored at Cabo San Lucas
11/29/2010, Cabo San Lucas

Three weeks to the day after leaving San Diego, we have reached the tip of the Baja California, Cabo San Lucas. We had a reasonable passage with about half of it with very good winds. It was a passage of 170 miles which we did in about 31 hours, a good average for us. After anchoring, we were immediately hailed by one of the other boats that had made the passage with us and arrived a few hours earlier. They and a British crew from a large power boat were heading ashore and offered to pick us up so we didn't have to launch the dinghy. We readily accepted the offer. Ashore we marveled at the growth, development and commercialism that has plagued Cabo in recent years since our last visit to the harbor 27 years ago. I say plagued because no longer is Cabo the sleepy little fishing village that we remember but now another hopping tourist destination. We our anchored in the bay where we once looked ashore onto palm trees and palapas and a sandy beach over 3 miles long. The beach is still there but in the place of the palapas are massive hotels and condo complexes covering the entire beach. Water taxis (pangas), jet skis, parasailers and charter fishing boats come and go, buzzing past and passing within feet of the anchored boats in the bay causing a massive wake and chop build up that rivals any sea condition that we have so far experienced. The boat rolls heavily and we are grateful to go ashore during the day.

We all shared a taxi (van) to Costco today to purchase some much needed provisions. Aside from the packaging in the spanish language, most of the products were similar to items that we would find in a Costco in the states. We will be attending a pot lock get together on another boat this evening and tomorrow we depart to a harbor about 20 miles up the coast where it is a little quieter.

Beach Glass Beach
11/27/2010, Puerto Magdalena

Yesterday was a delightful day spent in and around the small village of Puerto Magdalena. Our day began with a visit from the Port Captain. He arrived along side in his panga, introduced himself and we invited him aboard. We had a nice visit with him, not long, perhaps 15 minutes but we were able to have a nice chat even though he knew very little english. He told us that the village had about 200 people, there was one small store and pointed out where the school was when we inquired about a visit. He also told us that he was going to San Carlos, a small port town about 10 miles up the channel and would be happy to give us a ride for $10 a person. We politely declined and he went on his way to the next boat in the anchorage. Following his visit, we went ashore and first stopped at the beautiful little church. In all the towns and villages that we visit, the church always stands out as a prominent structure no matter how small the town. We then carried on to the school where we met the teacher, a man who makes the trip from San Carlos every day to teach school...but only 12 students! There were 5 children arriving for the afternoon session while we were there and we had a great time chatting with them. Our main purpose, was to drop off a bundle of school supplies for the teacher and students to use. It was very much appreciated. After the school, one of the kids showed us the tienda but the shelves were bare! The shopkeeper told us that a delivery was expected within the hour and the small truck actually showed up while we were there. We told here that we would be back later after they had a chance to unload. Our next stop was a mile long walk to the beach, We were amazed at the huge number of shells on this beach and to Lorrie's delight, quite a bit of beach glass was to be found as well. For those unfamiliar with beach glass, it is broken bits of glass that have been tumbled in the surf and on the beach enough to grind the glass and roughen it up giving it a characteristic "gem" look. Lorrie has been collecting beach glass from every beach that we have ever visited. We spent all afternoon walking the beach and collecting shells and beach glass.

Today we are departing for Cabo San Lucas. This passage will be about 170 miles and will take us 30 - 35 hours depending on the wind.

Anchored at Puerto Magdalena
11/26/2010, Puerto Magdalena

You would think that allot would have happened over the last 3 days since our last blog, but in reality it hasn't. We spent the days in Bahia Santa Maria waiting out some high winds with 6 other sailboats and 2 powerboats. On one day, the wind was a a little lighter and we were able to launch the dinghy and get ashore. We did a 3 hour hike in some absolutely gorgeous country, a landscape that reminded us of hiking the canyons of southern Utah. There was a fishing boat anchored in the bay and two of the guys came by in their panga and we had a nice conversation with them, they knowing about as much English and we know Spanish. We asked if they had fresh fish available to trade and they confirmed that they had fresh grouper and snapper. We asked them for a kilo of fish and they went back to the fishing boat to get it. When they returned, we traded some playing cards and some beer (for all nine of the crew on the boat!) The fish was beautifully filleted and completely fresh and made a great dinner for the evening.

Yesterday, even though the wind was still strong, we decided to sail the 30 miles around and into Magdalena Bay to visit the small village there. The wind was blowing 20 - 25 from the NW and the first 20 miles was an exciting down wind sail as we surfed down some of the 10 - 12 foot swells we were experiencing. Turning the corner into the bay, we were faced with a 10 mile upwind beat into some steep wind chop. Although we were now in the bay and there was no swell to contend with, the relatively shallow bay and the 10 mile fetch allowed the wind chop to build considerably. It was a wet and uncomfortable beat to weather as we tacked back and forth up the bay. The anchorage in front of the village was a welcome sight and we dropped anchor in 25 feet of water. Three other boats had made the trip as well and we were invited over to one of the other boats (Blue Rodeo) for a Thanksgiving dinner of sorts. It was a nice evening all around after the long day of sailing.

We will be here for a day or two before making the 150 mile run to Cabo San Lucas.

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