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S/V Si Bon
Who: Steve Cook
Port: San Diego, California
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Marina San Carlos
06/30/2011, San Carlos, Sonora Mexico

I made the whooping 6NM mile journey from Bahia Algodones to Marina San Carlos this morning. It's always interesting coming into a harbor that you've never been in before, it use to cause me great anxiety. I no longer feel anxious or nervous while doing most things on my boat...including coming into an unfamiliar port and into an unfamiliar slip...even when single handing. My confidence level has risen so much over the past year in so many ways. Now, please don't confuse my confident attitude with a cocky's not. I don't think anyone should ever feel cocky about docking a 41 foot sailboat, even with a full crew aboard. As is typical here in Mexico, there were plenty of people ready to help me in, and one of them, who I later found out is a ASA certified sailing instructor said "you brought that boat in real well". Confidence level went up another notch.
Marina San Carlos (pic) is a modern, full service Marina. Along with the usual facilities, there are art galleries, restaurants, wine bars, clothing stores a 5 star hotel and of course several cantinas. It is lined with multi million dollar homes and is a world apart from Santa kinda reminds me of a Monte Carlo type atmosphere, with out the high cost. Not that I've ever been to Monte Carlo.
For people following my spot messages on Facebook, tonight will be the last spot I send out until further notice, I will however continue to blog.
God Bless

07/01/2011 | Amber Gilbert
Glad your there safe and sound :) good talking to you this morning to... Good luck packing up all your boat stuff love you your in my prayers daily
On the hard...or not, that is the question.
06/29/2011, at a desk

One of the reasons I didn't stay in Bahia San Pedro longer was that I need to complete 45 hours of continuing education every 4 years in order to maintain my California Real Estate licensee. I am able to complete the courses on line, however it does require a reliable internet connection. Marina Real has what I've found to be the most reliable internet connections since leaving San it was a great chance to at least get started on my testing. I've finished one of three final exams and am waiting until 3:52 local time to take exam number 2.
Tomorrow I'll be leaving Bahia Algodones and moving a whooping 6 miles to Marina San Carlos. Marina San Carlos is where I will keep Si Bon during the 2011 hurricane season. I originally had planned to put Si Bon in dry storage. The mariners term for dry storage is....and I'm not making this is called putting your boat on the hard. So if I was to put Si Bon in dry storage, I would say to my fellow mariners that "she's going on the hard". Now I know that there are some of you that are thinking that that is some sort of sexual reference...but it means that the boat is on hard ground. Anyway Si Bon is not going on the hard, she is going to stay in the water where she belongs. That decision not to put her on the hard was mostly due to the fact that I really don't plan on being gone very long...maybe as little as 1.5 months. It takes a lot of preparation and work to put a boat on the hard and it just didn't seem worth it for such a short time. Hurricanes rarely make it this far up the Sea of Cortez and Marina San Carlos is a very well protected hurricane hole where the boat is on the hard.....or not.
This is a pic of the locals enjoying the beautiful waters of Bahia Algodones.

What happened to Steve
06/28/2011, Mainland Mexico, Sea of Cortez

I'm pretty sure all of my blog followers are wonderings...what happened to Steve and his always exciting blog? Although while anchored in Bahia Algodones, I have great cell service, I have no internet service. I am currently sitting in the Marina Real's air conditioned office posting this blog. Soon after arriving in Bahia Algodones I discovered that for $12.00 I could come over here put my dinghy in a slip and use their showers, their internet and as a fringe benefit I can toss out my trash in their dumpster. Now that might not sound like a good deal to you...but being a thrifty (cheap) cruiser, I also figured out that if I come in the late morning I can get the rest of that day and all of the following day. Now add up your internet bill, your air conditioning bill, your water bill and your trash bill and $6.00 a day starts to sound pretty good, (and I only have to pay it when I want to). Bahia Algodones is a beautiful large bay (pic) that is lined with million dollar homes, it is also home to two large resorts and Marina Real. during the weekends it is full of kids on waverunners, wakeboard boats, kayaks and small sailboats. Sunday morning I woke up and decided to move up the coast 10 miles to another bay called Bahia San Pedro. Bahia San Pedro is a picture perfect cove of which I was the only boat anchored in...certainly a lot quieter that Algodones. I spent Sunday swimming, snorkleing and rowing around this wonderful spot...wishing Shaybo was there to enjoy it with me. Monday morning the wind came up with a fury...I was anchored close to a beautiful shear rock cliff which protected me from the swells...but with 25+ knot gusts blowing across the bay, I had no choice but to stay on Si Bon. You definitely don't want to go for a hike or swim and watch your boat be blown out to sea, or onto the rocks while you're stranded in an isolated, remote bay. Finally around 1430 in afternoon the wind subsided enough for me to weigh the anchor and head back to Algodones. As I was preparing to leave, a couple of guys in a panga approached Si Bon and sold me two lobster tails for 40 pasos ($3.50) and then invited me to the beach to have dinner with them. I politely refused...hopefully next time I'll be able to join them.
Well I have another day of internet I should be able to post again then...I'm sure that will make all of my blog faithful happy.....both of them.

Tetas de Cabra
06/24/2011, Bahia Algodones

Even with all of the gadgets aboard a modern cruising yacht, it is still nice to have a visual reference when coming into an unfamilar anchorage or port. As I was nearing the coast of Mainland Mexico on Tuesday, I noticed on my chart that there was a huge mountain located behind the exact spot that I wanted to drop my hook. The day was hazy and visibliity was probably less than 15 NM. Now I really do try to keep this family oriented blog clean, but every once in awhile I just can´t contain myself. Both my family and Sharon´s family follow my blog and I´m sure before long my blog will be required reading in most class rooms and I even heard that I may now have a Catholic Priest that checks in every once in awhile....never the less here goes. The name of the mountain is Tetas de Cabra, which translates to Goat teat peak. Now being a city boy, I have no idea what the teat of a goat looks like, and honestly I have no intention of finding out. If I were to guess, I would think that this is probably an accurate discription. I do know that as I was approaching Bahia Algodones, on a hazy day, that rising above the haze, sticking out like a....well like a sore teat..was Tetas de Cabra.

06/30/2011 | Ashley Cook
ha, love it pops! :)
The crossing
06/23/2011, Sonora, Mexico

I left Santa Rosalia as planned on Tuesday morning at 0600. As I cleared the marina breakwater and turned toward the mainland of Mexico I was treated to a large fog bank hanging just off the coast. Fog is the one weather issue that concerns me the most. I had had a bad experience in fog some 30 years ago when sailing my first boat to Ensenada. That boat was poorly equipped and I basically spent 3 days bobbing around in the fog off of the Mexican coast. Although the memory remains with me, Si Bon is a VERY well equipped yacht and by keeping a close eye on the radar we plowed through the pea soup thick fog, avoiding the Santa Rosalia ferry, several shrimp boats and of course the ever present pangas.
The crossing was a total of 72 NM (nautical miles) and I had calculated that it would take me somewhere between 12-14 hours, I arrived in Playa Algodones at 1900...which if my math is correct is 13 hours. You would think that a passage of that length would be full of boredom. However, I was kept busy all day, first with the fog, then with a couple of islands that I wanted to avoid and then with several other vessels. One of the vessels was the Research vessel New Horizon, The New Horizon put out a security message (a warning) that they were restricted in their ability to manuver and should be avoided. The message was in english, they only gave a vague discription of their location and they would not answer repeated requests from S/V Si Bon to clarify their location, which turned out to be within a mile of my intended course. Luckly I was on top of things and past the New Horizon in spite of their poor seamanship skills.
All in all it was a great trip, still no horror stories to tell, but full of adventure and excitement. I am currently anchored in Playa Algodones, which is a beautiful bay also known as "Catch 22 Beach" after the 1960's movie that was filmed here. I´ll fill you in more on Playa Algodones manana.
God Bless

06/28/2011 | mark b
Trying to catch up on your blog. Ais would probably helped you in the fog. Larger commerical are suppost to have them, and it would confirm speed and location, time to collison if needed. I hope to try mine out soon on my next ocean trip.
Sailblog crash
06/20/2011, cyber space

As you probably know sailblogs experienced a crash last week. Although you were unable to get into my blog for only a couple of days....I was unable to post blogs until now.
Sooo lots of catching up to do. After returning from the states I discovered that the temps had indeed risen here in the Sea of Cortez. Before leaving on my cruise I was warned that shade was an important thing. Keeping in mind that Si Bon already had a full bimini and a dodger which completely cover the cockpit thoughts were always...shade I don´t need no stinking shade. Well once again I was proven wrong, as it is also important to keep the hot mid day sun off of the entire deck. I did have kinda a half ass little tarp and a small used sail that I tried to rig up...but that didn´t really help. It didn´t help matters that my two neighbors on each side, FireFly and Voyager have the most intense shade systems that I´ve seen. So off I went to get me some shade...and after the better part of a day I had purchased a larger tarp, cut down the used sail and put grommets it it for tie downs, rigged it all up and I now have shade. But make no mistake, FireFly and Voyager are in no risk of losing the shade award to Si Bon.
My current plan calls for me to leave Baja California tomorrow morning (early) and cross the Sea of Cortez for mainland Mexico. I will be single handing this leg. I have been super busy the last couple of days preparing for my crossing and today will be another busy day, but things are coming along nicely. I will be cruising around the San Carlos area of the mainland for about two weeks before putting Si Bon in dry storage for the hurricane season. As is becoming common, I don´t have a clue about when or if I´ll have internet access, but as soon as I do I´ll be blogging away.
God Bless.

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