03/07/2011, Turtle Bay, Baja California
For some reason I wasn't able to get on to my blog while we were in Ensenada..so I have a lot to catch up on, I'm sending this out from an internet cafe in beautiful (NOT) Turtle Bay and not able to post pictures..hopefully Manana.
We left San Diego at around 0200 on Wednesday morning, my friend Brian Brown got up and brought us donuts and saw us off...thanks Brian. We made excellent time and were at the Marina Coral in under 11 hours. On Thursday we cleared into Mexico with the Capitan de Puerto (port captain) and as luck would have it Canaval was starting, so Peter and I headed into town to check it out while Catherine finished up a few work related things. It was really cool to see how all of the Mexican families enjoy all of the festivities with their families and friends...it made us realize that all of the material things that we seem to not be able to live without in the US....don't necessarily equal happiness.
I was orginally planning on leaving Ensenada at 0530 on Friday morning..I had figured that that would put us into our next port (Turtle Bay) at around mid-day Sunday, after thinking about it I decided that trying to time a 275 mile trip was next to impossible, and part of the joy of the cruising lifestyle is to relax and not always be rushing around....so I broke the news to my crew that we would leave sometime Friday morning and they could get up whenever their little hearts desired...this brought great joy to both Catherine and Peter...and the skipper didn't mind it a whole lot either.
We ended pulling out of Ensenada at about 1000 on Friday morning and had our sails up within minutes of getting out of the harbor, as we headed south the wind continued to build off our stern, we deployed the whisker pole and were sailing along at a steady 7-8 knots going wing on wing, that's where you have your main sail on one side of the boat and your head sail on the other. As the morning turned into afternoon the wind continued to pick up force...Si Bon was flying along...8-9 knots..I grabbed my camera to get a picture on my SOG (speed over ground) from my GPS, I took a pic at 9.3....all of a sudden we hit 10.2...i had to get another pic...I snapped one at 10.3 (will post on blog) and decided it was time to reef (reduce the sail area) the sails before things got out of hand. Even after we took in the main sail about half way and the Genoa several feet, we were still hitting 8-9 knots.
Friday night the wind died out and finally about 1900 we turned on the iron sail.
On Saturday we were treated to pea soup fog, however once again the wind came up early and strong as we sailed south at a great clip, everyone had that look of a little kid at Christmas as Si Bon cruised easily along. We sailed all day and well into the night before turning on the engine for a few hours as we past Isla Cedros towards Turtle Bay, we ended up dropping the hook in Turtle Bay at about 1430....which was about when I thought we would arrive before I decided to let everyone sleep in Friday morning.
I will try to post pictures tomorrow and tell you about lovely Turtle Bay...we plan on being here until at least Thursday...subject to change.
03/01/2011, San Diego, California
Well the day has come...the crew is all aboard (pic)....the cupboards are packed...the fuel and water will be topped off later today. The plan is to leave Wed. morning at 0300 and sail down to Marina Coral, Ensenada, this should put us at the Coral around 1600. We will clear into Mexico on Thursday and spend Thursday night at the Marina Coral, weather permitting we will leave Ensenada on Friday morning and sail to Bahia Tortugas (Turtle Bay), Turtle Bay is about 275 NM south of Ensenada which should take us about 2 1/2 days. All subject to change of course.
Thanks to all of our friends and family for your support and prayers...God bless.
Carless in San Diego
02/27/2011, San Diego, California
After several weeks of unsuccessfully trying to sell my Chevy Tahoe, (asking $9900) on Craigslist and Auto Trader I took it by Car Max last week, I was expecting to be lowballed to death and on the way there decided I would be VERY happy if they gave me $8000...and I would be OK down to $7000. I didn't really have much choice in the whole thing (probably would have taken down to $5000), because what am I going to do with a car in California when I'm in some foreign country? I had plenty of friends and my kids that offered to let me park it in front of their house and they would start/drive it every once in a while...but you know how that goes....it would get old fast, besides I could use the cash. I almost fell out of the chair when they came back with an offer of $9000, and I had 7 days to think about it. Yesterday I took it over to Car Max, got my check and I am now, for the first time since I was 16..... carless.
At first it felt kinda weird, but as the day progressed I started feeling this overwhelming freedom come over me, the car was the last anchor to shore living and quite frankly it had become somewhat of a pain in the ass, even just doing local cruising and moving the boat between mooring, anchorages and marinas, I always was trying to figure out what to do with my car.
Crew is now all on Si Bon, today we start organizing our final shopping list and will go to the store later today or tomorrow to do final provisioning...our target date of March 1 is looking pretty good right now.....subject to change.
Max Prop and the mooring ball
02/23/2011, San Diego, California
Yesterday my Max-Prop went back on Si Bon, taking the VERY high tech prop off with Si Bon in the water was one thing, putting the intricate prop back on was another, it didn't help that my diver Alex had injured his hand last week and was limited in his ability to work with the very small pins and screws needed to hold it all together. Once the prop was back on my crew member Peter (pic) and I did a little testing, with Si Bon tied tightly to the dock I put the boat in forward and reverse several times to make sure everything was working, we then untied the dock lines and headed out into the bay towards the mooring field to strip my mooring line off the ball.
Once we arrived at the ball we were treated to a very tightly wrapped mooring line of which the two of us struggled with for close to an hour to free up and remove my expensive shackles and line. I made the decision over the weekend that I would finish my time in San Diego here at the marina, it was kinda sad to be leaving the ball for the last time, I have many great memories and lessons from my time spent on my ball.
My sadness didn't last long as we had about 10 knots of wind, we put up the sails and with Peter at the helm for the first time on Si Bon, we glided up the bay doing about 6 knots towards Sun Harbor Marina....our home for the next week.....or so.
02/22/2011, San Diego, California
It's kind of amazing to me that I will be talking to someone, someone who has known that I've been planning my trip for close to a year and a half, someone who knows that I've left my career of over 30 years, someone who knows that I've sold my condo (sort of), sold my Corvette, sold my waverunner, sold most of my furniture, someone who knows that I have spent countless hours and dollars on Si Bon...and when I tell them that I plan to be gone 5-10 years they respond with "oh I thought who were just going to be gone for a couple of months". Now I ask you why the hell would anyone do all of this for a couple of months.
So I thought I would let everyone know the plan, keep in mind that all of this is subject to many changes, modifications and deletions...I could be back in a week for all I know, but this is the plan as of 0713 on Feb. 22, 2011.
I will be leaving within the next 2 weeks and sailing down the Pacific coast of Baja California, I will round the cape and sail up to La Paz, Mexico where I will spend a month or so, I will then sail up into the Sea of Cortez where I plan to spend most of the summer and early fall. Sometime in the fall of 2011 I will start heading south along the coast of mainland Mexico and God willing in spring of 2012 will continue south through Central America and eventually through the Panama Canal and into the Caribbean. Once into the Caribbean I will head over to the Grenadiens where I will pick up my Uncle Ross on some dock and we will sail together through the islands that he has always wanted to see, from there I would like to sail through the British Virgin Islands, and after all that who knows what I'll do???
So it is now 0730 Feb. 22, 2011.... and that is still the plan....subject to change. God bless!
Going away party.....take 2
02/20/2011, Sun Harbor Marina
I can remember the night I made my decision to buy a boat, quit my job, sell everything and go cruising, I was reading some things on some sort of cruiser blog type of web site, someone suggested that you make a list of the six things that you would want to gain from a cruiser lifestyle....and six things that you would miss most about leaving your current lifestyle. My list of things I would miss most were the following; 1. My kids, 2. my friends, 3.Reading my newspaper every morning, 4. watching TV, 5. My comfortable home and 6. security of a land based life. Well yesterday I was reminded of just how much I will miss my kids and my friends, my two wonderful daughters, Amber and Ashley threw me a going away party, they put it all together, bought all the food/drinks, and invited all my friends. It was a great day as I saw many of my friends both old friends and new friends and even my ex-wife and her husband (see christmas blog), everyone was enthusiastic about my trip and wished me well. I hope that the people who said they want to meet me along the way will follow up and strive to make it happen, as it would be great to see them and share with them for a few days a part of my new lifestyle.
Ohh... and as for the rest of the list, I haven't read the newspaper in months, and don't miss it one bit, I have watched the TV on my boat a total of about 5 hours in the past 1+ years, and don't miss it one bit, I still have a comfortable home (it floats), and I'm not sure why I thought a land based house was so secure???
Thank you Amber and Ashley for all your effort, thank you to all my friends for showing up on a cold rainy day to wish me Bon Voyage.....I'll miss you all more than I can tell you.