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05/15/2011, mmmm...Puerto Escondido
I think I´ve now finally caught up on my trip up to Puerto Escondido (PE). So is´s now time to actually tell you a little about PE. PE (pic) is a nearly landlocked bay which offers protection from almost all wind and swell directions. PE is used as a hurricane hole for this entire region of the Sea of Cortez, A hurricane hole is a bay or port that if you´re unlucky enough (or dumb enough) to be caught in an approaching hurricane, allows you to drop your anchor (or tie up to a mooring ball), take all of your sails and other canvas off the deck, go below decks, put your head between your legs...and kiss your ass goodbye. Just kidding (sort of). PE offers several things that a cruiser looks forward to, they have showers (hot from 10-2) a laundry room, a small store, a nice little resturant and of course plenty of other cruisers to share informatioin with. PE now has mooring balls throughout the bay thereby limiting the ability to anchor. Since we didn´t have to worry about my anchor dragging in the middle of the night, Bob and I decided to take a land trip over to Loreto Thursday and Friday night for a little boat break and a little private time for ourselves.
Agua Verde to Puerto EscondidoSteve
05/13/2011, Puerto Escondido
Both Bob and Myself had enjoyed our time in Agua Verde. We had walked around the village, taken hikes, snorkled and are starting to become submersed into the unique culture of the panga fishing community. That said it was time to move on. I don´t think I´ve mentioned yet that now that we are away from the La Paz area, we no longer have the nighttime coromuel winds. The nights at anchor have been VERY calm, sometimes it´s hard to tell if you´re at anchor or tied up to a slip. Then a panga will buzz by and you´ll remember that you are indeed at anchor. As we were raising the anchor with the gimpy windless on Tuesday morning, we noticed that there was a breeze starting to kick up. I´m saying to myself " this is great, maybe we´ll actually get to sail for awhile". As we headed out of the cove the wind continued to increase and I wasted no time in getting my sails out. The wind continued to build and the sea surface started to get whitecaps on it, there was some spray starting to come over the bow of Si Bon and I started to think about reefing the sails (reducing the sail area). There´s an old saying (there are a lot of old sayings in the sailing world), that if you´re thinking about reefing, you probably already should have". This saying was turning out to be true in our case as we were now having some problems holding our course and we also had some major spray coming across the deck, Bob had a sort of deer in the headlights look on his face and I knew it was time to reef. Once reefed Si Bon settled down and we were sailing along in somewhere around 20 knot winds. After about an hour and a half the wind died out and on went the iron sail. After lunch we were able to sail again for awhile before getting to Puerto Escondido, making it a nice sailing leg up the sea.
05/12/2011, Bahia agua Verde
As we prepared to leave San Evaristo on Saturday we really had no idea what we would be facing with the now broken windless. When the accident happened two days earlier we slowly took up about 50 feet of chain just so wouldn´t be swinging all over the anchorage with 200 feet out. We how had to bring up the other 150 feet and then move to another anchorage and drop the hook there, at this point we both felt that we would be OK dropping the hook, but were very nervious about raising it with the now gimpy windless. As it turned out we figured out a system of raising the anchor without jamming the chain into the windless, it is a slow process and leaves me with a bruise on my forearm that is about the size and color of an apple.
Not a good daySteve
05/11/2011, Puerto Escondido, B.C.S.
We are currently in Puerto Escondido. Bob and I left La Paz one week ago today. We anchored overnight at the now very familar Balandra and left early the following morning for San Evaristo, a 40 NM trip which took us about 8 hours. We were dropping the hook in about 30 feet of water and 15 knots of wind when the fun started. With about 75 feet of chain out the windless (winch) that raises and lowers the anchor slipped a foot or so then held. I made a decision (not a very good one as it turns out) to use my ratchet to tighten it up, I accidently pulled the winch the wrong way and Bob and myself looked on in horror as 125 feet of chain came flying off the windless, I tried to tighten the drum but the ratchet was rusted and I couldn´t change the ratchet direction. Things were not looking very good as the 15 knot wind was blowing us back and the chain was reeling off the windless uncontrolled. Once my 200 foot chain reached it's end and we started in to my 200 feet of rode (rope), the rode became snarled in the windless, thus bring us to a very quick stop. This turned out to be good news and bad news. The good news was we were now stopped, the bad news was that we now had a MAJOR rode jam in the windless. I was able to pull the rode enough to wrap it around my bow cleat and Bob and I started working on untangling the mess. Once we untangled the snarled rode it became apparent that when the rode jammed it also snapped off a small plastic piece that keeps the chain/rode from wrapping all the way around the windless. This means that when we are raising the anchor one of us now has to hand feed the chain through the windless while the other one works the control, this is a slow, and some times painful process....oh well, no one ever said cruising was going to be easy.
05/04/2011, La Paz, B.C.S
We´ll be leaving later today for our next destination, which is Santa Rosalia (SR). SR is about 224 nautical miles north of La Paz, if we were in a big hurry (we´re not) we could do this leg in less than two days. We´ll be anchorage hopping up the Sea of Cortez through what is said to be some of the best cruising areas in the world. Our current plan is to be in SR towards the end of May. Most of the coves and small fishing villages that we will stop at along the way are within 25-50 miles of each other. God willing we should be able to do this entire leg during daylight hours, stopping each night to anchor. We now have two people aboard Si Bon, myself and a friend of mine Bob Gregory. Bob is an adventureous traveler from Australia, whom I first met on a two week sailing trip we did in Turkey and Greece a few years ago. I will update the blog posts along the way whenever we can get internet access. Of course as usual all this is subject to change.
05/03/2011, La Paz, B.C.S
Marina Palmira has been my home for the past month. Marina Palmira (MP) is a beautiful marina located within the La Paz harbor and is further protected by it´s own breakwater. MP has many amenities including; showers, laundry, wireless internet, a tienda (store), two restaurants and a hotel with a pool that we are able to use (I think). MP has a free shuttle into La Paz central three times a day and it´s location at the end of the malecon makes for nice walks into La Paz central. The thing that sets MP away from other marinas is the high level of customer service. It became apparent to me the first time I hailed MP on the VHF radio and was greeted with a warm, friendy voice instructing me of what to do, that I would be having a pleasant stay here. It was only when I arrived in the office to check in that I became aware that the young lady with the non-stressed voice was actually doing 5 things a once and put a whole new meaning on multi-tasking. The entire staff, from the dock crew to the guys in the tienda to the dude at the front gate have always treated myself and my guests with the utmost respect and ALWAYS with a smile. The three girls in the office, Lupita, Marcela and Adriana have helped me with everything you can imagine, from renting a car to helping me with my computer to giving me directions to somewhere I needed to go.....and always in their easy going polite manner. We will be leaving Marina Palmira tomorrow and heading north up the Sea of Cortez. I may not have great internet access until we get to Puerto Escondido (Loreto), so if I miss a few days blogging I´ll catch up then.
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