Hot, Hot, Hot!
05/28/2011, La Paz
Yep, it's hot here all right. It's been 95+ degrees everyday. Fortunately Marina Palmira is adjacent to a hotel that allows marina slip renters use of their pool. We've been using/abusing those pool privileges every day.
We've also been busy, busy, busy getting the boat in top notch shape for the bash back north. Thursday we took the mainsail to a sail loft where Bob and Lee put sticky back material down the entire leech of the sail. It really looks like a Minney's sail now. But at least it doesn't have duct tape, yet. Lee keeps saying he is so embarrased about the sail. But it's a North sail, not an Elliot Pattison sail so I keep telling him not to worry.
Yesterday the guys started to change the belts when they noticed the engine driven compressor bracket had broken again. It's been welded twice already. So off it came from the engine (no easy feat) and delivered to a welder. Lee made some design changes that should strengthen the bracket.
Today the guys tested all the bilge pumps including the manual pump. They made some modifications and all the pumps are working perfectly. We also moved some gear around to shift weight out of the bow into the midsections of the boat. This should reduce the effects of pounding from the waves. We also got word from our insurance agent that our deadline to get north of Rio San Tomas has been extended from July 1 to July 15th. That's a good thing because we want to wait a little longer to get started home in hopes the weather systems calm down on the Pacific side of Baja.
Tonight we will test all the lights (running, steaming, disco (no, just kidding). The oil was just changed last week so that task is done. Sirocco has done very well the entire trip and there isn't all that much we need to do to get ready for the bash. But Lee always wants everything working perfectly so I'm sure we will be doing little projects the next few days.
Les George, a friend from Oceanside, will fly down to Cabo to help deliver the boat back. Les delivered Sirocco back last year and did a terrific job so we're glad he can help again. The plan is to leave Cabo on June 22nd, weather permitting.
Wow, 3,000 Miles!
05/25/2011, En route to La Paz
On our way from Ensenada Grande to La Paz, our trip odometer hit 3,000 miles. That the same distance from the east coast to the west coast. Can you imagine traveling that distance at an average of 5 miles an hour? :) And yes, Lee and I are still talking to each other.
In a span of 22 miles, we caught 7 fish. But they were all bonito. I kept telling Lee and Bob it was the same fish but they denied it. We're getting good practice for the big dorado that I know we will hook someday.
05/24/2011, Ensenada Grande, Isla Partida
Many of our friends ask why we don't want to come home. I believe this picture taken by our friends on Kailani while we were anchored at Ensenada Grande says it all.
Swimming with the Seals
When we woke up on Monday morning there was a pretty strong southwest wind so we decided to head to San Evaristo and its southern lobe. There aren't too many anchorages in the Sea that provide southern protection. It turned out to be a wise choice; one of our friends anchored in the northern lobe of the bay and had a rolly night.
Tuesday morning the wind was still blowing from the south (of course, because that's the direction we wanted to go!) so we went to the northern end of Isla San Francisco. After several hours the wind died down and we went around to the western anchorage and met up with friends on Ponderosa, Wind Rose and Kailani.
Bob wanted to swim with the seals so on Wednesday morning we headed over to Isolotes which is a rock north of the island of Espirtu Santos. I had an earache so I didn't go in. When Bob immediately returned to the boat after he dove in to get his wetsuit, I knew I had made the right decision. If Bob needs a wetsuit, the water is cold! We were fortunate there was no wind so we could set the anchor and watch all the sea life. Typically boats just need to cruise around slowly and cannot anchor. The seals came over to Bob and let him touch them and swim with them.
We decided to anchor in the southern finger of Nopolo which is a very small anchorage with room for maybe 2 boats. As soon as we were set, a fisherman with his two daughters came up in a panga asking if we wanted fish. Since we were well stocked from the day before, we really didn't want any but asked how much it was, especially since it was red snapper. The fisherman (Carlos) kept saying, "regalo, regalo". I had to pull out the Spanish dictionary to translate. It was a gift! He gave us over a kilo of fresh red snapper and refused to take any money. We found a package of M&M's and Lee gave up one of his beloved Snicker's candy bars to give to the girls. They were delighted!
We snorkeled later in the afternoon and found a huge tree underwater about 25 feet behind the boat. It's a good thing we didn't go in any further to anchor or we would have had a terrible time pulliing the anchor back up. But the tree provided nice protection for small fish and we saw lots of different varieties.
Later in the evening Carlos came back out to the boat to see if we needed anything. What a nice man. It looked like it was just 2 families that live in the small bay. They had some kind of power; we could hear music playing but couldn't hear a generator . The only access to their homes is by water, no roads that we could see. Very remote but very beautiful.
We made a short stop at Ballena to check out the sea caves.