Sailing BOAT

Join us as we follow a dream and start in on the cruising life onboard our 41' Hunter. We will be heading south from our home part of Channel Islands, CA and traveling as far as we can go/where the wind takes us over the next 8 months.

20 February 2018 | Bahia Magdalena
08 February 2018 | 27 41.11'N:114 53.13'W, Bahia de Tortugas, Baja Sur Mexico
06 February 2018 | Punta Tomas
01 February 2018
01 February 2018 | Ensenada
31 January 2018 | Ensenada
26 January 2018 | Fiddler's Cove, San Diego
23 January 2018 | Catalina
23 January 2018 | Two Harbors at Catalina

Bahia Magdalena

20 February 2018 | Bahia Magdalena
Courtney
What a beautiful anchorage! After making our jaunt from Turtle Bay, we decided to anchor in Man o War cove—which is 5 mi inside Bahia Magdalena - a massive, massive bay (think San Fran Bay massive)

When we arrived in the late morning, we were welcomed by a few whales just outside the entrance to the bay. As we rounded the point, the seas and winds calmed substantially making for a very easy motor, no sail in. In the distance, we could barely make out what looked like little rocks far off in the distance, straight ahead of us. None of our charts or guidebooks outlined low-lying rocks in the middle of the bay, so we kept a vigilant watch on them trying to figure out what in the heck they were. Fishing boats? Buoys? Weird Mexican traps of some kind? Retarded boaters floating in the middle of the bay? After watching them for awhile, we noticed four of them would shift together, racing towards a specific direction in a group. Ok, maybe drunk fisherman playing some odd game? Eventually and now within about 200 yards of them, we realized they were whale watching tours and, how we didn’t notice this before, but a TON, and I mean a TON! of whales! There was at least 10 pangas and about 10-15 whales just surfing around the bay, some in groups (parents with their small young, elderly grandparents taking a romantic afternoon swim, some punk teenagers out looking to cause a rucous--because, yes animal groups have the same social systems as us, obviously!) and some that were more loner style. So cool and so incredibly hilarious to watch these tour boats racing in the direction of the whale spouts, coming within inches of the whales, who didn’t seem to mind at all being on display for their audience of onlookers. THIS is what Sea World should be about!! Happy little whales cruising around in their big ocean habitat, and us, the foreigners, quietly and respectfully observing from a distance. It was breathtaking, really. I tried unsuccessfully to video both the hilarity of the tour boats scurrying about the bay in packs as well as catching these massive marine beasts floating along. Sadly, my previously impeccable timing was a bit off today and every video is just of rolling seas or grainy, shaky video of the tour boats. Actually, more commonly, its just video of my thumb squished against the screen and muffled sounds of me ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘aww-ing’ at the whales, none of which are even remotely clear as to what I was trying to capture. So in any case, you just have to take my word for it on what it looked like :) It was cool—whales, boats, people, nature and a lot of seawater.

Man o War anchorage was a DREAM!!! Seas were like glass and incredibly quiet! On anchor we felt like we were in a slip it was that calm! And literally no sounds at all, besides one other sailboat we were the only other boats anchored—dead quiet day and night. It was absolute bliss!



Man o War is a big open bay, with a gradual sloping shelf leading to the beach. Little sand bars begin to peak out about 50 yards away from us and then become fully exposed like little islands during low tide. There is a very small, ittsy bittsy teeny-weeny town on the beach comprised of about 40 houses, one restaurant, two small “tiendas” which I was sure where actually peoples homes with front area retrofitted to resemble a store front.

We stayed for about three days. Day one and two we took the opportunity for some much needed rest and down time. Literally do nothing; no boat repairs, no cleaning, no rearranging, no travel planning, no must-go here and do this chores…literally doing. nothing. Jay sat in the cockpit, headphones on and listening to his book slash cat napping all thru out the day. I finally busted out my Paddleboard, tied off to the stern and floated, fully stretched out with my book and life vest as a pillow. Talk about multitasking with all of my favorite things; getting a tan, catching up on reading AND floating on the water with my SUP—who says you cant have your cake and eat it too?! I of course, tried to take a selfie here to capture this— which was a total fail. Oh well, like I said, still working on my portfolio for Nat Geo—it make take me a decade or two to get the right material, but practice is a start. I'm sure Ansel Adams probably shot a few terribly lit landscape shots with his thumb blurring the entire lens in the beginning, right?

As I shared before, there is a really small town just nearby where we anchored. We ventured in one day to explore, but quiet honestly it was so tiny that we had seen everything in about 30 minutes. The locals were kind enough to open up a store for us to buy some snacks, which was occupied by a younger man, sitting outside the “storefront” on his phone, I think watching Youtube videos (hows that for some odd juxtapositon?!) He yells to his grandmother to come and help us (because obviously too busy watching Youtube to get up and walk the 5 inches to help us, but instead doesn’t even move a muscle and just yells for his poor grandmother to walk/hobble around from the back house and help these dumb gringos—nice kid! Isn't mexican culture all about respecting the abuelos?!)

After we leave a gang of local dogs comes up to us and decides they want to be our friends. Most of them were little tiny mutts, some cute, some not so much. One of them slightly resembled the Anthony Weiner look alike dog meme (anyone else know what I am referring to?) However, this one massive dog comes over and decides to take a particular liking to me (why not pick the smallest in the group to harass, right?!). Like all dogs, he starts shoving his face into my stomach/crotch area (he was waist height to me and was basically Courtney horse size—no clue what mix he was.) Well, Jay of course notices that this dog is, errrm, still intact AND very interested in me. So, naturally because he knows it will get a rise out of me, starts teasing me that the dog wants to mount me. I, being only half the size of this massive dog, and noticing his uhm, man parts are like medium size floatation devices—I freak out, and try to get away from the dog. This only encourages the dog more to follow me—sticking his nose in my butt and basically acting as if he was in on the joke with Jay. Thankfully, the dog was being playful and not aggressive at all with me, but still, strange dogs that are massive in size AND getting up in my business trying for sexy time—yeah, no. Look Muchacho, you might be the king of this town and a hot tamale to the other perras in this hood, but I aint one and I am not interested in playing this little game anymore.

Meanwhile everyone else is laughing hysterically, including likely some locals watching this all go down. I am not. I sprint towards the water hoping the dog won’t follow me

....and then I remembered his “floatation devices”—crap! Dog, of course follows me into the water, crouches down just down stream of me and then proceeds to relieve himself. I guess that was his equivalent of the middle finger to me for my rejection of his Bailando de Amor (love dance)

--

Our last day in Mag Bay, Jay and I take the dinghy to go explore San Carlos—which is a commercial port and Port of Entry. We had heard there was a small town there and wanted to go check out. The dingy ride was a good distance away, so Jay decided to rig our dingy for comfort



While it look ridiculous and I almost told him to take the chairs off, it was actually quite comfortable and I appreciated it after the fact for the long ride into town. (With the winds and sea chop coming at us, this was a very wet and slightly uncomfortable ride there. Took us a good 40 minutes to get to San Carlos.)

[Quick side note: I had brought the GoPro with us to take video and pictures of this trip. And wouldn’t you know, 5 minutes into the dinghy ride, I go to bust it out to shoot some video and the damn thing is out of batteries—Son of a….!!??) Anyway, my description will have to do, as I have no pictures to share whatsoever!)]

Anyway, continuing on with my story, as you round the point of San Carlos, the commercial dock comes into view. It is a massive cement dock, with a few old tires nailed into sides acting as pseudo bumpers. There are only two big fishing boats tied up and absolutely no one around. You can kind of smell the eau de fishing boats, which I guessed the seagulls could smell as well as there was a LARGE swarm of them circling the boat. So big a grouping of birds, that Jay and I both commented on how it was slightly Alfred Hitchcock-eque with the amount of seagulls circling and sitting on the tin rooftop of a nearby vacant and run down building on the dock.

We round the corner of the commercial dock looking for a safe place to land the dinghy. There really isn’t anyone around, a few houses dot the coastline, but everything seems pretty desolate and uninhabited. We know the whale watching tour boats (medium sized pangas) must have come from this direction, so we are trying to find their dock. Finally, in the distance, we see a small shoreline and a few brightly colored pangas beached with anchors. Nearby are a few two story building, well maintained and a few huts just beyond on the beach. Building are traditional Spanish style adobe, thick cement structure with arched open-air doorways and windows, clay red and orangish yellow in colors, giving a bright cheerful look. Decks are shaded with straw and bamboos screens. A big outdoor bar area is covered with a straw thatched awning and decorated with hanging lights and brightly colored strings of “papel picado”.

As we beach the dinghy, this super creepy dude slinks out of the bush about 20 yards away…and is staring/ignoring us but trying to be low key and watching us… Clearly homeless, or tweaked out. Jay turns his back and tells me to ignore him. Um—no! I defiantly stand, fully facing him and staring right back—making it very clear I see him there. Jay tells me to run up towards the buildings and see if there is actually anything there before we decide to stay.

As I am coming back to report of a cute little hotel and restaurant, totally unexpectedcted from what it looked like from the rest of the land, Jay has pulled the dinghy back into shore much closer to the other beached pangas. Creepy dude is gone and no where to be seen. I had run into the owner of the hotel on my walk about in, kindly asking if we could beach our dinghy and if safe here. He speaks perfect English and tells me its very safe and to, of course, bring our dinghy, come and walk around. His staff will watch our dinghy for us and make sure ok. GREAT!

San Carlos is unexpectedly super cute! Tiny town, with one major street, lined with convenient stores, restaurants and hotels. Some with nicer facades then others, and some total abandoned, open for lease. Streets are extremely clean and well maintained. The main street's divider island is newly landscaped, with tiny palms and bougainvillea bushes peeking out and beginning to cover the dirt/rock landscaping.

Being late in the afternoon and not having eaten anything yet for the day, Jay and I are starved! Tempted by our noses, and being well beyond the point of hunger, we settle on a TO GO BBQ chicken shop. We take our meals, quickly stop by a convenient store to pick up two beers and head back to the beach for a late afternoon picnic on the beach.

OH--I forgot to mention! This was Valentine’s Day!

So, we have our romantic BBQ chicken and beers lunch on the beach watching the whale pangas tours workers clean and repair the pangas; lively, hilarious bunch of guys. They are yelling back and forth at each other - making jokes, splashing around and teasing each other with the occasional suggestive thrusting of their hips dance. Who knew we would have lunch and entertainment! Best Valentines Ever!

As we ready to leave, we notice that the tide has gone out and where before we beached our dinghy with about 20 yards to deeper water, we now have about 50 yards to water…..whomp, whomp. Guess we are getting our exercise in!

After a good 15 minutes dragging our dinghy, huffing and puffing, we finally get it into deeper water and we are off back to BOAT!

Heading out the next morning for a 150nm jaunt and FINALLY TO CABO!!!!!

Playing Go Fish, Minesweeper and The Panhandlers of the High Seas

13 February 2018 | Bahia Magdalena
Courtney
We have arrived in Bahia Magdalena after a 3 day, 250nm sail. Think this was our best passage yet! Very eventful and winds finally, finally picked up so we were actually able to sail!! I will share this post broken into three parts to cover all the exciting events that happened in my best condensed version.

Playing Go Fish
One of the biggest things Jay and I were looking forward to on this trip was catching delicious dinners. Mexican waters are known for their big sport fishing; having an abundance of Tunas, Mahi, Lobster, and Marlin among other things. Not that we are into big sportfishing, but being able to catch a fresh fish dinner was a highlight we were looking forward to. We have three poles onboard as well as two spearguns (I am beyond excited to teach myself how to spearfish-bring on the warm waters and my hunting prowess!!!)

If you have any gear onboard it is mandatory to get fishing licenses when in Mexico. As I shared in a previous post, the process was super easy and relatively cheap (USD$50 for both of us for the entire year). So, we have been trolling since we got into Mexico, but with no such luck yet....

Leaving Bahia de Tortugas, the water was considerably warmer-which is exactly where all the good fishing happens! We put out our Mexican lure (it's a plastic thingamabob, my non-fishing term for it, and I'm too lazy to get up and ask Jay what the real name of it is) It has feathers the color of the Mexican flag and was given to us by a boating buddy who swore by its crazy ability to catch tons of fish in Mexican waters. Whelp, this was to be our day and what we have been waiting for (and I know some of you have been asking for fish pictures, so time for us to deliver-which is hopefully the start of many more)

Around mid-morning the trolling pole excitedly starts making the best sound ever

"whirrrrr-tssssssk" as the line goes off sounding something pulling on it.

Wide eyed and big smiles, Jay and I leap up and run over. Jay grabs the pole and gives a few good tugs to check if actually a fish or another false alarm (we've caught seaweed and sadly some trash, so while still always hopeful-we knew a potential for letdown). NOT THIS TIME! Baby was tugging right back. He starts to pull the line in and work the fish as we ready to take the pole out of the holder and transfer to Jay. Another big tug and then Jay starts swearing. The fish let go...maybe? We keep the line in, I jump up on the deck to get a better angle to see what/where the fish is, while Jay continues to work the line.

"Whirrrrr-tsssssskkkk"

It bites again, Jay gives another good pull-fish tugs back and then lets go again. Nothing for a few seconds. Jay joins me on the cockpit deck as we watch the water. Then we both see it--a huge (at least 4' long dark thing in the water chasing the lure!!). Never seen anything like that!! So this fish, whatever the heck it was followed curiously hunted that lure for a good 5-10 minutes as we watched. Honestly, quite happy it let go as I am not sure we would have wrestled to pull that monster out of the water. Again, we are just looking for a nice dinner-not to conquer Goliath of the ocean.

Fast forward an hour later. Back sitting in the cockpit, letting time pass. Trolling pole is back up in its spot, lure out.

"whirrrrr-tssssssskkkkkkk"

We jump up like excited kids at Christmas as if we just heard Santa's Sleigh Bells (also having a slight Dory moment, always excited as if it's the first time we have ever heard this sound, Haha! Oh expectational enthusiasm!)

And HECK YES!! This time we got a fighting fish for sure!!

Jay wrestles with this guy for a solid 10-15 minutes. Fish is fighting back like crazy the closer it gets to the boat. Jay's making these weird caveman-like grunting/groaning huffing/puffing sounds--first fish reeling workout of the trip (and I now assume what happens when men are in their primal element; man versus nature, in the wild and hunting for dinner--sorta odd to observe, ladies. It's like they morph in front of you and I was half expecting Jay to start beating his chest after getting our first fish--didn't happen. And thankfully they go back to being their normal domesticated selves shortly after the "kill"...but I digress.) Anyway, I'm videoing the whole time-capturing this awesome moment and laughing my ass off.

Finally he gets the fish close enough and it's about a 22-24" beautiful bluefin tuna! YAY!!! SUSHI DINNER!!

I'm happy dancing around the boat making up some kind of song about sushi and dinner (likely just me repeating those two words in a sing-songy two word rap) Jay's still grunting and fighting the fish (obviously I am of no help in the actual fishing part, this was all Jay. I just offer encouragement in the form of entertaining song/interpretative dance. And maybe thats exactly what cave-ladies did back in prehistoric times--who knew I was unknowingly reverting into ancient primal habits myself?!)

I grab the gafe as Jay has managed to get it to the boat--we can TASTE dinner now. However this little bastard is fighting like crazy still! To not ruin the ending, Here is the final video conclusion of our bluefin tuna dinner:



What I wish I actually did catch is right after I stopped recording, I pan to Jay who is hunched over and completely silent. I see his jaw slightly jutted out and set a certain way. "Omg," I ask, "are you crying?"

whispering "yes"

And then we both start cracking up.
--
A few hours later and determined now to catch something our line is back out and it's back to zoning out on deck again, enjoying the sun and silence sans motor.

"Whirrrrrr-tssssskkkk"

"Oh heck YES!!" We both leap up towards the pole. Repeat process from last two times.YEP IT'S A FISH!

"DINNER"

Jay mildly fights with this guy for just about 5 minutes before he is able to pull him in close to see what we have

MAHI MAHI!!and the perfect size first catch for us and dinner

I grab the gafe and Jay hooks him effortlessly.



YAY!!

Contrary to what I previously thought, while a good amount of blood, Jay fileting the Mahi wasn't as gross as I thought. Except for when he announced that our "dinner" recently snacked on some, no correction ALOT of shrimp. I kinda threw up in my mouth then--I could have done without an autopsy report, Coroner Jay thank you very much.

We grilled up the Mahi that night, light seasoning of olive oil, lemon pepper and Dukkah spice mix -DELISH and cannot wait for more!!

Playing Minesweeper
So you all know the classic game Minesweeper, right? Well this is very similar to going thru crab/lobster trap country on the ocean. In shallow waters (like a few hundred feet versus being way offshore in thousands of feet deep waters) you have to be on the lookout for crab/lobster traps from the local fisherman. Usually they are clearly marked with brightly colored buoys floating on the water, which you can easily pick out and avoid running over. Obviously we don't want the lines getting tangled in our propellor as makes for a pretty messy situation that would really, really suck to get out of.

Well when you have been staring out into the great expanse of the ocean for hours on end, sometimes it takes your brain a bit to register when you see a buoy.

Around late afternoon following our exciting fish catching morning, we suddenly find ourselves amongst some buoys. Jay takes the helm and we maneuver around a few. We can see the fishing boat in the distance, but not sure if he is dropping or lifting them yet. As we continue south on our track we quickly realize THERE ARE A MILLION POTS AROUND US. AHHHHHH!!!!

And so begins the game of Minesweeper. Do you go left or right? You also run the risk of the traps being tethered together so not only do you need to avoid the buoys, BUT you must also keep a look out for catching lines that run BETWEEN the buoys. Arghhhhh!!!

Whelp, needless to say, we hit a "Bomb" and it was game over for us. Whomp, whomp.

Jay starts swearing (yes, this a running theme on our trip, Jay swearing followed by something not so fun happening)
Anyway, he's swearing like I shared-so I run to starboard side of our boat to see a bright yellow line caught under our boat, and the buoy pulling towards us. Jay tries to counter steer and shake the line off. Meanwhile, I'm yelling at Jay and hanging off the side of the boat asking for a knife so I can cut the line before the buoy goes under Too late! And under the boat goes the buoy--

Sh*t

We struggle for a few minutes trying to steer around and let current help us break the line free--all while under sail, mind you, as we CANNOT turn the engine on and risk fouling our prop worse with a dread of a line.

No luck!!

Thankfully we still see the fishing boat in the distance, so I get on the bow of the boat and start waving them over. (While checking my google translate for the word 'crab pot' not something I had ever used before, nor heard)

Fisherman finally come over, I communicate that we have their trap and are stuck. I expected them to be very angry, but I think they were appreciative of us getting their attention so they could retain their trap and buoy. Within about 10 minutes they had cut the line, retrieved their trap, while Jay got their buoy. We thanked them for their help-they thanked us and we were on our way!!

Damn traps!

Panhandlers of the High Seas
This is a quick story but hilarious not to include. So evening time, same day as above-it's been a fun filled action packed day! Sun is setting and we are settling into our nighttime routines, dinner planning and getting our warm gear out from below to prepare for our watch schedule. Our buddy boat, Lamanee is just about 300 yards from us and a bit forward to our starboard side. I'm taking pictures of their boat as it's accented by the setting sun and just a lovely sight. A fishing panga is off in the distance and likely heading home to shore (about 50 miles away-remember this as important to the story). Days ending and this is the only other boat we see for miles. Panga takes an abrupt turn and starts heading towards our buddy boat. I sit up in interest, always staying vigilant for pirate encounters (see earlier entry on my over active imagination issues. I really need to reassess my media consumption choices)

So this panga beelines it to Lamanee, pulling up alongside them. They float like this for about 10 minutes. All the while I am straining to hear and watch body language to see if there is an issue-or we need to get over there to help out ASAP and stop a pirate takeover.

Panga takes off and Kandy comes on VHF.

Ready for this one? (....)

They wanted to know if they had any bread they could have to make a sandwich with....

Bread.
.....

They wanted bread.
.....

We are 50 miles offshore, no other boats around and haven't been for MILES, and .....these guys!

I'm dying....I can't 😂😂

Seriously,yYou can't make this stuff up!

BONUS MATERIAL: Night Time sailing
(The first time I tried to throw Jay overboard)

As I shared, we finally had wind this passage, which has been a HUGELY welcomed change from running the motor and motor sailing since leaving Oxnard back in late January. With a good consistent 10kt winds we pulled up the a-sail and decided to let her fly all night. Usually we have pulled her down at dusk as she is a pretty finicky sail and has twisted on us a few times around the forestay. So to not bother with potential issue we have pulled her down and gone with just the main at night, which has slowed us but makes for calm evenings to sleep. Wanting to take advantage of consistent winds and keep our speed of 5.5kts we decided to keep it up. Jay would sleep out on the cockpit during my watch shifts, god forbid issue arouse, he would be right there.

All was going great-consistent 10kt winds coming from about 120 off starboard, so a lovely jog of about 5.5 for most of my watch.

Around 11:30, the wind starts to pick up, with smaller gusts coming every 10 minutes upwards of 12-13kts. Our speed picks up to about 6kts and the boat heels over a bit. Not much but enough to get a little rush of excitement. Side note: nighttime sails are usually pretty boring and not something I look forward too. It's just hours on end of fighting to stay awake, highlighted by short-lived drama of seeing big cruise ships on our AIS and determining if you need to change course and avoid Titanic-like encounters.) So needless to say, this was something!!
I'm up out of my sleeping bag and at the helm-wanting to enjoy this moment of getting a little excitement! Wohoooo I'm silently saying so as to not wake Jay who is sleeping leeward side and doesn't seem phased by the little Bursts of speed.....yet (Grinchy eyebrow raise and wink)

Around midnight, the gust are getting up to 14-occasional 15kts. And BOAT is LOVING IT!!! She is a speedy little demon with some wind! Boat is now topping out at 7.2 and the rails are ALMOST in the water.

"HELL YEEEEEEAH!!!!!!" I'm dancing around the cockpit now wide wake and loving this!!!!

Soooo, Jay wakes to almost being dumped out of the cockpit into the water as we are really heeled over, rails grazing the water and his crazy wife at the helm hooting and hollering as the boat is speeding along in the night.

(He altered course soon after to slow us down so he could go back to sleep. My excitement was short lived....damn!)

Bonus BONUS material
Shortly after this fun adrenaline rush, things have calmed and I am back on watch, Jay nestled back in his sleeping bag/glowworm cocoon. I hear breathing in the water. Looking out I see we are surrounded by a HUGE pod of dolphins. Since nighttime, it's hard to see but I can hear them coming up and breathing. I can also see the waves cresting around them as they speed along with the phosphorescence lighting up all around them. It's like a psychedelic lighting show-waves illuminating around the boat, and I can also follow them as they speed along just underneath the water's surface--like a tunnel light show. I lean between the safety lines to get a closer look and...

Omg!

I can hear their high pitch sonar squeaks as they talk back and forth with each other!!

Obviously, being the ever considerate wife, I'm clearly not letting Jay sleep at all tonight, so I yell for Jay to wake up; excitedly telling him I can hear the dolphins talking to me (this might be the last night watch he sleeps on deck, let alone allows me to snack on candy and drink two cups of green tea before my night shift--WIFE has gone absolutely MAD!)

Well -- Yes, he can hear them "talking" as well!!

(At this moment I am waiting for god to appear, singing in a deep baritone "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" A technicolor rainbow arching across the sky, while unicorns are dancing and showering me with Skittles and soft puppies--it was that epic!)

We sit in silence for a good 10 minutes watching this trippy phosphorescent light show, listening to the dolphins breathe at the surface inches from our face and then speed along, diving in and out of waves, all the while they are click-clacking-squeak-talking back and forth to each other as the phosphorescent are cresting and lighting the ocean like a million lightening bugs rhythmically dancing across a huge blanket.

Today was seriously a magical day.....

Bahia de Tortugas (the not so Turtley Bay, Bay)

08 February 2018 | 27 41.11'N:114 53.13'W, Bahia de Tortugas, Baja Sur Mexico
Courtney
I'm writing this entry from the boat, which is about a mile offshore, and uploading via our sat phone so I will upload pictures when I am back in wifi range.

Tortuga in Spanish means, "turtle," however, much like the deceivingly named Iceland and Greenland, there aren't any turtles here, so the name doesn't aptly describe the bay. However, after my disappointment in finding this out prior to our arrival, this is a great stopover with a little village that I have loved being at. It's about halfway down the Pacific Coast of Baja (see map page to get a better visual) Especially after our longest to date sail of 53 hours and 256nm, this was a much welcomed stop and resting place. It's a large bay, with a spattering of other traveling sailboats and local fishing boats/pangas. A tiny rickety pier with a few pangas are tied off and it has a very quaint, small beachside feel. We arrived mid-morning on the 5th of Feb. Coming into the bay, we were welcomed by a few dolphins and a large group of whales. I wish I had captured on video, but was so transfixed on watching the whales, I lost interest in trying to fumble with the GoPro, and instead, just enjoyed being in the moment. There must have been about 5-7 if not more whales all circling the entrance to the bay, likely enjoying breakfast. May of them puffed out their spouts, which look like cotton candy clouds of white sea water, giving you enough time to spot them as they gracefully breech, sometimes giving you a show with their tails before diving back into the deep. I know it goes without saying, but damn they are massive.

After dropping anchor, (and BOAT is totally fine following our mishap in Punta Colonet anchorage, just a few gelcoat cracks and broken line which we now have stowed away) we were exhausted and just lazied around the boat the remainder of the day. Temperatures have finally warmed up, so we switched out of our long pants and puffy jackets into shorts and t-shirts. Jay and I spent the day sunning ourselves in the cockpit and cat, err, rather more appropriately sea lion napping in the sun.

The next morning we woke up rested and refreshed. Busied around the boat with our morning coffee and making plans for the day. We wanted to head into town and go exploring. Our travels books indicated there were markets with fresh produce, Pemex for diesel and local restaurants with wifi and laundry services. All of which we needed. Our friend on LAMANEE would be joining us for this excursion. We started into shore, when a man on a nearby sailboat stood out on his bow motioning us over. Jay maneuvered our dinghy towards this very obviously dilapidated and unkept boat. The older man onboard, probably in his 60's or very well weathered 50's, shirtless, stained cutoff khakis, and sun-bleached salt white, disheveled/wind blown hair leans over his safety lines and yells "Can you grab me a pack of Tecate? My dinghy was stolen and I can't get to shore" I hear a dog bark in the distance but not sure if coming from his boat or elsewhere. Jay moves closers and asked again what he needs and exchanges a few pleasantries with who we were introduced to as "Steve" So a few anchorages back, where Steve was for about 5 months with a broken engine, his dinghy was stolen and now he has no way to get to shore. He managed to make it to Turtle Bay where he has presently been for a bout 4 months. Shares he knows the town very well as well as the people. So naturally Jay tells him we can take him to shore if he would like (Um, we can?!) Steve then asks if we would mind taking his small dog, who always travels with him along with some garbage and a water canteen. Jay's like, "Sure!" (uuhhhhhh, uuummmm, ok??? just roll with is Courtney and stop being such a stuck-up priss)

As Steve readies himself, we make a trip over to Kandy and Dennis to share we will be bringing "Steve" back with us to shore. When we get back to pick Steve up, he is ready with a large and quite mangey looking elderly dog, a large bag of trash, large canteen and a large backpack. So....i guess I am now sitting on this guy's lap?! Somehow we all fit into our dinghy, snuggled together amongst trash and dog. I realize at this point that Steve probably hasn't showered in about....oh a month or so. Awesome-thanks Jay. Steve is friendly and talkative, telling us all about the town and its people. In the 5 minute ride it takes to get to shore, he has already given us a full rundown of the town's offerings and is telling us where he will take us, assuming the role of Town Mayor. We pull the dinghy onto shore and are met with Pedro, whom Steve had already told us about. Pedro is a massive dude, legs like tree trunks and stand at an impressive 6'4". Pedro has one arm and is alway s found on the beach here, greeting the cruisers as they come in on their dinghies. He greets you and then launches into his "yohbs" Since Pedro speaks little to no English, his sentences are short and punctuated by forceful mannerisms with his massive right hand, pointing at objects to help communicate. Pedro's jobs are straight forward. He will watch your dinghy and your boat for you, he wants to take your garbage and will ask if you need fuel. He is also very persistent in asking these things-over and over again. So as we pulled our dinghy onto shore, he follows me around telling me, "I watch, ME watch boat" "Garbage, ME. Me, garbage." "Gasolina?" He keeps repeating these same sentences in Spanish, all with a big smile on his face and beating his overly large chest with his finger each time he says "me". I kindly decline and thank him watching our boat--we will just be in town for a bit and then come back. He reminds me of a character from a movie or book, but I can't quite place it just yet.

Crazy Crusty Steve is saying his hello's to a group of locals sitting in the nearby shade at the beach while ushering us towards the town. His dog at this point, whom has merely been off the boat for all of 5 seconds is off to the side taking a massive poop. Now, I realize that I could have chosen to use much flowerier language to describe that, but there really isn't any other way to describe a dog that really needs to go and I am not too impressed with Steve at this point. So to mask his terrible dog owning skills with pretty language isn't a nicety I am going to grant him here.

and..this goes without saying, "Um, ew" and now moving on--I think you get the picture about Crazy Crusty Steve now, and his poor, poor backed-up elderly dog, yes?

Steve takes us around town, which despite him being kooky and smelly, was quite helpful with showing us around to where all the markets are amidst the small windy dirt roads around town. The town itself is quite small and extremely clean. There aren't many people or cars on the road, seeing the occasional shy young child peeking out of front doors as we walk by, scampering away, if you say hello to them. All the houses are brightly painted, in shocking colors of turquoise, hot pink and bright Kelly green; reminiscent of Caribbean towns with the bright building colors against the brown dirt roads and hills. We go to the local grocery store--which surprisingly is large and carries a HUGE selection of items, including some Kirkland brand, which is oddly misplaced seeing it amongst rows of Spanish label products. Kandy and Dennis grab some beer and snacks. Crazy Crusty Steve goes food shopping (naturally)

After a decent tour of the town, and learning more about Steve and his travels, we go to Maria's which is the big restaurant just on the beach, where they do laundry and there is wifi. We all sit down, Steve busts out his laptop to check internet, as do Kandy and I. We order beers and some snacks to pass time while Kandy and I download/update apps and check our emails/check-in with the outside world. While sitting here, Steve gets into a heated discussion with someone just inside the restaurant. It's all in Spanish and in somewhat hushed tones, but I can hear Steve saying, "I know I know and I understand, but that's not what the books say and its much more expensive that way"

Steve sits back down, returning to his computer and muttering under his breath. We later find out when we are all happily (note my sarcasm here) snuggled back into our dinghy, me mushed up against Crazy Crusty Steve and his dog, holding my breath. He was actually speaking to the Federales, as he had caused issue in the town. He was telling other yachties over VHF 16 that they don't need to be getting fuel from the overpriced pangas, but to head into town to the Pemex where it's much cheaper. The Federales were telling him he cannot do this nor transport fuel via jerry cans via dinghy as its illegal and an environmental concern. Great, so our first visit to land and introduction to the village is by association with someone who is already in trouble with the Federales. Awesome! Needless to say, after dropping Steve back off to his boat, I had a stern (and completely agreeable) conversation with Jay about not doing that again.

And that I needed a shower....with bleach.

DAY TWO: Turtle Bay

Jay spent the day on the boat getting much needed tasks done; switching out our macerator pump for our aft head and organizing his tools. I went into town with Kandy and Dennis to drop off laundry and get online to get a few things organized back home via email. Kandy, Dennis and I spent the entire day at Maria's, drinking beers and chatting while we waited for our laundry. Of course, the wind had picked up today which had us all itching to start planning our next passages further south. At some point during the day, a few of the local fisherman returned back towing another panga whose transom was...well, gone? Interesting to watch them haul this panga up to shore using a large tractor. With some struggle to load onto the bed which is fully submerged in the low grade shoreline, within 30 or so minutes they had it on shore and were scooping out water and rocks. I'm guessing it was a salvage? The owner at Maria's and her husband had our laundry done by 4, so we headed back to our boats with fresh smelling and wonderfully clean laundry. Two loads of laundry with basically a "fluff and fold" service for about USD$15--not bad!

That evening, Jay and I cooked stir fry and headed to bed early. Since moving onto our boat back in October, our sleep schedules have begun to match that of the sunrise and set. It's kind of a nice pattern and while we joke about being sleepy around 8pm, we throughly enjoy being well rested and easily able to get up around sunrise, having a full day ahead of us.

During the evenings here, you can see little crabs in the water surrounding our boat. You can hear little popping sounds as they feed off the algae on our hull--thank you little guys for cleaning our boat bottom! Meanwhile, the large pelicans will swoop down and sit surrounding our boat, fishing and hunting the little crabs and other small fish. We have been putting our transom light on and enjoy watching the pelicans feed. Such odd looking creatures, with their large beaks and massive wingspan, flying around quietly in the night, then swooping down into the water with a large "splash" catching fish and these small crabs. Smaller birds, will sometimes try to get in on the action, tempting to steal the pelican's meal. I giggle watching this as I always anthropomorphize animals with little voice over in my head as they "quarrel" over their fresh catch. The little birds always lose to the pelicans and its hilarious to hear the twitters and shrill squawking between them as t hey "argue"

While it's been awesome here and I have fully enjoyed the breather stop after a series of long and exhausting passages, We are definitely ready to move on and travel further south.

We don't anticipate much internet connection until we make it to Cabo, so will check in again once we arrive in Cabo.

Until then
xx
C

Punta Colonet: The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Morning

07 February 2018 | Punta Colonet
Courtney
Beautiful morning, and we were both up early with anticipation for setting off on the long trek ahead. We busied around the boat getting ourselves and items ready to set sail.

You ever have one of the days, where everything you try to do, even the simplest of task is just impossible to not screw up and you just want to scream/cry/tantrum like a 3 year old? Yeah, today was one of the those mornings for me. It started with sitting in our saloon, I was reading one of our travels books and trying to map out our route, when the pipping hot coffee mug that I literally had just made, decides to topple over onto my feet and legs (yes, IT decided to. I didn’t knock it over on myself) I don’t usually vocally react to pain, but jeez, I had just pulled the hot water off the stove and it was BOILING hot. Needless to say, I started screaming both out of pain and frustration of losing all my coffee. A bit later, I was making chicken and tuna salad for later on lunch/snacks. It’s next to impossible for me to be down in the galley while underway, both with the rocking of the boat throwing you side to side and my sea sickness still bothering me. Our galley isn’t u shaped, so there isn’t much to wedge yourself against to brace against the movement of the boat and still have use of both hands to cook. Additionally, I am still getting somewhat seasick and going down usually puts me over the edge in feeling nauseous. So prepping meals ahead of time to minimize the amount of time I need to be down to get items from the galley has been a necessity before longer than 4+ hr passages. While I am prepping, I spill the lettuce all over the inside of the fridge and floor as well as squeeze tuna “juice” on my sweatshirt as I am opening the can. I can’t think of anyone in the history of ever that isn’t majorly upset when they get tuna can liquid on their shirt while making tuna. Not making any friends smelling like that…except for cats, yes maybe new feral cat friends?

Anyway…..I become a bit of a petulant child when I have mornings like this—think PigPen, but a storm of curse words and negativity instead of dirt. Well, maybe in this instance since I haven’t showered, include the dirt as well. I was really ready to leave and get on with the day, leaving this crap morning behind.

Around 9:30, we are ready to lift anchor and hopefully get out a bit ahead of schedule. Our buddy boat, LAMANEE was already off and headed out from the anchorage. Typically, when we anchor, Jay is at the helm and I manage the anchor at the bow of the boat. Like, any other day we assume our positions and I start to lift with our windlass (electrical mechanism that lifts and lower the anchor+chain) I maybe pull up about 20 yards, when the chain starts to pull really hard. I yell back to Jay to move forward a bit, and tell him I think something is wrong, as usually the chain doesn’t pull that hard. He eases the boat forward and I try again with the chain, it lifts another 10 yards and then pulls again, this time REALLY HARD. So much so that some of the chain pulls out from the windlass. For those of you unfamiliar with what the heck I am talking about, the windlass is this kick-ass piece of equipment that makes lifting and lowering our 55lb anchor and equally heavy chain up and down (Think like a bike gear gripping the chain as it lifts and lowers the chain—sort of) Due to the weigh of both chain and anchor, you can imagine that this piece of equipment is really freaking durable-Popeye post a can of spinach strong! So to have the chain pull backwards thru this gear like mechanism, it was a bit startling. I yell back to Jay that something is definitely wrong now. He comes up and sees the chain pulling as the ow is being yanked towards portside. He tries lifting, with the same result, the chain pulls, then slackens as the boat is pulled by the chain, followed by a really hard tug on the chain, and then the chain is pulled backwards thru the windlass, making this terrible grinding sound of metal against metal. Trying to stay calm, I know that our anchor is stuck on something. How bad, I am not sure. Jay says exactly what I am thinking and then calmly goes back to the helm telling me he is going to use the weight of the boat to try and unhook the chain. A few attempts prove fruitless, more grinding of the chain in the windlass and flexing of the bow with each attempt to “pull” her free. I am still at the bow of the boat watching the chain and monitoring the bow as Jay works the helm. However the terrible sounds the chain and windlass are making, along with the massive flexing of the boat’s bow, I am scooted further back and sitting really low, waiting for either a chain to snap or a piece of metal to come flying off the boat (this is the first time I have ever dealt with a really stuck anchor like this)

Jay comes up to the bow of the boat and hooks the chain with a harness — a really thick rope with a badass and BEEFY metal hook on the end. Basically transferring the tension of the pulling chain from the windlass to the rope and hook, so we don’t damage the windlass and gaining a better grip with the rope/hook. He tells me he is going to try and pull again hoping this harness will help. I’m too scared at this point to say anything, so I just nod and stay glued to boat. Jay pops into gear and the chain starts to pull, then goes completely taut and the metal starts to grind. The bow of the boat flexes and makes this awful crack/groan and I hit the ground. Something is going to break. In a matter of seconds, but also in slow mo—the rope snaps and flies back towards the boat. I’m wide-eyed and clutching a nearby cleat—yelling for Jay to stop. He turns the motor off and the tug of war temporarily stops. He comes up to the bow, swearing up a storm.

Sooooo, that wasn’t the intended outcome….and this is looking a bit worse that just a nudge of the chain and we are off. Suffice to say, we were pretty damn stuck.

Jay switches out the broken rope and replaces with another newer rope, this time bridling the anchor chain and cleated off to both cleats on bow and stern . He tells me we will try one more time, by easing the chain out and running the boat in the opposite direction. During the night, we had spun around in circles over our anchor, so the thought being, maybe we just have a snarl of chain ontop of it’s self and we just need to reverse in the opposite direction. I silently just manage a nod and a prayer.

The same process repeats itself, the chain pulls, then goes taut. The grinding of metal against metal in the windlass, despite the bridle of rope. As the boat pulls, I see the bow of the boat flex again, this time I am sure there is some damage. The chain pulls and then the rope snaps, again. I am butt down on the boat, white knuckle gripping and bent over as I am envisioning the anchor flying towards my face. At times like this, I am very appreciative of curse words. They are like the angry sailor version of mantras….oddly offering comfort in an otherwise very VERY crappy situation. I totally get why sailors are known for their terrible language.

I recalled at this moment, a conversation Jay and I had with one dock buddy, whom we had become better acquainted with before we left as they were very seasoned and experienced in traveling in and around Mexico. As with most other cruisers, when you share you are leaving/about to travel, they will run down lists with you asking you what items you have and quizzing you on the preparedness of your boat as well as offering advice on “must-haves” and things you should and shouldn’t bring. One conversation stood out, when he mentioned needing dive gear. While we are certified, we had considered getting tanks and gear so we could check out some of the cool anchorages we would visit. Plus added benefit of ease to dive on the boat, if needed. And this is what we thought, it would be a luxury, and in rare circumstances a must have. Our friend, informs us that we “absolutely” needed tanks as there are many rocks and he himself had many instances of needing to lift his anchor out under rocks etc. “You are going to be pretty upset should you be in 60’ anchor and can’t get her out.” Seriously, damn him for being right.

I think Jay and I both realize this at the same time and give each other a knowing look that the next logical step beyond the extreme of tying off a buoy and leaving the anchor until we could get gear was to free dive on it. In 58 degree water. With little visibility.

“sh*t”

When we anchored the boat, our depth meter read 20-25’, which really isn’t too too deep. But as per usual with Murphy’s law, the tide had risen and now was at 31’ Out of the two of us, Jay can hold his breath much longer than I. And he very well knew this, so there was no discussion on who would be going once we both looked at the depth meter. I wish I could say we sat and joked about this, me making a crack at him about having wished he went for the first dive “opportunity” that came up in our trip. However, at this point we were both a little nervous as to how bad this would turn out to be.

Jay being my absolute hero, dove into the 58 degree water with just his shorty on. Took a couple deep breaths, and then dove down, pulling himself down with the chain to counteract buoyancy. Seriously, he’s a rock star (in more ways than just this, but no one wants to read a gushy entry about how much I love this man—this ain’t a Dear Diary entry lady!)

One breath back up and he surfaces to tell me to raise the chain a little. It eases up with argument this time—OMG is this working?! Second breath down and he’s down again on the chain, this time staying down maybe 5 seconds longer, but felt like 5 minutes to me. He comes up and starts yelling to lift the anchor as he is swimming back to the stern; getting back on the helm. The chain lifts up with ease, and I am praying and begging the chain to keep coming up as I count the distance markers on our chain (we have colored zip ties, marking every 50’ of chain so we know how much we put out based on depth)

Five….four…..three…..two…..one……and then I see the most beautiful sight ever….THE ANCHOR COMING UP!! As I shout to Jay, he pops into gear and we are OUT!

He later tells me as I am at the helm getting us out of the anchorage and he is changing out of his wetsuit, that we had basically managed to cleat hitch the anchor chain to a massive rock underneath us. How he managed to untangle that mess in about 1 minute is amazing to me?! and seriously BOAT how in the hell did you manage a cleat hitch with the chain!?

And just an hour behind schedule we are off…..on a three day non-stop trip to Bahia Tortuga!

Holy jesus, its only morning and I am ready for a very stiff drink…..

well…it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

Ensenada to Punta Tomas

06 February 2018 | Punta Tomas
Courtney
Thursday morning we waited for our Canadian buddy boat LAMANEE to get their departure paperwork and then were off to get away from marinas and further south towards warmer weather. Since we had a late start in leaving (around 10am) we decided on a leisurely leg of 25nm to Punta Tomas, as shared by our cruising books as a decent anchorage with thick kelp beds surrounding. We both we in agreement that neither of us wanted to make a longer run to Punta Colonet and risk coming in after dark.

Weather forecast for this entire trip so far have been very light to no winds, so despite putting our main and jib up at the first chance of some winds (around 10-12kts) the wind was teasing us and we ended up motoring the entire way to anchorage.

Along the way, we started to see a few Whale spouts in the distance. Since owning our boat, whale sightings have been rare for me (Jay sees them all the time with work and trips out to the island.) However, in a shakedown trip with our dear friends Capt. Rob and Michelle out to the islands around the new year, day one of 2018, we saw so many. I dubbed 2018 the year of the whales.....and man oh man, how right I have been so far. Sitting out in the cockpit and scanning the ocean for more, I see a spout just yards away from us. I, of course starting jumping up and down and excitedly yelling for Jay to look. Phone in hand, I capture this epic moment.

Whale Video

I have muted the sound as no one wants to hear the terrible voice over of me high pitched yelling/whispering (I don't want to scare the whale away, because obviously 120 lb me would definitely scare a massive whale away ya know) If you are feeling slighted by lack of audio, in a nut shell, I am yelling/whispering "OHMEGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD--WAIT IS HE GOING TO HIT US? OHMYGOD IS HE GOING TO HIT UUUUUS? OHMYGOD, JAAAAAY HE IS GOING TO HIT US. (Seriously, no one needs to hear that--screeching/squeeking harpy-like sound. God, I am am obnoxious when I am excited.) And, god bless my husband for not commenting on this momentary psychosis. There must be some secret online group for husbands supporting/coaching each other in how to "Properly Handle Your Psycho Wife when she sees animals she thinks are cute," right? Anyway, this odd Whale Joy squeal repeats for the full 30 second clip. The freaking thing went UNDER OUR BOAT! I now feel a much closer connection to Moby Dick and am very thankful I am not writing this entry from the belly of a giant whale. Anyway....yes, it was very cool and we saw a few more a few minutes later, just gliding thru the water, doing Whale-like things. And yes, for those of you wondering, I did grow up in MA and spent summers in the Cape. And No, I never did see a whale in all of the many, many, MANY boring whale watching tours I have been on in my life.

Arrived at Punta Tomas a little bit before 4pm. Its a semi protected anchorage, with a little tiny road and a few houses sat on the land about, besides that pretty sparse and under developed. The books were right, super thick kelp beds, made for an interesting and carefully navigated motor into the anchorage. Jay and I found a clear spot and quickly dropped both bow and stern anchors. LAMANEE was a bit further in being braver than us in navigating thru the kelp. It was just past a full moon (from the previous nights' blue moon) Remote and pretty anchorage, with a little roll. Jay and I don't mind (I actually prefer it a bit rolly, it's like a big waterbed cradle-like sleep), but I can see how some would think this an uncomfortable sleep.

Next morning we got up and headed out for Punta Colonet, just a 40nm distance away. Again with absolutely no wind, we motor sailed the entire way. This motoring thing is getting annoying, and with expected huge price increases further south on diesel (as we were told in San Diego) we are thinking we need to revise our trip planning and see if we can wait out for better winds further south versus powering thru with motor. Beyond getting thru Ensenada, our next biggest goal is to make it to Cabo and then decide our next route (up to Sea of Cortez or straight over to mainland MX)

Trip down to Punta Colonet started out clear and winds seemed to pick-up a bit. Again a tease, and then the fog rolled in. Light at first and then very quickly turned to absolute pea soup. Visibility was maybe XXX at best. Check video out I took at one of the thicker moments. Thankfully nothing was showing on AIS and we kept close watch on both that and radar, all the while praying for no lobster traps.

Fog Video

We arrived at Punta Colonet just before sundown. It's a beautiful anchorage! Big open bay which is largely protected from surf. A tiny little fishing town with a spattering of pangas docked/moored just within a smaller bay beyond our beach. Sandy bottom and only about 25ft deep. Water wasn't totally clear but relatively good visibility a few feet down. And best part, no other boats besides us! We dropped bow anchor and settled in for a lazy night. Temps are still pretty cold, so we still have our puffy jackets and cocooned in sleeping bags like little glowworms when out in the cockpit at night. We dinghied over to our friends at LAMANEE to have a cocktail and discuss travel plans for tomorrow. Based on weather forecasts, tomorrow seemed to be the only day with "supposedly" somewhat decent (15-20kts) winds, so we collectively decided to head out and make the 3 day sail to Bahia Tortuga (Turtle Bay and a largely well known half way point for cruisers down the Baja Coast.) I wasn't the most excited for this really long sail, but weather planning-wise this made the most sense. Early to bed with plans to head out by 10am so we could arrive at Turtle Bay by early morning, two days from now.

Thank you for your comments!

01 February 2018
Courtney
Hi Guys-
Wanted to quickly take the time and thank you for the comments you are leaving here. I don't yet know a way to reply to comments here on this blog (yet another thing that is driving me nuts about this blogsite--if we keep up with internet connections I will be reverting back to the other site I already created before we left, the issues and limitations of this site are getting obnoxious!)

Anyway, thank you, thank you for commenting and letting me know you are reading these posts. It's a bit of a silly ego stroke, sitting down and writing these "journal entries" feeling awkward and egotistically assuming anyone really cares enough and is reading them. So thank you and keep 'em coming! It's so wonderful knowing you guys are following along and know I am reading each and every one of them, sharing with Jay and smiling that we are getting to stay in touch with you all!

Hugs and kisses,
J&C

Ensenada

01 February 2018 | Ensenada
Courtney
Quick little entry today on our time in Ensenada, before we head further south and onward towards warmer weather.

First day in Ensenada, after getting into the marina around 10am was basically a shot day. Jay and I were wasted from a full 12 hour sail and little sleep (we are working our way up to 4 hour shifts versus 2 AND getting our bodies to adjusted to longer sails.)

After checking in with dock master and main office, as I shared earlier we were told to come back tomorrow to officially check in. We headed back to the boat to relax/sleep. I made us each a small celebratory marguerita, which we could barely finish because of sheer exhaustion. Checking out our surroundings, we booked at one of the newer Marinas, Cruisport Village. Decently sized marina, with other California boats just across the way from our slip (San Fran, Long Beach). A small team of workers across from us working on an American's boat, as I can hear him chatting away with the workers. We both took an afternoon siesta, waking up around 3. Still feeling the exhaustion, we fought to stay awake thru dinner. Jay grilled small pieces of tri-tip, and we sat in the cockpit watching the sunset and the massive Carnival Cruise ship just beyond us, as they signaled their horns before leaving port (Assuming this is the San Diego to Ensenada three day cruise)

Passed out promptly at 7 and slept a full 12 hours....

Day Two in Ensenada, we had a somewhat lazy start. Made coffee and went up to use showers to get ready for our morning of paperwork and check in. The facilities are clean, but completely open....which made for a wee bit of an uncomfortable shower. Despite loving the luxury of a long hot shower, I was in a rush to get out as there were no doors to the women's or men's rooms and any passerby could easily peep in the shower rooms....oh the luxuries we trade for the nomadic lifestyle.

Morning was spent at the Port Captain's office signing forms and officially getting checked into Mexico. Prior to our departure, I was in charge of all the logistics and paperwork planning. I referenced multiple books and blogs of other cruisers that had traveled West Coast into Mexico to understand what the check-in process is like (commonly referred to as the "Paperwork Cha Cha Cha" as it is varied and can be a complex confusing process, which varies port to port and country to country) Despite my confidence in being able to figure it out as we went, with differing information, I eventually hired a broker in San Diego to help guide us thru the process. And by "guide" I mean, send him an exorbinant amount of money to expedite and process all paperwork ahead of time, with the assumption that everything would be quicker and smoother and all done upon our arrival. This was and wasn't the case once we got here.

Enrique from Cruisport drove us over to the Port Captain's office. The previous day, Michelle in the Cruisport office and whom I had been emailing with prior to our arrival to set up our slip, gave us our completed TIP (temporary import passport for the boat identifying all the major items on board) as well as our arrival slips to the marina. At the Port Captain's office, we simply signed forms for our temporary Visas as well as paid fees to Port Captain. The entire process took no more than 30 minutes and cost USD$65 total for the Visa and USD$17 for the Port Captain. Pretty painless. Since I didn't (and couldn't) take any pictures, I am "borrowing" these from the internet:


front of the Port Captain's office, just a short drive from Marina


inside the Port Captain's office

After this stop was done, Enrique drove us over to get our fishing license (which is mandatory if you have any fishing gear onboard) We have three poles and two spearguns, so it was very necessary AND we are very much looking forward to catching and eating fresh fish! Down a small little side street Enrique drops us off at a small sportfishing shop, where USD$100 later we each have our license for a year. One hour later and we are all done with check-in and paperwork. Our Canadian friends had a similar experience, but were smart and able to take a short bus ride while in San Diego to Tijuana to get their TIP forms....and at half the cost. They also had someone from the marina take them over to the Port Captain's office to aid in translation and expedite their forms. Lesson learned for next time--no need to have a middle man, and no need to pay the extra costs that I am not really sure what it helped with in the end. Ah well.....

After we got back from the paperwork chores, we brought out our bikes and Jay hooked up our jerry cans so we could refill diesel. SO far this trip has been a motor sailing trip with no wind for most of our journey. Despite this we have only gone thru about 10 gal of diesel, even with all the motoring we have done. Better to fill up now in major cities with clean diesel and keep our tanks topped off. Finding a Penmex that sold diesel was a little adventure, stopping at three different locations before finally asking for directions to nearest one with diesel. Super fun way to see some of Ensenada and it felt good to get off the boat and bike around. This is more of the experience I was expecting for our trip.

After we got back, we moved our boat over to our friends marina, Baja Naval--which in my opinion is a much nicer marina at half the cost (Cruisport is WAY WAY over priced and not at all worth double the cost for basically the same facilities) Baja Naval is also slightly closer to main strip in town, which makes for it being slightly louder, but negligible. After tying up in our new slip, we hooked up with our Canadian friends, to grab lunch and finally finally get our beer and fish tacos. We tried our best to avoid the super touristy part of town (with the massive cruiseship always docked nearby, the local businesses cater to the tourists that pop off the ship) As expected, there are street vendors selling all sorts of things, from hats, sunglasses, jewelry to flowers. As you walk down the street, restaurants will jockey for your business, rushing out as you walk by speaking in english and telling you how delicious and cheap their food is, coaxing you to come in and rest your feet, sip on "cerveza" While one restaurant worker is trying to romance you to sit, their next door neighbor competition, is starting to yell over them telling you their food is better and walking into the side walk, holding their menu and almost ushering you into their seats. Its comical and chaotic as if you slow down or even try to discuss where you want to go with your group, you will be surrounded and they will be in your face, ushering you into their restaurant. After a few blocks of this, we settled on a small alley way restaurant that was mostly deserted. I wish I could say the tacos were delicious, but they were deep fried and battered, which isn't what I was looking for, but damn did the Tecate taste good. We spent a leisurely lunch with our friends, sharing travel stories and getting better acquainted with each other, talking about friends back home, kids and what our previous lives looked like before we both took off on this amazing crazy cool journey.

It was an early night again last night, we discussed our travel plans with our buddies and decided on a leisurely 24nm hike out to Punto Tomas, just a short jaunt down south. Getting us off the dock and out of the city (we are so so done being at marinas and in a slip) Kandy and Dennis still needed to get their exit paperwork, which they wouldn't be able to get until 9am the following day when the Port Captain's office was opened again. In Mexico time speak, that may or may not take a few hours, so we figured best not to plan a long sail in the event we weren't able to leave the marina until later in the day.

Day Three
--
Woke up to a bright and clear morning. The dock here is a bit swelly so creaking and swaying of the boat kept us up off and on most of the night. Since we had a bit waiting for Kandy and Dennis, we decided that pumping out would be necessary here, so Jay could switch out a macerator pump for our aft head. (We have unsuccessfully tried this as the other marina, and with this being our last marina for quite some time, it was a now or never chore.)

You gotta love language barriers, and with my minimal conversational Spanish coupled with Jay's almost lack of....trying to explain what we needed to Alonso here at Baja Naval was sheer comedy. All I will say is the game of charades trying to explain what a "pump out" is had me dying laughing. For some reason, Jay kept thinking the english word "sh*t" would be easily translatable and understandable in Spanish and so he kept repeating it while making a pumping motion (think "Shake Weight") with his hands....OMG seriously, why didn't I video this?!?! I actually didn't jump into the conversation with some better translations, just because of the comedy of watching Jay dance around, saying "Sh*t" and making the pumping motion over and over and Alonso's face as Jay kept repeating himself. God bless him for remaining so professional, as I was basically peeing myself at this point.

Needless to say we eventually communicated what we needed and USD$25 later they are on their way to bring the pump-out and do it for us (a dollar for each gallon)

Yes, my friends--this IS the glamorous side of boating. Jeeves, time to pass me the champagne and caviar, it's PUMPout time!

Anyway, there ya go--all caught up now with our trip. Will check back in once we get to our new anchorage--until then!

xx
C

San Diego to Ensenada

31 January 2018 | Ensenada
Courtney
Hola! We have arrived in Ensenada after four days in San Diego. I will need to back track a bit and cover our time in San Diego since we were madly running around while there and not much down time for me to sit down and create an entry.

Arrived in San Diego and initially docked in Fiddler's Cove, which is a navy marina at the absolute opposite, dead end of the harbor. Basically, it should have it's own zip code as its about a 30 minute dinghy ride...and as you may have read in the previous post, a four hour hobble from mouth to marina for a disabled boat. Super quiet marina and great place for us Jay to figure out our engine issues and deal with our battery issues.

Day one in San Diego, we got up and dinghied over to Shelter Island to find the West Marine as we had ordered four new batteries to replace the 8 that were basically shot. Thankfully, and after nicely asking (well I actually begged) they agreed to deliver the 4 batteries to Fiddler's Cove AND pick up the 8 we were getting rid of. (Jay's initial thought was to bring the 4 batteries back with us on the dinghy and figure out an alternative way to depose of the old ones--while our dinghy is freakin awesome, it is by no means a carrier ship that could transport the weight of four 60lb batteries, but I appreciate his over confidence in our buoyancy) We had an hour before they would be arriving, so we quickly turned around and dinghied back to quickly remove the old batteries. Amazingly, we were able to get all 8 out, loaded onto two dock carts, and huffed up to the main office by the time the driver had arrived. Yahoo! Within about two hour we had four new batteries replaced and on the boat charging up.

That night, Jay pulled off the engine covers and was trying to figure out the source of our temp issues. Replacing the stripped bolts on our water intake pump didn't prove to be the source (but replaced the corroded bolts!) Digging deeper and an hour filled four letter word rant from Jay later, he discovers and pulls this out:



Source of our issues found and BOAT's little seaweed scooby snack/artery clogger was removed. Horray!

Next day, we laid low and decided to do some much needed laundry as this was to be our last port in the US. The marina is relatively quiet and the entire day was spent cleaning BOAT and doing much needed organization. I pulled all dry storage hatches and worked on our provision organization while Jay did laundry. So for provisioning on a boat, it is an art within itself. Since boat storage is minimal, and the complete opposite of land homes, we needed to be super organized. For those that aren't familiar, most all of our food, outside of the fridge and freezer is stored in dry storage areas all throughout the boat. Basically imagine a squirrel and the many trees they store their acorns in throughout the warmer months. Various hiding spots all over. The art comes in when deciding 1. where to stow and 2. mapping a breadcrumb trail of where everything is so you know where everything is that you previously packed away. Well, enter in the ever helpful excel spreadsheet (because you can take the girl out of Corporate America, but sadly like the ChickenPox virus, you can't take the Corporate America out of the girl) Unlike Chicken Pox, excel does come in handy for these exact situations (that's a sentence I never thought I would write...god, cruising is really opening me up to a whole new world.)

I spent the greater part of the afternoon, pulling up floorboards and armed with my computer inventoried the entire food storage of our whole boat, while making notes and a shopping list of the items we still needed to buy. Since we planned for this trip to be mostly on anchor, we needed to plan for meals for a period of time and without resources nearby. The "oh crap, I forgot XYZ" wasn't going to be a short car ride away into town. If I could explain the sense of OCD organization accomplishment of finishing this project I would---but in my ever inifinte vocabulary, let's just say it was effin awesome and I did a "Tiltled" happy dance in celebration (Yes, Capt. Rob, I will have mastered that dance by the end of our journey, point for me--you better get working!)

Our appetite has been mostly messed up since leaving our home part, so we grilled a few small items and called it a night shortly after 8. Getting antsy to leave and get into Mexico.

Next day we decided to move to a slip closer to the mouth of the harbor to make our exit slightly quicker...Shelter Island public docks here we come.

So public docks in Shelter Island could probably use their own entry unto themselves, but I am tired and needing to catch up quite a bit here with entries...so let's just say weekends are quiet with minimal boats, mostly cruisers getting well positioned to leave the US. However, Monday morning/afternoon, think Michael Jackson's Thriller uber famous zombie dance scene. With cheap dockage fees during weekdays, and an agreement that they leave for weekends to accommodate the passing thru cruiser boats, it's a massive influx once Monday hits. We had now met another couple, Ensenada bound that warned us of this.....but Oh My God didn't realize it would be exactly as they shared. Winds were kicking during the day so we witnessed atleast 3-4 boats hitting other boats as they came into slips. Crusty sailors yelling at each other for hitting each other's dilapidated and somewhat floating boat. Seriously, it was mass chaos for a few hours as the "regulars" filled in. What's nutty about this harbor is that it is also temporary home to some pretty incredible mega yachts. See this that was just a few slips away from us as example of what I mean:


That afternoon/evening, we had the last of our going away parties, inviting our dear friend John, my cousin Dylan and his family along with some other friends. Great evening send off, filled with burgers, beer and brouhaha. I so appreciate all the wonderful people we have surrounding us and supporting us as we take off on this trip. Time and time again, we have entertained so many on our boat and love every minute of it--making it really hard to leave (mostly because when you are partying all night long its next to impossible to leave the following morning when you need to nurse a hangover instead)

Following day, we make plans with our new and absolutely wonderful Canadian friends who will be buddy boating with us to Ensenada. We will be leaving that evening at 10pm, with hopes of making it to Ensenda by 10am the following day. Winds have been basically non-existent, so we are planning on motoring the entire way with maybe short spurts of our sails up--trekking the 13 hours and 70 nm to Ensenada, There is such a comfort in having another fellow couple with us going into Ensenada, which neither of us have done before.

We have dinner that evening with our dear friend John and his son Micah at a nearby hotel overlooking the docks:



At 10 pm we took off, with our friends on LEMANEE just behind us. Moon was almost full so the ocean was better illuminated than previous night sails, which was really nice. Jay and I decided on 2 hour shifts, so each could get a small sleep in, but enough comfort so I could get use to night sailing without too much stress.

Shortly after day break we are close to Ensenada. I wake up on my sleep shift to see whale spouts in the distance. Jay and I watch them as we come in close to the major harbor entrance:



We follow the main channel as we come in, saying goodbye to LAMANEE on VHF as we head to our marina and they to theirs. Promising to reconnect once we finish official check in to Mexico. We didn't have Iridium sat connection in SD, so we had no idea our slip or directions on where to go, so getting into the marina was a bit of a challenge (me yelling over to workers on nearby docks in my broken spanish asking for help....Senor, una pregunta--ayudame? Hola? Done esta la officina? Gasolina? Habla ingles? Guest docks?!" We ended up being told to pull into any open slip and the going to the main office..fine, done!

We pulled in and went up to the office where we knew our paperwork was, or should be done for entrance. An hour later and a few forms signed and were told that the Port Captain's office was down for the day and to come back tomorrow at 9am to get all our paperwork. It was noon by then, and highly unlikely there was an issue for the rest of the day, but in no condition or heart to argue, we crawled back to our boat, ready to crash. An early night of fighting sleep until 7pm in order to ensure a full night of recuperative sleep.

The next morning we wake up and realization of being here hits--we finally made it to Mexico!


mini Bellagio water fountains by our slip

The 21hr Hobble or The Dream Story

26 January 2018 | Fiddler's Cove, San Diego
Courtney
San Diego Harbor!! It was an 80nm sail from Two Harbors, Catalina and my god, get yourself ready for a long posting on this leg of our trip--it was the never ending day so there is a lot to share. Seriously, grab some popcorn, tea, whiskey or whatever you need and settle into a good 20 minute read here.

Since having both engine and battery issues while in Catalina, we make the decision to run it to San Diego to have better/quicker resources available to us for repairs versus waiting in Catalina for FedEx delivery of parts whenever they might arrive and HOPING that everything would work out without more issue--which was a huge gamble.

So, with a decently long passage from Catalina to San Diego coupled with BOAT being poquito enferma, and a good window weather forecast, we left at 3am hoping to make it to San Diego by/around 5pm and catch the last of sunlight coming into a busy harbor we are unfamiliar with. Yeah, well....you make plans and then Mother Nature decides otherwise, being the lovely moody girl that she is (I have other choice words I would prefer to use, but let's try and keep this PG now that I have slept and feel a bit more accommodating in my description)

Took off with a great wind, cruising along at 6kts. This early hour on the water is mesmerizing. It's a feeling of floating above the water, the undulation of the sea's "heartbeat" underneath you. You are aware of it but it's not tossing you around; like there is a void in space between the water and you.... There are no sounds, no rattling, creaking or groaning of the boat, no pounding bow against waves sets. It's weird, in a beautiful way and kinda hard to explain in words.

.....Orrrrrrr, maybe I am just incredibly, deliriously overtired; stuck in a microsleep state of recollection. Which is completely likely, I am and always have been a terrible sleeper so delirium is likely what I am explaining. And after not sleeping well the night prior, I am noticeably not fully awake yet at this hour, so....

In that case, welcome to my delirium dream story.

REM Stage 1:
Sometime around 7:30 as San Clemente is to our starboard (right) side, the wind starts to slow. Jay and I are both starting to feel the first waves of the sleepies, after hyper focusing on navigating out of the anchorage and into open water. Jay goes below to sleep, while I stay on watch. One of the most beautiful things of being on the water, in my opinion is watching the ocean and sky change in color as the sun starts to come up and the world "wakes up." I wish pictures could capture what the eye can see--as it's way better than my words could ever explain. I took a bunch of pictures (mostly to stay awake, partly to pretend I was a Nat Geo photographer out in the wild capturing that which no ones else has even seen nor captured before, an elusive sunrise over the ocean. It's a harsh reality that I must bear knowing I'm a long way from a career as a professional photographer.

REM Stage 2:
The winds completely die around 8 am. Jay and I are both up in the cockpit and now messing with the sails (both main and jib) trying to catch whatever wind we can. At this point, we are literally bobbing in the water at a rapid speed of absolutely. freaking. nothing. My anxiety had been building over the past few hours as the both the wind die and our speed increasingly slows to a crawl. What started out as a 13hr trip was evolving into an 18 hour trip and that reality sinking in was not fun. This is when my first meltdown of the trip happens.

I will digress here for a moment. In the planning of this trip and in sharing with friends and family about taking a year off and sailing around, there is such a romanticism, such an idealized lifestyle that one thinks in imagining taking a long period of time off to sail away to remote places. A couple, sailing into a picturesque sunset, champagne in hand as their yacht glides across an emerald ocean, whales and dolphins are jumping and playing and warm wind in their sun kissed hair. Because, yes everything is just like the movies/internet/social media portrays as "real life" everything is blissful, unedited and perfect. I mean seriously, doesn't everyone wake up in the morning, dewy fresh skin, bright doe eyes, perfectly tousled bed head and just the image of effortless beauty sipping their organic hot lemon electrolyte lavender water blessed by Buddhist monks....I mean, I certainly do, pssh.
In all reality, we have no idea what we are getting into....and we have no idea what our trip will actually be like. Sure the romantic moments can and do happen. Since getting BOAT over a year and a half ago, we have found some of the most amazing anchorages, remote little coves with crazy cool tide pools filled with colorful fish and exotic sealife in islands only visited by fellow boaters. We have sailed with beautiful dolphin pods, hundred upon hundreds jumping and playing in the waves, coming up to our bow turning to the side and, I swear, making eye contact with me, curious as to what or who I am and sharing an unspoken connection. (Yes, the dolphins have spoken to me and I swear I was totally sober!) Anyway, these moment do happen and its magical and the impetus for us wanting to figure out a way to make this our "lifestyle". However, at the same time, there are also moments of huge challenge, fear, anger, frustrations. Our marriage will tested over and over again as we are reliant on each other for survival....and we are each others' only company for days on end (god bless Jay for dealing with my terrible sense of humor and dance moves, but then again sucks to have karmic debts to repay LOL). Anyway, this long leg was the first in our testing of the not so romantic aspects of cruising life.

I was definitely feeling exhaustion from lack of sleep, coupled with a huge amount of frustration, knowing we had a long trip ahead of us and a timeframe to get to San Diego. I really didn't want to be arriving after dark and having to navigate the busy harbor, so not being able to keep decent speed and the winds dying was seriously pissing me off. I just wanted to set the sails, and then sit back and relax for the 13 hour sail. Why, why wasn't this happening, and WHY did I need to be exerting so much effort right now? This isn't what I signed up for and I was feeling very sorry for myself. Tearing up, I was imaging the plush hotels we could be staying at in an alternate version of taking a year off and traveling, the big fluffy beds with room service I could be cuddled in and basically the opposite of where I was; sitting in the cockpit of a boat, wind chilled wearing about 5 layers of clothing, looking like the fat sister of the Michellin man, and working my ass off to just to get somewhere slightly faster while running on about 5 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours. So, cue the tears.

REM Stage 3, the Deep Sleep:
Winds finally pickup in the afternoon and we lift the a-sail. I give myself a reality check pep talk (Read: mentally bitch slapped myself for the sheer stupidity of my earlier breakdown) Jay and I work together playing with the sails trying to increase our speed and trying out new techniques to see how BOAT responds.....always learning new things with her. All is right in the world and we are cruising along at a decent 6kts, wind and waves in our favorite and making up for lost time earlier. Time for a selfie to keep up the facade of it being an "always-on-easy-going-and-we-are-just-blissful-happy-campers-on-the-water" to the outside social media world, right? I wish I could say this bliss continued from here on out to the safety of our slip....but, Im keeping this blog and sharing with you guys our actual day to day realities; the good, bad and super ugly. Yes, despite the attached image snapshot in time of a happy couple on the water, looking slightly wind roughed up but still smiling, it was short-lived.

Rude Awakening:
Around 8:30/9pm we arrive at the mouth of San Diego harbor--HALLELUJAH!! A little behind schedule but we knew with the lost time earlier in the day we would be getting in around this time. While in Catalina, we booked a slip in Fiddler's Cove (Navy marina) which sadly, was located at the total opposite end of the harbor. But for $41 bucks a night in a generally crowded and very expensive harbor, heck yeah we will take it! If you aren't familiar with San Diego harbor, it is FREAKIN HUGE! Like international airport, mass chaos and lots of traffic going in and out at all hours huge. As we came in a massive, and I mean MASSIVE cruise ship was leaving. In comparison, we felt like a tiny little water bug on the water next to this monolith of a ship. We continue into the harbor under sail, knowing we could only turn the engine on and motor for about an hour before it temped (overheated) SO we wanted to be reliant on sails for as long as possible, especially since we had about 5mi to go from mouth of harbor to slip in Fiddler's Cove. Whelp as our freakin luck would have it, the wind decided to die about 10 minutes into entering the harbor. And, Of course it did, right? Turning on the engine and moving along at the very rapid speed of 2knots (that's basically the speed of doing the crab crawl with a bum leg) In our previous planning we figured it would take about an hour from entrance to traverse the 5 mi in the harbor to the slip---and holy jesus, we were so very wrong. An hour after running the engine and being really close to temping, we had only made it 1/5 of the way around the turn near Shelter Island. Now we are both pissed and completely over today. We decide to hip tie our dingy and motor the rest of the way to the slip versus bobbing in the middle of the water freeway waiting for the engine to cool to start again. Jesus christ on a cracker....I cannot even begin to express the level of "done-ness" we were both feeling at this point.

I know this post is rambling on, so in conclusion, 21 hours after leaving Catalina and 4 FREAKING HOURS from mouth of harbor to the slip, we finally made it. I don't think we even spoke more than two words to each other after tying up. I actually don't remember taking my shoes off before bed or even putting PJ's on. I think we likely both just keeled over like those fainting goats I've seen on Youtube; passing out cold the second our bodies went horizontal.

Tomorrow, we will head to West Marine and start working on engine and batteries....and enjoying the luxurious amenities of hot showers, heaters and being stationary for a few days.

Be back in touch before we head out to Ensenada, hopefully with great updates on a purring engine and new batteries all ready for our next leg...

xx
C

DNA Evidence and Fixing Your Boat in (somewhat) Exotic Places, Part One

24 January 2018 | Two Harbors at Catalina
Courtney
Curious title, well let's start with the posted image to give a bit more backstory of how we started our second day in Catalina anchorage and clear up part one of the title.

Woke up with the sunrise, night two was uneventful with little wind and waves, making for a very comfortable sleep with just the lull of a rocking boat. Since it is off season here, the anchorage is quiet with just a few other boats, some on mooring balls closer to shore and one catamaran neighbor hanging out with us just outside the mooring in this huge cove. We had never been to this side of Catalina, so we had checked out the town the afternoon prior. Cool little town just a short dinghy ride away, with a restaurant/bar, general store and boat repair shop...nothing like Avalon, but sleepy with a great tiny island feel.

DNA Evidence:
I'm reading my book inside the salon and enjoying my morning tea, lazily starting my day. Jay comes inside and ever-so nonchalantly announces we have blood drops on our dinghy.

"I'm sorry....what did you just say?!"

*I might add, I have an extremely over active imagination, so of course, the early morning, waking my brain up for cognitive processing, coupled with this odd and unsettling news made for a comical charade in my mind. Naturally, as any other sane adult would do with this information, I continue sipping my tea. Yup, mysterious blood drops, totally weird. [READ: I'm already planning my escape route from the mass murderer waiting somewhere nearby for us: grab the machete on the forward cabin bed, along with fins and snorkle masks, dive out the forward hatch, swim around to the back, cut the dinghy line and make for the shore....please don't let there be a severed finger IN the dinghy!

but nah...obviously, I AM a calm, rational adult and am having none of those ridiculous thoughts. Instead, acting as if I was just told the air temperature for the day.

"hmmm, so weird!" Continues tea sipping.

Jay, on the other hand, is actually acting like a sane adult. Walking away to make coffee, he calmly says over his shoulder,

"Likely just fish blood from some bird's morning meal."

Oohhhhhh! Right, yes, fish blood from those damn birds that tried to dive bomb us yesterday coming in from our dinghy ride. Exactly.....?! [why didn't I think of that? Mass murderers in Catalina totally doesn't make sense, they are only in LA and NY where there are actually....people?]

....Wait, fish blood?! OMG EWWWWW!

Lord help me when we catch our first fish and I have to watch Jay filet it in our cockpit.

--

Fixing Your Boat in (somewhat) Exotic Places, Part One:
We are still having minor battery issues, so we started the engine to get our batteries up, and enjoy the luxury of our fan heaters (which draw way too much power to just go off our batteries alone) We lift both anchors after breakfast to take BOAT out 3mi offshore for some "maintenance" (I won't go into specifics of what this entails, it's just gross.) Anyway, with no wind, we motor just outside the cove to notice that our engine is running a bit hotter than normal. After some discussion, we agree that it looks to be getting hotter, so we shut off the engine and turn around to come back into anchor to figure out the issue. Of course, the wind completely dies just after making our turn back into anchor. Needless to say, it was a long meandering sail back into our anchorage spot. Re-set-up with both anchors and then argue over who is getting into the freezing water to check the prop and the intake screen on the thruhull...I lose...damn it!

After pulling a huge dread of seaweed off the prop and scrubbing the intake screens, we learn neither are the source of the issue. Jay opens up the engine to further investigate and finds a sheered bolt on our raw water pump....

So back to town we go in search of the marine mechanic shop. An hour later and long conversation with local marine mechanic owner Jared going thru all options (FedEx 4-5 days of full pump replacement and $500 later, because why would Yanmar just sell the bolts?!) We conclude that it would be best for us to get down to San Diego and complete the repair, where there are a ton more facilities nearby and easier access to other parts should this project evolve....and not in the fun way.

Soooo, in order to cover the 80nm run to San Diego, we are planning an early am (like 3am!) departure. Weather window looks best for tomorrow, with winds looking good at 15-20kts so hopefully we can fly down there and get working on this. Not that into being back in a slip just three days after leaving home port....but so is the cruising life....fixing your boat in exotic places.

I'm sure this topic will be revisited again in the future..and hopefully in a more exotic place than San Diego.

xx
C




Vessel Name: BOAT
Vessel Make/Model: Hunter 410
Hailing Port: Channel Island, CA
Crew: Jay and Courtney
Social:
BOAT's Photos - Main
30 Photos
Created 20 January 2018