SailBlogs
Bookmark and Share
Seas of Happy Nest
Caleta Partida
Joy
06/06/2010, Caleta Partida

June 6, 2010

We had a leisurely morning today. With all of the quiet and no stress about getting ready to leave we both slept well and didn't get up until midmorning. It was another gorgeous day. Our only "dilemma" was whether to stay here another night or go on to Caleta Partida(CP). We had breakfast and decided to go the 6 nautical miles to CP. It isn't as hot near the island as it was in town. There is a gentle breeze out today. Very peaceful.

I really enjoy seeing the island as we go past. We sailed a little but the wind let up and we ended up motoring.

We are now in Caleta Partida. It is the crater of an extinct volcano. The eastern and western ridges of the caldera have been eroded away over the years. The formations and striations of the rocks all around Espiritu Santo are so fascinating. It's like someone carved all different designs. With your imagination you can see all sorts of things in the formations. There are so many colors. Even the water changes to different shades from very dark to turquoise to an almost florescent blue-green. We took several pictures along the way. There are lots of great white sand beaches. We also saw fish and rays jumping out of the water. I never grow tired of watching the pelicans fish for food. There is so much to see around here.

Espiritu Santo was made into a national park and all of the inhabitants (not very many) were relocated to the mainland/Baja. It is kept like a preserve with lots of hiking trails. Different parts of the island bring different sights. The last time we were here, we hiked up on ravine that must have been a large stream with large boulders. Another place is just sandy with low scrub bush. Yet another has different kinds of cactus. There are remnants of salt "farms" and fishing huts. One cove has the remains of a pearl farm. There are lots of birds and different kinds of shells and rocks. Every cove has something unique about it. There are lots of reefs and fish along the rocky parts. People snorkel and dive here. The fishing is also good.

Tonight we are anchored with 3 other boats. The head of the cove is a large sandy beach. The sides are very steep with large cactus growing on them. There are the remains of two fish camps on the shore. We are protected from the surf and there is just a gentle breeze. Today the boat only got to 80 inside instead of the 90-93 it was being in La Paz. I'm really enjoying being out again.

06/17/2010 | Jim Hopper
Dave and Joy,
I can't believe it. I'm so jealous. You guys really did it. But how about a little history about the boat ( and a picture ), where you bought it and how far you have sailed. What's the scariest experience yet. What kind of winds and weather have you experienced. While I was mowing the lawn last night I was thinking you probably miss that Dave. I'm anxious to here more of the story.
Jim
07/02/2010 | Jenni Cooke
I just want you to know I check your blog every now and then and really enjoy hearing about your adventures. Thank you for keeping us posted on where you are and what you are experiencing. I pray God will keep you safe and in good health. I think what you are doing is great!!
Leaving La Paz
Joy
06/05/2010, Puerto Ballena

June 5, 2010 Sunday

We left La Paz yesterday around 2:30. We really enjoyed it there and have made a lot of new friends. Lots of them have gone north, to the US or Canada, for the summer, a few will stay in La Paz and the others are going to spend the summer in the north Sea of Cortez. It will be fun meeting up with them. They tell me that there are lots of "noodle" parties. Everyone brings their foam noodle and then sets around in the water having snacks and drinks enjoying the break from the hot weather. I'm looking forward to swimming in the Sea.

We got new batteries put in before we left. We replaced 3 4d size batteries with 8 golf cart batteries. It took more time than we expected. The batteries were a little too tall for the space. By taking out the battery boxes and attaching the restraining straps to the hull and drilling indent holes on the under side of the floor we were able to get them in. They sure work a lot better. No more alarms going off in the middle of the night!!!!

As we left the wind was beginning to 'freshen'. We put up the sails and had a wonderful sail all the way to Espiritu Santo and Puerto Ballena where we anchored for the night. It is so much quieter away from the city and you don't have the swells from the panga drivers going by all the time.

We sailed at about 6 knots all the way. There were two wonderful sights on the way. The first: we came to a pod(herd) of dolphins. There were so many you couldn't count them all. You could see them all the way from the tip of Espiritu Santo to the top and it was at least 100 yards across. I don't remember ever seeing so many at one time. They were all sizes and were jumping out of the water, swimming and playing. So much fun to watch, we hated to have to cross their path. They seemed to enjoy the boat going across and used it as an obstacle to play around.

Later we saw a bunch of birds flying over an object in the water. There was a ring of them floating that seemed to be encircling something. From a distance we couldn't see what it was for sure, but saw some splashes. As we got closer we realized it was a seal splashing around in the water. We pulled out the binoculars and were rewarded with the sight of a mother seal giving birth. It was awesome. The birds seemed to be there in awe and to give support. As soon as the pup was born the birds took off and mama and baby we're not visible as much. It was a very unexpected sight as I thought that this was the wrong season for that.

As we were in the anchorage there were gusts of wind in the otherwise calm night. It was really funny how the wind would really blow for 10-15 seconds and then stop. It would blow again in 10 - 20 minutes. We went out side to make sure everything was alright before going to bed. There wasn't a moon out and the lights of the city were obscured by a bluff. The stars were so bright against a jet black sky. There were so many of them. Looking down we were surrounded by luminescence in the water. At first glance you might think it was just the stars, but it wasn't. There were more flecks than there were stars in the sky. When the breeze would pick up a little there were even more. I felt like I was surrounded by stars. Everything was so peaceful. What a wonderful ending to such a wonderful day.

Thank you Lord for such a wonderful blessing and all the ways You showed Your love for us today. Please be with all of my family and friends. May they too see and feel Your love for them.

The Bird and the Bees
Joy
04/19/2010

We arrived in La Paz this afternoon, April 19. We had a wonderful stay in Mazatlan. On the 12 we crossed the Sea of Cortez to Los Muertos. It only took one night. We went on to Bahia San Gabriel on Espiritu Santo (just 18 miles outside La Paz). It's a beautiful island with a large white sand beach. The water is such a pretty shade of blue with visibility to about 30 feet. We'd been here before and really enjoyed it.

While we were there we decided to get the dinghy inflated and in the water. We do passages with it secured to the top of the boat with the motor on the back. There was a little brown and white bird with a black head that was enjoying watching us work. (In looking in our bird book it looked like a Lapland Longspur.) It would sit on the rails and lifelines watching us. Sugar even enjoyed it. I had been working in the sail lazarette when Dave called me forward to help with the dinghy. When I returned the bird was gone, but only out of my sight. Next thing I knew it was flying out of the lazarette. It perched on the steering wheel and continued to watch. I was called forward again. The bird watched me go. When I returned I had to get something from down below. As I walked down the stairs there sat the bird on the table. It seemed to like it here. I wasn't so sure I wanted a bird flying loose in the cabin so went to shoe it outside. Instead of going out the door it went into the forward bedroom and was having quite a time with the "bird in the mirror" at the head of the bed. I came in and opened the window over the top of the bed and got the bird outside. It went to the front of the boat where it continued watching us work. As we finished up the bird had flown away. We put everything away and headed down below for lunch. Here was the bird again sitting on the table. I guess he wanted lunch too. I had forgotten to close one of the screens on the window over the table. After it watched us a moment it decided to fly on home and left through the window. Dave said it really made sense that the bird had been here and was surprised that we hadn't had more being as we are the Happy Nest.

Later that day as I was preparing dinner we were descended upon by a horde of bees. They flew in through the door and surrounded me in the "kitchen". These bees are not real aggressive but they are bothersome. I shoed as many as I could out the door and then closed everything up. There were still several inside. I grabbed my trusty fly swatter and took them on. The bees being rather slow were not too big a challenge. I even got so I could hit them while they were flying in mid-air. They strike the floor dazed where they were no match for my fly swatter. I counted 22 bees that met there end but could still hear buzzing. There were lots outside the door and window still. Dave decided to be my protector and took control of the fly swatter. A bee would come in through the louver in the door only to be met with Dave's swift hand. Another 12 hit the dust before it was all over. I guess the word is out. We haven't seen another bee yet.

We are having a great time here. This really is a great way to spend your time exploring new places and meeting new friends.

The Mercado in Mazatlan
Joy
04/08/2010

The Mercado in Mazatlan is a wonderful experience. There are lots of "booths" in a one story building that encompasses a large city block. There are little booths along the sidewalk on the outside selling magazines, CDs, shoes, sandals, nicnacks, and the local beverages of a red Kool-Aid made out of flowers, tamarind and crushed almonds. There are a couple of 4 seat stands that have tacos. When entering any one of the four entrances you are immediately transported to a different world with many new smells and sights. I like going in where the clothing is or the door where the fresh fruit and vegetables are. Upon entering the clothing section several young ladies call you saying "Lady, you want some dress or shirt?" There are lots of t-shirts and many of the native dresses. Everyone wants you to buy from them as they will make the best price. You can barter if you are buying something. The more you buy the better the price. After going through the clothing you come to either the fruits and veggies or the meats. The fresh fruit and vegetables were wonderful. A lot to choose from and they all looked good. Behind the fruit stands were stores that sold herbal remedies and offered treatments for whatever ails you. There are some stands that sell dried beans and grains. Others have eggs, boxed milk and various staples. One lady sells cooked sweet potatoes, plantains and bread pudding. There's even a store that sells the local sweets. Flavored marshmallows are big around here along with gumdrops.

Now you arrive at the meat section. There are all different kinds of meat. The butchers are cutting up the carcasses right in front of you. In the chicken section you can get whole chickens or parts. Chicken feet are there in mounds. Their chicken is a lot more yellow than what I've seen before. It's all laid out on stainless steel tables and kept cool. The beef has not only sides, but different cuts. They also lay out all of the different organs for purchase. In one case was a cow tail minus the skin. It sold rapidly. What do you make out of cows tails? It was very long and skinny. The pork is displayed with the heads and feet, as is the lamb and goat. The last section is the fresh seafood. Here there are all different kinds of fresh caught fish. They have 20 pound groupers and little fish, squid, shrimp and our very favorite smoked marlin. The floor in this section is very wet and there are women whose job it is to wave a fan to keep the flies off. Also within this section are a few venders that sell cheeses. They have fresh to very aged cheese. We really like the Chihuahua cheese and the Oaxaca cheese.

The smell of raw fish, raw meat, various fruits and veggies, the incense that some of the shops burn, and the city all combine to be a very aromatic experience. Some of the areas I prefer to just hurry through. Others are not bad at all.

After leaving the Mercado we walk a few blocks to the shrimp ladies. Here for one block are 10 - 12 women with buckets of fresh shrimp, squid and scallops. We get the large shrimp where 12 shrimp make a pound for about $4/pound. The women will clean them for you at no extra price. They put your shrimp in a plastic bag along with ice. Then they put that bag in another one or two. The shrimp stay cold all the way back to the boat. These are the best shrimp that we have had. Mazatlan is known for its shrimp.

I enjoy shopping at the Mercado. It is quite an adventure. I still go to the regular grocery stores for most of my staples.

January North and then to Mazatlan
Joy
03/18/2010

We're in beautiful Mazatlan. It has been so much fun sailing and exploring Mexico. We left La Paz the 7th of January and headed north with our friends Rose and Janie on Lovely Lady. Don and Jacquie on Little Christian joined us after a couple of days and the six of us continued up north. We had good weather all the way up to Escondido and Loreto. While we were at Escondido tied to a mooring ball a norther (strong wind from the north) came through. We all held fine and just rode it out. It felt like we were swinging in a hammock, not bad. It got colder as we went north; we even had to put on a blanket to sleep with. At Loreto we explored the city that was once the capital of Baja California Sur. It was a fun day. The people everywhere we go are so friendly. If you just try to speak in Spanish their faces light up and they want to help you all they can. Often we find ourselves helping them with English and they help us with Spanish.

We decided to return to La Paz, where it is warmer than go farther north. Little Christian went with us and Lovely Lady proceeded on. We hope to catch up with Lovely Lady in Mazatlan or Puerto Vallarta. I saw my first Carnival in La Paz. There were parades and lots of free musical programs. It was fun, but very crowded. We left La Paz for Mazatlan the end of Feb. We stopped at Espiritu Santo and Los Muertos before making the 3 day 2 night sail to Mazatlan. We are at the 5 star resort El Cid Marina with access to all of the wonderful pools and amenities of all three El Cids in Mazatlan. Tough day when you have to figure out which pool you want to try .

Yesterday we went to explore old town. We had fun as usual. We also went on an Art Walk that they were having. It was in the homes and studios of the artists. The homes were beautiful. I had wanted to see the inside of a villa. I got to see several. The art was great and very reasonably priced. There was also music in the square at night. One gallery had a section that featured hand made instruments. They use everything here. I was surprised to see a type of "Harp" made out of a dried half of an orange peel. It had a wooden disc (with a hole in the middle) placed over the top of the orange peel. Finishing nails were pounded very thin and placed so that you could "strum" out a melody. They also made similar ones out of coconut shells and gourds. They make a flute out of PVC pipe that was different. I also enjoyed one artist that made pictures out of stringing yarn over a board coated in beeswax, very intricate work. There were paintings, sculptures and lots of jewelry too. It's interesting to see how they can take avocado seeds, walnut seeds, shells etc and slice and carve them into beautiful pieces.

Today we are just taking it easy on the boat as it is a rainy day, the first that we have had in Mexico. We had 2 other short showers, but this is the first that has lasted all day. We seem to just have one beautiful day after another. I am really enjoying being in Mexico and the days we sail are especially good. We have visited so many islands and yet I am excited to see them again and many more. We're debating about staying here in Mexico for the summer or going west to the Marquesas. I'm leaning on exploring the northern part of the Sea of Cortez. In actuality we saw very little of what is there. I'd like to spend more time at Puerto Vallarta and south too. There is just too much to see in one season. The sailing life is really great!!!!!!!!

Arrival in Mazatlan
Joy
03/06/2010, El Cid Marina

We're in beautiful Mazatlan. It has been so much fun sailing and exploring Mexico. We left La Paz the 7th of January and headed north with our friends Rose and Janie on Lovely Lady. Don and Jacquie on Little Christian joined us after a couple of days and the six of us continued up north. We had good weather all the way up to Escondido and Loreto. While we were at Escondido tied to a mooring ball a norther (strong wind from the north) came through. We all held fine and just rode it out. It felt like we were swinging in a hammock, not bad. It got colder as we went north; we even had to put on a blanket to sleep with. At Loreto we explored the city that was once the capital of Baja California Sur. It was a fun day. The people everywhere we go are so friendly. If you just try to speak in Spanish their faces light up and they want to help you all they can. Often we find ourselves helping them with English and they help us with Spanish.

We decided to return to La Paz, where it is warmer instead of going farther north. Little Christian went with us and Lovely Lady proceeded on. We hope to catch up with Lovely Lady in Mazatlan or Puerto Vallarta. I saw my first Carnival in La Paz. There were parades and lots of free musical programs. It was fun, but very crowded. We left La Paz for Mazatlan the end of Feb. We stopped at Espiritu Santo and Los Muertos before making the 3 day 2 night sail to Mazatlan. We are at the 5 star resort El Cid Marina with access to all of the wonderful pools and amenities of all three El Cids in Mazatlan. Tough day when you have to figure out which pool you want to try .

Yesterday we went to explore old town. We had fun as usual. We also went on an Art Walk that they were having. It was in the homes and studios of the artists. The homes were beautiful. I had wanted to see the inside of a villa. I got to see several. The art was great and very reasonably priced. There was also music in the square at night. One gallery had a section that featured hand made instruments. They use everything here. I was surprised to see a type of "Harp" made out of a dried half of an orange peel. It had a wooden disc (with a hole in the middle) placed over the top of the orange peel. Finishing nails were pounded very thin and placed so that you could "strum" out a melody. They also made similar ones out of coconut shells and gourds. They make a flute out of PVC pipe that was different. I also enjoyed one artist that made pictures out of stringing yarn over a board coated in beeswax, very intricate work. There were paintings, sculptures and lots of jewelry too. It's interesting to see how they can take avocado seeds, walnut seeds, shells etc and slice and carve them into beautiful pieces.

Today we are just taking it easy on the boat as it is a rainy day, the first that we have had in Mexico. We had 2 other short showers, but this is the first that has lasted all day. We seem to just have one beautiful day after another. I am really enjoying being in Mexico and the days we sail are especially good. We have visited so many islands and yet I am excited to see them again and many more. We're debating about staying here in Mexico for the summer or going west to the Marquesas. I'm leaning on exploring the northern part of the Sea of Cortez. In actuality we saw very little of what is there. I'd like to spend more time at Puerto Vallarta and south too. There is just too much to see in one season. The sailing life is really great!!!!!!!!

Older ]

 

 
Powered by SailBlogs