11/17/2008, Slowing down, throwing out the schedule, and having a blast
We are now two days in Bahia De Los Suenos (Bay of Dreams) longer than we had planned. The question we are slowly learning to answer is: Why leave when everyone is having a great time? La Paz will be there when we finally get there, and our friends are here now, and they won't be later, so we decided to not rush off and miss the perfect moment.
One of the interesting adjustments to make when cruising is to realize that you have tomorrow and even all of next week, if needed, to enjoy an area. Unlike a normal vacation, where you feel compelled to squeeze as many sights into as short of a time frame as possible, cruising lets you not just scratch the surface of an area but really dig in and get to know the people as well as the location. The manager of the resort, Jerry and his wife are from Mexico City and just moved here a few months ago to run this wonderful oasis on the bay. You would be hard pressed to find nicer people. With no guests currently in this beautiful place, he has opened the doors of the truly 5 star resort to the 20 or so cruising boats that are here. This isn't a mega hotel like you would find in Cancun, but a high end resort where each guest gets their own private casita complete with their own pool and patio with a million dollar view of the bay. With only 6 casitas on the property, don't look for the cattle car internet deal seekers here, because if you have to ask the price, then you can't afford it. For the last few days, however, our price has been a few margaritas.
Our current plan is to pull anchor early Wednesday morning and head for the islands just out of La Paz for a day or so before heading into the "big city" of La Paz.
Amy went over to Bay Wolf again this morning for school with Miya. The girls study well together and it gives them an opportunity to see that other kids have to do their work as well before they can spend the rest of the day snorkeling! Jason has been working with Mom to get his work done. His incentive to complete his math sheets is that he will get to wear Lori's fins for snorkeling, as he lost one of his in Bahia Los Frailes.
I was able to have a great radio contact with Vern tonight and he was able to do a phone patch in my parents, and it was nice to talk to them and let them know we are still alive and doing well. It will really be nice to have some family come down and visit.so hint.hint.we will be in La Paz for Thanksgiving and always have room for family and friends to come and visit!
We may be one of the smaller boats in the anchorage, but the word gets out rather quickly that we have the largest watermaker in the bay at around 45gals/hr. I can at least say something of mine is bigger or faster than yours.because it sure isn't THIRD DAY's sailing speed!
So far if I had to compare what I thought cruising would be like to what it is actually like, I would have to say that it is harder than we thought but at the same time dramatically more rewarding and just flat out fun. The sun seems to rise and then set before we have time to get done even half of what we talked about doing at breakfast. Who would have thought that cruising would keep you busier than "normal" land life? We sure didn't, and that's the exact feeling that Lori and I have and talk about all the time. In a way we are asking each other and other cruisers if there is some secret that we haven't figured out yet to make time slow down so that we can get things done. I think I know the answer, but after 18 years of 65hr work weeks, it's hard to slow down and not expect ones self to fire through any "to-do-list" like a machine gun. Here you don't get points for finishing something fast; infact, there is more honor in the cruising community in taking your time with a project or passage. I'm sure we will gradually slip into "manana mode" as they call it down here in Mexico, but like everything else I've done in life, I don't want to wait for "manana" or tomorrow. I feel the need to do it NOW! So as part of my therapy, I won't head over to the SSB Ham Radio and email off this blog post tonight, I'll wait until the morning, because it will still be here on the computer, and these amazing stars will be gone as will this perfect moment in time made to not be wasted or rushed through.
(This post was made over the Ham Radio, so no photos could be uploaded, but I've been taking them, and will update the photos when I get a real internet connection)
11/15/2008, Amy was pulled up the mast and enjoyed the view
Still anchored in Bahia De Los Muertos the kids spent the entire morning working on schoolwork some math, English, reading aloud, and writing in their journals. For "recess" they spent some time on deck and since Amy did a great job (no whining or complaining) her reward was a ride in the bosun's chair to the top of the mast to retrieve our lost spinnaker halyard. She brought along a camera and really enjoyed the ride and view. After lunch we will dingy to shore and explore the small town with the crew of Bay Wolf. Bay Wolf is a Santa Cruz 50 racing boat from the Bay Area and Capt Kirk and Sachi are cruising with their two kids Miya (age 11) and Romi (age 8). Our average speed has been around 5kts since we left San Diego, but even in light wind the Santa Cruz 50 is easily averaging 7kts, so we usually end up leaving a few hours ahead of them to even have a chance to keeping up. We plan on this same early departure from Muertos when we make the 60 mile trip to La Paz.
I asked Lori if she had anything she wanted to type up for the blog and got a dirty look as she was grading the kids paperwork and getting their next materials ready. Schooling the two kids takes quite a bit of prep time, which has fallen into Lori's responsibility. I would be glad to let her work on the oil leaks and in the bilge, and trade for the role of teacher, but then the mechanical items would fall apart, as would the kids educational structure.so it's a good division of labor.
Yesterday I made my first batch of bread form scratch using the sour dough starter given to me for my birthday. I split the dough into two halves with one half going into a standard bread loaf pan and the second half being turned into cinnamon rolls! So this morning for breakfast, we had French toast made form the cinnamon rolls and it was GREAT. The bread is finishing up it's rise and will be cooked today, but I'm a little concerned about it's lack of proofing, oh the difficulties of cruising.
With no wind in the anchorage, we have been running all of our fans along with three computers all morning long. The great news is that the solar panels are STILL putting amps into the batter bank and that's even with the Ice Box refrigeration unit keeping the freezer box cold and the fridge at a perfect 40 Deg! So needless to say, we are happy with our 260W of solar. We only go negative during the evening hours.100AH negative to be exact for last night.
We will make some more water when we head to La Paz, but we have been using fresh water like the grasshopper in the famous "Grasshopper and the Ant" parable. Perhaps the grasshopper also had a 45 Gal/hr water maker?
I was trying to get the some of the kids journal entries posted today, but with all the other work they had, they didn't have time to edit their entries after I typed them into word. So you guys will have to check back later for those.
Again, no photos with this post made over the Ham Radio...but I have a great one of Amy at the top of the mast and will update this post when we get to La Paz.
11/14/2008, 47 miles from Los Frailes to Bahia De Los Muertos
The day started at 0300hrs when Lori asked me if I was awake, and I replied "yes, want to pull anchor now?". Since we were both awake the best move was to get an early start for Bahia De Los Muertos, or Bay of the Dead. Muertos is 47 miles closer to La Paz and like Los Frailes is a natural stop for La Paz bound cruisers looking to take their time and slow down after the fast pace of the Ha-ha. The sail was uneventful and with everything working well, we motorsailed the entire way in light and variable winds. In the anchorage were 15 or so Ha-ha boats that had left Los Frailes the prior day. It's a weird feeling traveling with the same boats from place to place but it does allow you to make some good friends and find out who throws the best cocktail party!
Unfortunately, we dragged three fishing lures but caught no fish, so that rules out being able to bring fresh tuna to the almost nightly potluck on one of the boats in the anchorage. Tonight we are thinking of going to dinner ashore with a few other kids boats. There is a golf course and upper end resort here in Muertos and there is a paved road all the way to La Paz. The developers have tried to change the name of this bay from Bay of the Dead to Bay of Dreams, but I say Bay of the Dead sounds much better even if people don't want to plan their high end Baja vacation to the Bay of the Dead!
The kids worked on Home school, primarily math, most of the day. What is it about learning the multiplication tables that frustrates two generations of Borens? Science is easy given our environment as is geology and history, but math is math no matter which county you are in! Also you can relax, after reading the blog, Lori is in charge of Spelling and grammar!
We will stay here a few days or until we are ready to move on, which ever comes first. With clear warm water and a great beach, it's hard to look towards shore and feel a need to pull anchor too quickly.
We don't have Wifi here, so the blog updates will come from the Ham radio, which doesn't allow for photo uploads, so you will just have to take my word for now that it's beautiful here.
Amy and Lori just got back from swimming over to a friends boat and visiting for a while and Amy is trying to talk Jason into swimming around our boat despite the stinging jellyfish! When I snorkeled over our anchor, I was stung a few times as were Amy and Jason. The stings sent both kids screaming as if they were being eaten by sharks, but it couldn't have been too bad because as soon as Amy saw her friend on Don S/V Quixote she talked Lori into swimming over and say hello.
The next blog post I'll make will consist of excerpts of the kids journal entries, which I typed up today while underway.