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Living the Dream
Honeymoon Cove, Isla Danzante

What clear water here! We can watch the fish from our boat (water is just a bit brrrr for swimming). We can't believe people sat the blow out over here (with anchors on shore). It certainly is a tight little anchorage in the north bight! Hope to come back here again and spend some quality time.


We are sitting here waiting for the wind to let up so we can pull into the fuel dock and get water (of course it's been blowing all night--doesn't that seem to happen all the time? Just when you want to get out!) So I thought I'd share a few thoughts.....

It seems that as technologically unadvanced as we are (Jim & I, not the world), we should be getting paid from Hawkin for the marketing we have been doing down here. We are amazed that every time we whip out the external antennae, we get all kinds of questions. We don't buy all the new computer gadgets nor do we have all the computer gadgets or understand half the programs that we have nor what you can do online for free. Like I said, we be stupid when it comes to this stuff. But I guess we did do something right cuz everyone wants one of our Hawkin.

Now the other marketing fee we should definitely be getting is from Delta. You've read the stories and/or you've lived out the same blows we've been in and we LOVE our Delta. We didn't know how much we love our Delta until Tuna Can relayed the war zone that was our anchoring system in Ballandra (really wish we had pictures). I think that could be a nice chunk of change from Delta, don't you? If we just got paid by the incident, we'd be up to 3 or 4 so far.........hmmmmm maybe have to find out their address and make a suggestion! HA HA we won't hold our breath!

Hmmmmmm wind is still blowing, so nowhere to go yet. Did we tell you we really like Escondido now? Maybe last spring everyone just forgot their happy pills.....HA HA

I know I'm just rambling.....Thanks to all our friends (Heather, Mark, Gene) and family who check in and leave us comments. We really look forward to those! Can't wait to see what the Comment Queen has to say this time! You know who you are! Love to you all. Keep safe and warm til we check in again.

02/17/2011 | Heather on "Meerkat"
Finally catching up on your life! Had to go back several posts and start there. Sorry about the lost anchor. Glad you like Escondido now - we hated it at first too, then later loved it. Had a blast at Escondido Fest or whatever that is the last year we were there. Enjoy the rest of the Sea :)
02/17/2011 | Heather on "Meerkat"
PS Are you calling Mahk Coleman a "queen"? OMG... He's such a nice guy. I bet he never comments again. Oh wait, Mahk, Gene, Heather. Am I the "queen"? xoxo

We take back our previous bad mouthing of Escondido. It seems like a totally different place than the one we came to last spring. Whatever was the problem seems to have gone away cuz we really like the people here this time around. Everyone is friendly and the net is funnier than hell, with sound effects and everything (wish we had a good sound effect).

We hitched a short ride with campers to the Modelorama and got some supplies and spent time doing internet stuff. We let the net know that we lost our anchor in Ballandra in case anyone wanted to do some treasure hunting and had two people come back to offer to dive for it for us (no charge). Well we didn't expect that at all! Gave us all kinds of warm fuzzy feelings about Escondido.

Avery & Theresa on Tuna Can called back and said hey we're going to go out today and try to find it, can you go? Well sure, what the hell. They picked us up on a bitchin' red powerboat and we did 30 miles an hour over the water back to Ballandra. He tried for an hour and used up a tank of air in 60 degree water but Avery was unable to find our anchor this try. He said he could sure tell we got our asses kicked by the ravines our chain and rode made on the bottom. And he said it looked like we dragged both anchors a couple of times 30 feet this way and 30 feet that way! Wish we had an underwater picture of that. Yeah Delta anchor rocks! Like Timex, Delta takes a licking but keeps on plowing. Yeah ok so it doesn't have a snazzy rhyme but hooooooaaaaa baby it works! At least we have backup to our "we got our asses kicked out there" story!

Now we're finishing up our Escondido visit with food at the singular restaurant and the SuperBowl. Next internet will probably be in La Paz, which we think will be this week.

Ballandra at Isla Carmen

Ok here's the poop! We heard there was a damn big blow (referred to as a norther) coming so we decided to leave San Juanico for a smaller hidey hole (being Ballandra). We'd been there last spring and sat out a windy spot ok so we figured it should do us well.

We got to Ballandra on Monday, 2 days before the winds were supposed to start. We went ashore on Tuesday (breaking the law as we didn't have park passes) and quickly walked the beach and stopped to talk to another on the beach (Katherine from Loose Pointer, the other boat in the anchorage). The picture is of the fishing shack on the beach there. We went back to the boat and hunkered down for the rest of the day, checking in with all the weather gurus Don on Amigo/Southbound single side band net and Gary on the beach on Sonrisa ham net as well as the Escondido VHF net. Everyone was calling for 30 + winds and seas of 10 ft plus at insanely short second intervals (like 5- 9 seconds). North of 27 degrees in the northern part of the Sea and all the way to San Felipe and the Colorado River was calling for gale with winds to 60 knots. Ok so we were suitably nervous about this storm. And here it comes.....

Wednesday. the winds start at about 5 am and just keep coming all day. From where we are you can see out into the Sea and the waves are just getting crazy. Now as everything is building (no letting up at all) we are starting to swing back and forth and rise up and down with the huge swells coming into the bay. I'm too nervous to watch all the activity from the cockpit so I start cleaning the boat. The boat should be pretty darn clean by the time this blow is over! At high tide, the waves started rolling in and breaking on the reef and all the way around the cove. Now we're getting worried that the wind will push us too far at the wrong time and catch a swell and wrap us around into the shallows near the rocky beach. What crap! And so anchor watch begins.....all day and all night long. Jim got his first happy birthday wishes at 12:01 since we were up. Let's just say 2 hour watches suck!

Thursday, yep it's still blowing and we're still swinging violently and the other boat drags. Their anchor reset but were really close to the beach and ended up pulling forward and dropped a second anchor before nightfall. So as bad as we were getting we did the same, hoping to make us stop swinging so bad and get us away from the rocks (where of course the wind wanted to push us).

Friday, winds are dying down but still get gusty. The seas look less hostile too. We actually get to sleep like normal people but in the salon so not quite as comfortable.

Saturday, after hearing the weather reports we decide with only 2 gallons of drinking water left, we're running to Escondido (14 miles away). As Jim begins pulling anchors, we unfortunately have one less anchor than we tossed out. The secondary (a nice 40lb danforth) was just on rode and chaffed itself through. Darn it! Seas were a bit rough and the wind died down so much we actually had to motor for a while. Longest motoring we've done to date (a couple of hours).

So we have survived a big blowing norther here in the Sea of Cortez! All the locals have said that the winds were almost as bad as if it was a hurricane, outside of a hurricane. And the temperatures were and still are freaking cold. We got a temp reading out of Escondido of 42 degrees. On one of the mornings out there, I put our temperature gauge outside in the cockpit and it dropped from a warm fuzzy temperature (not) of 57 degrees in the cabin to 50 degrees in under 5 minutes. Ok now that is just too damn cold!

02/17/2011 | Heather on "Meerkat"
Yuk. That must have been when we had honking East winds here. Sorry to the birthday boy to have to do anchor watches and to lose an anchor on top of it. Yes, yay for Deltas...
Birthday Boy

Unfortunately birthday boy had not much of a celebration this year. Just like last year (when we were getting beat down in Santiago), we were getting big time booty whooping in Ballandra on Isla Carmen on his birthday. Jim wants to go somewhere next year where that won't happen again on his birthday! No more spanky town birthdays!

I'll explain about spanky town in the next blog!

San Juanico

What a great spot! This trip we got to anchor in the north end of the bay as opposed to the south side by the reef. There are campers here (and we met them as they kayaked and we went ashore for walking/exploring time). They are from Oregon, Colorado and Utah. Wish we had more time to organize a horse shoe tournament!

We checked out the cruiser's shrine-a tree that is decorated with stuff cruiser's have left behind. It reminded us of Shoe Tree on the 10? in California. Instead of all shoes though it's very interestingly decorated. Engraved rocks, pieces of drift wood or leftover teak, shells, lots of bottles with messages. A very interesting collection of art. So we had art day and made our own contribution. Hope we see it there next year (or at least at the end of the season so I can take a picture)! We did see lots of names that were familiar just from the nets but we did not find anyone from Ventura. Darn.....wanted to see what artistic Heather on Meerkat dreamed up.

What a great bay to walk. Lots of beach and rocks and even inland paths. This trip we've managed to walk 3 of the beaches. Maybe on the way back we can do the rest if we can park in the south end again.

Clouds blew through and we had a nice rainbow off the ocean and it actually sprinkled for a bit during the night. Much better than the tropical rains we got last winter!

02/17/2011 | Heather on "Meerkat"
Bummer you didn't find my cat-amaran. I made a cat face sail sticking out of a catamaran. Check for it next time you are there! Someone saw it about a year ago. Hopefully it's still there... :)

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Who: Jim & Jeannine
Port: Newport, NY
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