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Kasasa
Slowing down to the Mexican pace
Ellen
12/07/2010, San Jose del Cabo

We left Cabo around 10am on Monday because my nerves were about frayed with all of the crazy traffic constantly around us. The breaking point was when a jet ski moron came within 3 fee of the back of the boat making an obvious effort to spash us with the jet of water that comes off the back of those things. Maybe they get extra points for that. But for me it brought out the beast in me as I quickly darted into the galley and grabbed a tomatoe that was less than fresh and was ready to fire it at the guy the next time he came that close. I'm not really a violent person but that just brought it out in me. I quickly realized my state and decided not to restort to violence (this time anyhow). Luckily it was sundown and I think the moron driving was probably in a hurry to get to the closest bar and suck back a few more margaritas for his next stupid stunt. Ok my rant is finished.
So we left Cabo and came to San Jose del Cabo to the new marina that is in the process of being built. It is really really nice. We arrived around 2 in the afternoon after a slow trip in which included bleeding the engine and loosing a fish. The engine died because we were transfering fuel and forgot to monitor it and next thing the engine is sucking on a dry tank. As for the fish, it was a perfect 2 dinner size Sierra but once Ian landed it on deck, we didn't have the bonker at hand and by the time I ran back to the cockpit to get it, the fish launched itself off the deck and back into the water with the hook lodging itself in Ian's shorts. Anyhow, we got fish for dinner anyhow when we met a couple of guys at the bar and they gave us a nice chunk of Mahi Mahi for our dinner.
We had only intended on staying one night, but we got in too late to get our laundry done and so had to wait till this morning to drop it off. It's not like at home where you can walk into a laundry mat and an hour later walk out with clean clothes. Here laundry mats so far are few and far between. Mostly you drop it with a local Mexican woman or family and they do it for you and you pick it up the next day. We dropped ours off at a small hotel this morning and the chambermaids did it for us but we were told to come back at 4 pm so we had to stay another day. Not such a hardship really only a bit expensive. But what can you do. You can't seem to rush a Mexican.
In the meantime we got some boat projects done and gave her a good scrub to get the salt off. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that we finally got the watermaker installed and up and running. Ian finished it in Mag Bay and we have been making water ever since. It's showers every day again.
Tomorrow we are leaving early in the morning for Los Frailes and hope to hang out there doing some swimming and snorkling for awhile.

12/08/2010 | Linda
Drama! Adventure! The wonky mundane! The fresh fish, ahh! You are absolutely the best, thrilling entertainment. indeedy-do E&I xxoo You boost my mind! The NOISY snow plows have been running the roads here in the middle of the night and why (temper) do they have to do our parking lots at 3 am?
12/08/2010 | Dick and Anne
Hi

So glad you are here and we hope to see you soon! We are in Mazatlan and will be here until Jan (with a small trip to Van for Christmas) so hope you are enjoying the sun and warmth finally!

Regards
Anne and Dick
Full & By
12/08/2010 | pat and les
The fishing event must have been exciting. Soon you will catch (and keep) a big one! We are envious. Miss you. Have a beer and some fresh fish for us! Les is presently out shovelling snow...ha ha
12/09/2010 | Ross
I just dropped in to see how you are doing. Never a dull day day I think.

Take care you two - Ross
12/09/2010 | Beth and Norm
Great to get caught up on your blog. We are in Puerto Escondido and have internet! Yeah! We LOVED Los Frailes. Hope your trip across to Mazatland is a good one. Hope to see you on the Mexican Mainland in January/Feb.
12/09/2010 | Trudy
Oh El...you make me laugh!! I can just see you with your tomato in hand - ready to fire....lol....way too funny. It is so good to read your blogs..I love 'em.
12/11/2010 | Paul Hunt
Glad you are enjoying the cruising life, I agree Cabo is a great place to leave. We were ther back in the 90's and again last year and it has not improved. Keep safe, Paul and Judy
Arrived in Cabo
Ellen
12/05/2010, Cabo San Lucus

Wow what a culture shock arriving in Cabo after the outside of the Baja! We've gone from a remote villages that have dirt roads and survive mostly on fishing, to Cabo which is like being in some trendy shopping place which could be anywhere except it's really hot. Not that we are complaining or anything. We are taking it for what it is and we will be happy to use the services here like internet and good grocery stores, that we couldn't find on the trip down.
We arrived yesterday afternoon just before sunset and set our anchor down amongst the other sailboats, fish boats, jet skis, water taxi's etc. We hear that the cruise ships anchor out here too but at the moment there are none in. It's a busy busy place. The boat is constantly rocking and rolling from all of the boats going by.

Today we took a water taxi in to Cabo and we are going to grocery shop, tomorrow we will take care of laundry and fuel and then we are out of here. We might stop at San Jose del Cabo just 20 miles north and stay at the marina there for one night so we can wash the salt off of the boat. From there we will head north to a small bay called Los Frailes. We were going to cross over to Puerto Vallarta but our plans seem to have changed and now we are thinking of crossing over to Mazatlan and work our way south from there. But who knows as plans are always changing depending on the day and our mood and the weather.
It is nice to have internet again even if only for a short time. I love reading the comments you post. Thank you for them and they make writing this blog even more worthwhile as I know someone is reading it. It's nice to be able to share our adventures with you. I know that for the few years proceeding our departure, Ian and I were almost addicted to reading sailblogs as we both got to live vicariously through them and we also got to learn some things from what others had experienced before us. So thank you.
I wish I could write each of you back and say thank you but when your limited in finding internet time it makes it hard. So if you don't hear back from us right away it's because we are out of a wifi area but we will try to email back one of these days...

12/05/2010 | Lynn and Debbie
Congratulations on your trip so far. If you head to mazatlan we are hanging out at El CID marina.
Lynn and Debbie
12/06/2010 | camelia and Bob
You guys are doing very well...happy that you finally got to the warm weather. Cliff and Lynn Quesnel are also at the same marina at Dolphin Tales. Cliff and Lynn are the french couple you met a couple of years ago at the club garage sale. Their boat is named Taya, an Island Packet
12/06/2010 | pat and les
can't tell you how much we miss you two!!!
can't tell you how damn cold it is here (-8) but beautiful....sunny with fresh white snow
can't believe we were on the beach just three days ago in san jose
keep up the good work with the blog.
Miss making your a.m. "brew", Ian
thanks again for the fantastic time (all of it)
12/06/2010 | Ken and Carole
We really enjoy reading your blog and thanks for taking the time to write it. looks like your trip is going well, if you head to Mazatlan you may catch up with Dick and Ann. NautiMoments is on the hard at shelter for some work...getting ready for next year!
12/06/2010 | Captain Pedro
Have just caught up on your voyage and it sounds like you are doing well.
I am boatless down here in New Zealand and will wing back to Victoria Dec 15.
Keep up the reports,
Pete
12/07/2010 | anne and dick towson
Congrats! We are currently also at El Cid marina Mazatlan. We will be leaving for home for Xmas on Monday so we not see you before you get here...if not hope to see you later further down south!
12/07/2010 | Gary and Maureen
Hi Guys! Your trip sounds fantastic so far. We are tied to the dock with rain and 60k winds right now...dreaming of warm sun and beaches.Soon I hope, probably 2013. Garys sister and her husband just left to go back to their boat. They had it on the hard somewhere around Ensanada I think. They are going to carry on south for the winter. Their boat is Nordic 1V ( Cathy and Blake). You might see them out there. We look forward to your next installment. So glad you are feeling better Ian.
Take care
Maureen and Gary
Getting used to this life
Ellen
12/01/2010, Mag Bay

Wow it's been over a month now since we left our jobs and headed south. I think it has finally sunk in for us that this is not a holiday it's our life. Every day is a new day with new things to do and sometimes new challenges too. Our friends Pat and Les needed to get to San Carlos yesterday to get a bus to Cabo where they will fly home from. The day before, Ian and Les had gone to the small village at the anchorage in Man of War Cove, to arrange a water taxi to San Carlos with one of the Mexican fishermen. So they came back to the boat and let Pat and I know that at 6 am on Tuesday, we would have a water taxi at the boat to pick us up. Well as Pat would later say, never send two deaf guy who don't speak spanish to arrange transportation. We woke up at 5:30 am and were ready by 6 am. And we waited and we waited. We could see lots of action on the beach with various fishing boats heading out, and Ian was signaling with the flash light at them but still no taxi. It was blowing about 15 knots and the anchorage was actually quite rough so we didn't want to go to the beach in the dingy to find out where our water taxi was. We finally made the decision to just up the anchor and take the sailboat around. We were anticipating a rough wet trip with the wind on the nose, but actually it was quite pleasant once we got into the channel to San Carlos. The trip took us about 3 hours and we arrived anchored, and found a taxi to take us to the Port Captain where we had to have Pat and Les removed from our Crew list. Our taxi driver was great, he waited for us and then our next stop was the bus depot for Pat and Les to buy their tickets. We had about 2 hours before the bus came so our taxi driver took us to a really nice little restaurant on the beach. He told us he would come back in an hour to get us. The 4 of us had a beer and we all had a fish dinner which was so good. The total bill came to a whopping 20 dollars plus tip for all 4 of us. That is the second reason we came to Mexico our dollar goes a lot further down here than in Canada. The first reason of course is the weather. Anyhow back came our taxi, we headed back to the bus depot with a stop at a grocery store on the way, Ian and I did some groceries and then we dropped Pat and Les with fond and tearful fair wells, the taxi then returned us to our dingy. It seemed so lonely and empty on the boat when we got back to her with out our friends on board. Anyhow, a return trip to the anchorage and we arrived just in time to drop the anchor as the sun was setting. One of the boats in the anchorage that we had met a few times along the way since San Diego, Aladybeth, kindly invited us to dinner aboard their boat. It was a fun evening and once again a full day in the life of a cruiser. This morning we woke up to no winds, calm flat water and bright sunshine. This is the first morning since we got to Mexico, that we have been able to wear shorts and sleeveless shirts at 8am. We are having what is called a 'la Nina' year and it means that the sea temps are colder than the normal which also may be why BC has already experienced such cold weather this year. Ian is busy installing the watermaker today and depending on how long it takes, we are looking at leaving Mag Bay and heading on the last leg to Cabo by Friday or Saturday depending on the weather forcast of course. I might try my hand at some baking as I forgot to buy anything sweet when I shopped yesterday in San Carlos.

12/01/2010 | Debbie & Bob
So great to hear you are both doing so well. Ellen you are my inspiration, those kind of seas scare me but I know it only makes us stronger and better prepared for next time.
12/03/2010 | roy shepherd
Hi Ian and ellen i am along lost cousin from joburg s.a. penny our mutual cousin gave me your blog your yacht looks wounderfull you guys are realy adventurous enjoy every moment. please make contact if posiabel Roy
12/03/2010 | Terri-Lee
Hi Ellen and Ian,
Sounds like you're having a great time! A new lifestyle and new adventures! How awesome. I miss our conversations at work! You're missing out on the big Christmas party this Saturday. Poor you!! lol I'd trade places with you any time! Take care and I'll keep in touch.
Santa Anna winds
Ellen
11/27/2010, Mag Bay

It's amazing how fast a nice relaxing sail can turn into your worst nightmare. About 7 hours after leaving Asuncion, we were sailing on a beam reach out of the East (which should have been our first clue) and at midnight we noticed the winds picking up. We had heard that there was a Santa Anna going to blow but the grib files showed that the winds at sea would be 15 knots as well as the Don Anderson report say that we should have a great sail south. By 1am we were 30 miles off shore and in gale force winds and the seas were building. We put a second reef in the main and half an hour later we put in the third reef. With the main reefed to it's 3rd reef and the staysail up, we were still doing over 6.5 knots. The seas got bigger and bigger and started breaking and foaming. The winds were screaming through the rigging and we knew it was a Gale! We don't have an anometer (or however you spell that, it's a wind speed reading instrument) (no Bob we didn't go out on deck and use the hand held one you gave it only went to 30 miles an hour). But based on the sea state with the breaking waves and foaming seas with the foam flying off in streaks, we looked at the Beaufort scale and it was a Gale 34 to 40 knots. Ian and Les were amazing as they stayed out in the cockpit spelling each other off while the other tried to doze and get some rest. Down below, I was seasick and my friend Pat was dressed in all of her foul weather gear and lifejacket an prepared for the worst while studying the abandon ship procedures. The boat was being hit by waves that sent us over several times not a knockdown, but pushed violently back and forth. But good ole Kasasa stood up to it and came back right up over and over. She proved her seaworthiness. At about 4:30am we were all very tired and Ian decided it was time to heave to (no not lose our cookies over the side, it means to arrange your sails in such a way that you turn into the waves and your boat just rides up and down without moving very much and it gives you a chance to rest). Pat and I were on the floor bracing ourselves inside the boat ready for the change of course taking us into the winds. Of course once Ian turned into the wind, the shackle on the staysail broke and the sheets came off and now the sail was useless to use to heave to. Les got the sail down, and Ian continued with heaving to but we were only able to lay ahull which was really comfortable none the less. So for 2 hours we stayed that way and finally the winds began to ease. By 7am the winds were down to 25 knots according to the handheld wind reading thingamiggy and we continued on our way, and by 10am the seas had started to calm down as well. Thank god that was over. But the good news is we got through it and the boat performed as she should. We can laugh about it now but at the time it was an intense situation. Our second night out was a non event with very light winds and no action what so ever. We made a quick stop in Baha Santa Maria where we met up with the boat that had our missing laundry items and we had their's. An exchange was made and we were on our way. But first a Mexican fishing boat came up to us and sold us some lobster. We arrived in Mag Bay around 4pm and are now happily anchored and having a great dinner of lobster and salad what more could we ask for...

11/28/2010 | Pat and Pamela
You guys are insanely brave. I'd be down there on the floor with Pat, planning a speedy departure! Much love from your Aussie Sis and Bro xx
11/28/2010 | curtis smith
at work right now but Ian this is my e mail address at home - so interesting to read all this information on your trip.
11/28/2010 | carol Miles
Well done, guys! All very exciting. Know what you went through. Take care. Keep up the great writing. Miss you lots, though! C&J
11/29/2010 | Alan & Brenda
Hi Ian and Ellen, we met you at the dock's in Shelter Island just after your going away party. We have the 36ft S2 S/V Haven and getting it hauled to head to Ontario. We will be following your adventures and enjoying the good reading during winter. We have other friends that are in La Paz after relaunching this year and heading down south to El Salvador this season. Have load's of fun and will enjoy reading about it.
Alan & Brenda
11/29/2010 | camelia and Bob
Hi Ellen and Ian. Ellen you are still my role model so good for you for being strong and hanging in there. You have a wonderful captain taking care of you and the boat. Bob says after 30 knots you don't want to know and just need to make the boat comfortable and manage whatever comes at you, Cheers and Luv ya both.
Asuncion and searching for Laundry
Ellen
11/25/2010, 20 miles south of Asuncion

We left Turtle Bay on Wednesday the 24th enroute to Asuncion which is 50 miles south. We had light and variable winds for the first 3 or 4 hours and then around noon they steadied out on a NE direction at about 15 knots. Nice. As the afternoon progressed, so did our boat speed and the size of the swells. Around 2 we put in a reef (for my non sailing friends and family, a reef is a way to make you sail smaller and therefore you have more control of the boat, kinda like putting on the brakes) as we were hitting speeds of over 7 knots and the wind was still building. Our friends Les and Pat really enjoyed the sail as they are both sailboat racers on the Kootney lakes and don't often get to see those kinds of waves. Around 2:30 we put in the second reef and with the staysail and the double reefed main we raced along on a good sail at a comfortable 6 to 6.5 knots the rest of the day. We arrived at our destination just as the sun was setting and got the anchor down as darkness fell. We seem to be good at arriving in the dark which is not such a great thing to do. After a lazy morning on the boat we went ashore to explore the small town. Mostly it was dusty and dry, but the people were quite friendly and we found a nice family run restaraunt to have some fish tacos and a cerveza. Cost us a whole 4 dollars each including the tip. We decided to head out on the next leg of our trip once we got back to the boat. We upped anchor at 4pm and set off in about 12 knots on the beam.... nice! It only lasted about an hour and died so we have to use the engine again. At the moment as I write this, Ian is on watch and I am up next. Pat and Les are asleep and all is good. We are motorsailing in light winds. Our next destination which is Magdalena Bay or Mag Bay, is 178 miles from Asuncion. We hope we timed it right to arrive in the daylight this time. We are actually on a quest at the moment for our 'clean' laundry that got given to another cruiser in Turtle Bay. We had taken our laundry in to town to have done (there is no laundry mat) and about an hour later another cruiser took theirs in. We had talked with the other cruisers at the internet cafe and found out their names and boat name etc. Next morning our laundry gets delivered to us by panga as well as the other boats laundry too. Well wouldn't you know it they were leaving right away and we had planned to stay one more day. By the time we went through our laundry and sorted out on our boat who's was who's we realized we had a pair of pants and a tshirt that wasn't ours. And we were missing 3 pair of pants and 2 socks! I tried to hail the other boat on the VHF and finally got them when they were already 9 miles out. They hadn't checked their laundry yet and hadn't realized the mix up. They told us if we don't run into each other they will leave it with a port captain in Mag Bay or Cabo. So we are on the hunt so to speak for them. Just another day in the life of a cruising sailboat.

Turtle Bay
Ellen
11/22/2010, 27 39.53´N

We had a very calm comfortable ride to Turtle Bay from Ensenada. We were able to sail for a couple of hours each day in the afternoon in light winds and flat seas. Because the winds were so light the seas were smooth. It made the trip very easy in some ways, but we did have to endure listening to the engine for hours on end. But that was okay as we were making good time to our destination.
Because of the full moon, the nights were clear and we could even see the dolphins swimming around the boat at times. We actually saw a fair bit of wildlife on this trip, grey whales, pilot whales, sunfish, lots of dolphins several times a day, and lots of birdlife.
We arrived at 11pm at Turtle Bay but with the light of the moon, we were able to easily navigate our way in oh yeah with the help of the radar too!
Since we arrived, we have walked around the town which is a small fishing village and the roads are just dirt roads. It is not a tourist town by any means. But it is pleasant and the people are friendly and they are used to cruisers here as they off lots of services such as delivery of fuel and water to your boat. And they have an internet cafe which is where I am typing this from.
We are planning to leave tomorrow if the weather looks good. We are going to do a short hop to a small bay which I can´t spell so I won´t try but it´s about a 48 mile trip.
We are really enjoying the company of our good friends Pat and Les from Rossland BC who are with us for a couple of weeks. Makes the long passages go by really fast when you have extra people on board.
We are still seeking the warm weather as we need to wear our warm coats, hats and gloves at night when out sailing. We hear that by the time you get to Mag Bay another 200 miles south it really starts to warm up. I know nobody at home is feeling sorry for us because we saw that you have snow up there in Vancouver. Brrrrr.....

11/23/2010 | camelia and Bob
Glad to hear you are getting some of the type of sailing you enjoy Ellen. Yes it is very cold here as I awoke to -8 this morning. Don't even want to get out of bed. We look forward to reading your blog and check every day for updates. Enjoy my friend.
11/23/2010 | Captain Pedro
This is Peter calling from New Zealand. Spring down here and very pleasant given what is happening weatherwise in Canada. Keep up your reports, they are much appreciated and safe voyaging
11/24/2010 | reynaldo obuyes
it is -10 @ Iona
12/08/2010 | Roy Shepherd
Hi Ellen,Ihope yuo received my first note .Weare following your progress with great interers .Pitty i made contact so late ,we have two children living in San Diego the love to have met you nguys may be next time.your coments and progsess are great enjoy reading them .regudrse Roy and Sylvia

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