Well you won't believe this (it's a fish tale) but as I was uploading the previous blog via the ham radio, Ian called me up because he had a fish on! So I put the boat in nuetral and he was trying to reel in and couldn't stop the line from playing out. Believe it or not it was a honking huge Marlin which is one of those fish with a sword at the end of it's nose. I ran down to grab the camera and just as I came up I just had time to catch a glimpse of the fish as his head and fins came out of the water and he shook his head from side to side and that was it he broke the line. We are happy he did because what would we do with a fish that big and with that sword off his nose I wouldn't want him on board anyhow.
So no sooner had we gotten under way again and Ian says oh oh and the engine slows down. He had spotted too late a long line Mexican fishing line and we got it caught in our prop. Lucky for us it was really smooth seas and not much swell so Ian got ready to jump overboard to cut it off of the prop. As he was getting himself ready, 2 whales happen to swim by behind the boat! Haven't seen a whale in ages and as soon as he needs to get in the water there are 2 of them. But they weren't too interested in us and kept on going by.
Before Ian got in the water, I made him tie a rope around his waist because if the boat drifted away and we still had the rope in the prop, I wouldn't be able to get him. Anyhow, it all worked out and within a half hour we were on our way again.
As we got to about 15 miles out, we were trying to call some friends on their boat that is here in Mazatlan. Well they didn't answer but Dinis from Vida Nova did. They were anchored just outside the entrance to the marinas in front of a small island so we decided to join them there. We had a nice dinner on board their boat and got to catch up with each others travels since we last saw them in San Diego in the summer.
This morning we upped anchor and came into the Marina Mazatlan where we will stay for 2 nights and then go to a place we can anchor for a few days. We managed to get a visit in with Ann and Dick from Full & By before they leave tonight to fly home to Vancouver for Christmas. We went for lunch with them, Will and Marilyn from Shamen 1, Lynne and Debbie from Dolphin Tales, Kelly and Carol from Intrepid 2 so it was a real Bluewater Cruising Association BURP (which is what we call informal get togethers from this sailing group).
So never a dull moment (except all the ones we don't talk about) on the good ship Kasasa
12/10/2010, Enroute to Mazatlan
We left San Jose del Cabo yesterday morning and set sail for the mainland Mexico. The closest point is Mazatlan at 180 miles. Our original plan was to leave from San Jose del Cabo marina and go to Los Frailes. We did try that one day and got to within 8 miles and had to turn back as the winds and the waves were just too much. We were reefed to the 2nd reef in the main and had the staysail out and we couldn't punch through the waves unless we took a big tack out and back in which would have meant hours and hours of uncomfortable sailing to do 8 miles. So we decided since we have no fixed schedule, we would turn back and try it another day. The next day the winds were forcast to be similar in the Sea of Cortez so we decided to stay one more day at the marina and when the conditions are good, head directly across to the mainland. We had a great day of sailing yesterday as the winds were in the 12-15 knot range with some chop and whitecaps but nothing uncomfortable. We zoomed along reaching speeds of up to 7 knots and the boat was riding along quite comfortably. Around sunset, the winds died down to about 6 - 8 knots and we needed to motorsail to keep up our speed of 5 knots which we need in order to arrive during daylight hours at Mazatlan. As it is, it's now 1pm and we still have about 20 miles to go so that is another 4 hours. We will arrive just before sunset. This morning there was hardly a breath of wind for a couple of hours and now it has switched around to the south and is only blowing maybe 5 knots so once again we are motor sailing. At least it also gives us a good charge on the battery bank as well as we were able to fill our water tanks by making water. It is such an amazing thing to see this little machine and it pumps out fresh water from salt water after filtering it through a tube called a membrane. I don't know who invents these things but thankfully someone does. We will probably stay in a marina here for a few days as there are not that many places to anchor. We don't know how long we will stay but I don't think for more than 3 or 4 days and then on to Isla Isabella. It's a tiny island which is a bird sanctuary. You can walk the island among the booby birds and the frigate birds and their chicks. And from there we are just making our way south to Puerto Vallarta with whatever stops we feel like making along the way. It's looking like we might be in PV for Christmas which is a weird thought because it's so hot here that I can't even bring myself to think about it. So no shopping or hoopala for us this year. Ian is still trying to catch a fish and so far nothing. We can actually look down from the side of the boat and see fish swimming along in the shadow of the boat but they don't seem at all interested in his lures. Guess there is always the fish market in Mazatlan...
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.
12/05/2010, 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...
12/01/2010, 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.
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...