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Loving the Baja
04/28/2011, La Paz

After a couple of good nights sleep in Bahia de los Muertos, we headed up to Isla Espiritu Santo for a few days. This island is stunning and has so many places to anchor. Our first anchorage was Puerto Ballena on the south end of the island. It is one of the less popular anchorages and we had it to ourselves for the first 24 hours. The reason for this is that in this bay there are some small flies known as Bobo's. They land on you but don't bite. We put up the sunshades and we weren't bothered by them anymore. We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon of swimming and hiking on the beach for shells. After a great day and a great dinner, we were in bed early because we had gotten up at 5 that morning to make the trip from Muertos.
About an hour after going to sleep, we were woken up by a howling wind in the rigging. Looks like it was a Coromuel wind which is a local (to this area) wind that comes up at night. It really blew hard and Ian decided to lay in the cockpit for a couple of hours on anchor watch. He came back to bed around 3:30 as the wind seemed to be dying. About an hour later it started up again but we knew that the anchor was well set so we just went back to sleep.
We spent another day there swimming, fishing and hiking and hanging out and again another night with a Coromuel. By now we are getting used to 20+ knot winds blowing all night.
We moved to another bay on our 3rd day on the island called Ensenada Grande and WOW! It is so beautiful. There are 4 white sand beaches in this anchorage. The colours of the water go from deep blue to the palest of greens as the water shallows out towards the beach. I don't think I'll ever get tired of the colour of the water here.
The four of us (our friends Pat and Les are with us) decided to do a hike up the valley which we were told was an hour each way. We had good intentions of starting early but it was 10 am before we got going. The hike started out flat and gradually got steeper as we went up. We were going up what looked like a creek bed although I don't know when it last saw water. About an hour and a half into the hike, I almost quit and turned around it was so hot. But I mustered on and am glad that I did. It turned into about a 3 hour hike for us and boy was it hot right in the middle of the day. The first thing we did when we got down was strip down into our undies and t-shirts and jump in the water to cool down. Another perfect day and another Coromuel that night!
The next day we headed south to an anchorage called Balandra just around the corner from La Paz. Another beautiful place. We walked from the beach at Balandra to a beach called Tecolote Beach and there enjoyed a meal and a few margaritas at a restaurant - the first money we spent in 5 days! That night we had our worst Coromuel yet. Ian spent a part of the night in the cockpit again as there were lots of boats upwind of us and he wanted to make sure they didn't drag down on us. I hardly slept a wink as the wind was so loud. We don't have a wind speed indicator on our boat, but both Ian and I agree that the wind was around 30 knots with stronger gusts. It was after 4 am before I finally fell asleep and even then I kept waking up as the wind screamed through the rigging. It's beautiful here but I'll be happy to be out of the Coromuel range which is about 70 miles north of here.
We are now in the charming town of La Paz and have decided to stay at a marina for a couple of weeks. We have some maintenance things to do on the boat and it's so much easier when you are at the dock. Our friends Pat and Les left today to return home and we will miss them. We had such a great time again and it was really great to have company for the almost 2 day crossing from Mazatlan. So we will be in La Paz till around the 9th of May before we start heading more northwards.

04/29/2011 | camelia and Bob
What a great picture. I love the colour of the water and you both look so wonderful. Only four more months till we leave. Take care and be safe.
04/30/2011 | Pamela and Pat
What gorgeous photos of all those idyllic places, Sis and Bro! We are so thrilled to be sharing your journey through your wonderful updates and wish we could be there with you. Love from us both. P&P
05/04/2011 | jean
WoW! What a beautiful spot and photo of you both. Love the water colour - so inviting. Glad you got to enjoy it.
Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green
04/20/2011, En route to Isla Espiritu Santo

In the last blog, we were doing a passage across the Sea of Cortez from Mazatlan to Bahai de los Muertos which was about 190 miles. The trip took us 38 hours and we sailed only about 2 hours the rest of it we were motor sailing because of course the wind was mostly on the nose. We saw lots of sea turtles, rays. some whales and towards the last day lots of dolphins including a great dolphin show right beside the boat with one dolphin jumping out of the water 5 feet away from the boat and jumping about 12 feet high - twice!! We also had
lots of them swimming in the bow wake and got some good video and photos which I will post when I get a good internet connection.
The other thing that was spectacular was the colour of the water. In the middle of the sea it became this amazing blue colour that I think of as sapphire. Stunning.
We arrived in Bahai de los Muertos (Bay of the Dead) at 10:30 pm and by 11 we had the anchor down in calm conditions with a slight SW breeze. At about 3 am we woke up to the winds howling through the achorage at about 20 knots. This was our first Coromuel Wind which is a common night time wind that happens in this area in certain conditions. This one only lasted about an hour and then it settled right back down to nothing.
We woke up in the morning after a great sleep to calm clear Emerald Green water! WOW the colour is so beautiful. I am going to love the baja I know it. And we could see down 25 feet to the bottom. We had a very leisurely morning and then the 4 of us went ashore for a walk on the beach followed by some snorkeling over a beautiful reef. Lots of fish to see down there.
Around 5 pm there was a cruisers get together on the beach with about 15 boats in attendance. Nice to meet everyone and catch up with those we already knew. Arriving there on the beach we had a bit of a surf landing to do and with 4 in the dingy it was a bit different. Pat and Les got out and then I jumped out and tried to turn to help pull the dingy in and instead got pushed over by it and down on my butt into the water! A great way to make an entrance.
Around 7 pm the 4 of us headed over to the restaurant on the beach now called 1535 previously called The Giggling Marlin. We had an awesome dinner. Very good food and lots on the plate - too much in fact. Back on board Kasasa around 9:30 pm and off to bed as we wanted to get an early start in the morning.
Ian and I got up at 6 am and let our guests sleep in as we got the anchor up and the boat underway. We are heading to Isla Espiritu Santo which is an island off of La Paz with lots of good anchorages around it. It's about a 45 mile run from Bahia de los Muertos which will take us 9 or 10 hours. So hopefully by 4pm we will be dropping the anchor and pouring ourselves a margarita as we enjoy another great day!

A Wonderful Surprise
04/17/2011, Enroute to Bahai de los Muertos

We had a wonderful email on Wednesday last week from our friends Pat and Les, the couple who sailed for two weeks with us when we left San Diego. They were tired of winter and needed a break and was our offer of having them return still open. Well of course it was so I emailed back and then a few phone calls later and we were picking them up at the airport on Friday afternoon. They had the option of sailing across to the Baja with us or to meet us over there and they took the sailing across option!! Yippee as it makes for a much more restful and fun passage with more than 2 people aboard and it's a 185 mile passage. So Friday we picked them up and we spent Saturday visiting with friends on another boat called Tanque de Tiburon with Bill and Linda aboard. We finished our provisioning and we were up at 7 am this morning ready to go. It was very foggy out as we left the harbour in Mazatlan but with the radar on no problem getting out. Right now we are about 20 miles out and the seas are calm and flat and we are motoring along. There is supposed to be 10 to 15 from the SW so we will see if that happens. In the meantime we are relaxed and enjoying the ride and seeing lots of small rays and sea turtles. We think we saw a marlin but not exactly sure. Our plan is to anchor out in various bays around the La Paz area for a week or so and then head into La Paz for a few days. Les and Pat will leave us from there and take the bus down to San Jose del Cabo and fly home from there. It's so nice to have them back on the boat again as we had such a great time the last time they were with us. Well I'd better try sending this off via the radio, it's been awhile since I used it I hope I can remember how. 5 Hours Later Couldn't get this email through so I'll try again now. The sun has just set and the full moon has just risen so we will have a well lit night. Still motoring with a bit of wind on the nose.

04/20/2011 | Wendy
It's terrific to have this blog so we can see what you're up to. Please keep enjoying yourselves & may the wind always be in your sails. big hugs
Back in the Water
04/11/2011, San Blas

The photo was taken by Linda on Tanque de Tiburon

So we are back where we belong in the water again. We got all of the work done that we wanted to and a few other things besides. Ian traced a battery problem we have been having and has hopefully fixed it for good.
We went back in about noon today and went right to work on cleaning the inside and the topsides as it gets very dirty in a boat yard. You are always walking on pavement and tracking in dirt and dust. We actually managed to keep the boat fairly clean inside considering but it still felt good to wash the floors and countertops of dust.
I have to say that I would highly recommend San Blas as a destination to haul out your boat to do maintenance. For a haul out, pressure wash, 7 days on the hard and 3 days at the marina we paid 365 canadian dollars. The staff we very proficient and professional and courteous. The grounds and marina were always keep clean and there we always upgrades going on in various areas of the marina.
Tomorrow we are leaving here around 6:30 am and heading north to Mazatlan. We had hoped to go straight across to La Paz but it's a 3 day trip and we only have a good weather window for 2 days so we will go to Mazatlan as we can get there in 2 days. The winds are supposed to blow on Thurs and Fri quite strong so we will wait that out and hopefully cross to La Paz on Sat or Sun. It is also a 2 day crossing. So lots of travel in the next few days.
We are really looking forward to the Sea of Cortez. We both have been dreaming of it for a few years now. The clear, warm water and the desert backdrop, with lots of wildlife and fish. That will be our next 6 months or so. We've enjoyed the mainland but are ready for a change.
Well it's off to bed as we have an very early start tomorrow.

04/12/2011 | Kathy & Dad
Hi Ellen & Ian. Good luck on your new adventure!
It is great that your dreams are coming true. We will be thinking of you and wishing you clear sailing.
Love always.
04/12/2011 | pat
Kasasa looks so nice and clean! You wear me out with all the work you have been doing. Time for a rest. Happy sailing..
Haul Out Day's 5, 6 & 7
04/09/2011, San Blas

Whew! I think we are done. Day 5 we painted the bottom with blue ablative bottom paint, Day 6 Edwardo cut polished the hull, Ellen continued her sewing project, Ian finished up with putting on zincs and cleaning up and Day 7 Edwardo finished with a coat of wax on the hull, Ellen and Ian put some gromets in the cockpit shade screens and gave a final coat of black to the boot stripe. So tomorrow or Monday we will go back into the water. Once we get the boat cleaned up inside and topsides, and re-provision the almost empty fridge, we will look for the next weather window to head up to Mazatlan. It's been a 'BUSY' week.
This morning before we started working, we went to the local Saturday morning market. I'll post some photos. It was an interesting market and we found some things that surprised us. One of which was a hole punch the exact size we needed to place gromets in our sunshades. For less than a dollar we got a tool we had a hard time finding in Puerto Vallarta! And we experienced a new fruit called a Jackfruit or a Breadfruit. YUMMY! It's kinda a cross between an orange, a papaya, guva and banana. Very very good. I also found a nice skirt and a pair of shorts for about 6 bucks. There are a lot of second hand clothing stalls at the market.
So I'm hoping this is the last blog 'on the hard'. The novelty of living in a boat yard has worn off. We need to feel the water under our keel again. Look in the gallery for more haul out pics which I added to the existing ones.

04/10/2011 | Penny from Tapatai
Good going Ian and Ellen! Your sunshades look very seaworthy. We're anxious for Kasasa to get to La Paz.
04/12/2011 | Bob Stuke
Hi Ian and Ellen,

What fabric did you use for the sun shades?
Barnacle Proof - We Hope - Day 3 & 4
04/06/2011, San Blas

Day 3 on the hard we finished the prep work for the new boot stripe. It was too late in the day to paint so we knocked off early and had a relaxing evening.
Day 4 and the boot stripe job is complete. I think it turned out pretty good. It's not smooth and shiny like a real boot stripe should be but hey if it keeps those pesky barnacles away who cares. Advice to those who are planning to come south with your boat. If you are even thinking of raising your waterline, raise it more than you think you need so that you don't find yourself in this position doing it again when you should be out swimming, snorkeling, sailing, beach combing etc.
Since we are out of the water, tomorrow we are going to slap a coat of ablative bottom paint on the bottom. It's not really critical right now but it will save us from hauling out again in 8 months or so. And on Friday we have hired a guy to come and clean and polish the haul for us.
My sewing project is coming along but I wish I had invested in a sturdier machine. My cheap little Kenmore is being pushed past it's potential I think. I spend a fair bit of time pulling out the bobbin and cleaning up thread from the machine getting stuck. It works fine with one or two layers of fabric but any more than that it just won't sew. I've also gone through about 5 needles.
I just want to give a little plug here for the marina in San Blas for any one who is thinking of coming this way. It really is a nice little marina. It's small only about 15 or so slips, but the marina has a lot of good facilities. Really clean and nice bathrooms and showers although the water is on the cool side in the showers, a swimming pool, laundry machines, small store and one of the yummiest little restaurants which we just discovered today. We ordered an Ararachara (beef) burrito to share for lunch today and when the owner/chef brought it out I was surprised to see it looked like something from a high end restaurant in Vancouver. The presentation was beautiful with the burrito cut in half, covered with shoestring french fries and the plate drizzeled with a raspberry sauce. I didn't have the camera with me or I would have photographed it for sure. And it was DELICIOUS! We will be eating there again I'm sure. 3 beer and the burrito which was big enough for us both, cost 115 peso or about 9 dollars.

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