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Kasasa
Leaving Tomorrow
Ellen
10/15/2011, BLA

Just a quick blog here. I uploaded a couple of albums. Took forever with this slow internet connection. One is called Refugio and Este Ton and the other is More BLA.
We are leaving tomorrow and have decided to cross the Sea and work our way over to San Carlos and spend a few weeks on that side. Sometime in November we will cross back over to the Baja.
That's it for now.

10/24/2011 | Wendy
Keep enjoying yourselves. FYI, Gord is off to BC for 3 weeks on Sat-his elderly mum isn't doing too well in Chilliwack. Keep in touch!
10/25/2011 | penny
Thanks for keeping up with your writing - we love seeing where you and Ian are! Yesterday was the start of the HAHA so you will be seeing lots of new boats soon. There were 160 entered in the HAHA.
Big Hugs to you both,
Penny
A Whale of a Day
Ellen
10/14/2011, Este Ton to Don Juan

After spending a week in Refugio, we decided to head back down to BLA because the North winds were predicted to blow. We left at about 9am and were able to sail almost the entire way to the anchorage of Este Ton on the west side of Isla Angel de la Guarda. The winds were in the 10 to 20 knot range lighter in the morning and stronger in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day and we made good speeds of over 7 knots but we suspect that the current had something to do with our speed.
We pulled into the tiny anchorage called Este Ton at about 4pm. Kashmira went into the anchorage before us and it was strange to watch them as it looked like they were heading into the rocks because the anchorage is so well hidden. It was a bit on the small side for the two boats so we were pretty close together. We also felt like the bottom was rocky and weren't really comfortable with the bite we got with the anchor even though we tried a couple of times. Anyhow we were anchored and since it was Canadian Thanksgiving, we cooked up a chicken and Steve and Sue from Kashmira brought over some veggies and we had a lovely dinner despite the noseeum's.
The night was calm but the weather for the morning was for very strong northerly winds of up to 30 knots. So we decided it wasn't a good enough anchorage to be in those winds so we headed out early and had a GREAT sail across to Don Juan about 13 miles away. The winds were about 10 knots and the seas were calm. As we pulled out of the anchorage we were greeted by a pod of dolphins. Soon after we had to slow down for about 30 pilot whales going by (see photo above). Then we noticed Kahsmira who were ahead of us, weaving around. They called us on the VHF radio to warn us of about 10 very large whales (either Fin or Sei) which were almost just laying on the surface. About half an hour later, I noticed some whales breaching a few miles away and looked with the binoculars. They were Sperm whales!! We were too far away to get any photos or even a really good look but we could tell by their shape when they breached that they were sperms. So exciting. And all of that happened in a 2 hour time span. You have to love the Baja especially on days like this.

10/15/2011 | Dad & Kathy
Hi folks! Sure glad that you are having such a fabulous time! I would love to be out there chasing the whales with you Ian! Take care & we will email you soon! Love to you!
Dad & Kathy
Beautiful and Windy
Ellen
10/05/2011, Refugio, Isla Angel de la Guarda

Well we came up to Refugio on Monday sailing part way and motor sailing the rest as the winds became lighter. And as everyone who has been here told us it is very very Beautiful. It's rugged and mostly untouched. The water is clear and there are lots of fish. We were lucky enough to spot another Sperm whale on our way up here. As we came past the big rock called Sail Rock (you'll see why when I next get a chance to post some photos), we dropped the sails and motored the rest of the way in. We anchored in the West Bight and we had winds blowing over the mountains from the south west which was interesting as that was the direction we had just come from in light winds. I guess it picked up quite a bit just after we arrived. For 3 days it pretty much blew from that direction at 15 to 25 knots. It would stop for a couple of hours here and there and then pick up again as suddenly as it stopped. Then the wind direction changed and now we are having strong winds from the North West. These winds are COLD! The temperature has dropped to 25 degrees celcius - Brrrr. Actually it's very comfortable but we have had to put on long sleeves in the evenings and mornings. I guess we have acclimatized to the warm weather we have had for the last 5 months and so 25 with the north wind feels chilly. Anyhow the weather man tells us we have at least 4 more days of these winds so we will be staying put until then. It's not that the winds are too strong to sail in, it's that the Sea of Cortez is notorious for it's steep and close together waves which are referred to as 'Buffalo's'. It makes for very uncomfortable motion. We are still managing to get out and do some exploring and snorkeling. The water here is crystal clear and there is a good variety of fish to see. Ian, Steve and Paul have been doing some long 4 hour hikes into the mountains and I've been doing lots of beach combing and finding some new shells for my collection. We have gotten together for a few meals when the winds have been quiet and have enjoyed good food and company. The only thing we haven't had a chance to do is explore the rest of the bay in the dingy. It's been too windy and wavy to ride comfortable in the dingy. So hopefully we will have a chance to do that before we head south again.

10/10/2011 | Dick Towson
Hi

Sorry that the temperature is the same as a sunny warm day in Vancouver but you have acclimatized to the surroundings down there. We will be down soon as we want the sun! Have a great Thanksgivings down there.

Regards
Anne and Dick

All Clear
Ellen
09/22/2011, Bahia de los Angeles

Well it looks like we are all in the clear of hurricanes for now. So tomorrow if the winds are favourable, we will head to a place called Rufegio on Isla Angel de la Guarda (I think that translates to Island Guarding the Bay of Los Angeles). It is a long island that stretches 40 miles to the north from here. The top end is supposed to be very very beautiful so we are off to find out for ourselves. We will be in the company of our friends on Kashmira and another boat called Grace. Since it is now the beginning of October, lots of boats are starting to head south. It can be a bit chancy because we aren't out of hurricane season yet but a lot of the boats seem willing to take that chance and get to La Paz and over to the mainland that much sooner. We are in no particular hurry ourselves so we will probably be in the area another 2 to 3 weeks before we head south. October is supposed to be one of the nicest months here as the weather is not too hot and the north winds haven't started to blow too hard. We are almost at our 1 year of cruising mark! Already we are starting to hear of new boats that will soon be arriving from Canada and the US to begin their cruise. All I can say is this year sure passed by quickly - Wow! We don't know what our 2nd year is going to bring because we haven't made up our minds what we are going to do. We are looking at a couple of options one being spending another year in Mexico. The other option we are looking at is heading to Central America and spending the late winter and spring making our way to Equador where we would spend the summer and then the following winter head over to Panama. Both options have a lot of appeal so we will just have to make a decision one of these days. Originally our plan was to go to the Galapago's and then head across the South Pacific to French Polyanesia. As much as I love cruising and the cruising lifestyle, I don't know that I am ready for the jump across the ocean. It's hard because Ian is ready but he is willing to wait until I too am comfortable with it. So unless something changes between now and then, those are our plans such as they are. As I write this, we are anchored in a small bay called las Rocas. There are 2 whales just outside the bay and you can hear each breath that they take. They have been going back and fourth across the opening into the bay for about an hour now. They are either a Fin whale or Sei whales we aren't able to identify them exactly. It sounds pretty amazing though.

Waiting Waiting Waiting...
Ellen
09/22/2011, Bahia de los Angeles

Yes we are waiting for news on a potential hurricane which is now been named. Hilary is brewing well over 500 miles south of us but is moving in a Northwest direction which follows the direction of the Mexican coastline. At this point there is absolutely no danger to us. By Sat. or Sun. we should have more of an idea what direction it will be heading or if it is dying out. So although we have plans to move slightly more north this weekend, we are being prudent and waiting to hear what is going on with Hilary. We are only an hour away from our Hurricane Hole at this point so there are no worries here. Actually as I write this blog we are anchored in front of the village. We only have internet access if we go into to town to one of the hotels or the internet cafe so I am posting this blog on the ham radio. I did go into town yesterday and upload some photos of the area and the Full Moon party so have a look. Last week we were in the anchorage of Don Juan (hurricane hole) and one night while having dinner in the cockpit with some guests on board, we spotted a rapidly moving star moving along and getting brighter and brighter as it went. It got quite large and turned a bright green colour before fizzling out to nothing. It turns out it was a meteor entering the atmosphere. It was pretty neat to see that. And we hear that on the 23rd of this month there is a satelite that is going to be entering the atmosphere and burning up and that it may be visible in this area. So we will be looking upwards on that day for sure. While in Don Jaun, we were treated to a nightly chorus of wild coyotes and it is a very earie sound. Also most evenings at dusk the dolphins would come into the bay and do some fishing for their dinner. So it was a good place to be sitting outside each evening. The weather had cooled down a little last week to the point where you needed a sheet on for a part of the night. Well it seems we got too excited about the prospect of some cooler weather as it has warmed up once again. Oh well it was a taste of what is to come in the next month or two. I'm sure you're probably rolling your eyes as I say that because winter is coming on and some of you are even getting cold at night. But for us it will be a welcome relief to get some cooler weather. The downside of that is that the water gets cooler too. We returned to the village yesterday and were greeted by a couple of whale sharks swimming around the boat. They didn't stay around for very long and we haven't seen them yet today. Hopefully we will get a few more chances to observe them before they disappear for the cooler months. Well that's about all we have been up to lately. I'll let you know what happens in the next week or so regarding the hurricane or the lack of a hurricane which would be the better of the two options.

09/23/2011 | Talaria
We love your blog and picts. We are getting ready to head south Nov 1. Sail plan is gunk hole our way to Panama, except for the undesirable ports, by the end of Jan 2012. email me when possible please. I have some questions for the Experienced Ones.
Rain and a Full Moon Party
Ellen
08/31/2011, Bahia de los Angeles

We are presently anchored in La Gringa which is one of the bays in BLA. We are here for the infamous Full Moon Party. The day before the party there were about 26 boats anchored here and we were having a seminar by one of the couples who spent time cruising Central America. The sky had gotten quite dark and all of a sudden somebody yelled 'here comes the wind'. We all scattered back to our own boats just as the Chabasco hit. As far as Chabascos go it was a fairly mild one only 35 knots of wind for a half an hour, but there was 8 miles of fetch for the waves to build up to quite big ones and we were all on a lee shore. So for the next few hours we bucked the waves as they kept rolling in. Our anchor held firm and we had no problems. We did however decide to leave once it started calming down and go to a more protected anchorage as the skys were still very cloudy looking and we didn't want to go through another one in the night. The next morning we came back to La Gringa with the skys still cloudy but not dark clouds. Ian went out fishing and caught 3 Sierra one of which was over 29 inches. Yummy. We gave one away, kept one for dinner the next day and I made Civichee (spelling??) which is a raw fish marinated in lime juice which actually cooks it, for the potluck at the Full Moon Party. Oh yeah! While Ian was cleaning the fish, it started to rain and almost rained enough to get the decks wet! Last night was the Full Moon Party and yesterday was the floaty competition. We had a lot of fun with that. Ian was one of the judges and I dressed myself up as a jelly fish. There were a lot of really creative designs and some which required a fair bit of work to make. The afternoon started off in the small lagoon at the end of the incoming tide when everyone floats by the judges. Then for an hour or so we all just floated around and visited and then the tide turned and out we floated past the judges again. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon. When I get some internet I will upload photos of the day. Then around 6pm everyone headed back to the beach and we had a potluck dinner and the 'awards ceremony' to hand out the prizes for the costumes and floaties. I guess it helps when your sleeping with one of the judges as I won a prize for best homemade costume. The dinner and the company was great and we enjoyed our first Full Moon Party.

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