And the adventure continues
30 January 2016 | Mushroom Rock
After 2 weeks in the San Carlos Bay the weather settled down enough for a trip south. We started Puddle Pirate and thought we would be on our way. Just before we pulled anchor Lew did a routine check of the engine room. As soon as he opened the door he got a blast of exhaust smoke. Lew quickly shut down the engines and started assessing the problem.
It seems our exhaust pipe had rusted clean through and now was filling the boat with carbon monoxide. So now it was off to the machine shop to have the Mexicans manufacture a new exhaust system. The cost would be over $400 US. Lew decided to fix the problem himself and save some of our cruising kitty for another day. We had some left over 2-inch stainless pipe from the hydro vane so it was a good fit. All he needed now was some more hose clamps and high temp epoxy. Twenty-four hours later the pipe was fixed.
After the fix, we decided to stay in the bay for another day to watch the play-off game. The Seahawks were playing the panthers. We run our 12th man flag up the mass and headed for shore in our tender. It was a good game but unfortunately we lost. Thank you Seahawks for a great season!
Monday we loaded the truck up with excess boat junk and put the rig in storage. It now looked like we could finally leave Tuesday. Lew fired up the engine and checked for exist leaks. No leaks, we had a green light to head out. The weather report was 10 to 15 knot winds North East with 1 meter seas at 6 seconds. As we headed out we stowed the tender on the deck.
We set up the hydro vane, set the sails and away we went. As the morning ended the afternoon winds kicked up along with the sea state. The Sea of Cortez gets pretty nasty in a very short time. We were just lucky enough to catch the e-ticket ride on the short and steep rides down the wind waves. Surfing the sleigh ride was an uneasy experience.
Our favorite quote by Bob Bitchen is “Attitude is the difference between ordeal and adventure. The crew of Puddle Pirate was now on the cruiser diet. Nothing was staying down, not even water. We were making good time but the adventure needed to be over 12 hours ago. I checked the charts and looked for a good place to get shelter. Isla Carmen was only 12 miles away so we headed for a small cove called Punta Perico. This cove would provide good protection from strong north east winds.
As soon as we got closer to the island we attempted to start the engines. I say attempted because the steep following waves had filled our exhaust. We had drained our batteries, flushing the engine of sea water so we had to start the generator and charge them back up. We sailed Puddle Pirate into the cove and started dropping the sails so we could slow the boat down enough to drop anchor.
The bay had shallow, gradual slop towards shore. So this would make it better for a boat sailing into anchor. I however didn’t want to test this theory so I tried the engine one more time. The engine spits out one last blast of water then started up with a roar. I thank god, then quickly maneuvered the boat into anchoring position. Lew dropped the anchor and I then gave it a good tug to set it for a safe night.
The cove had two small sailboats anchored also seeking shelter from the high winds. We clocked 30 knot winds that night. The next morning, we woke to the sounds of people screaming at each other. One of the small sail boats had dragged out of the bay and was heading for sea. Their buddy boat pulled anchor and headed out of the bay as well. The winds were still high and we could see the seas had not calmed down. I guess the small boats had a sleepless night at anchor and thought they would brave the rough seas for a short run to Loreto.
We however wanted to explore the island so we decided to stay until the seas calmed down. We had enough of the e-ticket ride. The two little sailboats must like adventure. I would not leave in that kind of weather especially in small 25ft sailboats. They were towing their tenders that looked as big as their boats. We listened for May Day calls but heard nothing, hopefully they made it safely to port.
The next day the winds calmed down enough to head out for our next stop. Bahia Agua Verde was just a short 5-hour jump south. We put up the sails and away we went. The seas were still short and steep. It was a rough ride but not as bad as when we left San Carlos. The wind was 15 to 20kts and the seas were confused, with waves breaking at 12ft. We pulled into Agua Verde and joined 5 other boats seeking refuge from the sea. While we spent 3 nights at our new anchorage a cruise ship came into the bay. It was from Seattle full of tourist ready to explore their new stop. As soon as their anchor droped the back of the boat opened up and out came 20 kayaks and 3 14ft zodiac tenders. With that the new explorers were off to the white sand beaches and hidden coves. A line of 20 mules arrived on the beach to greet the turist with a ride up the trails of Agua Verde.
To get to this small fishing village by car, you have to travel 25 miles down a dirt road the Mexico highway 1. The beach had a few campers and RVs enjoying the great ocean views. We think the best way to arrive at Bahia Agua Verde is by boat of course.
After a few nights at the quiet anchorage we pulled anchor and headed south for Puerto Los Gatos or more commonly called Red Rock.
We have visited this anchorage before and have always enjoyed the spectacular red colors of the sand blasted boulders lining the right side of the bay.
The next day we headed for a more protected anchorage of San Evaristo. This small fishing village is home to about 20 families. There used to be a small tienda but it closed due to the drop in the local economy. Two years ago a hurricane came up the Ba Ha and hit La Paz pretty hard. San Evarista was also hit hard. Most of its fishing boats were lost. We spent two nights enjoying the quite anchorage before heading out to our next stop Puerto Balandra, commonly called mushroom rock.
As soon as we dropped anchor in one of our favorite anchorages we heard a call for help on the VHF. A sailboat called Kia aia had a medical emergency and needed help. They called out for anybody listening in the bay to please respond. I responded and asked what can I do to help. They said they were kayaking in the southern part of the bay and came across a boy hurt on the beach. The boy needed medical help. He had been hiking and fell, leaving a large gash in his foot. The boy needed to be transported from the deserted beach to his waiting parents on the next beach down. Kia aia had no dingy to transport the boy. They were on a day sail and left the dingy at their home dock in La Paz. All they had was kayaks
We were anchored in the north end of the bay and were able to flag down a panga full of locals out for a scenic boat trip. We sent the panga to Kia aia were they picked up the boy and took him to the next beach down where he could get a ride to the hospital.
After that excitement Lew and Rose decided to go for a swim while I wrote this blog. It had been the first time we had access to a cell tower. We thought it would be a good anchorage to update and catch up with our family and friends. After all it had been a week with no communication with the exception of a few satellite calls home.
long over due update
12 January 2016 | San Carlos
It’s been a year since I have updated the blog. I know there is no excuse so all I can say is sorry. We had a good cruising season last year and our time on the boat was very needed for our sanity. Last year we had a lot of family issues but I will not go into them. We are putting it all behind us. This year is a new beginning for us. We arrived in San Carlos and quickly started unpacking Puddle Pirate. She had been setting in the yard since last April. As soon as we splashed we headed for the bay to drop anchor. We plan on heading south to La Paz this Friday.
Lew started the water maker and one of the pumps just didn’t want to play. So Lew called Rich the owner of RO water makers and explained the problem. RO water makers are one of the best water maker companies out there. They stand behind their product. Rich said he would send a new pump out Friday and it will be waiting for us when we arrive in La Paz. The best part is, it will be under warranty.
We wanted to leave a week ago but the high winds and rough seas would make for an uncomfortable sail down the Sea of Cortez. Rosie has been busy doing her on-line school so this means we can only make little jumps at a time. She can’t be away from the internet on school days. San Carlos weather has been nice during the day with high winds in the afternoon. At night the temps drop to 50 degrees.
We need warmer weather so that is why we head farther south. We would stay in San Carlos if it was warmer. I want to go swimming and play with my paddle board. The water here is still too cold for me to go swimming.
Well that is all for now. Don’t worry I promise to update soon.
It's a New Year!
29 January 2015 | La Cruz
We sailed to Ensenada Mexico to clear customs at an all in one stop location. Ensenada makes it easy clear customs in one location. This was our second time clearing customs with Puddle Pirate. We sailed into Cruz Port Marina and secured a slip for the night. The marina charges a small fee for assistance with customs. It is worth the night's stay to access this service. The Marina makes copies of your paperwork (Passports, Boat documentation) then they drive you to the customs office in town. There at the customs office they guide you to the appropriate windows for help. Translating for you and helping put together everything needed to clear customs. It was a breeze with no problems. After we finished at the customs office we took off on foot to explore the town.
After some good tacos we walked back to Cruz Port Marina and prepared for our trip south. We left the next morning and sailed to San Jose Del Cabo Marina. Yes we sailed the entire way. We pulled into the marina and secured a slip for the night. It was just after Christmas and Rosie wanted to attend the dolphin show experience. We purchased her ticket right after we arrived. She was so excited to get to interact with the dolphins. She had a blast! I don't think she will ever forget the moment when the dolphin launched her out of the water.
The next day it was time to head out to La Cruz located in Banderas Bay. The wind was blowing so we set sail. It was a great run down the coast to La Cruz. We left San Diego the night of the 22nd December and we arrived in La Cruz on the 2nd of January. That's right we sailed the entire way! We sailed Christmas day and into the New Year. 2014 was a hard year for the crew of Puddle Pirate. I wanted to move forward and welcome the New Year in by sailing into the night. It was a perfect night sail with all the stars light up in the sky. I even saw humpback whales playing in the sunset. It couldn't have been any better. It was one of those magical moments in life.
We arrived in La Cruz just in time for the morning net. What a welcome back we received from our cruising family of friends.
Rosie was off the boat and picking up where she left off with all her friends in La Cruz. Since we have been here she has organized kid night beach camp outs and Wednesday night movie's for kids in the VIP lounge. She also started a kid's morning net on channel 66. She takes turns with the other children as the net controller. This helps the kids become more familiar with talking on the radio. The kid net announces kid related subjects. It announces science club, movie night, beach camp outs and even has a treasures of the toy box. The kids trade books and toys with other kids cruising. Rosie is quite the social butterfly. She loves it here but knows we will have to move on soon. Hopefully we are headed south for Costa Rica then Panama. It has been always our goal to cruise, it is just when and how long that is the question. I feel this year is our year to get closer to this goal.