and we're back to Candeleros.... again
08 July 2014
After a few days in Puerto Escondido waiting out the weather system passing through -- and picking up groceries and doing laundry, we were happy to once again be at anchor. Nothing like being able to jump into the water to cool off anytime you want when the weather is this warm.
This will be a fairly short stay, though, as we decided to put the boat on the hard and drive north sooner than we'd originally planned. We were going to wait till late August, but have decided with all this unsettled weather and the chance of hurricanes heading up the Sea being greater this year (due to the water warming up so early) we will haul out next week and begin the drive. Cetus will be safer on the hard and we will be saner getting away from the heat and weather worries.
So we will enjoy a couple more days out here then head back in to Puerto Escondido to begin preparations for putting Cetus away for a few months.
We have a fun day planned for tomorrow, as a last hurrah before the work begins. Friends from dock 3 in La Paz, Joe and Sharon of Lucky Lady too will be driving through on their way back to the states and will stop and stay in the hotel here! We plan to go in and purchase a day pass so we can eat and drink and enjoy the pools and spend the day with them.
We're off on Vacation!
29 February 2012 | Marina Ixtapa, Mexico
We moved the boat from the anchorage at Zihuatanejo Bay a few days ago, so we could safely leave her here in the marina while we take a short 3 day off the boat vacation!
I know many of you think our life is a permanent vacation, but it really isn't. Just a different way of life. But when our kids, Carly and her husband Ryan. fly down today we'll meet up with them and our good friends Liz and Tom in one of our favorite vacation spots, Troncones! It's a 45 minute cab ride north of Zihua/Ixtapa. After their 3 days there we'll come back to Ixtapa with the kids, where they have reservations at a nearby hotel, and we'll be able to show them the sights around here.
We're excited for our short vacation, but most excited to see our friends and family one more time before we set sail for the Galapagos.
21 February 2012
The countdown has begun!
When we set out from Gig Harbor June 1st, 2009 the Galapagos Islands were the big goal. Now we are very excited to be getting close to departure day!
We hated leaving the beautiful Sea of Cortez and our good friends in La Paz behind, but we left knowing that once we are done with our long distance travels, we will return to the Sea aboard Cetus and enjoy it all again.
Everyone keeps asking us "after the Galapagos, what's next?" and we have to answer that we really don't know. For one thing we've learned in all our years of cruising is you just have to take it one port at a time. We have lots of ideas of places we'd like to see -- and we have two major choices in direction when we leave the Galapagos: Go west to the South Pacific or turn east toward Panama. There's pros and cons to both directions and we've decided we aren't even going to try to make that decision until we get to the Galapagos and enjoy those enchanted islands.
We will, however, be prepared for which ever way the wind takes us with charts and cruising guides for both options. So for now, we can just focus on the Galapagos trip and not muddle that planning up with questions about where to go after that. When its time to go, we'll know where we want to go.
Countdown to La Paz and the Galapagos
27 November 2011 | Isla San Franciso
Isla San Franciso is sort of the poster child for the islands in the Sea of Cortez. It's main anchorage is a large crescent shaped white sand beach filled with turquoise water .Add to that some great hiking trails through red rocks and along a ridge that offer fantastic views it is a perfect setting.
We've been here a couple days now -- of course, we are sitting out another norther! Luckily we have a nice spot in the anchorage so have still been able to get to shore to walk the beach and hike the hikes.
We're down to only 4 days until we're supposed to be in La Paz -- we have reservations at Marina Palmira for December 1st. We can't believe how fast the month since we put Cetus back in the water has gone! We've enjoyed 11 of our favorite anchorages so far and will add a couple more before we go into La Paz. We've hiked old hikes and conquered some new ones and have been able to swim in our "pool" around the boat nearly every day -- and lots of beachcombing thrown in, too. We've tried to enjoy the Sea to it's fullest, for once we get to La Paz we'll be in work mode preparing Cetus and her crew for the big sail to the Galapagos!
Right now we figure we're about 2/3rds of the way to the Galapagos (from Gig Harbor) -- because our GPS says it's about 1900 miles (as the crow flies) from here to there -- and the same GPS also tells us that we've traveled about 4500 miles since we left Gig Harbor in June of 2009 -- but some of that was up and down in the Sea.
So as our time in the beautiful Sea of Cortez comes to an end, we are looking forward to the new adventures that lie ahead!
Off to a Rough Start
30 October 2011 | Isla Coronados
another beautiful Coronados sunset
Traveling north in the Sea of Cortez takes a bit of planning, because for the most part the wind and seas come from the north and beating into high winds and choppy seas gets old real quick.
In the past, when a norther would blow through the seas would settle down within a day and you'd be good to go, so when the light norther blew itself out on Thursday we thought Friday would be a good time to start our trek north.
Friday morning we could see it still looked a bit choppy outside the harbor, and since we only had 20 miles to go that day we thought we'd wait and see if it looked better in the afternoon -- and it did.
So off we went and once we rounded outside the protection of Puerto Escondido we had some fair size rollers, but they were spaced pretty nicely and pretty much just rolled under the keel. As we went further it got a bit rougher but we were fine so we just trudged on.
Unfortunately, Rosie wasn't used to being on a moving boat again (it had been so calm in the anchorage) and she looked pretty miserable and got seasick. But it wasn't long until we were anchored in the protection of Isla Coronados and she was back to her happy self once again.
Today's plans had us pressing further north because the seas should be almost flat by now. And it seemed that way until we rounded out of the protection of Coronados -- and the swell picked up and the seas started getting rougher and looking ahead of us it looked even worse. So, deciding we didn't need to put ourselves -- or Rosie -- through another day of bashing we turned around to enjoy another day at Coronados.
A Walk on the Beach
13 October 2011 | San Quintin, Baja Mexico
After a long day of driving it was a real treat to find this nice affordable (about $42 for the night) and pet friendly hotel on the beach. Our good friend Vicky, told us about this little gem and gave us the directions "turn right at the 3rd Pemex station out of San Quintin, go about three miles down the road and turn left after the over hanging trees. If you go to far you'll be in the ocean." Well they turned out to be perfect directions and what a treat to be able to get out for a nice beach walk to stretch our legs!
San Quintin was also one of our stops when we sailed down the Baja coast -- and it's surprising to see the size of the town because from the anchorage it looked so remote -- and we didn't go to shore just rested for the night and moved on.
Off to Mexico!
13 October 2011 | Chula Vista, CA
Later this morning we'll start a new adventure! Driving down Baja.
We'll divide the 700+ mile drive into 3 days -- taking it leisurely so we aren't pressed for time trying to find a place to stay before nightfall -- because the one thing you don't want to do is drive at night on Baja's Hwy 1. When one hears that you shouldn't drive at night down there you imagine all kinds of things like banditos or something, but the truth of the matter is it's because of the cows! At night you can't see the cows that can wander into the road and to hit one would really put a damper on your drive. So you drive during daylight hours and watch out for the cows!
So we're excited to be this close to getting home to Cetus -- though there will be lots of work those first few days to get her back in the water and all homey again.
Revisiting old Port's o'call
09 October 2011 | Emeryville in San Franciso Bay
We've been enjoying our drive down the coast highway on our way back to Puerto Escondido and have loved checking out all the anchorages and marinas we've stayed in in our two sailing trips down the coast -- first in 1999 then again in 2009.
We especially enjoyed our stay in Emeryville because that was really like old home week since we actually lived in the marina there for a year from 1998-1999 while Terry finished up a job there before we continued down the coast. It was fun to ride the BART into San Francisco and go to our favorite places (one of them being Ghiradelli Square for a hot fudge sundae). We were also treated to an impressive air show since they were celebrating Fleet Week while we were there.
We also saw Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey and now are in Morro Bay with its impressive Morro Rock marking the entry to the protected bay.
I've been sending out SPOT position reports to test our our new SPOT Connect and have been very happy with it so far. It's nice to be able to have more contacts and predetermined messages on it than with the original device. If you'd like me to add your email address to our SPOT so you can receive Google Map updates when we set out cruising again, drop us an email and I'll put you on the contact list.
We're Cruising Again!
06 October 2011 | Hwy 101
But for the next week or so we are cruising in our car, not our boat.
We're on our big road-trip back to Puerto Escondido, Baja California Sur, where we left Cetus on the hard so many months ago. We can't wait to get back and get her back in the water where she belongs and finally be in our own home -- and sleep in our own bed! again.
Our Chevy Trailblazer is packed to the hilt with some new equipment, spare parts, hard to come by food and miscellaneous items. All summer long we were hunters and gathers as we checked things off of our lists that we had prepared before heading home last June. When we finally assembled everything to pack in the car, I must say we were a bit surprised at the sheer volume -- a case of a lot of nothing adding up to a mountain of stuff.
But we managed to get it all packed in -- and still had room for Rosie ;-) and us!
We're taking the scenic route to San Diego traveling down Hwy 101 doing some sight-seeing and revisiting all the ports we stayed in on our sail down the coast in 2009. We visited Newport, OR earlier this summer (that was our 1st stop in 2009) and today we went to Crescent City (stop #2). Tomorrow we plan to visit Fort Brag, then on to Emeryville in San Francisco Bay. It's nice to see all of these places minus the heavy fog we had on the sail south!
Sailing in Greece
18 July 2011 | Santorini, Greece
New Photo Album
One of our "off boat" adventures this summer was a once in a lifetime trip to Greece! While there we visited the ruins in Athens, drove to the small village of Kotas and then we enjoyed a week on the Greek Isle of Santorini. On Santorini our friends chartered a crewed catamaran so we got to get out and sail, swim and enjoy a nice dinner and a sunset out on the water. We had a wonderful trip and I have posted an album of pictures from our day sailing in the Greek Isles.
08 May 2011 | Isla Coronados
The New Arrivals
While enjoying Mother's Day on Isla Coronados we came across one of the Seagull nests that we'd seen when we passed through a few weeks ago. Only today we were delighted to see a couple new chicks where only eggs had been before!
It's kind of hard to pick them out in the picture because the chicks seem to be the same speckled camouflage color that the eggs were. If you look close you can see one egg still in the middle of the nest with one chick near by and the other one up near the brush above the nest.
Now this is cruising!
07 May 2011
A perfect Spinnaker day
We began the day hoisting the anchor at Punta Pulpito during a spectacular sunrise and after about an hour a light breeze came up and we were able to hoist the Spinnaker and enjoy the ride over the gently lapping seas.
You may have noticed from a lot of my posts that much of the "sailing" in the Sea of Cortez turns out to be motor sailing or just out and out motoring, so we love it when we actually get to be a true sailboat again. We've found sailing in the Sea to be much like sailing in Puget Sound -- you can do a lot of sailing if you're just going out to sail, but if you've got a specific destination that you want to get to you usually have to use the engine at least part of the way to be sure to get there before night fall. But on this short passage from Punta Pulpito to Isla Coronados we had plenty of time to get there so we enjoyed the luxury of being a sailboat again. There's nothing quite like the sound of a sailboat slipping through the water.
06 May 2011 | Punta Pulpito
Our second stop on our trip south brought us back to Punta Pulpito where we stayed over a day so we could enjoy the area a bit. We had a great day of snorkeling and both of the beautiful sunsets were enjoyed while watching small rays jump out of the water all around us! We'd just been remarking a day earlier how we haven't seen many rays jumping this year, and then we were treated to two spectacular shows!
We are "on the road again" heading south with plans to linger and enjoy all the beautiful anchorages in the Loreto area for the next two weeks. We're hoping that the crowds of boats that have been in the area following the big 3 day event in Puerto Escondido called Loretofest, are beginning to thin out as boats disperse for their summer plans. May is the month when people that haven't already left the Sea for the South Pacific or Central America either put their boat somewhere safe for the summer (in a marina or on the hard) and return home, or they begin the journey to the far north Sea to weather out the hot summer months.
On the road again......
04 May 2011 | Santo Domingo
another beautiful shell beach....
After a week and a day in lovely Santa Rosalia, we untied the docklines to begin our journey south. We stayed just a little longer than we originally planned in Santa Rosalia due to a BIG norther that blew for a few days creating BIG seas that nobody wanted to venture out in. So Wednesday morning, May 4th, boats throughout the Sea left their safe anchorages to be on their way, whether going north or south.
We went as far as Santo Domingo at the head of Bahia Conception. We stopped at this anchorage last fall as we headed south and it was a miserable rolly anchorage and we didn't bother to go to shore. But this time, with winds and seas predicted from the ESE it looked to be the perfect anchorage and it was. We enjoyed walking and the shell strewn beach before a nice swim and had a peaceful, calm night.
Back Home Again.... in Santa Rosalia
25 April 2011 | Santa Rosalia, BCS, Mexico
As we entered the harbor here at Santa Rosalia we had a sense of coming home, just as we do when we get to La Paz.
Santa Rosalia is where Cetus spent a few months last summer when we went back "home" to the States and we spent many weeks before and after our trip. It's also where we rescued a little street cat we named Rosie who has become a great boat cat and nice addition to the Cetus crew.
We had a warm welcome as the marina workers grabbed our lines and greeted us, remembering us from last year, so we're very happy we decided to make the trip north to enjoy this charming place one more time before turning south again.
So now we have three places we call home: Gig Harbor because that's where we are from, La Paz where we have spent the last two winters and Santa Rosalia, our "summer" home.
23 November 2010 | The Sea of Cortez
Carly flew out of Loreto yesterday at noon and finally got home about midnight last night after her flight was delayed leaving LA and then dealing with the snow and high wind conditions in the Seattle area for her ride home.
We left Puerto Escondido early this morning enjoying a beautiful sunrise behind Isla Danzante. We're hoping to make it a long travel day with some wind for sailing since tomorrow the winds are supposed to die -- the calm before the storm -- as a big norther is supposed to blow hard Thursday and Friday so we'll be tucked into a protected anchorage for 2 or 3 days before continuing on towards La Paz.
It's a small world.....
21 November 2010 | Loreto
We returned to Puerto Escondido after our 3 island tour and caught up with our old friends on Prairie Oyster who returned to the Sea after being back home in Canada for the last 6 months. They accompanied us on our trip to Loreto on Saturday where we did a little sight seeing and shopping. When we stopped for lunch at a little cafe in town the words "Gig Harbor" caught our attention from a neighboring table, so Carly asked them if they were from Gig Harbor. Well, I turned around to see some familiar faces from back home! They aren't from Gig Harbor, but they are all members of Corinthian Yacht Club of Tacoma and sailed down with this year's Baja Ha Ha! Their boats, Kokomo, Intuition and Sound Effect are moored here in Puerto Escondido with us. Small world.
Today was a great adventure! We drove up to an old mission -- the 2nd to be built in the Baja Californina region. The 1st is the mission in Loreto, but this one was just fascinating as it hasn't been remodeled as that one has and you could feel how old it was. Built in the 1700's it was awe inspiring. And the drive to it up in the mountains was simply beautiful with several date palm oases along the winding road and a panoramic view of the Sea of Cortez in spots.
Tomorrow it's off to the airport for Carly, then we'll return and prepare Cetus to begin the journey down to La Paz, weather permitting.
Island Number 3
19 November 2010 | Honeymoon Cove, Isla Danzante
We did the island trifecta with a stop at Isla Dansante this afternoon where we enjoyed some snorkeling, swimming and hiking to a great view of the Sea of Cortez.
Then after our short stop we motored the mile to Puerto Escondido and grabbed a mooring ball for the night with plans to do some land exploring tomorrow.
The Island Tour
18 November 2010 | Isla Coronado
When we left Puerto Escondido on Wednesday morning we planned to go to Isla Coronado but the weather forecast sounded like there could be some north wind in the night so we went to Puerto Balanda on Isla Carmen which has a bit better northern protection.
We had a fantastic day with perfect weather -- snorkeled with LOTS of bright colored fish and did a little beach walking and lots of relaxing, reading and talking and ended the night with a rousing game of Yahtzee.
The winds did come up a bit in the night, but it was a calm anchorage. The forecast for today called for flat calm so we decided it was a good day to hop over to Isla Coronado. So we hauled the anchor and when we got out of the protected harbor we were greated by some short choppy waves from the north and had a fairly rolly 8 mile trip over to Isla Coronados where we ducked in on the south side of the island to get out of the waves. If it does indeed become flat calm later today, we will go around to the east side of the island to the pretty white sand lagoon.
For now we're happy to be anchored in the pretty blue water and out of the rocky sea -- another beautiful day in paradise.
We're off to the islands!
17 November 2010 | Somewhere in the Sea of Cortez
Carly flew in to Loreto yesterday and today we're heading out to the nearby islands for a few days to enjoy some swimming, beach combing, kayaking and snorkeling -- looks like we've got some perfect weather for it!