CETUS TALES

We left Gig Harbor, WA in 2009 and spent 3 winters in the Sea of Cortez then sailed to the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia up to Hawaii, then to San Francisco Bay. We are once again enjoying the Sea of Cortez as we plan our next adventure.

25 April 2014 | Punta Chivato, Sea of Cortez
24 April 2014 | Santa Rosalia, BC
21 April 2014 | Punta Chivato, Sea of Cortez
17 April 2014 | Bahia Concepcion, Sea of Cortez
15 April 2014 | Punta Pulpito, Sea of Cortez
12 April 2014 | San Juanico, Sea of Cortez
08 April 2014 | Puerto Escondido, BCS
06 April 2014 | Puerto Escondido, BCS
01 April 2014 | Canal de San Jose
26 March 2014 | Caleta Partida, Isla Espirtu Santos, Sea of Cortez
25 March 2014 | Marina Palmira, La Paz
16 March 2014 | On the road
28 February 2014 | La Paz, Mexico
22 February 2014 | Marina Palmira, La Paz
20 February 2014 | playa Bonanza, Isla Espiritu Santos
16 February 2014
14 February 2014 | The Dinghy Dock Restaurant & Bar
13 February 2014 | Dock 3 Marina Palmira, La Paz
17 January 2014 | Mexico

The Big Kitty Round Up: Phase 2

21 April 2018 | Marina Puerto Escondido
Mama's little sweethearts!
The kitties born to "the cat that wouldn't be trapped" (now dubbed Mama Kitty) are 4 1/2 weeks old and we are working on socializing them to humans so they will be adoptable when they are old enough in a couple weeks or so.

It's been a real adventure trying to keep track of where she would hide them -- after 3 weeks she was moving them regularly so each day was a challenge for all of us working on this -- a game of hide and seek kitties! Finally she has settled in to a very accessible place where we can talk to them, handle them and even start to feed them a bit and Mama Kitty doesn't seem to mind at all. Hoping it will be easy to place all 3 in homes the beginning of May.

About a week and a half ago, during the "find the kitties" phase, a friend came to us and said somebody had spotted a kitty so we went to search it out thinking Mama had moved them to an unusual spot. We found the kitty -- and its siblings -- but they were younger than Mama's! Yikes! Another batch!
And we thought we had caught and spayed all of the other females, so where did these come from?

After some watching and sleuthing we discovered that the little male that we had tried so hard to catch to get him out of the garbage cans and parking lot was indeed the mother!

So now we have another set of 4 that we are playing find the kitties with every day as Oscar tries to find a safe place for "his" kitties.

So this Phase 2 involves socializing kitties and finding homes, then getting both the mother cats into the vet for spaying. And hoping against hope no more cats find their way down to the marina from the nearby hotel and community of Tripui (where we suspect most of these came from in the first place!).

Here's hoping there's no Phase 3!!

R&R at Bahia Marquer, Isla Carmen

07 April 2018 | Bahia Marquer, Isla Carmen
Since wrapping up the Kitty Round up at the end of March we have been extremely lucky to have some perfect weather for enjoying one of our favorite nearby anchorages: Marquer.

It's usually reserved for the summer months, or at least late May because its exposed to northerly winds which usually still prevail this time of year, but as with weather everywhere this year nothing is following the rules. For us it has been a nice treat.

So for the most part we've been enjoying swimming, snorkeling, watching dolphin, pelicans and even a whale go by. Beautiful sunrises, sunsets and even a full Blue Moon have rounded out our days.

We traveled up to Loreto one day and anchored off town one night to be in a safe spot during some predicted high westerly winds (that might not have been the best in Marquer) and while there we got to meet up with friends from Sol Seeker and Prairie Oyster who were in town doing provisioning while their boats were in Puerto Escondido.

Enjoyed time with Al & Sharon of Solona who were also anchored off Loreto that day, and then again when they found their way down to Marquer the next day.

We made another one night trip into Puerto Escondido so we could join friends at Pepegina's restaurant as other friends entertained us with great music! Tony & George put on a great show and a good time was had by all!

It's a wrap!

27 March 2018 | Puerto Escondido Marina
Last night we had a fun pizza party with the whole crew of the Big Kitty Round Up to celebrate a successful mission! Our lovely vet, Dassia, came out to see all the cats back in their home environment for their evening meal and then joined Terry & I along with Mike & Jean from Nopolo (our mentor and supplier of all the equipment) and George & Barbara of S/V Dreamcatcher (feeders and moral support).

We caught the last female cat in the boatyard pack last Saturday so our work here is done!

We do have one little male that hangs out in the parking lot away from the rest of the cats, and we will continue to try to catch him -- mostly for his safety because living under cars is a dangerous thing. There are 2 other large males that come around that we don't expect to be able to catch, but aren't a worry now that the females are all fixed. But surprise surprise we caught one of them this morning while trying to catch the little guy in the parking lot!!

There is also the matter of the one cat that we couldn't catch and she had a small litter of kittens (3) last week...... so we will need to deal with that in about 8 weeks -- getting her fixed and finding homes for the kittens. But for the most part we feel a great weight lifted off our shoulders and a chance to return to life as normal!

Mission accomplished!

Update on the Puerto Escondido Kitty Round Up!

11 March 2018 | Marina Puerto Escondido
It's been a month since my last blog post -- and a very busy month its been. That post was announcing the start of the big Kitty Round Up and I'd promised updates on that and planned to do them weekly, but it has kept us so busy I haven't had time to even write about it!

It has been going very well and we have taken 14 cats into Dassia (our vet) for spaying and neutering and rabies vaccines: 4 males and 10 females. One of the females was a young calico that was brought to us from another part of the marina area -- she wasn't part of the boat yard pack. She was friendly and loving -- perfect to be a house or boat pet and we were so happy when a fellow cruiser adopted her!

We have had a couple snags that have complicated matters.

One was a pregnant female that we'd hoped to get but suddenly isn't showing up at feeding time anymore so we are pretty sure she is off having kittens somewhere..... so that will mean we have to wait till the kitties are 8 weeks old and try to find homes for them and then have mama fixed.

The other complication was when Dassia got bit during one of the surgeries! It wasn't a bad bite and only happened because the cat started to vomit and she put her finger in its mouth to clear its throat. Dassia is fine and wasn't bothered by it, but they told her to have rabies shots and we have to keep the cat confined for 10 days! Luckily this is one of the friendly cats we have been seeing and feeding for years here so she seems very content in her big double cage and enjoying her private feedings and using the litter box. I think she'll actually be disappointed when its time to be released! If it had been one of the big males I don't know what we could have done.......

We now have just a few cats we'd like to get before we wrap up the project and hope to get them taken care of this week so we can get back out to the islands enjoying this beautiful area again.

The Big Kitty Round Up!

12 February 2018 | Marina Puerto Escondido
a few of the boatyard cats
After months of planning and preparation we finally found a time when all the volunteers in this project would be available, so we are ready to commence the catch/neuter/release project that has been sorely needed here at the marina in Puerto Escondido.

There are between 15 to 20 cats that need to be taken care of and we anticipate it will take us 2 to 3 weeks with the catching and surgeries being done Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I'll post updates to let everyone know how its going -- wish us luck!

Puerto Escondido -- our new home

04 February 2018
We normally spend the cold winter months of December through February at the dock in Marina Palmira in La Paz, but this year we needed to leave early to get back up to Puerto Escondido so our usual 3 month stay in La Paz was reduced to just over a month.

We've been here a little over a month now and we are really enjoying it. So far we've only been out to the nearby anchorages for a few days because we also managed to squeeze in a short haulout to paint the bottom and then I flew out for 2 weeks.

Our plan for the near future is to make Puerto Escondido our home base as we have done the last couple summers. We'll keep a buoy that we can return to anytime we want, but spend most of our time at the lovely nearby anchorages.

While I was up in North Bend, Washington house and doggy/kitty/chicken sitting -- Terry was busy down here with some good boat projects. He also discovered a great hiking trail, much like the one we enjoyed hiking most mornings by Marina Palmira! The view from the top of this one is even more magnificent than the one in La Paz.

With all the great improvements coming about in Puerto Escondido: the pizza restaurant, a well stocked little store and now a good hiking hill we're very happy to be here.

Heading North!

30 December 2017 | traveling in the Sea of Cortez
Day three of our travels north will be another long travel day. Like yesterday we are a motor boat, because what wind there is is right on our nose so trying to sail it would get us no where and we need to take advantage of the light winds to cover some distance. After today we will be up close enough to Puerto Escondido that we can do shorter hops or even stay in an anchorage a day or two without worries of getting caught in a long norther which would prevent us from moving.

Another overcast day -- looks a lot like the PNW, but the air and sea are warmer and we've enjoyed nice swims off the boat in both the anchorages we've stopped in. And the wildlife has been very entertaining, too! Rays jumping, dolphin leaping and even a whale popping up for a breath of air! We've also seen large groups of the funny little greebs that swim around in a big flock then suddenly all dive in unison -- now you see them now you don't.

So far so good on our journey -- it feels so good to be out in the Sea again!

Cetus has left the dock!

28 December 2017
Hasta luego Marina Palmira!
Our departure from dock 3 this morning was bittersweet as departures always are... saying goodbye is always very difficult, but it is mixed with the excitement of the adventures to come.

Our stay at the dock was shorter this year — we usually stay at least 3 months leaving early March. But this year I have a flight out of Loreto scheduled for mid January so we are on our way north to Puerto Escondido and all the lovely anchorages in the Loreto area.

We will be missing the ease of dock life and the busy social life, but we will be enjoying the beauty and serenity of life on the hook.

We’ve already been enjoying our 1st anchorage for several hours now — Bahia Falsa just an hour north of Palmira. A short hop for our first day out so everyone (especially Rosie) can get their sea legs before the longer hauls.

Cetus is heading north again!

All settled in!

29 November 2017 | Dock 3 Marina Palmira, La Paz BCS, Mexico
We got into the dock at Marina Palmira two weeks ago and have been enjoying dock life but missing the swimming and relaxation of the anchorages.

I've been meaning to update the blog ever since our arrival, but a combination of a busy schedule and poor internet has gotten in the way. I actually did a blog post the day after our arrival, but the internet connection timed out on me and all was lost......

Days are filled beginning with our early morning hikes -- alternating between going up the hill behind the marina or walking into town to the grocery store and fresh market. Then some boat projects thrown in and the morning is gone!

I've been plugging away at doing my Shutterfly books some afternoons, but the poor WiFi at the boat means I have to take my show up the the cruisers lounge here at the marina so I have a strong enough connection to upload pictures which adds more time to the project, but slowly I'm getting there.

So now it's almost December which is always a very busy month here, but I think we're ready for it now.

The Cetus Crew's Day Off

14 November 2017 | Punta Salinas, Isla San Jose
We traveled about 40 miles yesterday and after a nice afternoon sail down the San Jose Channel we anchored in one of our favorite spots behind the sand bar at Punta Salinas.

The winds stayed up in the 20's most of the evening but died down for a very calm and comfortable night's sleep. It remained calm this morning for a nice snorkel to shore and a long beach walk and the wind just started picking up again as we swam back out to the boat.

It promises to be a very nice day here and we'll be all rested up for another early morning departure on our trek south to La Paz.

Another beautiful travel day

13 November 2017 | Heading South in the Sea of Cortez
Enjoyed a wonderful swim and a relaxing afternoon at our first anchorage at San Marte yesterday and set out before the crack of dawn this morning to continue our travels south toward La Paz.

A deep easterly swell had us rocking and rolling for a bit until we got the mainsail up which stabilized things and we're now enjoying a comfortable motor sail. We decided to keep the motor on to augment our speed so we can get some miles in today and take a day off from traveling tomorrow.

So on we go!

We're off!

12 November 2017 | The Sea of Cortez
After 2 weeks the projects were finally completed and we were able to move back aboard Cetus yesterday morning! So after 15 weeks we are finally home again and loved sleeping in our own bed!

With the work all done and the boat provisioned up we were ready to get out of the marina -- and did just that early this morning. Our first destination was Candeleros Bay just south of Puerto Escondido so we would finally have some good cell service and WiFi to check in with family back in the States before heading further south and out of easy communication range.

Since it was a beautiful day for traveling (motor boat style -- not much wind today) we continued south and are enjoying being out on the water again. Really looking forward to a nice anchorage this afternoon to enjoy a swim in the Sea again!

Ahhhhh.........

Almost Home!

03 November 2017 | Marina Puerto Escondido
Actually we are back to Cetus, but we’ve got a few projects to get done before we move completely back onboard and get to sleep in our own bed.

But we are enjoying staying at nearby Hotel Tripui so we can return to a cool pool and a hot shower at the end of the day.

The big project is re-painting the cabin top. So far we’ve got it all prepped — sanded and taped and plan to get the first coat on this morning!

After we finish the painting project we will move the work downstairs and sand and refinish the floor in the main salon — the one that we’ve torn up and put back together several times in the last couple years as we replaced the fuel tanks.

So that’s why we won’t be moving aboard until the projects are done — no where to walk — for us or for Rosie.


Time for this one to go home!

25 October 2017 | Heading South
After the long flight back to Seattle from Namibia we were treated to two full days of pounding rain — that we had to drive in for hours each day for appointments, errands, last minute shopping and final goodbyes to family we just didn’t get to spend enough time with on this trip, since most of our time was spent in Africa.

We were happy to have beautiful dry weather for our last day packing the car — and again for the first big drive day. The bright fall leaves driving thru the mountains of Oregon help make it a very pleasant drive.

Looking forward to getting back aboard Cetus and sleeping in our own bed — not that we haven’t had very comfortable beds everywhere we’ve stayed, but there’s just no place like home!

We completed the Namibia 2000!

18 October 2017 | Namibia
Our loop thru Namibia is complete and we enjoyed every bit of the 2,300 miles we traveled. The desert landscape was constantly changing keeping our interest up as we traveled from spot to spot driving approximately 4 hours each travel day.

We enjoyed the camping days sleeping in the roof top tents and the lodgings were all unique and quite enjoyable, ranging from luxury tents with private outside showers built right in the boulders behind the tent to cozy hillside chalets complete with full kitchens and a fireplace. All had swimming pools (even the campgrounds) and every lodging had the cleanest whitest bedding I've ever seen -- and comfortable too.

Starting our flight home today -- once back and settled I will post some pics of the wildlife and interesting sights we've been enjoying the past 18 days.

Time for another "Out of Boat" Adventure

23 September 2017 | Namibia
It's been a month and a half since I've posted on the blog since I normally confine it to our sailing adventures, and we've been up in the NW doing lots of ordinary things -- routine Dr. apts, visiting family and friends, building fences, etc, etc.

But now it's time for an exciting, long planned adventure so I will do blog posts (even though it's not a boating adventure) because these blog posts give us a good record of what we've done and we like to have them to look back on.

So for the 1st half of October I will be posting (when I can) about our self drive safari in Namibia. (Not Nambia which doesn't exist but you may have heard of on the news lately :)

The next few days will be busy with last minute preparations as we will fly out on the first leg of our journey on Tuesday, September 26th. That flight will be a red eye to NYC where we'll spend a couple nights to break up the flight times because the next flight will be a 14 hour flight to Namibia via Johannesburg in South Africa departing NY on the 29th arriving in Namibia on the 30th of September.

Let the adventure begin!

End of the sailing season for Cetus

31 July 2017
Cetus & Pacific together again!
With plans up north in August, September and October it was time to tuck Cetus safely away for hurricane season, so we chose to keep her once again in the little marina in the back channels of Puerto Escondido.

We pulled into the marina Saturday morning and began the process of taking everything down from the outside, cleaning it and stowing it down below. Sails, dodger, wind generator, life ring, solar panels, etc, etc. We moved down the street to the little hotel at Tripui to make room to stow everything -- and to stay comfortable. The little marina doesn't have the same air flow that we enjoy out at anchor -- plus you can't just take a refreshing swim when you want to -- so better to have an air conditioned room to retreat to at the end of a long day.

Putting the boat away is taking a little longer than we usually need because we're also doing a lot of teak refinishing both inside and out. Staying off the boat certainly makes the downstairs teak easier to do since we don't have to worry about touching the freshly painted surfaces -- or having cat hair settle on it as it dries.

So, as always, it's bittersweet to be leaving our home and the beautiful Sea of Cortez, but exciting to be going on to new adventures and to have time to spend with friends and family.

We plan to begin the big drive north on Thursday morning.

Out and About in the Puerto Escondido area

23 July 2017
Our days here in the Sea will soon be coming to a close for this summer so we are enjoying the many lovely anchorages in the area and we are trying to get as much swimming and snorkeling in as possible, before we have to head into PE to begin putting Cetus away for a few months.

We will start the drive north around the 5th of August as we have a move to help with mid month, followed by Heidi's cataract surgery and both our routine Dr. appointments. September will be lots of fun family events as well as preparing for our long awaited self drive Safari to Namibia in October.

In between all the swimming and snorkeling we, of course, are doing the usual assortment of boat projects such as redoing the downstairs teak.

This year we've got a big 'off boat' project going as well. Every year when we get up to Puerto Escondido there is another litter of kittens to greet us in the boatyard. We've always helped out by buying food and feeding them and they were always well taken care of by the couple that ran boatyard services and were there everyday. They have since retired so there isn't the same day after day year round care available for the kitties.

So it's time to break the cycle of the constantly increasing population and we, with the help and advice of a great couple we met that has done a lot of TNR (trap/neuter/release) in the nearby Nopolo area are planning a TNR plan for late October when we return from our travels.

We have started a GoFundMe to help raise money for the anesthesia, sutures and other supplies that will go to our wonderful vet in Loreto, Dassia, who will do all of the surgeries. Dassia not only donates her time for this and other TNR projects but she also takes in dozens of stray dogs and cats and feeds, houses and gives medical attention to all of them.

If you'd like to help with this project as well as the care of all the other strays Dassia takes in please check out our site : Save the Strays of Baja...

Settling in

01 July 2017 | Bahia Marquer, Isla Carmen, Sea of Cortez
Our travels north are over!

Now we can enjoy the anchorages around the Puerto Escondido area -- staying put for days at a time instead of getting up and traveling every day. This is my favorite part of cruising here in the Sea of Cortez.

Our trip up was enjoyable though -- we had light breezes filling the genoa and pushing us along adding speed to our motoring. We had 125 miles to cover and we wanted to do it as quickly as possible so we did motor sail all the way. We left La Paz on Wednesday and on Friday we were thrilled to drop our anchor in one of our favorite summertime anchorages -- Marquer on Isla Carmen.

First day out we were excited to see two large whales pass us by and yesterday we were greeted by a large pod of dolphin as we approached Marquer -- our welcoming committee!

We've managed a swim every day while we traveled, but yesterday as we are settled here for a bit, we added a second refreshing swim at sunset. Heavenly!

Now we will enjoy a relaxing few days here before heading into Puerto Escondido on Tuesday so that Terry can catch a bus to La Paz and pick up our car. Then we will really be settled in here.

Have a very happy 4th of July everyone! And happy Canada Day to all our northern neighbors!

Leave Eve!

27 June 2017
Tanks are in and tested and filled with diesel so we are very optimistic we will be able to leave the dock tomorrow and in 3 or 4 days reach our usual Spring & Summer cruising grounds in the islands off of Loreto.

I was very worried about being in the marina in La Paz in May because I know temps can often be in the high 90's and low 100's! Marina's are always hotter than anchorages as much of the cooling breezes are blocked. Plus you don't have the option of jumping into the water beside the boat to cool off anytime you want.

But we not only survived May but most of June as well! And I am so pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it has been! Not only has the weather been so much better than normal for this time of year, but we've so enjoyed all the people that are around at this time of year that we don't usually get to spend much time with in the busy winter months.

It would actually be a little hard to leave..... except starting yesterday the heat & humidity factor jumped considerably the last 2 days as we've gotten the after effects of tropical storm Dora traveling south of us. Plus, most of these great people are leaving soon, too. Some for short breaks, some longer. But we can look forward to seeing them all again when we all return next fall -- along with all the other 'usual suspects' that winter here.

So fingers crossed we will motor out of our slip at Marina Palmira at the crack of dawn!!
Vessel Name: Cetus
Vessel Make/Model: Fantasia 35
Hailing Port: Gig Harbor, WA
Crew: Terry & Heidi Kotas and Street Cat Rosie
About:
TERRY & HEIDI got into sailing together 30+ years ago when they purchased their very first sailboat, a 7 foot long "Sunflower" that they played with and learned enough about sailing to get them hooked. [...]
Extra:
CETUS is the constellation of the whale. When we were purchasing this boat, we knew we wanted to change the name because the owners had had some trouble with customs in Fiji due to another boat by the same name (then Illusion) having done something illigal and the boat name was "flagged" in [...]
Cetus's Photos - Main
1 Photo | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 25 May 2016
17 Photos
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12 Photos
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26 Photos
Created 3 May 2015
Removing the teak deck, fiberglassing, sanding, painting then putting on the Kiwi Grip
4 Photos | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 12 December 2014
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5 Photos
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26 Photos
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37 Photos
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120 Photos
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25 days at sea
8 Photos
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15 Photos
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32 Photos
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16 Photos
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Troncones, Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo
43 Photos
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20 Photos
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20 Photos
Created 7 January 2012
travels between Santa Rosalia and La Paz in October and November 2011
100 Photos
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Sailing around Santorini on a crewed catamaran
40 Photos
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5 Photos
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55 Photos
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10 Photos
Created 17 March 2011
Photos from our trip to the islands in February 2011
34 Photos
Created 14 February 2011
Our trip to the old mining town was a real delight
117 Photos
Created 2 February 2011
2 Photos
Created 5 December 2010
13 Photos
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15 Photos
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26 Photos
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38 Photos
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49 Photos
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21 Photos
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34 Photos
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27 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 25 December 2009
60 Photos
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45 Photos
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19 Photos
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76 Photos
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47 Photos
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31 Photos
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25 Photos
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34 Photos
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54 Photos
Created 14 June 2009
74 Photos
Created 9 June 2009
May 31, 2009
30 Photos
Created 31 May 2009
Packing food and supplies for our 3rd Blue Water cruise
11 Photos
Created 30 May 2009
Bon Voyage and Retirement Celebration at the Gig Harbor Yacht Club May 9, 2009
93 Photos
Created 13 May 2009
Photos showing the tearing out of the old refrigerator and building a new one.
36 Photos
Created 10 April 2009
A collection of pics from our time sailing through these beautiful atolls
18 Photos
Created 8 October 2008
Our first trip to the San Juans in 10 years!
12 Photos
Created 8 October 2008
A few shots of our first cruising boat Cassiopeia in the South Pacific 1992 - 1994
7 Photos
Created 26 August 2008
Cetus in the South Pacific
12 Photos
Created 26 August 2008

The Cetus Crew

Who: Terry & Heidi Kotas and Street Cat Rosie
Port: Gig Harbor, WA

Where in the world are Terry & Heidi?

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