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.

11 March 2018 | Marina Puerto Escondido
12 February 2018 | Marina Puerto Escondido
30 December 2017 | traveling in the Sea of Cortez
28 December 2017
29 November 2017 | Dock 3 Marina Palmira, La Paz BCS, Mexico
14 November 2017 | Punta Salinas, Isla San Jose
13 November 2017 | Heading South in the Sea of Cortez
12 November 2017 | The Sea of Cortez
03 November 2017 | Marina Puerto Escondido
25 October 2017 | Heading South
18 October 2017 | Namibia
23 September 2017 | Namibia
01 July 2017 | Bahia Marquer, Isla Carmen, Sea of Cortez
27 June 2017
24 June 2017 | Marina Palmira, La Paz
05 June 2017 | Dock 3, Marina Palmira, La Paz, BCS, Mexico
17 May 2017 | Marina Palmira

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!


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!!

The long wait is over!

24 June 2017 | Marina Palmira, La Paz
Pressure testing at Ernesto's shop
The tanks are done. Ernesto's estimate of 3 weeks turned into 5 1/2 weeks, but they look good. And we have enjoyed our time in La Paz but we are more than ready to get out of the marina and up to our favorite cruising grounds: the islands off Loreto.

We went out to his shop this morning to watch the pressure testing -- which went well -- and now he is delivering them as I write this. Hurray!

Today we will take care of some preparation projects that we couldn't do until we had the tanks in hand -- like tearing apart the floor again. Then tomorrow Terry will begin the installation -- getting them down thru the hatch and into the hole in the floor, then plumbing and securing them. Once they pass the final leak test when we fill them with diesel, he'll get to put the floor back together for hopefully the last time.

I expect it to go smoothly since Terry, unfortunately, has had lots of practice installing tanks this past year.

Let's hope the 3rd time's a charm!

Time is flying and Life is Good

05 June 2017 | Dock 3, Marina Palmira, La Paz, BCS, Mexico
We can't believe it's been a full month already since we got back home aboard Cetus! It's been a very enjoyable month, despite the disappointment of the leak in the newly installed diesel tanks. Still waiting for the new aluminum tanks to be completed, but we're making the best of our time here while we wait.

We've completed some good projects. Installed new Formica in both the bedroom and the bathroom giving them a fresh new look. And we've also cleaned, organized and de-cluttered all the cabinets and closets in the boat.

We enjoyed a mini vacation to Baja's East Cape spending two nights in Los Barilles and driving down to Cabo Pulmo area for some snorkeling.

Locally we've enjoyed some nice meals out at 'new to us' places with good friends Lola & Manny who also drove us out to show us where some great beaches are for future outings.

Yesterday we finally got into town for the Saturday organic market as well as meeting up with friends Valarie & Damian for coffee and apple pie. Great morning.

So all is well and we'll continue to enjoy La Paz and the surrounding area as we await the completion of the new tanks.

Ahhh... there's the leak!

17 May 2017 | Marina Palmira
Monday, After Terry took apart the floor and un-plumbed the tanks we wrestled them out the hatch (it's a tight fit -- like a puzzle to get the big ones turned just right) and on the dock into the light of day we couldn't see a thing wrong with either tank! They looked perfectly fine.

So to reassure ourselves before we made the down payment on the new aluminum tanks, we did a test. We took them up to the parking lot and with a hose filled them with water. Before the first one was even half way full Terry spotted the rapidly dripping leak.

We contacted the builder and he is as puzzled as we were. The plastic he uses is rated for diesel, but now he suspecting that maybe the rod he welds it with reacts to it. It's too bad because he did a beautiful job on these tanks.

So today Ernesto came by and picked up the tanks and will order the materials to begin the aluminum tanks for us. He estimates 3 weeks..... but who knows?

Right now the breezes are still great keeping temps very comfortable -- but there's some hot weather coming this weekend, so the Cetus crew will do a short road trip in search of a beach to beat the heat.
Vessel Name: Cetus
Vessel Make/Model: Fantasia 35
Hailing Port: Gig Harbor, WA
Crew: Terry & Heidi Kotas and Street Cat Rosie
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. [...]
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 - Birthday Bash 2/12/2014
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