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.

17 January 2022 | Alacran Anchorage
15 January 2022 | Puerto Don Juan
12 January 2022 | Puerto Don Juan
10 January 2022 | Puerto Don Juan
09 January 2022 | Puerto Don Juan
07 January 2022 | Santa Rosalia
02 January 2022 | Santa Rosalia
25 December 2021 | Santa Rosalia, BCS Mexico
17 December 2021 | Santa Rosalia
12 December 2021 | Santa Rosalia BCS Mexico
03 December 2021 | Punta Chivato
29 November 2021 | Bahia Conception
26 November 2021 | Bahia Conception
25 November 2021 | Bahia Conception
20 November 2021 | Punta Pulpito
19 November 2021 | Punta Pulpito
16 October 2021 | Marina Puerto Escondido
09 September 2021
02 August 2021 | All harnessed up and ready to fly!

Heading South

17 January 2022 | Alacran Anchorage
After enjoying Puerto Don Juan for 10 days we made our first jump south today to a beautiful little spot in Bahia Alacran.
We motored the 9 miles over smooth seas with little wind and sunny skies arriving shortly after 10 this morning.

We won't be going ashore to explore this time -- it was just a stop over to give us a good departure point for a longer passage beginning
early tomorrow morning. We did spend some time here in May of 2010 and swam and snorkeled and visited the Wilderness Camp
onshore. The cute collection of yurt's appear to be unoccupied at this time and the water is too cool for swimming.

Originally we'd planned to go from here to San Francisquito (about 42 miles or 8 to 12 hours) but with a bit of a questionable forecast for
that area later this week we might just take advantage of the good weather we've got along with a pretty full moon to make the longer
(120 miles and 24 -30 hour) jump down to Santa Rosalia, bypassing San Francisquito as we did on the way north. There are just no
anchorages between Santa Rosalia and San Francisquito so that trip is always an overnighter.

So we've spent a comfortable day relaxing and I've been busy preparing our passage foods so that meals will be just a matter of heating
things up without a lot of messy prep work and dirty dishes.

It's Leave Eve!

Watching for a weather window

15 January 2022 | Puerto Don Juan
We've been enjoying the heck out of this remote anchorage -- especially the last two days when the sun came out and the winds were
down so we could easily get to shore and explore the beaches. We could happily just sit here for weeks on end but we see a pretty
good weather window coming up next week to head south and give us an opportunity to visit San Francisquito before making our way
down to Santa Rosalia.

The clouds and some north wind returned today so we're once again getting some good boat projects done. Hopefully tomorrow will be a
bit less wind so we can get to shore for one more hike to the nearby Bahia de Quamado which we'd planned for today but the winds
came up earlier than expected.

So for now we're keeping an eye on the weather and making plans and preparing Cetus to head back out to sea.

Exploring the new neighborhood

12 January 2022 | Puerto Don Juan
With the north winds beginning to lighten up we finally got to shore to do a nice beach walk along this beautiful bay.

Osprey, pelicans and Grebe's entertained us as we rowed in and we walked around to the old fishing boat wreck that has been a
landmark here for many, many years. We also spotted a coyote climbing the rocky hill behind the wreck. We then got even better
coyote sightings when we rowed along the rocky coast and a couple came right down to the waters edge to check us out! I got some
great pictures that I can post here once we get back to civilization and WiFi.

Loving the remoteness and the tranquility of this spot and getting some good boat projects done, too. It's remarkable how much more
time we seem to have when we don't have the distraction of the internet!

If you want to get a peek at where we are and what this bay looks like go to Google Earth and enter these coordinates
28 56.46 N 113 27.08 W

The Wild North

10 January 2022 | Puerto Don Juan
When we set out to travel north in The Sea this winter we didn't know how far we would get or if it was even practical this time of year
with the frequent cold Northers and the water temps too cool to swim. Everybody we've seen was heading south to the warmer climes of
mainland Mexico and that's where we'd first intended to go this winter. But with so many people finally being able to get back down to
their boats in Mexico after a couple year break due to COVID, we knew the anchorages and marinas would be crowded, so we took a
chance and chose the road less traveled.

We are thrilled with our choice! The wildlife is plentiful with flocks of birds (even our favorite "now you see them now you don't" little
Grebes), pods of dolphin and the coyotes on shore. The scenery is outstanding with beautiful sunrises and sunsets and we enjoy the
quiet solitude. The weather is cool -- in the mid 60's to 70's even with this Norther blowing. Somehow it's warmer up here than it had
been in Santa Rosalia. The water is only about 59 degrees right now so we don't plan on doing much swimming, but we are looking
forward to getting to shore and hiking and exploring the beaches.

We're laughing at ourselves for thinking winter in the northern Sea would be to cold, too harsh because it's actually just like the weather
we'd enjoy sailing in the San Juan's in September. And that was our favorite time of year to enjoy those islands because the summer
crowds were gone, yet the weather was pleasant. Just like here.

Out in the wild again!

09 January 2022 | Puerto Don Juan
After an enjoyable month at the dock in Santa Rosalia we set sail for an adventure in the Northern Sea!

We untied the lines at 3 in the afternoon on Friday, September 7th and we dropped the anchor in Puerto Don Juan (near Bahia de Los
Angeles) the next day at 1:30. The wind and seas were kind to us for our first overnight passage in years and we were even able to get
some sailing in with the light and variable winds. We did keep the engine on to keep the speed up so we would be able to reach our
destination during daylight hours. A norther was predicted to begin on Sunday so we needed to be in a good protected anchorage for
that -- and what better place than Don Juan which is a natural hurricane hole with protection from all wind directions.

We had a bit of a worry when, on Saturday morning, some north winds started up at about 15 knots -- was the norther already starting
up? We still had miles to go to Don Juan --- about 5 hours which would be pretty miserable pounding into wind and seas. And San
Francisquito was too far behind to turn back especially since it didn't offer the same protection as we'd have in Don Juan. Our good luck
held and the winds and seas abated within about an hour. Phweew!

With the passage behind us and feeling secure in such a safe anchorage we slept well enjoying the quiet solitude. Again we are letting
the weather dictate when we move on from here, but our plan is to make this our northernmost point on this trip and when we leave here
we will harbor hop back down to Puerto Escondido exploring many anchorages along the way. There are several old favorites we
bypassed on the way up, because this time of year with the prevailing north winds its easier to head south with wind and seas following --
so we like to take a good weather window to blast north as far as we can so we can more leisurely enjoy the ride south.

For now we are content to enjoy this wild, remote anchorage and are looking forward to lots of hiking as well as getting some cleaning
and organizing projects done on Cetus. Once again we are without cell and WiFi which will afford us time to catch up on reading and
other pastimes that always get put on the back burner in busy marina life.

Enjoy!

Hasta Luego Santa Rosalia!

07 January 2022 | Santa Rosalia
We plan to leave the dock here in Santa Rosalia in a couple of hours to continue our journey north in The Sea. It’s pretty exciting for us since we haven’t done an overnight passage since 2013 when we returned from our adventure off the beaten path where we traveled to The Galapagos and the remote Gambiers of French Polynesia.

We hope to make it to Puerto Don Juan near Bahia de Los Angeles about 126 miles north of us and so far the weather looks favorable with southerly winds. We have another stop we could make, Bahia San Fransquito, that is 78 miles north of here if conditions don’t seem right to go on.
That’s the reason for late in the day departure. Any earlier and we would be approaching in the middle of the night and it’s never good to enter a port in the dark if you can avoid it, so we’ll time it for an approach near sunrise in case we decide to stop.

Passage foods are prepared and ready and Cetus is all set to go!

We will be out of cell/WiFi range probably for the next week or two when we start heading south again. So it’s back to the Ham radio and WinLink for all of our weather and communication needs. I will try to keep up remote posts to our Sailblog so anybody interested can see where we are.

It’s exciting to be cruising again!

Looking forward to a bright 2022

02 January 2022 | Santa Rosalia
We've finished up our deck painting project and taken down the Christmas lights so it's time to plot out our next port!

The north winds are blowing right now so we'll spend the next few days provisioning and preparing to set sail at the first good weather window -- Which right now looks like Thursday or Friday!

We've enjoyed our time here in the city but we're excited to get back out in the wild again!

Feliz Navidad!

25 December 2021 | Santa Rosalia, BCS Mexico
Cetus decked out for Christmas
We’re celebrating Christmas this year in an unusual way — painting Cetus’s deck! Which makes it a white Christmas, in a way!

Originally we didn’t plan to work right through the holidays, but with weather being such a factor we have to take advantage of every good day because the northers will return.

We worked most of the day yesterday (Christmas Eve) prepping and taping and this morning we were able to get a first coat on the cabin top! Conditions were near perfect and we were done by 10 am and now can enjoy the rest of the day.

We’ll do the 1st coat on the cabin sides tomorrow and if the weather holds as forecast we should be able to do the 2nd coat on the day after that. Cetus will be bright and shiny for the new year!

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and look forward to a healthy Happy New Year!!

Enjoy!!!

All taped up and ready to go!!

17 December 2021 | Santa Rosalia
Let the painting begin!
When we set out on our ‘One Port at a Time” adventure north in The Sea painting the deck wasn’t anywhere in the plans.

But when we reached Santa Rosalia and realized we’d be staying here at the dock for a couple weeks, we thought “Why not”?

It was a project we wanted to get done this year and we had the supplies we needed so we’re taking advantage of being at the dock and getting it out of the way.

For now we’re just doing the outer gutter area and around the non-skid that was repainted last year. Terry sanded and we taped (the tedious time consuming part with all the deck fittings) so it’s all set to paint.

Now we just need Mother Nature to co-operate with the weather. Painting isn’t good in wind and we’ve been having afternoon north winds so need to get it done in the morning. We’d hoped to start this morning but we had some stronger than expected west winds and decided to delay until a better forecast on Sunday.

Of course, right now it is calm, making us second guess our decision. But the winds could pick up at any moment….. only time will tell.

So on to other projects for today!

Hello City Life!!

12 December 2021 | Santa Rosalia BCS Mexico
Pulling into the dock in Santa Rosalia was a big change after our off the grid travels to get here. Now we have cell and WiFi access so no need for the ham radio for weather or communication. And we have shore power so no longer have to adjust the solar panels all day to generate the maximum power to charge the batteries.
Lots of things are simpler at the dock so we’re taking full advantage of it getting boat projects done and exploring the town as we re-provision and look forward to getting back out in the wild.

We plan to stay here another week or two so we can get some exterior painting done and that is somewhat weather dependent as it’s not practical when the strong north winds blow.

In the meantime we will enjoy being in this interesting little town with its rich history that holds fond memories for us from previous visits — most notably when Rosie found us here in June of 2010.

Back online at Punta Chivato

03 December 2021 | Punta Chivato
After nearly two weeks traveling off the grid to anchorages that are out of sight of cell towers we are once again connected to the real world. It’s a double edged sword as we enjoy being in contact with family and friends again — but the big downside is not being able to avoid snippets of all the news……

Thanks to our trusty Ham radio we weren’t totally out of touch as we could download weather info as well as send and receive short emails through our WinLink program — and I was even able to send short updates to our Sailblog. WinLink is limited to simple text messages so no attachments or pictures are transmitted so today I’ll go back and add some pictures to those posts I made on our travels.

We’re enjoying being back to Punta Chivato — it’s been many, many years. We should be able to spend a few more days here before the weather will allow us to continue further north in The Sea.

Out and About in Bahia Conception

29 November 2021 | Bahia Conception
We've remained anchored in the very protected anchorage off of Playa Santispac but have been able to get out exploring the nearby
coves -- yesterday in the dinghy and today by foot.

Our dinghy excursion took us through several of the little anchorages and we were surprised to find we are the only cruising boat here in
Conception! There are lots of small boats out on buoys in front of the palapas lining the beaches and kayaks and paddle boards too
numerous to count. In years past there would be several cruising boats in each of the little coves, but most boats have already started
their migration south to mainland Mexico in search of warmer weather and waters.

Our hike today just took us to Playa Conception, a place we've hiked to in years past, but there is now a really good trail on the other side
of the Hwy 1 that makes the 4 1/2 round trip walk very easy with some great veiws along the way.

Looking at weather we think we may be able to continue our trek north on Wednesday, December 1st.

Settled in at Playa Santispac

26 November 2021 | Bahia Conception
Enjoying the anchorage here and finding we're able to get a lot done on the boat without the distractions of the internet so we plan to
stay for about a week more before continuing our travels north.

It won't be all work and no play since there is a lot of exploring to do by dinghy -- to the other coves we haven't visited in years. We'll
check out if there's still a little store by playa Coyote and what else has changed. Exploring here is quite different than other anchorages
we go to because the bay is more like a big resort lake with beaches lined with homes and palapas as well as RV and camper parking --
we're not out in the wild anymore. But there are still some good snorkeling areas that we plan to check out too, as long as the Sea
doesn't get much colder. The temp is dropping quickly and today dipped below 75.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Cetus Crew!

25 November 2021 | Bahia Conception
Our off the grid travels north in the Sea of Cortez continue and today we are anchored off Playa Santispac in Bahia Conception.

This was a regular stop for us every year as we'd head north in The Sea traveling with our friends from Prairie Oyster as they made their
way to San Carlos. But the last time we did that was 2014! We still see Bahia Conception every year when we drive to the States
because Hwy 1 runs right along side the big beautiful bay. It's fun to be back and we're looking forward to getting to shore later today to
check things out.

I came prepared with the fixin's for a traditional Turkey Dinner (substituting large chicken breasts for the turkey since the turkeys available
in Loreto were just too big to keep in my freezer), but yesterday we had a change in plans and will go with a very non traditional dinner of
BBQ ribs, roasted potatoes and we're even trading out the pie for chocolate chip cookies!

We hope this finds you all well and happy and enjoying the day.

Off the Grid

20 November 2021 | Punta Pulpito
View from the top!
Enjoying the anchorage at Punta Pulpito and it felt great to hike to the top of the bluff again! What an incredible view.

Also enjoying being off the grid without cell and WiFi. It was strange waking up and not being able to check messages from family and
friends or check the weather on a couple different sources, but it was so nice not to be drawn into reading about the crazy politics and
scandals of the day in the US.

And its nice relearning to use the HAM radio for the weather and connecting with family and friends. A simpler life giving us more time to
enjoy our surroundings.

We are off on an adventure!

19 November 2021 | Punta Pulpito
Moon peeking out from behind Púlpito
We haven't ventured north of Isla Coronados in 5 years and we're excited to get back out to the anchorages we so enjoyed. We feel
like we're out in the wild.

Today we traveled from up to Punta Pulpito -- we'd planned on San Juanico but bypassed it when we saw there were already 10 boats in
there. We have this anchorage all to ourselves for now. Plan is to stay a couple days with some north wind predicted and when that
dies down we're travel further north. No hard and fast plans -- we will take this one anchorage at a time depending on weather.

This is also the first time in years we've traveled to areas without any cell service or WiFi and it seems strange to not be able to text or pull
up weather on an iPad, but we're getting used to connecting through our HAM radio again and really looking forward to a nice break from
information overload. I'm even doing this Sailblog post through the HAM radio --- so I won't be able to post pictures or read comments,
but it will provide a log for family and friends to know where we are.

Update on the Cetus Crew

16 October 2021 | Marina Puerto Escondido
Our view from the Elipse
Once again I’ve been remiss in updating the blog so I’ll give a quick summery if what we’ve been up to for the last 2 1/2 months.

We left Puerto Escondido on July 31st (you can read about that adventure in my August 2nd post) to head to Washington for Terry’s total knee replacement surgery scheduled for August 26th.

The great news is Terry didn’t need to go through the surgery after all! All his prep work to make recovery go better — losing weight and strengthening his legs paid off by eliminating any pain from the knee. When he realized he could walk for miles and do yard work for hours (at Carly’s house) without any knee problems he decided why take the risks of surgery and go through long recover when it isn’t effecting his quality of life? We’re all very happy with the outcome.

We spent the remainder of August doing all of our regularly scheduled Dr apts and visiting family. We kept visiting to a minimum as COVID was again on the rise so we missed seeing friends and look forward to seeing everyone on our next trip north.

September was spent at Carly’s house where Terry worked endlessly on her yard getting it ready for winter. A couple fun projects were building a fire pit in her backyard and blazing a nice walking trail in her woods behind the house.

Rosie was entertained getting to know Carly’s big dogs, Rufus & Ripley. She quickly learned she had the power and they formed a kind of truce and co-existed without incident. But poor Rufus really would have liked to have a friend.

We set out to head south on September 28th and enjoyed the more scenic route down Hwy 395 through Oregon and California avoiding the traffic and boredom of I-5.

We had a quick and easy border crossing at Tecate stopping at San Felipe and Guerrero Negro then reaching Puerto Escondido on October 5th.

After a couple days putting the boat together in Marina Chica we moved back out to our favorite buoy in the Elipse and a few days after that we headed out to the islands!

We’ve been enjoying being anchored off the south side of Isla Coronados for the past week while a couple northers blew through. The weather has cooled since we first arrived so we have enjoyed swimming and snorkeling and walking the island trails.

As always we miss our family and friends — But it’s great to be back in The Sea!

Just Released!!!

09 September 2021
It’s an exciting day for the Cetus Crew as the publisher, BlackRoseWriting.com just released Terry’s latest book:

Adventures Off The Beaten Path

Everyone who preordered should be receiving them in the next couple days if they haven’t arrived already.

when you read it please post a review on Amazon or anywhere else!

The Tale of Two Kitties

02 August 2021 | All harnessed up and ready to fly!
It's been quite a journey for Mr. Weasley and Miss Patches in search of their forever home, but we think it's nearing the end.

It began on May 10th when our friend Mike spotted a beautiful Mama Kitty (later named Mamma Mia!) nursing 2 babies under a car being stored on their property. Then for the next 5 weeks Mike & Jean along with Kristina and Terry & I would work on socializing the two kitties giving them as much human interaction as possible, coaxing them out from their hiding spot up in the car to play and eat.

It was a big help that Mama Mia wasn't feral -- she was obviously raised with humans and was very affectionate 😻.

By mid June it was time to get them out from under their car and into a home for some real socializing and Anne and Tony opened their hearts and their home to the little brother and sister pair and became the best foster parents ever. With the help of their visiting granddaughters (who named the pair Patches and Weasley) the kitties quickly adapted to life indoors and being held and cuddled. ❤️❤️

We began the search for a forever home right away as all of us involved in raising these kitties (Our Village 🤩) had obligations taking us away at the beginning of August. With no takers in sight we were happy when Kristen (who works with a group called SOAR that facilitates getting rescue animals from Loreto to a wonderful shelter in Portland OR for placement into good homes). Kristen made the contacts and they were accepted by the Pixie Project.

Still hoping to find a forever home for them we began planning an end game to get them to Portland if all else failed.

Terry & I already had plans in place to do the long drive from Puerto Escondido to Washington at the beginning of August but just couldn't see how we could make it work taking the two little kitties on the long drive with us. They wouldn't have been happy and Roadtrip Rosie would not want to have to share her space.

So Mike arranged for plane tickets and a new travel plan was in place!

Terry and Rosie set out for the drive north early Saturday morning with San Felipe as their goal that day. A little later that morning Anne & Tony took the kittens and me to the Loreto airport for our flight to Portland!

The kitties were perfect little travelers and the flights went well. They didn't even fuss when I'd have to pull them out of their carrier to go through security! We had a few hour layover in LA where we cleared customs then we were off to Portland.

Dee, from SOAR, arranged to have her friend Maggie meet me at the airport and when I arrived at 9:30 she was waiting for me at the door! The kitties were off to a wonderful adventure staying at Maggie's for the night playing and eating seemingly none the worse for wear after their long travel day.

Sunday morning had Terry and Rosie hitting the road early and I returned to the Portland airport for a flight to San Diego! We met up at the airport that afternoon and our part of the kitty adventure was over and we began our previously planned drive north.

Meanwhile, back in Portland, the kitties enjoyed Maggie's love and attention (and exploring her great outdoor catio!) before she took them to Pixie Project for what we all hope and pray will be a short stop on their way to their forever home. ❤️❤️

This couldn't have happened if not for each and every one of these wonderful people coming together and helping these kitties.

And as unique as this may sound this goes on all the time with many different people and groups working together rescuing the stray cats and dogs of Loreto.

Thank you to everyone I mentioned and all of those behind the scenes that worked so hard to save these two little kitties. 😻😻

It takes a village to raise a pair of kitties.......

03 July 2021
And this village has done a fantastic job of nurturing and socializing these 2 healthy, happy, playful kitties (the orange tiger is big brother to the sweet calico girl). They showed up as drop offs (with their beautiful Mama) at a friends house on May 10th.

Due to travel plans and living situations and other household pets involved none of us that have loved and taken care of these sweethearts can give them a forever home.

They are now 12 weeks old and ready to settle in to a great home - be it land or sea. They are very adaptable and a joy to be around 😻😻.

They are located near Loreto, BCS, Mexico but we are willing to help transport them to a good home anywhere on Baja or on the West Coast of the US.

Contact me with any questions and please spread the word so these two charmers can find their forever homes ❤️
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 - Bahia Candeleros
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