Cetus is at the dock!
01 August 2019 | Marina Puerto Escondido
We’ve enjoyed having a mooring buoy in the Ellipse here in Puerto Escondido for the last several months — short dinghy ride in to shore, great spot to catch the cooling SE breezes and easy in and out for going to and from where we really want to be which is out in the nearby anchorages.
But now it’s August — midway through the hurricane season here in the North East Pacific and the time when there is more likelihood of something developing that could head up our way. There have already been 6 named storms develop south of us and as is usual for early in the season they took off in a northwest direction and headed toward Hawaii.
So we have opted to secure our usual dock space in the well protected Marina Chica as we have for the past 3 years. The plan is to spend as little time here on the dock as possible since the temperatures in here are much greater due to its protected location. Out at anchor or even out on a buoy the boat swings to the wind and the breezes flow through the boat but at the dock you lose that too.
We will make good use of our time at the dock getting projects done that aren’t easily done elsewhere but hopefully the majority of our time will be enjoying life in the islands, knowing that we have this safe haven to come back to should any nasty weather threaten to come our way.
Just a little something more........
23 July 2019
Lucky little Cheeto 😻
I know, I know.......
How many times am I going to say the Big Kitty Round-up is over only to talk about catching more cats?
Well the round-up in Puerto Escondido is over. But we did lend a hand when our good friends and partners in our kitty round-up had a mother with 2 kittens show up in their yard!! Yikes! They already care for some 27 cats between their house, their courtyard and adjacent properties. That includes our 6 boatyard cats that we had to suddenly relocate.
So when Mike was presented with even more cats to contend with, we were more than happy to help out anyway we could after all he and his wife have done for us.
Trying to locate those little kittens in the thick undergrowth was pretty futile, but we had some brief glimpses and heard a few meows to know they were still there. That night Mike was able to catch the young mama and one of the kittens. Mama has been spayed and returned to the wild -- she was very feral. And Mike's wife Jean took little Cheeto in for some good socialization.
The same day Mike saw the mama and her two orange tabby kittens show up -- I saw a post on a FaceBook site saying a local cruiser was looking for an orange tabby kitten! What are the odds of that? He had a great orange tabby cat onboard his trimaran for the past 18 years, and after he passed a couple months ago he knew he needed a new cat to make things right again.
A couple days later our little Cheeto was off to a wonderful forever home -- truly a match made in heaven!
The other little orange ball of fur is yet to be caught and in the meantime Mike was told about another new mom and kittens a couple houses down and he is in the process of rescuing them. So it is a never ending job but the little successes make it all worth while.
Javier & Juanita are happy in their forever home!
06 July 2019
Together forever 💕
The flight north with the kitties went smoother than I could have hoped — they were perfect little travelers!
They went home that night with their new dad and settled in right away — we’ve been enjoying pictures and videos of them everyday as they play and explore their new home. They have even made friends with their new big sister, Jezzabelle 😻😻😻.
It couldn’t have worked out better 💕
The final Chapter of The Big Kitty Round-up
02 July 2019
Some very special kitties
This "Final Chapter" is on a much happier note than my last post on the "Final Kitty Round-up".
Because this wasn't a round-up. It didn't involve trapping and relocating our furry friends from the only home they've ever known to unknown territory, but rather moving the 3 sweet kittens (Mama Kitty's last litter) from their wonderful foster home to their fantastic forever homes!!
The only hard part about this was that all of us that knew these special kittens wished we could keep them ourselves, but none of us could due to other pets that weren't accepting, travel plans and even allergies. But that sadness was lifted when such perfect homes came up.
We were getting down to the wire as their foster parents, Anne & Tony needed to head North at the beginning of July and we hadn't found any homes. But our luck changed when our amazing vet, Dassia, took the outgoing black male who has fit perfectly into her life going between her home and her clinic with ease.
A couple days after that a home opened up that could take the last two as a pair! That couldn't be better because the little female was still very shy but thrived when she was with her big gray brother. The only hitch was this perfect forever home was in the Seattle area! And even that process was eased because another partner in crime with all this kitty business, Barbara, had transported 2 kittens up to forever homes in Washington about a year before. And the icing on the cake was that their new Daddy, Adam, wanted them so much he paid for my flight north! A double bonus is that Adam is a friend of our daughter Carly (who found the home for them) so in addition to getting the kits to their new home I get a nice visit with my daughter.
So between the tips and experience of Barbara and the preparations of Anne (not only raising them to be such good kitties, but working with them to get used to their little harnesses as well as traveling around in their carrier) our plane ride north yesterday couldn't have gone better.
There were lots of concerns and worries about the trip which was about 8 hours from the time we left our boat until they were happily exploring in Adam's car. That's a long time for two kitties to be cooped up in a carrier with lots of loud noises and moving around, including going through customs and security. But they were perfect little travelers and didn't make a peep and didn't ever seem distressed when I would frequently reach my hand in to scratch their heads reassuringly and give them some kitty treats to keep hunger at bay.
So this final chapter has a very happy ending, indeed 😻😻😻.
The Final Kitty Round-Up 😿
07 June 2019 | Marina Puerto Escondido
Our celebratory mood after catching Momma Kitty and getting her kittens into foster care was short lived because just as we thought we had everything under control with our small group of non-fertile people friendly ferals, disaster struck.
The powers that be at the marina suddenly decided they couldn't tolerate seeing any cats on the grounds -- with cat hair being the main objection. The 1st we knew of this sudden decision was when the cats food and dishes disappeared from their feeding area. The 1st time that happened we bought new supplies and moved the feeding area farther from the marina. That lasted one day before going missing so we needed to get to the bottom of it and had a meeting with the on site marina management.
That's when we were told in no uncertain terms that all the cats had to be removed from the marina property within 2 weeks (as that's when the person that objects to the cats would be back).
We have always tried to reason with the marina by explaining the many benefits of keeping this little band of good cats here, but once again that fell on deaf ears. Once these cats are removed and the population of cockroaches and rats and mice increases -- along with the strong likelihood that new fertile cats will move into the now open territory maybe they will appreciate the great service we provided the marina when we got the "out of control cat population" taken care of with the catch/neuter/release program we started here in February of 2018.
Fearing the worst for what would happen to the cats if we didn't remove them we immediately started catching them. With nowhere to take them on such short notice we released them temporarily on to a friends property where we hope to feed and maintain them until we can find permanent homes. It has been heart wrenching having to take these cats away from the home they've enjoyed for many years and it's so sad not to see the happy faces of these cats we've watched grow from tiny kittens over the 9 years we've been coming into Puerto Escondido. If you've ever seen "Harry and the Henderson's" you will know what I mean.
So, unfortunately our work here continues, but now with heavy hearts.
21 May 2019
Dassia checking out the kittens
The three beautiful kitties from Mama's last litter had their 1st check up and 1st shots this morning when our wonderful vet, Dassia, took the time to see them today even though she was checking in to the hospital this afternoon to have her 2nd baby delivered tomorrow! Talk about love and dedication! 💕💕💕
And then we delivered them to their new foster home and we couldn't be happier with the ideal situation these three fur balls are in with their very experienced and loving foster mom Anne!
We have been so blessed to find so many wonderful people to help us with the Big Kitty Round-Up here in Puerto Escondido -- from hands on help with trapping, feeding and fostering to monetary donations as well as food and supply donations and even toys!!
It does indeed take a village to raise a kitten 😻 thank you all!
The Tail of Mama Kitty
19 May 2019
Mama Kitty’s Last Litter
A year and a half and three litters later we finally caught and spayed the infamous Mama Kitty -- completing our catch/neuter/release program in the boatyard here in Puerto Escondido which we have affectionately called "The Big Kitty Round-up".
Mama Kitty was notorious not only for ability to escape capture and procreate but for her nasty disposition as well. All the other cats feared her and would run from a food dish if she approached and she would swing and hiss at any cat walking in front of her. She scared us too -- especially when we were trying to track down her kittens. That's where Mama Kitty's tail became so important -- because she, like several others in the boatyard group, is a tiger stripe tabby. So in the dark or from a distance it could be hard to distinguish one from another except that Mama had a distinctive white tip on the end of her tail!
I suspect that her poor disposition had a lot to do with the fact she was always either in heat, pregnant or nursing and protecting little kitties. So the hope is that she will now be able to relax and enjoy an easier life as the other cats have once they made that important trip to the vet and we will no longer fear the cat with the white tipped tail.
Now once we find homes for these 3 darling little fur balls our work here will be done 😻😻😻.
Under the Sea
04 May 2019
The beautiful Cortez Angelfish
We managed to spend most of the month of April enjoying swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, beautiful sunrises and sunsets and watching all the dolphin, Grebes, Pelicans and other birds entertain us in various anchorages.
The first half of the month found us moving around a bit to stay protected from some blustery winds and we stayed on the Southside of Isla Coronados while the Northers blew, then when west winds were predicted we tucked in near the beach at Nopoló.
Finally by mid month the weather settled in to a nice Southeasterly pattern making it perfect to hang out for a week in one of our favorite spots: Bahia Marquer on Isla Carmen.
After our great "vacation" we are back on a mooring buoy in Puerto Escondido to get back "to work" planning out a good strategy to catch the elusive Mama Kitty -- but first we have to catch and find a home for the darling little kitten she presented us with 🙀 recently.
So on it goes.......
Cetus is sailing again!
06 April 2019 | Isla Coronados
After many months in Marina Puerto Escondido we completed the boat projects and the chilly winter weather has warmed into Spring so we are off to enjoy the beautiful anchorages in the Sea of Cortez!
We were so happy to raise the mainsail and find no surprises — like bees or bats that sometimes will find refuge in the folds of a sail that’s been under wraps for many months. It felt great to put full sail up and turn off the engine and enjoy slipping through the water under wind power.
As the wind died and we were getting ready to motor in to our 1st destination (Bahia Marquer on Isla Carmen) Terry saw a lot of activity ahead and we were soon surrounded by flocks of Pelicans and other birds diving into the water and a huge pod of dolphin! And to top it off a lone whale also passed by! It was the perfect start to our little “vacation”.
We are now settled in for a few days at Isla Coronados to enjoy the swimming, snorkeling, hiking and kayaking that this small island has to offer.
So good to be back on the water again!
A new year and a new look for Cetus!
31 January 2019 | Marina Puerto Escodido
Happy New Year from the Cetus Crew!
After our crazy Christmas Day bash from Salinas to Juncalito we headed up to one of our favorite anchorages to sit out a Norther: Isla Coronados.
We enjoyed hiking around the island for several relaxing days and when the norther died down we hoisted our anchor and headed back in to Marina Chica in Puerto Escondido and enjoyed New Years Eve with friends.
We decided to keep the boat at the dock to make it easier for Terry to get boat projects done while I flew to Seattle to house and critter sit for our daughter and her husband as they went on their yearly mid January sun break vacation.
While I was gone Terry was busy preparing the blue stripe on Cetus for repainting. We originally added the blue stripe in 2008 changing Cetus’ look from her original all white hull. Now it was time for a fresh coat of paint — but I thought it was time for another change and I convinced Terry to switch from the blue to a Steel Grey.
So once I returned from the States we got busy painting. Terry had even gotten the tedious taping done in addition to all of the surface prep — so we were rolling and tipping in no time!
Changing the color turned it in to a much bigger project than if we would have merely put on a new coat of blue, but with one side done we are both happy with the fresh new look and feel it was worth it.
Once this painting is finally wrapped up it will be off to the nearby islands for some R&R!
Oh what a night! A Christmas to remember
27 December 2018 | Bahia Salinas, Isla Carmen to Juncalito, BCS
DreamCatcher peacefully anchored in Bahia Salinas Christmas Day
After enjoying a wonderful Christmas Eve in Marquer the next morning we, along with DreamCatcher, upped anchor and headed for a new anchorage because west winds were predicted for that night and Marquer is wide open to the west.
We chose to go around to the other side of Isla Carmen to an old favorite of ours, Bahia Salinas. Salinas is well protected from all but the south, and this time of year you don't often get southerlies and none were in the forecasts we'd checked.
After a pleasant day motoring around the island we dropped our anchors just off the long white sand beach of Salinas. Plans were made for Christmas dinner aboard DreamCatcher -- Barbara would be cooking ribs and after a nice swim, I put together a potato salad.
It was during that swim that we started feeling a bit of swell (rolling waves) coming in from the south along with a light southerly breeze. We were a bit surprised by the swell, but brushed it off as the wind just clocking around from the north heading to the predicted west.
As the afternoon went on the swell was increasing instead of shifting and decreasing and we were no longer in a comfortable anchorage. The swell rocked both our boats, first hobby horsing then as the west wind picked up we turned sideways to the swell and began rocking side to side. Not good! That would be no way to spend a night and we had no idea when it would end since it hadn't been predicted in the first place.
So following DreamCatcher's lead we upped anchor at 5:30 and headed out of what had become not only an uncomfortable situation but potentially dangerous if the swell didn't calm down.
At first we were hopeful that we could just get out to deeper water and re-anchor where the effect of the swell wouldn't be as great, but it was soon clear that wasn't an option as we were still pounding in to waves as we left the bay.
The next big question was where to go?
That would have been easy had it been daylight -- there's a little bay around the corner with protection from both the west and the south, but with the sun setting there was no way we could navigate into an unfamiliar anchorage in the dark. So the safest course was to follow our track on our GPS chart plotter and head out the way we came. It was a long slow bash back down to the southern tip of Carmen but by 10:00 we were finally out of those nasty waves!
Once on the other side we could evaluate our choices of where to go. We'd had some westerly gusts in the high 20's but were now in 10 - 12 knots which would be very comfortable anywhere.
DreamCatcher, who was about 1/2 hour ahead of us opted to go back in to home base in Puerto Escondido and we were tempted to follow suit, but another west protected anchorage was just a little further and we still had a GPS track in there from last month when we hid from a strong westerly there. Let me note for you non-sailors that when an anchorage is protected from a direction of wind you still get the wind but you don't have any fetch or distance for that wind to create big waves which is what you really want to avoid.
So with the comfortable conditions and re-checking the forecast which was promising 14 knots from the west (but knowing gusts could be higher) we headed into Juncalito. With tracks on two GPS's and the radar as a 3rd set of eyes we easily made it in to our old anchoring spot. But wouldn't you know it, just as Terry started lowering the anchor the gusts began! First in the 20's and before we were done we had one at 32!
No problema though -- the anchor was down and dug in tight and within an hour the winds were down and we were off to bed by midnight. We had a few gusts in the night and Terry got up to check everything out several times but we got some good sleep in the end.
This crazy cruising life isn't always sunny beaches and beautiful sunsets -- but it's always an adventure.
Feliz Navidad from the Cetus Crew!!
25 December 2018 | Isla Carmen
We are happily enjoying a peaceful Christmas out at anchor in one of our favorite anchorages: Bahia Marquer on Isla Carmen.
After a month on the dock in Puerto Escondido working on a big boat project it was heavenly to get out here yesterday and once again swim in the Sea! For me that’s the perfect Christmas present.
We wish you all health and happiness this holiday season.
Merry Christmas everyone!!!
Mama Mia! Here we go again!
18 November 2018
Mama Kittiy’s latest: little Gecko!
My last post was nearly a month ago and at that time we were just getting ready to begin what we hoped to be the final phase of the big kitty round-up here in Puerto Escondido.
But life got in the way and I flew to the States for a couple weeks to stay with a friend who went in for shoulder surgery only to find she had a huge non-malignant brain tumor! She had that removed a few days after the shoulder surgery and she is doing great! So I'm back in PE and we are hoping to get the unfinished business with the kitties wrapped up.
Back in July we thought we were done with the kitty business as all the kittens from the two mama's that we couldn't catch had good homes and the two mama's were gone -- Oscar had gotten herself electrocuted 😿 and the other got in the trunk of a car and relocated somewhere when the people opened their trunk and out jumped Mama Kitty!
Well, a couple months later at the beginning of September, lo and behold Mama Kitty was back! And true to form she had a kitten with her! Oh no not again! At least this time there was only one.
As we were making plans to catch the kitty and what to do with it, our hand was forced as one day we found out it had fallen in the water next to a bridge in the canal and had climbed out into a small crack at the base of the bridge just above the waterline! And of course it was during a raging norther making the water rough and harder to navigate, but Terry enlisted the help of a good friend with a panga and they nudged it into the corner of the bridge and Terry reached in to the small crack and eventually got hold of the sweet, wet and scared kitty! Success!
We have found a forever home for her in Loreto! But that won't be ready until the 25th, so in the meantime our wonderful friends on DreamCatcher took on fostering her just as they had done with the other 7 kitties born on our watch. This time George & Barbara have a new dynamic added to the fostering as they now have their own kitty onboard: Senor Flaco! He was one of dear Oscar's kitties and is an amazing boat cat and will be the perfect mentor for our little Gecko 😻.
Now we still have to somehow catch and spay Mama Kitty -- which hasn't been too successful in the past. And we also are concerned that a bobtail cat that showed up several months ago and we thought must be a male may, in fact, be female 🙀. So like Oscar who we thought was a male unti she had kittens we may be going the same route with "Bob"!
Here we go again!!
Life is good in Puerto Escondido!
23 October 2018 | Marina Puerto Escondido
Our morning welcoming committee
Sergio hit this area with stronger winds than we'd anticipated so we were happy we'd made the choice to tuck back into our slip in the well protected Marina Chica. We were also happy that the force of the storm hit during daylight hours -- don't those things usually hit in the middle of the night? And the rain held off till after the winds had calmed too so it was much easier to deal with adjusting dock lines and keeping an eye on everything without blinding blowing rain in the 50 and 60 knot gusts. Things were a little bit crazier in the main harbor where the fetch had the waves building to 4 feet and the wind blowing spewm off the top of the waves. 2 unattended boats broke free of their moorings -- luckily neither hit any other boats on their way to shore and the beautiful schooner was doubly blessed when it made its landing in soft sand.
Since then we've fallen into a nice comfortable pattern of morning walks with friends and often an afternoon snorkel/swim outside the harbor. And always puttering away at boat projects in between. The big project the last 2 days was finally getting the sails back on since it appears we may have seen the last of the hurricanes for this year. Cetus is a sailboat once again!
Now we plan to get out and enjoy the beautiful anchorages on the nearby islands for a couple days before once again tackling the "final" phase of the kitty round-up. More on that later 😺.
The boomerang named Sergio
07 October 2018 | Marina Puerto Escondido
We were all breathing a big sigh of relief as this hurricane season is winding down with nothing big threatening the Baja Peninsula — and the latest hurricane that formed was on its way west already far far away....
And then it took a u-turn and is headed back our way!
Sergio is predicted to cross the Baja Peninsula late this week — the biggest question is with what intensity. Hopefully it will do what it’s sister Rosa did a couple weeks ago and be nothing more than a lot of rain when it reaches land.
But hurricanes tend to make their own rules often at the last minute — so we will keep our eyes on Sergio and as always prepare for the worst but hope for the best 😁.
Home Again Home Again
30 September 2018 | Puerto Escondido
Nearly 2 months and 6,300 miles later we are finally back aboard Cetus in Puerto Escondido!
We had fun traveling and visiting family and friends but there truly is 'No place like home'.
We actually arrived in Puerto Escondido on Monday September 24th, but as usual we had a big project planned for the boat before we could officially move back on.
We installed a new auxiliary fuel tank to increase our diesel storage and the best place for it is under our bed -- thus the need to stay at Hotel Tripui for a few days until we actually had a bed again!
The project went smoothly since Terry had it well planned out and had already done the tedious work of running hoses and wires. We built a shelf for the tank, installed and secured it then did a test run on filling the new tank. Terry had devised a pump system that transfers fuel from the main tank to the auxiliary tank for storage then returns it to the main tank when needed -- it worked like a charm!
We moved back aboard on Friday the 28th and we're now hoping to get back out to the main harbor on a buoy tomorrow! Life will be cooler out there because one of the things that makes this little marina such an ideal place to keep a boat during hurricane season is the lack of wind due to its inland location...... needless to say it's a bit warm back here.
The Cetus Crew is back! 😎😁😺
Cetus and Pacific together again!
06 August 2018 | Puerto Escondido, BCS, Mexico
The temperatures are rising in the Sea of Cortez, so for the 3rd year we've tucked Cetus away in the safety of Marina Chica at Puerto Escondido so the Cetus Crew can take a road-trip to cooler climates during August and September.
14 July 2018
Terry's two sailing travel-adventure novels have been out of print for a number of years now -- we've been waiting to reprint once he completes the third book of the trilogy and all three will come together as one book.
In the meantime we have made the original two available once again as eBooks for your reading pleasure. These humorous novels are based on our family's real life adventures sailing through Mexico, Hawaii and the South Pacific.
Simply search Terry J Kotas on Amazon.com and you'll find the eBooks as well as a few paperbacks that are still available from various sellers.
To learn more about his books please check out our web page:
Cetus Media Works
Phase 2 of the Kitty Round Up is officially done!!
07 July 2018 | Marina Puerto Escondido
On my last update on the Kitty Round Up, we had just gotten the last of Oscar's kittens out of the hole in the ground and they were being happily fostered aboard Dreamcatcher until they were old enough to go to forever homes. Well, that day has come! All 4 have found wonderful homes -- the first went to a lady in Loreto, and George and Barbara are keeping the adventurous black & white named Flaco, so that left the 2 small ones we called the Siamese twins. The other day Mike & Jean (our other partners in crime on the kitty round up) decided they would take those sweethearts in -- to add to the mix of 21 cats they already care for!!
Then we were facing the daunting task of trying to catch Mama and Oscar to have them spayed now that they were no longer nursing their kitties. This task was made more difficult because the old abandoned condo buildings where we had been feeding the cats were finally torn down, so our prime catching grounds were gone. So we continued to feed in a new area to get everyone used to that so we could attempt to trap them in that area.
Suddenly Mama wasn't showing up for feedings any more..... not knowing where she'd gone we started focusing on Oscar and tried luring her over to the area the kittens had last been and we spent some time there with the trap -- but no Oscar!! Were they on to us? Had they gone into hiding?
Then we heard a sad story from the harbor master. A cat had been found dead. It appeared it fell into the water and climbing out got into an electrical box. The description fit our dear Oscar and we were so sad to lose that strange and special cat that we had spent so much time with first trying to trap "him" and then searching for "her" kittens. RIP Oscar.
He related another story which may answer what became of Mama. One day someone left a trunk open on their car for a bit and then when they took off and closed the trunk they had inadvertently trapped a cat inside! Not knowing this they drove away and at some point in their travels opened up the trunk and out jumped a cat and ran away. So, we can't be sure it was Mama, but she's the only one we know that is missing........
So now we are in the final, but ongoing, phase of the cat business here: keeping them fed and watered and hopefully finding homes for some of them. Being feral they wouldn't make good house cats, but would be great outdoor cats on a ranch, in a barn, or even a big yard. They are all used to humans and some will even approach for a pet or two and all would be good at keeping the rodent and cockroach population down as they do here in the marina area.
And so it goes...........
Waiting for Bud
14 June 2018 | Marina Puerto Escondido
Angry clouds gathering
Hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific (where we are) officially begins May 15th. But, most hurricanes that develop don’t threaten the Baja peninsula until August or September.
Every now and then Mother Nature throws a curve ball — and she did again this year when Hurricane Bud headed north for Baja instead of west out to sea as the early ones usually do.
Luckily the Sea of Cortez stayed cool through May so the water isn’t too warm this June to be inviting.
Hurricanes follow warm water as we learned long ago when we encountered our first hurricane, Iniki, anchored off Mala Wharf near Lahaina on Maui.
At that time, being new to the game, we wouldn’t have imagined a hurricane could hit Hawaii! But a French lady on a nearby boat that had been through one there 10 years earlier warned us, “the vater it is too warm! It es hurricane weather!”
We heeded her advice and prepared best we could and to this day we stay aware of the water temps as an indicator of the danger of hurricanes.
And again we have prepared for the worst in case Hurricane Bud does come this way (he’s already just a tropical depression — basically just a storm) but we weren’t really too worried because the water wasn’t too warm. Thank you Francois for that piece of advice 25 years ago!