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!
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 ❤️
It’s that time of year again!
26 June 2021
It seems a bit early to be having to watch out for hurricanes heading toward Baja -- but with Washington State experiencing record breaking temps in the 100's this weekend anything is possible!
Normally these early hurricanes head west into the Pacific but Enrique seems to want to head straight up the Mexican coast. At this point it is expected to degenerate to a Tropical Storm south of Cabo San Lucas, but as with all weather forecasts that can always change and no matter what they think will happen you get what you get.
So as always we will keep our eye on it and if it becomes a threat we will prepare for the worst and pray for the best. Hopefully it will just bring some much needed rain to the area.
A little R&R for the Cetus Crew 🤩
02 May 2021 | Bahia Marquer, Isla Carmen
Rosie relaxing in her hammock
After a busy couple months we were happy to get out to one of our favorite anchorages and catch our breath.
We made the long drive north starting out on March 8th and on March 12th we got our 1st dose of the COVID vaccine!
The following 2 weeks were spent doing all of our long over due doctor appointments and working on clearing some junk out of our storage locker while we socially distanced.
We were able to safely visit family we hadn't seen in over a year and enjoyed time at Carly's working in her yard -- when it wasn't snowing!
The time went too quickly but we started the drive south on April 16th -- 2 weeks after our 2nd shot (we were fully faxed!).
We'd originally planned to take a more leisurely drive on our return visiting friends along the way, but we needed to get back to Cetus to start arranging where to keep her this summer when we return to the States for knee replacement surgery for Terry. We will have more time for visiting then.
Once back in Puerto Escondido we had lots of unpacking and stowing to do so we enjoyed a week in Marina Chica to make that a little easier.
With the work and driving behind us for awhile we're out enjoying a couple days swimming and relaxing in beautiful Marquer 😎.
Adventures Aboard S/V Casablanca by Terry J. Kotas
08 April 2021
Sail on with Rick and crew!
The exciting sequel to Adventures Aboard Rick's Place
is back in print!
Adventures Aboard S/V Casablanca
is once again available in paperback and eBook through Amazon.com
as well as the publisher Black Rose Writing
. Order your copy today!
Check out our webpage Cetus Media Works
for more info on both books as well as the 3rd book in this offshore sailing trilogy, Adventures Off the Beaten Path
, which is scheduled for release September 9, 2021.
Adventures Aboard Rick's Place by Terry J. Kotas
07 April 2021
Come sail across the South Pacific with Rick and Jack!
Terry's 1st offshore sailing adventure novel is back in print!
Adventures Aboard Rick's Place
is now available in paperback and eBook through Amazon.com
as well as the publisher Black Rose Writing
. Order your copy today!
Check out our webpage Cetus Media Works
for more info on Rick's Place and the other two books in his Adventure Trilogy.
Coming September 9, 2021!
01 April 2021
Sail on, Sail on, Sailor
Adventures Off the Beaten Path
will complete Terry's fun Travel Adventure Trilogy and it's now available for preorder through the publisher, Black Rose Writing
The first two books, Adventures Aboard Rick's Place
and Adventures Aboard S/V Casablanca
will be re-released on April 6, 2021 with fresh new covers tying the series together. They are also available for preorder and you can get all the details on our website Cetus Media Works
2021 Update from The Cetus Crew
18 February 2021 | Marina Puerto Escondido
Social Distancing Baja Style
We are now 40 days into 2021 and so far things seem a bit brighter than 2020 (unless you're in Texas!). For even though we are still in the grips of the COVID pandemic the vaccines are rolling out giving hope to someday being out of this mess.
Things for us here in Puerto Escondido are still pretty much the same as they have been for the past year -- we are safe and sane and practicing distancing, disinfecting and wearing our masks. We are thankful to be in an area where it is easy to isolate on the boat out at the anchorages as well as being able to visit with friends socially distanced in the open air when we are in at the marina.
And now the vaccines have arrived in Loreto! Friends are getting them already so it is very exciting.
We are finally planning our long delayed trip to Washington for our Dr. apts that we missed last year. Knowing full well something could cause us to reschedule again we are shooting for mid March to make the drive. But with family and friends already getting vaccinated in Washington we are looking forward to being able to safely visit them in addition to our scheduled appointments.
We'll be driving the "new" route up Baja on Mex 5 which is now complete and everyone driving it gives it rave reviews. Better, wider roads and it avoids going through Ensenada and takes you up through San Felipe instead.
In addition to preparing for the upcoming trip
we have also been busy working with Terry's publisher, Black Rose Writing, preparing his books for publication. We just completed the editing process for his first book, Adventures Aboard Rick's Place
so they should be able to release the 2nd edition soon. Check out our web page Cetus Media Works
for release dates or more information on his fun adventure books.
Happy New Year from the Cetus Crew!
07 January 2021 | Marina Puerto Escondido
A New Day Dawns
Wishing everyone a brighter year filled with hope and health!
As I mentioned in my Christmas blog, one thing we are excited about aboard Cetus
this year is the publication of Terry's latest book, Adventures Off the Beaten Path
scheduled to launch in September!
This week we found out that the publisher, Black Rose Writing, will re-release his first two books this summer!
To learn more about Terry's Adventure Trilogy
go to our web page:
Cetus Media Works
As for our immediate future we plan to remain in the Loreto area using a buoy in Marina Puerto Escondido as our home base as we safely distance ourselves, as COVID is on the rise in the area following the Christmas Holidays.
We are also looking forward to finally being able to travel north again to visit family and friends we haven't been able to see in over a year.
Cheers to 2021!
May it bring healing and peace to all.
Merry Christmas from the Cetus Crew!
25 December 2020 | Marina Puerto Escondido
Cetus lighting up the night
Happy Holidays to all!
Hope you are able to find some joy in these strange days of COVID.
We are missing friends and family but we are hopeful that we will soon be able to travel again to see everyone.
In the meantime we are thankful to be here in the Sea of Cortez where its easy for us to stay socially distanced and safe aboard the good ship Cetus.
The biggest worry here is with the tourists that are flocking down from the hot spots in the States and think they are leaving COVID behind them and don't bother to wear masks (even though it is the law here now -- punishable by fines and jail time!). So we avoid places where the tourists would be and keep our trips to town to a minimum for groceries and such.
We've been spending most of our time on the buoy in the Ellipse here in Marina Puerto Escondido due to a series of Norther's that have been blowing pretty regularly but we are hoping to get out to the islands again real soon. It's getting chilly for swimming, but it's still a wonderful escape to get out and enjoy nature and forget about masks for awhile.
One more thing we are looking forward to this year is the publication of Terry's 3rd book!
Adventures Off the Beaten Path has been accepted by Black Rose Writing and is scheduled for release at the end of the summer.
Wishing you all a bright and Happy New Year filled with Hope and Health! Enjoy!
Out and About in the Sea of Cortez
27 November 2020
Using a buoy in the Ellipse of Puerto Escondido as home base we've been enjoying getting out to some of our old favorite anchorages this past month as often as possible. We want to take advantage of the good weather while we can as it is getting colder every day now.
We visited Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante, Marquer on Isla Carmen, the South Anchorage of Isla Coronados and lovely Juncalito just north of Puerto Escondido.
We swam, snorkeled and enjoyed sunrises and sunsets. We watched birds and dolphin and the occasional turtle.
Nights were spent watching the sky for Space Station fly overs as well as other satellites and of course the meteor showers! So nice to be out in the middle of nature again.
Now we are back on our buoy where we enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving dinner yesterday followed by socially distanced drinks and desserts with friends in Marina Chica. We will hang out here until the Norther that's starting up today winds itself down and then we'll go out and do it again.
Home again, home again
11 October 2020 | Marina Chica, Puerto Escondido
Cetus all dressed up and ready to go!
So happy to be back aboard Cetus and sleeping in our own bed and cooking in our own kitchen!
There are definitely a few things I’ll miss from our land life at the apartment in Tripui — most importantly the donkeys right next to us! Best entertainment ever!
Tomorrow we’ll get away from the dock and out on a buoy! That will be a nice change as we will once again be able to open the boat up and keep cool with the nice breezes flowing through the boat — something that you just don’t get back here in Marina Chica. We’ve managed to stay comfortable running the a/c unit we bought so we could work inside the boat while it was on the hard, but it’s very confining having to keep windows and hatches closed. We will miss the unlimited water and power and our good friends on DreamCatcher, but we, as well as Rosie, will be very happy to go in and out easily again. You see, the a/c unit sits in our cockpit hatch so Rosie has to be lifted in and out and we have to perform acrobatics to get to and from the cockpit. We will get to enjoy the outdoors again!
The next step will be heading out to the anchorages — then we will really feel at home again!
Almost Home! We splash tomorrow!
01 October 2020 | Marina Puerto Escondido
Cetus with her pretty new barrier coat!
Phase 3 and 4 of the Big Bottom Job are complete!
The hot weather helped dry the blisters on the hull quickly so they were able to get the epoxy filled in and the barrier coat painted on in great time.
Yesterday they finished painting the new gray stripe on the waterline and today they are finishing the last of the anti fouling bottom paint. So she is already to go back in the water.
We've spent the last month and a half with lots of projects: repainting Kiwi grip on the decks and cockpit, sanding and refinishing teak inside and out, deep cleaning fans and headliner (thank you Terry!!), sewing new slip covers for inside and outside cushions and much, much more. The old girl has gotten quite a facelift this year.
Tomorrow Cetus will be a boat again, but we won't actually move back aboard until October 8th when our time runs out here at the apartment in Tripui. That gives us ample time to load everything (sails, cushions, kayak, life raft, etc etc) back down and get everything sparkling clean and stowed away.
Then we will finally be home again!
Cetus is on the hard!
09 August 2020 | Marina Seca Puerto Escondido
like a fish out of water.........
Our Phase 2 of the Big Boat Bottom Job officially began on July 31st when they lifted Cetus out of the water and placed her in the boat yard at Marina Puerto Escondido.
This phase of the project is where the workers strip the old paint off the bottom first with a heavy duty paint remover and then by sanding. This will open up the blisters and prepare the surface for new paint.
They've been working hard every day and we're hoping they will be through with this phase by the end of this week.
In the meantime we are getting as much done as we can on the boat. Terry has already completed many projects: greasing thru hulls, sanding and repainting the prop and other important mechanical maintenance chores.
I am moving right along on getting all the closets, cupboards, drawers and shelves cleaned out, organized and inventoried. I've completed the V-Berth and am over halfway through the main salon on my stem to stern cleaning and purging venture.
Once the guys are done with the sanding of the hull it needs to simply sit and let the little blisters dry out for several weeks before they can move to Phase 3 which is to repair the blisters (fill with epoxy) and then paint the bottom, first with a new barrier coat and then new anti-fowling paint.
During the drying period (approximately 6 weeks) Terry and I will continue on with the other projects on our list including putting a fresh coat of Kiwi Grip on the non-skid decks, some exterior painting in the cockpit and rub-rail, waxing the hull and sanding and refinishing some inside teak. I also have several sewing projects that I will be able to work on in the little apartment: making new cushion covers and two new wind scoops.
We feel very fortunate we were able to get this comfortable living space so close to the boatyard so we can go back and forth easily maximizing our time for working on the projects as well as keeping an eye on the progress the workers are making.
Since we left our dinghy in the water it isn't all work and no play for the Cetus Crew and we got out for a nice snorkel just outside the harbor yesterday! And Hotel Tripui has a beautiful pool that we've been able to enjoy in the evenings.
So far the COVID situation is staying pretty stable here, too. There are more on the recovered list (146) with only 51 active cases and just 3 deaths reported. This could change as more tourist activities open up bringing visitors from the US and Mainland Mexico, which both are hotspots. But where we are it is pretty easy to avoid crowds and we will continue to practice distancing and disinfecting as well as wearing our masks so we still feel we are in a very safe place.
And we have also been lucky so far on the summer storm front. Very little Chubasco activity in the Sea and not much tropical storm/hurricane activity down south yet.
So we will keep on keeping on plugging away on projects and enjoying life and staying safe and sane and hope you all can do the same.
Isolation Vacation is over and it's back to the barn for Cetus!
19 July 2020 | Puerto Escondido, BCS, Mexico
Cetus tucked in to her slip in Marina Chica
We enjoyed one last sunrise swim at Bahia Marquer Saturday morning before hoisting the anchor and heading back into Puerto Escondido for Phase 1 of the big haul-out.
So for the next couple weeks we will be tackling all the little chores necessary to get Cetus ready to be lifted out of the water for 2 months on the hard.
The first order of business was to install an air conditioning unit to keep the temps inside livable for the next week while we're still onboard here in the marina. Next week we will be in the little apartment at nearby Hotel Tripui but we will still be coming down to work on the boat everyday and we will also need the a/c while doing inside work when she's in the yard beginning the first of August.
So while we'd much rather be out isolating in the islands we are enjoying the "luxuries" of dock life: unlimited water and power!
And we are looking forward to the next couple months finally being able to get lots of projects done while living in the small apartment that has other little luxuries such as a full size refrigerator!
On the COVID front it seems cases here are going down with more recovered than active cases and only 3 deaths in the Loreto area. That said I don't know that testing is very extensive, but it is a small community and I haven't heard any alarming reports.
For the most part everyone is keeping with the masks, distancing and disinfecting routines, however, as in the States, some are slacking off and the most worrisome is that they have started opening back up to tourism with flights going to and from the States once again.
While we won't be out in the islands we feel confident that we can still stay safe -- it just takes a little more thought than when we're out on the boat far from everything.
So we will be wearing our masks, distancing, disinfecting and washing our hands and hope all of you are doing the same.
Stay Safe and Sane!
On to Plan C! Or is it Plan D?
22 June 2020
Cetus on our buoy in Puerto Escondido
Way back in February of 2019 -- which at this point seems like about 100 years ago -- we started making plans to haul Cetus out of the water for some bottom work.
It was a little more than the 3 day in and out to simply put a fresh coat of bottom paint on as we have some minor blisters to repair, which requires more time out of the water to grind down old paint and open up the blisters and give the whole thing plenty of time to dry out -- maybe about 6 weeks.
So we figured it would be at least 2 months out of the water and we started planning on coordinating that out of water time with an extended trip north to Washington to do our Dr apts and visit friends and family.
First thought was to do it that spring, but since the weather down here in the Sea is so perfect at that time we decided to just go up and do our Dr apts at that time and then haul her out and go up for our visiting in late September/early October.
As that time approached California and Northern Baja started having wildfires all along our route, and then early snows started coming to the passes! Scratch that plan.
We then scheduled everything for March of 2020, but once again decided we just didn't want to miss the spring in the Sea of Cortez and pushed everything to July. Shortly after we changed those dates COVID struck and we were so thankful we'd altered plans when we did or we would have been traveling into the States just as the virus was a raging unknown factor. We were better off to stay down here and self isolate aboard Cetus in the anchorages near Puerto Escondido.
With all the uncertainty of what would happen we kept our July schedule just waiting to see if it would be possible to do the haul-out and drive to Washington then. So about a week ago we felt it was time to evaluate the situation and make a decision.
Not comfortable with the thought of driving to and spending time in Washington just yet as COVID cases are spiking a bit, we thought we should put off the trip north to a more stable time. In addition, nearby Loreto just reported its first cases at the beginning of June so we felt we were safer to stay put instead of making the drive up Baja.
So we decided to do the haul-out in August-September, but instead of tying it to our trip north we will stay down here in a nice little apartment at nearby Hotel Tripui (where we often stay while doing boat work).
So that's the current plan and reservations are made and we are actually quite happy with the decision. Not only will we be off the boat in the hottest months of summer, but we will be able to oversee all the work the yard is doing on the bottom of the boat as well as getting a chance for us to work on the interior, cleaning and refinishing Cetus from stem to stern. As you can imagine many projects just aren't comfortable to do in such a small space when you are living aboard.
Of course the huge downside is not getting to see family and friends....... but that's no different than what everyone has been having to deal with in these strange times.
But with our new plan, we will have the boat work done and we will be much more flexible to go north whenever the timing looks good.
So we'll just cross our fingers and say some prayers that Plan D works out!
Still Social Distancing in Bahia Marquer
18 May 2020 | Bahia Marquer, Isla Carmen in the Sea of Cortez
Social Distancing at its finest
A month ago we were getting ready to head into Puerto Escondido despite the news that once in port we would have to stay there as the Navy didn't want boats just going to and from the islands.
Luckily they changed that decree right away when they made the distinction between pleasure boats and boats that are homes. It was still OK for us to go out and Self Isolate in our homes as long as we minded the rules and stayed off the beaches. Fair enough.
We have been very fortunate to have perfect weather to stay here at Marquer on Isla Carmen enjoying the afternoon SE breezes keeping things very comfortable. We do get to swim and snorkel off the boat and the water is getting warmer and clearer everyday.
The biggest change in the anchorages from other years is the number of boats. As I mentioned before many more boats came to Baja this year at the time many boats usually leave. So instead of having the anchorage to ourselves or with only 1 or 2 other boats, we sometimes have as many as 10 -12. But Marquer is roomy and everyone spreading out nicely keeping that social distancing going.
We have been into PE a couple times this past month for some provisioning and visiting and they have maintained all the safety procedures as far as masks and distancing and checking everyone going into town. And so far this is still the only area on Baja that is COVID free!
The government has extended the quarantine on Baja but we have heard that there will be some relaxing of rules starting today as far as businesses opening etc.
We will be heading in to our buoy tomorrow for another supply run so it will be interesting to see what's changed since our last visit 10 days ago.
Here, just like everywhere, we just have to go with the flow and not make any big plans -- just wait and see what changes each day brings.
We are well aware that while we are comfortable in our home and we are all weathering the same storm we are not all in the same boat. Our hearts go out to those that are struggling financially and emotionally or have lost loved ones or have become ill themselves due to this terrible pandemic.
We look forward to seeing friends and family in happier days in whatever "new normal" comes along and in the meantime stay safe and sane wherever you are.
The times they are a changin'
17 April 2020
Boats lining the southern anchorage of Isla Coronados
When COVID-19 began to sweep across the United States in March we made the decision that we would stay here in the Sea of Cortez aboard Cetus since she is our home. At that point there weren't any known cases of the virus here on the Baja Peninsula, though we fully expected that to change as it had so suddenly in other countries.
By March 15th people down here in Puerto Escondido and Loreto were still cautiously gathering and pretty much going about business as usual but keeping some semblance of social distancing and doing a lot of hand-washing, but not feeling too much of the threat that we were hearing about in the States.
We had heard through the radio nets that many boats were heading up to Puerto Escondido this year because they thought this would be a safer place to be than the bigger cities and crowded marinas of mainland Mexico and even La Paz. In addition, hundreds of boats had to abandon their dreams of sailing to the South Pacific this year as those island nations were closing down to visitors, including cruising sailboats and many of those boats found themselves now looking for a place to stay.
So when we headed out to the islands on March 20th to self isolate for a couple weeks we paid for a buoy to insure we would have a place to return to if the crowds of boats arrived.
We had a great time out enjoying the wildlife and swimming and hiking around the islands and reluctantly went back in to the buoy on April 2nd to do some re-provisioning, empty our garbage and catch up with friends.
There was a whole new feeling about the marina when we returned. All of the workers were now wearing face masks and social distancing and sanitizing and disinfecting were much more pronounced. Grocery stores in Loreto were limiting the number of customers that could enter at one time and even having special early morning hours for seniors when the store was freshly sanitized. And now we were all getting cloth face-masks and wearing gloves. Our little world was changing rapidly, but we were still virus free in this area, though some cases and even a few deaths had occurred on southern Baja in Cabo and La Paz.
We were relieved to head back out to the islands on April 7th putting all the worries of distancing and disinfecting behind us. This time out we didn't go to shore to hike the islands as the government has closed the beaches.
Easter Week is a special time for Mexicans, who enjoy flocking to the beaches to camp and party -- so rules were made to keep people at home and safe, since people also come from mainland Mexico and the US to join in the festivities and they could easily bring the dreaded virus with them. So the Governor of Baja and the mayors of the towns have all been very proactive in trying to keep the virus at bay.
They also have an excellent web site set up for information on COVID-19 that tells everything you need to know to stay safe as well as telling the signs and symptoms with a phone number to call if you think you might have it and they will come to you. It also displays up to date stats on the number of cases and deaths by area on Baja. We feel fortunate to be in an area that is doing all it can to keep its population safe.
Here, as everywhere, it is devastating to the economy and especially at this time of year which is usually the high tourist season on Baja. Restaurants have closed or gone to take out menus and other non essential businesses have closed. They have even declared a dry state and liquor sales were first limited to certain hours and now are stopped all together.
Its heartwarming to see the community pulling together to help each other -- locals and gringos alike. We read about all of the acts of kindness being shown such as volunteers cleaning up, adding more beds and stocking up supplies at the small hospital in Loreto, restaurants donating meals to those in need, and on and on.
A couple days ago the small villages along the Baja started closing themselves off from visitors by land and Sea. Some popular anchorages are off of those villages, some are just asking people to not come ashore, but a few are politely asking boats to not anchor in the bays.
Loreto has now established a road block to keep non residents out of town. Those of us that have called Puerto Escondido home for sometime can get a letter stating that so we can be allowed to go to town for essential services (food and medical etc).
And we are also fortunate that the small Market in Puerto Escondido is keeping well stocked as well as acting as a shopping service to bring anything you need from town out to you.
The latest changes we've been hearing are that in addition to the beaches being closed they are closing the park lands off to anchoring. So far that isn't being enforced in this area, but it is in the islands near La Paz.
Yesterday, the Navy (who has a base just outside the marina) began tightening up the rules for Puerto Escondido. They have closed the port to coming and going of pleasure boats and now cruising boats. The new policy is that you can come in to the port but when you leave it has to be for another port as destination such as south to La Paz or across the Sea to San Carlos. No more going out to the islands for a week or so and coming back in.
So we will enjoy the next few days of freedom out here in the beautiful anchorage, then head back into our buoy and make the best of self isolation in there. Luckily for us, we've been preparing for this kind of life for a long time with weeks long ocean passages and will continue to comfortably weather this storm snug aboard the good ship Cetus.