05 October 2007 | LaPaz
Nice fish hey?
I shot this while free diving at 30ft! The only bummer was that it completely destroyed my spear and now I have to build a new one! The visibility was really bad, about 7 feet, and I thought this was a small Pargo. Instead, this guy had his back to me and I had only seen his fin when I pulled the trigger. The Cabrio is close to twenty pounds. Not bad for a days work!
In other news, I'm happy to report that work is finally paying off! This week we have officially payed off the last of the debt we aquired while in the yard. Now we are only adding to our sailing kitty. It's been rough trying to catch up, but it feels good. Also Mandy and I are working on our game plan, trying to focus on our goals and making our next step. While we have made no official plans as to where we will go next, we are getting a good idea as to when and in the next couple months we will see more clearly when and where we should go.
I'm finding that living this type of cruising lifestyle, we spend much more time in port then actually cruising. I suppose that working your way around the world is simply going to take much longer then I thought it would.
I wouldn't change a thing!
01 October 2007 | LaPaz Mexico
LaPaz has been good to us. We continue to thrive here and are enjoying our friends and family. The summer has not been too bad, however it is hot. Mandy, Vianne and I are getting used to being cockroaches hiding from the sun.
I'm pleased to say that last Friday Mandy was able to perform her first dive since before Vianne was born. It was a beautiful day and the water was very clear for us. Unfortunately we did not see the hammerhead sharks we were looking for, but there were a lot of fish.
Vianne has discovered the power of the word THAT. Everything is THAT. It's amazing to see how fast she is growing. She isn't saying NO yet, however whenever we want her to do something that she doesn't, she shakes her head back and forth. She diffidently has her own mind. She is also getting very fast and running all over the place.
We continue to play with Vianne in the water as much as possible. She is slowly making progress in being able to swim. It will be nice when she does.
We are hoping to have the new netting for the boat this week. Vianne will be happier being able to play on deck.
Work is well. It's good to be able to provide for my family. We have no immediate plans as to when we will set sail again. We are simply trying to continue saving money and make repairs and upgrades to the boat.
The major projects include new standing rigging, Mainsail, autopilot and painting the deck with non-skid. In addition we will be getting or building a new dinghy before we set out again. Our old one did not fair well over the past several months. I'm convinced that the solution is to build a nesting dingy, however, in due time.
For the meantime, I have been continuing with minor projects, that do not cost too much and that can be finished in a weekend.
Last weekend I put new Formica in the head and Mandy is pleased to have a new looking bathroom. The new stone green looks much better then the alarm yellow that was there.
We have also been able to get the boat into condition of day sailing, which we have done a little. It's good to remember why we are here in the first place.
As always we are doing well and enjoying life here. I'm still playing music with the local English church here, when I can. It's has been good. We are very thankful for where we are and how life has been treating us.
We are very thankful that summer is almost over. Cooler weather will be nice! As well, is the prospect of seeing our friends on other cruising boats who headed north for the summer? We are also looking forward to seeing family, which will be making their way south sometime soon.
24 August 2007 | LaPaz
Wow has it been a while since we've made an update! Yikes. So Mandy and I have Mexican Visas to stay in the Country for another year. Following our last entry, we hauled Boreas out of the water. Ryan and a new friend Andrew were great and did a whole bunch of work. The yard stripped all the bottom pain off and put a new barrier coat on and then new bottom paint. We fixed our long time clunking rudder, changed the cutlass bearing and rebuild the shaft packing. Ryan and Andrew stripped all the deck hardware off and painted the deck along with the help of another cruising friend Adam from Estrella. We also had new Stainless steal railing welded around the boat to make a stronger life line. It's great.
We were preparing to head back to the States for work. However, We have been very fortunate. Through friends, I have accepted a job Captain of a private sailing yacht. It's a pretty good gig. I started working the same week we had scheduled to have Boreas hauled out of the water. I was very thankful to have Ryan and Andrew willing to help so much!
After splashing Boreas, Ryan and Andrew sailed with Bill on Moonhunter and headed in to the Sea for the summer...Thank you guys!
Mandy and I now living the Marina life. The summer has been hot, well at least for us. We are not used to temperatures over 100 degrees. Yes, we bought air conditioning! Mandy and Vianne have been spending time on the boat and at Casa Buena with our friends there. I have made several trips on the boat I'm working on. It's been a good set up. We are very thankful that this has afforded us the opportunity to extend our cruising and rebuild our sailing kitty. No current plans exactly, have to see how fast we can save money. Then decide where we will go to next.
Vianne is growing like a weed. She isn't talking yet, but she can really move! She has said a couple words. I'm very proud that she can say Fish! Like father like daughter.....Ok mom's a bit crazy about fish too!
In the mean while we are just hunkering down and trying to keep cool, and avoid any (shhhh hurricanes).
We are in a good place though. We are just taking one day at a time.
Long Time LaPaz
27 April 2007 | LaPaz Mexico
We've been having fun! The past weeks/months have vanished in a sunny memory. We have taken every opportunity to make for the Islands north of La Paz, Espirit Esanto, Partita and Isla San Fransisco. We have made wonderful friends here both on other boats and on land. So many exciting things have happened around us, it's hard to put it all into a short few words. Our friends on Imani, Mark and Dourine and their son Tristan set sail recently to return to California. We will miss them. They and Bill and Miriam on Moon Hunter have adopted us as family while sailing here in the Sea. Both Moon Hunter and Imani have performed extensive cruises through the Pacific and have been cruising for years. I have to give them thanks for showing us so many little tricks to cruise.
Here in LaPaz He have seen both tragedy and rebirth. Brian owner of Shelly B. a Pearson Triton watched as his boat burn to the water on night about March 20th. With in 24 hours the community of sailors pulled together and raised enough money to purchase another Pearson Triton, which happened to be, anchored not that far away from the Shelley. Ryan along with many others put in long hours getting Brian's new boat into shape and in the water. We helped raise additional funds to help replace all Brian's lost items. I am happy to report that Brian has been able to sail Phoenix, his new boat as far and Isla San Francisco with us, Moon Hunter and Imani. The whole story of Brian's boat is an amazing story of the resourcefulness and fortitude of sailors and the human spirit, whit our deep desire to be free.
In the mean while Mandy, Ryan and I have been hanging out at Cassa Buena and Crossroads, and English speaking church here in LaPaz. We've met so many wonderful people here and made such good friends. I see why LaPaz is one of those places that people get sucked into and never leave. While here we have made good friends with Milton and Susu, owners of Cassa Buena and also fellow cruisers. They sailed to LaPaz via boat years ago and returned to settle down after extended cruising through Mexico and the Caribbean, and discovering Cassa Buena, a beautiful bed and breakfast here in La Paz.
We have been enjoying our time here in La Paz, But we can feel the weather getting warmer. The big question is, what's next? As for now, we don't really know. For the immediate future we are planning on hauling our Boreas and getting the bottom done. I'm finally going to fix the rudder slop, which hasn't proven to be much of a problem, fortunately. However, we have no idea where we will be heading next, be it into the Sea, back to the States or ????????
The fortunate thing is that Mandy and I will be house sitting for a couple weeks in May and we figure that will be the perfect opportunity to haul the boat. This way we don't have to try and live on board with a baby and try to paint the bottom, along with other various projects...
Ryan will probably head north, eventually... to return to work, while Mandy and I are investigating several opportunities. Our Mexican Visas will expire in another month and a bit. I can't believe it's been almost six months!
Vianne has had her first birthday. She is growing so fast! She has started getting her molar teeth. Almost a full set. She is standing more and more on her own, and always a smile. Mandy and I are trying to introduce here more and more to salt water. However, sometime it's ok, other time she's not very excited by it. She gets around the boat well though. Everything is her size, and she is getting fast at climbing over everything. I'm glad we got the netting up when we did! Unfortunately she has learned a couple tricks that are not good. I.E. checking if things float! She seems to think it's exciting to through her diapers and cloths over the side of the boat. Ryan found one of her little skirts under the boat while at anchor about a week ago.
In other news we have been able to start washing Vianne's diapers in salt water and let them air dry with out fresh water rinsing. So far she has not developed any reaction. This is great news, in that we are no longer limited in range by our diapers! This adds to the question as to where are we going to head to next?
We'll just have to see.
Bay of the Dead
13 January 2007 | Biah de Muertos
The next day we anchored off Baha de San Jose del Cabo, close to the Coral Baha Resort. In the morning we returned Gean to the Resort by way of dingy and anchoring just off the resort, quite a dramatic entrance. Fortunately I didn't flip the dingy in the surf when Gean was aboard. Instead, Mandy and I flipped it on the third attempted landing. I wouldn't say the surf was too bad, at about a foot. Instead, I just have lousy timing. I think we may need to practice our surf landings. No, Vianne was not on board at the time. After taking Gean ashore we wisely decided this was not the place to take a baby ashore. The only casualty of the morning was Mandy's hat, which seems to have vanished. After properly getting beat up by the surf, I was exhausted. Mandy and I returned to Boreas, where Ryan was watching Vianne. We hoisted anchor and headed off for Baha Frailes. Which, I am glad to report is not only beautiful but completely calm! It was nice to finally get a nights sleep with out rocking! We are in rout for La Paz, so we only stayed the night. In the morning we picked the anchor again and headed out. Our second night we stayed at Biah de Muertos (bay of the Dead!). The name is scarier then the location. Actually the it's called that because of the moorings available there are called Dead Heads, thus the name. It was a nice anchorage, nothing available there accept a Giggling Marlins Restaurant. We went ashore and had Ice Cream. It's amazing how the simple pleasures in life are so rewarding.
Most vessels traveling the waters of the world are limited by resources. For example water or food. Some vessels are limited only by how much fuel they carry. We on the other hand are limited by diapers! We have approximately four days worth of cloth diapers. After that, we must resort to hanging Vianne over the side, or simply using a bucket to wash down the deck. This does not, however always work. It is true that necessity is the mother of invention. And now I officially have the duty of diaper washer. In the warm weather, we reached a point were we could no longer stand the rotting stench emanating from the aft end of Boreas. Buckets do well to hold dirty diapers, but they can only do so much. I finally broke down and washed all Vianne's diapers, using salt water. Once we reached La Paz we threw them into a lavatec (Laundromat) and rinsed out the remanding salt water. In the meanwhile we used a couple disposables, and what ever we had that could absorb.....whatever!
Round the tip
10 January 2007 | Cabo San Lucas
We spent the next three days sailing toward Cabo San Lucas. Thursday Jan 4th is marked as the most beautiful day sailing so far. It was completely perfect. We had seven knots of wind out of the northwest, with not a cloud in the sky. Flying twin head sails and the main we were making almost six and a half knots, absolutely no swell to speak of. After catching another tuna, Ryan decided it would be a good idea to go for a swim. Throwing a line in the water, he jumped overboard and hung on, diving like a fish and using the speed of the boat to jet himself away and back again to the hull. We pulled him aboard, and I took a turn. 70-degree water is incredibly refreshing! Shortly there after, we were joined again by another large pod of dolphins. Ryan and I discussed the possibility of swimming with them, but decided against it, due to the difficulty of getting back aboard. These dolphins stayed with us for much of the remaining miles to Cabo San Lucas, coming and going as they please. The wind picked up and again we were under reefed jib, all the way to Cabo. We arrived on the morning of the 6th at 0535 and dripped anchor to get a few hours sleep.
After a few hours sleep we headed into Cabo to get fuel and call Gean, Mandy's mom. While at the fuel dock Ryan had a little accident and fell overboard as we were pulling away. His lack of coordination was due to a serious lack of sleep, and in the process lost his precious Maui Jim sunglasses. After returning to anchor, we patched up his gaping chin, which I'm glad to report is healing nicely, though it's still going to be a day or two before he can safely go swimming with out worrying about it opening up again. I'm just glad we had the supplies on board to deal with it. I would be surprised to see it scar to badly. We spent that night with Gean and Margaret at their Resort in the Baha Coral, and had a lovely dinner and fresh water showers! We swam in the pool and celebrated our arrival at the swim up bar. Vianne swam with mommy and daddy. She is taking to water just like her mommy. She is going to be a great little swimmer. The next day Margaret flew out, and Gean joined us aboard Boreas for a couple days. She brought presents for Vianne and us, a belated Christmas. Vianne has been enjoying her hungry caterpillar puppet while the rest of us have been enjoying our new oil lamp! We sailed north to Chilleno Reef. While in transit we caught a nice Marcel, which we ate for dinner that night. We stayed at anchorage there, which was lumpy, and swam and snorkeled the next day. While at Chilleno Reef, yours truly seems to have forgotten how to tie line. It seems that somehow the dingy decided it wanted to have a tour of the reefs, and set about on its own merry way. Fortunately, we were anchored near a private beach, which had its own security guard. He kindly got my attention by flagging me down. It wasn't until he actually walked over to where the dingy had decided to stop for a spell, had I realized what happened. I was about to jump in and swim for it when a Girl on a wave runner drove by. She was American and we said hello, I asked her if she would be willing to run me ashore
She was kind enough to do so, though her guide whom she had rented the watercraft from, was not as excited about. When I explained to him what had happened, he understood. I made it ashore and thanked the security guard for getting our attention, and speaking no English he smiled knowingly. I pushed the dingy pack to deeper water and made my way back through the rocks and tied it up to Boreas, very tight this time. However, I guess this just goes to show, that when traveling in Mexico, it's no worry as to how well one ties up anything. If anything comes loose, some nice Mexican will surly go out of their way to always return any lost property. Ok, that one was a gimmy! Next time I doubt that we will be so lucky.
06 January 2007 | Turtle Bay
We left Encenada Sat, Dec 30th. With only a few days before Mandy's mom Gean was to arrive in Cabo, we needed to beat foot and get down the coast. We made good time down the coast sailing with two other boats, Ivy a 32ft Downeaster and Special Brew a 34ft custom aluminum Canadian boat. On Jan 1st, early in the morning, the wind picked up to gusts of 40, we hit a new speed record for Boreas, surfing at 15.9 knots. I would be skeptical about this, however I watched the speed gauge rising and saw it hold that speed while we surfed on top of a twenty foot wave for what seemed like ten minutes, but was really only a few seconds. We flew only a reefed jib all night and the next day. In the early after noon we made our entrance to Turtle Bay, and promptly caught another tuna, and then broke my good fishing rod, #$%^&$#!! I'm still suffering trauma from that. The line some how found it's way back to the propeller and saw fit to make a new home, wrapping itself securely around the shaft. We left it in place and made anchorage under sail, after which I stripped down and jumped in. After much coaxing and persuasion, the line and lure, agreed that it would feel safer on deck then in around the shaft. As a side note, we have continued to catch more fish with the same lure, just using a different rod. Some day I'll find another good Tuna Stick. While in Turtle Bay we made friends with John and Lindsy on Ivy. John is English and Lindsey American. They met at Chiropractic school in Iowa. John found Ivy in San Francisco and they decided it would be a good idea to take it to Costa Rica. We shared a wonderful evening on the beach and wished them well, when we left the following morning.
03 January 2007 | Encenada, Mexico
Departing San Diego on Dec 23rd was a great relief. About dusk we were finally in Mexican waters off the Coronado Islands. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a red light, in the distance. When I took a closer look, I realized it was a flair, somewhere between the North and Middle Islands. I called the US Coast Guard in San Diego, via VHF and passed on our position and what I saw, giving an approximate position of the flair. All the while we had changed course and made our way toward the sighting, with the intent to get a closer look. After passing on to the USCG that we were in Mexican waters, they told us not to worry about it, and that they contacted the Mexican Navy. By this time we had traveled several miles, and I could make out a small light next to the Middle Coronado Island. When the USCG told us to go on our way, we changed course heading south. Once we changed course, the little light flashed brightly, signaling SOS. I never thought I would actually see someone signal a real SOS. We turned around again and made our way toward the little light. Sure enough, we found a 22ft Sea Swirl powerboat, with one person aboard, no radio and a dead engine. He had been able to anchor in 80ft, but was getting tossed about quite a bit. We contacted the USCG again, letting them know what we had found. After talking with the person aboard and relaying information to the Coast Guard, we made the decision to go ahead and tow them back to San Diego, Making it clear to them it was out of our way and that we expected to be compensated for our trouble. Hey I'm nice, but not that nice! He wasn't in danger, but he was going to be there a while if we didn't do something about it. To make a long story short, we towed him back, and the Coast Guard dispatcher set us up with a place to stay for the night. It made for a long night as well, and we made just enough cash in the process to pay for our entrance to Mexico, which was good.
We set out again for Mexico on the 24th, Christmas Eve. I was determined to give Mandy Mexico for Christmas. We spent twelve hours motoring and sailing. Finally warm weather! Off Punta San Miguel, making our final approach to Bahia De Todos Santos and Encenada, I whacked two Tuna. Our first fish that we caught this whole trip! We ate one and saved the other, for Armando a friend whom we met in Sand Diego and lived in Encenada. Shortly after catching the Tuna, we were surrounded by at least a hundred dolphins, maybe more. There were so many that the water absolutely boiled with life. I grabbed the video camera and took film of twenty to thirty dolphins playing off the bow of Boreas. Then, as quickly as they came, they swam into the depths and vanished. That night we anchored in Encenada harbor, spending Christmas eve in Mexico and hearing fire works until the wee hours of the morning, and watching Christmas movies on the computer, and decorating the inside of the boat with Christmas lights. I fell asleep to the movie "A Christmas Story."
Christmas Day, we pulled out all our presents which family had given us prior to departure. This was Vianne's first Christmas. She had so much fun opening up all her presents. However, in general I think she found the paper more exciting then anything else. We ate Christmas breakfast and went ashore to contact Armando. That afternoon he and his new fiancÚ Gezel picked us up in their car and gave us the grand tour of Encenada. We ended up at Gezel's parents house and shared food. Mandy had spent the morning baking and prepared a pumpkin pie, in addition to giving them the Tuna. Gezel's Mother had leftover Tamales from Christmas dinner, which I dare say I've never tasted better! I love Mexico!
The next day we mostly cleared into customs, and trying to meet up with Ryan. It wasn't until the 27th that I was able to sort out the last of the details for clearing the boat into Mexico, and Ryan found me at the Puerto de Capitan's office, which made it much easier to add him to the crew and get everything official. After getting fuel and other supplies, which took two more days to get done, in addition to meeting other great cruisers, we finally made our departure. On every Thursday night the Restraunte Le Vendemia holds a cruisers night, only for those who have boats and are sailing through the area. It's brilliant, two for one drinks and free food! How can you beat that? While there we met up with other cruisers, Adam and Kristina from Estella and Scotty with his family aboard Petra, as well as many others whom we hope to see again down the road! As a side note to any Pirates of the Caribbean fans. If any one is looking to the Black Pearl, it's located in Encenada. No really, the actual Black Pearl that was built for the second and third movies is sitting in Encenada. Unfortunately we forgot to take the camera with us when we drove the dingy over to take a look, so I have no proof of this. You'll just have to take my word for it.
Escape from L.A.
23 December 2006 | L.A.
Weather always seems to have a way of changing one's mind! After departing Half Moon Bay, we sailed for about 24 hours when we were hit by a nasty Southerly, that we simply could not make way in. We sailed with a double-reefed main and jib and headed for Monterey Bay. Staying there for five days we met a wonderful couple Jay and Kelly with their two kids Riley and Liam. They were very kind to lend us their car, which we used to make a Costco run stocking the boat with enough provisions to make it to Mexico. Jay and Kelly had cruised Baha for several seasons (before children) and are getting ready to start cruising once again. We hope to see them on the open seas some day soon. Since the weather held us in Monterey we decided to see the sites. Starting with a great little pub that had WiFi just at the top of the ramp. We did take Vianne to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Although I thought, it would be a trip for "mom" and "dad" I was surprised how much our eight month old was enjoying the different tanks, especially the half-sphere, windows, set inside the tanks. She could practically climb around inside those bubbles. Ryan's Dad and sister also visited us shortly before they headed off to Hawaii for the winter.
Feeling pressure to get south, we decided to brave the weather. Trying to cruise on the West Coast of the U.S. is not only expensive, it's "expensive!" Once the wind shifted out of the North, we set sail again. This time, we were hit by a blow from the North. Off Pt. Conception the wind blew ~40kts with 15ft seas. Running down wind with full sail, we all took turns at the helm battling the waves. About dark we rounded Pt. Conception, sailed directly North and tucked into a small cove which offered a break from the weather. In the morning we woke to see surfers on the beach, and wishing for surfboards of our own. Instead, we headed for LA.
Sending Ryan off to catch a plane to Albuquerque for the holidays, we left LA as quickly as we could. Seeing our progress increase with good Southerly momentum, we didn't want to stall (afraid that it might be another 20 days before we left port). So, with decent wind and currents to help us along we set off, one crewmember lighter. Merry Christmas Ry, we will see you after the holiday.
We had a good run to San Diego. In the Morning, on our approach to San Diego we encountered a small thunderstorm. Fortunately it stayed south of us. However, it was still close enough for me to see lightning strike the water. Just a little scary.
While here in San Diego we have been making repairs to the engine, and getting the last few things done that we need prior to crossing the border. We are planning on breaking free on Saturday the 23rd, hoping to be in Ensenada, Mexico for Christmas on Monday.
Herbie the Love Bug
06 December 2006 | Leaving San Francisco
Our time in San Francisco has been crazy. All told we have been in the Bay for 20 days. Mandy Vianne and I made our way north to Vallejo to visit Mandy's cousin Sarah and her husband Jake Fazio, with their lovely two daughters Mia and Ruby. We had a wonderful couple days visiting. Jake introduced me to Striper fishing Thanksgiving Day morning, having just enough time to pick up a couple fish, get cleaned up and head over to Jake's folk's place for dinner. Ah, something to truly be thankful for. Thanks Giving dinner was great, with a house full of people, at the Fazio's, and not a stranger to be found. Every one was so friendly, and very excited to know all about our trip and visit with Vianne.
On Saturday the 25th, Ryan finally rejoined our crew, after finishing up with work in Alaska. It's good to have him back! We picked him up in Oakland and stayed around the area for a couple days. While in Oakland we looked up an old high school friend Herbie, and surprised him at his dorm. I only wish I had the camera out to get a picture of his face! I think it took at least ten seconds for his brain and eyes to register that he did know who was standing in his doorway, yet he couldn't figure out how. This was shortly followed by smothering hugs and lots of laughter. We stayed for a visit and dinner, and left the following morning making our way toward Emeryville.
Sean, from Lion's Paw was in the area of Emeryville, visiting family for Thanksgiving, with his wife Audrey and their six month old son Van. We were glad to get a chance to meet the whole family, even if it was for just a couple hours. We all wish them well. While at the Emeryville Marina we wound up visiting with Chris, who was interested in our dodger and how I built it. After several hours of chatting, the sun disappeared. Chris, introduces us to Ed the security guard, who also has a boat in the marina, and forced rum upon us! Several more hours later, after dinner, and more rum, we decided we should probably stay another night. At this point, I'm convinced that I have stumbled upon the makings of a time machine! Its components consisting of two parts conversation, amongst neurotic boaters, mixed with one part Rum...... and Coke. (or the other way around depending on who is performing the majority of the conversing). This mixture seems to have the strange affect of projecting persons through time into the future, where one knows that all the answers to life the universe and everything were discussed, yet certain solutions to conversations are lost in the passage of time, with all the answers to world hunger and an end to war. This whole process ends in a conclusion of one question...."Why is the Rum gone?" During our time in the Bay discovered that we could anchor off the backside of Treasure Island with our paying moorage, and decided that was a lovely idea and transited the following day.
Ryan had an appointment on Thursday with the Passport Agency to replace his stolen Passport. He and I made it there in time and had surprisingly little trouble getting everything taken care of. By three o'clock in the afternoon he had a new Passport in hand. Yea!
On Friday we made our way back to Oakland to pick up our old friend Herbie, who is going to Bible school there. He stayed with us for the night and we sailed for Angel Island, having just enough time to step ashore and watch the sun set. Saturday, we went ashore and saw a Civil War era military hospital that was built for the Calvary. Unfortunate, our reunion was cut short, as Herbie needed to get back for a prior engagement. We sailed south to San Francisco and moored in the Aquatic Park, taking a moorage under sail. (ohh, what skills!) There we said our good buys and Ryan went with Herbie to get him back to Oakland in time.
Our last couple days in SF were spent visiting uncle Andrew and Aunt Tres again, and getting the ever so important, Presents From The Grand Parents, which were sent there in preparation for Christmas.
Having no more reasons to stay in the Bay, we decided to set sail with the tide on the morning of December 5th. It seems that no matter where we go, we stay quite a bit longer then intended! So much for schedules. Off to Half Moon bay and the Channel Islands!