The Adventures of SV Mulan

09 October 2010 | Vancouver
14 September 2010 | Semiahmoo Marina, Blaine, WA
12 September 2010
12 September 2010
12 September 2010
11 September 2010 | 145 miles from Cape Flattery
10 September 2010
06 September 2010
04 September 2010
03 September 2010
01 September 2010
29 August 2010
27 August 2010 | still in the pacific
26 August 2010 | The pacific
24 August 2010 | heading NW!
20 August 2010 | Hawaii YC, Honolulu
16 August 2010 | Hawaii YC, Honolulu
15 August 2010 | Hawaii YC, Honolulu
12 August 2010 | Hawaii YC, Honolulu
12 August 2010 | Hawaii YC, Honolulu

Anchoring 101

18 November 2009 | La Paz, Mexico
Just when you thought you'd anchored in all the conditions nature can throw at you outside of a tropical cyclone or hurricane, you settle down for a pleasant night in an anchorage all to yourself, only to have an un-forecast wind spring up. What's more, the wind comes from the only direction you are not protected from, and is across a relatively short fetch. As we were well anchored and not dragging, we endured an extremely rocky night with 3 foot wind waves, seemingly 1 second apart, and wind estimated at 20 knots. We were too nervous to switch on the instruments to see the real wind speed! Thus our experience of the infamous El Corumuel wind in the La Paz area, which occur under certain summer conditions when the winds blow across the flat lands from the Pacific into the Sea of Cortez during the hours of darkness. Someone forgot to tell the weather gods that it is not summer.
The next evening, we moved from Bahia San Gabriel on Isla Espirtu Santo to an anchorage with hopefully more shelter - which it did from the wind, but the swells bent around the headland giving us a corkscrew motion instead of a denture jarring head slam. I guess a broken night's sleep is preferable to a no night's sleep. The Corumuel (in our limited experience, it starts up the instant the sun disappears over the horizon, making it a great sundowner spoiler.)
So far our new Rocna 25 anchor has done us well, hasn't dragged at all, and has set easily - which is a good thing given our limited anchoring experience prior to the trip. It's also comforting to have a 20kg Bruce as a spare anchor.
The other stops northward from Cabo were agreeably more benign. The kids had a great time in the bay of Los Frailes, trying out their snorkeling gear and checking off the reef fish against the illustrated guide we have. The area north of the headland is a protected coral reef, and has spectacular snorkeling and diving, but we lacked the dinghy power to make the trip, and anchoring in the marine park is prohibited in order to protect the coral.
We also stopped in Los Muertos ("The Dead"), a popular cruiser stop due to the beach-front bar. We did enjoy a luncheon splurge, which we figured we'd earned after an over-nighter from Los Frailes. Overnighters are more demanding on the crew, but better for the boys as it eliminates the boredom while underway ('cos they are asleep!) This particular over-nighter was a challenge as the wind was on the nose, despite several course changes enroute. Even with the iron genny fired up, we only averaged 3 knots.
We are now splurging on marina space in La Paz, a funky town and popular cruiser hangout due to the marine amenities and services available. It also seems to be a place where cruisers stay for a while due to the onset of inertia or troppo madness. Even though it is winter here, the Coronas have never tasted better, and the daytime heat and sun's intensity dictate ones daily activities. For us that means the proximity of water for the boys to frolic in.
Back to the boat chores. I have now managed to install the Xantrex battery monitor - a left-over San Diego initiative. Next is a trip up the mast to try to rectify the misdirected tri-colour, and to fix the anchor light. The latter is now more critical, as our oil-powered anchor lamp met with a mishap during the rocky night in San Gabriel. While attaching a bungee cord to stabilize it, the base came apart, ejecting the burner component into Davy Jones' lap. Finding replacement parts is one challenge, getting them to Mexico an even greater one!
Onwards to Mazatlan this weekend. A good friend, Kelly, is flying in to crew with us, and to give Susan some female bonding time. Hopefully the weather will be cooperative.
Vessel Name: Mulan
Vessel Make/Model: Grand Soleil 39
Hailing Port: Vancouver, Canada
Crew: The Parr Family
About: Susan - Captain; Andrew - First Officer; Jack - Bosun & Cruise Director; Sam - Communications Officer; Max - Purser
Extra: Don't dream it - do it. The sailing adventure of the Parr family aboard SV Mulan.

SV Mulan

Who: The Parr Family
Port: Vancouver, Canada