05 April 2015 | Marina De La Paz
05 April 2015 | Bahia De Los Muertos, BCS
27 March 2015 | Marina Mazatlan
27 March 2015 | Isla Isabel
27 March 2015 | Marina La Cruz
21 January 2015 | Enroute
21 January 2015 | Enroute
21 January 2015 | Caleta Partida
21 January 2015 | Isla San Francisco
21 January 2015 | Enroute
21 January 2015 | Isla Espiritu Santo
21 January 2015 | Enroute
21 January 2015 | Marina De La Paz
21 January 2015 | City of La Paz, BCS
16 November 2014 | Marina De La Pax, still
15 November 2014 | Marina De La Paz
Odyssey Has been Sold
01 November 2015 | Home in Calabasas
I just sold Odyssey to a family that plans to take her around the world. I am sad about selling her, but feel great that she will continue to ply the world's oceans.
The Mexican adventure should continue in the near future, with Susan and I having a Californian 42 LRC under contract in La Paz. It is a big, roomy trawler-type of motor yacht, the same model as shown below. I can't wait to get down there to finalize the sale.
Thanks for reading my rambling descriptions of things. I had so much fun on each of these adventures.
I will post a new blog address when we get the next boat up and running.
Homeward Bound at last
08 July 2015 | Channel Islands Harbor
We were relieved by the second watch at 02:00am as we were getting closer to the Los Angeles Harbor, which usually is good for a big of excitement. This time proved no different as Shorty and Mark had to first change course, then slow down, and then finally reverse course to avoid a pilot boat towing a barge. This is all happening in dark and bumpy conditions where it is difficult to judge distances and speeds of other vessels. I awoke at 05:00am and sent Shorty and Mark to bed. The morning grew lighter as we motor sailed past Palos Verdes Peninsula. It is hard to believe that I will be tied up at the dock in my old spot this afternoon. This morning's cloudy skies and glassy seas remind me of the morning many years ago when I brought our previous boat, Wild Wind, home from Long Beach to Channel Islands Marina along this same course.
I texted my sister Gwen to tell her we were passing in front of her house in Malibu, and she texted back that she saw us. I decided to sprinkle the remaining ashes of my mother and my sister Pattie just off the coast in front of the Leo Carrillo campground, a site of many happy family outings. Within a minute of the ashes being in the water a whale surfaced between Odyssey and Leo Carrillo, a sure sign that mom and Pattie approve if there ever was one. We continued to motor sail under cloudy skies with smooth, glassy seas. We were treated to another amazing dolphin show as we approached Port Hueneme, just shy of our destination. We pulled into Channel Islands Harbor at about 1:00pm to little fanfare, other than our own whooping and hollering. We were safely tied up at the dock with smiles all around.
What an amazing trip, and what an amazing crew. Billie, Shorty and Mark, it was an absolute pleasure to share such a small space with you over the last two weeks. Thanks to all of you kind souls who take the time to read this drivel.
Our final stats were as follows:
The Baja Bash 2015, sailing vessel Odyssey
Total days: 12
Total hours: 291
Total hours underway: 200.25
Total miles covered: 1098
Engine hours: 189.9
08 July 2015 | Dana Point Harbor
We had a pretty smooth voyage, with the wind coming and going from different directions. As we passed the inactive San Onofre Nuclear plant in the early morning hours, we were met by an escort of dolphins who surfed our bow wave, pointing us towards our destination. Although it is once again gloomy and overcast, the weather report promises afternoon sun. Boy, I hope they are right this time. We dropped anchor in Dana Point Harbor around 08:30am next to my friend John Skorstad's boat. He dinghied over for some conversation and ended up leaving us his dinghy to use while he took care of other business. We also had a visit from one of our old work friends, Phil Garcia. Shorty and Phil brought us some awesome burritos from a place on shore, while we all caught up on sleep. I awoke from my nap to find the food waiting, and the anchorage getting crowded, with the arrival of two more sailboats and lots more small sailing craft and paddleboarders. Throughout the afternoon the sun would make a brief appearance before hiding once again behind the clouds.
Another friend, Brad, who was on Odyssey a few short weeks ago, arrived by dinghy to visit. Later, John returned with his daughter Sammy in tow, with his girlfriend Jane arriving later bearing Thai food. We had a big dinner with eight people in Odyssey's cockpit. All the visitors left and we quickly readied ourselves to make the final push for home. We weighed anchor by 10:00pm and headed out of the Marina. Within 5-10 minutes things got interesting. We noticed the motor temperature was high and when I looked at the motor I saw that the water pump belt had come off. So I climbed down into the hot engine compartment while Shorty passed me tools and Billie and Mark wrestled with the sails and steered the boat. I had to remove one other belt before being able to fit a new water pump belt back on the motor. With Shorty's help it went smoothly, and we were soon back on our way into the moonless night. This time I took the first watch with Billie, letting Mark and Shorty get some much needed rest.
On To San Diego
08 July 2015 | Kona Kai Marina, San Diego Harbor
Well, it is the Forth of July and we decided to spend it in Mexico. Most marinas in the U.S. are crazy with boaters on the 4th, and I was afraid we wouldn't be able to get a slip in San Diego or elsewhere. We spent the day relaxing by the pool and getting ready to leave tomorrow. We joined our new friends and dock mates Charles and Brenda, from the boat Vanquish, for cocktails aboard and then dinner out. After a lovely dinner at a place with great food and an ocean view, we returned to Odyssey. There was a wedding taking place nearby with a DJ and blasting music, so we decided to head out for San Diego at 11:00pm instead of waiting until 2:00am, which was our original plan. We had some wind and waves but we made good time, crossing the border at 9:30am and arriving in San Diego about 11:00am.
We tied up at the Police dock and made arrangements for Customs agents to meet us so that we could be cleared for entry into the U.S. They arrived about an hour later, filling out forms, and making throw away a bunch of food items. Just like clearing out of Mexico, lots of paperwork that nobody will ever ask to see. We continued on to a slip in Kona Kai Marina belonging to our friends from Ensenada, Charles and Brenda. They loaned it to us because they would not return until a day later. Thanks guys! We all wanted food so we put on our walking shoes and headed out. Unfortunately, the marinas are located at the end of Shelte Island, a large T-shaped peninsula, so we ended up walking a couple of miles before finding a pub. After lunch, Shorty and I took Uber back to Odyssey for much-needed naps, while Billie and Mark stayed to watch the World Cup Soccer final with USA versus Japan. After the game, which the US won handily, everyone rested in preparation for yet another night passage. We pulled away from the dock at about 10:00pm, and were soon back in the ocean heading north towards Dana Point harbor, our next stop.
08 July 2015 | Marina Coral, Ensenada MX
When Billie and I assumed the second watch at 2:00am the wind was still blowing pretty hard, causing rough conditions. The last few nights have been cold and damp, and this one followed suit. The full moon escorted us through the cloudy night, lighting the sea around us. We are all looking forward to arriving in Ensenada, where I promised the crew that we would spend two days and nights lounging by the pool and sleeping full nights. Morning broke gloomy and overcast, with a cold NorthWest breeze. We are all kind of on autopilot as we anticipate our Ensenada landfall. Strangely enough, after going 800 miles since leaving La Paz a week ago, we are purposely going at a slow rate of speed. Instead of our usual 5.5-6.5 knots, we are motor sailing at 4.8 knots. This is to insure that we arrive in Ensenada after the sun has risen. Entering a strange harbor is always a bit exciting, but entering one in the dark is just plain foolish if avoidable. The wind began to build a bit in the early afternoon and was soon causing a pretty good chop on our nose. It seems that we were destined to do a little "Baja Bashing" after all. At 5:00pm we passed the 800 mile mark since leaving La Paz last Thursday. We still have about 70 miles to go until we reach the Marina Coral in Ensenada. Whoohoo!
The wind blew very hard early on in the evening, and started to ease a bit when second watch came on duty. It was very cold and cloudy with some illumination from a full moon that we never saw. I nervously threaded Odyssey between Isla Todos Santos and the mainland in the dark, a span of only two miles. It sounds like a lot of room and it was, but the lights on each point of land were not as described in the nautical charts for the area. If I was wrong about our course we were on the rocks, hence the nerves. We made it through though, and the sky began to lighten as we made the last push to Ensenada. We were safely tied up at the fuel dock by 06:45am, awaiting business hours to begin. Finally a rest.
After fueling up, Mike and I headed to the Marina office to sign in. Over an hour later I was still there. We moved Odyssey to her assigned slip and then gathered our passports and all travel and boat-related documents and hopped the shuttle into town. The shuttle driver took all of our documents from window to window at The Port Captain's office (Oficina De Los Capitania del puerto) with me following behind paying fees. When the dust settled, we all decided to walk around the harbor area and grab a cab back. We ate amazing fish tacos near the fish market at a taco stand that I had been to before with my brother Mike on one of our Punta Cabras camping trips. Afterwards, we toured the fish market where I picked up some smoked Marlin. We cabbed it back to the Marina and set about getting serious stuff done like laundry and washing the salt crystals off of the boat. Before long I found myself at the pool with Mike having cocktails. Did I mention the pool? Wow, with a beautiful view of the Marina and bay it was just what doctor ordered. After showering we all headed out on foot to a nearby steak place with the couple docked next to us. By the time dinner was finished we were all falling asleep, so we cabbed it back to Odyssey and called it a night.
Turtle Bay to Cedros Island
08 July 2015 | Turtle Bay and north
Billie and I relieved Mark and Shorty of night watch at our usual 02:00am. Even though it was cloudy the almost-full moon provided plenty of light. We saw several boats and the conditions turned cold and bumpy as we approached Turtle Bay. We dropped anchor next to several other sailboats exactly 72 hours after setting out from the beach in front of Cabo San Lucas. We were very lucky and had perfect conditions for the first half of our journey to the border. There were smiles all around as we sat in the beautiful bay, with no sailing duties to attend to, although we did order fuel over the radio. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we brought 200 liters (63 gallons) of extra fuel with us for the just-completed leg of the journey. We arrived this morning with about 75 gallons still in the tanks, but better safe than sorry. After having our fuel delivered by two guys in a panga (small boat used for everything in Mexico), we all loaded into the dinghy and headed for the small town in search of hot showers and food. Well, we walked all over the little town, Mark walking barefoot, before finding a little motel that would let us take showers. We had a beer or two while each of us cleaned ourselves of 3 days of sweat and sunscreen. We were also able to access the motel's wifi service to catch up on emails and to check the coming winds and weather reports. Shorty was able to find some sandals for sale, which led to Billie returning Mark's shoes (she forgot hers aboard Odyssey). We found a local Cantina and proceeded to gorge ourselves on the local fare. Returning to Odyssey, most of us took much needed naps. I ran Shorty back to the beach where he picked up some supplies before returning to the boat.
Based on the weather reports we gleaned from the internet and other cruisers, we decided to head back out in the evening to make our way towards Ensenada. We set about readying Odyssey and re-loaded the dinghy onto the foredeck. We enjoyed grilled steak as the sun set in the beautiful harbor, and we were all sorry to leave such a cool place so soon. We weighed anchor at about 9:00pm and headed back into the Pacific Ocean. It was fairly cool out and we had a decent wind as the first watch settled in. The second watch headed to bed as Odyssey found her stride under a dazzling moon.
After a very rolly couple of hours, Billie and I relieved Shorty and Mark for the second watch at 2:00am. By then, conditions had improved a lot, with the wind having dropped and the temperature having climbed. A short time later we dropped the mainsail due to the lack of wind. The only problem with not having a sail up is that the boat rocks side to side much more, rolling people around in their bunks. Well, things got a bit more interesting when the engine died at 3:30am. I've got 2 separate fuel filters for my diesel motor, as most boat do. One filters and keeps water from entering the motor, while the other just filters the fuel. Diesel attracts water in the tanks over time, which provides a breeding ground for bacteria. These organisms die and settle to the bottom of the fuel tanks and stay there until the tanks are agitated enough to stir them up from the bottom. This causes fuel filters to become plugged by too much foreign material, which is what happened to us. So after hurriedly raising the mainsail again, I was down in the hot engine room changing the filters, with Shorty handing me tools, and Billie driving the boat. All this was in the middle of the night, 25 miles off shore, in very confused seas with no real wind, so we were rocking all over the place. Half an hour later we were back under way. I'm glad now that I brought a dozen of the big filters and six of the smaller ones along on this trip. As the sun came up we were still motoring with the reefed mainsail, but all it did was flog back and forth due to the lack of any wind. We spotted lots of small red crabs on the surface that looks like lobsters with long claws. Longosta perhaps? I tried to net some but they quickly disappeared. Mark steered Odyssey closer to a kelp paddie as I had mentioned that Dorado like to hang around anything floating. Within a minute one of the reels was singing. I picked it up, but the fish got off immediately. I jigged the lure a few times when wham, the fish was back. I ended up landing a really nice Yellowfin tuna of 15-20 pounds. Soon after we put the lure back in the water Mark had one on the line. Another fine Yellowfin of about the same size. Yay! We will be eating Pokey and seared ahi tonight! As the day progressed we caught a total of six Yellowfin tunas, keeping three. We made good progress in the 24 hour period of travel, about 125 miles, but we were purposely going slower than our usual speed. We had estimated that we might arrive in Ensenada at around 4:00am on Friday, which is too early, hence the slow down. (Note: we actually did arrive at 6:45am). We passed Punta Baja this afternoon, a place that I camped at when in my twenties. We are currently about 160 miles from Ensenada as the sun sets. As usual, the first watch will begin again at 10:00pm. The wind came up as it grew darker, creating a very bumpy night, with Odyssey lurching and pounding over the waves.