Cruising with Cadenza

"I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special." Steel Magnolias

09 March 2018 | Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
27 February 2018 | Barra de Navidad
19 February 2018 | Barra de Navidad
05 February 2018 | Zihuatanejo
29 January 2018 | Zihuatanejo
24 January 2018 | Barra de Navidad
13 January 2018 | Barra de Navidad
08 January 2018 | Barra de Navidad
27 December 2017 | Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
18 December 2017 | Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
08 December 2017 | Puerto Vallarta
30 April 2017
13 April 2017
05 April 2017
18 March 2017
16 March 2017
14 March 2017

Exploring Islas Espiritu Santos and Beyond

30 January 2014
Terri Potts-Chattaway
Just outside of La Paz, there are three islands/islets that are collectively known as the Islas Espiritu Santos; Isla Espiritu Santo, Isla Partida and Los Islotes, or The Holy Spirit Islands. About sixteen miles north of Los Islotes is another small island, Isla San Francisco. We set sail on January 19, 2014, for ten days to explore them. This is what we found.

Sunday, January 19, 2014
La Paz to Isla Espirtu Santo

We left Marina CostaBaja a little after ten in the morning with a high tide and no wind so it was much easier leaving the slip than it had been the last time we tried to dock. Jay and I had gone over the charts and the cruising guides. We decided to decide where we were going when we got out into the bay and on our way. We wanted to see what the sea and sky were like and, since there were so many choices close by, there was no hurry to make up our mind. Besides, our decision would be based partly on our desires but more importantly, the weather.

All sources said the northers were calming down and that we would have a few days of some wind (anywhere from 10 to 17 knots) and then several days of calm. They also called for cloudy skies Saturday and Sunday and they were right. If I were to give them a scientific name, I believe there were both Cirrus and Cirrostratus clouds looming in the sky. But what I saw was what looked like cotton candy, stretched thin, with holes torn through, showing hints of deep blue sky. There were also long, wispy strips that looked like mare's tails. Wind clouds. Later, patches of a mackerel sky would appear. (Here on the west coast I am told this is a sign of good weather to come.)

At the moment, there was less than ten knots of wind from the north. On the nose, of course. Few boats in sight. As we left the Baja peninsula and headed across the San Lorenzo Channel toward Isla Espirtu Santo, we noticed a lone sailboat to our right. Evidently they chose to sail. Or maybe they had to sail. Either way, they were a lighter boat than us and could point into the wind, but still were only making about two knots through the water. We passed them by and continued on.

The first anchorage on Espirtu Santo is Gabby Bay, and although Jay and I intend to go back there, today was not the day. We had decided to go to Ensenada Del Candelero. This anchorage is one short of the furthest north on the island, but still only 23nm from La Paz. Before getting there, we have to pass Puerto Ballena. It is a three-lobed bay. Outside, to the west of these bays are two small islands, Isla Gallo and Gallina, Rooster and Hen Islands.

It never ceases to amaze me how the color and the contours of the terrain change with every new angle. Coming up from the south, we can see no separation of land that would indicate an island. But as we get closer and are at a ninety degree angle, there they are. More like gigantic rocks, though, than islands. I wouldn't want to run into one of them at night. In fact, that might be a distinct possibility as our charts are about 1/8 of a mile off. It has proven prudent to lay the radar over our electronic charts to keep us safe.

A wee bit further north and to the west of us is Isla Ballena, or Whale Island. (They call it this because from the side angle it looks like a whale.) To the east of us and behind the tiny islands are the three lobes. As we weave our way between Gallo and Gallina on one side, and then Ballena on the other side, it feels like we are on a slow, Disney ride through a mountainous pass. The cliffs are streaked with different shades of red, gray and brown. It is a stark view of rock and desert mixed.

Candelero turns out to be smaller than I expected. But once again, as we enter the cove and the angles change, so does my view. The mountainsides grow taller. The water turns from a dark blue to a light green and then to a vivid turquoise.

Often times I contemplate the sheer brilliance of God's artistry. Study a blackberry, for example. Or notice the delicate beauty of a seahorse. And then there are these majestic rocks that rise from the sea like Roca Monumento.

This is the rock that has given the cove its name. It sits in the middle of the bay, and along with a reef, divides the south beach from the north. From the angle we have anchored it looks like a big hunk of candle with candle wax dripping down its side. On one end, there are a bunch of boulders that have fallen into a pile which looks like wax has melted into one big heap. I sit wondering how those rocks got there. What made them fall? Did they fall? Where did they come from? Out of the top and sides grow cactus and there are patches of green fern-like plants hanging from the crevices. The laughing seagull possessively announces this is her home and shows off her newly "painted" rocks, draped with guano. There are caves etched into the bottom layer, from water erosion, I presume. Though not big enough to kayak through, some go clear through to the other side.

We are alone. We are the only boat in the anchorage all night. The clouds provide a colorful sunset. We have dinner and go to bed early. The night is black, black, as the moon is sleeping in again. There are few stars visible as the clouds still hover about.

It is still. So still that when a few waves come our way both Jay and I awaken. Jay is confused by the motion and I tell him I heard an engine far off in the distance. It must have been a boat. All goes quiet again. There are none of the usual boat sounds. No wind through the rigging. The dinghy isn't rubbing against the stern. There is no illusive noise keeping us awake trying to guess where it is coming from. Just a small gurgle from the water in the sink drain.

Suddenly the wind whips up and soars in and out through the caves of Roca Monumento, creating a haunting song. I lie awake listening and, once again, contemplate the sheer brilliance of God's artistry.

Monday, January 20, 2014
Ensenada Del Candelero, Isla Espirtu Santo

Today we had a picnic on south beach. But first we went to north beach to check it out. The tide was high and there was no surf so we were able to beach the dinghy with relative ease. I say relative because there is always that last part of pulling the dinghy, with its engine, up onto the beach. We have wheels but they don't work here because the sand is so soft. Good for a workout though. Just not so great for the backs.

Almost immediately, Jay disappeared. He wanted to find the amphitheater and historic well that he had read about. Off to the right there was what looked like a sign and so he headed that way.

I was slower in my approach. In awe as I looked around at the scenery. In the middle of the beach was a big dip of sand which held leftover water. Probably from very high tides and rough seas. It was circular and darker brown than the rest of the sand. Partly, I suppose, because it was wet. I decided to follow Jay but was heading straight across the center as the water was low enough to walk through. About one third into the circle, I looked down and saw hundreds of little creatures scurrying about.

"Ahggh!" I screamed, running straight back from where I came from.

"What?" I hear Jay yell back.

"Crabs!! Thousands of them! Ahggh!" Still running. "Come look."

But he was off on his own journey soon to be out of sight.

Evidently I had disturbed their busy work and they were as scared of me as I was of them. They were tiny. No more than an inch, most of them. Some were as big as three inches, but not many. Some were carrying something on their backs. Food? Upon a closer look, I notice thousands of little holes in the sand. This must be where they live.

"Jay?" I call out. "Jay? Where are you?"

Suddenly I hear him shout but he isn't answering me. He found the amphitheater and just like a little boy he yells out to hear the sound of his voice echoing through the canyon. (It is interesting. I am finding that we are getting less and less inhibited as we spend more time with nature and less time with people.) Then he calls our for me.

"You've got to come see this!" He says in delight.

This time I avoid the little crabs by walking completely around the brown circle to get to the path that leads to the amphitheater. The path is mostly sand and some brush marked by rocks on either side and leads to the rock face on the north wall. The wall itself looks like someone carved a path in the side of it. But that is impossible, I think. At the very least, improbable. Maybe it is the spring water that flows from the mountain that has shaped this stone to double as a walkway? I climb up the face of the rocks and look around. It is a natural amphitheater. A semi-circle, with no seats, but with good acoustics. Up on the hill is a well. We climb up to see if there is any water.

"Do you know this is a first for me?"

Jay looks at me questioning. "What?"

"I have never, in my life, seen a real well."

Again, with the joy of children, we hang over the well, looking down and taking photos. Jay takes the bucket, pulls up some water and tastes it. "Fresh water." He reports. We wonder who put this here and why.

Back at the beach, we walk up and down along the tide. I find a fish carcass that looks interestingly in tact. Between the well, the crabs and the fish, we determine we could survive here, if needed.

We crawl around the rocks that divide the north beach from the south beach but can't find a way through so decide to take the dinghy around. Once in the dinghy, we change our mind and delay our lunch on south beach to check out the south wall where Pat Raines challenges her readers to find the mask in the rocks. I thought we had found it and took a photo. This image looked like a face etched into the rocks. But them we came upon what looked like a scarey mask. Big round holes in the rock for eyes and a mouth. This must be it. We took a photo of that one too. (Check out the photos in the gallery.)

Lunch was crackers and goat cheese, salami and leftover Mediterranean Salad along with a beer. We sat on the beach and enjoyed the last few moments of solitude. Off on the horizon was a sailboat heading our way and there in the sea were about twenty kayakers descending upon our little paradise. They landed and promptly set up camp. Looks like they are staying for the night. We were grateful to have this place all to ourselves for 24 hours, but it was actually nice to see some humans and to share in this beauty.

Time to get out of the sun. We go back to the boat and rest for awhile. Later I went out kayaking, scouting the reefs at low tide. I didn't see much even though the water is so clear you could see to the bottom. Some coral and starfish like things. Not very scientific, am I? Every once in awhile we see a small turtle sticking its head out of the sea. And there are these birds. Small birds. Maybe three inches. They sit in the water in a circle; six to ten all together. And then as if one animal they dive under the water and disappear. Maybe they aren't birds. Come to think of it, I haven't actually seen them fly. Maybe they are ducks of some kind?

Visiting this island has brought up so many questions. I guess I have some research to do.

The finale was taking a sun shower, sans the bathing suit, on the deck of our boat. (Thankfully, no photos for this event.) See what I mean about getting less inhibited the more we hang out with nature?

NOTE: I read later that the crabs we saw were Fiddler Crabs. They are named this because when the male eats, he holds one claw like a fiddle and uses the other to put the food into his mouth, causing him to look like he is playing the fiddle.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Ensenada Del Candelero, Isla Espiritu Santo to Ensenada Grande, Isla Partida

There are many coves to chose from on these islands and all are just a few miles apart. We are just hopping around going in no particular order. I chose Candelero and when it came to Jay's turn, he chose Ensenada Grande. They are only five nautical miles apart.

Isla Partida is directly north of Espiritu Santo. They are very close, maybe a half mile. On our way up north, we passed west of the very small separation between the two islands. From our viewpoint we could see Sandbar Pass. This is where two overlapping sandbars reach out from both islands so that only a dinghy or kayak can get through and then only at high tide. The east side of the sandbar is called Partida Back Door anchorage and must be approached by boat from the east. In between, where we were sailing and Sandbar Pass, lies Caleta Partida on the south end of Isla Partida. Caleta Partida is supposed to be one of the favorite anchorages and is on my list to visit soon.

The next cove we decided to check out was El Cardonal. This lies just south of Ensenada Grande and is cuts very deep into the island. We took Cadenza in and cruised the bay. It is a large cove with high mountainsides and a small beach. We make a note to visit this bay sometime in the future.

Just about at the entrance to Ensenada Grande, Jay sees something jump out of the water. "Look! Over there! Something black. It looks like it has a fin. Is it a dolphin?"

I get out the binoculars while Jay shouts that he sees one again. We hear a big splat. "They're Manta Rays!" I tell him. Every time they jump and land in the water they make a big splat sound. Like they are doing a belly flop. You would think it would hurt. But I guess it doesn't because they just keep doing it.

Jay gets his camera that can take videos and I take the helm. We follow them and get closer. I put the boat in neutral trying to capture them on film too. There were several. Sometimes two jumping together like synchronized swimming. Or should I say flying? They are fish that want to fly! We had heard the sea was filled with them and finally, we got to see the Manta Ray.

Ensenada Grande is made up of four coves. We chose number three because it is the largest and there are a few good hikes from the beaches. It looks like the kayakers got here before us and set up camp again. We go ashore, walk around a bit and then meet up with a few of the kayakers. Some of them come out for a few days, some for as long as seven days. They kayak around the island with local guides. There is a "mother ship" that brings in support for them; food, water, etc. Turns out they took a shower using the well water at Candelero. Tomorrow they will take the mother ship and go check out Los Islotes. These are two small islets just off the north tip of Isla Partida. There is a sea lion rookery and visitors go in by dinghy or panga to swim with the sea lions. It isn't a great place to anchor. It's very deep and has a rocky bottom. This is another place we will visit.

Back to the boat for an early night. Tomorrow we will hike across the island in the morning, come back to the boat for lunch, and then head over to Las Cuevitas in search of the infamous Blue Footed Booby.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Ensenada Grande, Isla Partida

"Are you kidding me?! I can't believe this!" Jay exclaimed, not too happy now that the head was failing. Why is it that it's the head that always takes a crap? So much for a morning hike.

Four and a half hours later, Jay has fixed the problem. Not without a lot of swearing, but I stood by, doing my best Vanna White, handing him tools and mopping up slush and talking him down from the "I hate this sh#@!" (literally) moments.

Yuck. It wasn't much fun (Actually, it was gross.) especially for Jay. But, as usual, he figured out how to fix it and because of this, we are able to continue on our voyage.

It is one now and I make lunch even though Jay swears he can never look at food again. But I know he needs his nourishment. Especially after all the energy he expended fixing the head. That done, we look toward our next adventure.

We lower the dinghy, fill the tank with gasoline and then off we go to find the Blue Footed Boobies. Who are the Blue Footed Boobies, anyway, and where do they live?

They are birds with blue feet. And I guess they are proud of those feet too. When it is mating time the male tries to woo the female by lifting one foot and then another, his mating dance. They also use their feet to warm their babies. Both mama and papa help out with the incubation. They live throughout the Sea of Cortez but I have read that during mating season there is a rookery in a nearby cove. We go to check it out.

We spent the afternoon in the dinghy, searching coves and beaches for the illusive booby. We found three Brown Pelicans, one Herring Gull, (the rest must have been hiding) lots of Magnificent Frigatebirds and too many wasps. But not one booby.

We end the day with a glass of wine, watching another beautiful sunset. We look at each other and smile. "This is amazing."

Thursday, January 23, 2014
Ensenada Grande, Isla Partida

It is a good thing I am logging the dates as the days out here start running together. The concept of time changes dramatically when cruising. Also when in another country like Mexico. But that is for another blog.

One thing I was very concerned about before we started off on this trip was how we were going to get the weather. It turned out we were able to access the internet for most of the coast of Baja but out here in the islands it is a different story. Fortunately, we have an SSB, and for this part of our journey, we are able to receive the Sonrisa Net. It is a ham station that broadcasts six morning a week and covers the entire country of Mexico. Cruisers that are ham operators check in and report their local weather. It could be from a cove as far south as Barra Navidad or as close as Isla San Francisco just twenty eight miles from here. But the best and most complete weather report comes from our Weather Underground guru, Geary.

Geary lives in Burro Cove in Bahia Conception. His weather reports come from a "...satellite antenna on a palm tree next to my palapa." Each morning he gives us a complete synopsis of what the weather is doing across Mexico, as well as the states. It is an invaluable gift he gives us cruisers and we are grateful for his knowledge. No matter if we are sailing the seas or walking the shores, the weather is always a factor.

Finally, we got in our hike. Although it was more like rock climbing. Which was fun, but tiring. The national parks have done a great job marking the trails, but what was more interesting to me were the markings reminiscent of an old Indian tribe. Three rocks situated just so, grabbing our attention to the direction we should follow to continue on our path.

The day was hot. I'm not sure why they say La Paz is cold in the winter. It was so hot, we were finally ready to jump in the water when the wind (15 to 20 knots) and the cloud cover came up. Change of plans again. We had a lazy afternoon, relaxing and reading on the boat.

We started looking at the charts and cruising guides for our trip up into the Sea. There are so very many places to visit out here, one could take years and never see it all. For sure, we will head for Puerto Escondido. Not sure after that. We might go as far as Bahia Conception. We would love to meet Geary. Or, we might head over to San Carlos and Guaymas. Who knows?

They say, "Life is what happens when you're making plans." So I think I will get back to the present.

Night has fallen and the wind has stopped. The bay is quiet again. The stars are out fighting with the cloud cover to see who gets to show their stuff. Mostly the clouds win. It is the middle of the night and I have come out to check on the moon. She has finally shown her face. Well half of it. But she too is playing hide and go seek with the clouds.

In the stillness many thoughts arise. I wonder at the disparity of the world. I am here in this beautiful place where there is peace. I have food to eat and a warm place to sleep. Others are born into war and poverty and fraught with illness. How is it that I am so fortunate? For this, I am deeply grateful. But it also makes me question. Why the inequity?

Friday, January 24, 2014
Ensenada Grande to Isla San Francisco

Circling around Los Islotes is like visiting an ocean version of Jurassic Park. These two tiny rocky islets are where the sea lions have created a rookery. At first, it is almost impossible to see them as most are the usual brownish, black and blend into the scenery. Some are yellow and therefore are easier to sight. Because sea lions are very vocal and these ones live in and outside of the caves, their cries echo loudly throughout the area, sounding almost prehistoric. Hovering overhead are the Magnificent Frigatebirds. They add to the prehistoric feel. Both seagulls and pelicans sit here and there, claiming the rocks as their home too.

Divers and snorkelers come from all over to swim with the sea lions. Today our purpose was only to scout the islets, but knowing my love for sea lions, Jay says maybe one day we will come back here by dinghy and do the same. Meanwhile, we are on to our next stop.

Isla San Francisco is a small island about 16 nautical miles north of Islas Espritu Santos. It wasn't on our itinerary, exactly. (Jay kept going back and forth, "It's only 16 miles. Let's wait until we head up north. Well, the sea condition is good. But no, let's wait." ) Today he looked at me and said, "It's only 16 miles, just three hours. You want to go?"

"Sure!" And so we went.

We expected 17 to 20 knots of wind from the north later in the afternoon, but around 11am when we left Los Islotes, it was about 9 knots and low seas. By the time we reached the bay off the south side of Isla San Francisco the wind had accelerated to a steady 20 to 22 with gusts to 27. The seas were about three feet at two seconds slowing us down by several knots. Still we forged forward and anchored safely. Isla San Francisco has good protection from north winds and is known for being a holding ground when waiting to pass through the San Jose canal.

The Canal de San Jose is the area just west and north of Isla San Francisco where the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range on the Baja side lies to the west, and 16 miles of Isla San Jose lies to the east. The canal is only two to five miles wide and funnels the northers creating very strong winds and up to three knot currents.

The sky has been lined with a thin cloud layer all day. Now it builds over the mountains and is thicker and showing signs of a gray hue. We watch as boats arrive, one after the other, seeking shelter. From the bay, we have a good view of the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range. As their name suggests, these mountains are magnificent in their stature, and lend themselves to even more spectacular sunsets than those we have witnessed the last few nights.

The wind does not lay down. It continues at a steady twenty knot pace as it will all night. This time we do hear the howling of the wind through the rigging, the dinghy rubbing against the stern. And of course, the always illusive sound. What is that knocking I hear up on deck?

Saturday, January 25, 2014
Isla San Francisco

Jay says it looks like they dropped Phoenix in the middle of the Sea of Cortez. I agree. Just like Phoenix doesn't have any of the beautiful Saguaro cactus that Tucson does, neither does San Francisco have the tall Cardon cactus that Espiritu Santo has. The desert terrain here is much more brush-like. Under the cloudy skies, the landscape looks quite dull. Jay promises me it will be much more beautiful once the sun comes out.

0830 and the wind is still howling 20 to 25 knots. From the weather reports it sounds like it will all day and maybe into tomorrow. Our plans for San Evaristo may have to wait until Monday or maybe even until our next trip, mid February.

The sky is absolutely clear today. I think this is the first day since we have been out here that there are no clouds. I peak my head out to see what Isla San Francisco looks like in sunshine. It is prettier than yesterday, but I am not a fan of this type of terrain. I think one has to walk around on the shore to get a proper perspective. Should the wind lay down, we will venture out. Until then, it might be a day of reading and writing.

Sunday, January 26, 2014
Isla San Francisco to Bahia San Gabriel, Isla Espritu Santo

After two days and sleepless nights of a steady dose of twenty five knot winds we pulled anchor and headed back to Espiritu Santo. We were tired of it. We equated it with being snowed in, only we were winded in. Eleven boats were holed up in the bay waiting for the wind to lay down. A few people did venture out to investigate the island. Jay and I were just not up to fighting with the wind and the waves and the sand blowing in our face so we opted to stay put. But then we got cabin fever and decided to head out the first chance we could. We knew we would be back here on our way north in February. Besides, neither one of us particularly liked this island so far. Maybe it will look different once we get on shore and look around.

The first part of our trip, the wind was up about 15 and the seas were still choppy; the norther was still hanging on. We put up the genny and sailed downwind. It wasn't exactly a relaxing sail as we had to focus to keep the wind in our sail. The waves were pushing us all around. Still, we found it fun, conquering the challenge.

As we left San Francisco, I couldn't help but notice the beauty of the Sierra de la Gigante mountain range. Rising 3600 feet into the sky, it is dramatic, especially in contrast to the shoreline. As the colors in the sky changed so too did the contours of the rocks, striped with reds and blues, grays and greens.

Then the wind died down. Back to motoring.

Then the wind picked up again. This time from the northeast. No one called for that. We put up the genny again and this time the seas had changed to rolling and were (for the most part) following seas. It was a lovely sail back to Espiritu Santo.

We heard our friends from sv/Georgia calling their buddy-boat, sv/Tiger Beetle. Tiger Beetle didn't answer, but we did. It turns out both boats were at San Gabriel. We chatted for awhile, catching up on each other's travels and then signed off saying we looked forward to seeing them in the bay.

The cruising community here in Mexico has turned out to be great. All along the way, we have been meeting new people on countless boats. We see them in one cove and then don't see them for days and then run into them again in another anchorage or some town. Everyone is so helpful too. Here in the La Paz area, all one has to do, is get on the VHS, Channel 22a and hail, "Attention fleet." Follow that with your boat's name and what you need and eventually someone will get back to you who can lend a hand or tell you where to get what you need.

Well, we were in need (sort of) and we were in luck. Just as we anchored, Lucy from Georgia and Kristin and Rob from Tiger Beetle came over in their dinghy to say hello. Now on day eight of a ten day journey, we were getting kind of low on provisions. Nothing to worry about, but not the best of pickings in the fridge. Just in time, Lucy invites us over for dinner! Yea! We scrounge up some appetizers, crackers and smoked salmon and some celery stuffed with goat cheese, and were off to share a meal with our new friends. Lucy's husband, Ben, fixed us a scrumptious German meal; Beef Roulade with steamed cabbage. Cookies for desert. Then back to the boat for a good nights sleep. Finally.

Monday, January 26, 2014
Bahia San Gabriel, Isla Espiritu Santo

We first noticed it from afar. Hundreds of birds were circling this one area over by the rocks. On the southeast side of the bay, nestled amongst the mangroves, we found a Magnificent Frigatebird rookery. It was quite a scene. The sound alone was a cacophony of mating calls; clucking and cries, loud drumming noises as they twisted and turned. There were hundreds of birds. Some where flying above. Others were sitting, either tucked into the bushes or along the rocks. Some were doing the mating dance. Others were actually mating. And still others were building their nests.

At first, we were confused as it appeared there were two different kinds of species mating. One flock of birds were black with white breasts and the other was pure black with a red neckline. It turns out that Magnificent Frigatebirds are the only seabird to have two distinct looks. The female is the white breasted one and the male is pure black with a purple haze along its back and a greenish siding. The red neckline is his gular sac. His mating ritual involves the puffing up of this sac until it looks like a red balloon or a rather odd goiter attached to his neck. This is what catches the females eye, telling her he is ready and wanting to mate.

The Magnificent Frigatebird has a wingspan that can reach seven feet, yet has very short legs making it difficult to walk. And these little stinkers are known for stealing fish! Their feathers absorb water so they can't stay in the water long. Instead, when they see another bird catch a fish, they attack, trying to grab their prey. I guess we all take what we can in order to survive.

Dusk was falling when I noticed several dolphins around the boat. Several became twenty and then fifty and then maybe as many as one hundred entered the bay. For some it was feeding time. Others were playful, jumping three feet in the air.

"Quick! Help me lower the kayak!" I asked Jay, excited.

Chasing dolphins in a kayak. How great was that. They were all around me. Some would rise out of the water just a few feet away. I could hear their breath, even smell their breath, as they swam by. It was a very special moment in the many moments of this journey and I couldn't stop smiling. Pure joy.

As the sun set, the clouds moved in. These clouds were dark and with them, brought rain. It was a gentle, steady rain that we listened to sitting under the dodger. A welcome relief to all the salt the Sea of Cortez carries. I am thinking Cadenza was smiling, grateful for a bath. I certainly was.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Bahia San Gabriel to La Paz

Day ten. Jay and I revisited the frigatebird rookery. I took some close-up photos while he took a video. I could have stayed hours watching this wonderful performance of nature. I am so fascinated and in love with the birds and animals and the multitude of fish living in the Sea of Cortez. But the time had come to weigh anchor. Back to the boat.

We were preparing to leave when a neighboring boat came up and asked us for some spare fuel. Paying it forward, we waited as they borrowed our five gallon diesel can and stored some back-up fuel as there gauge was suddenly registering lower than they thought safe. One day, that will be us.

The trip home was calm and uneventful. Beautiful.

Once docked, we were anxious to get a hot shower and relax. Turns out a main water line had broken. No water. No shower. Ugh!

Wednesday, January 28, 2014
Marina Costabaja, La Paz

The water is back on. The clean-up begins and I spend the day cleaning out the refrigerator, cleaning the oven and taking inventory of the food. Jay washes the boat and continues fixing various things that have broken during our cruise, checking items off his list. Neither one of us can wait to take a shower. Finally, the day's chores are done and we head to the showers. Water, yes. Hot water, no.

Well? What do you say to that? Sometimes one just needs a bath, hot or cold. It was refreshing and felt so good to be clean. Did you ever think how wonderful it is to be able to have enough water to take a shower?
Comments
Vessel Name: Cadenza
Vessel Make/Model: Hardin 45' Ketch
Hailing Port: Malibu, California
Crew: Jay Chattaway, Terri Potts-Chattaway
About: Jay has owned Cadenza for over 20 years. He originally bought her in La Paz, Mexico (known as Mercury One and before that as Mar y Vent) and brought her up to the Channel Islands. Terri fell in love with sailing and Cadenza over ten years ago and she has been a labor of love ever since.
Extra:
The Plan: We are to leave Channel Islands Harbor the beginning of September, 2013 and head to San Diego for a few months of prep and family time. Next, we leave for La Paz (we love it there) the beginning of November. We will winter out of La Paz, exploring the Sea of Cortez. This is the first [...]
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11 Photos
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