S/V Seychelles

S/V Seychelles leaves SE Alaska, heading to where we don't need fleece and foul weather gear.

14 December 2012 | Mazatlan Mexico
08 December 2012 | Mazatlan Mexico
09 June 2012 | Sea of Cortez
23 May 2012 | La Paz
25 February 2012 | Bahia Tenacatita
18 January 2012
10 January 2012
07 January 2012
22 December 2011 | La Cruz & Puerto Vallarta
12 December 2011 | Islands North of La Paz
11 November 2011
04 November 2011
02 November 2011 | Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo San Lucas
29 October 2011 | Turtle Bay to Bahia Santa Maria
27 October 2011 | Turtle Bay Mx
24 October 2011 | San Diego to Turtle Bay MX
23 October 2011 | San Diego
12 October 2011 | Kona Kai Marina, Shelter Island, San Diego
20 September 2011 | Kona Kai Marina, shelter Island, San Diego
14 September 2011 | Marina Del Rey

Feeling the joy

14 December 2012 | Mazatlan Mexico
Nicki / Overcast
Holiday season is in full swing here in Mazatlan. Virgen de Guadelupe Day was observed on Wednesday. Parents dressed their children in traditional garb and brought them to the cathedral for the blessing of the children and to have their pictures taken in dioramas setup around the church yard.









Christmas trees and manger scenes are being erected in the squares.


This evening we attended the Gala Navidena (Christmas concert) at the Angela Peralta Theater.


The orchestra and singers were beautiful and they had some fun with Santa hats, antlers and flashing reindeer noses too.


After the concert cups of soup and rice, tamales, and sugared crisps were passed out in the lobby. In the courtyard out front a pinata was hung and cracked open for the kids. It was a festive evening.



We are getting into the spirit on board as well. We put our “tree” up the other day. What better use for the mast post?



I was feeling a little crafty and combined crocheted snowflakes a friend gave me with Mexican straw stars to make fancy new ornaments for our tree. The old standby crystal snowflakes have been hung and packages are being prepared for shipping home to the kids. I dipped some dried apricots in chocolate this afternoon, which may be the extent of my goody making this year. But the spirit is in the air and we are feeling the joy.

Spell Bound

08 December 2012 | Mazatlan Mexico
Nicki
We were warned "Don't get STUCK in Mexico"! Despite the warning, we may have fallen under her spell! The magic of the Sea of Cortez may have proven too strong for our constitution. We simply haven't gotten enough of the Sea of Cortez or Mexico in general.

As it should be as cruisers, our plans seem to change with the wind and tide. Although we haven't completely thrown out our original plan of a year in Mexico, then through the Panama Canal and up the east coast of the US, we are altering the timetable. Right now (and this could/may likely change again) we plan to spend the winter along the Mexican west coast and then return to the Sea for another season.

We are currently in Mazatlan, spending time with cruising friends and enjoying all the city has to offer. Tickets are in hand for the Dec. 14th presentation of Gala Navidena at Angela Peralta Theater. First Friday Art Walk was enjoyed with a group of other cruisers. There is talk of taking in a local baseball game. And of course we will have to fit in a day to stroll the Mercado Municipal, because I'm certain I need a new pair of Huaraches!

Well, Happy Holidays to you all. Maybe we'll see you in Mexico in the coming year!!

Check out the new photo album too:

Out to sea again

09 June 2012 | Sea of Cortez
Nicki / Sunny, highs pushing 100f
Well, the sunshades are complete and our provisioning done. It's time to head out to sea once more. In this case, north further into the Sea of Cortez.

We have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in La Paz, once again. It's a wonderful city that feels so much like a small town. Here are just a few of the highlights of our time spent:


Bright flowering trees are all about town.


University students were practicing their English by talking with people on the street. We talked for about 15 minutes. They were very cute!


Some of my favorite sculptures. I wonder what my shell would be?


The newest addition to the Malecon sculptures, Jacques Cousteau.


Time spent with friends is always good. Time spent eating good food with friends is even better!


Russ & Doreen of S/V August Moon, threw a dock party to celebrate Russ's birthday.


And what we stayed around for... the sunshades that will help to keep us cool in the heat of Baja Summer!

Lost in Mexico

23 May 2012 | La Paz
Nicki / High today a cool 94f
Hello? Hello?? Yes, we're still here! We've just been a bit lost in the sun, the sea, the beaches, the islands, and all that is beautiful Mexico.

The past 5 months we have traveled from La Paz, on the Baja Peninsula, across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan, on the West coast of mainland Mexico, down the West coast as far as Manzanillo and back. These past 2 months we have been in and out of La Paz, making trips north into the Sea of Cortez.

People ask of the places we've visited, what place do we like best? The truth is, they are all wonderful! Every place we've been has it's own special charm and we have loved them all. I'll get new photo albums loaded soon so you too can see all the wonderful places we have visited.

We are currently in La Paz getting sunshades made for the boat, and will then head back up into the sea for the summer or until we can't take the heat. The temps are already in the 90s every day, and have peaked at 100f for a couple days. It is still cooling at night into the high 60s, but that will change as summer rolls in and temps can stay in the 90s overnight. We'll see how well we can deal with that!

Life is good, Mexico is beautiful, and we are happy!

Hope all is well with you. We do miss our family and friends, so leave us a comment and let us know how you are doing.

An Amazing Day!

25 February 2012 | Bahia Tenacatita
Nicki
From the time we hit Baja California Sur, we have been seeing turtle nests in protective pens on the beaches. Never before today had we connected with one when a caretaker was attending to the nests.

Today on a walk along the beach with several other cruisers, I noticed that a caretaker was in the one large turtle nest pen here in Bahia Tenacatita. Wouldn’t you know I didn’t have my camera on me (nor did anyone else). However, we got to watch the caretaker dig up the nest and collect the Leatherback turtles that had already hatched. He placed the 25 to 30 hatched turtles into a bucket to hold for release in the evening, when the chance of escaping the many birds is greater for them. He then gently placed any un-hatched and partially hatched eggs back into the hole and covered them back up with warm sand, their progress to be checked on again tomorrow.

He allowed us to hold the newly hatched turtles, which fit easily in the palm of our hands. It was so amazing!

Friday evenings in Tenacatita, the cruisers have a dinghy raft-up. One dinghy drops an anchor and the others tie up off that one in a circle. Everyone brings an appetizer to share around the circle and we all visit and share stories. The “Mayor” (a cruiser who accepts the responsibility of organizing activities in the anchorage) usually selects an icebreaker topic to include when we go around the circle and introduce ourselves. This Friday’s topic was “amazing things we have seen in nature while boating/cruising”. I now have a new “amazing thing” on my list!

Bahia de Navidad

18 January 2012
Nicki
1/18/12 - 1/24/12

This was an interesting stop. The anchorage here isn't in the open bay like most. Instead it's inside a large shallow lagoon. Along one side of the entry into the lagoon is a luxury resort & marina, along the other side of the entry is the town of Barra de Navidad.



The cruiser friendly small Hotel Sands was our hangout while here. They allowed cruisers to tie dinghies at their seawall and use of their pool without any questions. It was a given that you just ordered food and/or drinks while you hung out. The pool was a nice treat and the restaurant prepared a couple dinners just for the cruising crowd.



Just north within the bay is the town of Melaque. We caught a bus and spent an afternoon getting groceries at tiendas and a cool drink at a beach side, palapa roofed bar.

During our week stay, we experienced an earthquake one afternoon. We were ashore at a fish vendor along the hillside. It was quick and short, but felt like the hillside has just rumbled down onto the backside of the building. Luckily, there was no landslide or any other damage done.

Just a few pictures from the area:

Tenacatita/La Manzanilla

10 January 2012
Nicki
Ahhhh. We have heard about this bay for years from our Juneau cruising friends who have made this trip ahead of us. It meets all the expectations we held for it, although the mental image we held didn't match. It's hard to imagine something you have never seen before. The anchorage at Tenacatita really doesn't look all that much different than the other anchorages along the Mexican west coast. Long curving sandy beach, palapa restaurants along the shore, rugged rocky points at either end of the bay, and lush green uplands.
Some of the differences in this anchorage are the clearness of the water, an estuary with easy access for dinghies or kayaks, and panga taxi service availability across the bay to La Manzanilla and all if it's treats.

We spent a week enjoying all this bay has to offer, and will be making an other stop on our way back up north to the Sea.


Turtle tracks to nest
Crock reserve

Bahia Chamela

07 January 2012
Nicki
We made the 19 hour trip from La Cruz to Bahia Chamela under full moon with lots of whale activity.

We spent just a couple days here and did little shore exploration. But we didn't miss out on the beach Palapas.


and the crumbling hotel was too much to resist a stroll down the beach to check out:

And as this stop was short... so is this post!

Banderas Bay

22 December 2011 | La Cruz & Puerto Vallarta
Nicki
12/17/2011 - 1/6/2012

We left the islands outside of La Paz on Dec. 17th along with S/V Rose of Erin, Damon & Erin Cruz, to cross the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan. The weather forecast was for northerly winds to 15k, the reality was winds up to 30k. Because we were expecting a light wind sail, I didn't take any seasickness precautions, and ended up being sick the whole 30 hour trip. (I now have a seasick drug that is supposed to still be effective even if taken once symptoms have started.) John on the other hand was thrilled with the sail! We arrived in Mazatlan Dec. 19th and decided not to hang around long, and departed for Banderas Bay Dec. 21st.

Banderas Bay is a large area, containing the towns of La Cruz, Bucarias, and the city of Puerto Vallarta. We spent the majority of our time in La Cruz, splitting our time there between the anchorage and the marina, only taking the boat over to PV to attend our friends Daragh & Cathryn's wedding on Dec 30 and New Years Eve. La Cruz is a great small town that has access to a large area. I could easily spend more time there!

La Cruz, like most towns we've visited in Mexico has a percentage of expats and seasonal inhabitants from the US and Canada. In fact, Linda & Mark http://www.alaskacapitalinn.com/ from Juneau spend several months there each winter. We were able to connect with them and spend some time together. They are such gracious hosts and introduced us to several of their friends and favorite restaurants in the area.




They even included us in their annual Christmas day at the beach. I've got to agree that Christmas in the sun, under a palapa, with cold drinks works well for me!
Photo: Christmas at the beach palapa


Photo: Christmas eve in the marina


Photo: Local English class singing Christmas carols, in English

La Cruz is full of musical people, thus live music could be found most night in one restaurant or another.

We met Daragh & Cathryn and Georgie (the Westy Dog) of S/V Chantey V (hailing port Victoria BC) on our way down the US coast and they have become dear friends. They had planned their wedding before leaving home and had family coming in to join them. We were very honored to be invited to join them on their special day. The wedding was beautifully simple and elegant.



New Years eve we again joined the "O'Nagle" clan for dinner, drinks and fireworks over the bay.

Islas

12 December 2011 | Islands North of La Paz
Nicki
When we left La Paz, we spent a week in the islands just to the north. It was a refreshing break from being at a marina in a city. We spent days hiking, afternoons kayaking, and evenings enjoying the fresh air in the cockpit gazing at the stars.














And this is what I did on my Birthday...
Vessel Name: Seychelles
Vessel Make/Model: Hylas 49
Hailing Port: Douglas, Alaska
Crew: John Stone & Nicki Germain
About: We have sailed & cruised Southeast Alaska for years. 1991-2004, aboard our Hans Christian 39 PH, "Jolly Mon" , and 2004-2010, aboard our Hylas 49, "Seychelles". We’ve been living aboard "Seychelles" since we bought her.
Extra: After 20+ years of talking and planning we finally departed our home port of Juneau/Douglas, Alaska on June 18, 2011 to destinations south, leaving the fleece and foul weather gear behind!
Seychelles's Photos - Mision San Javier
Photos 1 to 50 of 50 | Main
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Our tour guide Judy.
In an arroyo along the way to the mission is a 150 year old fig tree.
Notice how the roots work their way over, around, and into the rock.
Pondering the tree
Our little tour group
One of the tree
Our second stop along the way was to see some cave paintings.
Very cool!
Judy shared her vast knowledge of the area and the paintings.
Admiring the rock formations.
What a bug!  A tarantula hawk, which  is a type of spider wasp which hunts tarantulas as food for its larvae.
Arrival at the Mission
Pomegranate tree outside the main entrance.
Main alter
Paintings were stolen from this second alter, some time in the past.  Never recovered.
One of the remaining paintings in the alter.
One of the two secondary alters.
Nautical effects on the alter side door.  Jesuit Father Francisco María Píccolo, who built the mission, was first a ship builder.
Original paintings on the ceiling.
Ceiling painting detail
Stairs to the bell tour.
Rear wall.
Taking a walk behind the church to the gardens and olive grove.
Colorful snake  in the gardens.
Original olive tree, brought from Italy.
New olive tree bearing fruit.
Across the gully you can see the original mule trail from Loreto through the mountains to build the mission.
Along the road...
Loreto, way down below.
 
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S/V Seychelles

Who: John Stone & Nicki Germain
Port: Douglas, Alaska