Around the world with S/V Zephyr

The adventures of Bill & Tracy as they fulfill their lifes dream of sailing the world. We've dreamed of this for years and now is the time while the health is still good and there is money in the kitty to make it come true.

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
09 March 2018 | Mazatlan, Mexico
08 March 2018 | Punta de Mita, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
24 February 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
24 February 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
24 February 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
16 February 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
14 February 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
11 February 2018 | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
10 February 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The "Buffaloes" are running!!

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
In the Sea of Cortez, when the winds kick up out of the northwest and come barreling down the sea, it stirs up lots of waves and swells all with white tops of foam making their way south. We found out years ago that the terminology for this was that the "Buffaloes are running" . When that happens, it's a good time to just pull into a protected anchorage if you can and if you're not pressed to get somewhere by a certain time. Salish Sea that was with us and took off yesterday morning was trying to get to Guymas by the end of the month from what they said, hence their leaving yesterday after a short night here. Others are coming and going all the time,, especially if they are a charter boat. Last night about 2100, I went on deck to check things out as we were having a bit of a blow from the east and thought I saw a boats steaming light at it rounded the south end of the bay. About an hour later we heard an anchor chain getting dropped quite close to our stern. I walked out and found that boat had dropped just off our stern and was slowly backing up letting out lots of chain as they went. We saw today that they are called "True Love", a lightweight Hunter 38 with lots of extra tanks on deck for fuel and water. With the winds we are having today, we can see why they stretched the anchoring time so late. We never like to enter a bay at night but have done it if we have to. They are now about 100 yards off our stern, safe and sound. The last forecast we had was for the winds to be kicking up tomorrow but it's been breezy here since late yesterday afternoon. I'll be pulling up a new forecast when I post this blog. With the wind coming in the way it is, we are only in trouble if it shifts from the southwest, a rare thing here. With tall cliffs off to our left, it takes all the wind over us of it it comes at out bow from the east, it's still slowed by the cliffs to the east so we are in a good place for just about any wind that comes our way. Tracy made scones for breakfast! Using the oven helps to put a bit more heat inside the cabin where this time of year it's appreciated.

A power boaters day

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
It's been blowing about all day, out of the of the north to north east making it hard for sailboats to make their way north in the Sea of Cortez. Power boats have been the boat of choice to make any headway today unless you are going south and then that's a different matter. We've seen many sailboats pass our bay heading south along the coast and a few stopped in. One did in the late afternoon and headed for the south cove here in Ensenada Grande only to see how many boats there were already anchored and promptly turned around and headed farther south for a different cove. The sailboat, True Love that came in late last night sat here all day, even launching their dinghy this afternoon. With the forecast for the next 48 hours continuing to be out of the north and with speeds of 15-20 knots, we figured they would be here for several day but I just went out to check our anchor and lighting only to find they are gone. It's calmed down a bit over the last few hours and I guess they decided it was a good time to take off father north in the sea. By early this morning,we had 6 big power boats(up to 118 feet long)anchored in the middle cove pulling out their assorted toys to play in the water as more and more tour boats full of tourists that had been taken to Los Islotes to snorkel with the sea lions came in for an afternoon at the beach in the center cove. Being Sunday, there were lots but all in all, a quiet bunch of people that unless you knew they were there, you wouldn't know. Fine by us but I'm sort of glad True Love has moved on. Having then about 75 yards away from our stern after enjoying the peace and quiet of having the place to our selves just didn't sit well with me. We had tons of people when we were in the Caribbean that parked their boats close by and we got used to that as there really wasn't a choice and the anchorages were normally small and the population of boats was huge. Here, not so much. At least tomorrow, if we are lucky, we will have the north cove to ourselves The winds that are forecast to be here tomorrow through Wednesday are set to be in the 20 to 25 knot range and as close as we are to the tall cliffs to the north and east of us, most of the winds go over us yet give us enough so our wind generator spins well. We will see what tomorrow brings. Earlier today, I found the solar powered sidewalk light that we found in the US Virgin Islands. I put it out to charge and then attached it to the stern end of the boom so boats that might come in at night will see the flashing light right down at water line and not have to look at the top of our mast to see that we are here. We also have two flashing lights that put out a blue light that we bought in Thailand. No navigation lights glow blue so anyone coming in will know it's a boat of some kind and not a navigation light.

Jobs and winds

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
It's now Saturday afternoon and we spent out first day here in Ensenada Grande. Yesterday, after taking a "Catch up" nap, I came out only to ge greeted with the fact that another sail boat had invaded out nice quiet cove. My response to Tracy was "Who invited them into OUR cove? We are used to having it to ourselves since most boats grap a place either at the south anchorage or the middle, but rarly here in the north lobe. Salish Sea, a nice looking boat was anchored a bit farther into the cove. We knew we had met them some time in the past but have no clue. We exchanged greeting and one of their first questions was "Do you have a blog?" My answer was of course, "Yes". Their response was that they had been following us for many years as we made our way around and had last read out posts when we were in the Caribbean. We exchanged more pleasantries including the fact that when they rounded the point and started coming into the north lobe, Mr. Salish Sea was made that someone was iin "Their" cove. What a coincidense that we both felt the same. Everyone that has traveled the Sea of Cortez has favorite places to stop and can be quite protective over them relishing the quiet and solidarity of "their" coves. We both laughed at both of us feeing the same way and went on to yell across the distance between the boats stories and plans. They are headed for Guymas to ge hauled out in a few weeks and would be leaving today to get farther north while the winds are good. Nasty 20+ knot winds are forecast for next Monday for several days so it pays to make distance when you can. It wasn't supposed to be windy today but we have winds in the mid teens as I'm typing this out of the east to northeast which would make sailing north pretty good if you can get the right angle. Really great if you are headed south.

All the boats that were in Ensenada Grandes three coves have taken off including a 200 foot tour boat(Safari Adventure) that came in to our bay late in the afternoon having passed our bow as we rounded the top of Isla Partida yesterday early morning. Theydeployed tons of water toys for their guests but kept to them selves not disturbing any of us. They left sometime during the night for their next anchorage. All the others have left during the morning with more coming in to take their place but everyone is staying out of "OUR" nice cove. Early this morning, I started up our Yamaha generator only to find it wasn't puttting our any volts. Well RATS!!! Not what we wanted to hear. I checked it with my volt meter and it appeared dead except that it ran. I checked it a few hours later and this time, it was putting out some really nice volts and amps for our batteries. We'd run the engine for about 90 minutes before I restarted the generator and once it was running right, we let her run for another 45 minutes or so. The batteries are now nicely charged and I've turned on the Duo Gen wind generator on the stern so it's putting out a few amps for us as well.

This morning, we grabbed rags and some really find sand paper and started in on cleaning off the rust on our stainless steel. Not hard work but with nets attached to all the lifelines and stantions, it's not the easiest to get to all the nitches in the steel. We also found that the bow nav light was not working so once we were done, I took it apart and cleaned the contact and bulb and now she lights up fine. Only problem is that at sometime, it got hit by something and the notches along the top of the light that keep the top closed have been broken allowing water into the fitting hence the corrosion. Once I'd gotten it closed, I put some electrical tape over the separated seam and sealed it as best I could.

For lunch, Tracy made us some Thai chicken with red curry. It's much hotter than the normal green curry and what she couldn't eat, well I was just fine at cleaning up her plate as well. Oh so yummy and there is even some left for another smaller meal. Don't mind if I do!! As of now, we sit, relax and watch more boats come and go in Ensenada Grande just to see if anyone will join us. Sure hope not.

Into Ensenada Grande

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
We pulled into Endsenada Grande about 0730, 46 hours after leaving Mazatlan. In total, about 240 miles, all of it motoring or motor sailing.. The lack of wind was expected and what we had hopped for as it normally comes out of the northwest making it much harder to get here. With no wind, it wasn't cheap getting here but it was trouble free. As we moved along, I typed periodic updates of where were and how were were doing and what we had seen but I did it on the IPad figuring I could upload it on the internet once we made La Paz but, since we delayed our arrival till the parts we ordered came in, that won't be for about a week or so. Sorry!

As for the last day or so getting here, well the day started out nice and sunny and quickly turned overcast and threw in some fog late in the evening just to make the trip more interesting. We saw a few boats from time to time and more on our AIS but most avoided us staying many miles away. With AIS, they can see us and make sure we are well off their course. Once the fog cleared earlier this morning, the stars were out beautifully in the night sky. Now that we are at anchor, we can sit out at night on the stern deck and watch them though the incredible dew that soaks the decks every night might make us rethink that. We;ll see tonight. As we got closer to the top end of Isla Partida, I saw a blinking light on the horizon, pretty much right off our bow. I adjusted the auto pilot to starboard so we would go around what ever it was. I checked our chart plotter and found out it was a light beacon on Isla Islotes off the north side of Partida. It's a huge nature preserve with tons of sea lions living there year round and a great place to visit and play with them. We did it 9 years ago when we were last in the neighborhood. As we rounded the point into Ensenada Grande, there were about a half dozen boats of all sizes already at anchor but none in the north cove where we have anchored in the past. Several trawlers as well as at least one charter catamaran in in the big bay. As the morning has gone along(its now 0925, several of the boats have already left but it's a big party place on the weekends so it could be a loud night ahead.. We will see tonight. I'll post my long post about our trip as soon as I can.

The trip to Mazatlan

09 March 2018 | Mazatlan, Mexico
Bill/sunny and cool
We are slowly making our way north towards Mazatlan having left the dock in darkness of 0600, taking care that we didn't hit any boats nor channel markers and the huge hoses the dredge uses to pump out the sand. Tracy was at the bow telling me where to turn and which way. The channel away from the marina isn't well lit so she paid close attention as I steered in darkness.
We cleared the channel shortly after 0615 and took off across Banderas Bay heading for Punta de Mita and the start of the Sea of Cortez. We were headed for Mazatlan taking advantage of a lull in the winds that come down the sea making heading north a lot harder. We've been out for five hours and have rounded the point at the north end of the bay and are heading north north west at about 5.7 knots making our arrival sometime tomorrow afternoon. We have the mainsail up but it's mainly to keep us from rolling in the swells should they start hitting us on the beam.
We have three other boats along with us, all from the La Cruz Marina and each doing about the same speed we are so it's a nice flotilla of sailboats motoring along.
This weather window was originally supposed to last till late Sunday but now is going to end on Saturday but we will be safely at one of the marinas where the kids can relax again. Blue made sure to exercise her right to protest our leaving the marina by throwing up on the floor as well as the settee cushions but at least neither is showing signs of sea sickness they usually do with foam and drool coming fr,om their mouthed. Snowshoe started out in the cockpit but is now in the stern stateroom sleeping while Blue is lying out in the main cabin just counting the hours till we are nicely tied up again. They both made it around the world with us but just don't show the excitement we have for the trips we take. It's going to be interesting when we take them back to our home in Colorado. Both are used to spending lots of time outside and that just isn't going to happen there.
We've had lots of porpoises and tons of turtles since we started with the porpoises swimming at the bow and the turtles just lazing in the sun getting warmed up, their shells looking like big coconuts in the water.

It's now Friday morning at 0415 or maybe 0515, We think Mazatlan is on a different time zone. Our iPad has changed the time zone automatically even though we have no internet out here. Still 43 Miles to go so we should be in about noon, the time zone makes a difference as we are shooting for slack tide in the estuary we have to go in to get to our new marina. From what it looks like, we may be coming in when the tide is rising so the incoming water might push us in. There isn't that much of a tide so it may not be a big deal.
As for the three boats we have been traveling with, one was going much faster then the rest of us and is far ahead of us. One is going slower and is far behind us and the third boat,Dodger Too, is about a mile dead ahead of us, maintaining almost the same speed we are though we have gotten a bit closer over the last five hours.
What winds we had died off after the sun went down so it pretty calm water around us but we do have some fog to contend with. Hopefully it will burn off when the sun comes up.
Last nights five hour "off duty" sleep in the stern cabin was the most comfortable I've had in quite a while. With the engine going, it has warmed up the cabin nicely so it's a better temperature as far as I'm concerned for sleeping. We don't really have any thicker blankets on board having sent them back to Colorado years ago. When it a constant 80 at night where ever we went, we didn't really need them but will need to get a couple, maybe in Mazatlan.
One place we do want to revisit from our stay here years ago is a restaurant "Fat Fish". They serve the most amazing plate of barbecue beef rinpbs since we used to eat at "Countyline Restaurant"back in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. A huge plate that if you show up for "Happy Hour"you get two plates for the price of one!! I'll take some pictures when we go ther, probably Saturday night.
Tracy is off watch and catching some sleep below as I watch our progress. It's been a quiet trip with lots of porpoises and tons of turtles in the water as we move along. Add in some bioluminescence in the water stirred up by our movement and it's an amazing sight to see.

It's now 0735 or maybe 0635, not sure about the time zone still but we are still moving along at about 5 knots so landfall isn't until sometime after lunch as we still have about 30 Miles to go having covered 140 since 0600 yesterday, all under motor. We do have the mainsail up but it's mainly to stabilize Zephyr should beam seas hit us. So far none have and we are just gliding away. The fog that rolled in late last night is still with us and we have visibility of about 500 yards and then it whites out. It that's better then it was earlier. As for our companion boat, Dodger Too, he's just over a mile ahead and just to our starboard side so we don't get to close. He's doing about the same speed since we are both stuck in a slight bit of adverse current that's slowed us down over night. We had been doing in the high 5 knot to 6 knot range but are now just at 5 which is fine. I'm sitting in the cockpit under a blanket with a fleece jacket on just waiting for the sun to break through this mist. We have tons of dew on the deck and the dodger windows making seeing a bit harder so I peer around the back edge of the bimini to see what is in front of us. Our radar died years ago just off the coast of Africa and we've never replaced it as we rarely used it in our travels. This is the first fog we've been out in since we left the west coast of the US years ago. I just took another look out and the fog is slowly lifting so that I can now see Dodger Too 1.5 miles away.

It's now 0950 or maybe 0850, we still have no internet nor cell phone even though we are just 15miles outside of Mazatlan. Tracy has come back up after getting off watch at 0500 and the fog has settled back in with visibility down to a couple hider yards maybe. Our AIS only shows Dodger Too ahead of us and no other boats in the vicinity but we keep watch for local fishermen that may be out here. While the sun is now up, we've kept our navigation lights as well as our steaming light(forward facing light half way up the mast)so another boat might se us better. We press on now doing close to six knots and due in about lunch.
Tracy just checked a program on her phone and yes, Mazatlan is an hour earlier than Puerto Vallarta so we will be adjusting all the clocks on board again. At least the sun now comes up at 0620 instead of 0720. Weird having it dark so late.

It's now just after 1600 and we are all checked in at Marina Fonatur here in Mazatlan. Pulled in just before noon and we're glad the fog finally burned off about 1030. Got all tied up, checked in and had a great lunch of a BLT! Tracy sure can make a great lunch.
Now we start looking for parts we need. Going to try the morning VHF net.
The picture today is of some of the dolphins that were playing in the water off Zephyrs bow as we motored North. The water was so clear that you could look down from the bow and count their spots as they raced in front of us.

On our way.

08 March 2018 | Punta de Mita, Mexico
Bill/sun just came up.
We dropped our dock lines at 0600 and are on our way to Mazatlan, about 175 Miles north of Puerto Vallarta. We’re doing about six knots under power as there is no wind and hope to be there by 1300 tomorrow. We see another two boats so far coming with us. A 30foot sailboat and a 35foot power boat. Should be more joining us as it’s a long way to go and still get in in day light.
Vessel Name: Zephyr
Vessel Make/Model: Shin Fa 458
Hailing Port: Denver, Colorado
Crew: Bill & Tracy Hudson
About: We've been sailing since the early 80's on lakes in New Mexico and Colorado and finally took the plunge and bought Zephyr.
We moved on board in April of 2008 and have been working and sailing her ever since. Up to Alaska and down to Mexico and across the Pacific to Fiji. From Fiji to the Philippines and down to South Africa for Christmas 2015. We've now made it to the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal. With [...]
Home Page: http::/
Zephyr's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 54 of 54
The electrical connection with switch for the new Spectra Watermaker.
Our new watermaker--it still needs the hoses run but we are getting closer to getting the job done.
La Panga Restaurant and Marina Palmira office
You put your trash out in trash cans by the curb.  Here, they put it in raised steel containers to keep animals out of it while awaiting pickup.
OK, sounds like a restaurant I want to try.  Nothing wrong with a skull on the sign.
Boats in Marina Palmira.
Bigger power boats in Marina Palmira.
More boats in Marina Palmira.
Marina Costa Baja
Looking West from the marina.
Looking North towards the hotel La Fiesta.
Boats at Marina Costa Baja.
We sat for quite a while just watching the sun go down and see all her changing colors.  Each night provided a whole rainbow of colors.
La Fiesta Hotel.  Nice place and just about empty.
Matt getting some relaxation at the pool.
They stroll the docks each day.
Along the sidewalk at Marina Costa Baja.
Looking down from above.  Boy, it
The view from the top of the mast of the marina.
Out into the bay.
The "Beach Club at the hotel.
More of the Marina and the hotel.
Pangas along the beach at Los Muertos.
The dingy dock at Los Muertos.
Looking out from the restaurant at Los Muertos.
Pelicans and the pangas along the launching ramp at Los Muertos.
The Sun glinting off the bay at Los Muertos.
What used to be the Giggling Marlin restaurant.  Now El Carbon.
Rock walls out by the dingy dock at Los Muertos.
One of the flying Manta Rays at Los Frailes.  Look closely.
More flying Manta Rays at Los Frailes.
The Eastern end of Los Frailes.
Ensenada de Los Muertos.
The ceiling of the restaurant at Los Muertos.
Blue goes hunting.  She knows there is something on the barbecue grill
With her toes spread, she is weaving on the life line.  The camera is still, she is not!
At anchor in Los Frailes.
The anchorage in Los Frailes.
At the pot luck dinner along the beach in Los Frailes waiting out the wind.  The wind won!!
Our new Fender Step.  It will make coming into dock much easier.
Our new Spectra 200T watermaker.  Now all we have to do is find the time to install it.
The Immigration Office in Ensenada, Mexico.  At least it is all in one building now instead of spread all over town.
The big flag by Baja Naval Marina.  An easy land mark to navigate to.
The Port Captain
The Mexican courtesy flag flying from our mast spreaders.
Celebrating crossing into Mexico.  The white wine had gone bad so we gave it to King Neptune instead.
Looking towards Ensenada Harbor.
25 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
Around Kudat and the Penuwasa Boat Yard
39 Photos
Created 18 November 2013
Up the hills till an opening shows up in front of you and then see if you can get down into it. Not always.
36 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
Some photos of our diving on the reef.
30 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
Our trip around the north end of Borneo
20 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
10 Photos
Created 23 October 2013
Our trip around Malaysia starting at Tawau.
36 Photos
Created 21 October 2013
51 Photos
Created 13 October 2013
Our trip from Tawau around the top of Borneo down to Brunei.
6 Photos
Created 9 October 2013
13 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
24 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
Pictures of our dives off Musket Cove Marina
20 Photos
Created 7 December 2011
Avea Bay on South Huahine and on to Raiatea Island.
39 Photos
Created 25 July 2011
Our arrival in Tahiti through Huahine
91 Photos
Created 18 July 2011
Getting Zephyr ready to go.
37 Photos
Created 28 October 2010
My three days getting not only knowledge and some self confidence but nice and dirty.
8 Photos
Created 26 August 2010
Heading South from Escondido.
23 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 30 April 2010
An old salt factory.
33 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
Incredible sandstone
17 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
A great place to spend time exploring.
48 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante
25 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 30 April 2010
47 Photos
Created 14 February 2010
Our continuing adventure as we head North farther up the Sea Of Cortez.
47 Photos
Created 22 January 2010
8 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Our visit to the famous "Mushroom Rock" bay.
12 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Art and statues along the waterfront as you walk through downtown La Paz, Mexico
13 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Still heading South but now in Cabo San Lucas
24 Photos
Created 8 December 2009
Making our way South along the coast of Mexico
25 Photos
Created 28 November 2009
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