Archive for December, 2010

December 29, 2010

Almost the New Year

I bought my first house in 1972 and the paperwork said it would be paid off in 2002-I could not imagine that I could even possibly be alive that far into another century.  Then there was Y2K.  Where did all that time go?  In a few days it will be 2011.

Sometime a email hits  you.  I am adding the link to this 45 lessons in life.  They are great ideas to keep in mind as you draft your New Years resolutions.                                       45_Lessons_in_Life1

December 22, 2010

Tell me again-what are we doing in this cold?

Anchored Up

Day 17-Seattle to Anchorage.  The adventure ends for now, back to work.  It is cold here and I want to go back to La Paz.  I want to run barefoot around the boat and soak up more sunshine.  Very soon, I will disappear again.

Getting fuel in a village

Sunset at Sea

December 22, 2010

Heading home-

Day 16 Thursday-Finish the cleaning of the boat.  Dennis and I find all the covers and do the hard part of trying to figure out where they go.  We find most of  them.  I have scrubbed all the floors, bathrooms, cleaned fridge, washed up the rest of the dishes, cleaned everywhere I could think.  Ron goes to service the batteries and finds that they need lots of distilled water.  Then notices that the bilge pump is not turning on correctly. He begins working on the pumps and that takes us right up until time to head for the airport.  We are ticketed easily for the flight to LA, will have to clear customs and hope that we can get a seat on the Seattle flight.  Airport security is very different, you have bags xrayed, searched, then go to the counter and see the agent.  They give you boarding pass, you go to xray and search, wait at the gate and then they search every bag before you board the plane.  Feels more secure than a US flight.

We arrive Los Angeles and get separated in customs.  Many lapses in communications end up with us running for the flight.  Ron got to Alaska Airlines with 16 minutes to departure, got his boarding pass, got through security and runs fast enough to get to the gate.  God is good-we all made Seattle.

We begin looking for a cheap hotel, we cannot get out of Seattle till morning.  Boy did we find a great one at $43 per night.  I did not need an alarm clock, the guys were in the room next door and when they got up, I could hear them so I got up too.  Won’t do that again.  I think if we were smart we would skip going to any colder climate and just head back to Mexico.

December 21, 2010

Hanging out in La Paz

Cold Beer in La Paz

Day 15 Wednesday-  We find out that there is a Wal-Mart and Sams Club.  We meet a very nice cab driver Jose, who takes us to Wal-Mart, waits for us, takes us to Sams, waits for us, takes us to Home Depot, waits for us.  Charges us $160 peso, we tip generously and book him to take us to airport tomorrow.  We find lots of groceries and stuff we are missing.  Pack it all back to the boat and put it away, then go on a long walk about on the Milocon to the center of town.  Sears is a very exclusive store, marble floors, staff dressed to the nines, quite different from a US Sears store.   We pick up a few souvenirs’,  find a lovely coffee stand for a frappe, take lots of pictures.  Go back to the marina for those good chips and a cold beer, weather is scorching at 85.  We invite the neighbors whom we find out are from Anchorage,  for movies, have lots of popcorn and watch the revolutionary war history channel.  The neighbor has been here for 9 years, I think I could do that too.

La Paz in Beautiful

December 20, 2010

Gorgeous La Paz

Man of La Paz on Beach

Day 14 Tuesday-We find we are in the right marina and they don’t take credit cards.  We begin the walk to the bank.  After many blocks we find that our bank cards will not work in the ATM.  We even wait for a very long time to talk to a bank manager, who speaks a small amount of English, who cannot explain why they don’t work and tells us of another branch of the same bank that will take out cards but seems unable to explain to us where that bank is located.  We decided to use the emergency cash Dennis is carrying and begin the long trek back to the marina.  We stop for sodas at a quick stop, and the ATM takes Rons card.  Bank won’t work but the convenience store does-welcome to Mexico.  We get back and settle up with the Marina.  They don’t have wi-fi but the owners son gives us a password onto their system and we look for flights home.  There are no flights until Thursday-everything is full.  We decide that will have to do.  We stand in the boat yard, computer on a wire spool and get ourselves wait listed for Thursday.  The flight from La Paz to LA is good but the flight from LA to Seattle is marginal.  We decide to see how it goes. We spend the day working on the boat, washing, scrubbing and generally just getting things squared away.  Dinner is that crazy steak fish, that fish is very rich and dark like meat.  Tastes a lot like sirloin.  I really don’t care that much for it, very different.  We have fish-steak tacos.  We are beginning to run out of groceries, we supplement the tacos with sweet potatoes fries.  I find the  Laundromat and do a couple loads of bedding, sheets, etc.  We have a great lunch out with super chips and salsa in the marina just down from ours.  First meal I have not cooked in along time.

Our only Wi-Fi spot outside by the showers

Outside cafe in La Paz Marina
December 19, 2010

Getting to La Paz

Anchored up for the night

Day 13 Monday-We take out early on the run to La Paz, it will be a long day.  Dennis put out a line, I saw the fish hit it and set the hook, I reeled about half way and he finished the reeling.  It is a dual catch.  Another Bonito.  I could not reel as I have been polishing stainless for several days and my arm is completely shot, there is no rust on the stainless on this boat though.  We arrive La Paz well after sunset.  Sunset is a beautiful affair of pink sky and purple clouds over the dark water.  Reminds me of Hawaiian sunsets, very beautiful. The channel into La Paz is a series of bouys, which don’t really line up all that well and many people are just on the hook all over the channel. 

Deserted Beaches

I think you are supposed to hook up outside the channel but directions are not the issue for these people.  The dingies are missing from many of the boats, leads me to believe that they hook up, take the dinghy to shore and leave.  There is one boat without a mast and is now home to many pelicans.  They seem to have a system of where they sit, sure wouldn’t want to clean that boat.  We find our slip in the dark, amazing feat that is.  We were actually even unsure if we were in the right marina.

Beach in La PazWandering the streets of La Paz

December 18, 2010

San Jose de Cabo

Beautiful Mexico

Day 12 Sunday-  We begin the day but not real early, we didn’t sleep much with the noise.  We fill with Cabos water.  The man next door warns us that the water is not drinkable but we have purified water to drink and believe that this Cabo water maybe the best we find.  We travel to San Jose de Cabo-they finally answer a phone and have a $550 slip without power.  We decide to make that work.  Once we get to the Marina we find that the cheaper slips are against a public road that leads to a public beach and although the Marina claims to have security it certainly doesn’t look like it will be very secure.  We decide to go on to La Paz.  There are 4 marinas there and a nice sized city,  it is also an Alaska airlines destination.  We run until we lose daylight then anchor in a bay.  This is what touring is supposed to be like.  There are 16 sailboats and three motor cruisers anchored in the bay.  A beautiful beach with nothing on it.  We barbeque the last of the steaks, have sweet potatoe fries and a lovely Merlot.  Turn off the lights and watch the stars while we eat dessert of  homemade brownies and ice cream.  Doesn’t get any better than this.  Water is 78 degrees and air is about the same.  No noise, no light pollution, very, very peaceful.  Wish we had been doing this everyday and not actually trying to get somewhere.  Cruising is much better than moving a boat.

The Motley Mexico Crew

December 17, 2010

Cabos San Lucas

The Beachs at Cabos

Day11 Saturday:  Arrived Cabo-wow what a marina.  I had no idea that there were so many multi million dollar boats in one place. Everything very expensive $160 a night to tie up in the marina.  Everything is here, atmosphere seems like Las Vegas; sin city all over again.  The boat two slips down is a large yacht named Get Naked.  We are dumping garbage, getting fuel, and picking up water. 

Sleeping is a joke-the outdoor bars and restaurants are going strong at 10.  The air competes for the loudest place.  You have to run the gauntlet to get to the showers.  The gauntlet consists of 20 young guys selling Cuban cigars, many children and women with handmade dolls, whistles, and clothing.  There is even a girl with two Iguanas that she places on your shoulder and takes a picture.  She tried to get the lizard on Ron-he talked about biting its head off.  She didn’t try again. Then you get to the area in front of the bars and restaurants, each with someone trying to get you to come in and eat. Strangely, the entire area runs on American dollars, all prices are in dollars, even the ATM give only dollars.

We overnight and try to get into San Jose deCabo.  Marina quotes $2050 per month for moorage but the man in the boat next door says they are dealing and renting way cheaper.  It would work best there, as it is close to the airport with the best connections out of Mexico.  We check out in the morning everything is closed since it is Sunday.

Danny takes a bus and evidentially gets a flight out-he said he would be back at the Marina if he could not get out.

Cabo San Lucas

December 17, 2010

Almost to Cabos and the tip of the Baja

Day 10 Friday: 

Knock em dead yellow shoes

 Last night when setting the anchor we backed over the rope holding dink on the back and wrapped it around the propeller.  This morning became the lottery as to who would go swim and try and get the rope unloose.  Ron went in and got some out but could see a large knot.  Danny got out the swim mask, wore his tennis shoes and grabbed a piece of pipe about 6 feet long to breathe through. We assured him it had not been used to work on the toilet by the previous owner, at least it wasn’t blue.  Of course, if the previous owner didn’t use blue chemical????  He was able to get the rope loose. I am quite sure I told them dragging the dingy behind was a bad idea.  The boat had a davit system but the one bracket was off center and they didn’t want to move it.  Lucky that the water is 80 degrees and the sun shining so nice.  That would not have been fun in Alaskan waters. I am unsure why Danny wears his tennis shoes into the water-maybe to scare off sharks, they sure were yellow. Task went well, boat rides nice. 

Talked to a fisherman, don’t think we ate Tuna, think the fish we caught was a Bonita most unusual, tasted like sirloin steak.  The meat cooked was dark like steak, very rich, not at all like fish. Saw Marlin jumping multiple times all day but obviously didn’t like the items were we dragging behind the boat. No bites at all today,  not seeing any other fish jumping either. Maybe Marlin can’t swim 8.5 knots.

Wish we had internet or cell service.  Trying to figure out which days Alaska Airlines flies out of what cities.  Could go home as early as tomorrow, there are flight out of Cabo, Danny is planning on getting on the 4pm flight.  We think the boat will  go up the coast, don’t think Cabo will be the place to leave it  from the stories we have heard about the cost. Running all night, should hit Cabo in early morning.

Pulling the rope from the prop

December 16, 2010

Running down the coast

Day 8 Wed.  Ran all night.  Got one fish hooked but he only jumped 5 ot6 times and  then was gone.  We saw dolphins, they ran next to the boat creating a phosphorous trail like tunnels in the water.  We are talking hundreds of dolphins not a couple. Late in the dark of the night we almost ran over  a whale.  I t must have been asleep in the water, it blew very loud  and passed so close to the boat you could have reached out and touched it.  A very big whale!!!

Beautiful seas, Baja coastline

We also passed a school of manta rays, they would jump out of the water, flap a few times and dive back in. It looked like they were trying to fly away.  Spectacular.  Lots of fish jumping, lots of sea birds.  The fishermen watch the water temp to determine where the fish are.  We passed a school of fish which must have been tuna, there were so many the water boiled.