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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Bahia Los Frailes to Muertos Cove

 When the storm passed we headed out of Fraelis with Stormvogel (from Ventura California) on a course to Muertos Cove. He lead the way as his engine is smaller than ours.  Winds were 10-12 knots.

  After some time we realized that he was sitting dead in the water.  After hailing him on the VHF radio, he said he had an engine problem.  We waited and he started again only to stop over and over again. Finally he could not get the motor to run again.  Mark offer to come to his boat.  They discussed the issues and what he had done.  I think he did not know us that well and he was totally exhausted.  He told us to go on to Muertos Cove and he would sail there. It was late in the afternoon.

We anchored in sand in a large safe harbor.  About 7am the next morning Stormvogel hailed us requesting a tow into the harbor.  He was 1.6 nm south of us.  The waters were very calm.  Serena was at the helm and Mark handled  the tow line.  Wayne was our the top.  He said he could not sleep or eat until the engine was fixed while he was out.  Mark went over to his boat and found the problem. One of the fuel lines at the filter had collapsed.  Wayne had check so many things with the engine and bypassed everything that he could.  He just got tired and could not think any more.  At this point Wayne felt he could take a nap.  We went to shore for dinner later and discussed when to leave for La Paz.

Stormvogel waiting to be towed.

Wayne at the bow of Stormvogel as we give him a tow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Cabo San Carlos to Bahia Los Frailes

 We stayed only one night in Cabo San Lucas Harbor.  It was not crowned in the anchorage and the waves were all from the wave runners.  When the sun dropped the water activity stopped and the beach parties started.  We slept good with ear plugs. The music did not stop until after midnight.

 The next day we sailed over to the sister city of Cabo San Carlos.  We docked there for 2 nights.  It is a very small village with a nice affordable dock. We had some good food met more people, fueled up and filled up with water and food.

  We traveled with Stormvogel when we set a course for Bahia Los Frailes.   Wayne a solo sailor had her built in Taiwan in the late 70s.  She is beautiful and still looks new.  Wayne did not have the charts of these waters as he usually goes to Alaska in the summer with Stormvogel.  This was his first trip to Mexico and he was not that comfortable in these waters yet. We let him set the pace.  The winds did get up to about 20 knots on the nose and the waves were 5-10 ft at the beginning of the day. We only turned back to try and retrieve a kayak that had gone over in one of the waves.  We had tried to deploy the mainsail in the high wind and it did not go well.  Mark noticed the kayak leaving but we had to pull in the mainsail most of the way before we turned back.  We found it water logged and had a hard time getting to it in the high waves. I considered it a practice rescue. We tried and gave up after Mark hurt his back , I had bent a nice pole hook , a knife from the back of the boat fell in the water and finally a canvas was torn as we tried to use the wench to pull the kayak.  Now I had a canvas to repair. The kayak came with the boat and was nothing special.  We gave the other one away in La Paz and plan to get some stand up paddle boards or set upon kayaks (these were the sit in lake style).

We caught up to Stormvogel in no time.  We pulled into Frailes 6 hours after leaving Cabo San Carlos.  We had traveled 34 nautical miles.  Anchored in 40 ft of water on a shelf.

 We hunkered down in this bay for 3 days waiting for the wind to die down some.  We had plenty of company.  We did not even get the dingy down because we did not want to go out in such high wind in such a small boat.  We talked to the other boats over the VHF radio.

  Our friends from Singularity sent us an email about the couple we met in Ausincion on Yachtcruz.  They were missing at sea.  They fueled up at Turtle Bay and headed north to San Diego but never made it.  They sent a distress message to the Mexican Navy around Jan. 7th.  At the time we received the email it was Jan. 12th already.  We would not find out their fate for another 2 weeks.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Mag Bay to Cabo San Lucas

Left Mag Bay at 0700 to go out with the tide. Coming into Mag Bay the tide was going out also and it was strong. So we knew better than to go against the tide a second time. No wind so motored in the morning. Just outside the bay we saw a spectacular display of 2 whales breaching together, just like synchronized swimming. Did not have a camera ready. It was exciting.

Mark put his fishing pole out after lunch.  It was only out about 30 mins. and snagged something.  Mark ran out and to get it and one of his docksider shoes flew off the boat.  We had both sails up so we couldn't just turn back for it. He got to the pole and saw it was a larger fish this time. He told me the pull in the headsail, which is easy to do with one person. The mail sail is a different story so we left it up. He fought with this fish for about 30 min. He had me turning in circles following the fish trying to tire him out. We must have looked like we were having trouble because 2 sail boats saw us and hailed us to see if we needed help.

  Mark   did get the fish which was a dorado close enough to the boat and I got the gaft and managed to hook it. It was very heavy to get on the boat; we both had to lift it.  Mark did clean it right away but we were both too tired to cook it that night. We ate on this fish for several weeks.  It is very fluorescent yellow and seeing it in the blue water, it looked green like an alien until we got it out of the water.

Mark with his largest catch yet, a 30 pound dorado.

Cabo arch

Cabo city from the Pacific side
Mark's dorado
Cabo beach at night time.
The Ritz at Cabo
Cabo rocks with end of cruise ship.
Loads of condos all around Cabo.

Cabo San Lucas Harbor

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Abreojos to Magdalena Bay

 Got ready to leave Abreojos by pulling the line from the lobster pot that we had snagged as we archored the previous night. It was caught on the rudder and Mark was able to get it off without cutting it.  We set out about 0830, light wind so we were motor sailing as we have been the whole way down the coast from Washington.

Mark set up his fishing line.  He was very surprised to get a fish so quickly.  He had only had it out for about 10 seconds.  As his lure hit the water he was a fish skip across the top of the water to catch his lure.  We did not have a bucket or knife ready.  It was a wahoo and not that big so it was not much of a mess. Cooked it that night. What a wonderful taste. Fish as fresh as it comes.

 Mark spent some time checking the fuel gauge sensor.  It was not reading correctly so we moved the sensor up and down the gauge and recorded the ohms readings.  We took readings for empty, quarter full, half full, and full. Each time he checks for full in that tank he contects his ohm reader and compares to the readings we took.  Peg will have a new fuel gauge next season we come to Mexico.

We traveled 284 nautical miles. Took about 2 days and 2 nights. We pulled in the morning of the third day. We decided we would always pull in during the daylight so we adjust our travel, usually slower to accomadate for this. Winds were 12-18 mph. We had 1/4 tank of fuel left to make it to Cabo San Lucas. As we approched Mag Bay in the morning hours we saw 2 whales and several sea turtles.

We enjoyed Man of War Cove within Magdalena Bay for a few days.  Met some interesting people. Had a fresh caught lobster dinner with friends.  Took the dingy around the bay for hours. The bay is so large with only 2 towns.

Mark caught a wahoo in the afternoon, his first of the trip.

Mark cooking his first catch of the trip.

Reading with a red light at night in the cockpit on my watch.

In the morning the Pacific Ocean looked like glass.
Took dingy out to see pilot whales. They are small and hard to photograph.
Pegasus at Man of War Cove

Clam fisherman with his haul.


Whale bones

The local fisherman's fresh catch; a sheepshead.

Fishing gear

Village church

Bird nest.

Mag Bay is rather large. We were too early to see many whales.
Mark with other yachtistas.

Picture with the chef.

Church from Pegasus

Fishing village at Man or War Cove

Setting the anchor.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Asunción to Abreojos

 We left on Jan. 1st along with Yatchcruz.  We were headed south and they were headed north. They had gotten up and out at 5am. They had managed to dodge the lobster pots. Asunción is famous for lobster fishermen. They sell all their catch to the local cop-op. We did not look into getting any because I did not want to cook them. Our new friends called us to warn us about the lobster pots. They were in groups of three. I stood out on the bow looking for them and told Mark which way to turn to avoid them.

  We managed to get out of the harbor without snagging any pots and were about 2 miles off shore when there was 2 loud bangs down below. Mark instantly turned off the engine and flew down below. He said "the same thing has happened to that happened to Yatchcruz!".  They had told us a story about their coupling falling off their prop shaft. Mark threw open the engine compartment and sure enough the coupling had thrown off all 4 nuts and bolts. Mark had cleaned the coupling and tried to get new bolts with locking nuts. The hardware store did not have the locking nuts and he did not use locktite at the time thinking he would get some later. He had me stay in the cockpit and watch the chart plotter for rocks and the distance we were from the shore. He opened the engine compartment and looked for the set of four bolts and nuts. He did have me look in his case with bolts and nuts for a set that might fit because he could not find the last nut. We did not have any the correct size. So I used the manual bilge pump to empty the area below the engine to make it easier to find the missing nut. We did find and Mark got the coupler back onto the prop shaft.  We did not drift to shore at all really.  I was worried and Mark was calm.  We stayed about 3 miles out the whole time. Mark was very confident that everything would be OK because he knew what had to be done and he knew how to do it.

 We radioed Yatchcruz afterwards to tell them our coupler had come off just as theirs had. They told us their auto pilot had just quit working. We said one last goodbye and good luck until we might have the chance to meet again.

It was only 48 nautical miles to Abreojos but with the delay of working on the boat we did not get there until just before sunset. We arrived about the same time as Singularity.  There was not much protection from the wind and there was wind that night.  We also could not get very close to shore because of all the lobster pots.  Even with our best effort we managed to get an extra line from one of the pots hooked to our rudder. 

The wind blew all night and banged the lobster pot into our boat.  Mark got up 3 times to try and move it away but it always came back.  When morning came we were tired of the wind and left.  Singularity stayed and went ashore. 

I have no pictures of this 24 hour period. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Ensenada to Asunción

We left Ensenada about noon on December 26th. We motored sailed all the way down the Baja coast. Saw fish farms and plenty of dolphins, sails and birds following schools of fish. We had already decided to skip Turtle Bay, which is the only place to get fuel between Ensenada and Cabo. We had just filled up in San Diego. We hold 160 gallons of fuel and from San Diego it was only 60 miles so we did not use much. We burn a little less than a gallon of diesel an hour.  This was going to be out longest trip by ourselves. We were headed to Asuncion, 362 nautical miles away.

  We thought a 3 night cruise would be about our limit for our current experience level. We set up shifts of four hours. The first night is always rough because we are not tired enough to sleep after our shifts yet.  I listened to music the first night and then I remembered I had some series on my phone to watch. The next 2 nights I watched my shows and could stay up for 6-8 hours and let Mark sleep through much of the night. As long as the instruments are working and the wind is under 20 knots, I can watch the radar and the course and not have to wake Mark. It the wind gets high, instruments fail or some boat looks like it is coming for us, then I wake Mark up. We were good for this trip, no problems.

  On the last night we saw a boat that we had met in Ensenada. They were close to the shore almost stopped. We were listening to channel 16 in VHF and heard talk of their encounter with a lobster pot. It was wrapped around their propeller so they were sailing. Mark called to see if they would like some help and they decided to just travel slow and arrive at Asunción' later than they would have if motoring. We said we would be looking for them.

  We arrived on Dec. 29th. after 78 hours. The anchorage was good and the harbor was calm.  The other boat did arrive several hours after us and Mark went over on the dinghy ( AliJay) to see if he could help. The captain had already dived down and cut the line. The prop was fine after that.

  This was our first time to get the dinghy down and take her out. We learned just how the davit arm would help us in lowering and raising the motor off of AliJay. The gas can and the battery need to be added each time we deploy her.

  Got (AliJay) out again the next day.  We went to shore by ourselves. There were other boats in the harbor. One had a row boat they were taking to the beach.

  We walked to the gas station and bought some drinks and chips. We asked about a place for lunch and found one place open. He had fresh fish. I cannot remember the kind. Mark had the fish grilled with beans and rice. I had the fish as ceviche with chips and beans. We found a grocery but did not need any food yet. A Canadian couple came in the order some pizzas from the owner for a New Year's Eve party they were having. They invited all of us in the cafe to come.

  Mark had talked to another boat and told them he would take them ashore the next day to get fuel so they could make it to Turtle Bay. They would fuel there and head on toSan Diego. We had them over to our boat that night. She brought homemade bread and 2 containers of frozen vegetable stock she had made. I made some dip and had cheese and veggies. We decided to all go out on New Year's Eve to shore and get some dinner.

 They had been traveling for 6 years. They started in Florida where they purchased the boat and spent time in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. They had managed several places along the way, one being a sail loft in Panama for 2 years. Their boat was 40 years old and needed a lot of work.  It was an Irwin 52 which is still a very popular boat.

 On New Year's Eve we went over to their boat to see it and she was going to load some movies on our hard drive for us. She had also been a social director in a marina so she had hundreds of movies and shows. We planned to eat early since we were both leaving the next day. We went ashore and the place we had lunch the day before was closed. We walked towards downtown and asked everyone we met if they knew a place open. It turned out we did not find anything open. We landed at a 50th birthday party for a man that invited us to stay. The party was small because it really was not going to get started until 10pm. They gave us some cold vegetable soup that was good and we had a few drinks. We decided to get groceries and call it a night. We had a good time hearing about some of their adventures, like surviving a tsunami last June in Guatemala.

   We stayed a total of 3 nights which we needed to rest up from the 78 hour passage we had made. We went to shore 2 days. It was my first time in a small fishing village. It was very quite, clean and friendly. We started our next sail about 7 am on Jan. 1st toward Abreojos.

One of the sunsets on our 3 days trip.

Mark preparing to install a prevernter on our boom. A line to help hold the boom to one side while sailing.

Mark has on his life jacket since he is out of the cockpit and working on the lines.

Mark is standing on a steel cockpit arch that is part of the boat. It provides the rigidity for the rear of the boat. It has rungs on it like a ladder so it can be used to climb up to the boom.

Another full moon over the Pacific Ocean.

Could not get this to rotate. This is my temporary dryer vent. We did use the washer/dryer one day under way. We decide it was OK for the drying but the washer spinning cycle was not good when we swayed back and forward. The vent is coming out of my bathroom window. On subsequent wash days, we hung laundry out to dry on lines we put up temporarily from the mast to the stays on the sides.

This was our first trip out in the "AliJay" (named after our grandchildren, Alison and Jaycen). We had lowered the motor and Mark attached it on the boat, now he is looking for the gas can.

We made it ashore. No wheels on the dingy yet so we pulled it up. A truck came by and said he would watch it for us. By the time we came back  he had pulled it up some.

See the black water tanks. All of the water has to be trucked into this little village. Most of the streets were just sand.

Here is another water tank on above the roof of this house.

A Canadian woman owns this house rental. She also has a bed and breakfast downtown. She named her daughter Sierena.

This car asked Mark to take their picture. It was Dec 30th so people were starting to celebrate.

They had some sidewalks and sand streets.

This is some art. I think it is some kind of whale bone.

There was only one restaurant in town open and this is the owner with his first grandchild. He had a guest book that he asked us to sign. Another couple were eating also. She was Irish and he was Swiss. They were both on dual sport motorcycles and had met the day before. They were both traveling alone and headed in different directions.

The town had 2 fishing boats this size. This one is named Montana.

View of the harbor.

View of Asunción's Downton.

Friday, January 26, 2018


Hello Mexico!  Time and place to work on the boat changed.  Walked to auto parts store, marine suppliers, Starbucks, restaurants, and laundry mats.  Ubered to Home Depot, Walmart and hospital.

   Docked at Baja Naval for 2 weeks.  Mark had some welding projects for them as well as more thru hull holes to be drilled.  They also helped him with the washer dryer hookup.  We had the boat washed and waxed since it was hauled out for drilling.  Mark finished the air conditioner installation. He had finished the water maker in San Diego and we used it on the way to Ensenada. 

   I spent a lot of time at Starbucks on Wi-Fi starting this blog.  Mark worked with engineers on design and with plumbers and electricians.  Mark was very impressed with their level of expertise and it takes a lot to impress Mark.  They were bi-lingual and very professional.  We never felt afraid or that we were being ripped off.  This was so nice and relaxing. Mark was expecting what happened to him in Washington state where they quoted him one price and billed a higher one and did not finish or do work as described.

  I did get a urinary tract infection and decided I had to go to the doctor late Friday night.
 We went to a private hospital and we were done in just over one hour.  We saw the doctor, not a nurse after just 15 minutes wait.  He was bi-lingual and very professional.  He did not make me undress.  Just took a urine sample and was back with us in 15 minutes to tell us the results.  Their pharmacy did not have all the pills so she called another pharmacy that delivered the full prescription on a motorcycle to  us in just about 15 minutes. He brought a credit card machine with him.  The whole experience was good. The doctor visit was 900 pesos ($48 US ) and the antibiotic was 1100 pesos ($54).  He did give t me on a stronger antibiotic because I had concern that I felt it coming on for a while.  It was effective against the UTI but it had a rare side effect on persons over 60 (I am 59).  After a week I felt pain in my knees.  I first thought arthritis, but bi-lateral?  Then my legs felt like lead weights were on them.  I thought my legs must to swollen.  I looked at my ankles and they were not swollen.  I few days later, pain still in knees, I did search if antibiotic and found rare side effect of swelling in mid leg and knees on this drug I was taking (levofloxacin). Sure enough I looked at my knees and they were swollen.  I stopped the antibiotic and started drinking lots of water and walking.  My knees like I had pulled the tendons or ligaments when I had squatted before I knew they were swollen. This was to resolve late in La Paz.

   Mark had the dinghy motor mount installed and a davit arm to pull the motor up on the boat from the dinghy. The grill had to be moved to make way for the davit arm. We had the bow spirit reinforced for the anchor.  We had heard of anchors that were attached with a small piece of metal that broke off the boat.  This extra metal will hopefully prevent loosing an anchor or having to pull it up manually.

  Met nice people and saw the inside of many custom boats. We really had not been on these wooden boasts at all. They are so beautiful inside with wood from head to toe. They are all the same as they are designed for ocean crossings so they are narrow where our boat is wide.  I did get an appreciation for the boat designers. I still like my boat best. It feels more like a floating condo. I have room for my sewing machine.

  We left on Dec. 26th so we were there for the Christmas holidays. They do not have government holidays. Lots of businesses were open on Christmas Day and just closed early.  The whole time we were docked between the cruise ships and tourist area. There was live music 7 days a week along the water front starting in the afternoon until about 11 or midnight. In the other direction towards the cruise ships there was a water fountain with music. It splashed like in Vegas to the rhythm of the music. Most times they did not compete. We could block out one of them. Most of the music at the water fountain was classical or Christmas music in English (not carols, but Bing Crosby type). Christmas eve and Christmas night there were constant fireworks all over the city. Near the water front there was a nativity area. It had about 3 sets of nativity behind chicken wire. It was like everyone in town brought all the plastic animals they had and put them in this area. The shepherds also herded elephants, giraffes, pigs, dogs, llamas, horses, cows and some day of the dead things. I figured that they really believed Jesus was born for all mankind and all animal kind as well. 

An island off Ensenada.

Cruise ship seen from our dock slip at Baja Naval

We were not far from the city water front.

I avoided this area. All the horses looked old and tired. It made me sad.

We were docked down from where the cruise ships docked.  This fountain ran all day to different music.

Protectors of our dock.

Mark helping an older sailor cast off.

I found micro lab. My next job?

This flag was about fifty feet long. It was very high. I could see it when I was in town and just walked toward it back to the boat.

Incredible fish markets.

Across the harbor was the cargo ship area. It was very bust 7 days a week.

This is the dock that did the work for us.

We checked into Mexico with our boat. We actually imported our boat for  months. Just saw the photo bomber for the first time when adding this caption. I do not know his name, sorry.

Musicians were everywhere starting in the early afternoon.

These cages are filled with clams that would be put back into a place in the ocean and fed to get fat before shipping to the US.

When I saw these clams I approached them to buy some but they were all sold to the US already.

Guillermo did the welding for Mark. We tried to give him a tip and it was not allowed. Here they are working on the davit arm to raise the dinghy motor.

Boat full of clams

Our Peg hauled out again.

The painting that Mark did in Washington was not of much value. Bellingham harbor did not let Mark sand the bottom before he painted without having a vacuum system set up. We will have it painted again this spring when we leave it Guaymas.

Mark working on the air conditioner.

Plumber working on the washer.

This is where I decided spur of the moment to get my hair cut.

My hair dresser for the day.

My new Mexican hairdo.

The white building on the left was one of our favorite cafes. La Guerrerense. Two huge fish tacos for $2.78. I had 2 huge ceviche tacos for the same price. The flavor was wonderful.

Image result for laguerrerense images
Mariscos "La Guerrerense" was founded in 1960 by Mr. Alberto Oviedo (qepd) and his wife Mrs. Celia Carranza, parents of Eduardo Oviedo, husband of Sabina Bandera better known as "La Güerita" or "La Guerrerense". Sabina talks about how she did not know how to work with seafood, since in her native state of Guerrero she worked in agriculture and the production of milk products. It was here in Ensenada where her in-laws teach her to work the products of the sea. Little by little, Sabina innovated in La Guerrerense, creating more than 13 sauces, products of her ingenuity, totally organic and without conservatives, where even she grows some of the chilies that are used to make them.

This is an all wooden boat that I called the Peter Pan boat. It was built in 1934. They were down from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in Washington state to get painted. It has a full keel which is standard for that time. It has ratlines that run up each side both the masts that sailors climb. This is not seen very much anymore.

Putting Peg back into the water.

You can see one of the four wheel that carry this boat lift.

Mark is off to dock again.

Brightly colored buildings are all over.

There was a park with many statues. Only one of them was native looking.

I called these the golden heads.

Largest Catholic Church in our part of town.

Park art.

This is a purse hanger that sits next to your table in a restaurant.  I should have taken a pic of the table also.

Christmas in Mexico, tulips at the Home Depot. 75 pesos, about $4.20.

A daycare  in a bar. 

Christmas program for the town near the water fountains.

Bahia Los Frailes to Muertos Cove

 When the storm passed we headed out of Fraelis with Stormvogel (from Ventura California) on a course to Muertos Cove. He lead the way as hi...