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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.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Mark and Serena finally alone on Pegasus

We were finally alone on Pegasus.  First trip was a short hop to Oceanside Harbor about 25 nautical miles south.  We had plenty of time to sail some.  Docking  easy with help. Welcome party is a group of sea lions.  Nice little harbor with one private and one public marina. Walk to In n Out for Mark's double double hamburger. Fill our water tanks and sleep good.

   Next morning set course for San Diego.  Short and easy also.  Saw schools of fish jumping.  The waters have been so smooth in the morning almost like glass.  Passing by La Jolla and Mission Bay the local traffic picks up.  As we approach Point Loma we start to see the navy.  They will with us the whole month we are in San Diego.  We see destroyers, air craft carriers, helicopters, planes, submarines, and so many other small craft. We were there for the Veteran's Day parade. San Diego did the military proud. It was the largest Veteran's Day parade I have ever seen.

   We have an in mast furling mainsail. If not handled just right it bunches up and will not furl in or out smoothly if at all.   We had Quantum Sails out to inspect out sails and offer their opinion.  Eric is their top sail designer and maker.  He came out gave us a great quote for shortening the mailsail and repairing the Genoa's outside edge.  He took them and off to the sail loft he did go. He personally did the repairs.  When I visited them I was amazed at their system.  The sewing machines set on the floor and there is an opening in the floor to set in.  The whole floor is the table for the sewing machine. Simple but brilliant. Less than a week later Eric came out and put the sails back up. He made sure they furled up and out several times before he left.

    Mark worked very hard the month we were in San Diego on getting the water maker and air conditioning installed.   We took long walks for parts and supplies.  We used the bus about 3 times, uber about 5 and Lift (like uber) twice.  We walked 3 mikes to get In n Out burgers 4 times.  We would walk to get stuff and call uber when we were over loaded.

  San Diego is beautiful.  Mark's brother and wife came down before Thanksgiving and we sailed out to Mission Bay.  We grilled a turkey breast for Thanksgiving and skyped with Wes, Leisa and the grand kids

San Diego is all about boats. You can find just about anything you want. We had mail, fedex and ups delivered to the marina. Last chance US purchases.

  I like marina living, Mark does not.  I like unlimited water, electric and wi-fi.  He wants to be self sufficient.

Right after Thanksgiving Harbor Island had their Christmas parade of boats.  I forgot all the harbors do this.  We missed the really big boats coming by our area but they were still all in the harbor afterward full of lights. Whole families were having picnic parties watching the boats and singing carols. Very nice warm weather. We had short sleeves and the locals were in winter coats (about 55 degrees).

  Mark wanted to be in Cobo by Christmas so we left after one month.  We left on December 12, 2017.  As we neared Point Loma we saw a 2 masts boat submerged.  Only the top part of the sails were above water.  The sail were out the whole way and there were divers from the shore around the boat. It had not been there a few days ago.  Only 60 miles to Ensenada so should be there before sunset.
San Onofre Nuclear  Power Plant now closed; Oceanside, California.

Oceanside welcome party.


Only pic that came out of the Veteran's Day parade.

Cemetery covered in palm trees.

Taking the sails down.

See the sail on the floor making  it easy to pass through the sewing machine.

Eric with the longarm back from repair. 

Now this is a xeriscape (no water used). This is all seashells.

Sailing Doodles was docked next to us in San Diego for a few days.  He had just lost his boat in Puerto Rico this year during the hurricane.  This boat he is sailing to Thailand for the owner.  You can watch them on You Tube. I had a better pic but can't find it. The dogs were going back to Texas on a plane when they left Cabo San Lucas because they to not do ocean crossing very well.

This is a really tall racing sailboat.  It is hard to take a picture close to it because it is so tall.

This is a cargo ship for cars.

We had to get a cart for shopping and riding the bus.

Every inch of this camper was covered with junk.

This is a harpoon boat.  See the long cage like thing on the front.  The name is Pilikia.  If you visit you can see a better picture.

This looks like the Hotel California Album cover, don't you think?


San Diego was beautiful at night from Harbor Island.

Mark turning of the water maker while we are cruising to Ensenada.

These are pictures of the sailboat that sunk at Point Loma in December 2017.

Headed to Mexico.

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...