Travel Interrupted! 

This blog post is less about traveling and more about our journey through this messy life! 

img_2229Yep, we are still in Santa Cruz, California, USA!

As the saying goes “Plans are written in the sand at low tide” and boy are we feeling the truth of that. My last blog post was at the end of October and at that time we only expected to be in the States living on Pancho (our RV) for another few months. Well, here it is three months later and we are still living on Pancho in California, USA and we won’t be leaving anytime soon. Our new, new current idea, thought, projection, outline, alright… PLAN… has us departing sometime in April, at which time we will drive the RV down to La Paz B.C.S., Mexico. We will put the RV into storage and board s/v Pablo for a few months of cruising in the Sea of Cortez. Please don’t ask what is beyond that as I am afraid to whisper our desires for fear that God will be listening and in need of a good laugh.

Our time in Santa Cruz, CA has not been idle nor wasted. It’s actually been quite the opposite as our lives have been busy and full. There has been oodles of time spent with family, the birth of a baby boy, Christmas celebrations, walks with friends on the beach, a trip to Mexico via airplane to visit Pablo and a much-needed foot surgery.

Thanksgiving week was a little kooky as Steve stayed on Pancho in Felton, CA while I stayed with my daughter in Watsonville. Steve’s sons and extended family joined him in the Smithwoods RV park. They enjoyed walks together, a pancake breakfast with Santa and they all took a train ride through the mountains on the historic Roaring Camp Railroad. The days were rainy and cold but everyone enjoyed the time spent together and the littlest ones enjoyed the mud puddles. Camping in the rain is the perfect place to make memories and time with family is a great reminder of that which we are most grateful.

img_2084While Steve stayed on Pancho I spent a few weeks staying with my daughter at her place, waiting for the birth of her son Jack who was born on 11/29/2016. It is an experience that was both beautiful and sad in equal measures. The day following his birth Bella showed an enormous amount of grace and courage as she handed baby Jack over to his adoptive parents. The experience was moving and emotional for everyone involved. Bella was surrounded by her family; Mother, Father, Step Father, Brother, img_2170Sister in-law, and Grandmother. The Adoptive parents also stayed at the hospital surrounded by their family. There was an enormous amount of love and respect shared as our family lovingly handed Jack into the waiting arms of his parents. Even the staff at the hospital was touched by the overwhelming amount of love, compassion, and cooperation shared by all present.

I cannot begin to express the enormous amount of pride I feel about my daughters decision. She chose a very difficult path, taking the emotional and psychological burden onto herself while giving Jack the best possible start in life. The strength, courage, and selflessness she has displayed is mind-blowing. However, she has many challenges to face in her immediate future and it is for this reason that we will be remaining in California for a while longer.

img_2199We barely caught our breath after Jack’s birth before the Christmas holidays moved in. We found ourselves visiting our children in three different houses spread over the course of two days. Steve’s sons, Donald and David, each hosted a Christmas gathering and my son Nick and his new bride Kristi hosted their first blended family event. We filled our hearts with love and our tummies with good food. We had the wonderful experience of Christmas shopping with our tween grand-daughter, Sara, finding the perfect pair of tennis shoes. And a fun-filled day was shared watching our youngest family members open gifts, make homemade pizzas and get pie’ed playing silly games. Our focus was family and each moment was precious.

In January we traveled to La Paz, Mexico via airplane and spent ten wonderful days on Pablo. One of the big highlights of the trip was finally meeting up with James and Deena Mitchell from s/v Nellie Jo, another beautiful WS32. Our entire 2 year relationship was based on ongoing blog/FB/and email communication. However, despite never meeting in person before it was like seeing old friends. The shared experiences of selling it all and getting on your trusty boat to sail away created an instant bond. We look forward to spending more time with them when we return, hopefully getting the opportunity to share some of our favorite anchorages and possibly exploring a few new ones.

img_2302One early morning we decided to buy some fish. Steve and I wondered down the street to a local beach where the fishing pangas come in. With our limited Spanish and the help of a kind bilingual gentleman we were able to purchase a beautiful Halibut, fully filleted she weighed in at 5.5lbs. At a cost 350 pesos that comes out to about $3/lb. There was so much fish that even after giving several fillets away we still had yummy fresh meals for several days. Oh how we love Mexican food!

We wandered the streets of the city visiting museums and some our favorite restaurants. We played darts with friends old and new at the Tuesday/Thursday dart game, giving us the opportunity to feel like we were part of the community again. Days were spent sitting in the sun, walking the Malecon, and reacquainting ourselves with the dream that started this whole adventure. The time was good and the warm glow will surely carry us through the next few months.

We have again moved our RV, this time to the KOA in La Selva beach and they have granted us long-term stay. Meaning we will not have to move again until we depart for Mexico. One of the things we had not anticipated with our RV lifestyle was the rules and restrictions around how long you can stay in one RV park. To keep it simple I’ll just say that we have had to move every few weeks until we got ourselves into this park, which could allow us an extended stay.

img_7178La Selva is lovely and the KOA is a wonderful spot. We are surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary and we are only a short one mile drive from one of Santa Cruz area’s best beaches. From our campsite we have seen a coyote, watched and identified 12 different bird species, fall asleep nightly to the chorus of mating tree frogs and frequently hear owls in the night. We have hung a bird feeder to increase our nature viewing experience and to my surprise almost became a critter hotel. We keep our shoes in a basket by the front door. One morning I went to put on my slippers and found kibbles (yes, dog food) in the toe of the shoe. I threw it away and laughed at the fact that someone was hiding their snacks in my shoe. Two days later when I went to put my shoe on I found a field mouse all cozy in the toe of that same slipper. Needless to say the slippers are no longer stored in the basket outside.

All in all living in the RV is fairly easy. The most difficult task is trying to keep occupied on cold and rainy days which are coming quite frequently now. As with the boat, we consider the outdoors our living room so when the weather is disagreeable our living space shrinks quite a bit. But we take advantage of the breaks in weather and hike the local parks, walk on the beaches, volunteer with local endeavors and whenever possible spend evenings by the campfire.

Now that we are settled back into Santa Cruz for a bit, Steve has decided to have an elective surgery done on the big toe of his right foot. The cartilage is completely gone and the toe has caused him quite a bit of pain when taking extended walks for the last several years. He will have a procedure done to fuse the joint which should alleviate the pain. The recovery time is approximately six weeks which will pin us down but the results should prove worth the trouble. The cruising lifestyle requires a lot of walking. Its nothing to walk 3-5 miles per day while in town or visiting remote beaches.

img_2416For now we sit tight, healing our wounds both of flesh and heart. We spend time with those we love most and continue to dream BIG dreams and PLAN for the next adventure.

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Road Trippn’

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Giant Sequoia in Calaveras State Park

img_6285Pancho needed a little work and since we live in the RV and would have to get a hotel room while the work was being performed why not go on a road trip?!?! So off to the Gold country we went. We stayed in a 150 year old hotel in Jamestown, Visited the town of Columbia which is an Historical state park (really more of a living museum), and spent a day with Giant Sequoia trees in Calaveras State park. Three days of fun and exploration! Once we returned and moved back on board our land yacht it was time to cobble together a little adventure. And a trip south seemed like just the ticket.

Road trippn’ isn’t quite the same as cruising on the boat, but it has its similarities. We travel slow, get to see wildlife, visit with friends, and just take in the beauty of life and the world around us. Our first road trip in the RV “Pancho” had us traveling from Felton California in the Santa Cruz mountains to Los Angeles and back to Santa Cruz county again. Along the way we stopped in the lovely county park of Lopez Lake, the beachside community of Pismo Beach, and situated ourselves in Dockweiler RV park in Los Angeles, which was perfect for visiting both Venice and Long beach.

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Acorn Woodpecker

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Stop number one, Lopez Lake in San louis Obispo county. This little gem of a park has a lake, a water slide park, an adventure park, boating, fishing and is overrun with wildlife. From the moment we arrived we were greeted by Deer, wild turkeys, quail, and these crazy acorn woodpeckers. While we did take two rather long and ambitious hikes, most of our wildlife sitings were from the comfort of our own campsite. Each day on multiple occasions we would have a small herd of deer walk through the area where we were set up. The morning wakeup call was that of male wild turkeys gobbling (yes, they actually do gobble) in an attempt to win the attention of the ladies. It was nothing to see a posse of 30 turkeys wandering through the surrounding fields. We spent endless amounts of time being entertained by ground squirrels and quail. But my absolute favorite by far were the Acorn Woodpeckers. These brightly marked birds work in communities of up to 30 birds and gather as many as 50,000 acorns per season. Everything wood; every tree, fence post, roof beam…. I mean everything wood had acorns crammed into little holes. These little guys were busy, melodious, and beautiful. They were a constant source of entertainment.

During our short five day visit one of our hikes took us from an elevation of 250′ to 950′ within just a mile of constant switchbacks. While it was named Turkey Ridge trail we saw no turkeys, however the views were amazing once we reached the top.img_2097 Our second hike had us following the the rim of what was the edge of the lake. As the water levels in the lake have dropped to 25%, we were actually walking on the floor of the lake in some areas. The previous day had brought some rain so the air was fresh and sand was soft. Which might have been the reason we could so easily spot bear tracks along our path. I laughingly went over the “what to do if you see a bear” drill out loud. I mean crap, I’m not exactly sure that my flight instinct wouldn’t take over if I came nose to nose with a black bear. Luckily we did not have to find out. I did however step into a mud bog while trying to get photos of birds and sunk up to my knees. After calling Steve for help I quickly passed him my camera and bag and luckily got myself out with my shoes still attached to my feet. Something I was not sure was going to be possible as the mud was sucking them off each time I tried to pull a leg out. All is well, I still have shoes, although they won’t really come clean and I have learned to spot people-eating mud.

 

img_1923Vowing to return one day, hopefully with some friends and family, we left Lopez Lake and took a short drive to Pismo Beach. Actually, the neighboring town of Oceano where our good friends Mark and Susan live. We met these lovely people in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. They, like us, did the Baja Haha which brought them down the West coast of the Mexican Baja peninsula and into the warm tropical waters of Mexico. Unlike us, they returned to California, but our friendship has stretched across the miles and we revel in the chance to visit with them whenever possible. We found ourselves laughing, sharing stories and dreams, eating yummy foods, and filling the days and evenings with love and friendship. It was just as if we had seen them last week, what a wonderful blessing.

 

After only three days we packed up and stowed the RV for our trek further south. Dockwieler RV park. I have to say that word park is a funny thing. When I think of park I imagine trees and fields. When the word park was applied to this place they meant park your vehicle in a parking space. Because the place is actually a parking lot with RV hookups at each site. To be fair, it was clean and the “Park” is located directly on the beach. And really, we didn’t pick it because we wanted a fabulous RV “Park” experience. What we wanted was to visit Steve’s brother Jeff in Venice Beach and our good friend Holly in Long Beach. Dockweiler RV park was almost exactly in the middle of each of those places. That right there made it the perfect “Park” for us!

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We met up with Jeff at an incredible Asian food resturant on Friday evening and then again on Saturday for the required walk on the Venice boardwalk to look at the wild life. It is always so wonderful to spend time with family. We had not seen Jeff since our maiden voyage down the coast of California a year ago. And even though we talk, email and text regularly, there is nothing quite like a good hug and idle time spent just catching up and being together. The visit was short, but it was fulfilling. We hope to stop in again on our way back to Mexico.

Sunday afternoon was spent in Long beach, lounging around on the sailboat of our dear friend Holly. This is another bond that was formed during our adventures in sailing. I first met Holly on an all chick charter a few years ago and we connected instantly. She has been a mentor, a cheerleader, and a friend. I haven’t known her long and we haven’t spent all that much time together, but we talk regularly and never ever miss an opportunity to hang out. Even if it means driving 45 minutes in the opposite direction just to sit and eat sandwiches together in the rain. She’s real people and that’s not all that easy to find. And just to make everything perfect in my little world, she and Steve hit it off as famously.

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To round out our little adventure we decided to make a stop in Buellton, CA on our way back to Santa Cruz. This little known town has one thing that makes Mr. Steve Brenner very very happy. A resturant called the Hitching Post. There is a long story behind all this and our friend Lars is a big part of it. It involves a movie called “Sideways”, wine tasting, staying in cheap lousy hotels and friendship. We couldn’t miss the opportunity to stop in for a few nights so we could eat, purchase a few bottles which we will carry back to Pablo and send a neener, neener text to our Buddy Lars in Germany. All in good fun of course.

img_1947As of now I am writing this blog post from the comfort of my camping chair parked in the Moss Landing RV park. The funny thing about that is the fact that only one year ago we had Pablo in the harbor just on the other side of the fence. I can actually see the masts of sailboats from where I currently sit. We will stay in the Santa Cruz area for a few more months before heading back to Pablo who currently sits at dock on Marina de La Paz, Mexico. While I am certainly enjoying all of these visits and the exploits of land yacht living, I miss my boat and the water and I really, really miss the warm temperatures.

Needless to say; Life is good and we are grateful!

Posted in Nomadic life, RV life | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Well that happened…..

 

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The answer to the question of “what we would do in the summer months?” was always kind of a vague optimistic response. From the very beginning of this adventure we knew that coping with the intense Mexican heat from mid July – mid October was something we would have to face. That and how we would manage the tropical storms and hurricanes that continually threaten the region from June – October. Steve and I pondered many options. Traveling and exploring inland Mexico, renting a furnished apartment either in the states or Mexico, traveling to other places by various means? At the end of the day our first choice was to stay on Pablo in the Sea of Cortez, as many folks do.

We had a plan (snort) to stay cool and get ourselves to safety when storms were approaching. The first of these tasks was somewhat doable as expressed in Summer in the Sea of Cortez. The latter we realized was not so simple. We only encountered one tropical storm, which really turned out to be a non-event, but we learned a lot from the experience. For one we were not anywhere near our first choice location of La Paz when TS Javier came upon us. And two, storms develop almost weekly and build very quickly, becoming erratic and unpredictable. Most spin off into the Pacific, but a few skirt the coastline and threaten the Baja peninsula. These two things really got us to thinking that perhaps staying on Pablo in Mexico was not the best place for us to spend summer. I mean, we could have done it, we could have made it work. Like I said a lot of folks do it. But why? We are on an adventure of our own choosing. We can go and do anything we want (within financial constraints) so why sit and suffer with extreme heat and worry about every storm that kicks up the coast.

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Along with our newly formed reasoning about summer and Mexico came the plain fact that we were traveling back to Santa Cruz more than we had anticipated. We also found that lodging and car rental costs were proving to be way out of our budget. Not to mention the inflexibility experienced when traveling by plane, dealing with hotels, Air BnB’s and rental cars. Which made being present and available when friends and family really needed us difficult. I mean hey, sometimes stuff happens and you want to spend a few more days. Looking into your daughters tear filled eyes and saying “Sorry kiddo, I have a plane to catch but we’ll text when I land.” is just not the answer.

Enter “Pancho”! Our 24ft class C motor home.

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We found this cutie on Craigslist, did some research, took a drive to Lodi California and bought it. We then drove our empty RV to a lovely park called Smithwoods in Santa Cruz where we are getting her outfitted as our second home. Most things RV are like boat life. You have a self contained vessel with holding tanks, propane run equipment, water conservation when needed, small space, tight storage, etc… The few things that are beyond our knowledge and new to us have been easy to get answers for. The lovely people here who host the park have held our hands and helped us figure out a variety things. Like how to open and close the sun awning. Should be simple, but it’s not. The local resale and discount stores have been able to provide everything from bedding, dishes, and coffee makers, to camping chairs and BBQ equipment. Therefore the transition has not been difficult.

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Pablo secured at dock in Marina de La Paz, Mexico

We miss Pablo and the water, the gentle rocking that sends us off to sleep each night. I miss the freedom afforded by the sea and the ability to drop anchor most anywhere, free of charge. We miss Mexico and the simplicity of our life on there. However, I don’t miss anchor alarms, high winds that threaten to cause our anchor to drag, and having weather rule my life. There are certainly conveniences that come with the RV; I can run to nearest store to get butter, something not so easy when at an anchorage far from town. In either case we still embrace the beauty of nature that surrounds us and in the years to come we will have the opportunity to move between both worlds.

 

The decision to purchase Pancho has already proven to be invaluable. We originally scheduled a two week trip to Santa Cruz for the purpose of celebrating one of our sons’ wedding. Shortly after arriving in town we discovered that one of our daughters is pregnant with complex circumstances and another was scheduled to have a hysterectomy the week after our scheduled departure. Suddenly, we became very aware of the need for us to stay for an extended visit, something that would have been extremely costly without a residence and a vehicle (yes, we had to buy a car too!). So the new plan (haha) of getting an RV and driving to Mexico just as the hurricane season was ending has changed to a new, new plan that has us staying in Santa Cruz through January.

img_2082So, here we are. At first it was disappointing that we were not returning immediately to Pablo and doing our planned (did I actually use that word again?) trip to Puerto Vallarta where we intended to spend winter. But once we stepped outside our disappointment and realized our value to those we love we felt gratitude. We are grateful that we are able to be available to our family when they need us. What a blessing to be present in ones time of need.

Funny how poetic this all is. We decided to get away from Mexico for the hurricane season so we would not have to deal with the unpredictable chaos. And here we stand in the storm that can sometimes be life. Oh well, Mexico and Pablo will still be there when this has passed. And this time spent in Pancho, weathering the difficulties with our family is all just a part of our Grand Adventure.

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Journey back to La Paz

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Puerto Escondido

We took an eight day journey from Puerto Escondido to La Paz, A mere 98nm but we like to travel slowly and enjoy the people and places we visit. Our short little adventure brought us time shared with friends new and old, photo opportunities, and a longing for more.

IMG_4969Our first stop was Aqua Verde. This is not our first time in this sweet little village and it will not be our last. The queso de cabra fresca (fresh goat cheese) from the local goat dairy alone would be enough to keep us coming back. Every evening the hills are alive with the tinkling of bells on the goats as they scramble about looking for food. Mornings and early evenings are alive with pangas as Pescadors (fishermen) go about their daily work. There is a blending here of land, sea, and daily living that leaves us feeling serene and at peace.

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On this visit we decided to explore a new beach. Landing our dinghy and wandering about we were first met by a friendly dog who licked my knees as he wagged his tail. Not long after my new friend Señor Perro showed up came his owner, Milo. This lively character from old Czechoslovakia, now the Czech republic has been living in Mexico for 17 years. He once lived near San Carlos, Mexico where he somehow sunk his boat, although we never really got the whole story on that, and now he is squatting on “this” beach. He has a truck with a camper shell and a small sailboat up on a trailer that he is working on. He drives 45 miles to Loreto once a month and collects his social security check from the bank along with some supplies and he seemed quite happy. We were in a rush to get on to other things so we didn’t spend as much time as we would have liked. Hopefully Milo will still be there when we pass through again.

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After leaving Aqua Verde we had a one night stop in a place called Timbabiche. I’m not sure it’s actually a town, or if it’s just the large rancho that gives it its name. The waters were filled with leaping rays that entertained us for hours and the gentle breeze carried us off to sleep. However, sometime around 2am we were awaked by the roar of 20+ knot winds howling through our rigging. We checked the anchor alarm, took a look outside to find everything was just fine and promptly fell back to sleep. If we hadn’t been on a deadline we probably would have stayed a few days. There is a decaying old house of notable history on the shore and a lagoon that promises to hold wildlife just waiting for my camera lens. We will certainly stop here again.

IMG_2008Getting closer to our destination we had to drop in on Lupe Sierra and Maggie Mae. The last time we were in San Everisto Maggie was still away with their daughter Barbarita. During the school year Maggie and Barbarita live in La Paz Monday-Friday and sometimes don’t return to San Evaristo for weeks. We were happy to see them and visit for a few nights. Steve and I have great respect for Lupe and his wife Maggie. They have a big dream and they work very hard to grow their business poco y poco (little by little).

 

 

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San Evaristo

This small fishing community is one place that has worked its way into our hearts. The people work hard and the community is strong. There is a school however there is no teacher and the education only goes up through primary level through videos and guest educators. There is no electricity, but there is a desalinization plant that runs off of a diesel powered generator. Their minimalistic life does not make them poor nor are they unhappy. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. We are welcomed with shouts of “Hey Pablo” and fisherman are often heard singing as they come and go throughout the day. We hope to get closer and more accepted by this town as time passes. Being in community is one of the things lacking from this nomadic life we have chosen.

IMG_5766From San Evaristo we stopped again in Caleta Partida. We have now been to this anchorage 6 times, each time staying anywhere from 2-8 nights. Needless to say, we really like it. There is a green turtle that lives in the bay that I have named Penelope and I have attempted to photograph it multiple times. As Steve and I came into the bay I saw her and then later as I was backing down on the anchor I looked behind me to see her right behind us, so close I thought she might get bonked by Picasso (the dinghy). Later when again I pulled out the camera, she disappeared. I have a few blurry shots but nothing worthy of show and tell. However, I did manage to get a few pictures of other critters that didn’t run away so fast (or at all). We only spent two nights here this trip. As always, we wanted more so we will return again.

We made one quick overnight stop into a new anchorage for us, Caleta Lobos and then we headed into Marina de La Paz. Here we are spending our days getting Pablo settled because we are leaving for a visit to Santa Cruz. There are always tasks to be done when we leave the boat, however this time we have a lot of extra work to do as we are in the midst of hurricane season. This means everything needs to be stripped off the decks, the mainsail has to be lashed, extra dock lines to be installed, and on and on. The work is made difficult by the intense heat so we often work in 20-40 minute spurts with breaks in the shade to keep us from overheating. It will all be worth it as this trip is a special one. We will soon celebrate the wedding of my son Nick and his lovely bride Kristi.

I am so grateful that even though we travel so far from family we still get to celebrate the big events with them.

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Guineafowl Puffer fish photo taken from the dock in La Paz

Posted in Anchoring in Mexico, Cities of mexico, Sailing Mexico | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Summer in the Sea of Cortez

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If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Which is exactly why we are now doing most of our cooking on the BBQ grill. This girl is HOT, HOT, HOT! I have always been a heat seeker. Having been raised in southern Florida and coming from a whole family of warm weather loving folks. I have been known to often whine and carry on about never getting warm enough. Well now I am crying Uncle!

This past month has had daily temperatures hovering around the 100 mark with humidity in the 60-90 percent range. This far south the sun, now referred to as the death ray, is brutal and the only breeze to be found is near the water. Therefore being at anchor as IMG_1619opposed to being in a marina is the only way we survive. Not only are we cooking outside, but I have been sleeping outside as the inside of the boat is too stuffy and the night breezes keep me cool. All of my pareos have become sun shades, so we have dubbed the cockpit the tiki room due to the variety of tropical patterns. Frankly, Pablo looks like a gypsy wagon with all of her sun covers in place and the assortment of colorful pareos fluttering in the wind.

DSCF2079Up side to all this – Cooking on the grill creates less dishes and I have learned to get really creative with foil pouches of meat and veggies. The nights spent sleeping under a open sky are magical. I have fallen asleep counting stars, later to be wakened by the breathing of whales or dolphins passing by during the night. We spend several hours each day snorkeling in crystal clear waters with an aquarium of fish; Purple Surgeon, trigger fish, moorish idols, rainbow wrasse, coronet fish, the list goes on and on. I have tried to take underwater pictures but I don’t have the right equipment to do it justice. On several occasions we have been visited by whales and dolphins and the Mobula Rays are still jumping. One whale, possibly a minke or fin whale, passed so close and the conditions where so calm that we could hear a low baritone vibration with each intake of breath. I found that I was holding my own breath as he gently glided past.

We have been anchored in a couple of anchorages off Isla Carmen and are often the only boat in an anchorage which has an otherworldly quality to it. The island is uninhabited and you can feel quite isolated. At least until evening comes and you see the lights of Loreto across the channel. Our days are spent exploring the beaches, swimming and enjoying lazy afternoons in the shade taking naps, playing cards or reading to each other from the book we are sharing. Our current selection is Kon Tiki, go figure.

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It appears the hot weather might also be affecting P/T, the outboard motor. We have had multiple friends try to help us with this. For several weeks it would sometimes start and run like a new motor, which is what it is. And then there were other days when it wouldn’t start at all no matter what we did. We tested compression, spark, and kill switch. Steve and I even took the carburetor apart. Nothing helped. Then our friends Kirk and Heidi from s/v Due West talked to a guy named Sea Otter Jimmy in La Paz and he gave us some advice. His take was that the hot weather caused engine flooding and that we should open the throttle half way and give it no additional gas on start up. So far so good. We have been zooming about with grins on our faces. Although the oars are never far from reach.

 

In an effort to escape the heat last week we took a break from the boat and got a room at a small hotel near Puerto Escondido called Hotel Tripui. This place is like a small oasis in the desert. The lush gardens and swimming pool are lovely, the food is fabulous, the people a great and the rooms are air conditioned. It was 24 hours of cool bliss. In addition to our mini vacation at the hotel we rented a car and went on an excursion up into the mountains.

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The first of the California Missions was built in Loreto, which we visited while touring the town a few weeks ago. The second Mission is a beautiful 1.5 hour drive through the Sierra de la Giganta range to San Javier. This is a tiny village of 140 residents who take care of the mission and make some of the most delicious dulces we have ever tasted. The mission itself was built in the early 1600’s and the visit was a bit like stepping into Europe for an hour or so. We wondered the small cobble stone streets, toured the garden which has an olive tree planted 300+ years ago, and breathed in the lovely scenery. It was great to do some inland exploration.

 

At the moment we are back in Puerto Escondido attached to a mooring ball. Soon we will begin our travel southward back to La Paz, as we have plane reservations in late August to return to the states. While It might be hot, hot, hot and occasional I will even whine about it, there is not an hour in the day that I don’t look around me and give thanks for how incredible this all really is. There are several times each day that Steve or I will say to the other “Look where we are!” and truth is, we are still amazed by it all and feel blessed to be having this experience.

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Posted in Anchoring in Mexico, Cities of mexico, Sailing Mexico | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

rays, cows, and coyotes oh my…

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A hop skip and a jump from La Paz to Puerto Escondido!

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Lupe Sierra & Maggi Mae’s

We sailed north from La Paz stopping in 2 of our favorite anchorages on our adventure towards new territory. Two nights in Calita Partida and three nights in the small fishing village of San Everisto where we got to spend time having great conversation and good food with our friend Lupe at Lupe Sierra and Maggie Mae’s Palapa Restaurant.

IMG_4917This trip was not without frustration as we learned during our stay in San Everisto that our outboard motor was broken, kaput, no bueno! Seeing as we just purchased it last September, we were more than a little annoyed. But no worries, we have a spare 3hp that we carry just for these situations. This is how we continued further north without seeking assistance when it was offered in San Everisto. New lesson, when someone offers to help, you take it.

After a lovely visit we set our sails and compass and headed to an anchorage called San Telmo. A lovely little place with no port, town, or village. However there were coyotes, cows, and blue whales. And a scenario we have witnessed all over the Sea of Cortez, rays leaping from the water apparently trying to fly.

Being as we were so remote, it was quite surprising when a woman appeared from apparently nowhere each morning to walk the beach and watch the sunrise. Perhaps she was drawn to there for the same reasons as us, the wonders of nature and the beautiful marine life.

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Steve and I put the 3 HP on the dinghy and decided to head to shore, only to discover that it too was broken, kaput, no bueno! So we rowed shore. After all, we probably needed the exercise. Once on shore we found few shells, only a beach full of magnificent rocks of every imaginable color, a mummified turtle, tons of bones from various creatures, and the shoreline teaming with beautiful bullseye rays.

 

After 4 restful nights of absolute peace and serenity we set our sights on a small village 22nm miles north called Aqua Verde. Here we rowed ashore to wander the small town, visit the tienda, and purchase some locally made fresh goat cheese.

We spent five nights in this amazing little bay. Two of the days visiting, dining, snorkeling and playing with our friends Kirk and Heidi from s/v Due West as they were passing through on there way back south. We will definitely be back to spend an extended visit.

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From Aqua Verde we moved north to Puerto Escondido where we currently sit on a morning ball. We have gotten some much needed advice on our outboard which we have now named PT for Picasso’s turd. It seems to be running again, which I am certain will be the case until we get back out to some remote location.

Steve and I are visiting Loreto, which has great meaning for me as this is the town I visited a few years ago on my reconnaissance trip through the Sea of Cortez with my friend Holly Scott. This is the place where it became clear to me that YES this is exactly what we should do and where we should go. And we are not disappointed.

From we will travel out to the Islands of Coronado, Carmen, and then back south toward La Paz. Each day is a gift. We be happy sailors!

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Sailing to Loreto… the long way

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The day has arrived! The boat projects are complete (well mostly, they are never really done). Tomorrow we buy enough food and supplies to last us for three to four weeks. The next town large enough to have a grocery store is Loreto, just 125 nm from here with a lot of remote anchorages to be explored along the way. So we plan to take our time and stop often. We will set sail heading north Sunday 6/26/16.

Just as there won’t be resources for re-provisioning, there is not likely to be much in the way of cell phone coverage or WIFI connection. So we will again be firing up our DeLorme in-reach device. This means that anyone wishing to communicate with us can do so by going to the “Where’s Pablo” page listed on the menu bar of the blog site. That link will redirect you to our map tracker on the DeLorme site and you can send a message to us from there. Our reply to you will come through on either the email or phone number you provide in your message.

The DeLorme is a GPS tracking and simple texting device that works through satellite. There is no charge to you or us for communicating with it. So feel free to talk us up as much as you wish. However, I want to remind you that this is technology. Sometimes it breaks. If you can’t reach us don’t stress. It’s likely that the equipment has failed and we are just hanging out on some remote beach loving our lives!

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