It’s been a few days since we’ve posted to the blog, so I decided to update everyone before we take off for La Paz tomorrow morning. We may not have any coverage for a few days. Cabo has been fun, a bit too “touristy” for us and way too hot for me! And I’m happy to say that we “got away clean” with no hangovers! I think it just evaporates out of our pores with the many gallons of sweat! We have met some very nice people here, a lot of them fellow Baja HaHa vets like us, resting up from the trip down, making needed repairs and re-provisioning for wherever they go next. There are lots of people going to La Paz like us, and many others taking off for Mazatlan or Banderas Bay/Puerto Vallarta. Some even across the Pacific to different islands!
It has not been all play since we’ve been here. Dennis has done lots of work on the boat and I’ll let him tell you all about that. I spent a couple afternoons doing laundry, as there were many others needing to do the same and only one small washer and two dryers at this part of the marina. I think I did about 6 loads, waiting in line and getting to know lots of other cruisers in the process. Today we walked to a small organic grocery store, and then a regular grocery store to buy food to last until we get to La Paz. The stores have much less in them than ours! I hope the locals have more choices than we had today!
One of the high points of our stay here was walking up the hill to Joe’s Garden Pizza And Sushi Restaurant. We stayed in a “compound” grouping of extended family homes on the same property last spring, and rented a studio apartment thru Air B&B from the owners brother and sister-in-law. Martin, Lara and their son Zion were not there-Lara takes Zion to Ashland Oregon for school every fall, and Martin was visiting them there. But we met Maria, the grandmother. She seemed very happy we knew her son, and walked us into the restaurant and told them to take good care of us and we’re treated like royalty! Another great memory, and still my favorite place to eat in Cabo. They really make you feel like part of the family and the food is great.
Tomorrow morning we will be taking off for more adventures. We are going to take a few days to get to La Paz, anchoring in some very scenic places in the afternoons and spending the night. I’m looking forward to swimming in the turquoise, 80 degree water of The Sea Of Cortez, BBQ and wine and beautiful moonlight. Dennis will tell you about our anchorages.
We are missing family and friends and send our love to you all. We’ll write more from La Paz. Vickie aka “GV” for my Oak Harbor family!
Tonight is to be our last night in Cabo San Lucas. Tomorrow morning we will begin our next passage, eventually arriving in La Paz, in three to four days. Tomorrow afternoon we will arrive at Los Frailes. It is the home of an underwater park know as Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park. It has the only hard-coral reef system on the W side of North America. The following day we will head to Bahia de los Muertos before heading to La Paz. We have had some projects that needed tending while here that delayed our departure a day. I had decided to replace our four 6 volt deep cycle house batteries. No to bad if you have a car, but problematic on foot. I went to the boat yard to hopefully acquire them. Armando soon became my best friend. He called all over to find them, and thought he had and they would be delivered in the afternoon. He later called me and said he had only gotten two but he would drive me to another part of town to get the other two on Saturday. (Saturday is an off day for him.) I would have to purchase the last two from another supplier, not from the boat yard. After we had them all, he drove me to the marina and help me carry them to the boat. When I offered to pay him, he refused, saying all part of the service. Now these batteries weigh at least 60 lbs each and they are nestle in the bilge, where it would be difficult for a midget to get to and I’m no spring chicken. I had to remove the four old ones and then install the new ones. During these transfers, you are seldom standing on two legs and there is only room to swing the battery around with one arm! I did finally get the old ones out and the new ones in, then the task of wiring them up. Each pair of batteries is wired in parallel to create 12 volts, then in Series to give the combined amperage. Then wiring in the charger-inverter, alternator, new controller for the solar panels pus a few other stragglers. Then when all done…the smoke test!!! And ….. no smoke everything worked!!! But as I was edging my way out, I noticed that the mounting bracket for the alternator was cracked! So we had to delay our departure from yesterday to tomorrow. I went back to the boatyard this morning and in half an hour had my repaired welded bracket. Since I had extra time yesterday, I repaired the light on the ships compass. And then I tackled the auto-pilot. Coming down, I think we were the only boat the hand steered the whole way. We will play with it,as we inch north this week. It will be great to have workingfor the overnight passages when we bash north, going home. I will close now. Vickie is writing another blog about our stay in Cabo. Warm Regards, Dennis
This is a pano that Michael took at our second stop, Bahia Santa Maria. He stitched it together, when he got home and forwarded it to me. It shows the Baha fleet in the bay. On the bottom you can see the sparse housing, that is the village of fisherman.
Hello to family and friends from CSL! We arrived here about 11am yesterday (Thursday) and are planning to stay at the marina here until Monday morning. That is, if Dennis gets all our new batteries and has them installed by then. If not, we can hang here a bit longer! We decided to replace our 4 house batteries because they are old and we don’t want to have issues when in the Sea Of Cortez or on our way back up the coast to home. Nothing wrong with a little preventive maintenance! Anyway, Dennis spent the greater part of this morning running around town and finally found a great boatyard with really nice folks to help him get batteries. Armando, who works there will drive Dennis to San Jose Del Cabo (the next city up in the Sea Of Cortez) tomorrow morning to pick them up. Did I mention that the Mexican people have been so accommodating and friendly? It’s been nice here. We were here last Spring so we are familiar with “the lay of the land”. When we arrived yesterday we were exhausted and the boat was a mess, but feeling better now that we have had rest and time to clean things up. We also had a “We Cheated Death” party to attend at the infamous “Squid Roe” last night, and for all of you who knew about our experience there last spring, as in our worst hangovers in years, I think we really did cheat death last night by only having 2 drinks each! No hangovers today! Yay!!!!! Nothing worse than a hangover on a boat! We intentionally missed the Baja HaHa beach party today and had a long and relaxing visit with a friend of Dennis’ on a neighboring boat “Journey”. It is a beautiful Catamaran and has AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!! Did I mention that it’s hotter than !@<£¥ here? After living in the great Pacific Northwest (Eastern Washington where it really gets cold!), it’s hard to believe it’s 85 (but feels like 91) on November 11th! Im not a fan of hot weather myself, but Dennis really likes it. I don’t like to be completely soaked with sweat and love my cute coats, boots and winter sweaters, and four distinct seasons! I’m not complaining – I will just remember that there will be no sidewalks and driveways to shovel and no ice to slip on! Zelda is still doing very well. We are “rafted” with another sailboat, which means that they are tied up to us on the dock. She has made friends with the all female crew of four, that step onto our boat to get on to the dock. They are a nice and interesting group of women, good neighbors! We’ve met so many great people on this trip! I’m going to stop writing for now, as we are going to walk up and get some dinner. It’s cooled down a bit – evening is wonderful here! We hope you all are doing well. We miss you and would love to here how you are doing-and to hear comments. Love to all! We’ll write more before we leave CSL!
Bahia Santa Maria is a tiny bay on the pacific side of Baja. It has a tiny village of maybe 25-50 plywood structures that serve as housing for the fisherman and their families. There are NO services. No groceries, no fuel.., nothing. But they are an active community. We were there to relax and make repairs after another 2 day passage. But there is an annual event for the yachtistas! A band drives 12 hours, working just for tips playing great music and the families make a wonderful meal of lobster, fish, chicken, salad and rice and beans. They charge $15, which is a deal, and $2.50 a beer. A wonderful welcome for weary sailors! The organizers of the Baja have made these annual events that pump a lot of money into the communities. The yachtistas are also encouraged to bring school supplies and other things for the kids. I don’t know if I mentioned previously but I got the solar panels working. I had to run at 5 am, while in San Diego to get high voltage DC breakers, at an electrical supply house before getting to the start of the Baja that same morning. This is something I had to do with Ben Franklin. Something’s don’t change… But the reason I bring it up is that there is nothing better than swinging on a hook in the middle of an anchorage. Except knowing that your batteries will be charged in the morning. We have now arrived in Cabo San Lucas this morning. I will write more about that tomorrow. Tonight we all meet up at Squid Roe for a” Can’t believe We Cheated Death Again” dance and party. I don’t have pictures of the community or the party. The ponga drivers are real cowboys here, aiming for the waves so all the riders get wet. So I left my phone on the boat and instead got some sunsets.
Sorry for the delay in this communication but we have had spotty internet connection. The first two days after leaving San Diego were a bit rough. I have already shared part of our adventures but it wasn’t until we were in Turtle Bay that we learned of others in our fleet. Some boats lost their sails. Some lost their engines. Another boat had their boom broken completely in half. One boat lost both its sails and engine and was missing for a number of days. The Coast Guard participated in the search. Last I heard, they were found and I understand to be in good spirits. But on the second night, a 41′ Newport, crashed into the rocks during the night, just a short distance from Turtle Bay. A rescue attempt was made by some of the organizers of the event but the seas were too rough. Apparently a successful attempt was made by land and the folks were taken to the local hospital. One person noted that “there wasn’t enough Ha-Ha yet, in the Baja Ha-Ha!” But that is changing. We meet most mornings by radio and go over any issues. There is developing a sense of community with the fleet. They go over any injuries, attendance and repairs. People request parts or tools. We were able to help out a fellow who had his spinnaker pole damaged. He needed a pop rivet gun, 3/16″ rivets, a punch, hammer and a drill. I had all he needed and he made the repaired, in his dinghy tied to our boat. There was a community baseball game that included us “yachtistas” and the locals. Turtle Bay is a small poor fishing village. With the Baja Ha-Ha fleet showing up annually , it is like Christmas for them. Rather than taxis, you take pangas to town. They come to your boat and for a couple of dollars take you to town. We even had fuel delivered by a panga. He had a large plastic cube with markings on it. We told him we wanted 60 gallons and he eyed the container and repeated my request in liters. He marked it with his finger and started to pump away. I used my fuel gauge to verify and it was pretty accurate if not a little fat, in my favor. Our sailing shifts are in three hours. Three hours on watch then three hours on the helm and finally a much needed three hours of rest. There are always two people in the cockpit, the person doing watch and the one at the helm. The third person tries to sleep and then after three hours is back at it. Some have asked about Zelda, Vickie’s Boston Terrier. She is doing great. She will snuggle up to whoever is resting if not in the cockpit with Vickie. When needed we slow the boat down and take her up front where she does her business. She does get distracted by a number of small squid that have landed on the boat and even in the sails! Not quite sure how they get there but they are there every mornings while we are sailing. It is now Sunday and we left Turtle Bay yesterday morning. We sailed through the night and expect to arrive at Bahia Santa Maria by 21:00 tonight. Michael said he heard over the radio that one of our boats, that is further ahead, was met by a local fishing boat and they were given 5 lobster! I’ll let you know if we are so lucky when we arrive! Closing now… The Crew of the Windhorse.
Just a quick update. We had a rough first night. During the day yesterday things improved a bit. Apparently there were winds up to 30 knots and seas at 12′. A pacific storm 5000 miles offshore was the culprit. As it was predicted to get worse last night we decided to tuck into a little anchorage called Bahia San Quintin. We found about a dozen others had made the same decision. We had a restful night and are preparing for our last leg to Turtle Bay. This will be another over nighter, taking us 30-34 hours. We should get into Turtle Bay, sometime in the afternoon. I will check in tomorrow, where the party begins! Best Regards, Dennis
CNN will be covering the departure of the Baja HaHa tomorrow morning. There is a kick off parade beginning at 10:00. The rally starts at 11:00. If recording maybe start at 9:00. Someone record it so we can see it when get back. Also Michael has brought along a Personal Locator Beacon, which will post our location to a satellite in real time. Here is a page that shows the Baha Ha Ha progress. Type in the password “2016BahaHaHa” to view. https://share.findmespot.com/shared/fac es/viewspots.jsp?glId=19DiZGvRahZtcWxyD 6Rnf9y1Vqo3l4GC7 Fair Winds, Dennis
The Police Dock, where we stayed, while we prepared for our trip
Getting ready to leave for the Baja HaHa
San Diego, CA
San Diego, CA
Dear Family and Friends, The work on a boat never ends! Dennis says the definition of the term CRUISING means “working on your boat in exotic places”! If that is true, then we are truly cruising! The boys, (Kevin and Dennis) started working the day after we got into San Diego, and Dennis and Mike are still working. We leave for Baja day after tomorrow, so there’s not a lot of time left! We have gotten to enjoy San Diego a bit, shorts weather and some umbrella drinks. Interspersed with lots of trips to our favorite West Marine and hardware stores. We visited a couple of our favorite eating establishments that we discovered while here last summer. So now I am waiting for Dennis to get back from another trip to the hardware store so I can go to Costco, Trader Joe’s and Safeway, to stock up on necessities for the trip. It’s hard to decide what food to buy when sailing for 72 hours without stopping and preparing food with the boat moving! Maybe lots of sandwiches made in advance like we did before! Tomorrow is “Baja Party Day”. We have paperwork to turn in at West Marine (where else?) in the morning. Then Dennis has a Captains meeting. In the afternoon there is a costume party and BBQ. Dennis will be wearing a Jamaican hat complete with dreds with an anonymous mask, and I will be getting my brows on while dressing as Frieda Kahlo! Zelda will be donning her Boston Terrier costume again, and I don’t know what kind of costume Mike will wear. The Baja rally officially starts Monday morning at 11am, with a parade of boats. They want us to wear our costumes while our boats are leaving San Diego Bay. I don’t know if taking off a costume and changing into regular “sailing clothes” will be an easy feat with the boat moving though, so I might skip that one! We’ll try to get some pictures of all these activities, especially of the parade of boats when leaving. We probably won’t be able to post our blog until we get to an area with cell phone reception and/or wifi, so it could be awhile. Maybe not until we get to Cabo. We’re sending our love and hoping you all have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!