Saturday, November 26, 2011


We arrived mid November in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico where our boat, Sea Lady, is stored on the hard. She was moved to the work yard and had the bottom sandblasted. Now they will patch the bad spots, which unfortunately involves removing the rudder, then float a coat of epoxy over the hull. That is followed by a coat of barrier paint and finally the bottom paint. As is true for many of our projects, it’s taking longer than we expected so we likely won’t get to La Paz, B.C.S. until the middle of December.

While here in San Carlos we are staying in our mini RV in the Totonaka RV park where we stayed last year. They provide full hook-ups and showers and restrooms, plus wifi. Each day RVers come in and leave. Many folk are Canadian headed further south. Some of their destinations are Tenacatita and Boca de La Laguna.

La playa, the beach, de la Bahia San Carlos which is just across the road is great for walking and hunting for beach glass, shells and rocks and for watching sea life. I saw dolphins just off the beach the other day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Marina Seca and Marina San Carlos

Our boat, Sea Lady, had been stored at Marina Seca since we pulled out of the water in spring of 2007. We visited her once in fall of 2008 to check on the batteries. So it has been 3 1/2 years that we have done any work on her or had her in the water. Thus we spent 3 1/2 weeks working on her in the work yard while we stayed in our vintage mini RV. The major issue was that all of our batteries died and had to be replaced -- all 8 of them. This required a wait because it was over Thanksgiving weekend and a trip to Phoenix, and many boat dollars.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sailing season 2010-11

     We are so happy, we finally made it back to Mexico and our boat, Sea Lady. It’s been since Oct 2008 that we were in San Carlos to check on the boat and since April 2007 when it went on the hard after a season of sailing in the Sea of Cortez.
     This was our first trip with our very, very vintage mini motor home. It handles well and the engine runs just fine but the ride is very noisy, especially with windows down. We dubbed it ‘Land Lady’ as opposed to Sea Lady 2. We left home about 9 am got fuel and stopped at Les Schwab to check air in the tires on the way out of town. Two hours later and many dollars lighter we left with 6 new tires. We experienced wind and rain, but no snow on our drive south. Since we got such a late start we stopped at a rest stop in California to sleep, our very first time to sleep in the motor home, and woke at 4:30 when we realized the rain coming through the roof vent got our bed wet.
     We started off with a stop in San Francisco over Halloween to visit family and participate in Open Studio. Then down to Mt. View for a visit with Karen and Dan. Then off again taking two days to drive to Tucson, AZ sleeping in the motor home at another rest stop on our way to a real vacation at Ranch Vistoso.
     We expected to stay a week but ended up staying a bit longer because Kay crashed the motor scooter and needed a bit of time for healing. On Sunday, Nov 14 we left for Mexico, crossing the border at the Maricopa truck crossing. There was NO truck traffic in either direction, it felt very surreal. It took about an hour to get our visas which we need because we will be sailing the Sea of Cortez and clearing into different ports.
     We arrived in San Carlos just at dusk and are staying at an RV part called Totonaka with the beach of Bahia San Francisco just across the road from the entrance. It was Steve’s good fortune to crew for Marv of S/V Odyssey on his transit from San Carlos to Santa Rosalita. They left Tuesday at 03:00 for a 12 hour motor-sail as the Sea was dead calm and returned to Wednesday on a 30 minute flight from Santa Rosalita. Thursday was a Mexican holiday, La Revolution so we couldn’t get to see our boat until Friday when it was moved into the work yard.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Steve, Kay and Sea Lady

Finally, we are off to Mazatlan

We finally received the new autopilot that was ordered just after Christmas. It arrived Monday Feb 12 and it took Steve a few days to install and run the dock side test. Yesterday, Saturday, we took Sea Lady out to program the autopilot and everything went well.

Our plan is to leave early tomorrow morning, Monday, sail to Los Muertos and anchor there for the night. Then we will take off early the following morning for the crossing to Mazatlan. The crossing should take about 27 hours, calculating a hull speed of about 6.5 to 7 knots per hour. The weather report is for light winds Monday and Tuesday with the winds picking up to about 15-18 kts and seas picking up to 4 feet on Wednesday. I'm so excited to finally be able to go after having spent over 7 weeks just waiting for the autopilot arrival.

It's carneval time here in La Paz for which La Paz is very famous and proud of. It began Feb 15 and runs through Fat Tuesday, Feb 20. It seems to be a combination of county fair and street fair, similar to the Asian night market in Vancouver BC and just packed with people. There are rides and food stands, booths selling toys, dishes, clothes, blankets and whatnot's, and several stages with very loud bands. There is a King and Queen and her court dressed in spectacular costumes attended by Mexican Naval officers in full dress whites. They set off fire works Friday night directly over head of the crowd along the malecon (street fronting the sea) and will have parades each night Sunday through Tuesday. Beer distributors, banks, cell phone companies and dairy products are featured, similar in flavor to the sponser hype connected to the Tour de France. It is wild and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

A great on-line e-zine for life here in La Paz is The author lives on his boat, along with his dog Abby, here in Marina Costabaja. So....we are ready to go I just need to bake some bread and muffins before we take off. Happy sails to me.............

Sunday, December 31, 2006

How dramatic

Caballeros, on the beach and up on the cliff

We had a picnic on the beach

Los Cerritos a surfing beach near Todos Santos

A home of an American couple, friends of fellow cruisers

The home is a remodeled theater in Todos Santos on the same little street

Same street, looking back

Same street different view

Todos Santos

A little street of shops, homes & restaurants

Raymundo, our guide for a day trip to Todos Santos

Captain Steve

Tryring out the new deck chair

Can't seem to rotate the picture correctly.

Our favorite anchorage in San Juanico Cove

Looking east at anchor in Bahia Concepcion

At anchor in Bahia Concepcion

Boat projects

We had to go to the top of the mast 4 times that day.

pictures, I hope

View from the dock in Marina San Carlos

Monday, December 04, 2006

10 Days to La Paz

We left San Carlos on 16 Nov and arrived Sunday 26 Nov in La Paz. Because we wanted to arrive on the Baja in Bahia Concepion during day light hours and our transit was expected to take 12 to 15 hours, we left our slip on the high tide at about 8:30 and made our way south to Bahia Catalina. Also, Hop Along was slated to be put in to the water from the work yard and had the slip following us.

This was a small jewel of a cove about 3 kilometers from the big port of Guayamas. We were the only boat in this small, very protected cove with white sandy beaches and pretty green waters that rivaled any of the coves we visited on the Baja. Facing the mouth of the cove, we watched all kinds of traffic pass by, from fishing pangas to a large tanker, yet the waters remained calm in the cove. Then when we left after sunset, we had to thread our way through a bay full of fishing boats. The seas were very rough and we discovered that our autopilot did not work. Bummer. The wind had dropped so we were motoring and had following seas off our starboard quarter. Thus, in order to maintain our course the wheel had to be turned every moment, almost 20 degrees each side of our heading. This was hard work and of course, I was sea sick again. So, Steve was at the helm and I was below trying to lie down. But things were falling from where they were stored and I was being knocked about the cabin.

I tried to sit my watch, but only lasted about 30 minutes. Steve tried to rest by lying down in the cockpit. We changed positions and I managed a little nap. We shortened our watches but each of us really only got to sleep about and hour and a half for the entire transit. We also discovered that we had a problem with our raw (sea) water intake when we couldn’t flush the heads. Since this is the engine cooling system, we had to turn off the engine so we could bleed the air out of the sea chest and thus refill the chest with sea water a couple times during the night. Evidently the intake was restricted. Finally when we were about 8 nm off the Baja coast in the dark of the early morning we dropped our RPMs and were only making 5 kts to maintain the water balance and limped into Bahia Concepcion. Steve cleaned the intake hose at anchor the following day and removed a couple of mussel shells! The procedure had to be repeated after our next transit from Bahia Concepion to Bahia San Juanico and we found even more mussel shells in the through-hole. Since there is a slotted screen on the hull at exterior of the through-hole, we never expected such large critters could get in.

Bahia Concepcion is a very large, but shallow bay. We finally arrived at our destination, El Burro Cove, and dropped anchor at about 11:00 that morning. After securing our anchor we both jumped into the water for a quick swim. It was so warm without a whisper of wind and the little bobos (small flies) were driving us nuts. Lots of folks are camped in the palapas ashore and many permanent homes line the western shores of the bays.

We stayed in Bahia Concepcion for 4 days then made our way south slowly, staying a couple days in Bahia San Juanico, then one night or two each in Ballandra on Isla Carmen, Bahia Agua Verde, and the small southern cove on Isla San Francisco. In Ballandra, directly east of Loreto, we were able to make a few cell phone calls home for Thanksgiving. We were hailed by a female kayaker in Ballandra who thought she had been stranded as the boat hadn’t returned for her return to Loreto. The snorkeling was fabulous in Bahia San Juanico with very clear water and a huge varity of fish. A fellow cruiser on Mantra went diving one day an brought us some fish, Cabrilla

We motored most of the way as is our usual luck with favorable winds. Although, the couple of times we actually were able to hoist the sails and actually sail, Kay was at the helm, making Steve quite jealous. We saw porpoises on our voyage. It was really quite thrilling as I got to stand on the bow sprit and watch 2 or 3 porpoises swim directly below in our bow wave. The water was so clear that I could see the scars on the back of one of the creatures. On another occasion, we passed a small pod of porpoises, when one large porpoise tail-slapped the water 4 or 5 times. The pod had stopped swimming and we felt as though they were calling a couple of their members to return to them. Fantastic!

So we are in Marina Costabaja in La Paz and expect to be here until after Christmas because we need to fix the autopilot. In fact, if we cant fix it we won’t go across to Mazatlan or Puerto Vallarta; the Mexican Riveria. We have met up with friends from our stay here last year. And if we are lucky, we will catch up with them over on the Mainland. A norther has blown in with overcast skies and strong winds and big seas so a lot of boats are waiting for the weather to clear to permit them to make the southern crossing.