Archive for May, 2008

Ah, Agua Verde!

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

When we think back on our first season in Mexico, Bahia Agua Verde stands out as one of our favorite places. Peaceful anchorages, clear water, good snorkeling… and time with our friends on Sassona and Theophilus!

We were lucky to get great south winds for the sail up. Always concerned with protection, Toro wanted to drop the hook in the more sheltered north anchorage. Unfortunately, it was a bit crowded there, so we motored around awhile before we gave up and went to the south anchorage. Theophilus arrived shortly thereafter and joined us there.

The next morning, a number of boats left the north anchorage, so we radioed Theophilus and told them we were planning on moving there. They agreed that, given the forecasted north winds, it would be wise to move. No sooner had we got off the radio, than we heard the unmistakable clanking of an anchor chain. There was Captain Ron on his foredeck, cranking in his anchor. “Oh no you didn’t!” yelled Toro, flying forward and yanking up our own anchor. I’ve never seen him move so fast! In less than a minute he yelled “Anchor’s up!”

Haul, Boy, Haul!

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

The islands on the outside of the Bay of La Paz are, in a word, stunning. The volcanic rocks display subtle pinks, rich reds, and deep browns; throughout the day, the play of sunlight and shadow over the hillsides dramatizes the desert landscape. Add to that the emerald green waters of the sandy bays, and the result is a haunting, magical beauty.

Of course, as I always tell Todd, beauty like this comes at a price. At Isla Partida, the cost is freak, unpredictable winds that tend to blow just when you’re ready to go to bed. Windy nights are the bane of Capn Insomnia, who frets about our anchor holding and our proximity to other boats. (The fact that he got to monitor our GPS position from the comfort of our berth, because of new hardware he picked up in La Paz, was little consolation.)

So, while Koiya enjoyed playing with Josh from Theophilus, and I had fun snorkeling in the clear waters, the under-slept Toro spent our first day at the islands alternately moping and napping. (more…)

Anchored in San Juanico

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

North of La Paz on the inside of the Baja there’s very little in the way of coastal towns other than Loreto, Mulege, and Santa Rosalia which is why you haven’t heard from us recently. This update is coming to you via Winlink (over our HAM radio).

We had a great time in Bahia Agua Verde, where we spent a week snorkeling, kayaking, and having cookouts on the beach with our buddy boats Theophilus and Sassona. The kids slept in a tent on the beach a couple of nights, and had a lot of fun!

Loreto and Mulege are roadstead anchorages (no protection from wind or swell) so you typically stop there just long enough to launch the dinghy, reprovision, and then move on. We enjoyed our short overnight stay in Loreto (even though I (Capn Pacifico) had a hard time sleeping with the wind and chop) but we did manage to get into town for dinner, breakfast, and two grocery shopping trips.

We’re now anchored in the very picturesque and mostly uninhabited bay of San Juanico, getting ready to head the 50 nautical miles further north to Mulege before crossing the sea to San Carlos. We’re scheduled to haul the boat out on May 26th and will leave it in dry storage in San Carlos while we return to California for 6 months to work and visit friends and family.

Held Captive in La Paz

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Help! I’m being held in La Paz against my will! I’ve pleaded with my captors (Capn Marina and his sidekick, Playdate Girl) but they just don’t want to cast off the lines and head out to the islands! I’m hoping to make them leave today by telling them that, as it is International Workers’ Day, all of the taco stands will be closed. I figure by lunch time, they’ll be so hungry that they’ll do anything to get me to cook!

The sail over from Mazatlan was one of the tougher passages we’ve had. Our plan was to sail northwest until we reached the latitude of La Paz, then turn due west to cross the Sea of Cortez. The forecast called for 20 knot winds from the north on the day we’d be crossing, so we hoped for a good sail.

Well, to make a long, bumpy, sea-sick story short, our plan didn’t quite pan out! The wind was more northwesterly, and with the rough seas, we got pushed quite a bit to the south. About 55 hours after we’d left Mazatlan, we ended up anchoring at Muertos (about 50 miles south of La Paz) to get a day of rest, then came up to La Paz the following night. (more…)