Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Back in the saddle

Good bye Pacific Northwest rain
Change is the only constant.  And so sadly I am back in Mexico without Scott.  We have remained friends but will not be cruising together any longer.  I hope that it will mean that we are both happier in our lives moving forward.  I am slowly adjusting to the change in the status of our relationship.  For me the reality truly set in as I returned to Kialoa and started recomissioning her after she spent a long hot summer in dry storage.
I left Victoria on a rainy October morning and flew into Hermosillo, Mexico. From there it was a two hour bus ride and a short cab ride to Kialoa.  It was really hot in Guaymas. I was lucky enough to be greeted by cold beer and friendly faces on Searover II and Greybeard.

Kialoa needed some cleaning up

Guaymas had been hit by Hurricane Newton in September and there was extensive damage to the Marina Fonatur docks and sadly five boats sank during the storm. Luckily for me all the boats in the dry storage yard were fine and Kialoa was undamaged but in need of a good scrubbing.  Did I mention it was really hot in Guaymas.  So I got some work done in the morning and then it was 34 degrees inside the boat and hard to move so not as much got done in the afternoons.  However I did have a bit of a deadline as my brother Jay was coming to sail with me for a couple of months and he needed a place to sleep.  I had to get the cabin cleared up.

Jays first day, trying not to get sunburnt

Searover II getting a face lift
Launch day for Kialoa.  She has her fresh coat of bottom paint
on and I am touching up the spots that could not be reached
when she was in the stands.
Jay only had to enjoy boat yard life for one day and then we were in the water.  We spent a few days in Guaymas checking out some of the Day of the dead festivities, provisioning Kialoa and finishing up the recommissioning.  Life in Guaymas is nice and there is fantastic street food but as I think I mentioned it was hot in Guaymas. So when the boat was ready we decided to head for somewhere we could go swimming, which is most definately not the water in Guaymas harbour.

Some of the reasons for not swimming in the water.  In the background is an
old abandoned factory that had a big fire one night and seemed to start up again
every night.  The fire trucks would just come back every morning and put it out
Just one of the large elaborate shrines built for the day of the dead

Mexican rock, who knew.  It was good but very loud.
My tall skinny friend
Underway, blue sky and sunshine  :)
First stop was San Carlos, where I got to see my friends on Dreamcatcher.  We spent a couple of nights anchored in Bahia San Carlos.  The day we arrived there was a definate change in the weather and it cooled off quite a bit, however it was still nice and we had a chance to do some snorkelling.
Next stop was Bahia San Pedro, 15 miles further North to get positioned for crossing the Sea of Cortez to Santa Rosalia on the Baja.

Fish boat or bird rest?

Searover II pulls into Bahia San Pedro looking good!
Gratuitous sunrise picture.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The long way home

Our drive home was fun, and we took our time and smelled the roses.  Actually what we did was visit with friends and family on the way and checked out some of Scotts old haunts in Orange County as well.

First stop Phoenix, where we visited with these two lovely people.  Fred and
Roberta have been a big part of Scotts early life.  We had the pleasure of
celebrating their daughters birthday with them while we were there.

After a couple of nights in Phoenix, we had a long driving day and made the Southern California coast.  Orange County, famous for its ...... not sure what. Not my kind of place but lots of other people seem to like it.  The weather was pretty nice and so were the beaches.  Traffic was not!
We spent some time with Scotts longest running friend Ronny, and his wife Amy.  Scott played disc golf with his still going strong Sunday Drivers group of golfers.  Minus some, plus some.  I guess things do have to change over the years.

Lesson learned, always disconnect the battery when leaving
a car stored long term, even if you have a solar charger attached.
One new battery later we were not having any more problems.

LA freeways, how many lanes!!!!!

I found a spot of beauty in the midst of a lot of Urbania in
Orange County.

A trip on the Balboa island ferry in Newport Beach was also
a trip down memory lane for Scott.

Zoltar dispensing some wisdom.

We left the crowded beach communities of Southern California on Monday morning and headed to the hills.  More specifically the community of Twain-Harte in the golden hills east of SanFransisco.  We had a wonderful visit with Scotts cousin Bruce and his wife Rhonda and got to check out this very picturesque part of the world.

Bruce, Rhonda and Scott, at the old jail.  Bruce used to be a
chief of Police.  Seemed appropriate.

Like I said, picturesque.
The squirrels liked it here too.

After two nights in Twain-Harte we again headed north, but only as far as Sacramento.  One lovely and scenic drive later we arrived at the home of Jim and Mary, whom we had met and made friends with on the beach in Mexico.  We had planned a two night stay but plans change and Yosemite became a goal but the weather wasn't very nice, so we had to wait for it to improve.......one week and an amazing trip to Yosemite later we again headed north.  It was a long driving day, Sacramento to the north side of Seattle, but put us in good position to get on a ferry to Saltspring the next day. Which was the day our extra insurance ran out.  Phew made it!

Mary signing her first geocache find!  

The grandeur of Yosemite was difficult to capture.

Talk about a long way up!!!

The waterfalls were magnificent!

Our hosts, Jim and Mary

Mt Shasta added some more spectacular scenery to the
drive north.

Home in time for the Round Saltspring Race!
Now best get to work!  Looking forward to next season!

Friday, 27 May 2016

To Guaymas to haul Kialoa

We departed from Punta Chivato at 3pm on April 15th, the weather was fine for the 70 nautical mile overnight crossing from the Baja to mainland Mexico.  Since we only average around 4-5 nautical miles per hour our expected crossing time is minimum 14 hours with a dawn arrival in Guaymas.
It was mainly a motor across, I did try some sailing as we left Punta Chivato, but when boat speed was reaching 1.2 nm per hour the crew got restless and the motor was started!  I guess two and half days to get to Guaymas is a little long!  We had a nice uneventful night and were greeted with a lovely sunrise and a fresh breeze as we approached the mainland coast.  Sails went up and we had a delightful broad reach sail for the last two hours of the trip.  The dolphin greeting committee just outside of Guaymas harbour was icing on the very lovely cake!
Once we arrived in Guaymas it was time to get to work.  Decommissioning the boat for 6 months of storage is a lot of work.  All the canvas and running rigging must be washed, dried and put away.  Anything that might have gotten salty needs cleaning.....you can not imagine how many things might get salty on a boat......Food needs clearing out, cupboards cleaned, clothes sorted, teak oiled, engine serviced and the list goes on.
We were soon joined by our friends on Searover II and Greybeard who had also decided to make a switch from the dirt yard where we all hauled out last summer to the government run Fonatur yard in Guaymas.  The pricing was equivalent, charged in Pesos not USD, and the Fonatur has a cement yard. It is also close to downtown Guaymas and all the wonderful street food as well as many hardware and marine supply stores.  It is common practice in the marina industry in Mexico to bill in USD.  Works for the Americans but can be less wonderful for us Canadians when conversion rates are not so favorable.

One other reason we liked the Fonatur, it had a pool!  We had lots of  happy hour
get togethers after a hard day of boat work, cooling off and relaxing with the
crews of Searover II and Greybeard.  What a special treat!

This guy was out fishing all the time on his homemade craft.
His paddle was a couple of bucket lids nailed to a board.
Hard work! I think the fender tied to the side is for a little
extra stability.

Guaymas has some beautiful old stately buildings, in need of repairs.  This one
is for sale if you are interested in restoration work!
Where have all the Woolworths gone?  Apparantly to Mexico!

Kialoa being parked in her spot.

On the morning of April 26th we said goodbye and piled into the car, along with Karina from Searover II, and departed Guaymas.  We dropped Karina off at the airport in Hermosillo in a reverse of our trip down and proceded to Phoenix Arizona.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

More fun

As I write this, I am sitting at my computer in BC, with the heater right beside me, wool socks and a sweater on.  Hmmmmmm, it is May.  So we have come on home, but due to irregular internet connections on the Baja coast I am kind of behind on the blog.
Anyways here are some pictures from March and April, I hope they make you all feel warmer!
Isla Coronados, we reconnected with one of the boats that
were a part of our Umbrella Dumpers group coming down
the pacific coast.  We had not seen the folks from Adagio since
San Jose del Cabo two years ago!

Did some hiking
Were entertained by rays in the hundreds

Spotted a lizard

Added our shell to the cruisers shrine at San Jaunico

Had a 70th birthday celebration!  Happy Bday Mark!

Played bocce ball on the beach

Enjoyed the views

Saw a whale shark!  It was just a little one!

Went geocaching with new friends Jim and Mary

Bill found it first!

Jim and Mary hosted all us cruisers for dinners and campfires
with enough chairs tucked away in their RV for all.

Saw  a few shells at Punta Chivato.

Next stop is Guaymas, where we prepare the the boat for hauling and storage.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Agua Verde to Bahia Candeleros

There was a forecast for a bit of blow coming so we headed for Agua Verde, one of our favourite places, along with Greybeard, to shelter from the storm.  Searover II continued on further north to explore another anchorage.
We arrived early in the day and got settled in.  There were three other boats there as well, one of them Adios, another BCA member boat.
During the night we had strong winds that clocked around from nearly every direction!  It was a good thing that there were not too many boats in this small anchorage, as it was there was some unexpected boat movement in the night however once that one got reanchored all was well and we just had to put up with a lot of noise!  Being on a boat in a strong wind is very noisy and does make sleeping difficult even when you are not worried about dragging your anchor!
Once that event was over we had a week to enjoy the area, hiking, snorkeling and kayaking were all on the agenda.

Not too many green fields for these guys

The cemetary has been a little neglected and things are
falling apart.

A little oasis in the midst of desert

Ancient hand prints in a cave, Agua Verde has been populated
for a long time

Kayaking and snorkeling was awesome

The anchorage filled up after the wind passed

Outside the tienda in Agua Verde, we chatted with a couple
of guys that came in the 40 km dirt road on their cruising bikes.

We had a weather forecast for light winds that would last for days so we decided to leave Agua Verde and check out some new anchorages.  We headed to the north end of Monseratt because with the predicted winds we had a chance to check out some of the normally impossible to be at places.
A blue whale sighting in the flat calm water was quickly followed by a huge dolphin pod that passed nearby.  Such an exciting day!  The anchorage at Monseratt was still kind of rolly so we decided not to stay the night there and headed to Candeleros.  This bay is open to the north so normally is not a good place to be however the big sandy beach has always looked appealing.  There is a large all inclusive resort in the bay.

A beautiful resort sunset

The resort lobby

The resorts signature golf hole

And the requesite evening entertainment!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Bahia Candeleros, we got visitor passes to the resort and were able to avail ourselves to the first class facilities there.  We were joined by Searover II after a few days and celebrated Scotts birthday on the beach and later had a lovely dinner at the resort restaurant. 
Mexico can provide some very stark contrasts, in Agua Verde they have to truck in ice over 40 km of dirt road to keep the food cold at the tienda, and a very short distance away we are sipping icy margaritas poolside.