Showing posts from 2008

Last note on Zehuatanejo

Last note on Zehuatanejo – Check the pictures of the live wild animals in Webshots.
We set out walking to find a large supermarket we were told about – a Costco type of store, which do seem to exist in most of the big towns we have been in. We like to walk, by doing so we see more of what it is like to live here in Mexico, plus it takes us away from being seen as the gringos who get off the massive cruise ships/marks to sell to.
So off we went with a vague idea where it was. We do ask for directions – i.e. quando es commercial/mexicana supermercado?, the question is easy - understanding the answer is not. After forty five minutes of walking in brain boiling heat and asking directions twice from very helpful locals we hadn’t got there yet. By this time we had refused about 10 invitations to ride buses from the boys who jump out of the bus in front of you to tell you where they are going, and about 20 invitations from cabs which only cost 20 pesos ($2). Oh no, we want the true Mexican exp…

Las Hadas

Tenacatita – Here we met other cruisers – Ultima, a steel hull who are back from world cruising where they had become friends with Hans and Roos from The Wind Cries, a boat we met in Sausalito earlier this year. There were a couple of other seasoned cruisers aswell – a couple of men cruising on a power boat, Mike and Tom . Tom had a pretty gruff manner, but a lot of useful information to impart, whether you wanted to hear it or not. Plus a couple of other boats who had also cruised Mexico quite extensively.
When we tell people where we are going, we usually get odd looks and the question, why would you want to leave Mexico? I must admit that the question crosses my mind quite often too – and I suppose if we happen across a place that we love as much as the home we have in Canada and it happens to be in Mexico then maybe we’ll become one of the many gringos who stay. It hasn’t happened yet.
Tenacatita Bay has a lot to offer a cruiser who wants to stay a week or two – we had a couple of d…

Punta Ipala to Manzanillo

It took us about 5 hours to motor around from Yelapa to Punta Ipala - this being the start of many very craggy rocky premontories. We anchored in about 40 feet in rock and were quite dismayed to see that the water was literally filled with small jelly fish. There were actually 3 distinct species - a round clear jelly fish about 1 1/2" diameter which look pretty benign, then a long very thin stringy one with little dots all along it, these sting - I've met them before, and then a tiny little dot/prism thing which reflected all colors. Well we had been roasting all day on the boat and needed to cool off. I have a thin suit which I wear under my dive suit which I call a luge suit so I was pretty well covered, Dick borrowed one of Tony's suits and Tony went in shorts and t-shirt - we didn't swim for long.
This tiny little bay had a few large palapas on the shore with hundreds of empty chairs - in fact nobody around, but once they saw a boat in the bay - the only boat - the…

Puerto Vallarta to Las Hadas, Manzanillo

And no Bo Derek. From the time we picked up Anne and Dick in Puerto Vallarta to the time we dropped anchor outside Las Hadas Hotel where the movie '10' was filmed we heard quite alot about Bo Derek from Tony, who was looking forward to seeing her run down the beach towards him beaded braids and her most natural assets akimbo - not to be. But more about that later.
We left PV on Tuesday 2nd December heading for Yelapa, a small, rolly and very quiet - while we were there - bay just before rounding Cabo Corrientes. We had hoped, having spent 2 very hot days in a marina cleaning the boat, that we would be able to swim at Yelapa, but the water was quite murky and very rolly - not very inviting. We were greeted by a panga at the bay opening and invited to use the only moorage buoy available for 200 pesos. We said that our anchor worked well enough thankyou - so he put the price down to 100 pesos, and we thought that would it would be worth paying that much not to put out the anc…

A day in Puerto Vallarta

And quite a day it has been. We started out eating breakfast at a version of De Dutch Pancaoke House - fortunately they also did a pretty good Mexican style breakfast, found the Marina Office and also fortunately found out that the moorage fee was actually quite reasonable.
Then a trip into old Puerto Vallarta on one of those suicide busses. As we rattled along we were serenaded by a septegenarian guitar player who somehow managed to hold himself upright as we hurtled along at what appeared to be about 80mph. Tony made friends with a really gregarious little boy with a miniature motorbiclette that he wanted Tony to guess which hand it was hidden in - over and over and over. We walked around one of the artisan markets and watched Mexican Indians doing incredible beadwork. Sometimes the beads are worked into necklaces and bracelets which we have all seen before, but others carve masks or animals shapes and then coat them in a very sticky substance then painstakingly stick tiny colored b…

Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta via Isla Isabela

November 30th – Left Mazatlan – went to Puerto Vallarta via Isla Isabela

The last thing we did in Mazatlan was to climb to the top of the hill which houses the second highest lighthouse in the world – that’s what the guide book said, and that’s how I felt when we got to the top. Of course my much younger and fitter husband politely waited for me a few times which gave him a little rest too. It was worth the climb, the view over the whole of Mazatlan was incredible, plus we marveled at the effort that had been put into building the path and stairs back in the early 1900’s aswell as the building at the top which looks like a bomb shelter but is in fact a place to buy much needed water at the summit.

Then on to Isla Isabela, 1 1/2miles long x 1/2mile wide - a bird sanctuary known to be the home of only 5 species of bird, in the thousands and iguanas. The guide books say that anchoring is risky because it’s a very rocky place, but it will be worth the effort once you go ashore.
It was – on …

Have a nice day!

Nancy took this picture while we were in the internet place yesterday. I said watch out they don't take you away! That would have been quite the picture of her yelling and kicking. Put it on the Blog!

More Mazatlan and Jack

Hi Guy's Tony here. Having a hard time keeping the cervesa's cold! Met up with an Hombre who sailed down from L.A. a few years ago. He had a bad time in a storm west of Cedros island and got knocked down in 50 plus knots of wind. His boat a catalina 34 got beat up pretty bad as did he. He pulled through and made it to Mazatlan and has been here ever since. He stay's on hid boat in the harbour and hangs out with the locals. A great guy all around. What a wealth of info and some very humorous story's. plus we have one thing in common, we both love pacifico ballenas, which are very large beers! Cheers Jack!
I am sitting in an internet/laundry/coffee shop waiting for a lady to do our laundry. What a great place this is. Nancy is back at the boat making up some screens to go over the hatches, since the no see-umms will arrive when we go farther south.

Nov. 18-24th Cabo to Los Frailes to Mazatlan

November 18th – 24th – Cabo to Los Frailes - Mazatlan

Cabo San Lucas – a great place to go if you’re into lots of energetic goings on. We anchored in the middle of the bay in front of a strip of resort hotels. So in one direction we looked at long sandy beaches with umbrellas, pyjama wearing Mexicans selling t-shirts to the people under the umbrellas. Tony was pleased to see them because he was wondering where all of the pyjama wearing Mexicans were.
Behind us was an incredible rock formation sculpted by the constant ocean surge. An incredible hole drilled right through one of the rocks through which resounded thousands of pounds of green water. I saw some young boys tempting the dreaded surge, then running back screaming as it threatened to smash them back into the rocks.
In between and all around us was the constant buzzing of jet skis, motor boats whizzing around at high speed, parasailors coming and going, water taxis playing chicken with the jet skis, and then on the second day add …

MEXICO - Dox Exxis, Tequila and jumping off the boat

November 12th Blog – Ensenada – Bahia Santa Maria

San Diego, will always be remembered as the place we walked the furthest to get everything we needed, and the place where Johnny left us after living with us in our little pod for 2 months. We also became part of the little community on the Police Dock - which is basically the Municipal Docks which only cost $5/day for 5 days and then $20/day for a further 5 days – then you have to move on.
I have noticed that it doesn’t take long to feel that we belong in these small communities in a very short time. A few boats we knew from the BCA Fleet group were there, including Len and Joan on Warana – Len very generously fixed our battery charger for us, which we would have had to ship somewhere to get a bridge rectifier installed – instead we found the little bugger(the rectifier, not Len) in Radio Shack and Len installed it.
We also found a perfect trade for the 45 lb. Bruce anchor that Tony found while diving in Emerald Bay, Catalina. Our neighb…

Johnny leaves us - Boo Hoo

So here we are in San Diego - actually we've been here 3 days - and after 2 months of Johnny's more or less constant companionship he's headed back home to resume his life. What a pleasure its been to have him with us. There's not many people could have successfully shared this tiny living space with us. Perhaps its his love of the Simpsons, Arthur and basic toilet humour which made that possible. We miss him already.

Bob's missing picture

Hi Everyone, This is Tony. I had a visit from and old friend Bob Chrustie who lives in L.A. It was a pleasure to see him again after so long. He drove 70 miles through L.A. traffic to come to Newport Beach, What a trooper. Nancy took a great picture of us both on the boat, but unfortunately when we were trying to download it to this site it was scooped up by some spyware porn site and disappeared into cyber space. So if anyone comes across a picture of me and Bob on such a site, don't be alarmed. Stay tuned, it's off to SanDiego next

Avalon, you can see Moondancer in center

Avalon to Newport - 21st October
Catalina Island definitely rates BIG with us – from Emerald Bay which helped us forget all of the cold wet miserable nights we spent getting there, Isthmus Bay, a tiny beach resort with outside bar/restaurant on the beach through the isthmus to Two Harbours where I discovered ripe prickly pears growing wild everywhere (got a few spikes in my lips and tongue as the price for peeling and eating on the spot).
Then on to Avalon.
What an incredible resort town it is – glad we were not there during the summer season when, so we are told, it is impossible to move around and lineups are everywhere for everything. Avalon, which was developed in the 20’s as an offshore playground for the rich and famous (only 25 miles from Los Angeles) is full of contradictions. On each of the two closest hills which overlook the town are 2 mansions, one very traditional American style and the other more of a sprawling Spanish villa. The first is still known as Wrigley Mansion (che…

Sailing from Port st Luis @ 7 kts

Sailing with dolphins

Catalina Island - alias Shangrilah

Friday – October 17th
And this is all beginning to make sense. The last couple of days have been incredible.
We arrived just after a spectacular sunrise yesterday in Emerald Bay on Catalina Island, so named because – yes the water is emerald and incredibly clear. The bay has about 50 mooring buoys, which we did actually attempt to tie to, but when we came up close noticed that all of the rings to tie to seemed to have been removed – we thought probably because this is the off-season. Fairly close to each buoy are rods sticking out of the water – we didn’t understand what these were for either so we came back out a little way and anchored beside Bird Rock –also aptly named. It took us about an hour to get out the diving equipment – tanks in aft lazarette, weight belts in bilge and dive bags in forward cabin under all of the ‘rubble’ that Johnny has to sleep beside.
Johnny couldn’t wait for us to gear up so he jumped in right away and announced it fantastic but a little cold. So we put on …

Finally out of Monterey and at Port San Luis

Not too much to report this blog - just that as I have access to the internet, thought I'd let everyone know where we are.
We left Monterey Sunday early and sailed through the day and night, arriving in Port San Luis Monday morning - yesterday. Again we had the big seas and strong winds for awhile - they are good of course in that we make good progress, but definitely not comfortable sailing. Suppose I'm just going to have to get used to this, must just be characteristic of the Pacific.
Once again I had cause to be very grateful for Johnny's cool head and strength, as he kept the boat's head up when we were overwhelmed by a big offshore gust.
The Santa Ana winds have been happening on this part of the coast for the past couple of days - the Coast Guard, who do an excellent job put out general warnings of weather conditions.
They lifted the warnings as of 5.00pm yesterday, so we'll leave today and head out past Point Conception. We are told by local people that once…

Almost native Montereyans

10th October and we're still in Monterey. Again waiting out weather - along with a few other boats all doing the same thing. We've spent some time with friends we met in Moss Landing, Scott and Michelle - Scott is the Food and Beverage Manager of the Portola Hotel and has built a very successful brew pub called Peter B's. Great beer and wine and a really great concept where regulars have a type of membership in the pub, buy their beer for $3.oo/pint. Great way to create regular clientele. We've met American sailors who have sailed to Mexico in the past and like it enough to be doing it again.
Yesterday we took a local bus to Carmel, looked at some fabulous art and even though we are not likely customers were well received in a couple of galeries. We walked down to the beach where the breaking waves that we could see all the way out to the horizon made us very happy to be on the beach and not on the horizon. Johnny, the golfer ran up the beach as far as Pebble …

October 7th - we're in Monterey

This is our third day in Monterey - and we already know our way around. We've not been able to get internet at the marina and have found it a little difficult to find cafes with open nets.
This is one of them.
Our trip from Moss Landing to Monterey was a brisk sail - about 4 hours, big swells on the beam again - I think we'll just have to get used to them, and look forward to the less big ones.
We anchored out the first night - the anchorage if you can call it that is pretty wide open, very rolly - we did not include flopper stoppers in our inventory of things we need - but we might make them before we spend all of our cruising budget on marinas.
We came into Monterey Harbour marina for the next night and last night. Our plan from here is to make a couple of longer harbour hops - the next being 75 miles to Morro Bay, then 100 or so to Catalina Island, then San Diego. We're keen now to get down to better weather and are told by sailors who have gone before us that conditio…

Elkhorn Slough - Moss Landing

Finally - we've found a coffee shop where we can plug in our computers.
We came into Moss Landing 1st October having enjoyed a great sail from Santa Cruz.
Moss Landing is recognizable by 2 huge chimneys - 528 feet high, which are part of a steam powered electrical generation plant - the 2nd largest facility of its kind in the world. So even though visibly its definitely incongruous to its surroundings, its actually not hurting the wildlife at all.
Speaking of wildlife, Elkhorn Slough which surrounds the yacht club at which we are moored is a beautiful ecological reserve, and there are 2 marine research ships working out of Moss Landing.
We took the dinghy into the slough yesterday and saw many beautiful creatures. The birdlife is getting much more interesting and we wish we had a book to help us identify the different species of birds we are seeing. I think we saw egrets yesterday, a beautiful slender heron like bird - smaller and pure white. Also some medium sized beige colored …

Santa Cruz to Elkhorn Slough near Monterey

Photos will follow - its been difficult to get on internet the last week.

October 1st 2008 – Santa Cruz – Monterey Bay

Its 07:44, the sun came up about 1/2hr ago in Santa Cruz - we’re anchored off the shore in 23 feet rolling about in the swells and listening to the California Sea Lion symphony - well I am, Tony and Johnny are still asleep. We have no internet and as I did not save my last few blogsite entries I don’t know where I left off.

Lets start at Half Moon Bay which we did actually see for a couple of hours before the fog socked in and then we didn’t see much from the boat. We launched the dinghy and went ashore and found that its quite a ‘funky fishing’ little town – small; a couple of hotels – lots of bars advertising live music and dancing, which we didn’t feel like doing at 11:00 hrs. The HMBYC – half moon bay yacht club has quite a presence behind the breakwater with Saturday afternoon racing and Sunday all day racing. We went for a long walk with Johnny trying to…

In San Francisco almost a week

When we left Neah Bay and headed out in the big blue Tony said - "We'll be in San Francisco by Wednesday " - he meant next Wednesday. 3 Wednesdays later we arrived in San Francisco and tomorrow we will have been away 1 month.
We came through the Golden Gate bridge at high tide as recommended and it was uneventful, but very exciting to be bringing our own boat into San Francisco. As we were going under the bridge we phoned Georgia (my daughter who lives in San Francisco) and announced our arrival very loudly in unison.
We found Sausalito Yacht Club just exactly where it was supposed to be and pulled up to their transient dock to fill up with water. We stayed on one of their moorage buoys for the next 5 days and enjoyed their facilities - showers, bar and restaurant. The ferry terminal was right next to the yacht club, so we had easy access to downtown SF but we also had a very rolly moorage. I think I'm beginning to understand the meaning of the 'pace of the cruisi…

Moored in Sausalito - San Francisco Bay

Eureka is a very nice town/city. It has an old town section which is very picturesque, mostly 'Victorian', 'Edwardian' hotels, business buildings, houses dating back to the late 1800's. Its amazing to walk around the town and think that in its heyday men were still riding the ranges shooting each other - and now it all looks so sedate and very beautiful. There is already the feel of California in the type of shops and the way the young people look. Its hard to describe that look - kinda rasta/hippy/yuppy, dunno - it's alot like San Francisco.

We were told that we must see a particular Victorian house - "the most photographed Victorian in the world" - quite the statement, which of course we were cynical about. Because we forgot our map, we were instantly lost but were helped by a friendly barber who knew exactly which building we meant by the description "the most........". He gave us directions and we took off - just a few blocks away - and …

Mr. Chubbs makes a friend

Zoom in on this picture and you'll see this lovely little canary like finch. He spent some time with us today on our trip from Crescent City to Eureka. Unfortunately we lost him, but he was a delightful little visitor.
We left Crescent City this morning at 6.00am in - guess what - thick fog, why not, its been here every other bloody morning. So heading out of the harbour with almost no visibility we ran aground - fortunately the tide was on the rise, so we were only delayed a short while, and Tony gunned the engine a few times and we were lifted off.
About an hour out of the harbour heading south we say grey whales. That was a beautiful sight. Two of them came very close to us and stayed awhile then one of them flipped his fluke as they headed away. Unfortunately I did not take a picture - that's the sort of situation where you make a decision to either watch and take it all in or rush to get the camera and take the chance of losing the whole experience.
Fog - we hate fo…

Finally reached California - no not San Fran

Coos Bay is a nice little place - but not for a week. We don't really believe that this coastline is ever anything but wild. We left Coos Bay at 08.15 Monday 8th. During our 6 days there we met a few other boats who were sailing down the coast, all of us were concerned about the weather conditions and were pursuing various sources. Its amazing how many weather sites there are on line. So - we made our decision to leave - as did 2 other boats. A couple of hours into this leg and about 10 miles off the coast and Coos Bay was looking way more attractive, but we plodded on with building wind and seas.
The first vindictive sideways wave I took full in the face was the beginning of the very difficult night that followed.
We finally reefed down to our third reef - which UK Sails had just put in for us before we left Sidney, and flew down the biggest waves I've ever seen. We clocked over 12 knots surfing down one behemoth. After rounding Cape Blanco and its very impressive rock…

Still in Charleston,Coos Bay - September 5th

Last Wednesday when we left Neah Bay and headed out Tony said, OK next Wednesday we'll be in San Francisco. Well that next Wednesday has gone by and we are still in Coos Bay - Charleston actually, its a nice little fishing town about 350 miles north of San Francisco. We've been here 4 days now awaiting a change in weather.
We have company - 3 other boats are here from BC, a Cal 29 from Victoria, a bit custom built boat from Nanaimo and another Bluewater Cruising power boat from Vancouver. Also a boat we met last year up in Squirrel Cove from Portland, a beautiful 45' Peterson.
These people subscribe to a service called which shows wave heights and wind pretty much all of the world. They've decided to leave tomorrow morning expecting about 25knots and 10-15' waves up to about 10 miles offshore - beyong that it is far worse.
We're debating leaving also, as it doesn't look like its going to get much better in the near future. Charleston is a …
Blog Entry – August 23rd 2008
Exodus finally from Sidney – it was lovely to spend time with our friends and family saying goodbye – it took quite a long time – about a month in all, but now its done and we left today at 12.00noon 23rd August – Tony, Johnny and I – we motored all the way from Sidney to Friday Harbour.
Expecting that we would have to give up - and probably throw away some of our fresh - food I cooked most of the way over – we had potatoes and bacon for lunch - and then remembering that perhaps we’d have to give up our fruit we ate oranges, peaches and I made apple sauce from the apples.
We arrived at 16.00 hrs., tied up to the customs dock and called on the cell phone. They asked that we call on a different phone which is on the dock with a camera attached. We had been warned ahead of time that it would be too bad if we got this particularly difficult customs agent, a very large imposing man. Well we must commend Customs Agent Moltar; a very large imposing man who made our…