Welcome All,
Follow us as we sail Bullwinkle, our Westsail 32, south to California, Mexico, out to Hawaii and back home to Seattle.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hike up Skull Mountain

Here for another week as we wait for meds to be shipped.  We'll enjoy a few hikes up 'skull mountain' (with beautiful vista,) walks into town for fresh produce and hopefully a couple of days by the pool up at the hotel.  Its kind of a crap shoot; sometimes they let boaters use it, sometimes not - but always for a price which is usually ordering food and drinks from the restaurant.  Its forcasted to be very warm (82 degrees) over next few days, so fingers crossed.

View from part way up Skull Mountain

Ed (at upper center) further up mountain

Looking into La Pax

Bullwinkle by big white motor vessel
far right/lower center

Mao enjoying the warm weather

Silly goto

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Molley & Sal's visit; Feb 7-14

What a whirlwind! It was such a great time having Molley and Sal visit with us. I didn't realize how much I missed our girl until I saw her come through the airport doors. And once back at the boat I got to open all the treats and Christmas gifts she could stuff in a suitcase! So many wonderful surprises...SEASON 3 Downton Abbey (which I watched in two nights!) and for Ed Walking Dead; now he and Gayne will have much to chat about.
We headed out to the islands for a couple of days of beach combing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and hiking.  Very close quarters one day when we had bad winds and couldn't get off the boat - but a game of skip-bo helped pass the time.



Flinstone Rock

Beach combing


Spent the last couple of days back in La Paz checking out the sites, shops and food venders.  Molley and Sal are in agreement that the best meal in the city is Ed's favorite fish taco vender!  I believe Sal put away four!  Molley and Sal did last night of Carnaval (or should I say 'over-did it?) together.  Ed & I couldn't take another night of competing thumping bass music blasted at decimals that I'm sure were killing brain cells.

Tomorrow they head home, back to their little Boo.  I will miss them very much.  Thank you for coming guys, we love you and had a wonderful time.  See you in a couple of months!

Monday, February 4, 2013

February 1-4

February 1; Bahia San Evaristo

Winds continued to hammer us all day and night on Wednesday increasing so much we were on 'high alert' I was exhausted not having had much sleep the previous days which made me anxious and sad. I can testify that by containing someone to a small space and subjecting them to a relentless battering of the same unpleasantness for several days and nights could in fact drive a person mad! By Thursday morning, although still rocking and rolling, the winds had died enough for us to feel better. I actually woke feeling really good (because Ed stood night watch) and decided to put my mind to work. So I began measuring/making our screening for the stern hatch. That actually worked out well; good dinner – salmon alfredo noodles & a modest salad, music then bed. Up again at 3a.m. with more strong wind gusts which have continued throughout breakfast so far. Found one of the stern side shade panels flapping in the wind, one of the ropes having been worn enough by the wind and rub to break.

We're hoping the winds let up enough by noonish for us to catch the current back south to La Paz (Molley comes in just 6 days!) Fingers and toes crossed!!!

February 2; Isle Partida

Aaahhhh...after a peaceful nights rest, woke this morning in beautiful Ensenada Grande to sunshine, partial blue skies and only mild wind gusts. After getting out of Bahia San Evaristo yesterday and into the channel, we raised the sails and cruised along with the wind at our back. Although a little choppy, we were making pretty good time, so we decided not to stop at Isle San Francisco instead make the 20 mile crossing back to Isle Partida where 1) closer to La Paz, so a bit less concern in getting back with foul weather and 2) better wind anchorages. Just as we past Isle San Francisco the seas kicked up. We were racing down 8+ foot (more often +) waves the rest of the crossing. I had to go below for a quick pit stop and unfortunately that short little event got me seasick...ugg. Not too bad, just feeling queasy until we anchored. We've anchored in the '2nd finger' of this bay and we're all alone. Gentle rolls and beautiful scenery. 20 knot winds are supposed to continue through Monday; seems everyday its pushed out another couple of days. Hope it all subsides before the 7th so Molley and Sal have a nice warm visit.

February 4; La Paz

Back in La Paz. Marina Palmira this time around for at least a week. We don't know if we have a slip after that or not. Today is clear skies and warm. So far so good except that when we pulled in late yesterday afternoon, after checking in, we stopped at one of the little restaurants here to have a cold one (first cold one since leaving) and catch some of the game. They kept bringing us food! First popcorn to snack on, then oysters rolled in a cream cheese covered with a mole` and crackers, then smoked marlin with tortillas! All of it fab. So what could we do but order more brews, stay longer than we intended and top it off with dinner?! My stomach was churning all night long and I'm still paying for it this morning. Chores today and then a stroll along the malecon.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

//WL2K /January 23-Jan 31-2013 More great anchorages then Wind

January 23; Isle Partida; Ensenada Grande

Another couple of miles north and we have anchored in Ensenada Grande. It has a couple of 'fingers' of land that separate its enormity and several small beaches. We've anchored off one of the larger beaches that has the trail...well not exactly a trail, but a boulder wash. We kayaked onto the beach and headed up the trail through junipers and then into the boulder wash. Found two fresh water watering holes mostly used by wasps, bees and butterflies with an occasional hummingbird. Each trail has had several lizards, but this trail seemed to have more than the others and larger ones - much larger. On the way back to the boat we checked out a couple of sea caves. They ended up being not very deep and not much in them except blue crab that scattered every time we moved. They give me the willies, but grandson Isaac would have been in heaven. We passed the blue footed boobie rookery and not one boobie to be seen. Ed thought he saw one fly over our boat but couldn't see its feet to confirm. There are supposed to be two good snorkel spots not far from the boat. Hopefully it will be as warm tomorrow as it was today and we'll get a good snorkel.

January 24; Isle San Francisco

Decided to leave beautiful Ensenada Grande to get to our next destination before a predicted three day northerly sets in. We first stopped at Isle Los Islotes, a couple of pieces of land looking like big rocks jetting out of the water housing the local sea lion colony. Touristas come here to swim with the pups, which are very curious and will play with the pangaroos. Mexicans have been coming here for many, many years and the sea lions are used to having people around them. It is not done, however, during the mating season when the bulls can be very aggressive. We did not jump in with them rather idled around them for about an hour watching them wrestle and play chase and bark like crazy; sounding more like rude old men belching rather than dogs.

We motored about 18 miles, flat seas and clear skies, to Isle San Francisco. This place has a crescent shaped 'hook' of land extending from the mainland creating a half mile wide bay. Apparently a very popular anchorage, we set the hook and relaxed the rest of the afternoon after rising so early. In evening we landed the dingy on the beach, which is fairly rocky on one side and has a quick drop off over most of the hook. Walking across a 'salt pond' to the other side of the island, we found several large seashells and agates. Sunset was as beautiful as the book noted with the Sierra de la Gigantas on the Baja silhouetted across the water.

As about 2:30a.m.we woke to super strong winds. So concerned Ed, he made himself a cup of coffee to ride it out. Found out the next morning that at the same time, the boat anchored at our starboard bow was dragging anchor and nearly hit two other boats and the 'hook' point before ending up out of the bay and in the open sea. Apparently, the heavy rolling once out finally woke him and he came back in safely. The couple we spoke to, and to whom he almost collided, had tried hailing him to no avail. Its very loud during those high winds.

Next morning (Jan 25) beautiful clear skies and warm; we landed the dingy and hiked up to the mountain ridge. Very easy and beautiful as this side is a gradual slope. But the other side, only seen once up, is a steep drop. I could only go so far with my fear of falling, but Ed continued to summit eventually looping. Incredible views (see pictures.) We then walked the beach finding several cool shells. Also finding the more shallow end of the hook sandy with very warm waters. Many fish and crabs sunning. Late in the afternoon, a small cruise ship came in with about 80 people. One kayaked out and chatted with us. He was from Williams College and it was his first time ever being away for a week without cell or internet. Ed just said "I remember those days." There is also a bigger yacht in here that has been having a good time with their toys. Their loud music went to 6:30a.m. (Jan 26.) Earplugs.

We have been out of ice for the last few days. Stinky ice box. The refrigerator is the one convenience I miss most.

Staying tucked in here through Saturday most likely as that is when the predicted northerner is to end. Although there hasn't been anything to speak of since our first night.

January 26; clear, warm and sunny. As we were relaxing/sunning on deck our neighbors, Eric and Merry on Rhiannon, dingyed by and invited us over for cocktail hour. We explained that we were down to nothing but dry goods but have chips and dip to contribute. No worries. After a beautiful day doing a whole lot of nothing we ended it with good conversation, good food (Merry made crackers with cream cheese, raw yellow tail and green olives-delicious!) and new friends.

Our plan was to head out on the 27th but instead decided to do laundry. It was clear, warm and sunny-not at all what had been initially forecast. Because a big one was supposed to be coming I figured I'd better use the calm, warmth and sun while I have it. After laundry we headed into land and beach combed, chatted with neighbors Eric&Merry, their dog Squeek, Peter and MaryRose and then back to the boat for an early night.

January 30; Bahia San Evaristo

Since arriving our stay has not been good. We scooted out of the bay at Isle San Francisco to get here before a wind storm. Our crossing reminded us of our northwest winter weather. Overcast, choppy white capped seas, a whole lot of wind and spray water. But we caught a really good current that cut our time in half. That was January 28. It hasn't stopped blowing since and only appears to be getting worse - as predicted.
Once here we trolled for a spot that would be less windy. If we have to ride out a big one at anchor we'll need to put down a lot of chain and we'll likely swing wide. Depth perception on the water, especially unknown waters, unfortunately forces us to play it safe opting not to anchor in what looked like too small cubby off the main bay, rather in the main bay itself. Once in and after a nap we were able to go to land and check out the very small tienda (market.) It was a home with children playing hopscotch on the porch and the front room full of simple supplies; they do like their cheetos. We got a few fresh things and headed back to the boat. We watched all the pangas come in with their fresh fish along with 6 other boats coming in for some security - two coming in near us, the rest filling up the cubby. The Sierra de la Gigantas are the dramatic backdrop to this bay and are breath taking.

Around 11p.m. we were woken by hard winds. No sleep for a couple of hours. It died to flat calm. Then at 2:30a.m. hitting again. No sleep until dawn. Much easier to rest during daylight. I suppose its because you can actually see what's happening as opposed to guessing in the dark. All day on the boat as winds were to high to dingy to land. One of the motor boats that had come in the day before decided to head out - north. We thought that odd as that was the way the wind was coming and it was white capping large in the channel. A few hours later we watched it come back in. We thought it was going to anchor near us and went back down into the cabin. I came back up to see it drifting over to the rocky point of the bay. A panga had come out and grabbed a tow line from it. They kept trying to set the anchor but it wouldn't take; the panga taking them all throughout the bay. Finally back near the cove anchor held and we heard on the radio that one of their lines had wrapped around the prop, the reason for them not using their engine to anchor. They were going to have to dive to get it untangled.

As evening fell winds increased. At least we are shielded from the waves; thank heaven for small favors. The boat groaned and creaked all night, swinging wide. No sleep. Yes, we have an anchor alarm, but over the last 10 days it has beeped twice loosing our position for only seconds, but not fail safe - so no real sleep for me. Cat naps going in and out and finally just getting up and reading. Ed got up at 4:30a.m. and made a cuppa. At that point I could put in my ear plugs and sleep.

Winds continue to increase through the morning and the forecast is that its now to continue through Friday; originally dying out Thursday afternoon. The winds now are creating white caps in the bay and forcing the boat to pitch and list over a bit at times. We left the dingy, with motor, in the water. Stupid mistake. The winds were picking up the dingy and it seemed, eventually enough to flip it and dunk the engine-although amazingly it made it through the night. I kept my weight on the forward line so Ed could get in and get the anchor. Good thing he's got great balance. We got the motor on board and as soon as he got out of the dingy it came flying up out of the water. We've got it tied well, but there's no way we could bring it up in this wind - it'd take off like the flying nun. The wind doesn't seem to be bothering the pelicans, friggets or gulls at all; plungging like crazy for the fish in the bay.

Tried to busy ourselves by reading and watching movies, Ed actually got in a couple of naps. We can hear on the radio the occasional anxiety that comes with these situations; boats in the cove calling each other making sure they're not going to swing into one another. At least we don't have to worry about that! Also hearing that we weren't the only ones that left their dingy in the water- one couple actually working on getting the water out of their engine after it flipped.