Saturday, May 19, 2012

Costa Baja

That's the name of the marina where Damiana will rest, hopefully without mishap, during hurricane season.  We spent a few windy days and nights (20-27 kt winds) at a few anchorages before arriving here yesterday.  We have a full week's work to do to get everything "put away."  We fly out of La Paz next Saturday.  We'll suspend blog entries until we return.  However, while home in California we'll work on getting the website updated with photos.

Happy summer, everyone!
~~~ Marlene and Roy ~~_/) ~~

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In the islands - no internet -- lots of bees

A week has passed since we were able to post anything on the blog.  We are still in the islands, and it will be several more days before this is sent in to the server -- but while the thoughts are fresh, best to get them down.

We made one quick run to the grocery store in Loreto after leaving Marquer and headed over to the western anchorage on Islas Coronados.  Several boats were there and more on their way -- we expected a few nights of beach parties.  Our friends on Mystique were not among the anchored boats so we called them on the radio and discovered they were on the southern anchorage.  We were looking forward to continuing our game of Baja Rummy with them.  Since it was late in the day we decided to stay anchored and agreed that in the morning we would talk about moving -- we or them.  I put a chicken dinner up in the pressure cooker and when the steam was released our boat was swarmed by hundreds of thirsty bees.  After being held hostage inside  for over two hours Roy exited a front hatch, walked back to the cockpit lockers and got a mosquito coil that emits smoke and a citronella candle with flame, both that usually deter bees.  It was dark before the last one finally left.  When we went to bed we agreed that since the bees know our boat they could very well return in the morning, especially if there was dew on the decks.  Sure enough, we awakened to bees hovering.  Roy went out, weighed anchor; I got breakfast ready, and we scooted over to the southern anchorage.  No bees!

We had a relaxing morning, and then after lunch Pattie and Terry from Mystique came over to visit and play cards.  We had a very enjoyable afternoon into evening, talking, playing cards, eating treats.  We hugged hasta luego since we both were leaving in the morning, heading in opposite directions.

The next day we motored over to Bahia Candeleros on glassy seas with no wind.  We stayed only one night but plan to return next season.  There's a lovely resort there and the owners warmly greet cruisers.  Cruisers have access to the swimming pool, bar, restaurant, paying only for what they eat and drink.  The guests love talking with the cruisers, as do the owners and workers, so it's a very happy place.

Alas, we are heading back toward La Paz to put the boat away for six months, so we again left in the morning, heading south.  We spent two nights in Bahia Agua Verde, having one day to do a load of laundry and visit with Barb and Gary from Hurrah.  We introduced them to our "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day," so I think Amazon  has yet another order coming their way from Mexico cruisers.

I (Marlene) am writing this as Roy drives Damiana to Bahia Los Gatos, again on glassy seas with no wind.  Los Gatos is the anchorage with beautiful red, white and beige sandstone that we fell in love with on our way north several weeks ago.  Today is Monday; this will be sent on its way when we are back in internet range.

Marlene and Roy
May 14, 2012
Sea of Cortez

Monday, May 7, 2012

Loreto Fest

Loreto Fest is an annual gathering of cruisers at Puerto Escondido on the eastern shore of Baja California. The themes are music and games.  The last one we attended was in 2006; this one was somewhat different.

The first big change is that there's a new marina in PE with spacious grounds to house all the activities.  Add ons to the marina are a small swimming pool, a pretty good restaurant and a well equipped mini market that carries frozen meats, fresh veggies, ice cream and even freshly caught chocolates (clams, not candy).  A few other changes in the festival itself:  first, the music on most nights was performed by bands imported from around Baja rather than by groups of cruisers that had banded together,  practiced their routines, and put on successful performances.  Sunday night, the last night of the gathering, was "open mike" for cruisers to perform.  By then, many boats had already departed.  Second, they eliminated Baja Rummy and instead had a few tables of Baja Canasta (reputedly originated in Minnesota) and a few tables of bridge.  We didn't compete in either.  Bocce Ball and Across the Line were played with several boats competing.  Unfortunately,  my sprained foot kept us out of that action.  There were several informative seminars, as was the case in earlier festivals, and it seems that all were well attended.   A swap meet was held in the parking lot of the new marina.  Almost all the vendors were land based and brought stuff in trucks, lots of it having nothing to do with boats.

The big plus for us was the opportunity to re-connect with old friends and meet new ones.  We discovered yet more people, still here in Mexico, that were on the '04 HaHa with us, and the biggest surprise was to meet up with couples we knew on the Caribbean side.  One of them, on the boat Rock and Roll,  said kiddingly  that they just followed along our way.

We are currently anchored in Marquer at the south end of Isla Carmen along with Mystique and a small trawler.   

~~~ Marlene and Roy ~~_/) ~~

skype: sfwoman
boat e-mail:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Isla Coronado

After a brief stop at the Loreto "roadstead" (that means we anchored right off the shore since there isn't a little bay) to do some grocery shopping, we sailed over to one of our favorite anchorages, Isla Coronado.  It's only six miles from Loreto but you'd never know it.  It's quiet, except for the birds and an occasional breeze.  The nights are starry, not a land light anywhere within sight.  We arrived Sunday afternoon, read a little, watched a movie in the evening -- hey, we really are on vacation!

But all too soon we were stunned back into stress mode when the watermaker started making a loud clunking noise on Monday.  Roy said it could be one of two pumps; we have a replacement for one of them, but not the other.  After pulling apart the storage area over the watermaker locker he unhooked the raw water pump, the one for which we have a replacement, and brought it up into the salon.  Not able to see a source of the problem, and fearing that our season was coming to an abrupt end,  he unwrapped the new one anyway and installed it.  Bingo!  That was the noisy pump -- yea!  We're still on vacation, for a few more weeks anyway!

Last night we joined a bunch of people on the beach for happy hour at 6 p.m.  When asked how long we've been cruising the Sea, we told them about being on Jellybean for a few years, then left in 2007, went to Florida to buy Damiana and finally returned to Mexico this  year.  Hearing that, two couples came over: the folks on Stella Blue said "we were on the '04 Ha Ha too!"  They introduced themselves as Lori and Wally and said they were on "Wild Rose on the '04 HaHa."  When I mentioned that Roy and our friend and crew, George, also a physician, went up to their boat at Cedros to take care of their crew that had fallen ill, it was "old home week." The other couple are Gordon and Vlasta who we met in Barra de Navidad in '06.

Today Roy repaired a zipper on our windshield; the anchorage emptied out since almost everyone is going to Loreto Fest at Puerto Escondido -- it starts tomorrow.  We'll head over there either tomorrow or Friday;  going to Loreto Fest will give us a chance to meet old and new friends.

~~~ Marlene and Roy ~~_/) ~~

skype: sfwoman
boat e-mail: