Saturday, May 31, 2014

End of Season

We had a wonderful time with Amber, sailing from Loreto to La Paz, stopping at Agua Verde for her to see an authentic fishing village and goat herd, then on to Puerto Los Gatos to photograph the colorful boulders, on to Bahia Salinas on Isla San Jose to see the remains of a salt mine, on to Isla San Francisco to walk across the island over the salt flat, and ultimately to La Paz.  Since here we've gone out to dinner ourselves and with Sue and Alex on Maitairoa and Bernard from Simple Pleasures, drove to Todos Santos to see the artist community on the Pacific Ocean.  Today is the last day of putting Damiana away for 6 months.  We plan to start our 4-day journey up the Baja tomorrow.

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

track our route:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Amber on board!

The big excitement aboard Damiana is Amber's arrival yesterday!  She arrived at the Loreto airport, the most beautiful young woman ever wearing her wide brimmed hat with bright eyes and a huge smile!  Our friend, John, drove us there in his car to pick up Amber and then drove us to the small marina where our dinghy was parked after a brief stop to introduce Amber to Patricia.  We left the Loreto roadstead with enough wind to sail almost all the way to Isla Coronado before the wind died and we motored the rest of the way into the anchorage.  After we were anchored Amber asked if we could go to the beach, white sand and turquoise water luring her toward it.  We lowered the dinghy and en route stopped by Interlude to introduce Amber to Peggy and Don.  Peggy joined us for a nice beach walk, finding a few more treasures along the way.

Back at the boat with Peggy and Don, preparing pizzas for dinner,  Diane and Bill from True Love came by and we all visited for about half an hour while I made the dough.  After Diane and Bill left we made three grill-size pizzas, had margaritas and peach dump cake for dessert.  Conversation non-stop until about 9 pm until all of us agreed it was time to quit, get some rest to get ready for the next day when bocce ball and crafts were among the activities.

A quick note to mention that the restaurant we went to last Friday with Interlude and Far Country was La Picazon, the best restaurant we've ever been to in Loreto -- maybe we'll go there with John and Patricia on our drive  home.  We spent Saturday and Sunday at anchor with Far Country and Interlude.  Far Country is now headed north toward San Carlos after hugs and hopes for visits before next season -- but surely next season if not before!  Today may be the last day we share an anchorage with Interlude, all these farewells indicate the season is ending and it's time to start heading toward home -- Damiana's home in La Paz, that is.

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

track our route:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

A special posting because of a special day.  Merry from Airops made matching necklaces for me, Vlasta and Peggy.   She used small flat, shiny black rocks that we picked up on a beach on Isla San Marcos and then used Mermaids to make pendants.  So, to thank Merry, we asked Roy to take our picture so we could send it to her.

Too Much Fun...

The title above pretty much describes why it has taken us a month to post another entry on this Blog.

As planned, we did transit to Santa Domingo, met Patty and Terry from Mystique and Karen and Roger from Meridien, had Patty's birthday party, met all the folks on Wendaway, Airops, Far Country among others and were swept up into a run of beach walks, shelling and even a fun evening beach party.  Wendy from Wendaway gave us a huge collection of shells to give to Amber as souvenirs since she won't have a chance to visit the beaches where shells are in abundance.  Vlasta from Far Country met us on the beach one morning and gave us Jingle shells for Amber, along with some other treasures.

Mystique and Meridien went up to Santa Rosalia and we followed a day later for more provisions and to spend a last day with good old friends.  While there I (Marlene) got a pretty good haircut and hope we have time to stop on our way home for a trim.  We said "haste luego" to the two M boats as they crossed the Sea to San Carlos to put their boats away until next season.

We continued on to Isla San Marcos where we met up with Airops, Far Country and Wendaway.  Dave and Merry from Airops came over one evening for a potluck and brought me two pair of beautiful shell earrings that Merry made -- for pierced ears.  Now I just have to go and get it done -- after years of procrastinating -- I just love these earrings -- so I will do it!  Thanks to Merry for the incentive!  We had several evening get-togethers, getting to know each other, sharing life stories and current passions.  One passion shared by many of us is "weather."  Mark from Wendaway has a contact at NOAA who is developing a newer, better, weather forecasting system for the Eastern Pacific.  Mark got us in touch with him and now lots of conversation, email and radio time is spent analyzing and talking about weather. 

All four boats made it back to either Punta Chivato or Santo Domingo for more beach walks, shelling, and parties.  Roy has perfected his Margaritas, and we all enjoyed them on several occasions.  We still drink lots of fizzy mineral water as well, needing to keep well hydrated in this dry climate.  From there we migrated to San Juanico for only one night since strong winds were predicted and we needed to get to better protection.  We separated from the group and sailed in very brisk 15-20 winds to Punta Colorada for a few nights and then we went Puerto Escondido for Loreto Fest where Roy conducted a seminar on Medicine for Cruisers.

We returned to Isla Coronados (our home away from  home), and the parties resumed!  An extended Happy Hour on Wendaway on Sunday, a superb spaghetti dinner hosted by Clarence and Sharon on Lotus on Monday.  We invited Wendy and Mark and Vlasta and Gordo and Merry and Dave for a bagel breakfast on Tuesday morning (I made them on Monday) -- a thank you to all of them for welcoming us into their lives, for sharing their love of shelling and giving us so many wonderful mementos and memories.  Alas, time came for Wendaway and Airops to head toward home -- we look forward to seeing them next season.

The next day, we took Damiana over to Loreto for provisions and invited Vlasta and Gordo (Far Country) to join us.  As it turns out,  Peggy and Don from Interlude finally arrived from the mainland -- we met at the roadstead, shopped, had lunch and then all came back to Isla Coronados.  For several days in a row we had gorgeous beach weather, even played Bocce Ball.  Gordo taught me some techniques so that I was finally able to score some points.  We, of course, had evening get-togethers, dinner on Damiana on Thursday,  dinner aboard Far Country last Friday, and then on Saturday we had craft day aboard Damiana followed by an informal potluck.  On Sunday, while playing Bocce Ball some Mexicans joined us -- apparently never having played it and they did very well!

Today is Wednesday, day three of a "wind event" here in the Sea of Cortez, winds in excess of 20 kts, but we expect high winds again tomorrow.  On Monday we moved to the south side of the island which has better protection from north winds.  We hiked from this beach to the other side Monday morning and again on Tuesday morning, before the winds picked up around 11 a.m.  We finally were in the same anchorage as Spirit Quest; Kathy and Doug invited us over for a delicious  fish dinner on Monday -- was nice to visit and spend time with them on their beautiful boat.

With winds expected to lay down tomorrow evening, we have plans to go to a nearby restaurant on the beach on Friday.

Just like we said, TOO MUCH FUN!!!!

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bahia Concepcion

More than two weeks since our last post -- consider us lucky to be busy with sailing, social life, and of course, the myriad of chores we do every day!

After our chicken kabob dinner on Warren Peace, John and Sharon left the following morning to head over to San Carlos and put their boat away for the rest of the year.  We spent a few more days in Santa Rosalia, hung out with Bill and Vicki from MaToWi: provisioning, dinners together, playing games.  All of us left at the same time, heading for Punta Chivato before heading down into Bahia Concepcion.  Jupiter's Smile was here in Concepcion.  All of us met on MaToWi to share potluck dinner and play Mexican Train.  The next day all of us rode together on Damiana to a restaurant, Buena Ventura, further south in Bahia Concepcion for lunch.  The following day Bill and Vicki came over to Damiana to learn how to play Baja Rummy -- they liked it!  The four of us went to Anna's for dinner that night.  The next morning while taking our morning walk along the beach with Bill and Vicki we saw a panga parked with fresh catch! We purchased a kilo of fresh scallops which we enjoyed over at MaToWi.  More dinners, more walks, more games, and finally Bill and Vicki said it was time for them to head over to San Carlos to pick up friends flying into Hermosillo.  They plan to return to the Baja side next month for more fun in the sun.

We returned to Santa Rosalia a week after we left for more provisions -- our California style of eating requires fresh fruit and veggies, most of which don't last on board for more than a week.  Jupiter's Smile was in the slip next to us, so we had a chance to hang out with Jay and Barb for a few days.  Another chance for calamari dip, Chuy's hotdog, and even a paleta after dinner.  The next day I decided to make another batch of bagels instead of bread.  Barb came over to watch and copied the recipe.  Since Jay likes having a bagel every morning, I suspect Barb will soon be baking them regularly.  That night we had dinner with them at El Muelle, one of our favorites.  After 2 nights in Santa Rosalia, we left to return to Bahia Concepcion.  We are currently anchored in Posada Concepcion.  We took a long dinghy ride today to El Burro Cove and visited with Geary, our weather guru, for a few minutes.  Just about every square foot of beach was populated with hundreds of local families camping, all having wonderful times, lots of kids, lots of music -- not too loud -- and lots of happy smiles.  This is Semana Santa (Easter week) and families in Mexico typically take vacation -- a very nice tradition!

Sometime in the next day or two we'll head up to Ste. Domingo, hoping to meet up with Patty and Terry for a night or two before returning to Santa Rosalia for one more time before heading south toward Loreto -- with a few stops along the way.

This post will be sent as soon as we have internet connection.

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

track our route:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Santa Rosalia 2

Oops, no silver, but lots of other minerals in the local mine.  Here's a link to Wikipedia which gives a synopsis of the history of the town and the many attempts at mining.

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

track our route:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Santa Rosalia

Even more vibrant than when we were here last year!  The re-opening of the copper and silver mines has enabled this small Baja town to prosper.  Stores everywhere -- clothing, gifts, shoes, stationery, pharmacies, two banks, and, of course, the old French (in name only) bakery is still going strong.  The grocery is well stocked, except for much of the type of produce that we prefer, but nonetheless, it has all the items found in a Mexican kitchen.

We had lunch out at one of our favorite restaurants with John and Sharon from Warren Peace and Bill and Vickie from Matowi.  Walking back to the boat in the marina we encountered a group of 3 fishermen, all of whom caught the day's limit of yellowtail.  They were huge.  One of the guys, from San Diego, said, go get a bag and I'll give you some fish -- up to the boat to get a ziploc and when I got back he filleted and portioned out a full half of one of those fish.  The six of us will have a great fish BBQ tomorrow night.  Would have done so tonight except that Sharon had already prepared chicken kabobs for everyone tonight.

The plan is to stay here until Monday, maybe Tuesday and then head down into Bahia Conception for a few weeks.

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

track our route:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hola, Adios Caleta San Juanico

We indeed journeyed up to Caleta San Juanico and spent several days and nights there.  We took a few walks, visited with several cruisers, all in all a good visit -- we look forward to our return when we head back  south.

We are just approaching the tip of Punta Conception where we'll spend the afternoon and evening with friends from Warren Peace and Matowi.  We'll then head north to Santa Rosalia -- our refrigerator is not very happy -- lost too much weight and needs provisions!

More later -- we've taken a few photos that will have to wait until we have lots of bandwidth.

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

track our route:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another week at Isla Coronados

Repairs, weather, shopping, and then a wind storm of significant proportion delayed our departure to continue our trek north.  The best part about being here is that we sail or motor over to Loreto, shop, get to walk quite a bit, which is good for all four of our legs!  Yesterday we clocked 3.68 miles on our shopping trip.  We also discovered a fabulous coffee shop that serves the BEST espresso with chocolate!  And they make wonderful dark chocolate muffins, etc.  Yum! When we're in Loreto we like visiting with John and Patricia (Trick) and often go out to lunch with them.

The plan is to head north this morning, aiming for Caleta San Juanico.  We've anchored there several times before and look forward to our return.

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

track our route:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Carmen, etc.

After we left Bahia Salinas on the east side of Isla Carmen, we rounded the northern tip of the island, stopped at Vee cove for lunch and then ducked into Isla Coronados for the night.  Next day we returned to Loreto for more provisions, then sailed to Puerto Ballandra, also on Isla Carmen for a few nights.  From there we sailed to Puerto Escondido, completing our circumnavigation of Isla Carmen.  At Puerto Escondido we filled up with diesel before heading a few miles south to Bahia Candeleros to spend a quiet night at anchor in front of a beautiful resort.  We were waiting for a part to arrive that was being trucked down from San Diego.  It arrived this morning in Puerto Escondido so we  motor sailed back to PE to pick it up -- and returned once again to Isla Coronados.  Our plan is to stay here for a few days, installing the new part (a repair for a broken one), finishing up our taxes, taking a hike, and then on Saturday heading back to Loreto for fresh produce before heading north.

We're very excited that our granddaughter, Amber, will fly down after her finals in May to join us for the last leg of our journey this season.  She'll also drive home with us and see the beautiful sites on Baja California.

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

track our route:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

One Day Wind Event -- and then some

As last reported, we headed over to the Southeast side of Isla Carmen in anticipation of what was reputed to be a one day wind event, winds in excess of 20 kts. As it turned out, while traveling south to get to a sheltered anchorage, we sailed in 20-22 kt winds (a day earlier than the predicted event). However the winds still haven't completely subsided. What is typical, we have either no winds or light winds in the mornings and then afternoon winds 12-15 kts, gusting 10-15. All is well -- they keep us cool in the heat of the afternoon when temps get into the high 80s.

Our first "refuge" was Punta Colorada on Isla Carmen, a very quiet anchorage with a small but rocky beach. The hillside cliffs are red and remarkable in the early morning light. After a few days we traveled further north on the east side of the island and came to Bahia Salinas, a wide bay open to the south. Even though south winds were predicted, they were expected to be less than 10 kts, so no worries. Turns out that the afternoon winds are the typical north-northwest variety, 10-15 kts.

This morning we dinghied to shore to walk the long expanse of sandy beach to the remains of a town. In years past, this area was a significant salt mine. Sometime recently a company built what seems to be a lodge (reputedly for hunters). The few rooms and the main room are vacant. There are a few people living here with trucks and well equipped pangas. Very trim cactus gardens are planted in what look like carts used to haul salt. The surroundings are gorgeous the colors in the mountains plus the cacti in the culverts coupled with the sandy beach and clear blue sky -- can't even begin to capture it all in a photograph.

Marlene and Roy
sent from the boat email

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Islas Coronados, Islas Coronados, Islas Coronados

Wow, it's been quite a while since your last post.  From Timbabiche we motor sailed up to Agua Verde, one of our favorites.  We met up with Janice and Jay (Ceilidh -- pronounced Kay Lee), who we  haven't seen in several years -- back in our Jellybean days.  We walked around town with them, picked up a few things at a small tienda, and also bought a yellowtail fish that a panguero held up to show off his catch upon returning to Agua Verde.  The next day I made bagels and Jay and Janice came over for lunch -- quite a hit out here in the middle of nowhere!  We bought some of the goat cheese produced by the locals, and after a few days, continued north.  We came to Islas Coronados and since our arrival, we've been in and out of the anchorage several times.  First to have a day provisioning.  Our friends, John and Patricia, who now own a home in Loreto (one hour away from Islas Coronados) brought their car down so we could pick up lots of groceries and not have to carry them.  We went out to lunch that day as well, and then returned to Islas Coronados.  A few days later we picked them up at the dinghy dock (after taking a nice walk in town) and brought them out to Damiana for a fish dinner and an overnight.  This morning Roy made banana pancakes, we returned to Loreto, went to a bakery new to us but highly recommended by Patricia, went out to lunch with John and Patricia at a restaurant new to all four of us (a winner!), then said hasta luego (see you later), and before heading to the dinghy went to the supermarket for fresh broccoli -- and once again brought Damiana back to Islas Coronados!

Winds are building, so we'll head for a protected anchorage tomorrow.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Last posting we were planning our walk on Isla San Francisco. The island has two anchorages, facing each other with about a mile of sand, scrub and some cactus in -between them. We stay in the one that is most favorable for the weather and sea condition of the moment. Lucky for us we had switched sides the day before our walk and when we walked over to where we had been the day before, boats were rocking -- had more swell than we did -- a tribute to our paying careful attention to the many weather sources we download every morning.

The following day we motor sailed to San Evaristo, a small fishing village on the Baja -- nothing much there, but we had friends that had dropped anchor a day earlier and were hoping for a reunion. Barb and Jay from Jupiter's Smile invited us over for a spectacular Puttanesca dinner. We enjoyed hearing about many of our mutual friends that we hung around with in the Caribbean. Jay and Barb live in Colorado. Others live close by, either in Colorado or in neighboring states, so they keep in closer touch than we do -- including seeing each other during the non-sailing season.

Yesterday we continued our journey north, ending up in a protected anchorage near Timbabiche. We walked along the beach this morning and eventually found the dirt road (following tire tracks) leading into the small village -- it appears to be a moderately sized working ranch. Cows meander about, there are several homes with satellite receivers, and a fairly modern school. An edifice remains from what was once a fancy house for a wealthy fisherman that was never completed. It's been named "Casa Grande" in the guidebooks. We'll post photos when we get to a place with internet.

Tomorrow we continue heading north.

Marlene and Roy
Sent from the boat.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Isla San Francisco

We've been anchored at Isla San Francisco for a few days, one of our favorite spots in the Sea of Cortez. Weather continues to amaze us (and all the other cruisers we hasten to add); uncommonly warm for this time of year, mild winds, flat seas for the most part -- the makings of a fabulous season. The worry expressed by some folks is that the warm water this early might be a portent of more and stronger hurricanes this summer.

Last Monday, Feb. 10, is the last day we picked up groceries in La Paz. I (Marlene) bought my usual bunch of pears to eat with cottage cheese for lunch. Before digging into the new pears, I finished eating 4 that were ripe and in the refrigerator. Well, on day 5, I picked up one from the new batch and it was rock-hard. Hmmm, what to do? I peeled it, cored and sliced it put it in a small pot with water and cooked it! After boiling for a minute, then simmering for a few more minutes, it was perfect! And the juice was great too! I think I've hit on a solution to how to deal with those boxes of pears at at Costco!

We have a walk planned for this afternoon, after which we'll prepare our roast beef dinner -- and maybe get in another Scrabble game tonight.

More later.....

Marlene and Roy

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day

We awakened yesterday to a gorgeous clear day. First things first: we agreed to be each other's Valentine. After Roy made pancakes for breakfast we settled into reading -- Marlene finally finished "A Cruel and Shocking Act -- The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination" by Philip Shenon. The book reads like a novel in many ways -- highly recommended! Mid-afternoon we got into the dinghy and headed toward shore. Since our dinghy is so heavy it doesn't have wheels -- we've tried 2 or 3 sets -- they sink into the sand. So, at low tide we leave the dinghy close to shore with an anchor set deeply into land. When we return, the dinghy is floating with an incoming tide. Well, back to our day. We took a hike from where we are on the western shore of Isla Partida across to the eastern shore. It was quite a nice hike, took only about and hour there and back. The view of the sea on the other side of the island wasn't at all like the San Francisco Bay to Breakers race -- there were no breakers in the sea! Water was and continues to be almost flat, mirror-like, and we have no wind to speak of. Today is another day in paradise...

Roy and Marlene
Currently at Ensenada Cardonal, Isla Partida

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ensenada Cordonal, Isla Espiritu Santo

Lots has happened since our last post. We did get out to Isla Espiritu Santo, as planned. Spent three days and nights at that beautiful anchorage. We took one walk along the long white beach and into the shallows on our first day. The southern shore is a frigate nesting area. While taking a dinghy tour of the shore on our second day, we got close enough to see hundreds of birds nestled among the rocks and vegetation. When we got too close, a swarm of adult frigates came overhead, squawking loudly. We took that as a message to retreat and head home to Damiana.

One week away from La Paz and our fresh produce supply had dwindled. Since we were only a few hours away, we sent an email to Lynda and Bob to ask if they were interested in spending another day away from the noise and dust of the work being done on their boat and come over to our "beach at Bahia Falsa" and take Marlene shopping. They very happily did so, so we had another nice visit with them and re-stocked our veggie supply. After that boomerang trip to Bahhia Falsa, we departed, again for Isla Espiritu Santo. We passed by Bahia San Gabriel, planning to continue on to Caleta Partida. Wind was down so we were motoring. Around 12 noon, we were hit with sudden gusts of wind on the nose -- 17-20 kts. We turned right, toward the island, and took refuge in Ensenada El Gallo. The wind persisted all afternoon and through the night, sometimes as much as 25 kts. The next day, yesterday, we decided to once again try for Caleta Partida. Instead we went into a narrow cove just north of the entrance to Caleta Partida. We usually anchor in 10-12 feet of water, so we continued moving further into the cove. However, the high rock walls were so narrow that we didn't have the usual 1/16 of a mile clearance around our boat. In calm weather this shouldn't be a problem. However, the afternoon gusts returned. Roy tried setting a stern anchor but the gusts were too strong to keep the boat steady. We weighed anchor and moved north to Ensenada Cardonal. This is a beautiful anchorage, like just about all the anchorages on Isla Espiritu Santo, so we plan to spend a few days here. There are remains of an aquaculture structure here, as well as a trail that leads across the island to the eastern shore of Isla Partida. We have the hike on our list for late afternoon when the tide is low and we can safely leave our dinghy securely anchored.

More later....

Roy and Marlene
Sent from our boat email

Friday, February 7, 2014

Microphone, continued

We were hailed by Lynda and Bob that they were at the beach, and didn't have the microphone!  They went to where we said the store was and couldn't find it.  So they wanted to take us into town to find it.  I (Marlene) went with them while Roy stayed at the beach.  Got to the intersection and they were right -- no Icom store.  Well, there is conflicting info on the list and internet.  At one time there was a dealer near 5th de Febrero.  The dealer I spoke with is near 5th de Mayo.  Ooops, about 20 blocks away.  Once I called and spoke to the woman (Spanish language only -- somewhat of a challenge) at the store (Fernando was not there), she said "Cinco de Mayo."  We hopped right over, picked up the mike, and all was well!  Tried out the new mike a few times so far by checking into some of the nets.  Was told by one friend that my voice was booming -- and they are in Barra de Navidad, way south on the mainland!

Yesterday Bob and Lynda drove back to our nice beach and we all ordered lunch from the restaurant.  The beach has pure white sand and is so shallow that you could wade out in knee high water for maybe as much as 200 yards.  After walking the dinghy out quite a way, Roy hopped in and rowed the dinghy even further before the water was deep enough to lower the motor.

We are leaving today to head over to Isla Espiritu Santo.
~~~ Marlene and Roy ~~_/) ~~

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bahia Falsa, near La Paz

Yesterday after running last minute errands in town and putting the car away, we looked at each other and said, "it's just 3 p.m. -- we have plenty of time to get to Bahia Falsa," which is just around the corner from our marina at Costa Baja.  Once out on the open water in the warmth of the sun and the glistening sea, we were relaxed, very happy to have left when we did rather than wait until the following morning.  We arrived here in plenty of time to prepare and cook our first pressure cooker meal of the season, pork chops with vegetables.

At 7 p.m. we tuned into the evening net on the single side band radio and went to grab the microphone to check in and let our friends that might be listening that we were in radio contact.  Yikes!!!  The microphone was missing!  After a thorough search of the boat we concluded that we left it at home on a shelf in the garage.  We had taken the radio home so Roy could clean and test the tuner.  We had several thoughts: contact friends that might still be in San Diego to ask them to pick one up for as at the ham radio outlet.  Another was to ask people here in La Paz if anyone had a spare microphone for our particular radio, and also to contact the local single side band radio dealer to ask if they have one in stock.  After many emails and phone calls to various venders in the U.S. to inquire about someone sending one to us, we learned that the local shop has a similar one in stock.

Friends Bob and Lynda from Tahoma are going to the store to buy it for us -- and they'll drive out to a small beachside restaurant near where we are anchored to bring it to us.  We often remark how wonderful our cruising friends are -- they even go way out of their way to help friends whenever they can.  This is but one of many stories that cruisers have about similar situations.

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

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Heading out to the Islands

Much as we love La Paz, after one month of boat projects it's time to head out to the Islands!

The big job was having Damiana hauled out at a local boat yard to get a fresh coat of bottom paint, get a new through-hull installed for a new instrument, and install our new propellers. Upon arrival at the new, wider, lift, we were visited by a panga with boat yard workers telling us that we had to go to the old lift, and they led the way. They assured us that it was wide enough, saying that they had hauled Moorings catamarans out at their small lift. Well, if you flatten out the palm of your hand, that's how much clearance there was between Damiana and the cement wall at the widest part of the boat. It was harrowing at the least! Their work was quite good, a redeeming factor, so by the time they had to lower our boat down into the water, again with the smaller lift, we were a little more relaxed.

We've enjoyed a few get-togethers with friends and even discovered a new bakery (mmm, croissants -- Mexican style). Neighbors, Ruth and Ken, from Santa Maria are vacationing in Cabo. They drove up to La Paz -- we invited Lynda and Bob from Tahoma to join us for lunch at Tamarindo.

We've shopped and shopped for provisions -- not counting canned and packages in our pantry, we have enough goods in the refrigerator and freezer to keep us going for at least a month, maybe six weeks. Once you leave La Paz, fresh vegetables aren't available until you reach Loreto. This time we thought ahead and purchased several packages of frozen vegetables! With lots of avocados, limes, onions and tomatoes on hand, we'll make Guacamole as a salad substitute, using green and yellow peppers and cucumbers as dippers. Weather has been extraordinary. January 2013 was much colder than this year. We haven't used flannel sheets at night, and afternoons are so warm that we wear shorts, t-tops, no sweaters! So far, this season has gotten off to a great start!

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

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 Season Begins

After a beautiful road trip down Hwy 1 in Baja California we arrived in La Paz on January 6.  The night before leaving California we had dinner with Bruce and Alene (Migration) in Los Angeles.  They were close to heading back to Thailand to resume work on rebuilding Migration from the bottom up.  Enroute we stopped in Loreto and visited with John and Patricia (Trick), in their in-town home.  It was great to see them again, and also to see their home which they bought last  year.  It has traditional Mexican style architecture and furnishings, and is very lovely.

Once in La Paz, we started the routine of recommissioning Damiana, getting her ready to sail.  So far, all the projects have gone smoothly -- in spite of all our worrying about all the things that could have gone wrong!  The new electronics have been installed, the sails have been rigged, the dishes and pots and pans have been washed and put away, as well as a few odds and ends.  Next on the list, Damiana will be hauled out to have her bottom washed and painted, the hull washed and polished and the props to be installed.  We've had nice times with Peggy and Don (Interlude) and Kiki and Craig (Oya) and will soon get together with Lynda and Bob (Tahoma).  We also had a nice short visit with Alex and Sue (Maitairoa).

Yesterday we took a day off from boat projects.  We took a short road trip to a small town about an hour's drive from La Paz. Interlude joined us in our car and Oya drove separately -- they were continuing on for an extended weekend out of town.  Triunfo was a thriving mining town in the 19th and early 20th century.  Today it is home to just over 300 residents, many abandoned buildings.  There are two notable destinations in Triunfo: a very interesting Piano Museum, several rooms with pianos, organs, guitars, violins,harps and paintings and Cafe Triunfo, a bakery-restaurant that serves incredible sandwiches and salads.  The bread is baked on premises in a wood fired oven.  The menu tells the story about the self-taught baker, that it takes 24 hours to prepare and bake each batch, and he does this every day.  We purchased a loaf to bring home to Damiana and had sandwiches last night for dinner with a small green salad.  It's crusty, large, oddly shaped, has different flours, a hint of garlic and delicious!

Across the way from the cafe is a hotel in progress.  A man from Los Angeles fell in love with this small town 13 years ago and decided he wanted to live the rest of his life there.  He sells real estate in a nearby town and uses all his earnings to build the hotel, brick by brick.  He incorporates art throughout -- very very nice.  We walked throughout the town, and as the afternoon was wearing down, not wanting to be on the road in darkness, we had to pull ourselves away.  The attached photo is the beginning of a renovation down the street from the Cafe.

  Yes, that's right, just the front wall is built so far.

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