Saturday, June 29, 2013

Loomba-Loomba gets hauled out.........

We opted for the Marina Real dry storage in San Carlos this year for several reasons:
-There is a marina right there (with water and electricity)
 so we could get Loomba-Loomba all ready to go while she was still in
 the water.
-They don't use a travel-lift with slings that could scratch the hull,
 instead they use a hydraulic trailer.
-It's a smaller dry storage yard than the other two yards in the area.
-For the last few days when the sails took over our berth we could
stay in the same condo we stayed in last fall and winter and this yard
is closer to the condo.
-We didn't want to have to deal with Domingo the painter and be
reminded of our very frustrating and stressful fall and winter in Guaymas.
Loomba-Loomba waiting at the ramp for the trailer.
Jim waiting at the ramp for the trailer.
The "audience" waiting at the ramp for the trailer.

On her way!

She's out!

The trip from the marina to the boat yard.
Half way there. Tetakawi - the landmark of San Carlos is in the background.

View from the cockpit in the boat yard.
We spent about four hours in the boat yard doing the last minute stuff and left San Carlos early the next morning, June 25th. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bahia Concepcion

After San Juanico we headed north to Bahia Concepcion. We had only spent a few days there in the Santispac anchorage in 2011 so we were looking forward to exploring the rest of the bay.  Our plan was to stay for awhile and then go to Punta Chivato to wait for a good weather window to cross the Sea of Cortes to Guaymas/San Carlos.
The first night we anchored at Playa Santispac and then
headed down to Playa Santa Barbara.
Loomba-Loomba anchored in Playa Santa Barbara, Bahia Concepcion.
Sunrise view from the cockpit looking north from Play Santa Barbara.
It was HOT! Water temp 86.7, air temp 100
After a few days in Santa Barbara we decided to head up to El Burro Cove
 for a  couple of days. There were quite a few other  cruising boats and two
 restaurants there.
In the afternoons everyone grabbed a "floaty" and gathered for
"talking heads therapy".  Fun times!

After a few days in El Burro a southerly wind was predicted so we went
back down to Santa Barbara and got some more good snorkeling in.
Here we had just finished snorkeling around Tecomate Island.
From Santa Barbara we headed up to Playa Santo Domingo by the head of the bay to position ourselves to either head for Punta Chivato in the event of a north wind or to head across to San Carlos if we had south winds.
South winds were predicted for the next week or so so we headed across at 4am the next day and got to San Carlos before sunset.

We will spend about two weeks at Marina Real in San Carlos
 getting Loomba-Loomba ready for haul out for the summer.
We've decided to leave her in Marina Real dry storage this year instead of Guaymas.
Marina Real uses a trailer to haul the boats so there are no straps from the travel lift
 to damage the new paint. They also have a marina so we can be at a dock with
water and electricity while we are getting the boat ready to haul out.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

San Juanico

On 5/22 we left Isla Coronados (bottom) and headed to San Juanico (middle)
- our all-time favorite anchorage this time of year.
San Juanico
Good hiking, beachcombing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and fishing.
The first few nights we were at the south anchorage.
One night we had a really good salad and dessert potluck on the beach.
Awesome sunset.
View from the ridge hike - looking north.
North anchorage (looking south) - Loomba-Loomba anchored by herself.
We stayed for 10 days.
Good friends joined us for a hike and a swim over
to La Ramada (north of San Juanico).
View from the cockpit - moonrise in San Juanico
On a calm day we took the dinghy out to Los Mercenarios
(at the south entrance to San Juanico) to explore.
There are lots of  osprey nests all around San Juanico
and many of them are out at Los Mercenareios.
Osprey nest.

From San Juanico we headed north to Bahia Concepcion.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Candeleros through Isla Coronados

Puerto Escondido is just to the west of the northern
tip of Isla Danzante, Bahia Marquer is on the southwestern
  side of Isla Carmen, Puerto La Lancha is at the northern end
of Carmen,  Loreto is on the mainland Baja side directly west of
Puerto Ballandra on Isla Carmen, and Isla Coronados
is in the northwest corner of this chart.
While in Candeleros we found out we are going to be grandparents! 
Kelsey and RL are having a baby boy. Due date 12/13/13. We are thrilled!
We are not sure what that means for our cruising plans yet, but we are sure 
we will be going home for Christmas this year.
June 9th. Heading into Puerto Escondido from Candeleros at sunset.
We rented a car for a day to run into Loreto to pick up some prescriptions,
go to the Sunday farmer's market (best one in Baja), go to the fishing/boat store,
go to the bulk store, and the supermarket.
After a couple of days in PE we headed back out to Bahia Marquer
 on Isla Carmen.

Water temp: 76.8, Air temp 83.7 in Bahia Marquer.
These dolphins appeared unexpectedly. They swam with us as we were heading
back to our anchorage in Bahia Marquer after fishing. 
We were in the dinghy!
Bread! I've been having fun making bread this year.
Anchored in La Lancha - north end of Isla Carmen.
Happy after a good snorkel.
View every morning from the cockpit at Isla Coronados.
We anchored off of Loreto and took the dingy into the boat harbor
 to have lunch and do a little shopping one day.
This is a new bulk store that has great seeds to add to the bread.
This was the first mission in the "Californias"

The street where most of the tourist shops are
Street leading from the center of town to the waterfront
Loreto waterfront

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What do you do all day? Don’t you get bored?

A lot of people ask us these questions.  We actually stay pretty busy and no, we never seem to get bored.  

When we are out cruising:
-Although there is no “typical day” we have established somewhat of a routine when we are out cruising. We usually get up around 7 am, make coffee, do the previous days dishes, and listen to the two daily radio nets on the SSB radio that give a weather report and let cruising boats check in to give their location and the weather where they are.  Everything we do depends on weather (mostly wind direction and velocity, but also the sea state) so this is a very important part of the day. The nets are usually over around 8:30 and that’s when we decide if we are going to stay where we are or move to a different anchorage. If we are moving we usually pull up the anchor around 9 am.  If we are staying we spend some time tidying up the boat and then go for a hike, a kayak, beachcombing, fishing, snorkeling  or exploring in the dinghy. We head back to the boat for lunch, do some boat chores, do some email on the radio (where we get more weather reports), make some tentative route plans for the next few days, swim, get together with other cruisers, read, or whatever. If we are in an anchorage with other boats we frequently get together for happy hour on one of our boats, or if there are quite a few boats sometimes we all get together on the beach. After that it’s dinner in the cockpit . Sitting in the cockpit at anchor in the Sea of Cortez at night is magical.  The night sky is amazing, you can hear the fish breaking the surface of the water, and you can see them swimming because of the phosphorescence.  
-Traveling is always an adventure. Our preference is to sail (which keeps us busy), but even if we end up having to motor all or part way to our destination we are fishing or encountering dolphins, whales, rays, or turtles or just watching the awesome landscape go by. We usually try to travel no more than 6 or 8 hours (unless we are crossing the Sea), sometimes it’s only 2 hours. We are doing REALLY well if we average 6 knots.

When we are anchored off of a town or in a marina:
-We do our provisioning and boat part buying. We do this on foot, bus or bike. It’s always an adventure, particularly if you are looking for something specific. Sometimes you’ll have to hit several tiendas or ferreterias (hardware stores) to get what you’re looking for. It’s a great way to learn the city or town, interact with the Mexican people, and practice speaking Spanish, but it takes a whole lot longer than it does to jump in the car and run to T&C and Ace Hardware!
-We do the major boat projects and maintenance when we are in a marina.
-We  go out to eat!

-Everything takes longer and is more difficult on a boat,  even doing routine stuff like washing the dishes, taking a shower, doing laundry, preparing a meal, cleaning, or sending an email via the radio. We are definitely “back to basics” which we both really enjoy.
-It’s a constant learning curve: the language, new anchorages, new towns, weather patterns in the different areas of Mexico, continuing to learn  all of the specifics of the radio and the electronics, and fine tuning Loomba-Loomba and her equipment.
-We have met so many amazing people from every walk of life, some of which have become very good friends.
-We have time to really enjoy each other’s company, talk about the day, make plans and explore new possibilities.