Monthly Archives: May 2016

La Paz

This post was delayed due to lack of Internet, YAY! 

A few weeks back, May 11-15:

We had a fantastic sail off the hook in Puerto Ballandra and a downwind run under jib alone in to La Paz on the Morning of the 11th. We anchored just west of Marina de La Paz. First thing we did, of course, walked the Malicon to find the ice cream shop. 

Over the next few days we walked around town a lot. We discovered that the bus and taxi system here is nowhere near like it is on the mainland. The streets were busy with people in their privately owned cars, and the buses were few and far between. The benefit to that was getting some mileage under our feet.  We also discovered that food was about twice as expensive as it was in Barra de Navidad. Thankfully our first dinner out was “Dia de los Madres”. (Mother’s day), so we didn’t feel as bad for spending the money on a special occasion. But over the next few days, we found ourselves wanting to leave before we spent more money. Even reprovisioning at the Chidraui (a govt subsidized store) was more expensive than any other town we’ve been to. 

We stayed through till Monday, knowing that we had a few cruising friends coming in and wanting to celebrate my Birthday on the 15th with other cruising boats. So we made the best of our time, as always. We walked the town, did the historical sites walk and played with other kid boats. Overall, we were not too impressed with La Paz as a town, but the company of cruisers was nice. And it was sure nice to celebrate my birthday with awesome people and have a good potluck.  I even had a surprise breakfast delivered via dinghy by SV Spanish Stroll for my birthday! 

We highly recommend the Museo de Ballena (whale museum). It is very well presented and the staff is very knowledgeable. They even changed some of the screens to English for us. Worth every peso!

Here are some picture:


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ship shape # 7

Hi all my ship shapers,
We’ve been keeping up with our ship shape but not with posting about it. Urg. We’ve been in the Sea Of Cortez enjoying lots of free diving, snorkeling, fishing, and hiking. We have also enjoyed the lack of Internet.

Here’s a few pictures from our satphone (low quality) with a few exercises to do on the boat underway.

Exercise #1 pull ups from the back stay. Not only does this strengthen arms and shoulders, but also gives your hands a good workout.

Exercise #2 chin ups from the Rat lines

Exercise #3 Toes-to-nose using whatever place (back stay for Christian, the dodger for Taj, I like to use the Companion way)

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Toes to nose and chin ups

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Backstay pull-ups

this amazing small world

Today we sailed up from La Paz to Caleta Partida, an anchorages toward the north end of Isla Espiritu Santo. The wind was fairly strong from the South East, so it was a nice downwind run for us under jib alone. We considered sailing through to Isla San San Francisco due to the exposed anchorage, but chose to head in and anchor anyway.

There was only three other boat there, so we had plenty room. We recognized all three boats from previous ports, but had only met the couple on SV Nimue. Nimue had been sailing with one of the other boats for many years, SV Tango as well as the other boat, SV Shadowfax. We happen to be ease dropping on one of the conversations between Shadowfax and Tango when Christian put two and two together. He heard the names Vicki and Steve and he remembered Nimue talking about them being a fantastic boat builder from Florida. Christian’s memory took him to 1990.

Christian’s face lit up so bright, he hailed Tango over the radio and asked, “Did you by chance own a Bristol Channel Cutter?” “Why, yes we did,” was Tango’s response. Then Christian asked, “Do you remember a boat called The Walkabout?” “Why yes we do!”, Tango replied. Christian then came forth with, “Gene is my Dad!”. Tango was so excited, as was the whole Shawnigan crew. What are the chances of meeting a boat you sailed with from Cabo, through the Panama Canal here in Baja!? Christian was friends with their kid, Kane, at the time and they inspired the Lauducci crew on Walkabout to go through the canal and up to Florida.

We immediately hopped in our dinghy and went over for a visit. They had so many stories to tell about their buddy boating days with Christian as a 13 year old. What a fantastic evening. Thanks Tango!

Josie 5/16/16

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Mazatlán to La Paz crossing 

We just completed our longest passage yet, a four day sail across to an anchorage just north of La Paz. We motored a half of an hour out of Marina Mazatlán, then hoisted our sails. The motor only turned on again on the Baja coast for an hour in the Cerralvo Channel and then again for another 45 minutes from the channel marker buoys in San Lorenzo Channel to Puerto Balandra.We dropped the hook a few hours after sunset. We were happy to be able to both get a full nights sleep after 3 nights of splitting night watches.

The sail over started slow, picked up for a few, then slow again, the picked up again. Our first two nights we had low, to no wind. Our mileage actually went backwards at times of no wind. We turned around in circles and drifted backward with the current. A little frustrating at times. Most days, the wind would pick up enough in the morning to make forward progress, and later in the day we would pick up speed before the wind dropped off again. We had the most consistent wind the third overnight and through the next day.

On the third day, before the wind picked up, we decided to jump in the water and trail behind the boat. Don’t worry we were all tied on. Christian went first, and Taj had to follow of course. Afterward, I hopped in and then all three kids found their way in. They loved it as was evidenced by screaming, “I feel like a mermaid! I feel like a Dolphin!”. This brought back some life to our stagnant bodies and brains. The girls called it PE underway. Taj definitely needed it. Having a toddler, and a boy to top it off, is challenging at times. When he doesn’t get the energy out, he starts to get a little rambunctious to say the least.

The girls did their school underway and even did it through the weekend in order to have a few days off upon arrival to La Paz. I’m convinced their brains work slower while we are sailing. School seemed to take twice as long underway. It doesn’t help having their little brother climbing all over them, taking pens and pencils away, and hiding books from them. He’s a little bugger I tell ya! Not really, but he keeps us on our toes. I guess that’s fine though, since there isn’t much else to do.

We had our hand line fishing lines out during the day everyday. We only caught one Bonito during the first three days. On our last day, just west of Muertos we caught a shark! As exciting as it was to bring it in, we had no clue what to do when we saw that it was a shark. It was about 5 -6 feet and we definitely weren’t going to keep it. We ended up cutting the line as close to the shark as we dared to get.  We’re not sure what kind it was. We are thinking a Silky Shark. If you know, comment below please!

On the night of our fourth day we anchored in Puerto Balandra. What a beautiful sight. Well, actually it was pitch black with only a sliver of moon. We normally avoid night time anchoring, but the entrance is fairly open and well marked. We arrived under glassy conditions. Shortly after dropping our 65# Mantus Anchor, the wind picked up strong. Thank god we have a good anchor. We slept so well that night! It felt great to be on the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez.

 

 

Life through polarized lenses is even better than rose! Thanks Teeny Tiny Optics for the awesome glasses. The kids were counting jelly fish to occupy time! 


Don’t worry this shark was two days later!
I think we might need a new hand reel after this catch!

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Mazatlán for 8 days

Our original plan was to have a quick 3 day visit to Mazatlán. We recently heard of friends getting stuff robbed off their boat in the middle of the night in the anchorage south of old town, so we anchored off of Isla Venados the first night. The next day we brought the boat to Marina Mazatlán. We heard the marina wasn’t too expensive and we rather pay a little money versus having items stolen off our boat. It also would allow us to make day field trips away from the boat without worrying about theft or dragging anchor.

Two days after our luxurious days in a marina, we noticed the leak in our boat was more serious than we expected. Everything was closed for boat repair/haul out, so we had to wait until Tuesday to do an emergency haulout to repair a broken thruhull for our engine intake. We managed to keep the boat floating through the weekend by using a plunger and bung. Yay! In the mean time we made the best of our forced extended stay in Mazatlán.

In hindsight, I’m grateful for the extended stay, even though our cruising kitty isn’t. Mazatlán is rich in history, full of beautiful people, good food, and has easy bus,taxi, and walks. The mall was in walking distance, which the girls loved. Walmart was also in walking distance, making provisioning easier.  The bus ride to historic Mazatlán only costs $1 round trip. The taxi cost anywhere between 70-100 pesos ($5-$6) from downtown to the Marina. We did a lot of walking as well, including the “self-guided walking tour” of the historic district.

We recommend stopping in Mazatlán to all boaters. And definitely eat at Dock7 restaurant at Marina Mazatlán. The seafood is so fresh and amazing and the guys running it are super cool. They also play surfs videos, for an added bonus. 🙂

walking tour map (above)

a cool street just south of the art museum (below)


The kids posing with Pedro the famous Actor and singer at the Pedro Infante Museum (above)

A little history at the Museo Arqueologico

A stroll through the Mercado



The Basilica, Cliff Divers, and public salt water pool.

Out door activities. Above: all three kids climbing ropes at the outdoor adult jungle gym. Below: Ellamae catching waves at Playa Bruja!

Above: Boatschool abroad at La Playa Bruja

Below: science experiment on the dock. Thanks Homeschool Ahoy


Below: Iguanas and kids at Marina El Cid

Our favorite restaurant in Mazatlan, Dock7

Above: Taj’s favorite spot, helping Mom cook in the galley.

Nina’s Mazatlán post

Make sure to follow Nina’s posts too!

afamilyafloatnina

We have just left Mazatlán! Normally we anchor out in the anchorage, but Mazatlán’s anchorage is a bit of a crazy anchorage. It has theft so we decided not to anchor there. In Marina Mazatlán they have a pool, but only resort guests get to use it. When we were in La Cruz and we would tell our friends we are coming into the marina and they would say something like,”Really??” Or “Nice joke”. Staying in marinas do have their luxury like; showers, wifi, and you can hop onto the dock at any given moment, but when your neighbor finishes school at 10:00 and wants to play so, he knocks every ten minutes I just wanted to anchor out. Mazatlán had an amazing town(and not to mention mall). We got to go to the mall a few times, Ellamae and my favorite store was this cute pet store. They had…

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day 3 of passage across the Sea of Cortez

We left Mazatlán three days ago. The wind has been pretty light and not at all during parts of the night and for most today. By lunch time today, we still only had a slight breeze, so we decided to all hop in and swim with the boat! No Sharks were seen, yay. A refreshing way to break up the day. This was the first time we’ve jumped in underway. Taj even got in with a mask.