Monthly Archives: June 2016

Isla Danzante to Bahia Concepción

June 1 -13, 2016

From Candaleros, we sailed to Danzante Island, to a cove called Honeymoon Cove. The anchorage is steep, the depth is about 30 feet up to 20 feet off the shore, and quickly drops to 50 feet and deeper. It’s a beautiful cove, but hard to safely fit more than a few boats in there. Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante: we anchored a little too close to Cielo Grande at one point. “Excuse me sir, will you pass the Grey Poupon?” So, we re-anchored.

Puerto Escondido: the girls finally slept on deck, pool time at Fonatur and Tripui, coffee delivery via Ethan on S/V Coastal Drifter.

Loreto: mission, Papa Jason and Ellamae in a panga with Coastal Drifter in the background, Nina doing her first Net Controller for the Amigo Net, and monkey boy Taj helping with cookies.

Isla Coronado: impromptu “cookie and cocktails” potluck on the beach with other cruisers, a good few hour hike up the volcano with Coastal Drifter crew.

La Ramada/San Juanico hike: Coastal Drifter flying “the kite”, our additions to the cruiser’s shrine in San Juanico, Cielo Grande and Shawnigan (Coastal Drifter not visible) sitting pretty in La Ramada. Some amazing Apache Tears too! See Nina’s post.

Bahia Concepción : Playa Stanispac Ice Cream truck, Taj can now climb to the highest ratline.
June 13: we left at 1100 from Playa Stanispac to cross over the Sea of Cortez to San Carlos.


9 month Tally 

I’m not sure what’s going on, but a few of my posts didn’t post:

May 20th, 2016 marks our 9 months of being out cruising. We can’t believe so much time has past already. We are currently making our way up the Sea of Cortez with plans to leave the boat in Guaymas or San Carlos for the hottest three months of the summer. During that time we will be heading back to the United States as land nomads to travel around visiting friends and family. I will, however, be working as a Travel Nurse during that time to cover the expenses we manage to summon over the last few months. Here’s the latest and greatest….

9 months out tally count/costs for days anchored, days moored, days docked, and how much we’ve spent on each of those. And the good old unexpected expenses, yippee:
230 days anchored (all free except the days spent in Morro Bay)
4 days moored 
28 days Docked (14 of which were free with our YC reciprocal) 
Paid $: Mooring $40 (Morro Bay YC)
              Docked $105 (Ensenada’s Baja Naval Marina), $96 (La Cruz for furler work), $235        (Marina Mazatlán- see post)
              Dingy Dock: $15 (Cabo San Lucas), $4 (La Cruz), $4 (La Paz)

              Anchored $159 (Morro Bay Guest Anchorge) 

Fuel consumption for 9 months (85 gal diesel for Shawnigan and 6 gal of gas for dinghy) = ~    $360 
Mexico check in expenses in Ensenada: $105 for passport/tourists cards, $256 for Port Captain fees, $60 for TIP card, and $45 for fishing license.
I still haven’t been too good with figuring how much we spend on food. I’m guessing we spend around $500 a month. We’re not eating out all the time, but we aren’t living on beans and rice either. I will say that Costco in Mexico is not much cheaper than it is in The States. 

Big ticket items that were not anticipated: 
replacing our windvane with a new hydrovane. Let’s just say >$5,000 . 

replacing our windlass. Another $2500! (See our 6 month tally post for more on this)

Switching over to a harken furling set up from our previous Hank-On. $2,300 plus $550 in sail work to go with the furler. 

Plus another $275 for me to fly the old windvane up to the states to try to sell from there vs down in Mexico.

Then another $400 for emergency haul out and engine intake repairs in Mazatlán. 

Yikes! Seriously….that’s over our yearly budget of $12,000! Thank god for tax returns and an upcoming Travel job! Hopefully that will hold us over for a while as far as big ticket projects on the boat go. Oh and while I’m at it, we still have our previous Aries Windvane for sale… Contact us if interested! 

Above: Isla San Francisco with the Sierra de la Gigante range of Baja California Sur in the background

Summer in the States: Impending doom and excitedness all at once!

We are crossing the Sea of Cortez again, heading over to San Carlos, to find a spot for our boat during the summer. 

Yes, we are leaving the boat for the summer. After all the unexpected expenses and the close proximity to the US for income, we chose to take the opportunity to escape the summer heat of Mexico and land travel to the states. 

I recently lined up a Travel Nurse position at UCSF for 13 weeks. I start at the end of June. This pushed our time in the Sea of Cortez a little faster than we hoped for, but you gotta take what you can get. Once we get to San Carlos, we’ll get the boat packed up and ready to leave it alone for a few months. 

Our plan is to take the 10-12 hour bus up to Phoenix from San Carlos. From there, I’ll fly out to San Francisco to get myself situated for work. The rest of the family will hang out with Christian’s sister in Phoenix and start road tripping around to visit family and friends. 

The plan is for Christian to be back at the boat in early September, to start prepping her for our Southern voyage down Baja and then across to Central America. I’ll finish up work and meet him there with the kids. Hopefully we can start sailing again by October 1st. 

Although we are excited to visit friends and family, we don’t feel ready to leave the boat. We love this life. I do look forward to working as well, but not to being away from the family. I know it’s worth it, to keep us sailing, but after so much time together, it’s hard to imagine time apart.  I’m hoping Christian and the kids can visit San Francisco often enough to get my fix in. 

I’ll be posting more about the last few weeks soon, but wanted to get this out. 

Talk soon. 

Espiritu Santo to Candaleros 

Off the grid and enjoying the cruiser’s life. 

We left La Paz under sail May 16th and had, yet another, beautiful downwind run to Isla Espiritu Santo. We anchored in Caleta Partida with SV Tango, SV Shadowfax, and SV Nimue (see previous post). The westerlies left little to be desired for staying there longer than one night. Hopefully we get better weather on our way back down in the fall.

(Above: our Mantus anchor sitting pretty)

We wanted to stop at Los Islotes to dive with the Sea Lions, but again, the wind was in the wrong direction for that. So we shot for Isla San Francisco. We were able to tuck in on the south west anchorage for enough protection from the south westerly winds. With a few other boats there, we were exposed a bit to the swell that rapped in, so our first night was a little rolly, but not bad. We met up with Bob and Kali on SV Airie. We originally met Bob in Barra, then again in La Cruz with his daughter Kali.  We hiked with them and did some spear fishing. The water was still cold, 68 F, but we caught some trigger fish for some yummy Ceviche. We stayed in Isla San Francisco for two nights before sailing off the hook toward San Everisto. 

San Everisto was magical. We hiked over to the salt ponds to the north and the next day, we hiked up the arroyo to the south. We found tons of geode rocks and beautiful pieces of Quartz along the way. We were out hiking for five hours exploring, it was so much fun! We ate dinner at the famous Lupe Sierra’s and Maggie Mae’s restarante. Our good sailing buddy On SV Mango Mango had told us to go there. Lupe and his son remembered Mango Mango well, maybe that accounts for the special treatment? We later found out that they are always that awesome to everyone! The restaurant is decorated with all the shells other cruisers paint during their visit. It was fun for the girls to see all the other kid boats that had stopped in San Everisto. The food was good, the most expensive meal yet, but the atmosphere and the company was worth it. Nina painted a rock with our boat name and two sticks, one looking like a Coral Snake, and the other, a Great Snowy Egret. 

After a few nights there, we continued north to Los Gatos. Another amazing place surrounded by beautiful red sandstone. We put in a few more hikes and more spear fishing adventures. We are loving having more fish in our diet again. Christian speared a couple nice size Grouper to last us a few days. We also enjoyed fresh scallops! 

Next, we stopped at San Marte.  We only stayed here for a night. Snorkeling at the point was fun. Taj is really getting comfortable in the water.

Agua Verde captured us and thankfully slowed us down a bit. Our friends on SV Cielo Grande were not far behind us and trying to catch up. We hadn’t seen them since La Cruz, so we wanted to wait for them. Agua Verde ended being the perfect spot for that. The first day we had a quick snorkel, a nap and a trip to the east side of “town”. We didn’t see much of the town that day. The next day we took a few hour hike past the cemetery to the Cave Paintings.

On our way back, just as we crested the last hill, we saw our friends on Cielo Grande sailing in! Yay, a kid boat! The kids were so excited, as were we, to have our friends back with us. 

The next day we did some spear fishing and snorkeling, and our friends on SV Alert arrived. Another kid boat. Then, we got a tour of the town by a cruiser that basically spends most of their time in Agua Verde. We discovered the larger tienda, the local spring water hose, the police and jail (with not a soul around it), and Ramona, the lady who makes goat cheese and milk. I got a pint of fresh goat milk for 10 pesos (that’s less than $ 0.60 USD) and a kilo of cheese for 60 pesos. Amazing! The kids got to play with the goats and see pigs and such. 

(Above: Taj loves the fresh, still warm, goat milk, from Ramona)

(Above: 1 kilo of goat cheese = 60 pesos)

The next day we stalked up on as much fruit and vegetables the tienda had to offer. We were enjoying our time there, but needed to make our way north the next day. We treated ourselves to a dinner out at the only restaurant open on the beach. Actually I had to walk to the tienda to ask if they could let the restaurant owners know that we would like to eat there. I guess my broken Spanish worked enough. They showed up at 6 to open up and served 11 of us crazy cruisers. All that was on the menu was fish tacos or quesadillas. It was delicious! 
The sail up to Candaleros was slow and beautiful. Cielo Grande not far from us, we both sailed the 18 ish miles which took us 8.5 hours. We sailed off the hook, sailed with the asymmetrical, drifted a bit and sailed again. We finally started the engine just before 6pm for 30 minutes to get us through the point and the island and into the anchorage before dark. We were greeted by many boats that we’ve met along the way. The best part is that Taj was on the deck, naked, shouting out to everyone, “Kini Popo!”, “Hotel California!” and many more.  

In Bahia Candaleros we spent time at the beach in front of the resort. I used the internet to get some online tests done for work this summer, while the kids played.  We did find time for more snorkeling and found it quite amazing! Christian and I had Dolphins swimming right under us! And schools of rays! The water seems to be warming up a little too. We are looking forward to warmer water again. 

Taj and Josie admiring Christian’s catch of the day