Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Monday, 7 April 2008

Enroute to La Paz from Bahia Los Muertos

We spent 2 days in Los Frailes with the wind whistling through the rig and the windwaves slapping the hull. Further out we could see white water and the occasional whale frolicking off the point to the south. By Friday morning it was all over and we woke to light winds from the southwest. We decided to stay an extra day to explore the bay and finish some projects. That evening we met Kirk (AKA Capt Kirk) single-handing a boat called Freedom Kirkland, (Edmonton Alta), the first Canadian boat since
Mag Bay. Kirk is a farmer and mechanic and will be heading back to Alta at the end of the month to put in his crop.
The following morning we weighed anchor and headed out towards Bahia Los Muertos, leaving our friends behind. As we left we hoisted all our working sails and asked Ka-Em-Te to take a picture for our boat cards. The wind was just strong enough to fill the sails so we should have a good photo to use.
The trip up the coast was uneventful except for losing one big fish but getting the next one that hit the lure after a 20-minute battle. This one, a 12 lb skipjack, put up a good fight that tested the equipment we had purchased at the garage sale in San Diego but the 20-lb test line was adequate. If anything breaks that line we don't want it in the boat anyway!
We arrived at Bahia Los Muertos (Bay of the Dead) by late afternoon and anchored in the company of several sail and powerboats. The star attraction was The US America Cup boat, Stars and Stripes, fresh from the last race from San Diego two weeks ago. We later found out that they were waiting for engine parts and that Dennis Conner had returned home.
Apart from a few beach homes the bay is quite barren. There were many pangas nested along the eastern shoreline, most of them charter boats for the gringo fishermen. The only redeeming feature of this bay is a bar/restaurant called the Giggling Marlin, the sister establishment to the popular Cabo location. We took a stroll over to the place to check it out and found the menu on the expensive side, however, they did have an item listed as " You catch it, we cook it" for a reasonable price. Later
on that evening we were back with Trish and Doug from Ka-Em-Te and Kirk from Freedom Kirkland, who had both arrived in mid-afternoon, each carrying a baggy of our latest catches. The chef outdid himself with 4 different variations on tuna that we hadn't yet come across. It was a good evening sitting under a palapa restaurant, looking over the anchorage and telling sea stories. The trip back to the boat was exciting. The phosphorescence was very active and we left a bright wake as we motored along.
Small bait fish were all around us, skittering out of the way, a few landing in the dinghy.
They are attempting to change the name of the bay to the Bay of Dreams but it will take some time for that name to be popular, especially since the chart will continue to have that name for the foreseeable future. Charts of this area are not amended very often. The existing charts were based on USN surveys in 1897 with updates to 1961.
We all departed this morning but we were delayed by an annoying problem with the engine. When left at rest for a few days it is very difficult to start. JG tried the usual bleeding air routine but today that wasn't enough. After contacting Kirk on VHF we tried a new trick and were rewarded by that throaty roar of 85 British horses. I hope we can figure out the reason. Kirk has a good idea and he'll give us a hand this evening when we meet up again.
Back to work! While Fran drives or reads J-G has been working on the topsides during our passages. A professional boat groomer in San Diego recommended a product called The Bartender's Friend, a powdered cleaner similar to Comet. It is very good for teak decks and we have found that it does a really nice job on gelcoat. After the scrub J-G has been applying a coat of Big White sealant and conditioner, followed by 2 coats of Big White high temp wax. What a difference it has made to the 35 year-old

Tuesday, 8 April, 2008
We are anchored in a small bay called Caleta Lobos. It was a bouncy night with land-generated winds of up to 12 kts. This side of the bay looked nice and calm when we arrived but the wind changed during the early evening and we ended up on the breezy side.
Later on this morning we will be heading to the Marina La Paz for a few days. We'll get the engine pulley repaired and pick up the parts we need to complete a few projects, fuel, water and groceries and we'll say farewell to our two buddy boats. Ka-Em-Te is staying on for a few extra days and Freedom Kirkland is heading back to Cabo. Kirk gave us some advice on the engine last night that we hope will solve our problems.
Time is becoming a factor. We have less than 3 weeks to get to San Carlos and that is still 300 miles to the north. With a continuation of this weather we'll have a leisurely trip and be able to enjoy some of the many great anchorages along the way.

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