Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gosling is flying north (temporarily)

Installing the outboard.
22:30, 9 April 2009 –Halfway between Puerto Escondido and Guymas/San carlos
What a difference a few days make. We are heading towards Guaymas/San Carlos under power in a calm sea.
We learned a few days ago that Fran’s mom had an accident at home and is hospitalized. She has asked that Fran return home ASAP so we have cut our trip short and are heading back to our Mexican home-port. We were advised of her condition by our son Chris, over the ham e-mail service, WINLINK, while we were in Los Gatos and over the past few days the follow-up e-mails have made it clear that we have to go back. We arrived in Puerto Escondido yesterday and were able to communicate directly and make our travel arrangements. Luckily there is a lull in the weather in the middle of the Sea of Cortez and we have been able to make excellent time. If conditions persist we will be in San Carlos by early morning.
With all that has happened over the past few days our trip up from Isla San Francisco seems a distant memory. We departed on Monday morning with Warren Peace in 15-20 kt headwinds and made our way to Puerto Evaristo, 6 miles up the coast. We anchored in a small but protected bay, spent the night and departed the next morning for Los Gatos, another of our favourite destinations.
As we arrived we were please to see Manuel, our fisherman in the bay flitting from boat to boat. No sooner had anchored than he was alongside welcoming us to the bay and asking if we wanted any lobster. It has now been a tradition for us to get a few from him each time we visit this bay. He was overcome with emotion when we gave him a few items of clothing for diving. When Fran asked about his wife’s embroidered pillows he pulled out a plastic bag full of her work from under a thwart in his panga. The man comes prepared and Fran found one to her liking. It was a good day for Manuel. Apart from our purchases he managed to talk a few other boats into buying lobster.
We spent a very enjoyable day beachcombing and J-G went snorkelling in the crystal clear waters of the Bay. Bill and Sharon (Warren Peace) came over for supper that evening and were treated to a seafood smorgasbord with the lobster, scallops and conch that J-G found while diving and the last of the Dorado caught off Muertos the week before.
We had planned to proceed to Agua Verde from there but we received Chris’ news that night so we departed the following morning bypassed, Agua Verde, another superb anchorage and proceeded directly to Puerto Escondido where we took on fuel and water and called home for the latest developments. We had heard Optical Illusion on the VHF earlier that day and were pleased to meet them when we got in. We had hoped to buddy-boat with them a few days but had to be contented with only an evening with them at the restaurant at the Singlar Marina.
The Marina is almost fully operational. There have been many improvements over the past 2 years since we first visited this location in Royal Exchange. Most of the services are in but water is still not available to the docks and there are only 50 amp services. Dock space is very limited and we were quite lucky to get alongside for the night. All of the moorings for buoys in the anchorage have been reconditioned and there were more vessels in the buoy field than we had ever seen.
18:00, Easter Sunday, Marina San Carlos
We are sitting in the relative calm of the cabin, tucked alongside in the marina at San Carlos. The wind outside is howling, an accurate description. It has been blowing 20-30 kts most of the day and the noise it makes in the rigging is horrendous.
We arrived early Friday morning and were advised by our friends Doug and Trish on Ka-Em-Te to go directly to a berth they knew would be empty for the weekend. This is Easter weekend in Mexico and it is a very special holiday so the marina office is closed for the entire weekend. Fran brought the boat into the slip like a pro. She has been driving in and out of our berths for the entire trip and she seems to have mastered the technique.
It was nice to get back to familiar surroundings and friends we had last seen in December. Trish and Doug are doing very well, both working; Doug at plumbing for a local American contractor and Trish still baking for Barracuda Bob’s and working with a newly arrived marine electrician, hoping to add “marine” to her domestic electrician credentials. Gary and Julie (Seafire) are in Marina Real. We learned that they have a buyer for the boat and are busy getting ready for the turnover later this month.
We spent much of the weekend preparing the boat for our 10-day absence and starting on the long list of preparations to put the boat away for the summer. Doug and Trish made us an offer we couldn’t refuse on Saturday. We accompanied them for a relaxing day to a beachfront condo they have access to. It was an eye-opener to see how the Mexicans celebrate this holiday. The normally deserted beach was packed with people and tents. Everyone over the age of 15 seemed to have a cervesa in hand. There is litter everywhere.
00:30 Wednesday, 15 April 2009 The waiting room at the Phoenix Airport
We are doing an all-nighter at the airport waiting for our 06:15 departure. Tomorrow will be a long day.
Over the past few days we have moved the boat to Marina Real where the monthly slip rate was more affordable, found a kennel for Rosie and today we drove to Phoenix. Hopefully all will sort itself out in the next 10 days and we will be able to get back to put Gosling away for the season. We have made reservations to haul out on the 7th of may so we will have lots of time to get her prepped and, hopefully we can tackle some of the tasks we were going to put off until November. If we can do that we will be able to splash earlier and get away.
This will be the last blog until we get back.
Thanks for tuning in and reading my ramblings.