Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On our way home

21 May 2010, Palm Springs
We are with friends Reno and Nina in Palm Springs for a few days. It is a real bonus to break up the trip north.

The last few days on Gosling after the haul-out were a blur of frenzied activity. We worked on the long list of chores was but as we got into the routine many more items seemed to pop out. By day 3 the boat was a mess. We are taking home the headliner for the aft cabin, the dingy and the salon table. The defective inverter charger and the TV/DVD player were also removed to be sent for repairs. All of the lines and sails were removed and stowed below as well as anything removable from the upper deck, water tanks emptied, engine flushed with fresh water, all ports plugged with green scrub pads, the list goes on. All of this was done in temps pushing into the 90’s, the hottest days of the year to date.

We also had tony Morelli take a look at our sail covers and we have contracted with him to replace them with a stack pack to replace the ugly purple covers we now have. We have also arranged with Francisco, the painter, to repaint the hull when we return in November. So much for all the money we saved cruising this year....

On our second day we both came down with flu symptoms. Fran’s lasted less than 24 hrs but J-G’s did not let up and eventually he had to see a doctor. Seems the virus had attacked his prostrate and he spent the last few days in a very uncomfortable state. The doctor’s orders were to stay out of the sun, no alcohol, spicy foods, pop, coffee or seafood. What a way to finish off a season!

We didn’t have a chance to meet up with Doug and Trish before we left but we did get word that Doug was not well. The radiation therapy is taking a lot out of him. He only has 6 treatments left to go so we wish him all the best.

We left as scheduled on Monday the 17th and headed straight to Sierra Vista, AZ to visit with Bill and Linda (Tanque de Tiburon). The 2 days spent with them allowed us to wind down, J-G to improve and Rosy to enjoy real grass for a change. The temps at Sierra Vista’s elevation of 5000 ft were very pleasant. We left there and headed west thru Yuma, where Fran’s parents spent a few winters 15 years ago. No idea what the attraction is for snow birds; miles of desert, heat and more desert. We stayed the night and carried on north to Palm Springs via the east side of the Salton Sea, another attraction that begs explanation. It is lined with very thick masses of weed and shells interspersed with dead tulipa and the stench is overpowering.

From Palm Springs we will be taking a new route north through South Lake Tahoe where we will meet up with Pam and Steve, (Full Quiver) for a few days before heading to Vancouver. Lake Tahoe should be an interesting stop. The temps are in the low 40’s and there has been quite a bit of snow lately. Maybe Rosie will experience the white stuff for the first time.

South Lake Tahoe, Monday, 24 May 2010

It is snowing!!! Yes we are in Lake Tahoe and the white stuff is coming down but not staying. There are patches of snow here and there but nothing substantial. We arrived yesterday and will depart tomorrow morning to continue north.

We took 2 days to get here from Palm Springs. We drove up the Eastern Sierras along rte 395 and spent our first night in Bishop. The following day was a spectacular drive through mountain passes and between mountain ranges covered with snow. Even though this is the continuation of the Sonoran Desert it is still cold at this time of year but quite barren. Rosie saw her first snow on a hike to the obsidian dome just north of Mammouth, CA where we stopped to see the sights. It was a treat to see her rolling in the snow, eating it and just having a grand time.

Pam and Steve drove us around their beautiful corner of the world this afternoon. Too many sights and too little time. Tomorrow we will continue north along 395 through Reno and ending up either at Shasta or in Southern Oregon for the night.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mazatlan to San carlos

Whale shark in Puerto Escondido

Doug and J-G on their way to fish for barracuda
Marina Real; Sunday, 9 May 2010
We have been in Marina Real, 2 boats over from Doug and Trish on Ke-Em-Te, for the past 2 days. After arriving from Mazatlan we decided to spend some quality time with Doug and Trish before heading to Guaymas tomorrow. We were hoping that Doug would be well enough to take the boat to San Pedro Bay but with his radiation therapy he is very sensitive to sunlight, a hard thing to stay shielded from on a boat at sea. Their boat alongside is covered with an awning which would have to be removed to work the boat so we decided to stay put until this afternoon when we will move out to the bay and stay at anchor for the night before moving south to Guaymas. Last night when the sun was low J-G took Doug out for a few hours of fishing, one of Doug’s favourite pastimes that he hasn’t been able to do for quite some time. With the lack of wind and swell, conditions were perfect to head out in the dingy. Although all they could hook were barracuda it was quite a thrill and a welcome diversion for Doug.
Our trip up from Mazatlan was uneventful. The wind was very light and from the south for the entire trip. At times we were sailing (OK, motor-sailing because we had the main up) on a mill pond, however, we did manage to get about 5 hours under spinnaker when the wind did perk up. A steady 10-12 knot southerly wind would have made for a perfect passage but we can’t complain except that 400 miles under power used up about 240 litres of diesel, driving the boat at 6 kts. Night passages were very dark, for the most part, with the moon rising after 2AM. The stars and phosphorescence were very bright. Contacts were minimal except when passing by the ports of Topolobampo and Guaymas. A large warship passed us just before twilight as we passed the entrance to Guaymas. We weren’t able to identify it but when it called in to the pilot it sounded like a Slavic accent. We’ll look for it when we enter the harbour tomorrow.
Today is Mother’s Day. One of the main reasons for anchoring out in Algadonas Bay this afternoon (off Catch-22 beach where the movie was filmed) is that we will be closer to a beach restaurant that will be having a Mother’s Day buffet. We’ll be meeting Bill and Linda (Tanque De Tiburon) there for dinner. They just arrived yesterday.
It will be old home week next week with some of the people we have met along the way arriving to put their boats away for the summer season. We have heard Steve and Linda (Warren Peace) and Steve and Pam (Full Quiver) in the past few days on their way.
More from Guaymas.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

El Cid Marina, Mazatlan

Alongside El Cid marina, Mazatlan, 2 May 2010
It has been a lazy week for J-G and Rosie while Fran has been away. Some messy projects have been done; refinishing some of the woodwork in the main salon and in the aft cabin where Fran and dust would not have been compatible. The dodger was also repainted in a brilliant white and a few more minor jobs were completed including some electronic repairs to the VHF/GPS interface and the connection to the Collision Avoidance Radar Detector (CARD) that has never worked since we bought the boat.
It was a long 10 days with Fran away but J-G and Rosie managed. Cooking for 1 is a pain when everything we have is packaged for 2 so it was the same meal every 2 nights. This marina is part of a resort so pets are not encouraged or tolerated so walks are normally taken early or late in the day. Another way around the rules is to take Rosie for a boat ride across the channel to the beach where we play fetch until she gets tired. She has taken a fancy to plastic pop or water bottles when sticks aren’t available. She likes the crunch sound when she bites down on them.
The weather continues to be excellent. We had clouds on a few days, always a welcome relief to the heat. J-G had strict orders from Fran to attend all of the poolside bingo and blackjack games. He did quite well with 5 bottles of tequila and 5 t-shirts and last night Fran won the 450 peso pot at Texas Hold-em.
Most of the week the weather has been excellent to head north, however yesterday’s gale had brought in the “noserlies”. It also caused the port to be closed for the past 36 hours. The entrance to the marina channel is quite narrow and is prone to large breakers. A powerboat came in after dark last night, not knowing that the port was closed and almost lost it at the channel entrance . Looks like we will be a few more days before we can head out. We will probably shift to the Old harbour anchorage tomorrow so that we don’t have to pay another 2 days here at the marina.
Fran reports that the operation to our daughter-in-law went quite well. She is recovering quickly and we hope that she makes a good overall recovery.
While here we have been able to get some quality time with Lin and Lee (Royal Exchange) who introduced us to this way of life.
The next issue will be from Guaymas after we arrive on or near the 12th.