Friday, April 1, 2011
La Cruz to La Paz and RIP Robyn
2300, Friday, 24 March 2011
We have been alongside at La Cruz for the past 6 days attending to a number of chores and getting ready to make our crossing across to the Baja. We have changed the engine oil, painted out the V-berth, equalized the batteries, watered up, replaced the fuse housings for the solar panels, re-marked the anchor chain and made a few other improvements but the WINLINK single side band/ham radio e-mail system still refuses to work, even after changing a broken cable. We have sent an e-mail to the experts in the hopes they can give us some advice.
We have seen several friends here including Ka’sala who will be departing here for BC via Hawaii, Matarua, also headed home via the clipper route offshore, the last leg of their round the world 11-year odyssey. This is the time of year that many of the boats headed for the Marquesas are departing. Several have left Bandaeras bay in the past few days and some of our friends have taken to challenge. Periclees, Distant Shores and Dream Away have been reporting in to the morning and evening nets. We have even heard from 2 BC boats that are transiting west from South America; Silas Crosby a single- hander from Vancouver and our friends Geoff and Linda on Curare, on their way to Easter Island. We have also learned that Naida has decided to call it quits and are preparing to ship the boat home by Dockwise in mid-May.
We have a few more items to complete before we leave La Cruz but we hope to be headed north tomorrow to meet up with Third day in San Blas before heading across to La Paz. All indications point to a respite from the strong northerlies early next week. We were hoping for southerlies and a nice sail across but, with the weather you have to take what you can get and if we have to power all the way, so be it. Looks like, we will have lots of company with many boats heading the same way.
Today we received some sad news. Robyn,our (ex) daughter-in-law succumbed to cancer this morning, less than a 18 months after she first detected it. She put up a brave fight but in the end, it was too aggressive. She leaves behind her daughter Jessica, 17 and Kyle 10.
0900, Sunday, 27 March. Anchored in the estuary, San Blas
We decided to do an overnight passage to San Blas and arrived an hour ago. We are hoping to see Rich and his family on Third Day. They have been the target of a smear campaign by Norm Goldie, the self-imposed head gringo of San Blas. Over the past few years he has succeeded in alienating many cruisers from this lovely town with his radio antics. We won’t have to deal with Norm this time. On our way in we heard Norm calling his home base saying he was on his way to Isla Isabella on a fishing trip.
We should be here only overnight and away tomorrow morning early to take advantage of the weather window for crossing the Sea towards La Paz. Don is predicting 10-15 kts. northerlies for the week, down from the normal 20-30 kts, typical of this time of year. It will not be a comfortable crossing but hopefully we will get there before the winds fill in again.
All attempts to send this off in San Blas failed so we will cover the trip across the Southern Crossing in this one as well.
Wed, 30 March 2011, At Sea.
We are 2 days out of San Blas and if all goes well we should be arriving in La Paz tomorrow. It has been an uneventful 2 days, mostly under power due to lack of wind and , when it does come up, it is right on the nose. Our main and mizzen are up so we are ready if it does shift to our advantage.
We left the estuary at San Blas early Monday morning and bid farewell to Third Day who was intending on leaving the next day and following us across. The radio traffic indicates quite a few boats underway, most headed for Mazatlan before making the crossing and another lot making the crossing from Mazatlan.
Our first day was a choppy ride into a 12-15 kt breeze. We tried to sail but after a few hours we had to give it up because of the wind angle driving us well off our intended track. It was quite a wet ride with the occasional wave breaking over the bow but not an uncomfortable one. This window will only last a few days so the more we make towards our destination the less we will have to endure the northerly winds expected along the Baja shore in a few days. There they can be quite nasty at this time of year.
In the afternoon Fran listened to Norm broadcasting his normal tirade against Rich and his family. Fran had enough and responded to him in kind. With Third day leaving we wonder who will be his next target.
Yesterday was a completely different day. There was a nice smooth south-westerly swell and little or no wind until late afternoon when a few ripples could be seen. We came across a pod of large dolphins, much larger than those we see in the Sea of Cortez. They stayed with us for a few hours. With the stable deck and calm conditions Rosie actually came up on deck and almost barked herself hoarse as she ran up and down the deck defending us against those man-eating dolphins.... Good exercise for her. Rosie seems to be more comfortable on the boat this year, Although she hides behind J-G’s pillow most of the time she has been more active on deck this season. She is eating better and drinking and therefore does her business when it is relatively calm. She was trained to do her business on the bow and she is adamant that is where it has to be done. It is funny to see her crouching down and almost airborne when we go over a wave. She is still nervous of those big flappy white things (sails) but we are hopeful that she’ll overcome that phobia.
Later on that morning we broke the dorado spell when we landed a 23 lb dorado. It was quite a fight but seeing its beautiful colours and its mate circling we decided to release it. What would we do with all that fish anyway?? Maybe a smaller one will bite today. We found a nice plump flying fish on the deck this morning. That should make an irresistible bait. Note: We did hook a large Dorado the following day but it broke the line taking J-G’s “guaranteed to catch Dorado “ lure with it. It was a biggie to break the same line we caughtthe 23 lb on.
We continue to hear lots of boats reporting in on the VHF radio. This seems to be an ideal spot for VHF propagation. We have spoken to several friends in Mazatlan and others south of San Blas and many others north of us on their way to the Baja. Rose of Erin and Naida have arrived in Mazatlan and Full Quiver and Faith are close to departing. We also heard from Optical Illusion. Bill and Janet are getting the boat ready to store bit for the summer and head back home.
2300, 30 March, At Sea
We actually sailed today!! At 0730 this morning the wind backed and came up to 15 kts. We put up the genoa and sailed as close as we could to the wind and were making 6 kts at times, and in the general direction where we wanted to go. What a bonus!! We sighted land as the sun came up and we are now approaching the Ceralvo Channel that leads to the pass we must transit to make the approaches to La Paz. It is going to be a long night...
We have been eating the mangoes we collected at the golf course at Barra. The course was built on what used to be a coconut, tamarind and mango plantation. While walking Rosie J-G brought his backpack and filled it. They have been ripening rapidly onboard and Fran has had to be creative in making mango dishes. I (J-G) think they are the best fruit going next to peaches.
0900, 31 March 2011, Alongside Marina Palmira, La Paz
We have arrived and it is already sweltering. The breakwater around the marina is a good windbreak and we could use some of the breeze we had yesterday. As predicted, it was a long night but a pleasant one. The wind died just after sunset and it remained light the rest of the way. We are hearing about quite a few vessels that have had fuel issues on this crossing. Powering all the way means fuel consumption that many boaters do not expect. As it is we arrived with 7 gallons remaining in the tank of the 66 we left La Cruz with.
We’ll be here for the next week. Fran would like to see Todos Santos and there is a daily bus excursion that goes there, We’ll also try to get the stainless work finished here, or at least schedule it for next December when we expect to pass through again.