Waiting is the key word here, as nothing happens on schedule. Patience is the skill we are working hard to acquire. But before we arrived in Mexico, Bill drove down from Alberta and we spent a week in Park City, enjoying my kids and family. Whitney was also in town and I was in heaven. We took advantage of the time together by taking the girls to Hogle Zoo,
introducing Bill to our traditional Brighton Frisbee Golf, where he got all kinds of advice and experiences in his first round.
held a baby shower for Baby Dosi,
and got a preview of Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat just before Halloween.
Then, as hard as it was to say goodbye, we were off for Year 2 of our sailing adventures!!! We departed Park City and headed for San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico, taking only two days to drive there. However, Bill and I have both agreed we don’t like each others driving and will try hard to not be backseat drivers.
If you remember, twice last winter we sailed into port backwards because our transmission had failed. Bill spent the summer researching why the failures and we brought a new transmission down with us. Hopefully, the third time will be the charm. Replacing the transmission is part of the delay but we are also having the bottom sand blasted and repainted. This is being completed at the same time we are pulling the old transmission, damper plate, cutlass bearing, dripless packing and truing the shaft as well as installing a new prop. To do all this, we have to remount the motor 2″ forward. (Sorry Pete, we are putting in a flexible coupling). To do everything mentioned, we will need to head for San Diego. We have now been here two weeks and the hull is sandblasted, period. Just Dandy is still in the back yard and we can not get on her yet to pull the transmission. Maybe mañana!!
In the meantime, we are trying to make the best of it, enjoying the pools,
finding good locations for lunch and/or dinner, checking out the golf course,becoming groupies for a few musicians, and studying our spanish daily. We have run into a few familiar faces but are mostly meeting new people, which is always fun.So while many of you are freezing, don’t worry about us, we are loving winter so far and waiting for mañana to start sailing.
The leaves on the maple trees have turned red in Park City, Utah, the first snow has fallen in Canmore, Alberta, and Hurricane Odilla is tearing up the Sea of Cortez. Emails with good, bad, and uncertain news, have gone back and forth about the condition of cruiser’s boats. Bill and I are heaving a sigh of relief as Just Dandy has weathered this storm in San Carlos but others have not been so lucky. Rapscullion is on the rocks in Puerto Escondido and Thea is in a boatyard in La Paz, hopefully not too battered. We are going back to the boat the first week of November, so stay posted.
In the meantime, Bill and I have shared a great summer with so many friends and loved ones! It started in June with a wedding in Rosarito, Mexico. My daughter, Whitney and her finance, Jason, hosted a 4-day party/wedding that will always be remembered.
Bill refreshed his friendships with the San Diego Marina Cortez crew while in San Diego. He is always thrilled to gain new information about sailing and boat care.
After the wedding we traveled to Canada were we attended Oats and Notes, the every other year music festival in Tolfield, Alberta. Many of Bill’s friends reunite at this music festival and I get a glimpse of what fun they have had through the years together. We also shared time with his daughter, Sara and her boyfriend, Tommy who also ventured out to the festival.
And much of our time was spent at Little Bow, southeast of Calgary, at Bill’s beautiful cabin, with new and old friends. We spent our afternoons on our newly launched raft, enjoying the company of boaters who would stop by and chat while we floated.
We took a road trip into British Columbia to Crawford Bay, what a fun and creative place, not to mention beautiful!
And lastly, my time in Canada, was spent at a fun barn dance at Ron and Bonnie’s. It is a incredible farm with huge equipment and the best bubblegum smelling, pink port-a-potty I have ever experienced not to mentioned great friends and food!
Leaving Bill behind for a while, I returned to San Diego, were I rounded up my car and all my worldly possessions and shipped them off to Park City. I also got a chance to spend an evening with good friends at one of my favorite places, Moonlight Theater, seeing a great production of My Fair Lady. I think I annoyed all those around me as I knew all the words to all the songs.
Bill continued to fiddle around at Little Bow and started working on getting the boat repaired, while I traveled back to Park City to enjoy family and friends.
I even snuck in a quick trip to Boston to visit the Bride and Groom, where I got a chance to meet some of their Boston family and friends. Whitney and I also took a quick trip to Maine, thus avoiding watching the Patriots lose.
Bill will head down to Park City in late October, we will load up his truck and head to San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico where the boat is. I am sure this second year of our adventure will be different but hopefully as exciting!
Thank you to all our friends and family in supporting us on our adventures but more importantly for being part of our lives. We hope that you had as glorious a summer as we did!!!!
I am writing this as I watch ‘Just Dandy’ get pulled out of the water to be put on the hard (dry dock) in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. We have spent two weeks getting her ready to sit for 7 months in the heat and wind.
But before I go into a few of those details, let me tell you about our last stop on the Baja, before we sailed across the Sea of Cortez….Santa Rosalia.
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Not only did Bill win against the Wasps but he won 900 Pesos at a random card game called ’31’ in Punta Chivato! Let me fill you in on our adventures since I returned to Loreto and Bill to finish our Winter adventure.
I learned that we needed a new Joker Valve. This valve keeps the toilet from back-filling and I visualize it looking like the smile on the Joker from Batman. And as you can imagine, backups are not something you want on board the boat. Yuch! On Thursday, Feb. 20, we decided to look in Loreto to see if we could find a valve or else we were going to have to rent a car and drive back to LaPaz. Loreto is about 25 minutes from Puerto Escondido, if the road is not under construction, which it is. There are no shuttles or real bus service, so we decided to hitchhike. Before even getting to the main road, a van pulls over and picks us up. Once again, it is a small world, as Bill knows Dawn from Marina Cortez in San Diego. They had a lot of fun catching up and reminiscing. However, our trip into Loreto was unsuccessful, but Bill being the problem solver he is, devised a way to make the valve work until we reach San Carlos. Yea!!!!
We went into Loreto the next day to provision so that we can start sailing north again. What a great day, site-seeing and eventually ending up at a Pig Roast, sponsored by the Optimist Club. We enjoyed live music, great food, and we were happy to buy a ticket to support the club. They introduced a little girl who had leg prosthetics that the club had bought for her. We watched her run and play. How cool is that?
Upon leaving Puerto Escondido, we sailed to Balandra and the next day for Isla Coronado. This place was created from a volcano and is covered with Lava rock. We took a great hike and enjoyed the bay.
This is also were we did battle with a bunch of Bees. For Christmas, Bill gave me a bug zapper. When it hits a bug, a spark goes off. I swatted a Bee and zap, I got him!! However, I did not realize that it only stuns them and as I came to pick up the carcass, it stung me. Bees 1, Kim 0…I am trying to type this with a very swollen right index finger. Bill had a lot more success with the wasps, thus his first big win!
Wednesday, Feb. 26th found us sailing into Caleta San Juanico. Probably one of the hottest days we have had and one of the coolest bays we have anchored in. (By the way, we are getting better and better at dropping and pulling up anchor!). We stayed a couple of days exploring and enjoying the calm.
After motoring 55 miles in one day, 10 hours, we pulled into Playa Santispac. Another cool area which is close to the town of Mulege. People bring their RVs down and camp on the beach, some have built houses in the neighboring bay, and everyone has a great time. A couple of fun little restaurants and all is good. We took a hike around the point and hitch-hiked into town a couple of times as we had to stay here to wait out a Northerly blow.
So you are now probably wondering about Bill’s second big win…the 900 Pesos. We left Playa Santispac and pulled into Punta Chivato, dropped anchor and wandered up the hill to find Julia’s restaurant we had heard about. Interesting place, a deserted hotel, airstrip, hangars, and boat dock. Rumor has it, the cartel builds all this to hide money and never opens anything up?????
Well, anyway, we wander into this restaurant just as a whole lot of other gringos are entering and getting drinks. Whoa, this is a happening place. We discover that Tuesday nights is ’31’ card night. They needed a couple of other players to fill the tables so we said why not. I ended up at the winners table 2 out of 3 times but Bill…he went to the winners table once and won! 900 Pesos!!! Well, we paid for dinner, our ante, a hat, 2 cozies, and a calendar and came home with some left. We even got invited to a funeral the next day but passed on that.
We are now in Santa Rosalia and planning our crossing over to the mainland. I’ll let you know how that goes….
I think that 4 out of 5 people we have met here are from Vancouver Island. Bill thinks that 4 out of 5 people he has met are retired teachers.
February 10, 2014
Bill and I have been out of touch for 10 days, 10 days without cell or internet. We arrived in Puerto Escondido to be met by the Mexican Navy. Now what have we done? Sadly, I was informed that my mother had a massive heart attack and had passed away on Thursday, Feb. 6. My children had contacted the Coast Guard who contacted Mexico and they tracked us down. I am writing this paragraph as I am on the plane from Loreto to Salt Lake City to be with my family. My mother was an incredible, talented women who will be greatly missed but who supported me 100% in this crazy adventure. In fact, I received and email yesterday from her that she had sent a few days before she passed away, “Have fun! Take care. You are living every ones dream. Your dad would have been so jealous.” I will truly miss her!
(I am going to post what I had already written before I got the sad news and before I returned to Utah. I will rejoin Bill on February 20th to finish our adventure.)
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After fighting a cold, getting Pink Eye and a swollen face from that, and getting the flu, even though I had a flu shot, Bill and I hooked back up in La Paz. Way too many baby germs but worth every minute with them!!! However, it was great to be back to our little home and warm weather.
We jumped right back into our routine, listening to the cruisers net and walking everywhere we went. Bill immediately signed up for the cribbage tournament, being the master player he is. He lost 15 out of 17 hands and one of the winning hands, the player dropped out. But, it was a great way to meet great people! Next time the Card Gods will be in his favor, I am sure.
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Bill and I both wanted to spend the Christmas Holiday with our respective families, so we locked up the boat and flew north. What a rude awakening, it was freezing cold in Utah and Canada. I was one of the few planes to land in SLC on Dec. 19th, although very late. The rest of this may bore you if you are hoping to read about Bill and his Holiday Adventures, as this one relates to mine. If I can sit him down to write, you may hear about it at a later date. (Don’t hold your breath)
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They say you can’t change the name of your boat unless you have run it aground three times. Well, we don’t want to change the name, Just Dandy, but we are on the way to being able to. I should clarify, I ran her aground. I am claiming rookiehood!!! Let me explain…
We made it safely into La Paz and checked with the marinas but there were no slips available. That meant we needed to anchor or be on the hook in the bay for the night. The water around La Paz is very shallow so we headed to were other boats were anchored. When you anchor, you need to make sure that you are far enough from the other boats to swing with the wind and current. I saw a nice space in between several boats were no one was anchored so I headed over there. Bill started to drop the anchor which only dropped 4 feet and at the same time I felt the rudder hit sand. Oops, I hadn’t been checking the depth as boats were around us. I hurried and put her in reverse and was able to get her off the bottom, whew!!!!! First grounding!!!! Now we know why no one was anchored in this area.
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Many of you that have ridden in a car with me, know that I like to go fast. So, you can imagine my consternation when I discovered that our average cruising speed would be about 4 knots (1 knot = about 1.1 mile an hour)! With sails up, we can average about 5 knots and when we hit 6 knots, I am literally jumping for joy!!
Now, Bill on the other hand, drives like the 63 year man that he is, and is very happy at 4-5 knots. And as he points out, going at this speed allows us to really enjoy everything around us. He is right, of course. Yesterday, we pulled into Bonanza Bay, took a nap, as we had left anchor at 2:00 a.m., then swam in the beautiful water, ate dinner, and had quite a show of the sunset and of the diving birds, not to mention the beautiful coastline a long the way.
Going this slow, you would think that, not having to watch for traffic signals would be a relief. We do have to deal with a lot of other things, many unseen, that can raise the level of concern. Wind, tide, currents, ferries, and other boats, just to name a few. It is quite an art to plot our next course, taking all of this into consideration. Thank goodness for GPS, plot charters, good charts, and a couple of incredible books authored by sailors who have gone before us. I am much more laid back about all of this than Bill is so combined we are making a pretty good team.
Also, many of you may know, I am not a really late night person but I do like to stay up til about 10 watching my favorite TV shows. Well, we have no access to those shows so at dark there isn’t much to do but play cribbage and read. Bill continues to pretty much beat me at cribbage, as I am new to the game. I have read about 4 books and played the same video games over and over. So bedtime can be as early as 7-8 pm. unless we are sailing the next morning (usually rising around 2:00 a.m. so we can anchor in daylight the next day), then it can be around 6:00 p.m.
Another thing I am learning to enjoy, is not planning anything, even thougt I am, of course, the social chairman or Captain Kirk to some of you. If the weather is threatening (wind mostly) we just stay were we are until it improves, sometimes a couple of days. This allows us to get the dinghy out and go explore were we are.
While in Bahias de los Muertos, we wandered around the area. There were plans to make this a great resort area and rename it Bahias Suenos (Bay of Dreams instead of Bay of Death). We wandered into a resort hotel, GranSueno, that had about 10 infinity pools. It is really beautiful if you want a very relaxing quiet vacation. In the area were the bar is, a huge model train exhibit is on display. Although it is in a little disrepair, it is pretty cool. There was also a pool table, shuffle board, and pin ball machines. We had the whole place to ourselves and enjoyed a couple of beers and a fun afternoon.
We are sailing into La Paz at 5.2 knots, which should take us several hours and gives me time to write this. We are excited to be able to get a beer, a real shower, and wash some clothes as it has been awhile for most of that. So wish us luck as we approach the narrow channel!
On Friday, Nov. 22, we finally motored out of Cabo after two weeks. Our transmission is purring like a kitten, yea!!!!
4 hours later, after motoring all the way because of no wind, we pulled into a beautiful and QUIET marina. No party boats blaring techno music ( I know that makes us sound old) and no fisherman gasing up at 5:00 in the morning.
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