We have now sailed the Sea of Cortez for 2 winters and I have yet to see a whale! (No we didn’t take that picture of the whale). People on other boats will say, ” Did you see the whales as you came into anchor?” NO….. and Bill claims to have seen spouts and/or whales everytime I go below. Believe me, I am looking when I am on watch but no luck.
Well, this seems like it has been a very short season for us. We spent 2 months in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico before actually getting the boat into the water due to repairs and now we are putting her up earlier than last year. Our best sail was the crossing from San Carlos to Punta Chavata in 12 hours on a reefed main and jib. We felt so much more confident this year and Just Dandy is running better and faster than ever!
We just arrived back in La Paz and we feel like we are home. We spent 2 months here last winter and love the place! Bill is even able to get his hair cut at the marina, bummer I was hoping he was going for the ponytail like a lot of other cruisers!
My last blog ended with us in Bahia Conception for about a week.
One day, I joined other ladies for some watercolor painting,
and even joined a bunch of other old farts for music with Fast Eddie and the Slow Learners. (Fast Eddie used to play for Van Halen).
Finally, it was time to head further south. Our first stop was Calleto San Juanico, which was one of our favorite places and we weren’t disappointed again. This location is really pretty and we were able to hike around to some new spots, not to mention paddle boarding gave us a new perspective.
While in Santispac and in San Juanico we saw a lot of Red Tide. At first glance, it looks like a boat has emptied their septic tank into the bay. It does leave slimy stuff on the bottom of the boats, dinghys, and paddle boards. But at night, it is specatular! The phosphorescent properties of the Red Tide, create an effect that looks like ‘glow in the dark’ sparkles. As we left EZ Duz IT, some friends’ boat last night, the trail in the water from the red tide left from our dinghy was amazing. Bill tried writing his initials in it and I dipped my hand into the water. Upon pulling it out, my hand was a glow with little lighted dots. Absolutly beautiful!!
Side Note: Red Tide
- Having lived in San Diego for 30 years, I was aware but ignorant about the Red Tide. Bill says that he used to hear about ‘Red Tide’ warnings. The Red tide occurs when colonies of algae—simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater—grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. But not all algal blooms are harmful. Most blooms, in fact, are beneficial because the tiny plants are food for animals in the ocean. In fact, they are the major source of energy that fuels the ocean food web. (I don’t know which one this was.)
I even left a momento, using some of my basket making materials, on the cruisers shrine…
We spent a few days in Puerto Escondido, then to Agua Verde.
This is another bay we stayed at last year but this year we met some cruisers who showed us around the village. They took us to a goat farm, where we purchased fresh goat cheese, yum!, and homemade tortillas and later had the best quesadillas!!!
Bill even found the local jail!
Then onto Timbabiche which is a small fishy village. One of our least favorite stops as the current creates a lot of rocking at night. We wanted to stop here to see Casa Grande, a big old house. The story is told that a boatless fisherman in the 1920s found a 5 carat pearl in the waters here. He received enough money for it to build a fleet of fishing boats and build Casa Grande. After his death, it all went to ruin. It makes me wonder if this pearl is this the inspiration for John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. He wandered around this area quite a bit.
We have encountered a lot more rain and cooler weather this year but nothing like poor Whitney and Jason in Boston!
- Some people who know me might describe me as a little bossy and wonder how Bill is surviving 24/7 with me. Just Dandy, thank you! As a little girl, my dad used to call me Lucy from the Peanuts cartoons and my siblings would all say that I had been the bossy older sister. My ‘fab’ friends have a nice term for my bossiness, Captain Kirk. I like to think I have strong leadership skills and am a decision maker with creative ideas. My children are thrilled that Bill will put up with my ‘leadership skills’ and I will admit that I do throw out great suggestions and ideas along the way. But Bill also likes to be in charge and yet no one that I have met that knows him well has described him as bossy. He must just be more subtle about it. To get around being bossed, we have started playing cribbage with the winner being boss for the next day. Now Bill claims to be the Cribbage Master and I am fairly new to the game, so guess who is usually boss? However, what we are finding out is that each one of us struggles when we are not Boss for a Day. We are both used to being the decision maker and have to be reminded who is the boss. Yikes, I have got to work on my game so I can boss him more!
Well, I am off to Boston, brrrr, on March 10 for the birth of Baby Cardozi!!!! We will be putting Just Dandy up in La Paz and Bill is flying back to San Carlos to get his truck and then saunter northward via Palm Springs, San Diego, and Park City. Thanks for all the positive comments about this blog and the concern that I haven’t posted enough. Don’t want to bore you but love sharing!
After many hours of research, work and receiving the blessing from Omar, the mechanic, Bill and I sailed Just Dandy to Bahia San Pedro for a couple of days as a test run. Not only did she run perfectly but the sailors did a mighty fine job themselves. I was afraid that I would have forgotten much of what I learned last year, but it all came back!!! I guess this year I will focus on fine tuning what I learned.
We had such a great time being on the water again. Coconut Express, a boat we had meet in the ship yard was also in the bay. We had fun each trying out our new stand up paddle boards. Mine was very squibbly and I immediately went into the water, brrr…… Turns out I didn’t have near enough air pressure in her. (I have since filled her correctly and am totally ruling the bays!).
Once back in San Carlos, we decided to buddy boat with another boat, Gitana, across the Sea of Cortez, so we set off the next day at 2 a.m., Jan. 12. We made great time, 12 hours! Last year I would do a little dance each time we hit 6 knots but I would have had to dance almost all the way across so I have upped my dance routine to 8 knots!
Of course, sailing for 12 hours requires a lot of coffee but can be tricky with the rocking and rolling of the boat. Bill usually makes 3 cups of coffee but invariably one ends up on the cockpit floor. Oh well, it all washes up easily.
We pulled into Punta Chavata around 2:00 p.m. We have been here before and what a difference it makes pulling into a bay that we are familiar with. (See “And the Winner is Bill”) This time we stayed an extra day and took a long walk along shell beach. Bill immediately covered his ears with shells saying I talk too much and these keep the sound out (imagine that) but I think it is his way of getting back in touch with Dr. Spock and his Vulcan roots. (Look at all the shells behind Bill!!)
We buddy boated again with Gitana to Bahia Conception. At one point, we saw a buoy floating in the water, so I practiced a man over board and was able to get close enough for Bill to fish it out on the first try!!!
Well, we intended to stay in Santispac for a couple of days, we are now going on over a week and may stay until after Superbowl, February 1. There are great people here and there is so much to do.
- first run movies on Mondays
- the veggie lady, artist get together and Happy Hour on Tuesdays
- BBQ Ribs at Ana’s on Thursdays
- Dancing at Armando’s on Fridays, and the list goes on.
We are also hitch hiking into Mulege for internet
As many people here say, “It is like an adult day-care center!”
On a side note: Cruisers are very dependent on being able to hear the weather reports. One person who is heard up and down the Sea of Cortez and all the way down the mainland side of Mexico is Gary. He reports every morning and many of the Cruiser Nets refer to his weather reports. He lives here in Bahia Conception in Burro Bay. Bill and I commented the other day how great it would be to meet him and put a face to the voice. While hitchhiking back to the boat, we get picked up by a man and half back we realize her is the famous Gary!! We were so excited, I am sure we boosted his ego incredibly, oohing and aahing over him. I even took his picture!!
Well, I am sure the hard core sailors we have met are upset that we aren’t sailing more but I should be able to do more sail talk in my next blog. Just know that Bill is sleeping well at night with these last repairs and the great sailing we have done so far!
We think of many of you often and hope all is well, until next time….adios!
From our Christmas tree to yours, Merry Christmas!
This is such a different way for us to spend our holidays, but very festive! We are really going to miss our families but thank goodness for Skype, we will get to talk to them. Plus we have met some really fun and interesting people who have invited us to spend time with them.
But first thing first, Just Dandy is finally in the water!!!!! After almost 2 months, a trip to San Diego for parts, and a lot of time waiting for the master mechanic, we put her in the water, yesterday.
In the meantime, we have been keeping busy. The ex-pat community in San Carlos is busy doing fundraisers for the orphanages. I even got involved by selling my ‘Looney Bins’. In an effort to stay out of trouble and fill up time in the long drives we have done, I have been making baskets. Baskets like you make when in the looney bin, thus the name. However, all the Canadians around here thought I was asking for loonies, the name of their coins, although they never donated any. The cost of my Christmas Boutique booth and a percentage of my sales went to charity. It was a fun day and great to get involved.
Bill and I have also become band groupies. One of the performers we like is Mark Mulligan, the San Carlos Jimmy Buffett. He put together a trip to a small historic town, Alamos, which is about 4 hours from here. We joined a bus load of fun people and spent 3 days at a beautiful hotel, enjoying the history and a great concert.
Well, we are off to watch the Parade of Lights boat parade. We are hoping that everyone has a wonderful holiday and know that we are missing you all!
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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