Saturday, December 17, 2011


The first time we came thru Mazatlan we were in a hurry.  Didn't get away from the marina district while there, and left feeling real indifferent about it.  The second time thru we came to like it a lot.  

Old town Mazatlan is very European.  Many of the buildings date back to the 1860's, a time in US history when settlement west of the Mississippi consisted of scattered ranches and cow towns.  


Gallery courtyard

Leather wall hanging

Universities, music conservatories and artist galleries are prominent fixtures of Old Town, along with a plethora of really good resturants.  We look forward to returning this coming spring while returning to the Sea of Cortez for one more summer.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We are in a marina in Mazatlan.  We had a great trip down.  Lots of wind makes for lots of speed.  We got here about 6 hours short of three days, averaging about 6.5 knots.  Thats real good for us.

More later

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Leaving San Carlos

Our damaged parts have been repaired.

We took a nice long walk with Kara, Ann and Dave from Taking Flight.  It was a perfect day, cool without wind.  Kara and Judy had problems with sandles rubbing hot spots on their feet, neither one cried.

We saw some horses grazing near the road on the way back, which made Kara's day.   They may be wild, as they seem to be wandering about in the hills all the time.

Finally, it is time for us to move on.  We are going to make a four day passage to Mazatlan.  Have not done a long one for quite a while.  Will be nice to get further south, as its been cold up here.  Morning temps are in the high 50's, afternoon's only in the 70's.  Way to cold for us aclimitized gringos

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I've always felt lucky to have been born in the USA, the best place in the world.  I still want to believe this, but times have changed, and I'm not sure anymore that the US is the best.

How would one objectively determine the best place?

I don't really know, but this chart seems to be as good a place to start as any.  It looks at the poverty levels in the developed world, income distribution, the level of resources devoted to preparing preschool children for school and quality of health care.  It also has an overall measure termed "social justice" that the report describes as: "The differences in the prevention of poverty and access to educational opportunities...".  The report clearly demonstrates, the US is not the best place to be if you are poor.  In the US chances are if you are poor, you will remain poor and so will your children.

A large and growing permanent underclass is as much a threat to domestic tranquility as any threats from abroad.  In 2010 the US was responsible for 43% of the entire world's defense expenditures.  The Chinese spent 7.3%.  I think we can safely take a few billion from the military to educate our children and care for our sick and poor.  Besides, if our wacko politicians had a few less toys to play with we might not send our kids on dangerous, silly, expensive overseas escapades.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Took a walk with Ian of Kassasa yesterday through a gap in the hills near the "Goats' Tits" to the bay north of San Carlos.  It was quite a nice walk, as much for the cultural immersion as the beautiful scenery.

The "Goats' Tits"

Memorial markers are quite common

Memorial markers with a sense humor..
not so common

Defacing road signs..
quite common
often very funny

Condo on a hill....
residents take the spiral road
after passing inspection at the prison tower gate

Lady of Guadalupe....
her image is everywhere

 Repairs have started on the stainless damaged when we were run over the other day.  Hopefully we can begin moving again next week.  Probably will stay on the east side of the Sea of Cortez while making for Mazatlan.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Yesterday a large power boat in the next slip ran us over.  He was backing in, after a day out fishing, when a gust of wind blew him into Grace, snagging our dinghy davit, driving it through his window, snapping the 1 1/2 inch stainless tube like a cheap pretzel.  The stern pulpit is also damaged.  The owner of the boat, a 50+ foot Hatteras has agreed to pay to costs of the repair, so as of now we are not filling an insurance claim.

Davit twisted 90 degrees

Snapped davit and bent tubing.

Damage to the Hatteras

This morning we turned Grace around in the slip so the stainless repairman could get better access to it, so the pictures don't really show the large amount of room he had to get into his slip.  A 20 knot gust of wind blew him down on us, but in my mind he was just going to darn fast for the conditions and could not respond quick enough.

We will be here in San Carlos for a week or so getting this fixed, so our plans are now up the the air.  The one fixed date we have is November 22, in Mazatlan for bottom painting.  Should make that with no problem.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


We have left Behia de Los Angeles and are beginning to make our way south now that the hurricane season is coming to an end.  Our first stop: San Carlos.  It is about 150 miles to the southeast of BLA on the easteren shore of the Sea of Cortez.  It is also a return to the world of internet, cell phones, marinas, good resturants and hotels.  In a word: Gringo.  BLA is a wonderful place, and we look forward to returning, but its very nice to be here too.
We anchored outside the marina for the first couple days waiting for a slip to open in the very busy marina.

Approaching San Carlos

San Carlos entrance

Tetas de Cabra (Goats' Teats)

Golden Eagle

We dropped the hook next to Golden Eagle, not knowing we would soon be helping Larry and Karen on Panta Rhei tow them 19 miles down the coast to Guaymas.  His engine broke down while he was sailing to San Carlos, and Panta Rhei towed them to safety here, and agreed to take him to Guaymas later for repairs.

Towing Golden Eagle

Larry and Karen
Unfortunetely this is the last of Larry and Karen we will see for some time, as they are heading to Panama for Christmas and then thru the South Pacific to New Zealand.  We are sad to see them go, as they have become great friends, but happy for them that they will be realizing a long held dream.  Good Luck you guys!


Monday, October 10, 2011


We have returned to the village in Behia de Los Angeles, having left Puerto Refugio yesterday. 

Today is internet and veggie day. 

Tomorrow we will probably head out to Punta Alacrans.  Winds have been brisk from the north making the Sea of Cortez extremely lumpy, so we will wait until the sea has settled a bit, then head east across the Sea to San Carlos.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


We made it into BLA just in time for our first Chabsco while at anchor.  The winds hit 50 knots, and the seas were building alarmingly.  Luckily, the winds shifted to the south, reducing the fetch and reducing greatly the waves that were striking us.  Everyone made it through ok.

We will be staying here until the hurricane seasons ends in about 6 to 8 weeks.  There is internet here in the village, but we are at the end of a very long pipe line, service is slow or non existant. 

Clouds are building to the east of us as I write this.  Hope we are not hit again.

Check out:

Monday, August 29, 2011


The weather looks as good as it can get, nothing brewing anywhere close to us, so off we go.  Today we will travel north to Behia San Franciscito, then the next day we will complete the trip to Behia de Los Angeles.

We will be out of touch the majority of our stay thru September and October.  We will start south again when the hurricane season is over in November.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


We've been waiting for a break in the weather to head north.  Thunder storms along the east coast of the Sea of Cortez have been what are holding us up.  Sometimes the storms rush across the Sea with wind velocities of 50 to 60 knots.  Not something to take a chance on encountering while making the night sail 80 miles to the next bay.

Today most of the build ups are occuring on the Baja side.  There are also winds associated with these, but they last only a fraction of the time winds from the east coast do.  So maybe tonight.....

Check out the weather site that we are watching religiously:

Friday, August 26, 2011


I skyped a Seattle friend the other day and he told me summer had arrived.  The temprature got way up into the 80's for a couple days, and people were complaining about the heat.  I remember days like that and I remember complaining too. 

Now, having become acclimatized to Mexican summer, I would probably be like the Mexicans, and wear a jacket and even a ski hat whenever the temprature dropped so low.  No kidding, I have seen them dress like that, especially during those few frigid days when it gets down into the 70's.

Its HOT here.  Not Seattle hot but Bessemer furnace hot.  I would melt down to a pool of molten protoplasm except for sweat.  Not girly Seattle perspiration, but sweat that drenches my clothing and cascades to the ground, leaving a steaming trail behind that evaporates in seconds.  Survival sweat.  Sweat that accompanies me everywhere, even while taking a shower.  Showers here just replace old sweat with new sweat.   Pull on a fresh pair of shorts and a clean shirt afterwards and within a hundred yards they're both drenched and dripping.  I drink oceans of Gatorade daily, pee teaspoons and never really catch up until the sun sets and the boat cools. 

Activity around Santa Rosalia comes to a near halt around 1 o'clock.  People retreat to the shady shelter of front porches hidden behind cooling vines, shrubs and trees, or better yet to the one or two rooms cooled by a window air conditioner.  The unfortunate few who must be about hug the shady side of the street, darting quickly over broiling unshaded pavement.  Its siesta time.  I never could figure why a person would want to break up thier work day with an afternoon nap, but I get it now. 

About seven in the evening the town starts to stir. Street vendors set up for the evening crowd that emerges as the sun sets. By eight things are in high gear. People are lined up at their favorite taco stand, the parks are filled with skateboarders and the ice cream pallor is standing room only.

Life is good again.

We were set to leave Santa Rosalia last night, bound for our hurricane hide a way in the Bay of Los Angeles, but some threatening lightening storms caused us to stay put.  Maybe tonight we will start the overnight run north.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


One of my favorite parts of the Seattle Times Newspaper's Sunday edition was the then and now photos of Seattle.  Here are some then and now of Santa Rosalia.  "Then" pictures come from a mural hanging in the local mining museum.  Don't know when it was drawn, but the mine looks to be in full operation.




One more from the mural.


The houses in Santa Rosalia might have been for workers in the ore refining plant.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I haven't been real good about blogging.  Our life has been a bit prosaic, and I don't want to be a bore.  About the most lively thing we've done lately is take a hike thru the local cemetery.  Kind of proves my point that things have been deadly dull.

Santa Rosalia is a small copper mining town. It lies at the bottom of a narrow valley.

The hills to the north of town are scared by scores of old mine shafts, piles of mine tailings and abandoned ore refining facilities.

Across the valley cemeteries cover the hills.


We heard that in the fifty years the mine was in operation some 20,000 miners died.  I tried to verify this number, but could not find any mention of it on the internet.  It's safe to say, though, many folks crossed the valley from north to south feet first.