Friday, December 14, 2012

There is truth here.  Mexican love their music.  They love it more when it is loud.  They love it best when it keeps them awake and ready to party 4:30am.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wanna remake yourself?

Beach Bob can help.  He has a beautiful home on the beach in Behia Los Angeles, and he will sell it to you.  You can be the new Beach Bob, Beach Jerry, Beach Paul, or Beach Bum.  I don't know the exact price, but you can afford it.  Really. 

The House

The View

The Living Room

The Neighborhood
The Beach






Beach Bob's house is on leased land.  The lease runs for several years and he has had no problem renewing it.  He pays about a hundred a month.  There is no electricity or water, but most of people like it this way.  Water is delievered from town whenever needed, and this part of Mexico is perfect for solar power. 

There are plans to run a paved road down to Beach Bob's neighborhood, along with electricity.  Prices will go up when this happens, so act quick.

Behia Los Angeles is about an 8 hour drive from San Diego on paved roads.  The village has adequate shopping.  Internet, TV and telephone are available.  The sun shines every day.

Ok, Beach Bob says make an offer.  About $30k would spike his interest.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back at Santa Rosalia.......

And it feels good.  We left Puerto Don Juan last week, making several stops before getting here. The first time we came to Santa Rosalia the consensus was that is is a dump.  Now we realize it has good things going for it.  Ice Cream. Internet. Showers. Pizza.  You get the idea.  And yes, it may be a bit dumpy, but the people are very nice and the shopping is good.

We are tied up in Fonatur Marina, a Mexican government operation. There are five marinas in the Sea;  Mazatlan, La Paz, Puerto Escondido, Guaymas and Santa Rosalia.  It is nice to have a place to tie up, take a break, and get some beer and fuel.  There are only seventeen boats here today.  Revenue for today is probably about $500, which is typical.  This pays the salaries of seven or eight full time and a couple part time employees plus supports the cost of maintenance.  This is not a good business model.  I hope the Mexicans don't close them.

The facilities are identical in every marina.  The steel beams have numbers welded on them. Assembly by the numbers.  Its a nice way to save money. 

They saved a bunch on the docks, too.  They are also identical from marina to marina, and barely sufficient to do the job, being made from plastic and aluminum, with a few pilings scattered about to keep them from floating away.  People say this type of dock was designed for use in lakes, where the weather is more benign and the boats are not heavy ocean capable cruisers.

This afternoon were a having 25 to 35 knot winds blowing across the piers, putting them under high stress.  Our 36,000 pound boat is tied to this cheesy pier that is just wide enough to walk on, floating on styrofoam blocks, lacking support from a piling, connected to the main body of the dock by a few clamps tightened around an aluminium rail.  I don't feel real secure right now with this wind, and have run a line from the end of our finger pier, under the bowsprit of a boat, and tied it to a piling a couple slips away.  Hopefully this will take some of the side loads off the pier.

We were the last cruising boat to leave the BLA area this year.  We always seem to be behind the pack, and kind of like it.  The anchorages are usually empty, and it feels good to be alone, except for our buddies on Windsong.

Leaving an empty Puerto Don Juan

We felt a bit nostalgic leaving.  We won't be back this way again, and we will miss the place and the people we have met here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Start of the 1st Annual Behia de los Angeles Regatta 

We migrated back to the village in BLA.  Ran out of beer and soda.  Judy is continuing to mend slowly, and may be ready to some sailing soon.  We are waiting for our sailing buddies on Windsong to arrive from San Carlos, then we will be out of here.

Entrance of Puerto Don Juan
(from inside Don Juan)

Monday, September 17, 2012


Behia De Los Angeles, or BLAH to cruisers, is where we're at.  We have been at anchor in Puerto Don Juan, about 7 miles to the east, for a little over a week.  It is the local hurricane hole.  Surrounded on all sides by land, with very small fetch and therefore almost no waves.  The water is flat no matter what the wind is doing.  This is what we have needed for the last week or so, Judy hurt her back while riding a dingy thru a patch of rough water, and has been on her back unable to move.  The quite water has been essential for her recovery, which has been progressing slowly. 

More later.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Outbound to San Francisquito

Glad I don't have to say San Francisquito more then a few times a year.  I have been trying to say it right, but have a hard time with the abrupt transition between francis and quito. 

Its about an 80 mile run, and will bring us to within 50 miles of  Puerto Don Juan, which is the hub we will circle around for the next 6 weeks.  Don Juan is a great hurricane hole, it is a small bay, virtually surrounded on all sides by land.  The geography of the place is ideal for hiding out from the killer storms.  There are 10 or 15 other anchorages within a short distance of Don Juan, plus there is a small village in Behia de Los Angeles where we can provision and refuel plus there are two internet stores. 

I would probably not spend much time there if it were not for hurricanes, but I am looking forward to getting there.  Its the destination we have been heading toward since leaving Puerto Vallarta back in May, plus it becomes cruiser central for all the folks who are spending the summer on their boats.  It can become quite social.

We will leave probably early Monday morning, about 2a.m. so that we can get into San Francisquito before the normal starting time for Chubascos.  Delaying departure until 2a.m. also gives us the chance to make sure there will be no Chubascos in the early morning hours, prime time for them to arrive on the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez, having travelled across the Sea from Sonora.

You can check out the web site we will be using to make the go/no go decision.  The address is  Scroll down to the first color chart.  That shows current thunderstorm development, which give rise to chubascos.

Santa Rosalia has not improved much over the last year.  The big mining project that was turning it into a boom town has seen some reversals.  The city budget does not seem to include any clean up crews.  It is very very dirty.  We know several Mexicans who are cruising up here who are embarrassed by the mess and the locals acceptance of it and their propensity to toss liter almost everywhere except in the garbage cans that are fairly common through out town.

Its a shame the mine is not putting much money into the city coffers, I think if they had the money they would keep it cleaner.

One neat thing about Sta. Rosalia this year is the absence of cruisers.  There are only four boats with crew on board.  There are may 20 boats that are being stored here w/o crew.  As a consequence there are very few gringos in town.  Its kind of nice for a change.  Three of the boats are leaving tomorrow or the next day, so gringos are going to be quite rare here.

Will check in again from the village in BLA.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Buster has been with us for about 21 years, not always willingly.  During his first nine years he lived next to Carkeek Park in Seattle.  His back yard was an old growth forest, where he got to be a real cat, hunting birds and squirrels and being hunted by raccoons and coyotes.   The next seven or eight years his universe contracted quite a bit.  He was an indoor cat living on the fourth floor of a condo.  The deck was his outdoors  He didn't seem preturbed by this lose of space.  He spent the bulk of his days laying in front of the fireplace, and he did have enough room to race about, usually about 4am.

The last and greatest shrinkage of his universe was when we moved aboard Grace.  He lost well over 90% of the room he had in the condo.  He did ok when we were in the marina, as he could get off the boat and roam about on his dock meeting people and other cats, but he HATED being underway.  He learned our routine preparing the boat for a trip fairly quickly; the bustle of Judy stowing things safely away and my checking the engine water and oil levels we reliable clues of a bad day ahead, and when suspicions were confirmed by the start of our noisy rattling engine, off he with his sister Daisy would go, diving under covers in the V-berth where they would usually remain all day.

Now he no longer seems to care.  Anchored, underway or tied up to a dock his days filled with sleeping and eating glide by seemlessly.

He has given up exploring when we get into a marina, old age finally stealing away his interest in the outside world.  He does a walk about on deck several times a day, sniffs the air, but no longer wants off the boat.  Thank goodness for this.  We think he has cat-hiemers.  When he gets out of  sight of the boat he doesn't seem able to find his way aback.  He was lost once for a week in a neighborhood next to Marina Vallarta, all the while not more then 200 or 300 yards away from the boat.  We looked for him every night, finally finding him walking the breakwater. 

His only excercise now-a-days is moving to a new place to sleep.  He settles in for a time, then wakes, checks his food bowl, nibbles a bit, then finds another spot and falls back to sleep. 

He is nothing but skin and bones, yet he eats a can of food every day.  Considering what he consumes he should be a fatty.  We were concerned about his weight and took him to a vet while in Puerto Vallarta.  The vet was amazed at Busters good health and felt that his skinnyness was not an issue.  I think being thin has helped with his longevity.

Buster is winding down however.  He sometimes cannot jump up to the v-berth, three feet above the deck, ending up with claws dug into the mattress, struggling to pull himself up the rest of the way.  When his sister Daisy had this problem we built her a carpeted ramp out of a stray 2x6.  We can't do this for Buster 'cause there ain't no scrap 2x6's anywhere in Mexico, besides we don't want a large piece of timber on board that could fly around the cabin when things get wild.  Daisy lasted about six months walking that plank every day until one day she fell off into the great abyss.  My guess is Buster has about the same amount of time left, perhaps less as the stress of living in the heat down here was not an issue with Daisy.

When Buster goes we will miss him a lot.  We couldn't replace him by filling his space with another cat, so it will be time for us to be free of pets for a while.

He's not a real handsome fellow

Monday, August 13, 2012

La Paz to Santa Rosalia

We completed the 300 mile journey from La Paz to Santa Rosalia Sunday August 5th, taking a bit more then a month.  We were able to day-sail the entire way, making 14 stops. 

It was a glorious trip, perfect in all ways except for the unending boat issues.  But dealing our boat issues is the cost of admission, and can be part of the fun, when they don't crush ones spirit, suck the joy of life out of one, or make one(me) feel like the end of our cruise is at hand because of ignorance and lack of common sense.

But, soul wrenching ennui aside, we love being here in this part of Mexico.  It is a little slice of heaven, with sweet gentle people, magnificant scenery and warm waters teeming with sea life.  This 300 mile stretch has got to be one of the best cruising areas in the world.

Brothers in Everisto

Agua Verde

Puerto Escondido

Isla Danzante

Mating Ritual?
God of the Headland

 The rays belly flop back into the water with a loud splash.  There were times that hundreds of these guys were flying about Grace.  I sometimes felt a little leary on being on deck....they have fearsome stingers.

V'ger anchored in Candeleros


We were joined in Puerto Escondido by our friends Andrew and Anne on Windsong who are sharing thier summer cruise with thier lucky grandsons Nic and Greg.  They were great company and worthy Farkle opponents.  Windsong left Saturday for the States via San Carlos to take the boys home.  We were sorry to see them leave, and hope to reconnect with Anne and Andrew and possibly Nic again this fall.

Isla Coronados
atop a dormant volcano
SV Grace is the second furthest speck
in the Bay

Nic making a trail cairn

We are waiting in Santa Rosalia for a "Care Package" of parts that I will use, hopefully, to repair our water maker, gen-set, and alternator. (see "ennui" above)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Adieu La Paz

Grace will be leaving La Paz tomorrow, so I guess it would be nice for my reader (thanks Mom) to post an update. 

We had a marvelous time in La Paz.  The highlight being a visit from our good friends Randy and Donna.  Randy and I worked together at the Lazy "B" (The Boeing Company) for many years.  He is thinking about retiring soon, so short Boeing stock.  He is one of the guys there who actually give 8 for 8.  Airplane production is sure to plummet.

Watch that rope Donna!

Ensenada Grande

Randy, Donna, dogs, & a beach front fixer
with a view

Sometimes it
takes more then a capable
vehicle to get around in Mexico

Three down, five to go...

Raising the main

We did a six day mini cruise north to one of the many islands near La Paz, then went a bit furthur to San Everisto, a very small fishing village about 50 miles from La Paz.  During the six days aboard, Randy and Donna got a real good idea of what cruising a small sail boat is all about.  We had: mechanical breakdowns, high winds at anchor, a beautiful scrambling hike up an arroyo off Ensenada Grande beach, a couple days of wonderful sailing on flat water, an afternoon motoring into wind and lumpy seas.  We  drank  cervezas in a beachfront palapa while the palapa's mascota was giving birth to a litter of puppies, did a drive down to Cabo San Lucas and generally had a wonderful time just hanging out.  It was the Reader Digest version of our life in Mexico.  Thank you Randy and Donna.  Come again.  Anytime!

Since they went home we've been doing boat projects.  There was a three day stretch where I never left the boat.  Almost every big project got done, except changing the water maker membranes.  I can do that at anchor.

We will be making our way north to spend the hurricane season in Bahia de Los Angeles.  It is well north of 26 degrees latitude, and usually is not affected by hurricanes, but has one of the best hurricane holes in all of Mexico nearby just in case.