Saturday, September 15, 2012

A lot has happened since we put Gypsy Moon up on the hard in San Carlos Mexico in April, 2011 but for now I'll stick to The Gypsy Moon bits. This is the busy time of year for the boat lift and yard in San Carlos, a lot of people put their boat on the hard and head North until the hot summer and hurricane season passes. One of the major challenges is to find a way to get our cat, Cypress across the border. We had planned on taking a bus to the states and renting a car to return to California. (I started to say "to return home" then I thought, no, Gypsy is my home). We discovered the "luxury" bus to Tucson does not allow cats onboard. Some suggested that we try to smuggle the cat on the bus, but he has this trick of becoming the incredible hulk cat when in his carrier. Every option analyzed, our best hope was to score a ride across the border, at a minimum for the cat and hopefully us as well. It is a very friendly gringo community with many ex-pats living in San Carlos, and by talking to everyone with a dog (figured they would be or know pet friendly people) we managed to get a ride for Cypress, and ourselves as well. Happy days they had an empty truck bed too! We were able to bring a good bit of luggage too! The day came for the "haul out". We waited our turn, and Marcus guided her to the seawall where the spidery looking trailer waited. The boat trailer is capable of hauling boats out twice as long as ours so it is very long and has "arms" that operates on hydraulics. The trailer is positioned under the boat and the arms are adjusted just right for the 2 mile trip to the boat storage yard. As Gypsy Moon headed down the road, we felt homeless. It was a very strange feeling, and we started walking, following our home of the last 5 months down the road. It takes quite a bit to properly prepare a boat to face the blistering summers in San Carlos. Sails are removed from the boat so the winds won't cause them to come unfurled and severely damaged. Portholes are lined with foil to help keep the sun out and abate a bit of the heat. All through hulls are stuffed with something that will allow water to exit the boat during the heavy rains, and still keep out the creepy crawlies out, and you can't forget to scatter Rat poison around. Don't want to end up with wasp’s nests or find that rats have chewed through your wiring. Everything inside should be opened up to allow a bit of circulation inside, cushion up on end, and foodstuffs given to the guards in the yard. What to take, what to leave, it is a lot of work, and all done while the boat is up on stilts and you access her by climbing up and down a 9 foot ladder. We prepared her the best we could and headed back "home" to replenish the cruising kitty. We fully intended to return in the fall to resume our adventures, but circumstances sometimes get in the way.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I wouldn't have missed it for the world

Here is the link to our last leg from Puerto Escondido to San Carlos. We are at: N 27 56 856 W 111 03 354

20 miles from San Carlos. Final leg, then home. Mixed feelings, sad to be going, so much left to see, so much we wanted to experience, see, do. So many anchorages we were determined to explore but didn’t get to. We have to remind ourselves to be thankful for experiences we were able to have, places we have been, people we have met. It has been an extraordinary experience that most people only dream about.
Songs running through my head,
It’s Over: Roy Orbison
I Had The Time Of My Life
I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World
I Drove All Night: Celine Dion (heading home to family!)
Back to “the real world” or a different real world. What will we do? How can we save enough to make sure we can come back. Will we be different, I’m sure we will.
I will miss:
The colors of the sea, rosticarias, the Mercado; friends I have made, quiet anchorages, sunrises, sunsets, sheer rock walls, rowing the dinghy, not wearing shoes, huge papayas, taking the bus, wide open spaces . . .
I am looking forward to:
Long hot showers, ice cold drinks, washers and dryers, green salads, ice, refrigerators, endless water, FAMILY, friends and church!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Beach Blanket Bingo

Beach party at Agua Verde, BBQ fish, rice and potatoe salad with pineapple upside down cake for desert! Ahhh this is the life!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Agua Verde

4/2/2011 Here we are in Agua Verde, we had planned on spending the night in Los Gatos, but our buddy boat, Mangareva was not comfortable with the anchorage, so we decided not to chance it. If we hustled, we could make it to Agua Verde before sunset and be settled in a secure anchorage. It is beautiful here and we are swimming distance to the landmark rock where snorkeling is reported to be great. Looks like the North winds will be back day after tomorrow, so we will probably just sit them out here, it is a large bay with a small village and is quiet with several different options for anchoring and exploring.

This portion of the trip has been much calmer, with day trips to get to different anchorages. The weather still dictates our travels as the trip from Isla San Francisco to Everesto was spent bashing against the waves kicked up by the North wind. It is uncomfortable and really slows us down so that instead of 4-5 knots or better and a 3 hour trip, we are running 2 knots as we ride one wave up, stall and slide down the other side. Took us closer to 5 hours and don’t even want to talk about the fuel economy. I’ve had a call for more pictures, but one of the problems is that the beauty just does not translate to photos. I think if I had a speed boat, I could be in the right place at the right time to get the lighting just right, but with a sailboat, you get what you get. Everesto was so beautiful, a good sized bay with small village where fish buyers come to purchase fish from the pangas, keeping the bay busy with pangas coming and going from early until after dark. We were able to purchase a yellow fin from a fisherman, for 17 pesos, or less than $15 dollars. It was amazing to see him expertly fillet and skin the fish into 4 large pieces. Even though we split the fish with Mark and Gail from Mangareva, and had Bill and Jack from Slow Dance over for a fish dinner, we will be hard pressed to eat it all. And it is DELICIOUS!! In the morning there were sing rays leaping, and flipping that went right by the boat. It looks like they are trying to fly. Even though the water was not clear, they passed so close we could see the ghostly images of the mass of rays underneath the water, gliding by with their underwater wings. I will be sure to stop by here again. Calita Partida just north of Espiritu Santo, was just my favorite stop so far, rays jumping, puffer fish, and sea turtles! Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida are separated by the smallest sliver of an estuary that is navigable by dinghy. Mark and Gail invited us to go snorkeling with them on the other side of the island, and we headed up the estuary. It was pretty shallow at times, but we made it, and had a great time zooming up the coast looking for the perfect spot to snorkel, and just seeing the beauty of the rocks was worth the exciting dinghy ride. Returning after a successful snorkeling trip, we found, although the tide should have been higher, we were required to get out and walk the dinghy as we bottomed out in the soft sand.

La Paz and Bandalera

Short stay in La Paz, didn’t do it justice, but we have had more than our share of city life of this trip.

Sunday we headed out to find the Crossroads church friends had told us about. It is especially difficult because most streets have no signs, a common theme of Mexican cities, and it is a very small church tucked behind a store, so unless you see the sign up high on the building, you will miss it. Entrance is a walkway between two buildings. A small church, but Marcus and I liked it very much. Met “Two Can Play” and they were very nice, as we have found cruisers to be.

Walked to the former CCC to provision for our trip North, as there will be few stores, and of course the prices will be much higher. We were surprised that the food here in La Paz costs more than in Mazatlan, but I have been told it is because it needs to be imported. Both at the grocery store and the Mercado, we found the produce left a lot to be desired.

We really liked the feel of La Paz, it feels welcoming and inviting, and there are fewer bars on the doors and windows. Less crime here.

Headed to Bandalera, where we spent a rocky night. Just cannot seem to get away from those corumels. A corumel is a brisk wind that comes up from the south, southwest during the night, most of the time unexpectedly, and can be anywhere from 10-20 knots. Because of this, you need to be very careful when anchoring, projecting where the boat might swing with tides and wind changes.

Didn’t head out too early, hoping to take advantage of early afternoon winds, but early enough for the tides to be in our favor. We put up both the mail and the jib and sailed North/west, we wanted to go North, but it seems, wherever you are headed, that is where the wind comes from. Sailed NW for 1 ½ hours out and 1 hour NE and made all of 1 mile towards our destination. Welcome to our world of sailing. Just a few miles from Caleta Partida, our next stop, we decide to motorsail a more direct route. Coming up behind us, we see Talion, a boat we have been seeing along the way. The were anchored at Balandra with us, and left after we did. Once again, they cruise past us and we long for a bigger engine.
We have had to resign ourselves to the fact that we tend to be slower than other boats. We have been trying to figure out if there is something we can do, as this boat is designed to be pretty quick, more of a racer cruiser. It seems most boats here have bigger engines, and can cut right through chop and waves. We can point very high is this boat, which means we can sail almost into the wind. Our sails are old and tired, and we would do better with a new mail sail, possibly next year we can find a nice used main that will suit our needs. Seems here in the Sea of Cortez there is either too much wind or not enough.

Catching Up

3/20/2011 Spent Saint Patrick’s day eating at El Carbon, listening to some killer jazz, and celebrating Marcus’s birthday with new and old cruiser friends. It was so much fun!! Closed the place down, course it was only 9:30, but that is late by cruiser standards!

The next morning we jumped up, and headed for La Paz, actually Calita Lobos, just outside La Paz. La Paz is 58 miles, and didn’t want to trying to enter in the dark. We sailed several hours in more wind than anticipated, it was exciting, and really cooled off a warm day. Seem there is much more motoring than sailing happening so it was very nice.

Anchored at Caleta Lobos, choosing not to go to the back of the little cove, close to the mangrove swamp and bugs, but still felt like it was a good spot. During the night the winds picked up and we knew the back of the cove is where we should have been, the 3 boats anchored there were not bouncing around, however we were rocking like a hobby horse. I told Marcus to pretend he was being rocked to sleep. Like being rocked to sleep by an angry mother.

Another lesson learned, this trip has been more like an education rather than a vacation most people assume we are on.

Sometimes you are so busy looking for the beautiful sunset, you miss the amazing moonrise behind you.