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Tuesday, June 28, 2005



We’ll, we’ve got another Tropical Storm called Calvin. This one didn’t quite make it to a hurricane, and it’s pretty far south about 100 miles off Acapulco. Calvin is expected to dissipate soon, but there’s a 4th system developing already. According to all the historical data of hurricanes, none have ever come up the Sea of Cortez in July; only 3 tropical storms have made it up the Sea in the last 80 years. So July is pretty safe, but that doesn’t make hearing about them any easier. August and September are the much more dangerous times of year. The Bahia de Los Angeles area is very protected and on the edge of the belt, as we keep reminding ourselves, so we’ll be just fine.

If you want to follow Hurricane developments yourself for the NE Pacific try the national hurricane center:

Monday, June 27, 2005

Santa Rosalia


We spent the day exploring the sea caves at Los Arcos, where the snorkeling was amazing. There were lots of large trigger fish, puffer fish, parrot fish and wrass. Now we are sitting inside the harbor at Santa Rosalia. Our wireless antenna almost got us a connection, but we just couldn’t quite pull in the signal, so we’ll probably have to hike it into town to finally send out all our updates.

Sunday, June 26, 2005



I saw it hidden among the rocks while we were snorkeling – a flash of color and a slight movement. At first I thought it was a plant of some kind, so I watched its strange movements. Then the blobish looking object unfurled and changed from a round ball, to an 8 armed little octopus! It snuck around the side of a rock and before I could blink my eyes, it changed into a jet black color to match the shadows.

I immediately screamed through my snorkel, afraid to take my eyes off the sneaky bugger, “HEEYAM DER ANNN OCTOMUSH DEER!, HEY TAMAN OCTOMUSH!” Sherrell translated snorkel speak and rushed over, saying, “Don’t take your eyes off him!” She called out to the two other couples snorkeling with us that I found an octopus, and I could hear their fins shredding water towards me.

The little guy was probably no bigger than a large softball, but he was lighting fast and could change through a rainbow of colors and patterns in an instant. As everyone gathered round they struggled to spot the 8 armed sneekster. Just as they were beginning to wonder if I’d been in the sun too much, he moved, eliciting a “DER HESSS! MOVN THERR LOOOK”

He unfolded his arms and felt around the rocks and came out into the open, changing from jet black, to red, then to green with yellow spots, then deciding better of it, yellow with green spots. Out in the full light of the sun, he changed to several shades lighter and blended in with the background rocks instantly. I was mesmerized watching him lurk around, looking for food, and changing colors at will. A fish was pestering him, and with a causal lighting fast whip of one of his 8 arms, he sent the fish a message and the fish bolted. We watched him creep around looking for urchins that were easy pickings as he went from rock to rock, until finally Sherrell had to tell me to back off and leave the little critter some space.

It was definitely, by far, the highlight of my day!

I should mention we’re still at Isla San Marcos in a place, dubbed by gringos, “Sweet Pea Cove”. It isn’t really a cove, it’s more of an open bight. Tomorrow we are going to Caleta de los Arcos (Rings Cove) where there are several sea caves, then on to Santa Rosalia!

Thursday, June 23, 2005



We left Bahia Concepcion, hitting a maximum temperature of 124.9 F, for the cooler open anchorage of Santa Domingo. After spending about 3 nights there, unmelting, if that is possible in 100F heat, we set off for Isla San Marcos. The trip was nice, about 30 miles and we sailed about 2/3rds of it. It is much cooler here, the water is refreshing in the 70’s and the cabin temperature stayed below 90, most of the time.

Anyway, this brings me to Beatrice. The summer weather means summer storms down here. We had our first hurricane about 700 miles south of us a month ago. Now we have Tropical Strom Beatrice. This one is much closer, about 450 miles away and inside the boarders of Mexico. We’re not too worried about this one, as it is loosing its punch fast. Hopefully by tomorrow it will be down graded to a depression and then fizzle out.

Nonetheless, it is a very real reminder about the East Pacific hurricanes and we’re going to have to stay on our toes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It got hot


We were down in “Bahia Concepcion” as the heat wave started. In the sun, the temperature climbed well over 100F and the water is in the 89-90 F range. So we left the bay. Now we’re up in Santa Domingo which is at the enterance to the bay. The water here is about 5-10 degrees cooler, the humidity is down to about 50%, and the temperature is about 5-8 degrees cooler too.

Well, we got a small taste of what awaits us in the summer! Yikes. We’re going to have to work on making better sun shades for the deck and the aft part of the cockpit, and I’m going to have to finish my thermoelectric cooler to see if I can extend the life of our ice!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Professional Pet Grooming


Reasonable rates! Guaranteed to make your pet’s hair shorter!

Oceanic Desert Heat


Summer heat is different. It heats your clothes, your skin, but somehow you feel the heat is still external, escapable, like opening the oven door, it washes over you then fades. The desert heat on the ocean isn’t searing. Desert heat creeps up on you. It has stamina. You wake up in the morning feeling warm, not really aware that it coming for you, a cool complacency. Slowing the burning pierces the sky, obliterates any traces of clouds. The atomic fire lights up the burnt landscape where only the cactus seems oblivious to the slow siege. It stalks you slowly, warming the soil, the deck of the boat, the water around you. Then before you know it, the air takes sides with the sky fire and wraps around you like a hot damp towel, basting you, melting you. The sadistic watch the temperature gauge as it climbs past the 100 degree mark in the sun. The desperate seek relief in the water, only to find they’ve been tricked into jumping into a hot salty bath. The desert heat is different. It has been here since time started, burning, burning, tearing apart molecules breaking down all bonds leaving nothing.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

More photos in the gallery


We took a tour from Bahia Concepcion to Mulege with two other boats, Loon III and Icarian. Our guide picked us up from the beach and took us on a fantastic tour of the desert and ancient Indian paintings. He told us the secrets to finding water in the desert, how to make jam from a cactus, which plants were poisonous and even a special cactus flower that’s an aphrodisiac when smoked. He also pointed out the medicinal plants and how to use them. We should be set for the summer, if we can only bare the HEAT!

Since we’re unable to access the internet for now, these logs will all get updated at once. If everything goes well, there should be some new pictures posted in the photo gallery. You’ll see attacking fish, a 500 year old cactus, 4000 year old carvings, and 5000 year old paintings. Don’t miss it.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Cat Fish


If there’s a splash on the water keep your eyes on the deep, because these guys rise from the shadows to see what landed in the water. It doesn’t matter if it’s me diving in, or a tomato, these fish rise up and come in close to see if it’s eatable. The attacked a tomato, drug it down to the bottom, fought over it, and it was never seen again. I call them “Sherrell’s Monsters” because they like to come in close when you’re swimming to see if you’d make a good snack, and it freaks Sherrell out. She prefers to watch the monsters from the boat.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Buzz the Cat


We’re slowing baking in the heat. It got up to 94F inside the boat and the water temperature is 89F. Jezebel was so hot, that we decided to pull out the clippers and give her a buzz cut. We removed her fur in handfuls for almost 30 minutes. By the time we were done, our cat lost half her size and most of her hair. There’s nothing professional about this hair-cut, that’s for sure. It looks like she got in between two lawnmowers fighting over a psychotic weed eater. Well, I guess we can cut “professional pet grooming” of the list of possible future jobs.

At least she seems to like having a lot less fur, it’s 8:30 am and 83.3F this morning and she’s curled up instead of spread out on the floor. That’s an improvement, but once it gets up in the 90’s I don’t think there’s any way to still feel cool. It will be an interesting summer!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sea Within a Sea

Bay of Conception is a cool spot that is well protected from all wind directions.  The coolest part is there are several little islands and lots of beaches to check out.  The water is an amazing 82 degrees and there’s lots of fish life in the water.  There aren’t many boats here now, but we’ve heard that a large crowd of boats (20 to 30) gather here for 4th of July.


From our informal count of boats heading to Bay of Los Angeles for the summer we estimate about 20 boats will be spending the summer up there.  A little bigger crowd than we had hoped for, but the place is big and I’m sure we’ll find lots of places to ourselves.


We made some tortillas yesterday and today we are going to check out Coyote Island and Santa Barbara Beach before heading to another little anchorage here.  This place is so compact that in a good hour you can do a full tour.  It’s pretty cool to be in such a large bay, but full of things to see.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Power of Satelites

Well, some kind sole here in Bahia Concepcion is allowing public wireless access to their satellite uplink for 1 hour a day.  So through this link (there’s no phones here) I’m able to update some of our website.  Check out the 6 new photos in the Photo Gallery of Baja Mexico!


Bahia Concepcion

Well, we spent a couple of weeks moving up the sea from Loreto.  We met up with Loon III and Icarian in the roadstead anchorage at Loreto and explored the town together.  For cruisers, this means wandering every street looking for the freshest produce, cheapest internet connection, cheapest beer, and fuel (and for those of us without refrigeration, ice).  We did manage to visit the old Mission museum, which was kind of interesting but that was about all we had time for site-seeing.  When we couldn’t walk another step, we headed back to the boats, weighed anchor and headed to Isla Coronado for the night, just a few miles away.  Sherrell and I decided to stay an extra night at Coronado and watched the sting rays jumping all over like popcorn.  We then went on to La Ramada, just north of our intended destination of Caleta San Juanico to get out of the strong SE winds and swell.  We found Loon and Icarian hiding in there as well and they showed us a nice hike that went over to the bay.  Gazing out on the beautiful bay of San Juanico, we all decided that we should move there.  No to mention there was a strange Northerly swell that rolled us from side to side making it very unpleasant and the late night Katabatic winds blew like a banshee from the west all night long.


There seemed to be no good summer refuge in this area, as we tried to hide behind some rocky reefs and rocks from the SE winds in San Juanico, while we explored the beaches and snorkeled.  But despite the beauty, after 3 days of suffering the steep wind waves, we left the other boats and did a long haul (12 hours) to Bahia Concepcion—a much more protected area.


On the way up, we had north winds the entire way, while the other boats down in San Juanico still had strong SE.  So as luck would have it, our own personal headwinds forced us to motor-sail almost the entire way.  We did see a large school of dolphins who leapt 6+ feet out of the water in unison, many large manta rays doing perfect back flips, and Boobies (the avian type) trying to land on our boat for a free ride.


Anyway, we’re going to hang out in this area for a while, before heading further north.  If you’re able to read this, then through the miracle of technology and the generosity of someone here, we are connecting to you via a wireless link that is routed through a satellite connection once a day at 7-8 am.  There are no phones here, no power, but we’ve found ice, some provisions and lots of little protected islands to explore.