Please go to our main page here for our new blog page.

Friday, September 30, 2005

It's hitting the fan

Otis is going to give us trouble one way or another.  It’s going to be here around Monday.  Hopefully it follows its predicted path and travels up the outside of the Baja before crossing over to us.  If it does this, it will loose power down to a Tropical Storm and we’ll expect to see torrential rains and 40-50 knot winds.  If we get lucky and it turns out to sea (doubtful) then it will be just another day in paradise.  Either way, we’ll be out of touch until later next week.  You can watch the action from the safety of your home:


Look for OTIS in the Eastern Pacific.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Well, Otis could be coming our way in the next few days.  It’s not expected to get much bigger than a category 1, and the current models show it going on the outside of Baja, then curving inland towards Bay of LA.  However if it follows this track, it will be killed by the land before reaching us.  The problem is the center of the storm is difficult to find due to the convection around it and it is moving slowly, both of those things make the models unpredictable.  Keep your fingers crossed that Otis turns out west and burns out.


The other strange thing is that a week ago almost half of the boats up here decided to head back south.  Hurricane season is just getting dangerous this time of year because they start to “recurve” and head towards Mexico instead of Hawaii.  We’re not sure why so many boats decided it was all over and left, but there are only about 14 boats left here, when there were 30.  Hopefully the season is winding down after Otis, but we’re still sitting tight.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Back in the B of LA Again

Traveling down the outside of Isla Angel de la Guardia was a bit of a bust in terms of sailing, but the scenery made up for it. We had to motor down the entire outside stretch, often against some strong current of 3 to 4 knots. On the way up we sailed like crazy in 20 to 30 knots of wind, so I guess we had to pay the price on the return trip.

Anyway, it was great to come back to town and pick up some ice and cold cokes. Oh, and we found 3 Dr. Peppers in one of the lockers! Wow! You can’t find Dr. P anywhere and we discovered them in La Paz and bought a bunch. So months ago I thought we’d run dry. Our pleasures are simple out here, and I was delirious when Sherrell found three cans rolling around! Now there’re on ice!

Cat Attack!

Well, the vet, Manuel, in Santa Rosalia did too good of a job with bringing Jezebel back from near death.  She’s acting like a kitten again and playing all the time.  We’ve been cutting her hair about every 3 to 4 weeks which keeps her cool and keeps the hair balls away.  She hasn’t been sick once since the surgery, which is a dramatic change for the better!


She looks quite different with a #2 clipper buzzcut.  In fact she doesn’t recognize her own tail.  And after 14 years of having it attached to her butt you’d think she’d recognize it.  But a buzzcut quickly changed that.  Now she thinks there’s some strange creature attached to her butt, and boy is it fast and sneaky!  She’ll chase it in circles trying to catch that bugger, only to have it disappear.  She’ll search the cushions, the blankets, and then look relieved that it is gone.  But then she’ll turn around to leave and BAM!  There’s the beast again and the chase starts all over.


It’s nice she’s found a toy that we don’t have to pickup and we don’t have to play with her.  Built in entertainment!  And oh, it’s damn funny for us too.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Estanque stinks!

What happens when you anchor near an island and a beach where lots of birds roost? Guano happens! And Estanque (“ess-STAHN-kay”) stunk. What’s worse is the little noseeum bugs who live off the birds, attacked us with a vengeance that is unbelievable. The rocks on the beach were its redeeming quality. They were tumbled round and shiny by the years of waves and the colors ran the full rainbow.

But the bugs, and the call of ice cold margaritas forced us out of the anchorage a day later. The hurricane “Max” increased the humidity to about 80% and we felt like we were in a sauna, so after a week of so of warm drinks, we longed for the bar in town. Max is behaving himself and heading out to sea right now, but he brought a sudden change in our weather. We were just starting to cool off as September wound down when Max came along and screwed all that up. Hopefully Max continues his current path and the new one brewing off Acapulco goes west out to sea as well.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Now hail Caleta Pulpito

Ok, one better than Refugio – Caleta Pulpito! With the water clarity about 40 feet, and billions of fish (more than Refugio!), Pulpito was a snorkelers’ paradise! There were schools of trigger fish just following us around to see what we were doing; we saw an elusive and rare Golden Grouper, and shellfish (a rare site these days). In this remote place, we were able to glimpse what the Sea of Cortez used to be like 10 or 15 years ago. Everywhere we looked in the water were schools of large and small fish.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Still Going

As mentioned in the previous message, all night long the wind blew 35 to 40 knots. The next day it blew 20 to 25 all day, and then at night 25 to 30. We were starting to get used to the severe winds. It kept the heat way down. We had to break out the blankets at night because things dropped into the low 70’s. I was wrapped up in a blanket in the morning and Sherrell laughed at me because it was 78 degrees. The humidity was only about 25% instead of the standard 70% to 80%

The third night we decided to watch movies on Rhythmic Breeze. It seemed funny to us that all the other boats we were hearing on the radio were running for cover from the westerly winds, which were not quite as strong as our winds. After 3 days, the wind seemed pretty normal to us. We were watching movies, walking the beaches and enjoying the cool weather. Our last night the winds were blowing about 30 to 35 and we slept well.

In the morning, the wind was still howling and the bay outside our anchorage was full of 4 foot waves and white caps. It was a great wind angle for heading north, so we took it! After hoisting up 400 pounds of seaweed on our anchor chains, of course.

All hail Puerto Refugio

Amazing water clarity! We can see probably 40 feet and unlike the rest of Bahia de Los Angeles, there’s lots of fish to look see. Groupers, trigger fish, Sergeant Majors, Cobolt Fish, Angel Fish, Parrot Fish, unidentified olive green fish, stone fish, and more! Big schools of these suckers are everywhere. It’s a snorkeler’s paradise in 85F water, 88F air with only 23% humidity. I can’t believe that this place is almost empty, just Rhythmic Breeze, us and a large power boat that is gone all day fishing.

Everyone is afraid of the bugs up here, but the winds have kept them away and the memory of them has kept the other boaters away. Their loss, because this place is fantastic!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Going Ever Still

Departing Alcatraz, which we wondered if the mighty wind machine would let us escape, we rocketed north. We sailed like banchees! Lots of wind and we drove our boats hard. However every time we looked at the speed over ground on the GPS, it read 3.4 knots. There was a good 2+ knot adverse current. By the time we arrived the 25 miles later, we had sailed almost 35 miles through the water. It took us 7 hours to make 24 miles to the entrance to Puerto Refugio (“Ray-foo-HEE-oh”). An average of 3.4 knots, and I can tell you we were probably averaging about 5.5 knots through the water.

But arriving in Refugio was like going back in time -- huge cliffs, lots of birds and dramatic rocks everywhere. It was like we stepped back into an newer world long ago. It was worth the long day sail to get here! Now we’re going to try to fix Rhythmic Breeze’s video recorder to capture some footage on film!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Going North

We decided to take a short trip north out of the Bay of LA with another boat, Rhythmic Breeze. We might circum-navigate Angel de la Guardia over the course of a week or two, or we might just go to the north tip and then back to the Bay.

With no real plan, we set out from the town in 15-20 knots of breeze, tacking out of the anchorage and heading north. As we sailed up, there were large gusty spots where we’d heel over 25 degrees, go like hell, then hit the end of the patch pop back upright and the sails would start to flap with no wind. It was really strange sailing.

Both of us managed to sail up to the top of Isla Coronado when we could see a wall of white water waves off in the distance where the anchorage, Ensenada Alcatraz, is located. We were both guessing over the radio that the night time “Elephantes” or Westerlies like the Santa Anna’s in California, had kicked in. As we approached, the wind did a 180 shift to the west and started to howl.

We rounded Alcatraz Island and entered the bay with the wind blowing about 25 knots. As we anchored, we realized, that as the sun went down, we were probably going to get blasted even harder. Typically when the sun goes down, the thermal difference between the land and the sea cause the Elephantes to increase.

All night long we were blasted with 35 to 40 knots of wind. Fortunately there was no fetch, so the waves didn’t build up, but the racket of the howling winds kept Sherrell awake most of the night. The next day the wind just couldn’t quit, it blew all day long at a respectable 20 knots or so. Braving the winds, we went ashore on the golden sand beach with a beach umbrella.

Huddled together out of the sun we relaxed and thought how silly we must seem to have a 2 mile long stretch of perfect sandy beach and then to see the four of us with a small umbrella trying to stay in the shade. As a lone plane flew over head we thought the excitement might kill us. I wanted to change channels on the tv, but I forgot we no longer had a tv. But this channel wasn’t too bad. A good sized seal decided to try to catch some fish about 20 feet off the beach in front of us. Swimming all around he leapt out of the air and performed a barrel roll. Not bad!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hanging Out

We’ve been pretty lazy the last few days.  We’ve spent the week hanging out in front of the town.  I’ve added some wiring into the bow so we can connect a fan there when we’re sleeping at night – what a relief!  I’ve also been working on a new setup for our autopilot and the trim tab, which I’m quite excited about, but we still need to make a couple of items first before we can test it out.  We also cleaned the boat bottom and the hull.  So I guess we haven’t been too lazy, but it’s been a slow week.


On the SSB we’ve been hearing some of the live reports of people being rescued from Katrina, so I can imagine if the HAM bands are that busy with emergency traffic, the media is having a field day pointing fingers and stirring up trouble, rather than providing news or help.  We saw a special on PBS about 4 years ago about how New Orleans would be totally flooded if a Category 4 or 5 hit.  We also heard that lots of other countries are providing aid, so hopefully things get straightened out.


Our hurricane activity down here has been pretty mild so far.  Everything has stayed away from land.  We’re currently watching Irwin, but it seems to be fairly small and heading out to sea.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sailing in B of LA

We’ve been sailing on and off the anchor and hardly ever using the engine.  The waterways are protected by islands and there are some massive mountains all around the bay.  If this place had trees instead of cactus, it would be just like back home.  We sailed into town with Rhythmic Breeze and we took photos of each other under sail so we FINALLY have some photos of us sailing!  Hopefully we’ll be able to update the website and the new photo on the homepage will be us heeling over and sailing fast!