Monday, March 26, 2012

It's time to leave la Paz

We will be leaving La Paz today and heading to Puerto Ballandra to see the famous mushroom rock, "El Hongo". The last 24 hrs have been crazy busy as we have been getting the boat ready for our next trip. In just 24 hours Lee has managed to Install a new depth sounder, change the water impeller, and change the oil. We have bought and stowed all of our food and all that is left on the list is to refill our propane tanks and do some laundry, then we should be ready to leave.


Friday, March 23, 2012

La Paz update

 We have been in la Paz for a week now and we are having a great time. We start Spanish lessons today and then we are planning to head up to isla espiritu santos and isla partida on Tuesday of next week where we will explore the islands for a few weeks before heading to Mazatalan on the main land. 

We some updates from our trip to la Paz to still add which we will post in the next couple of days before heading north.

On Mon 27th Feb we caught our first fish and we havnt stopped since. We caught a pacific bonito between Bahia ASuncion and Man O War cove in Bahia MAgdalena. This trip was about 250 miles. 

He made a huge mess of the cockpit

We all wanted to have our photo taken with the fish so Lee held it up for us but we didn't realize that he was about to start flipping around and spraying blood all over us and the cockpit. You can see he made quite a mess of the boat! Next time i think we'll avoid the fishy photo shoot. We grabbed a plastic bag to stick him in but he munched his way out of the bottom. This was a very hard fish to kill but we managed it eventually and here you can see the huge fillets that we got.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Puerto Los Cabos to Frailes

 We have just arrived in Ensenada de los Muertos after a nice short 50 mile trip. It has been a nice calm day and we caught ourselves another Pacific Bonito. There's a restaurant on the beach which we will go to tonight. We have just come from Bahia los Frailes which is next to a marine sanctuary where we spent two days. 

On our first night in Los Frailes we heard something that sounded like fireworks, when we stepped outside the boat we were amazed to see that we were surrounded by manta rays jumping out of the water, hundreds of them. When we shined the torch in the water we could also see hundreds of tiny little red eyes looking at us followed by views of many different fish.


Solent off the beach

Serena and Lee on beach lookout

We took a walk to Playa Serenita with the silver lining crew and spent the day on the beach snorkeling and enjoying the sun. 

Lee looking for a clear path out of the desert!

Lee looking for a clear path out of the desert

The walk to the beach was very long and hot so we were happy when a truck came by and offered us a lift. The walk back was interesting; we decided to take a shortcut as we didn't fancy the 3 mile hike back to our anchorage so we peeled back some barbed wire and headed off through the desert instead of taking the road. We had to scramble through sand covered with spiky cactus and brush with thorns which we had to pull out of our shoes every now and then. We made it back to our beach just before dark and thankfully our dinghies were still there. We got some great footage of the fish with our underwater camera. Los Frailes really captured the spirit of the Sea of Cortez for us so decided to stay for another day and the following night (last night) we decided to make a bonfire on the beach with Elan, Ashley and Apollo from Silver Lining. We arrived at the beach and started gathering stones, and wood for the fire. Lee dashed off over the hill to the lagoon and 15 minutes later he came back with a whole tree! Lee made two fires, one for our food and another one to sit around. 

Getting ready for the BBQ

Before Los Frailes we spend two nights at the Puerto Los Cabos marina. We got a slip for half price as it had no power but who needs power when we are generating 550 watts at 40 amps per hour with our solar panels! Lee even turned on the AC electric water heater at one point! This had a lovely marina with a nice little restaurant called The Container. We went into town and were able to do our laundry which we haven't done for almost a month! We found an organic market out of town and visited a local cactus garden which carries hundreds of cactus species.

At the organic festival.


Is it Monday?

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Lunch at the dock cafe

We arrived safely in la Paz. Serena got us an app to be able to blog on the iPhone on the go so were writing this at lunch. After lunch were off to check in with the port captain and pay our anchorage fee as were anchored off the channel. We'll probably be here for a week or two before heading north exploring the see of cortez.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Coastal Baja Trip Update - Part 1

21st Feb - Traveling to San Carlos

On 21st Feb between San Quinten  and San Carlos we spotted a fishing boat that looked like it was heading towards our boat. As they got closer we saw that there were four men onboard. They got close enough to have a good look around our boat and we were wondering what they were looking for. After a few minutes they steamed off and left us alone. About 5 minutes later we were worried to see that they had turned around and were on there way back to our boat! It turns out that they had returned to give us 3 nice big fish that they had caught. We offered them money which they declined so we offered them beers instead and gave them a cold one each. This made them very happy and we had enough fish to last us a week.
Lee filleted the fish and Katie and I breaded them using Lee's mum's NZ recipe. 

California Sheepshead fish

22nd Feb - Bahia San Carlos

We arrived at Bahia San Carlos in the afternoon after a good trip down. We didn't know what to expect as the guides were not that favorable, but we found it to be a great anchorage and one of our favorites on the trip down the coast.

Bahia San Carlos

We decided to leave the following morning as we had a good weather forecast for the trip to Cedros. We left at 4am in the dark, but would only have less than two hours of darkness until sunlight. after a while i noticed that we were not making the speed we should be and thought we had picked up some kelp around the keel. I brought the boat to a stop and then saw my nemesis, the rope from a crab pot taught behind the boat. Not sure how long we had been dragging it, but we quickly cut it away from the boat. We could still hear the floats banging under the boat, but had power and headed back to San Carlos so i could dive under the boat.

Once back on anchor we sent the underwater camera down to investigate. The shaft was still pretty bound up and the floats were wrapped around the rudder. Time for a dive under the boat for some cutting. I'd been wanting to use my new scuba bottle and wetsuit anyway so it was the perfect time to test them. It was cold though, 55 degrees F.

Bound round the prop
Bound around the shaft

Floats around the rudder

Getting ready to dive

Things went well with the scuba bottle and i got relaxed under the boat gradually clearing the lines. After a couple of minutes though it got difficult to breathe more air and then nothing more form the bottle. It seemed to take forever to get back out from under the boat following the shaft back out to the stern of the boat and i took a breathe of water before making it up. The bottle was supposed to last 25 minutes so something was up. I can only think that they didn't fill it properly.

I was hopeful that i had managed to clear it though and got showered and warmed up. A second trip with the camera revealed that it was still pretty bound up. Back in the water, but this time without air. I tried diving from the side a couple of times with a mask, but it didn't allow enough time to work. Time for plan B. I took our boat hook and duck taped a bread knife to the end (i'd also tape a torch as well in the future). Using the mask and snorkel and my new tool i was able to cut through the rest of the rope and free the prop. Definitely the best way to tackle the problem.

Dont laugh at my haircut. It cost $5.

It took a couple of hours to warm up. Here I am wearing ski socks and a fleece in 85.9 degrees !

23rd Feb - Passage to Isla Cedros

On 23rd Feb we departed Punta San Carlos at 4am and later we caught our first fish, an 8 pound Mexican Bonito! Thank you Octavia and Petter for the fish book, its good to know what we are eating.  We saw lots of whales along the way and arrived safely at Isla Cedros at around 4.30pm. The island is beautiful and as we approached we could see that the beaches were covered with seals, sealions, and elephant seals, huge ones at that. They started jumping in the water and swimming up to the boat to take a look at us. We got about 12 feet away from the island and we were reading about 300 feet on our depth sounder. We knew this couldn't be right so i made a quick lead line to check the depth. We realized then that our depth sounder wasn't working properly. After a few attempts we managed to secure the anchor but Lee wasn't comfortable that this was safe so we decided to check the boat every hour throughout the night. We woke up in the same place but we would not recommend using this spot as an anchorage!

Our first fish

Isla Cedros

The wildlife

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Made it to Cabo!

We made the run down the coast of Baja! We've had no internet so haven't been able to update the blog or email till recently.

Well provide a more detailed account of our trip, but it's good to be in civilization after two plus weeks at sea and anchor!
A warm reception awaited us in Cabo

and somewhere hot!

Dinghy ride through Playa Del Amor

Beach landing at Lovers Beach